The national ACLU turned ninety-four this year — five hundred thousand Americans united in one cause. Since 1920, the political currents have repeatedly threatened to take — and sometimes have taken — America off course. But the ACLU’s compass has always been true, the vision always clear: to make our union — these United States — more perfect by upholding constitutional rights for everyone.
There’s much to celebrate. This report highlights key successes from this year, while recalling some of the historic milestones that helped bring us here.
The ACLU struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year and look at how the freedom to marry has spread — for the first time, most Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal!
But even as we celebrate this advance, we must recognize the rising tide against basic rights. Some states have taken the election and reelection of a black president as a call to arms and want to prevent millions of Americans from voting. And the NSA developed a scheme of asking a secret judge, sitting on a secret court, for a warrant to spy on all American cellphone users — without any proof of criminal conduct by any of us.
There’s always too much to include in a single report because the work — standing for justice, standing against the currents of the day, and taking a stand for what’s right, fair, and just — never ends.