January 31, 2017

"I just can't understand why the ACLU defends free speech for racists, sexists, homophobes and other bigots. Why tolerate the promotion of intolerance?"

A question, asked and answered at the ACLU website.

I'm just reading the ACLU website, because I'm seeing that the ACLU is doing fabulously well raising money right now:
This weekend alone, the civil liberties group received more than $24 million in online donations from 356,306 people, a spokesman told The Washington Post early Monday morning, a total that supersedes its annual online donations by six times.
The ACLU rakes in money from people who like what they see them doing right now. I trust the ACLU to outrage its transitory fans on other occasions.

62 comments:

Michael said...

Althouse: You trust unwisely. Those days are over.

campy said...

I trust the ACLU to outrage its transitory fans on other occasions.

Trust if you like, but don't neglect to verify too.

Henry said...

I joined the day after Trump was elected.

rhhardin said...

I don't recall the ACLU being on the side of free speech for a long time.

Sebastian said...

"I trust the ACLU to outrage its transitory fans on other occasions." You forgot the snark tag.

Henry said...

Very interesting, I read up on the Korematsu case the other day (thanks Google). The Californian ACLU lawyer who took the case, Ernest Besig, was discouraged to do so by the national organization. From Wikipedia:

Shortly after Korematsu's arrest, Ernest Besig, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in northern California, asked him whether he would be willing to use his case to test the legality of the Japanese American internment. Korematsu agreed, and was assigned civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins.[16] The American Civil Liberties Union in fact argued for Ernest Besig not to fight Korematsu’s case, since many high-ranking members of the ACLU were close to President Roosevelt, and the ACLU didn’t want to be perceived badly during a time of war. Besig decided to take Korematsu's case in spite of this.

richlb said...

Depends on whether it's Ammendment #1 or #2. One of them gets unwavering passion aND defense. The other is mocked. Choose the Civil Liberty wisely.

rehajm said...

We only defend bigots sometimes!!!

Henry said...

I don't recall the ACLU being on the side of free speech for a long time.

The ACLU's Court Filings are here. See for yourself.

Sydney said...

I remember them defending the right of someone in our community to have a large political sign in his yard. He was a conservative and his sign was a conservative message. But I also remember them forcing our town to take the church off its city seal. The seal had representations of things found in our town- a book (for education), the church, a scroll and pen (I think for law), and factories. Now the church has been replaced by a house.

rehajm said...

Of course they're doing well. The Clintons closed up shop and kept the money, Steyer made $100 Million vanish down a rabbit hole, all those Democrats for Congress dollars are lost. There's far less competition for leftie outrage dollars these days.

mockturtle said...

They came for the homophobes but I was not a homophobe...

Mike said...

I don't know if they are aware how literally true this statement reads:

Defending First Amendment rights for the enemies of civil liberties and civil rights means defending it for you and me.

Because this is exactly how I see them. Willing to go to bat for Nazis and illegal aliens, but never ever defending civil rights of Christians and other traditionally religious persons.

Sydney said...

I wonder if they would defend a school that was being forced to teach gender fluidity to kindergarten children by transgender activists in the name of civil liberty, or would they prosecute on behalf of the gender activists. Would they defend a doctor being forced to perform abortions? Or a doctor being forced to prescribe medication to halt puberty in a transgender pre-adolescent? Or would they be on the side forcing the doctor to perform abortions or to halt puberty in the name of civil liberty.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

My understanding was that after Skokie donations to the ACLU went way down, and as a consequence they don't spent a lot of time and money defending the free speech of non-liberals.

Also, the last time I visited their website they had a statement up about why they didn't work as hard defending the 2nd amendment as they did other constitutional rights. It contained a lot of high-level blather that you could be summarized as, "restrictions on the 2nd amendment are fine with us."

buwaya said...

Corrupted irremediably.

This is yet another of the mass of activist NGOs staffed by the same tribal group, their home and natural environment. It doesnt really matter which one among these NGOs anyone joins or funds. The ostensible purpose of any of them is irrelevant, they serve the purposes of the sub-culture that operates them, and partially that of the subculture that funds them.

They exist for their own power and funding, and their only ethic and purpose is that they hate you Americans and will do you down at every opportunity.

Mike said...

Yeah Henry, they call laws for voter ID "suppression laws" and the temporary travel restrictions a "Muslim ban" so obviously they are honest brokers of facts and opinion!

bgates said...

Top of the linked page:

In recent years, a rise in verbal abuse and violence directed at people of color, lesbians and gay men, and other historically persecuted groups has plagued the United States.

