What We DoSeptember 03, 2010
The ACLU, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, is a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous local offices. Here in the National Capital Area, we concentrate our work in support of the following:
- freedom of speech for all who live in or come to the Nation’s Capital
- equal rights for all by really ending discrimination because of gender, race, color, religion, ethnic origin, marital status, age or sexual orientation
- religion free from coercion or government domination
- elimination of police abuse and establishment of unbiased policing
- a woman’s right to choose and obtain reproductive services of any kind
- just treatment for immigrants
- the elimination of the death penalty
- inclusive and fair practices for individuals with disabilities or HIV/AIDS
- a rehabilitation emphasis for drug policy
- humane prison conditions with education during school age and job training for adults
- the right to privacy for our personal lives and information
- full self-government and voting representation in Congress for the citizens of the District of Columbia
The ACLU is involved in more Supreme Court cases than anyone other than the US Government.
ACLU v. Reno established Free Speech for the Internet--just as earlier the ACLU fought to stop government dictating the content of books, newspapers, comics, movies, radio and television. Threats to the Internet—and all the others—continue.
When President Nixon and his attorney general broadly violated the constitutional rights of Americans, the ACLU was the first major nonpartisan organization that called for Nixon's impeachment and removal.
ACLU lawyers worked on cases to free the Scottsboro defendants, end all-white primaries, eliminate segregation and Jim Crow, allow inter-racial marriage, force Georgia to let state senator Julian Bond take his seat.
Famed Clarence Darrow was an ACLU lawyer in the Scopes Monkey Trial (dramatized in Inherit the Wind).
ACLU lawyers worked to establish one-person/one-vote in state and federal legislatures, secure a revote (not merely a recount) in the West Palm Beach “butterfly ballot” election, urge the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the Florida presidential recount case, and file suit against Florida, Georgia, Illinois and California to compel changes in election law. ACLU lobbyists are working on both Federal and state legislation, and ACLU lawyers on more court cases, to fix the broken election system.
ACLU lawyers established that high school students and other young people have constitutional rights.