The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a leftist, secular-progressive organization. It was run for its first 30 years by an American named Roger Baldwin, who helped found it in 1920. Baldwin supported communism, but later denounced it in his book, A New Slavery, which condemned "the inhuman communist police state tyranny". This organization pursues a leftist agenda that includes censoring prayer and recognition of God in public institutions, such as public schools. Currently, Anthony Romero is the first openly gay CEO to run the organization. Declassified documents and letters link early ACLU leaders with Communist Party. Helen Chaffee Biehle also indicated in her article "Focus: The Seduction of the American Public Library" that the ACLU was also nihilistic and individualistic in its philosophy since its founding.
- 1 History
- 2 Illegal Immigration
- 3 Censoring God
- 4 Censoring Intelligent Design
- 5 Harming the Boy Scouts
- 6 Pornography
- 7 Same-sex Marriage
- 8 Conspicuously Absent
- 9 Abortion
- 10 Polygamy
- 11 Free Speech
- 12 Free Exercise Clause
- 13 Prisoner and student rights
- 14 Medical Records
- 15 Terrorism
- 16 Death Penalty
- 17 Views of the ACLU Founder
- 18 See also
- 19 References
- 20 External links
National Civil Liberties Bureau
The ACLU began as the National Civil Liberties Bureau (NCLB), a committee of the American Union Against Militarism (AUAM), a Socialist front group established to exploit antiwar sentiment during World War I. AUAM was co-founded by Morris Hillquit, a Latvian immigrant lawyer who served as liaison between the Socialist International and the Socialist Party of the U.S. In 1919, the American Socialist Party expressed official support for the Kremlin's fledgling Communist International, and the following year applied for membership in the Comintern. That year, the NCLB changed its name to ACLU.
After renaming itself from National Civil Liberties Bureau to American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU selected its first organizational president, Harry F. Ward.
In 1924, William J. Burns, former director of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigations (precursor of the FBI), testified before Congress:
|“||I dare say that unless the country becomes thoroughly aroused concerning the danger of this radical element in this country, we will have a very serious situation. These parlor Bolsheviks have sprung up everywhere, as evidenced by this American Civil Liberties Union of New York. They have organized a civil liberties union on the coast. Wherever we seek to suppress these radicals, a civil liberties union promptly gets busy.||”|
Four years later, in 1928, a committee of the New York State Legislature agreed:
|“||The ACLU, in the last analysis, is a supporter of all subversive movements; its propaganda is detrimental to the interests of the state. Its main work is to uphold the Communists in spreading revolutionary propaganda and inciting revolutionary activities to undermine our American institutions and overthrow our Federal government.||”|
Three years after that, in 1931, a special committee of the U.S. House of Representatives concurred:
|“||The American Civil Liberties Union has received large sums from the Garland Fund, of which Roger N. Baldwin is one of its directors. During the trial of the Communists in Gastonia, not for freedom of speech, of the press or assembly, but for a conspiracy to kill the chief of police, of which seven defendants were convicted, the ACLU provided bail for five of the defendants, amounting to $28,500, which it secured from the Garland Fund. All of the defendants convicted jumped their bail and are reported to be in Russia.||”|
The ACLU's founding members were Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Walter Nelles, Morris Ernst, Albert DeSilver, Arthur Garfield Hays, Helen Keller, Jane Addams, Felix Frankfurter, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Baldwin, the driving force behind the ACLU in its early years, testified in 1938 that he had expressed his views in the Harvard Classbook three years previously as follows:
|“||I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.||”|
In 1940, during the Nazi-Soviet pact, under threat of being listed by HUAC as a Communist front, the ACLU purged from its Executive Committee any "member of any political organization which supports totalitarian dictatorship in any country, or who by his public declaration and connections indicates his support of such a principle." Among those purged was Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who would go on to serve as National Chairwoman of the Communist Party USA.
Nevertheless, its continued front activity caused the ACLU to be listed as a Communist front by a joint committee of the California Legislature in 1943:
|“||The American Civil Liberties Union may be definitely classed as a Communist front or ‘transmission belt’ organization.||”|
The ACLU demanded $2.3 million in fees for challenging a law against illegal immigration. This demand "illustrates the circus the ACLU brought to this case," the Mayor of Hazelton, Pennsylvania said. "They had 20 attorneys sitting in the courtroom at a time, 16 of them doing nothing but running up the bill."
