American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the oldest organization in the United States dedicated to promoting civil liberties. The ACLU appears in the Supreme Court more frequently than any other nongovernmental organization. In addition to litigation, it engages in education, lobbying, and other forms of activism. The organization comprises a national office with affiliate offices in 50 states and the District of Columbia. As of 2019, it claims 1.5 million members. This entry discusses the origins of the ACLU as well as its positions with respect to radicalism, communism, and anticommunism. The entry also examines the ACLU’s work related to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.


The ACLU arose in response to the federal government’s repression of pacifists, radicals, and labor unions surrounding World ...

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