The ACLU defends the civil rights and freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. Broadly defined, these include over a dozen issue areas, such as the First Amendment right to free speech, assembly and religious liberty, the Fourth Amendment right to privacy and to be free from unreasonable searches, and the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law. We advocate for members of many disenfranchised communities, including people of color, LGBTQ persons, women, immigrants, low income people, homeless, prisoners, students and the elderly.
Our Constitution, laws, and values are the foundation of our strength and security. Yet, after the attacks of September 11, 2001, our government engaged in systematic policies of torture, targeted killing, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and religious discrimination.
A culture of punishment, combined with race- and class-based animus, has led the United States to rely on incarceration more heavily than any other country in the world does.
“The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.”
—U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in Riley v. California (2014)
The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which there would be equal justice for all. More than two hundred years later, it has yet to be achieved.
The First Amendment to the U.S.
A decision about having a baby or having an abortion is a deeply personal, private decision best left to a woman, her family, and her doctor. Yet some politicians remain obsessed with interfering.