The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 by those seeking to protect the constitutional rights of Americans. The organization was founded during a time when a wide range of civil rights abuses were going on in the United States.
People were getting locked up for distributing anti-war literature. The right of free speech was being impeded upon by and not being protected. Women were still behind in rights. Racial minorities were being discriminated against.
When the ACLU was first founded, it consisted of a bunch of civil libertarians whose number could only fill up a room. Today, there are about a million members, and the ACLU spans throughout the United States of America. There are affiliate offices in every state in America.
They file cases in the federal and state governments. The only other organization that appears before the Supreme Court more than the ACLU is the Department of Justice.
The ACLU has defended various individuals and organizations with more unpopular or politically incorrect views. Prime examples of this include organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam. The ACLU may not agree with the views of all of it’s clients, though they defend people with controversial views in order to uphold the idea that they are fighting for people’s constitutional rights. That believe that nobody’s constitutional rights should be impeded upon.
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund
In October of 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin went through a heart-pounding experience. They were stolen from their homes by people who came out of vans with Mexican license plates and tinted out windows.
Soon, Larkin and Lacey found out that they were being carted off to two separated jails. They were being wrongly arrested, and the local government was not going through the correct procedures to jail them.
There were no real legal grounds to jail them. After a number of hours, Lacey and Larkin left jail, and soon pursued a legal battled that would be resolved in 2013 with a lofty settlement $3.7 million being given to them by Maricopa County.
The reason why they were being arrested was because they had exposed the corruption and discrimination of the local government by writing about it in their publication, The Phoenix New Times.
The local government was irritated by what they wrote, so Larkin and Lacey were given subpoenas to give personal information about every single reader, writer and editor of the publication.
The subpoena even requested that the search histories and IP addresses of the publication’s readers be given, as well, which seemed to be suspiciously invasive. Larkin and Lacey published information about this, and were immediately arrested.
Putting their settlement money to a good cause, Larking and Lacey established the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. The Frontera Fund is located in Arizona, and focuses on issues that especially affect people there.
A focus is put on immigrants and Hispanics; which makes sense because much of Arizona’s population is Hispanic and the state is located at the border, where immigrants cross over.