In the Hazleton case the ACLU persuaded a federal court to declare a municipal ordinance to be unconstitutional, even though other federal courts have upheld similar laws since then. The Hazleton case is on appeal.
The ordinance defines "illegal aliens", fines property owners for renting to them, fines business owners for hiring them, and bars businesses from selling them merchandise. It also requires government documents to be in English only, and requires documents from residents to city officials to be in English.
The ACLU often insists that the Establishment Clause of the Constitution requires censorship of religious expression. In 2007, for example, the ACLU of Tennessee sought to stop prayer and prayer-related activities by the volunteer Praying Parents. Doe v. Wilson County Sch. Sys., 524 F. Supp. 2d 964 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 9, 2007).
ACLU chapters frequently sue to compel removal displays of the Ten Commandments from public property. For example, in McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844 (2005), the ACLU of Kentucky forced two counties to remove displays of the Ten Commandments from their courthouses. In another case Glassroth v. Moore, 229 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (2002) the Alabama chapter sued Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to remove a Ten Commandments Monument, with Moore remarking "fearing that I would not obey his order, decided to threaten other state officials and force them to remove the monument if I did not do so". A threat of heavy fines was his way of coercing obedience to that order". In Utah, the ACLU even announced a scavenger hunt for anyone who could find a display of the Ten Commandments monument that the ACLU could demand be removed. The ACLU typically receives substantial legal fees from the government in each of these cases.
In 1994, the ACLU of New Jersey sued Jersey City, New Jersey to challenge a menorah and a Christmas tree at city hall. A federal district judge declared the display to be unconstitutional, but the appellate court, in a 2-1 opinion written by now-Justice Samuel Alito, found a modified display to be constitutional. ACLU of New Jersey v. Schundler (1999). Then-Judge Alito wrote, "government may celebrate Christmas in some manner and form, but not in a way that endorses Christian doctrine."
In 2007, the ACLU Foundation of Texas filed an amicus brief for removal of a longstanding monument to William Mosher outside Harris County Civil Courthouse because the statute contained a depiction of an open Bible. Staley v. Harris County, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 9296 (5th Cir. 2007). The court ruled that Harris County must pay attorneys fees to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which often appears along with the ACLU in demanding removal of religious symbols from government property and censoring criticism of evolution in public school.
The ACLU demanded that Los Angeles County remove a tiny cross from the Los Angeles County seal, even though the seal contained nearly a dozen symbols including the Greek goddess Pomona standing on the shore of the Pacific Ocean—about which the ACLU did not complain. The seal also displayed other California motifs, including the Spanish galleon San Salvador, a tuna fish, a cow, stars representing the movie and television industries, the Hollywood Bowl, oil derricks, and a pair of engineering instruments to represent Los Angeles' contributions to industrial construction and space exploration. The cross was a tiny part of the seal. But Los Angeles County gave into the ACLU's demands and spent $700,000 to censor the cross and replace it on all official government documents, publications and signage.
The ACLU of Louisiana demanded that a school board stop allowing an invocation to be said at the beginning of its meetings. In Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish School Bd. (2007), an en banc Fifth Circuit dismissed the claim for lack of proof that anyone had been injured or even offended by hearing these invocations.
In the ACLU's quest to attack the Christian religion any chance it gets, they are suing in Alaska courts to remove the property tax exemption from church owned properties.
An Indiana judge has upheld the issuance of license plates bearing the message "In God We Trust," dismissing a constitutional challenge by the ACLU.
The ACLU enlisted the Courts to have banned the private distribution of Bibles in public school. The federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued this ruling for the ACLU. Doe v. S. Iron R-1 Sch. Dist., 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 19818 (8th Cir. Aug. 21, 2007).
The Seventh Circuit ruled against the ACLU by overturning "a lower court's decision that sectarian prayers on the floor of the (Indiana) House violated the constitutional separation of church and state."
The ACLU offers "talking points" in case someone asks why the ACLU hates Christmas so much: Their official response, "We work year-round to ensure that everyone in America has the freedom to practice their own religion (or no religion) and to keep the government out of religion." 
