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What is the ACLU?

The place I know that will protect my rights, the place I know will stand up for my rights, the place I know will fight for what’s right, the ACLU. The ACLU is hands-down my favorite organization and one of the best places to volunteer and learn more about social justice. Today’s piece is going to be dedicated to showcasing their hard work and accomplishments throughout the years. Additionally, if you are not familiar with the ACLU I will provide a brief introduction to their organization and their overall mission.

The ACLU, or the American Civil Liberties Union, is a non-profit organization founded in 1920 that works to protect and uphold freedom and equality. The history of the ACLU is as follows: After World War 1, fear of the Communist Revolution spreading to America was rampant. This led to the Palmer Raids, which were a series of government raids that had the main goal of capturing and deporting suspected radicals. Numerous people were unwarrantedly arrested and attained brutal treatment from authorities. In response to these abuses, a group of people united to take a stand and created the ACLU. Since then, they have grown and have now become the leading protector of liberties protected by the Bill of Rights. With their 1.5M+ members, numerous attorneys and volunteer attorneys, and 54 offices across the US, we can always trust them to protect us and stand up for our rights no matter what.

Seeing as they have amazing resources and many dedicated members and attorneys, they have made many contributions to society and have accomplished many things. Here are some of their accomplishments+contributions:

They challenged the Trump Administration in 2017

The ACLU filed 56 lawsuits challenging his administration because it made numerous infringements on the constitution and the rule of law. The lawsuits varied from immigrant rights, reproductive rights, and in regards to protecting the LGBTQ community

They fought for freedom of marriage in 2015

The ACLU was victorious in the Obergefell vs. Hodges supreme court case which introduced free marriage! They couldn’t have done this without their previous victory Windsor vs. U.S. when they paved the way for this breakthrough.

They made breakthroughs for voting rights in 2014

The ACLU has been fighting for voting rights for many years, and this accomplishment demonstrates their continued fight against voter suppression attempts. They went to court and they won the ability to overturn Voter ID laws in Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

They defended reproductive rights from 2011-15, and still do so today

Over the last 5 years, they have blocked over 300 laws that were initially implemented to restrict reproductive rights. They are constantly providing access to abortion and birth control for women who need it.

They protected freedom of speech in 1997

In the court case ACLU vs. Reno, they got rid of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that was implemented to censor indecent speech on the internet. After the ACLU challenged this act, every attempt by Congress to implement acts like these has been declared unconstitutional.

The ACLU has made many more contributions like these to our society and we have them to thank for our continued protection against oppressive laws and restrictions. I hope you enjoyed my tribute piece to the ACLU and that you learned a bit more about their organization. The ACLU is truly a great institution and I encourage you to try to get involved in what they are doing if you are interested in learning more about social justice and taking action. They also have links to take action, donate, and much more on their site; I will leave that below. Thank you for reading!

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