What is the evidence for this assertion?

sparrow said...

The ACLU actively seeks to repress the religious freedoms of Christians: by restricting in religious expression wherever it finds it. They are extraordinarily selective in their defense of civil liberties while maintaining a high degree of lefty self-righteousness.

Mike Sylwester said...

The ACLU has been replaced by FIRE as the civil-rights organization that defends free speech.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Willing to go to bat for Nazis and illegal aliens, but never ever defending civil rights of Christians and other traditionally religious persons.

They dropped support of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was introduced by Chuck Schumer, was bi-partisan, and originally had the support of the ACLU and religious conservatives as soon as people who didn't want to be forced to participate in same sex weddings.

I recall something about it not being meant to support the rights of the majority. Which is stupid. Rights don't cease to be rights just because the majority of people exercise them.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

didn't want to be force to participate in same sex weddings started to refer to it.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

forced to

More coffee dammit!

Mike said...

Let's go to the tape ARM:

Obama killed Osama. Yes, President Barack Obama gets to crow about the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Slate: Barack Obama Killed Osama Bin Laden. Period.

Plenty more chickenhawk braggadocio where that came from. Asshole.

Mike said...

I'm on the wrong thread!

Sebastian said...

"I wonder if they would defend a school that was being forced to teach gender fluidity to kindergarten children by transgender activists in the name of civil liberty" They would not. In fact, they have already fired officers who questioned the new transgender gospel.

Question for the ACLU: how will the inreased admission of Muslims who despise our civil liberties, and in particular gay and women's rights, advance the cause of civil liberties?

David said...

it's an ill wind that blows nobody good. The money machines right and left will be devouring cash.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Like the SPLC, the ACLU has become an inverted parody of what it once was. But, my God, it's easy to get hysterical Leftists to cough up the cash. A bright lad like myself should be able to come up with a way to monetize The Left.

Jupiter said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech of anyone except Christian bigots and business owners, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Fernandinande said...

A question, asked and answered at the ACLU website.

Pretty sure their first sentence -
In recent years, a rise in verbal abuse and violence directed at people of color, lesbians and gay men, and other historically persecuted groups has plagued the United States.
- is false:

Hate crime incidents in New York State declined for the second consecutive year in 2014

The number of reported hate crimes last year is down slightly when compared to 2012 UCR figures—5,928 in 2013 versus the 2012 figure of 6,573

Fernandinande said...

"Why tolerate the promotion of intolerance?"

IOW, "Why be tolerant"?

Good question. The answer might to tolerate other people so that other people tolerate you.

Otto said...

From their website:
"Keeping a few Nazis off the streets of Skokie will serve Jews poorly if it means that the freedoms to speak, publish or assemble any place in the United States are thereby weakened."

Interesting comment from the ACLU.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Good question. The answer might to tolerate other people so that other people tolerate you.

Don't be silly, they're on the side of the angels, that is if they existed.

Onward to the glorious future comrades!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And if you have to break a few heads to free the masses from their false consciousness, well then that's just a price we will have to be willing to pay for the glorious future.

Onward!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The opposition is a bunch of Nazis anyway. And as we all know, Nazis have no rights.

Onward!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

There is a book out, Days of Rage, that looks at the 70s and the radical violence that was so prevalent then. I haven't read the book, but have read a rather extensive review/analysis of it.

One of the take aways that I gleaned from it was how people on the left, who were committing bombings, were receiving financial support from other radicals. One bomb maker, for example, was living on a nice house boat paid for by a bunch of radical lawyers.

FleetUSA said...

In the ACLU's offices one lawyer might be heard shouting, "Buy a case of Krug and some caviar."

CWJ said...

Like the various old Peoples Democratic Republics, titles may indicate very little actual substance. Calling yourself the ACLU, doesn't make you the ACLU. The ACLU is an interest group, and as such I endorse Buwaya's first paragraph above. To the extent it deviates from its title's meaning, it opens itself up to competition. Hence, Mike S's citation of FIRE.

If you support an organization, you have an obligation to continuously monitor what they actually do. I believe most people are merely satisfied if the organization's title and mission statement match their feelz.

eddie willers said...

But, my God, it's easy to get hysterical Leftists to cough up the cash.

Jill Stein showed the way.

Clyde said...

Those people who donated that $24 million to the ACLU are the same rubes who gave tens of millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's campaign. How'd that work out for them? P.T. Barnum smiles.

Larvell said...

