The ACLU Is Non-Partisan, but We Have to Take Action When So Much Is at Stake

If Donald Trump or anyone else seeks to undermine our constitutional rights, they better be prepared to take on the ACLU.

By Anthony D. Romero

The ACLU is a staunchly non-partisan organization. For 96 years, we have fought to defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution. We have never opposed or supported any candidate for office. And we are not starting now.

When it comes to people’s rights, we never pull our punches. We have worked with and fought both Democrats and Republicans in the Oval Office, in Congress, and across the country. We will continue taking on threats to liberty wherever they emerge, no matter who is behind them.

Unfortunately, as we approach Election Day, powerful forces are promoting intolerance, inequality, and hate all across America.

Nowhere is that demonstrated more clearly than in some of the rhetoric of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. It has been alarming to witness his campaign laying bare an ugly strain of intolerance and disregard for the fundamental American values of due process, free expression, and equality under the law. He has demonized entire religions, threatened millions of immigrants, and promised to revive some of the darkest periods in our history. And he has not stopped there.

When dangerous political ideas threaten liberty and justice, we have a job to do.

If Donald Trump or anyone else seeks to undermine freedom of the press, shows utter disregard for the separation of powers, or makes a mockery of judicial independence, they better be prepared to take on the ACLU. We don’t tend to sit quietly when politicians undertake an assault on our constitutional rights.

We have no role in determining the outcome of elections. But we do have a very important role to make sure we are ready to launch the most vigorous defense of liberty and rights whenever they are threatened — no matter who spearheads those efforts.

In this vein, we have put together a constitutional analysis to provide a sense of what a legal fight against Trump’s proposals might look like. Rest assured we will apply the same level of scrutiny to Hillary Clinton and any other politician who calls into question the rights of America to live and love freely.

We have seldom seen forces of hatred and intolerance expressed more vehemently or embraced more broadly. But our democracy will withstand this. Rest assured that the ACLU’s hundreds of advocates across the country are on guard. We will step up the fight, as necessary, against any attempt to undermine our collective efforts at building a more perfect, equal, and just union.

Donald Trump: A One-Man Constitutional Crisis