Leaked Memo: ACLU Weighing ‘Interests’ Over the Constitution

The ACLU won’t look to the Constitution to determine what rights to defend. A leaked memo gives the group’s revised criteria for accepting new legal cases. It lists certain competing “interests” and attempts to weigh them against each other. It calls this a “tension between our values.” It also refers to it as “conflicts between its values and priorities.”

What Does This Mean? Why Do It?

What does this mean? The memo admits that “work to advance equality may create tensions with speech and religious liberty.” True. But equality isn’t an overt Constitutional right. The freedom of speech and religion are. Nevertheless, the ACLU gives weight to its “values” over the Bill of Rights. In the same way, the ACLU admits that free speech may also “raise tensions” with “racial justice” and “reproductive freedom.”

Why not just defend the Constitution, as the ACLU was founded to do? After all, its own website declares the group works to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

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