American Civil Liberties Union
|American Civil Liberties Union|
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) consists of two separate entities: the ACLU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on litigation and communication efforts, and the American Civil Liberties Union which focuses on legislative lobbying and does not have non-profit status.
The ACLU's stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and community education.
"The ACLU today is the nation's largest public interest law firm, with a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous affiliate offices." "About 100 ACLU staff attorneys collaborate with about 2,000 volunteer attorneys in handling close to 6,000 cases annually."
Rights of primary concern
- First Amendment rights
- Equal protection under the law
- Right to due process
- Right to privacy
Role in ballot initiatives
The ACLU plays a role in ballot initiative campaigns in two primary ways:
- In some states, local chapters of the ACLU endorse or oppose specific ballot initiatives. Examples include California Proposition 21 (2000).
- The ACLU donated $61,562.50 to help fund Washington Initiative 1000 (2008).
- In some states, at times, the ACLU lends support to litigation efforts in support of initiative rights. Examples include ACLU v. Lomax.