A rural school district's long-standing practice of allowing the distribution of Bibles to grade school students is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. For more than three decades, the South Iron School District in Annapolis, 120 miles southwest of St. Louis. The ACLU filed suit two years ago on behalf of four sets of parents.
Censoring Intelligent Design
For a more detailed treatment, see intelligent design.
In 2004, the ACLU filed Selman v. Cobb County School District. If the plaintiffs, five parents in the Georgia district, won the case, the school district would have to pay their lawyers. The ACLU argued  that the district had violated the Establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution by putting stickers in biology textbooks that said, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." The trial judge ruled in favor of the ACLU, but his ruling was vacated on appeal. The case was eventually settled. The school district agreed to remove the stickers, to avoid altering science textbooks or making "any disclaimers regarding evolution", and to teach the state Board of Education's core curriculum, which includes evolution, although that wasn't under dispute in the original suit. In addition, they paid $166,669.12 to Atlanta law firm Bondurant, Mixon & Elmore.
Another example of ACLU litigation was Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District., also known as the intelligent design case. The ACLU prevailed in prohibiting administrators from reading a short statement that mentions intelligent design to students, and forbade the school board from issuing a warning that Darwin's theory has gaps. In his opinion, Judge John E. Jones III heavily relied on the later-vacated ruling in Selman v. Cobb County School District, and on ACLU briefs. He also cited the Establishment test, the Lemon test, and the reasonable student standard. The judge also ordered fees paid to the ACLU and its lawyers, totaling $2,067,000.
Harming the Boy Scouts
The ACLU filed a lawsuit to prohibit the federal government from continuing to allow the Boy Scouts, a charitable organization for teenagers, to use an Army base in Virginia for a quadrennial gathering known as the Boy Scout Jamboree; in 2005, more than 40,000 Boy Scouts attended this event.
Although the Boy Scouts have been conducting this Jamboree on government property for 70 years, this lawsuit was not filed until 1999, after the Boy Scouts enforced its policy against having openly homosexual Scout leaders. The theory of the lawsuit was that because Scouts swear an oath of "duty to God," it violates the Establishment Clause for the government to allow this joint project.
A federal district court ruled for the ACLU, but the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned the lower court ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit which will allow the government to continue to sponsor this event for the Boy Scouts.
In Ashcroft v. ACLU (2004), the ACLU challenged and invalidated the Child Online Protection Act, which would have required pornographers to take reasonable steps to restrict access by minors to pornography on the Internet. The Act, which the Supreme Court struck down at the request of the ACLU, did not censor a single word or picture. It merely required the pornographers to screen their websites from minors, which can be done by credit card or other verification.
The ACLU often argues in favor of pornography before courts and administrative boards. Charles Rust-Tierney was an executive for the ACLU of Virginia who argued against the use of Internet filters on the computers at the Loudoun County Library Board:
- "The ACLU of Virginia urges the board to carefully consider a new Internet Use Policy that allows for maximum Internet access ...."
Rust-Tierney, who served as the Virginia ACLU president until 2005, was serving on its board of directors when he was arrested in February 2007 for possession of child pornography that a U.S. magistrate described as "the most perverted and nauseating and sickening type of child pornography" she ever had seen. The former Virginia ACLU president later entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to eight years in jail.
The ACLU also recently forced a Nampa, Idaho public library to return two books to the shelves that many parents have found objectionable. The Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex were the subjects of a two-year legal battle to get them removed after a teenager found one in his home within reach of young children. "The Joy of Gay Sex contains very graphic, leave[s] nothing to the imagination [with] depictions of every variety of homosexual sex imaginable", said Bryan Fischer, one of the litigants to get the books removed. "It even has a chapter in it entitled 'Daddy/Son Fantasies.'" Other chapter titles include "Exhibitionism and Voyeurism," "Fisting," "Sex with Animals," and "Tearooms and Back Rooms." Referring to the ACLU's bullying tactics against the library, Fischer said "It's an abysmal state of affairs when a single letter from cultural thugs can undo two years of patient and pain-staking work." 
The ACLU of New Jersey filed an amicus curiae brief in favor of same-sex marriage and therefore the homosexual agenda in Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415 (1006). The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of civil unions, but by a 4-3 margin did not require same-sex marriage.