Note to WaPo's layers of editors: "Supersede" doesn't mean what you think it does.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I trust the ACLU to outrage its transitory fans on other occasions.

You're likely to be disappointed, ma'am. I was a member of the ACLU many years ago. I dropped 'em over their refusal to care about the 2nd Amendment--just kinda skipped that one for some weird reason. More recently they've been pretty soft on freedom of association, siding with the people who sued bakeries for not wanting to be compelled to create culinary art for a gay wedding (Colorado, I think).

They still do some good work and I guess I'm glad they're around, but the more they align themselves with the Left (the anti-libertarian Left) the less I'm inclined to support them.

Edmund said...

An attorney friend of mine, active in the local ACLU chapter, said to me once that "the ACLU is a conservative organization run by liberals". He also said the national ACLU only takes cases that their donor base, mostly NYC liberals, approve of. (Hence no right to keep and bear arms cases, even as an amicus brief filer.) The Skokie Nazi march case caused a huge drop in donations for a while and current management doesn't want that to happen again. The local chapter split off from the ACLU a while back due to a money and power grab - national wanted their endowment and to control all the cases they took.

Sandy Co said...

I donated to the ACLU yesterday. They have really good case with this Muslim Ban and so far have been extremely successful.

Sydney said...

@SandyCo- you do realize the executive order wasn't a "Muslim ban," don't you? There were 7 unstable countries that were involved. How many Muslim countries do you suppose there are? Can you name the ones that were involved in the ban?

cubanbob said...

Sandy Co said...
I donated to the ACLU yesterday. They have really good case with this Muslim Ban and so far have been extremely successful.

1/31/17, 10:44 AM"

They have no case but now that trump has fired the SWJ acting AG and will defend his action in the courts the outcome will be to strengthen the president's hand with respects to the bureaucracy. Once Sessions is AG it's just a matter of time before the ACLU decides to drop it's lawsuits.

mockturtle said...

SandyCo, like all leftist trolls, is being disingenuous.

Sebastian said...

Riddle me this, lefties: How are visa applicants abroad entitled to American civil liberties?

Robert Cook said...

"Because this is exactly how I see them. Willing to go to bat for Nazis and illegal aliens, but never ever defending civil rights of Christians and other traditionally religious persons."

What examples can you provide where the ACLU did not defend the civil rights of Christians and other traditionally religious persons? (I don't imply they haven't failed to do so; I'm just curious.)

Robert Cook said...

"The ACLU actively seeks to repress the religious freedoms of Christians: by restricting in religious expression wherever it finds it."

Really? Whenever it finds it?

Does the ACLU try to ban churches from holding services, or emblazoning their buildings with religious symbols? Does it try to have religious programming on television banned?

What, specifically, have they done to repress Christian freedom?

Mike said...

Really Cook? Do you not remember the Little Sisters of the Poor, just to name a very recent big example?

Robert Cook said...

Do you not remember the Little Sisters of the Poor, just to name a very recent big example?

No. I don't just "not remember" it, I don't recall ever hearing of it. What were the circumstances?

Mike said...

Fucking google it dude. Forcing Nuns to pay for birth control.

Robert Cook said...

I just googled it. In this case, it seems the nuns were acting as employers, and they fell under requirements of the ACA that all Insurance plans cover FDA-approved contraceptives at not cost. They objected to this.

Well, are their employees all Catholics, or do they employ non-Catholics, or even non-Christians? Should non-Catholic employees in a business that happens to be owned by Catholics be barred from insurance coverage benefits available to employees of non-Catholic businesses? If so, aren't they imposing their religious strictures on their non-religious employees? It seems that if a religious organization is going to operate secular businesses they should be held to the same policies that obtain to non-religious business owners. Or...should they? It's a complicated question, and those on either side of it cannot be assumed to not have sincere passions about their positions. This may be a case where the ACLU believes the Constitution supports requires equal requirements be placed on religious employers and non-religious employers. After all, the first amendment also prohibits the government from promoting religion, and extending special privileges to religious employers can be seen as a "promotion" of that employer's religious practices and beliefs.

(I, for one, don't believe religious institutions that reap high profits on commercial businesses and real estate holdings should be exempt from taxes on their profits from those endeavors.)

buwaya said...

"Do you not remember the Little Sisters of the Poor, just to name a very recent big example?"

Obamacare forced them to purchase coverage for contraceptives in their employer medical insurance plan, part of the coverage standards for employer plans. Suit and countersuit vs the gov't.

This was a political own-goal in many ways, as there are no more thoroughly politically "red" people than Catholic nuns. Believe me I know.

