Advocate for Individual Rights: Litigation, Legislation and Education
The American Civil Liberties Union is the nation’s foremost advocate of individual rights – litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States. The ACLU has won important victories in a range of cases.
The American system of government is built on two basic, counterbalancing principles:
1. That the majority of the people, through democratically elected representatives, governs the country and
2. That the power of even a democratic majority must be limited to insure individual rights. In every era of American history, the government has tried to expand its authority at the expense of individual rights. The American Civil Liberties Union exists to make sure that doesn’t happen, and to fight back when it does.
The ACLU is not a public defender like Legal Services or Legal Aid. It does not handle criminal cases or civil disputes or choose sides according to financial criteria. Nor do we take political sides; we are neither liberal nor conservative, Republican nor Democrat. The ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 500,000-member public interest organization devoted exclusively to protecting the basic civil liberties of all Americans, and extending them to groups that have traditionally been denied them. In its nine decades of existence, the ACLU has become a national institution, and is widely recognized as the country’s foremost advocate of individual rights.
If you believe your civil liberties have been violated, contact your local ACLU affiliate, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, at P.O. Box 87131, San Diego, CA 92138-7131, 619/232-2121.