The ACLU sues schools when a student alleges encountering "anti-gay peer harassment and bullying based on his perceived sexual orientation."  The ACLU holds the school (and hence the taxpayers) liable for actions based on conduct by some students towards others.
The ACLU of Minnesota sued to force the Osseo Area School District to grant equal access to the schools public address (PA) system, yearbook, fundraising and field trips by a pro-homosexual school club named the Straights and Gays for Equality (â€œSAGEâ€). The school district already had a club entitled "Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Trans-gender, Questioning and Allies," and already had a SAGE club, but SAGE was designated as non-curricular and wanted the additional rights of communication.
The ACLU invoked the Equal Access Act to argue that as long as the school district granted these rights to other clubs, such as cheerleading and synchronized swimming, it must grant these rights to SAGE also. No, the school district argued in defending its action, cheerleading is related to physical education while SAGE is not, and thus SAGE should not have the same rights. However, there were other non phys-ed sports that got funding.
The district court ruled in favor of the ACLU, and the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously affirmed. The Court ordered the school district to give SAGE the same rights as the cheerleading club. The ACLU will be able to demand substantial attorneys' fees at taxpayer expense.
Similarly, the ACLU of Florida sued the Okeechobee School Board to force it to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Okeechobee High School. Though the school objected to this club as a "sex-based" club, the ACLU persuaded a federal judge to rule in its favor, and it will likely recover substantial attorneys fees at taxpayer expense. See Gay-Straight Alliance of Okeechobee High Sch. v. School Board of Okeechobee County, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25729 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 6, 2007).
The ACLU is known for going after the U.S. government with absolutely no evidence to prove otherwise, ACLU v. AT&T 2007. Though when it comes to actual data breaches and data abuse against a U.S. citizen, the ACLU is missing. Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe the Plumber, had his personal and confidential records investigated without reason, by Democratic officials in Ohio, "Big Brother". Honest speculation is that the ACLU consists of partisan Democrats and Joe the Plumber was a Republican, during a presidential election season. Questions remain and we can only guess as to their reasoning, their silence is deafening.
Also, the ACLU is absent from hate speech attacks against Carrie Prejean. Her right and her freedom of speech was violated. The ACLU is hiding fearful of Conservatives.
The ACLU is generally against laws that restrict access to abortion, such as parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion and informed consent for the woman herself. ACLU attorneys have argued several cases in support of abortion. For example, the woman called "Jane Doe" in the abortion case of Doe v. Bolton (1973) says "she was pressured by ACLU attorneys to opt for abortion and that the case was based on fraud."
The ACLU is the single biggest legal advocate for pornography (see above), claiming that it is a form of free speech. Less significantly, the ACLU has also helped—or not helped—in the following cases:
- The ACLU rarely defends Christian speech, and virtually never defends speech that is critical of homosexuality. The ACLU was silent with respect to the widely publicized censorship of a T-shirt critical of homosexuality that was worn by student Tyler Chase Harper at his public school. "It's hard to explain the ACLU's apparent equanimity about the violation of Mr. Harper's First Amendment rights—unless you consider the content of his speech. This case does not appear to be anomalous. Despite its professed commitment to religious liberty, for example, the ACLU tends to absent itself from cases on college campuses involving the associational rights of Christian student groups to discriminate against gay students, in accordance with their religious beliefs." Months after that stinging criticism, the ACLU filed a carefully worded amicus curiae brief in subsequent litigation in this case that defended Harper because he "neither substantially disrupted the school nor invaded the rights of other students."
- In 1978, the ACLU defended the right of the National Socialist Party of America (neo-Nazi) to march through Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that is a community of a large number of Jewish people and Holocaust survivors. The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the village to issue a permit for demonstration to the Nazi Party, which was never used, that was later upheld by the Supreme Court. The ACLU experienced a severe backlash over this case when membership dropped by 25% and plunged the organization $500,000 in debt.
- On January 16, 2008, the ACLU issued a statement supporting Sen. Larry Craig(R-ID) to have his guilty plea to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct in a Minnesota airport restroom withdrawn on the basis that a closed bathroom stall is a private location. While not advocating sex in public bathrooms, the ACLU suggested the police have better means of enforcing laws instead of using entrapment.
