American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan
Detroit , Michigan 48201
Since its founding in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union led the fight to conserve our most precious liberties. We have been in the forefront of those seeking to conserve the system of checks and balances designed to prevent the abuses of presidential power we are witnessing today. Since its inception, the ACLU has grown from a roomful of civil liberties activists to an organization of more than 500,000 active members and supporters with 54 state affiliate offices as well as a legislative office in Washington, DC.
As early as 1955, there was interest in establishing a Michigan chapter of the ACLU. Until then, the national ACLU had worked hard to protect and defend the Bill of Rights and like all good things, it took time for the official state chapter to form. In 1959, social justice advocates established an ACLU chapter in Michigan, defending civil liberties at the most local level.
The defense of civil liberties knows no party bounds, which is why the ACLU remains nonpartisan. We have joined in coalition with conservatives and progressives alike on a wide array of issues – from reforming the intrusive powers of the Patriot Act to blocking infringements upon our First Amendment rights. Organizations we have proudly stood with include the American Conservative Union, People for the American Way (PFAW), the Eagle Forum, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, Planned Parenthood, the National Rifle Association, Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Family Research Council.
The Constitution established the Bill of Rights to protect our individual civil liberties from encroachment by the government. These rights and freedoms are the cornerstone of our democracy, and define what makes us American. The ACLU fights for civil liberties and believes they must always be respected, even in times of national emergency. The ACLU works in the Courts, in Congress and at the grassroots level to defend the Constitution wherever it is threatened.
The ACLU of Michigan’s mission remains realizing the promise of the Bill of Rights for all and expanding the reach of its guarantees to new areas. Through a variety of channels — public education, advocacy, organizing, and litigation — the ACLU is the premier civil rights organization in our country, earning widespread respect and admiration for its consistent defense of constitutionally based principles. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to supporting this message within our fair state.
There is no doubt that most people have heard of the ACLU, yet many may have misconceptions about what we do and why.
We’re all American
Conserving America’s original civic values – those found in the Constitution and Bill of Rights – is our job. In fact, the ACLU is in many ways our nation’s most conservative organization. By protecting these original values, we defend the rights of everyone in this country. We have hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide, from all walks of life, who help us carry out our mission every day.
We represent everyone
Rich or poor; straight or gay; black, white, or brown; urban or rural; pious or atheist; American-born or foreign-born; able-bodied or living with a disability; every person in this country has the same basic rights. For 90 years, we have been working diligently to ensure that no one takes those rights away.