The ACLU To The Rescue

It is true, and I am proud to relate that I have been a card-carrying member of the ACLU for a great many years. I not only laugh, but get often disgusted by the attacks on the ACLU as some kind of ultra-left or wildly out of the mainstream organization. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. By defending the Constitution, prosecuting legal wars against laws that violate our civil liberties and taking up legal arms in the defense of our essential American rights, the ACLU might well be the most conservative and patriotic organization that exists today.

The ACLU is, of course, the American Civil Liberties Union. It was founded in 1920 by a room full of civil liberty activists and today has over 500,000 members and prosecutes over 6000 legal cases per year. A quote from their website states:

The American system of government is founded on two counterbalancing principles: that the majority of the people governs, through democratically elected representatives; and that the power even of a democratic majority must be limited, to ensure individual rights.

Majority power is limited by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which consists of the original ten amendments ratified in 1791, plus the three post-Civil War amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage), adopted in 1920.


To this end, the mission of the ACLU is simple and articulate:

The ACLU will work to preserve and guarantee:

  • Your First Amendment rights – freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
  • Your right to equal protection under the law – equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
  • Your right to due process – fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
  • Your right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

At times, just like any organization, they may take on or be involved in cases that seem extreme or even wacky, but in fact the underlying principle of every case taken on by this excellent organization is either supported by Constitutional law, local or federal law or is a challenge to a law that is in conflict with either the Federal or State Constitutions.

As a side note, this may well be why civics classes in general are either not required or wholly unavailable to students today. The more you know about your rights, the less control the police state has over you. Unfortunately for those in power, you and I both have a well established and incontrovertible set of rights which define how the government and governmental agencies, like the police, are allowed to interact with us. Unfortunately they spend a lot more time figuring out how to legally avoid our rights than we do understanding how to implement them.

So it was with both fear and delight that I watched the linked video, which was passed to me by a dear friend this morning and whom I will simply call DB. In it is a set of common interactions with police, as well as both how they went wrong and how they could go right for the citizens involved. The video is 45 minutes long and I strongly recommend every citizen of the U.S. to watch it. It gives excellent and detailed advice on how to adhere to the law, while at the same time making sure that lawmen adheres to your rights and civil liberties.
Thank you DB for this excellent link and for caring enough to share it with me.

Click Here To Watch The Video

You can visit the ACLU by Clicking Here.


  1. vsloathe says:

    OFN for me, but an excellent video and informative link. I probably go back and watch it about once every 6 months.

    You should point out the Flex Your Rights website for interested parties, Perk. It has some very good resources and every US citizen should check it out.

    I get pulled over all the time but I’ve never been searched. I’ve been asked many times, but there’s never any compelling reason to allow a law enforcement officer search your person or belongs without probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or a warrant. I rarely have to pay traffic tickets either, while we’re on the subject.

    Always take the issue to court, to me this is an issue of principle. I’ve been accused of committing a crime and regardless of my own guilt or innocence, I will allow the issue to be decided in a court of law, and I’ll do my damndest not to give more money to the state than I have to when I’m singled out of a group of traffic who are all doing the same speed. Subpoena an expert witness on the type of technology used to pull you over. Get an extension for your court date. Just before your extension is up, call and get another extension. Usually you’re only allowed 2 but it varies state to state. Take as many as you can, and when you finally go to court, about a year to a year and a half later, either the police officer (provided he still works in the same area for the same bureau) or the expert witness will not show up. Granted, it takes a few hours of your time, but to me it’s worth it to not pay the ridiculous extortion fines imposed by the state for exceeding disproportionately low speed limits which everyone violates at some time or another.

  2. nop_90 says:

    It has been almost 250 years since USA became an independant nation. Yes USA has many flaws. Yes probably most of the founding fathers where bigots and racists :) . But to support thier principles they paid a price (10 years+ of war against britain).

    Today the few people in the world concerned about freedom are eastern european, and people from other places that have lived under totalitarian regimes.

    Does a person who has always had a fridge full of food, 3 good meals a day, know anything about hunger. Instead he complain there is nothing to eat, and he throw perfectly good food in the garbage.

  3. Edgar says:

    “the ACLU might well be the most conservative and patriotic organization that exists today.”



    The aclu exploits controversial constitutional issues to further their leftist agenda. Do you really believe what you write?


  4. perkiset says:


    Do you understand your rights? Do you even understand what civil liberties are? Oh, right: Republicans cut funding for civics classes, so you probably have no idea what our country is founded on at all, or why an organization that is chartered to protect our primary freedoms is both vital and ultimately patriotic.

    “The ACLU exploits controversial constitutional issues to further their leftist agenda” You don’t even know what they do, do you? This is right wing tripe of the worst kind – you simply hear talking points from right wing supporters of a fascist totalitarianism (Rush, O’Reilly) and spout it back out, huh?

    It is ignorance and people like you that will ruin our country because the Constitution is simply inconvenient and in your way. Next time you’re stopped by a cop and he can’t simply turn you around and cuff you while he searches your car just because he feels like it, you may thank the ACLU. If a cop comes to your door and you don’t want him to walk in, you may thank the ACLU for the fact that he can’t. This, among so VERY many other issues (about 10K/year) are addressed by the ACLU in YOUR SERVICE to protect YOUR FREEDOMS.

    Therefore, if the ACLU’s sole charter on this planet is to protect the Bill of Rights from radical reformers like Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Runsfeld and the rest of the kabal, then they are the ULTIMATE conservative and patriotic entity floating about the U.S. today.

  5. braindonkey says:

    Edgar, your post is the prime example of when people just listen to what the republican hate mongers tell them.

    So, just to be clear, and add to perks point. You are against black children attending the same schools as white? You are for search and seizure without cause? You are against gays in the workplace? Women? Short men? Tall Men? The list goes on and on and on. Do you know what allows you and me to post here? The first amendment gives you that right. Do you know who fights for you when someone tries to violate your constitutional right? The ACLU.

    I have never understood why conservatives claim it’s an evil pinko liberal organization, when they themselves would use it in a heartbeat when the time comes. Oh right, HYPOCRISY.

  6. Edgar says:


    “Edgar, your post is the prime example of when people just listen to what the republican hate mongers tell them.”

    No Brian, not this guy. I have been following politics and studying philosophy for many years. I’ve been left and now I’m right.

    The aclu was an organization that stood for great things. It defended peoples rights according to the constitution for many years. Even the famous case in 77 when they defended the rights of NAZIS to march in chicago, right through a jewish neighborhood filled with holocaust survivors.

    But over the last twenty or so years the aclu has gradually shifted into a platform for extreme leftist. This is a real no brainer.

    Nowadays, the aclu is quick to defend the freedom of speech of liberals but not for conservatives. They defend school kids who wear pro homosexual tshirts or bush hating tshirts but they never defend anti gay speech or pro christian speech.

    The aclu is so far left it’s not really debatable. It’s different now than it was in the early 1900′s.

    They only defend liberal freedom of speech. Only begrudgingly do they defend any conservative viewpoints. It’s bull shit. Look at the Justice’s that argue against the aclu and the ones that concur. Breyer and Oconner, super libs, they love the aclu. Scalia on the other hand never agrees with anything the aclu does or says.

    The aclu is supported by all kinds of celebrity status lefties.

    I love arguing with you guys but this is ridiculous! There’s no real debate hear. Look at who the figure heads are, who supports them now, they cases they take, the cases the conspicuously neglect to take up, their famous arguments and it’s friggen plain as day.

    Don’t give me that stuff about THEM protecting my rights. Please. We are born with inalienable rights and the constitution states that. The aclu only cares about the rights of gays, terrorists, bush haters, angry athiests and the like.

  7. braindonkey says:

    actually edgar, I would argue the reasons you state are perceived, but not true. The reason why the ACLU would defend anti-gay speech, just the same as any other speech. The problem is that many perceive the ACLU as a patrolman or a beat cop walking their beat. They are not. There are so many cases today on a daily basis, that they do not seek out like they did when they were first building their reputation. YOU must contact them now, and even so, they may not take the case because they rank cases based on cornerstones of threat which are cases, that if lost in the favor of prevention, would set precedents allowing further cases to be built.

    There is little to no “real threat” from banning the free speech of a pro-christian rally for example. Although the act would be despicable, the fact is that the Christian group is big enough to effect change/retaliation/sanctions on their own.

    The ACLU does not have unlimited resources, and as such has started to have to pick and choose. RIAA and the MPAA are generating a lot of noise for them to deal with for example. The biggest case type they have shed seems to be speech, which is why your argument sounds valid. They are now mostly fighting workplace issues and government overstepping from what I can tell. Most of their cases have nothing to with hate anymore since that is fairly under control, and most groups have their own support systems now.

    On the subject of Supreme Court Justices. They are still opinionated folks, who have agendas, just like any other politician. They may be a little more “clean” politically, but they are not on the job without some level of pre-determination already set in their mind. A justice who was raise as a deep red rep, will have hard time swallowing the ACLU rhetoric of protecting the people from the government. Scalia is a dick if he never agrees. I have no idea on voting records, but frankly, if any justice votes for or against a group, just because of who that group is, they should be fired. Oh, right they cant be… Old age can’t come fast enough then.

    Inalienable rights is laughable. The constitution is just a piece of paper, and it gets stepped on all the time depending on the choice of defenition. I think the slaves would disagree that those rights were inalienable. They weren’t citizens? convenient. They weren’t human but instead animals? What turned them human to now have those rights too? See, the constitution is a document of context. Without being rewritten, it could work under Hitler, or under the Dali Lamma.

  8. perkiset says:

    Excellent summation BD, and so very true.

    One of the issues here is that we’ve been TOLD for the longest time that the ACLU is an extreme left organization, but these words come from people that argue that the word “privacy” does not appear in the actual text of the Constitution ergo, there is no real fundamental right of privacy. That argument is then used for efforts like wiretapping, covert satellite surveillance and un-warranted search and seizure.

    See the real problem here is that Democracy is, in fact, a Liberal notion. Conservatives do not believe in an actual free democracy, they believe in a free market with rigid controls over the populace via a firm government and rigid religious control. This is not my opinion, simply read up on Thomas Hobbs, the prototype Conservative, upon which, to this day, many conservative philosophers still rely.

    Interestingly, Edgar, if you truly believe in your own inalienable rights then you are a Lockian Liberal – the very thing that the Conservatives despised – and which, Hobbs said would make all of our lives “nasty, brutish and short.” And, unfortunately, your conservative views are clearly at odds with your fundamental nature.

    This paradox is made use of by the pseudo-logical right that would twist your natural feelings into a weapon of their choosing. Our Government is Under Siege by the Liberals and their leftist agendas! So long as they can keep you afraid, they can control you into believing that you are fighting for what is right – when in fact, you are voting against your own self interest when you hire these boneheads to govern our nation.

    I could go on as well, but I must also get back to work LOL…