- In September 2000, the ACLU represented the North American Man/Boy Love Association when the parents of Jeffrey Curley, who was raped, tortured and murdered by two men, filed a $200 million federal lawsuit for wrongful death. John Roberts, the executive director of the Massachusetts ACLU stated, It's not a real popular case, but the First Amendment issues are clear. The case was dismissed on a technicality. A subsequent lawsuit filed against the murderers, who were not represented by the ACLU, was successful. Jeffrey Curley's father, Robert Curley, was sympathetic to the ACLU's opposition to his lawsuit. "I really do have a lot of respect for them, they are very consistent in who they defend. It takes a lot of nerve to defend the groups they have over the years. They have a lot of courage." 
- The ACLU has been involved with lawsuits filed against Attorney Generals Reno, Ashcroft and Gonzales when fighting the enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). Federal courts have consistently ruled COPA violates the constitutional protection of free speech and have forbidden enforcement by the federal government. The most current ruling on March 22, 2007 is being appealed.
- In 1949, the ACLU defended Father Arthur Terminiello, an ex-Catholic priest, who gave a speech at a rally in Chicago that was laced with racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Communist comments. Father Terminiello was fined $100 for violating Chicago's breach of peace ordinance. This fine was later reversed by the Supreme Court.
- The ACLU of Nevada successfully defended the right of a street preacher, Jim Webber, to proselytize his pro-Jesus, anti-sin, and occasional anti-homosexual messages on the Las Vegas strip. The unsuccessful campaign conducted by the casinos failed and allowed Webber and others to stay. Webber is quoted as saying, "the ACLU has been my guardian angel. They have been the ones that have provided the ability for me to stand on the street and talk with people about Jesus Christ." 
- A pro-Israel student at Columbia University was intimidated by a professor who silenced her rebuttal in class of his claim that the Israelis committed a massacre in Jenin, the ACLU refused to help defend her free speech. Apparently, the ACLU fevorishly defends the free speech for Islam, but Jewish and Christian free speech is irrelevant.
Free Exercise Clause
The ACLU at times defends the religious rights of American citizens and residents. See 'ACLU Defense of Freedom of Religious Practice and Expression' at the ACLU's website for 60 examples of Christians and 45 examples of non-Christians represented by the ACLU to protect their religious rights.
On March 14, 2008, the ACLU sent a letter to the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy of Inver Grove Heights Minnesota expressing their disapproval of alleged school sponsored prayer during school hours. Concerns were raised about alleged violations of the establishment clause and the 'Lemon Test' because 'â€¦ the school is improperly involved in promoting and facilitating after-school religious studies conducted under the auspices of the Mosque that is housed in the same building as the school.' Further inquiries are on-going.
Prisoner and student rights
In the 2007 case Spratt v. Rhode Island Department of Corrections, the ACLU brought suit against the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute following the prison's decision to bar Christian prisoner and lay minister Wesley Spratt from preaching to other inmates during weekly services. The ACLU won the case on appeal, securing the right for Spratt to hold religious services for other inmates so long as these do not conflict with prison security.
In 2004, student Abbey Moler selected a bible verse to accompany her picture in a school yearbook. The school subsequently removed this text before publication. The ACLU filed suit against the Utica Community School District, on the grounds that this censorship violated Moler's first-amendment rights to free expression and freedom of religion. The case was settled out of court, with the school district agreeing to replace the verse in following prints of the yearbook and correct it by means of a sticker in copies still in its possession.
The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of the privacy of Rush Limbaugh in his medical records when he was under investigation for 'doctor shopping.' The ACLU argued that the privacy rights of a patient were being violated.
The ACLU has challenged the authority of the President to authorize wireless wiretaps of overseas communications without submitting to judicial oversight. In ACLU v. NSA, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the ACLU's challenge. Then the ACLU appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was also rejected. In addition, the following describes the measures the ACLU has taken to weaken America in its fight with terrorists.
As of December 2010, the ACLU is reimbursed by the U.S. government for defending Muslim terrorists. The ACLU will be paid with blood money, assets confiscated from bank holdings of terrorist organizations.
- Urging city councils across the United States to be non-compliant with the provisions of the Patriot Act, which is an important tool to keep America safe from terrorism.
- Endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004. Introduced by liberal Democrats in Congress, it is to roll back vital national-security policies that had been adopted after 9/11.
- Consistently opposed to all efforts of the US government to obtain information from terrorists it has captured, and to try terrorists as "illegal enemy combatants." 
- Lobbied against any policy that would authorize security personnel at airports and border checkpoints to scrutinize travelers from terrorism-sponsoring nations
- Opposes the Computer-Assisted Passenger Profiling System (CAPPS) used by airlines to check for various passenger characteristics that have historically been correlated with terrorist activities
- Condemning the detention of immigrants apprehended in connection with post-9/11 terrorism investigations
- Held rallies on behalf of an Intel software engineer named Maher Mofeid Hawash, who U.S. officials were keeping in custody on suspicion that he had given material support to Taliban and Al Qaeda forces fighting American troops in Afghanistan
- Passionately defended Sami Al-Arian, the former North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In an effort to thwart the U.S. government's investigation of Al-Arian's role in funding PIJ suicide bombings in Israel
- Came to the defense of radical attorney Lynne Stewart, who in February 2005 was convicted on charges that she had illegally "facilitated and concealed communications" between her client, the incarcerated "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman, and members of his Egyptian terrorist organization, the Islamic Group, which has ties to Al Qaeda.
- The ACLU has launched a $8.5 million effort to provide what are supposed to be "top notch" private counsel for the illegal enemy combatants facing military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. Among those to be provided this assistance is the man who has, apparently, confessed to being the mastermind behind the attacks that took place on 9/11.
- ACLU lawyers had been present during interrogations of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban enemy combatants who were being detained in Guantanamo Bay. These attorneys advised the inmates that they were under no obligation to answer military interrogators' questions
- ACLU attorney Noel Saleh "openly stated at a town hall meeting with federal officials that he has financially contributed to Hezbollah."
- The INS and the Justice Department instituted a program requiring males visiting the U.S. from Arab and Muslim nations to register with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. The ACLU cried "discriminatory."
- Extremist calls for violent jihad were not uncommon in America's mosques. An FBI anti-terrorism initiative to count and document all mosques was again met with protests from the ACLU.
The ACLU's affiliations with terrorists are not restricted solely to foreigners. For instance, the organization named unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to its advisory board along with his wife Bernardine Dohrn.
The ACLU is opposed to the killing of murderers.
Views of the ACLU Founder
Roger Baldwin, a co-founder of the ACLU and its first leader, was born and raised in Massachusetts. He said that his "social work began in my mind in the Unitarian Church when I was ten or twelve years old, and I started to do things that I thought would help other people."
In the 1920 and 1930s Baldwin was sympathetic to the social goals and aspirations of the emerging communist nations. In 1934, he wrote that his position was "anti-capitalist and pro-revolutionary," adding:
|“|| I believe in non-violent methods of struggle as most effective in the long run for building up successful working class power. Where they cannot be followed or where they are not even permitted by the ruling class, obviously only violent tactics remain. I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which workers rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental.
Proletarian Liberty in Practice
When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies at home and abroad. I dislike it in principle as dangerous to its own objects. But the Soviet Union has already created liberties far greater than exist elsewhere in the world. They are liberties that most closely affect the lives of the people—power in the trade unions, in peasant organizations, in the cultural life of nationalities, freedom of women in public and private life, and a tremendous development of education for adults and children...
The following year, in the 1935 Harvard Class Book, in a feature entitled "Thirty Years Later," spotlighting Baldwin's class of 1905 on its thirtieth anniversary, he wrote:
|“||I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.||”|
Under threat of being listed by the Dies committee as a Communist front in the wake of the Nazi-Soviet pact, the ACLU purged open members of the Communist Party from its board of directors in 1940, although its continued front activity caused a joint fact-finding committee of the California Legislature to report in 1943:
|“||“The American Civil Liberties Union may be definitely classed as a Communist front or ‘transmission belt’ organization.”||”|
One member purged from the board was former Wobbly Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a CPUSA member. Flynn went on to become national chairman of the Communist Party. Upon her death in Moscow in 1964, the Soviet Union gave her a full-scale state funeral in Red Square. In 1976, the ACLU posthumously "reinstated" her on its board of directors.
