American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a group of two non-profit organizations that fight for what they believe are important civil liberties issues. It was started in 1920 by Crystal Eastman, Roger Nash Baldwin, and Walter Nelles.[page needed] Some issues that are important to the ACLU are the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (which says that people have free speech and freedom of religion, as well as other rights), privacy, the right of people to be treated fairly if they are accused of a crime and arrested, and the right for everybody to be treated the same under the law. One way it tries to reach its goals is by helping people in court whom it believes are not being treated fairly by the law. The ACLU has lawyers that file lawsuits for people it represents. The ACLU also tries to change laws by teaching people about issues and by lobbying the government about what it believes.
Some people in the United States disagree with the ACLU. Some conservatives do not like that the ACLU believes that people have the right to an abortion and that it believes in the separation of church and state. Also, some of the people or groups that the ACLU has represented in court have been unpopular, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, which is famous for protesting the funerals of American soldiers who died at war.
- Cottrell, Robert C (2000). Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union. ISBN 9780231119726. http://books.google.com/?id=HBwlIE4jo-MC&pg=PA123&lpg=PA123&dq=%22walter+nelles%22+aclu.
- "About Us". American Civil Liberties Union web site. ACLU. http://www.aclu.org/about/. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
- Krannawitter, Thomas L.; Palm, Daniel C. (2005). A nation under God?: the ACLU and religion in American politics. Claremont Institute. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 72–73. ISBN 9780742550889. http://books.google.com/books?id=cYjkejMuwK8C.