Is The ACLU Just A Shill For A Cause?

While many shake their heads at the inane headline to Chicago lawprof Laura Weinrib’s op-ed, she’s got a point. To correct the prevailing misconception, we need to look back to the 1930s, when economic desperation was fueling a battle between reactionary impulses and radical aspirations, and Nazis first appeared on American streets. Even as American […]

Who Bought The ACLU?

Ron Coleman, of the Slants fame, tried. He was all ready to take the plunge, after the American Civil Liberties Union found its groove again. So I went to the @aclu website. To join. And here’s what happened. > — Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) August 14, 2017 But there, popped up on his screen, was the […]

ACLU Defending Milo

Whenever the ACLU is criticized for lacking the fortitude to take on tough cases and unpleasant individuals, the immediate response is the Nazis in Skokie. And, indeed, it was the epitome of defending constitutional rights in the faces of despicable speech, a defining moment in the ACLU’s, and our, commitment  to the Constitution. But that […]

The Very Funny ACLU Brief

We traveled down to Atlanta to moot* Mark Bennett before his oral argument before the Georgia Supreme Court, where he was arguing a First Amendment case pro bono on behalf of a poor schmuck. Nobody famous. Nobody rich. Nobody anybody would think twice about. Except Bennett, which was why he was there, on his own dime, […]

Short Take: The ACLU’s 50% Solution

Press releases are great, especially when they’re all about really important things like reducing the United States prison population by 50%. As part of its effort to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the U.S. jail and prison population, the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice today announced a new multi-year initiative to overhaul the power […]

The Fabulous Women of the Glamorous ACLU

The Constitution and social justice aren’t good friends. The talk may make it seem as if they are, but talk is cheap. Former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont governor for life, Howard “The Cowboy” Dean nailed that on the twitters. Maybe somewhere, but not in this country. Defending the Constitution, even though it means forsaking […]

Cross: Josh Block, ACLU Lawyer Fighting For LGBT Rights

March 15, 2017 (Fault Lines) — Ed. Note: David Meyer-Lindenberg crosses Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT Project. Q. You went to Amherst College for undergrad, where you were a prizewinning English student and member of Phi Beta Kappa. Where’d you grow up? What attracted you to the peace and quiet of a full-time Mass college […]

Free Speech, ACLU Conditions Apply

ACLU lawyer Josh Block was having none of it. Eugene Volokh pondered the question of whether University of Oregon law professor Nancy Shurtz wearing blackface to a party was racist. This is mentioned not because of Eugene’s analysis or outcome, but because he deigned to ask the question. For this, Block attacked him because Eugene wasn’t […]

The Incredible, Edible ACLU Chimes In

In the “early days*” of body cams, there were mostly voices proclaiming how they would be the magic bullet that changes everything. After all, seeing is believing, and we would now be able to see what really happened rather than rely upon the police version. The defendant, assuming he survived to tell his side, was […]

Beware The Loyal Opposition, ACLU Edition

Advocacy groups can be great. And suck. Even when they’re putatively on the same side of an issue, their “good intentions” may be as harmful as those opposing.  Some groups are well-established, and enjoy credibility among the public. Some were born yesterday and are comprised of three people and a dog. Some have highly qualified lawyers […]