In 1947 General Douglas MacArthur arranged for Baldwin to serve as a civil liberties consultant in Japan.
- Anti-Defamation League
- Anthropological Revolution
- Fred Phelps
- Nadine Strossen
- Articles about the ACLU from previous "Breaking News"
- ACLU v. Bredesen
- ACLU v. Mercer County
- The ACLU’s untold Stalinist heritage, Daily Caller, January 4, 2011
"When did these ideas begin to infiltrate the ALA? And who brought them in? During the social turmoil of the late sixties, the Office of Intellectual Freedom in the ALA headquarters in Chicago became very important in the making of policy. Around this time, Judith Krug began her tenure as director of that office, and in 1970 forged strong links between the ALA and the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU functioned under a philosophy of nihilism/individualism since its founding by Roger Baldwin after the turn of the century. For a time in the 1970s, Ms. Krug served simultaneously as ALA Intellectual Freedom Director and as a board member of the ACLU, which has given her several awards. The ACLU, according to George Grant's 1989 study, believes that children should have the same rights as adults, that pornography should be protected by the Constitution, that the First Amendment's free speech clause implies a right to receive information, and that the smallest limitation of any speech or expression will automatically lead to totalitarian repression."
- The Birth of the Civil Liberties Bureau and The National Civil Liberties Bureau,1917-1919 (September 5, 2012).
- Michael Kazin, quoted in Juliet Kleber, "How Opposition to World War I Galvanized the Left," The New Republic, March 28, 2017
- "The Socialist Party of the United States, therefore, declares itself in support of the Third (Moscow) International..." Document No. 7: "Minority Report Adopted by Overwhelming Party Vote on Referendum on Submission to the Emergency National Convention Held at Chicago, September, 1919," reprinted in Joint Legislative Committee of the State of New York Investigating Seditious Activities, Revolutionary Radicalism: Its History, Purpose and Tactics, Part I, Vol. I (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1920), p. 626
- Application of the Socialist Party of America for Membership in the Communist International, March 12, 1920
- Testimony of William J. Burns before a subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 1, 1924, as quoted in The Record of the Fight for Free Speech in 1923: The Work of the American Civil Liberties Union, January to December 1923, in ACLU 1923 Annual Report
- As cited in Investigation of Communist propaganda: report, pursuant to H. Res. 220. United States. Congress. House. Special Committee on Communist Activities in the United States. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1931, p. 57
- House of Representatives. Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States. United States. Congress (71st, Investigation of Communist Propaganda. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. print. off., 1931). Cf. Allan H. Ryskind, "George Clooney’s Clueless Movie, Human Evants, October 2005
- Affidavit of Roger N. Baldwin, December 31, 1938, Investigation of un-American propaganda activities in the United States. Hearings before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, 75th-78th Congress, pp. 3081-3082.
- Lucille Milner and Martin F. Luthke, Education of an American Liberal (eBookIt.com, 2013), ISBN 1456602063
- History of the American Civil Liberties Union, Eleventh Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities, California Legislature, 1961
- Communist Front Organizations, Fourth Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Committee On Un-American Activities, California Legislature, 1948, p. 107 (PDF p. 117)
- (1919) The National Civic Federation Review, Volumes 4-5.
- ACLU Press Release: Hazleton Residents Sue to Halt Harsh Anti-Immigrant Law, August 15, 2006, retrieved 10/14/08 
- ACLU Doesn't Want to Pay Taxes; Expects Churches to Pay Them The American Civil Rights Union
- Indiana Judge Dismisses ACLU Challenge, Upholds 'God' License Plate AP, April 18, 2008
- UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT USCOURTS.GOV
- No Ho Ho. Time, November 21, 2007
- Court Ends Bible Distribution in School AP, January 9, 2008
- ACLU: Parents Challenge Evolution Disclaimer In Georgia Textbooks
- ACLU Pretrial Brief in Selman et al v. Cobb County, 11/12/2004
- Judge's Decision, Selman v. Cobb County School District
- Judge's Decision, Selman v. Cobb County School District
- Appeal Decision, Selman v. Cobb County School District
- "Agreement Ends Textbook Sticker Case", press release from Cobb County School District including settlement agreement 
- ACLU: Georgia School Board Drops Defense of Anti-Evolution Stickers
- Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District: Decision of the Court, 400 F.Supp.2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) 
- Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F.Supp.2d 707.
