ACLU misses the point of being the ACLU

It’s fun to be the ACLU, you get to side with the Constitution no matter the net effect of your argument or position.  It’s sort of like being a Tea Party organizer with an advanced degree.

So let’s see how the ACLU has decided to make news lately and see if it is living up to its mission.

Which, by the way, is “The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

First, locally, they decide to take up the cause of some random Klan members in Union County, Georgia who want to clean up a highway. Of course, they could clean up the highway without getting credit on a sign, but that’s not really the goal so they applied to be part of Georgia Clean a Highway program. They were then turned down by the State of Georgia, setting up a battle for free speech rights in the courts, right?

Well, not really, since this exact case has already been litigated in Missouri with the Klan being allowed to clean the Rosa Parks Highway according to the Federal Appellate court out there, a decision that the Supreme Court declined to hear on appeal. So that’s pretty much the law.

So no problem, right? Surely,the ACLU of Georgia won’t take up the charge of a few North Georgia racists who want to have their name on a highway sign? They wouldn’t take the case knowing that the likely result is Georgia killing the Clean Highway program, right?

Wrong. The ACLU of Georgia and its limited resources will devote them to a purely symbolic effort with no legal result other than the likely dissolution of the Clean Highway program. Thanks guys.

So where else can the super helpful ACLU spring into the fray to defend someone that doesn’t really need defending? How about telling the Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel he is wrong about something he is obviously wrong about.

After Chik-Fil-A wouldn’t let female cows marry udder female cows or something, Rahm Emanuel decided to claim that opening a second Chik-Fila-A in Chicago would be a “bad investment”. In rides the ACLU of Illinois to tell the world that would be “viewpoint discrimination” if they denied a business license to Chik-Fil-A based upon the political statements of its founder. Really, ACLU? There is nothing going on here, the full statement from the Mayor’s Office

“He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here,” Hamilton said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Whatever, really sugary lemonade is a national value in my book, but that hardly matters. Thanks, ACLU, for working so hard to defend what doesn’t need defending.

 

15 comments

  1. griftdrift says:

    ” Thanks, ACLU, for working so hard to defend what doesn’t need defending”

    Yeah. It does. Despite what the right says, they are not your sides personal legal wing.

  2. Calypso says:

    I’ll try this again, as my previous comment somehow was deleted.

    Stefan, did you choose these two cases to bitch at the ACLU because you disagree with the action of the group they are defending?

    Can you cite a case which the ACLU defended a group or person with whom you did share an opinion, but felt the ACLU should not have intervened because they didn’t “need defending”?

  3. Mid Georgia Retiree says:

    Sounds to me like the ACLU hasn’t had enough publicity lately and are just trying to get their names in the headlines again.,

  4. bruhsam says:

    Stefan, to paraphrase the title of this post, “You’ve missed the point about criticizing the ACLU about being the ACLU.” You pulled a bait and switch and I don’t think your argument was benefited by it.

    So let’s see how the ACLU has decided to make news lately and see if it is living up to its mission.

    Which, by the way, is “The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

    You then went on to criticize the ACLU for doing exactly what’s in their mandate. Pick a position! Should they defend the first amendment no matter who they’re defending, or should the ACLU decide based on your politics who gets legal representation?

    Your argument that the ACLU has limited resources may have merit, but do you know what those resources are? Is the ACLU pulling those resources from other cases to defend the Klan? Do you actually know any of this?

    Like my criticisms of Todd Rehm’s writing, I know that you and Peach Pundit can do better than this.

    • Stefan says:

      1) working daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to 2) Defend and Preserve Individuals Rights and Liberties

      So, pretty much everything falls into that, so in that respect you are right. However, every time the ACLU gets involved or says anything on an issue it is suing some of its political capital, its money and time resources, and its ability to sway. If it comments on everything it ends up with no gradation of threat and harm. There are currently 3400 recent articles referencing the ACLU’s comments on Rahm Emanuel’s mere commentary about Chik-Fil-A. Chik-Fil-A, should it decide to put in another store in Chicago, will not have any additional restrictions because of its stance, but even if it did, it would clearly win any action it brought AND it has an entire legal department itching to do so. It does not need the ACLU to weigh in. Because the ACLU did, it buries in the news the issues that need the attention the ACLU brings: citizens video taping the police and defending people on the no-fly lists.

      In Union County it is a different issue. The Klan obviously often needs defending. Unpopular beliefs are exactly why free speech is a tough issue. But this isn’t a legal challenge to that right, because that right has been absolutely established and Georgia knows it doesn’t have a defense. If the Klan wants to bring an action so they can then not clean the highway (as happened in Missouri) then can just cut and paste from what was already filed in Missouri. In Georgia what the ACLU should be bringing attention to is its noble fight regarding the jailing of child support debtors in Georgia.

      Oh, and lest you believe I oppose free speech, I have won two cases this year defending individuals against statutes that unconstitutionally burdened speech in Georgia – both on a pro bono basis. Guess how many the ACLU of Georgia has won.

  5. Joshua Morris says:

    This article has a terrible lack of correct grammar and punctuation, and ‘Chick-fil-A’ is misspelled.

    • Stefan says:

      It is written in a conversation style. Upon request, I will gladly provide you with a more formal version. Also, I enjoyed your less than ideal comma usage above.

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