Also, in case you have an interest in the way of the future, the State of California has several times tried to force on Catholic institutions - schools, hospitals and misc public service facilities other than seminaries and churches proper, though there have been threats of that too.

Gender-neutral bathrooms
Same-sex married dorms
no Religious or moral requirements for teachers
permit gay and lesbian clubs on campus
no required attendance at religious services
etc.

buwaya said...

"If so, aren't they imposing their religious strictures on their non-religious employees?"

Yes they are, and properly so. These are religious institutions. Part of their purpose is to preach, teach and model the ideas of their religious dogma.
Seventh-Day Adventist hospital cafeterias are vegetarian for similar reasons.
And the Salvation Army preaches in its missions to those seeking meals and beds there.

Its never been the case that the concept of religious institutions has been limited to designated places of worship only. Schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages and poverty relief works and charities of all sorts have always been religious institutions.

Joe said...

I'm close to a first amendment absolutist and believe strongly in civil liberties, but when I go to the ACLU issues page, I find it to largely be a laundry list of liberal and progressive causes. Reading the descriptions of their various causes only strengthened my view that they see and act through a progressive lens, which I cannot support.

Mike said...

How did I know you'd approve Cook? When people give over their whole lives to institutions, as the nuns do, and ask volunteers and employees to commit themselves to Catholic principals in order to bless their work they do so in the service of the people. This is also why I hate to hear Obama claim his job was "service." Real principled servitude isn't glamorous like the political office he held. I believe in the actual separation of church and state, where the government gets its hands off religious institutions, people and practices. Just one of the great fabrics of society rent by the leftist mobs who simultaneously cry about "incivility" and how society is just so course now.

How do you think we got here? By people like you shitting on institutions that tied people to their communities.

Robert Cook said...

"If so, aren't they imposing their religious strictures on their non-religious employees?"


"Yes they are, and properly so. These are religious institutions. Part of their purpose is to preach, teach and model the ideas of their religious dogma.
Seventh-Day Adventist hospital cafeterias are vegetarian for similar reasons.
And the Salvation Army preaches in its missions to those seeking meals and beds there.

Its never been the case that the concept of religious institutions has been limited to designated places of worship only. Schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages and poverty relief works and charities of all sorts have always been religious institutions."


That's your argument. That doesn't necessarily stand as the only or last word. I don't think I can agree that a university or hospital run by a religious institution can consider such institutions as "religious" in nature, such that the secular employees may have church doctrine imposed on their work and compensation circumstances in a way that harms them relative to equivalent employees at institutions owned by non-religious entities.

Robert Cook said...

"How did I know you'd approve Cook? When people give over their whole lives to institutions, as the nuns do, and ask volunteers and employees to commit themselves to Catholic principals in order to bless their work they do so in the service of the people. This is also why I hate to hear Obama claim his job was "service." Real principled servitude isn't glamorous like the political office he held. I believe in the actual separation of church and state, where the government gets its hands off religious institutions, people and practices. Just one of the great fabrics of society rent by the leftist mobs who simultaneously cry about "incivility" and how society is just so course now."

If you believe in separation of church and state, then how can you justify the government providing special exceptions to businesses owned/managed by religious institutions that other businesses must abide by? Isn't this the government giving a competitive advantage to businesses owned by churches? Isn't this the government promotion of religion? I'm sure you'll say "no," but others will have different views. The point it, the answers to such questions are not binary, not right/wrong, black/white, yes/no. If the ACLU takes a different view than you on a particular case, are they acting in bad faith, or in service to a "liberal agenda," or do they interpret the Constitution in a way counter to yours?

Also...did they ask the ACLU to advocate for them or act on their behalf? Many cases where the ACLU intervenes is because they have been asked to by the beleaguered party. While the ACLU may sometimes volunteer its services, they don't always.

"How do you think we got here?"

Got where?

Jupiter said...

Robert Cook said...

"If you believe in separation of church and state, then how can you justify the government providing special exceptions to businesses owned/managed by religious institutions that other businesses must abide by?"

I can't speak for others, but I don't justify such exceptions. The Civil Rights Act was an unconstitutional seizure of private property for ends dubiously declared to be public. All businesses should have the right to conduct their affairs as they see fit, provided only that they respect the (negative) rights of others and abide by their contracts. Does that help?

Jupiter said...

For those not familiar with the term, a negative right is a right to be left alone. A positive right is a right to another person's property or labor, like slavery, or the right to have your contraceptives purchased by someone besides the guy you spread your knees for.