- 90% of the section on intelligent design was from the ACLU's briefs. A Comparison of Judge Jonesâ€™ Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover with Plaintiffsâ€™ Proposed â€œFindings of Fact and Conclusions of Lawâ€, by David DeWolf & John West, Discovery Institute, December 12, 2006 - Views and News
- Kitzmiller, 400 F. Supp. 2d at 725 (coming to the conclusion reached in Selman by the Court's own reasoning), compare Selman v. Cobb County Sch. Dist, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 13005 (11th Cir. May 25, 2006) at *pincite needed*.
- See 42 U.S.C. s 1988 (describing relief afforded victorious plaintiff of a 1983 action as including attorney fees).
- See Essay:Boy Scouts Rout ACLU
- Straights & Gays for Equality v. Osseo Area Schs., 471 F.3d 908 (8th Cir. 2006).
- 4 more punished over 'Joe the Plumber' searches Fox News, November 21, 2008
- During a question-and-answer session after a speech at Yale University, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has "defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy," World Net Daily June 25, 2005
- The ACLU views freedom of religion and the establishment clause as inseparable: In order for people to have religious freedom, their government must neither endorse nor prohibit any religious position.ACLU press release July 16 1999.
- Wendy Kaminer, "The American Liberal Liberties Union," Wall Street Journal (May 23, 2007).
- http://www.aclusandiego.org/article_downloads/000293/HarperAmicusDistrictCourtFinal.pdf . Buried in the brief near the end of an argument is the statement that "and because "to allow a Day of Silence one day while banning Mr. Harper's shirt the next day may give rise to an inference of viewpoint discrimination rather than justified regulation of student speech regardless of viewpoint"—but note that it does not argue that inference of viewpoint discrimination would be correct.
- ACLU Is AWOL On Free Speech Conservativetruth.org, April 7, 2008
- ACLU: Appeals Court Overturns Ban on Christian Preacher in Rhode Island Prison (4/9/2007)
- ACLU: After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries (5/11/2004) 
- The settlement between the ALCU and the school district stated:
- The district will place a sticker with Moler's original entry in the copies of the yearbook on file with the school.
- The district has instructed the Stevenson High School yearbook staff not to censor students' yearbook entries solely because they contain religious or political speech that others might find offensive.
- The district recently provided and will continue to provide in-service training and advice to school staff on free speech and religious freedom issues that arise in school.
- The district will write a letter of regret to Moler apologizing for the failure to include her entry in the yearbook.
- U.S. Appeals Court in Ohio Dismisses Challenge of Bush Administration's Domestic Surveillance Program AP, July 06, 2007
- America, 1. ACLU, 0. Michelle Malkin, February 19, 2008
- Supreme Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Warrantless Surveillance Program AP, February 19, 2008
- Obama gives terror suspects access to frozen assets, CreepingSharia, December 28. 2010
- ACLU DiscoverTheNetworks.org
- ACLU Wants the US to Lose the War on Terrorism The American Civil Rights Union, March 15, 2008
- ACLU Aiding America's Enemies, Again The American Civil Rights Union
- The ACLU assembles a terrorist legal defense force of extraordinary magnitude Michelle Malkin, April 4, 2008
- Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union: a portrait, 6.
- Roger Baldwin, "Freedom in the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.," Soviet Russia Today 3 (September 1934), p. 11 (Italics in original)
- William H. McIlhany, The ACLU on Trial (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1976) ISBN 0870003372, p. 134
- Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (Oxford University Press, 1990) ISBN 0809322706, pp. 129-130
- Communist Front Organizations, Fourth Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Committee On Un-American Activities, California Legislature, 1948, p.107 (PDF p. 117)
- Barbara Sicherman and Carol Hurd Green, Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980) ISBN 0674627334, p. 245
- Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall, Words on Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1987) ISBN 0813512409, p. 71
- Paul Finkelman, The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (New York: Routledge, 2006) ISBN 0415943426, p. 49
- ACLU: Original FBI Files FBI FOIA SUBJECT: American Civil Liberties Union
- Baldwin speaks in defense of communism from 1934
- Anti-ACLU sites: