the face of liberty Annual Report 1992-1993 American Civil Liberties Union This report cov

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

the face of liberty Annual Report 1992-1993 American Civil Liberties Union This report covers the activities of the ACLU and its tax-deductible arm, the ACLU Foundation, in 1992 and 1993. Discussion of lobbying refers to work undertaken by the ACLU; discussion of litigation and public education refers to the work of the ACLU Foundation. The initials ACLU are used to refer to both entities. American Civil Liberties Union 132 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036 (212) 944-9800 Copyright 1993 American Civil Liberties Union All rights reserved ISBN 0-914031-22-8 ================================================================= Letter from the Executive Director I travel across the country every year, visiting ACLU affiliates, making speeches about civil liberties, debating issues and hearing what citizens have to say. In my travels during the past year, I've been struck by the soul-searching that we are undergoing as a nation. Again and again, in campus rhetoric and courtroom reasoning, I've heard these unstated questions: Who are we as Americans? What values do we stand for? Although economic issues dominated much of national electoral politics in 1992, what also captured the interest of voters was the undercurrent of debate over "traditional values." Many political commentators, looking back at how that debate coursed through the Democratic and Republican conventions, discerned the politics of hate on display as much as the politics of hope. Hate and hope are not the province or legacy of any one political party, but both are traditional in the history of our United States. Hate has preyed upon the bodies and spirits of millions of Americans from the beginning. Institutional racism, religious tyranny and political repression were widespread in the Republic's earliest years and have recurred, in different forms and to different degrees, throughout our history. At the same time, hope is the force that for centuries has fueled the struggle against racial and other forms of bigotry. And hope is what moved our nation's founders to establish a tradition of religious and political freedom, including at least the concept of equality, that could be passed on to future generations. Thomas Jefferson, in calling for "eternal vigilance," foresaw the battle over libertarian and despotic values raging today, and knew that such battles would preoccupy every generation. The fervent assailants rising up among us to promote their exclusionary views of society may be new, but their targets -- liberty, equality, human dignity -- haven't changed. In these soul-searching times, the American Civil Liberties Union hews to the original vision of our nation's founders. Ours is the voice of those traditional values reflected in the Bill of Rights: Freedom -- our national touchstone, embodied in the First Amendment Equality -- a self-evident truth, derived from the natural rights of humankind Diversity -- our rich heritage, not to be merely tolerated but celebrated Autonomy -- our personal sovereignty, not to be breached even by democratic government Fairness -- the right to due process and equal treatment from the law Liberty and Justice for All Sparring with the tradition of democratic idealism are nativism, xenophobia and bigotry, traditions that were also forged in the crucible out of which the Republic was born. As we look ahead to the year 2000, organized efforts to ensure that no right is taken for granted and that every right is enjoyed by all, equally, are no less important this year than yesteryear. The question before us now, as always, is simply: Will human rights and human dignity triumph? The American Civil Liberties Union remains vigilant, persistent and effective in its commitment to the struggle for human rights and human dignity. The recent highlights of that struggle described in these pages were made possible by your support. Ira Glasser ================================================================= Letter from the President Quite often, the American Civil Liberties Union is the subject of debate and controversy, and this year was no exception. Lately, disagreements about the fundamental nature of the ACLU's mandate and its proper role have occupied the spotlight. Some say that the ACLU should focus on protecting "traditional" civil liberties, principally free speech. Others argue that, instead, we should emphasize the protection of civil rights: the equality rights of groups that have traditionally suffered discrimination. These disagreements reflect a basic misunderstanding about the ACLU's unique historic role. First, the ACLU was not founded to defend free speech alone. Free speech is an essential vehicle for promoting all other rights, including equality; thus, it occupies a special place in our work. From the outset, however, our signature mission has been to defend all the fundamental rights of all the people. Consistent with that broad goal, the ACLU has always vigorously advocated the rights of racial minorities, women and other historically oppressed groups. Second, demands that the ACLU defend only civil liberties or only civil rights, in addition to ignoring our history, also reflect the misguided notion that liberty and equality rights are inevitably locked in competition, and that, therefore, we can defend one set of rights only at the expense of the other. In fact, the opposite is true: Civil rights and civil liberties (equality and liberty), rather than being inherently competitive, are bound in a mutually reinforcing relationship. They are two sides of the same coin. Thus, we cannot defend liberty unless we defend equality with equal vigor, and vice versa. That inextricable tie between liberty and equality is vividly illustrated by the Pentagon's "new" policy on lesbians and gay men, who now may not be drummed out of the service because of their sexual orientation alone, but who may still be drummed out for revealing that orientation. This policy, the target of a joint ACLU and Lambda lawsuit, violates both free speech and equality rights. The liberty/equality connection also underlies the ACLU's opposition to overly restrictive hate speech codes on college campuses. Such codes inhibit free speech, while targeting only the symptom of a deep-seated problem. Moreover, they do not meaningfully promote equality of opportunity and may well undermine it -- in part, because designing and enforcing hate speech codes divert resources from measures that address discriminatory attitudes and conduct effectively. To my mind, there is no way to draw a meaningful distinction between liberty and equality. How can individual liberty be secure if some individuals are denied their rights because they belong to certain societal groups? How, on the other hand, can equality for all groups be secure if that equality does not include the exercise of individual liberty? Of course, many times we must weigh certain liberties and/or rights against each other, and sometimes even we at the ACLU disagree about how to strike the balance. For example, free speech rights occasionally collide with the right to privacy or due process, or with the principle of church/state separation. Reconciling divergent claims can be difficult, but our unique mandate requires us to seek answers that accord maximum respect to all the constitutional rights at issue in any situation. In the end, the ACLU is engaged in a single struggle to realize the ideal proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence: a society in which all are free and equal under the law. Perhaps our new Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said it best years ago. Explaining why she chose the ACLU as the place for carrying out her pioneering women's rights work, she said: "I wanted to be part of a general human rights agenda. Civil liberties are an essential part of the overall human rights concern -- the equality of all people and the ability to be free." Nadine Strossen ================================================================= The ACLU Commitment Our Mission Since its founding in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union has been the country's leading champion of individual rights. Our mission is to realize the promise of the Bill of Rights for all people in the United States. These basic rights are the defining principles of our democracy and reflect the oldest and noblest values of American society. The mission of the ACLU is one that can never be fully accomplished. In every generation, no matter who occupies the Oval Office, who runs the legislatures or who presides in the nation's courts, civil liberties -- especially the rights of minorities, whether racial, religious, political or sexual -- are always vulnerable to attack by those who would dictate others' behavior and values according to their own beliefs. Our struggle, then, requires constant action and vigilance to preserve individual rights and keep our democracy strong. HOW WE WORK Our devotion to our mission means that we must work and commit resources on many levels: AFFILIATES & CHAPTERS The ACLU has representatives in all 50 states, with staffed affiliate offices in most major cities and more than 300 chapters in smaller towns and cities. Wherever liberty is threatened, the ACLU is there -- ready to take action in legislatures and courts, ready to meet with local press and attorneys, and ready to work closely with community groups. Our nationwide network gives the ACLU's activities an immediacy and a grassroots power unmatched in the field of human rights by any other national organization in the U.S. That power is particularly crucial as the battle lines are drawn locally between forces of intolerance on one side and those of us who seek to preserve civil liberties on the other. Our affiliate structure enables us to meet challenges to liberty and freedom in your community. NATIONAL LEGAL PROGRAM & SPECIAL PROJECTS Litigation has always formed the centerpiece of the ACLU's operations. Every year, the legal victories we achieve set important precedents that strengthen and expand civil liberties for all. ACLU lawyers are involved in some 6,000 cases nationwide, and we participate in more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any group other than the U.S. Department of Justice. Our National Legal Department addresses enduring civil liberties issues, such as free speech and the separation of church and state, while also tackling a range of contemporary problems that affect individual freedom -- for example, the intersection of race and poverty. The ACLU has more than a dozen national projects, each dedicated to a particular area of need or set of issues: children's rights, lesbian and gay rights, reproductive freedom, immigrants' rights, voting rights, AIDS, capital punishment, women's rights, arts censorship, workplace rights, education reform, national security, privacy and technology, and prisoners' rights. NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM The ACLU's Washington Office is an authoritative lobbying force on civil liberties issues. We conduct extensive research, develop model legislation and provide advice that spurs initiatives' movement through Congress. Our expertise in this area is widely acknowledged and highly respected. Indeed, ACLU representatives are frequently called to testify before House and Senate committees on civil liberties issues. We also work to forge broad coalitions with other organizations, maximizing our influence and reach. Although the change in the Presidency has greatly altered the political climate of our nation's capital, it has not altered the fact that powerful opposition to our civil liberties agenda remains in several areas. For example, it may well be that a majority in Congress supports restrictions on First Amendment rights in the name of campaign finance reform or combatting hate crime. A majority may also oppose protections for minorities, such as laws forbidding discrimination against lesbians and gay men or permitting Medicaid funding of abortion for poor women. Thus, the strategy of our Washington Office stands: to make the most of all new opportunities to expand civil liberties; to repair the damage done to individual rights during prior administrations, both from within and outside government, and to educate and mobilize the populace in defense of constitutional rights when they come under threat from government quarters. PUBLIC EDUCATION & MEDIA Public education has taken on critical importance in our media-driven society, as the fate of many issues is determined by public opinion. The ACLU's Public Education Department, using the most sophisticated techniques available, has been highly effective in getting our message out to the largest possible audience on key national and local issues. The Public Education Department played an important nonpartisan role in the 1992 Presidential election campaign, providing a civil liberties platform to both party conventions. After the election, we presented the Clinton Administration with a 175-page blueprint entitled Restoring Civil Liberties, which detailed our recommendations for executive and legislative action on a wide range of issues. Using satellite technology, we publicized and distributed the "blueprint for action" nationwide. Topical briefing papers, information sheets, reports and other publications that provide up-to-the-minute data on particular civil liberties are regular features of our public education program. These materials are available to everyone -- members of Congress, the press, high school students doing research projects... and you. VOLUNTEERS & PRIVATE SUPPORT The protection of civil liberties will always depend on the willingness of ordinary people to fight for their rights. The ACLU simply could not fulfill its mission without the commitment and support of a dedicated public. The ACLU, a membership organization, derives all of its financial resources from donations and contributions by individuals and private foundations, and from reimbursement of legal costs awarded by courts when we win lawsuits -- which are brought at no charge to our clients. Our legal program relies heavily on the work of volunteers, pro bono attorneys and interns. And our 275,000 proud "card-carrying" members give us credibility and clout in public debate. Thanks to this broad support and commitment, the ACLU is the best investment in democracy today ... and in years to come. ================================================================= First Amendment Rights The First Amendment is the heart and soul of the Bill of Rights; in a very real sense, it is what defines democracy and distinguishes the United States from less open societies. But erosion of its guarantees of free expression and religious liberty is a constant threat that must be met with constant vigilance. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM The framers of our Constitution knew that only when government and religion are separate does every individual have the right to practice the religion of his or her choice -- or no religion at all. That is why they included in the First Amendment both an Establishment Clause that requires strict separation of church and state, and a Free Exercise clause that guarantees the right to express religious beliefs. However, the separation principle has come under attack as the evangelical right intensifies its campaign to enlist government's assistance in promoting religion. In the face of this assault, the ACLU remains a leader of the struggle to preserve both the separation of church and state and the right to free exercise of religion. Working with our Rhode Island affiliate, the ACLU won a landmark victory in Lee v. Weisman. In that 1992 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that even nondenominational prayers violate the First Amendment when they are included in government-sponsored events such as public school graduation ceremonies. The ACLU has been fighting unconstitutional endorsement or promotion of religion in public life on several fronts. For example, when school boards across the country received letters claiming that bans on school-organized prayer in public schools constitute censorship, our Church-State Task Force helped the national office formulate, and mail to schools, an informational flyer that explained the First Amendment's prohibition on officially sponsored prayer. When religious freedom was severely eroded by a 1990 Supreme Court decision that made it easier for the government to restrict unusual or unpopular religious practices, the ACLU turned to Congress to right this egregious wrong. Our Washington Office heads a large and diverse coalition working for passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would restore protection of minority religious rights. The bill unanimously passed in the House of Representatives and is headed for favorable action in the Senate. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Throughout our nation's history, the government has sought at times to silence or discourage expression that it found offensive or threatening. The ACLU's Arts Censorship Project, established in 1991 to protect freedom of artistic expression, has already begun to make a real difference in the struggle against censorship. A tidal wave of censorship has swept the nation in recent years. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) became a lightning rod for would-be censors, who claim that the government should be able to control the art it supports. The ACLU challenged the NEA's politically motivated denial of grants to four artists, as well as the requirement that grant recipients meet "general standards of decency." In a major ACLU victory in 1992, a federal court struck down the decency standard. We then won a settlement of the artists' individual claims that awarded them the grants they had been wrongly denied, plus damages. The ACLU represents artists whose works were banned from public exhibitions because they were deemed "offensive." Our clients have included artists whose show on prostitution was removed from the University of Michigan Law School because of complaints about one feminist work, and a teenager whose sculpture, "Pro-Choice," was banned from a 4-H competition at a Minnesota county fair. The ACLU challenged new FCC regulations that pressure cable television operators to censor "indecent" programming on leased and public-access channels. We fought record album labeling, and we represented two Nebraska record store owners charged with selling albums whose lyrics were deemed "harmful" to teenagers. We are also fighting censorship of student publications, artistic productions and books in schools and libraries. The ACLU is committed to educating the public about the importance of First Amendment rights. For example, we present "Arts Censors of the Year Awards" annually to publicize particularly egregious censorship attempts. And the Director of our Arts Censorship Project produced a book, Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy, that explores the causes and consequences of censorship in the U.S. The ACLU was instrumental in blocking passage of more than 50 federal bills that would have restricted free speech rights, including the Pornography Victims Compensation Act -- which would have made publishers and movie theaters liable for injuries inflicted by assailants who were allegedly "inspired" by sexually oriented works. In addition, the ACLU has been active in protecting commercial advertisers' freedom of speech against overly restrictive legislation. OPEN GOVERNMENT The ACLU has long worked to end the dangerous and counterproductive secrecy that surrounds much federal government activity. The end of the Cold War presented a singular opportunity to remove restrictions on our liberties that past administrations had insisted were necessary in combatting communism. Seizing this opportunity, the ACLU's National Security Project initiated a "Campaign to End the Cold War at Home." Using research, litigation, national conferences and in-depth reports, the campaign has sought to raise public consciousness about the need for fundamental change in the nation's approach to government secrecy and national security, and to foster changes in the law. We have made significant progress toward this goal: ACLU advocacy spurred the passage of legislation that removes some limitations on the rights to travel to "enemy" countries, to receive foreign visitors and to exchange information and ideas freely across national borders. Efforts are ongoing to promote new legislative standards for FBI investigations, to stop the unnecessary classification of documents in the name of national security, and to end secret war-making by restoring the war power to Congress. To stop unlawful rights abuses that are perpetrated in the name of "national security," the ACLU has filed several challenges to the government's surveillance of political activists. And we won a settlement on behalf of a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent who was detained, interrogated and subjected to a body search by Pan American Airlines agents during the Persian Gulf War -- solely because his appearance and nationality fit the airline's stereotypical profile of a "terrorist." ================================================================= Equality and Fairness Equal opportunity and equal rights are pillars of American democracy. But the discrimination that pervades American society robs millions of their right to be treated equally and fairly. VOTING RIGHTS Full participation in the democratic process by all citizens is essential to the functioning of any democratic society. But almost 30 years after the Voting Rights Act became law, discriminatory voting and districting schemes continue to deprive racial minorities of the right to choose their representatives and attain political office. The nationwide redistricting necessitated by the 1990 census presented a unique opportunity to enhance voting rights. A tireless advocate in this field, the ACLU's Voting Rights Project has been working to ensure that newly created districts comply with the Voting Rights Act so that minority voters are fully represented. These labors bore fruit in 1992 when, in many Southern states, African Americans were elected to Congress for the first time in over a century with their numbers in the House nearly doubling. Black representation in state legislatures increased as well. Expanded ACLU efforts on behalf of Native Americans, who have lagged far behind other minorities in obtaining equal voting rights, have also been successful. The ACLU has led a national effort to extend the protections of the Voting Rights Act beyond legislative elections to judicial elections. Increasing the number of minority judges would be an important step toward ending the racial bias that pervades our criminal justice system. A landmark settlement won by the ACLU in its challenge to Georgia's judicial election system will nearly triple the number of black trial judges in that state. We have also sought increased minority representation on school boards. In Georgia, we assisted passage of a law that requires school board elections in place of the old grand jury appointment system, a system that virtually guaranteed white dominance. In Virginia, we figured in the passage of a law allowing school board elections for the first time. On Election Day in 1992, 40 counties instituted such elections, and more are expected to follow suit. WOMEN'S RIGHTS The ACLU watched proudly as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a founder of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, became the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, even as some of their number assume more influential and highly visible positions, women continue to experience discrimination in all aspects of life. The ACLU, with our South Carolina affiliate, sued the Citadel, one of the country's two remaining all-male public military academies, on behalf of three female Navy veterans who had been denied admission solely because they are women. In mid-summer 1993, we won a similar suit on behalf of a high school senior whose acceptance into the cadet program was revoked when Citadel officials learned she was female. The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a similar case against the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). An appeals court found VMI's male-only admissions policy unconstitutional, but, in an opinion riddled with sexual stereotypes, did not require the admission of women. Instead, the school was allowed the choice of either privatizing or setting up a "parallel" female institution. These options, which establish a dangerous precedent, demonstrate how much remains to be done in the fight for women's equality. The ACLU won an important victory in a lawsuit challenging the refusal of several drug abuse treatment programs in New York City to admit pregnant women -- a nationwide problem. In the first decision of its kind, an appeals court declared that such programs cannot discriminate against pregnant women, unless they can prove -- which they have thus far failed to do -- the medical necessity of this blanket exclusion. The ACLU continues to fight sex discrimination in employment, representing three women pilots who have challenged Delta Airlines' hiring policies. And we are still opposing policies that keep women of childbearing age out of hazardous jobs; we believe that employers are obligated to make these high-salaried positions safe for all workers. EDUCATIONAL EQUITY Equal educational opportunity is a core American value. All children deserve the chance to fulfill their potential, to learn and achieve to the best of their abilities -- regardless of race or economic status. But the tragic failure of our public schools is leaving millions of children -- mostly poor and minority children -- educationally deprived and, thus, trapped in lives of poverty and hopelessness. Providing these children with equal educational opportunity is key to ending the racial discrimination and poverty that divide our country. The ACLU is using an innovative approach -- touted by The New York Times as "the cutting edge of education reform litigation" -- to compel public schools to fulfill their obligation to our nation's children. Our education reform program goes beyond other programs that merely seek equal distribution of fiscal resources among all public schools in a state. We are using state constitutional guarantees of adequate public education to compel states to provide, at a minimum, adequate schooling to all children in a state -- black and white, rich and poor. We took a giant step forward in this massive reform effort in 1993 when an Alabama judge declared the state's entire public school system unconstitutional because it deprives children of their right -- guaranteed under the Alabama constitution -- to an adequate and equitable education. Abysmal conditions exist in Alabama schools, especially those attended by poor and African American children. Schools lack books, certified teachers, libraries, nurses, playgrounds and counselors. Many school buildings are dilapidated, without even proper plumbing or potable water. And the curriculum fails to offer the most basic elements necessary to prepare students for employment or college. In the first such decision ever, the state court judge agreed with the ACLU that, by law, Alabama's school system must undergo total reform. That process is now underway. Aided by our local affiliates, we have undertaken similar litigation in Connecticut and Louisiana, and are supporting lawsuits in New York, California and Massachusetts. ================================================================= Diversity and Tolerance The diversity of our people is one of this nation's greatest strengths and proudest traditions. Yet differences are too often attacked rather than celebrated. The ACLU is committed to realizing the dream of a nation in which it is easy to be free and safe to be different. LESBIAN & GAY RIGHTS The struggle of lesbians and gay men for equality is at the center of American life. Never have gay people been more visible and enjoyed greater legal protections, while also facing stiffer opposition than ever before from a well-organized and well-funded religious right that is vehemently challenging their progress. The ACLU 's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project is the leading advocate for lesbian and gay rights in the United States. Our priorities include: combatting the religious right's state-by-state anti-gay ballot initiative campaign; leading the legal challenge to the continuing military ban; and generally establishing legal precedents to secure constitutional protections for lesbians and gay men. In 1992, when Colorado voters passed Amendment Two, which repealed the state's gay rights law and prohibited passage of such laws in the future, the ACLU responded. With the ACLU of Colorado, Lambda Legal Defense Fund and local lawyers, we won a state court challenge to the initiative. We won other legal victories against anti-gay rights measures in Oregon and elsewhere. Mindful that the religious right is spreading its crusade, we collaborated with our affiliates on an in-depth analysis of how and why Amendment Two passed in Colorado and produced a briefing book to guide activists in future campaigns. The ACLU has been a leader in the fight against the military's anti-gay policy for nearly a quarter of a century. We have litigated many of the major lawsuits brought against the military, and have figured prominently in Washington-based legislative efforts. As a founding member, we played a key role in the 1993 Campaign for Military Service to have the ban lifted through the political process. As the political debate wanes, this issue is shifting back to the courts. Accordingly, the ACLU is involved in several legal challenges to the old military regulations, and, with the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, we have filed suit against President Clinton's recently adopted military policy. As well as responding to these crises, the ACLU continues to litigate a number of precedent-setting lesbian/gay rights cases nationwide. We won a challenge to the Maryland State Police Department's refusal to hire a lesbian, and we have challenged: the Georgia Attorney General's dismissal of a lesbian attorney who formed a religious union with her lover; the beating of two gay men by federal agents in New York (the first anti-gay violence case brought against the federal government); the denial of a permit for a lesbian and gay pride parade in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the state of Alabama's refusal to permit the formation of lesbian and gay student groups on college campuses there. IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS The United States is a nation of immigrants, a beacon to the world's persecuted and oppressed. But many of those who seek refuge here are wrongly turned away or face discrimination and other civil liberties abuses after they arrive. The ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project is devoted to securing fair and just treatment of all immigrants and refugees. The plight of Haitian refugees, whom U.S. authorities have forcibly returned to Haiti or detained indefinitely, is a dramatic recent example of civil liberties abuses. The ACLU assailed that policy in testimony before Congress. Subsequently, we won a critical legal victory, in coalition with several organizations: A federal judge ordered the "HIV prison camp" maintained by the U.S. at Guantanamo closed. As a result, 250 refugees who had been detained at Guantanamo for almost two years, solely because of their HIV status, were allowed to enter our country. Unfortunately, in the same case the Supreme Court ruled that our government may continue to return refugees forcibly to Haiti, despite the refugees' legitimate fear of persecution, and need not allow them to present their asylum claims. Every year, thousands of other refugees are denied asylum in the U.S. because of discrimination by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The ACLU continued monitoring implementation of its landmark settlement giving 250,000 Central American refugees, to whom the INS unfairly and prejudicially denied asylum, a second, fairer chance to present their asylum claims. We sued the INS for not following its own regulations on granting work authorization to bona fide asylum applicants in New York. And our work to expose unlawful and inhumane conditions at INS detention centers culminated in Justice Detained, an ACLU report on the findings of a two-year study, conducted with our New York affiliate, of conditions in New York's largest detention facility. Hostility against immigrants has been rising, partly fueled by federal immigration policy -- especially the employer sanctions provisions of the Immigration Control and Reform Act. In this climate, New Jersey and California legislators have introduced bills restricting the rights of immigrants to drive, send their children to public school, and receive health care and welfare benefits. The ACLU, through litigation, policy advocacy, self-help training and public education, is challenging such discrimination, as well as the misperceptions and stereotypes that underlie biased laws and policies. HATE SPEECH, HATE CRIMES Verbal abuse and other expressions of bias against people of color, lesbians and gay men, and other minorities have plagued our nation's campuses in recent years. Colleges around the country have responded by adopting policies that prohibit "hate speech." Such policies almost always violate free speech principles and fail to address the underlying problem. The ACLU has been working with universities to urge that, instead of silencing speech, they develop educational programs, discussion forums and tolerant campus environments that can help end the hatred. State and local governments have responded to bigotry by enacting hate crime laws. Working with our Minnesota affiliate, the ACLU opposed one such law in St. Paul because it directly targeted a broad range of protected speech; that law was struck down by the Supreme Court. We do support measures that punish discriminatory conduct. Accordingly, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court supporting a Wisconsin law that allows greater penalties to be imposed on criminals who choose their victims on the basis of race, religion or other bias. The Court unanimously upheld that law in the spring of 1993. ================================================================= Privacy and Autonomy In a free society, every individual must enjoy the right to privacy: to live as he or she chooses without fear of censure. That right has come under increasing attack, however, as some groups and institutions have sought to constrain the lives of others to fit their own views and values. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & PRIVACY In a society that cherishes personal liberty, every woman must be guaranteed the fundamental right to make choices about childbearing free from government interference. The ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project is at the forefront of the effort to win and preserve reproductive freedom for all women in the U.S. -- including the poor, young and minority women whose rights are most often compromised or denied. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, decided in 1992, the ACLU asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a highly restrictive Pennsylvania abortion law. Although the Court, by a razor thin margin, reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, it upheld most of the Pennsylvania law, thereby giving states broad new power to restrict access to abortion and, in effect, inviting them to do so. State legislatures quickly seized this opportunity. By early 1993, some 100 bills had been introduced in 40 states proposing burdensome waiting, parental notification and consent provisions, and biased counseling and reporting requirements -- all aimed at eroding women's reproductive rights. Working closely with our affiliates and their coalition partners, the ACLU offered legal analysis, strategic advice and public education support in the legislative battles to defeat these bills. By the end of the 1993 legislative sessions, new restrictive abortion laws of one kind or another had passed in five states, while bills in the remaining states had been -- at least for the time being -- defeated. In the judicial arena, as federal laws and courts failed to protect reproductive rights, the ACLU turned increasingly to state courts and constitutions, which in many cases provide greater and more explicit protection for choice than the federal Constitution now does. Pursuing this strategy, the ACLU and its affiliates gained important ground on several priority issues, including the restoration of public funding for abortion. In an historic victory for low-income women, the New York state intermediate appeals court ruled that the state's publicly funded health care program may not exclude coverage for abortion from its otherwise comprehensive provision of pregnancy-related medical care services. The ACLU also used its state-based constitutional strategy to avert new or revived restrictions, virtually all of which effectively deny poor women and teenagers the ability to exercise their reproductive rights, and which are often health-threatening. For example, in Tennessee the ACLU secured the first post-Casey injunction in the nation: A three-day waiting period and residency requirement were struck down as unconstitutional under state law. In South Dakota, we are challenging in federal court a new law that forces women to delay their abortions and to receive state-mandated information, as well as requiring minors to notify a parent without any alternative recourse. Similar lawsuits are underway in other states. An important component of the ACLU's campaign to protect every woman's full range of reproductive choices is promoting comprehensive and accurate sex education for teenagers and defending the rights of low-income mothers. In New York and Massachusetts, we are opposing efforts to block public school districts' condom availability programs. And in New Jersey, we lobbied against a "welfare reform" bill, since enacted, that excludes from eligibility any child whose mother was receiving state benefits when the child was conceived. We are now challenging that discriminatory law in court. The election of a new President marked a turning point at the federal level. In a series of early executive orders, President Clinton instructed the appropriate federal agencies to lift onerous regulations -- such as the gag rule prohibiting abortion counseling in federally funded clinics -- imposed by his predecessor. After these initial actions, however, progress stalled. It remains to be seen whether the Administration's health care reform package will ensure equal access to reproductive health care, including abortion services. In Congress, the ACLU played a pivotal role in the appropriations process, lobbying to remove all restrictions on abortion for women who depend on federal programs for their medical care. We called for federal legislation prohibiting violence at women's health clinics, in the interest of public health and safety. And we participated in a major effort to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 has banned the use of Medicaid funds for abortion. Congress's failure to restore such funding is a sobering reminder that the struggle for reproductive rights -- especially for low-income and minority women -- is far from over. The ACLU did not endorse the Freedom of Choice Act because, although it would overturn some state restrictions, it would allow others that target poor women and teens -- such as public funding bans and parental consent laws. INFORMATION PRIVACY New privacy problems have accompanied the technological revolution. The government, private companies, employers and others can easily obtain detailed information about people's private lives without their knowledge or consent. One concern, made more urgent by imminent changes in our health care system, is the protection of people's right to keep their medical records private. Responding to these incursions, the ACLU's Privacy and Technology Project has organized industry, consumer and public sector representatives to advocate for legislation that would clearly establish this right. We are also seeking reform of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to improve protection for the privacy of credit records, and enactment of legislation regulating "caller ID" to protect the privacy of individuals' phone numbers and other personal information. PRIVACY AT WORK & AT HOME The ACLU's National Task Force on Civil Liberties in the Workplace is combatting "lifestyle discrimination" by employers who seek to control their employees' private lives by banning such activities as smoking or drinking off the job. We were instrumental in the passage of anti-lifestyle discrimination laws in two states, raising to 28 the number of states with such laws. We also made significant headway toward the passage of comprehensive federal legislation outlawing employers' covert electronic surveillance of their employees. The ACLU commissioned a survey on how Americans feel about the right to privacy, the results of which are contained in a 250-page report that will provide the basis for the development of programmatic work in this area. ================================================================= Due Process and Human Rights Equality before the law and equal access to justice are hallmarks of our democratic system. Too often, however, discrimination that is deeply entrenched in our legal institutions denies poor people and minorities their right to a fair trial and equal justice. The ACLU is committed to making the Constitution's promise of equal justice a reality for all. ACCESS TO JUSTICE Habeas corpus, the precious doctrine at the heart of our justice system that gives all criminal defendants the right to judicial review, has been eroded in recent years. Among other restrictions, the Supreme Court drastically curtailed a defendant's right to federal review of a state court's death sentence. Now not even a claim of innocence, based on new evidence, can compel review of a death sentence. In 1992, the ACLU filed friend-of-the-court briefs in three habeas cases. In two of these, the Court further eroded habeas rights. In the other, the Court agreed with the ACLU that a defendant whose "Miranda" rights were violated at the time of arrest is entitled to relief in habeas corpus proceedings. Mandatory minimum sentencing, which has caused a sharp rise in prison populations, has proved to be racially discriminatory and starkly unjust in numerous other ways. The ACLU's Washington Office will continue to work for passage of the Sentencing Uniformity Act of 1993, which would repeal mandatory minimum provisions from the federal criminal code. PRISONERS' RIGHTS Prisoners are largely ignored by many organizations and individuals who advocate for the rights of other groups. Committed to defending the fundamental human rights of all, the ACLU's National Prison Project marked its 20th anniversary in 1992 as the nation's foremost advocate for Eighth Amendment rights. The ACLU continued its efforts to improve prison conditions, reduce reliance on incarceration and strengthen prisoners' rights. After appointing the ACLU as counsel, the Supreme Court delivered a major victory to our client, a Louisiana inmate who had been severely beaten by prison guards with whom he had argued. The Court found that "prison officials maliciously and sadistically use[d] force to cause harm," violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The ACLU is challenging egregious conditions of confinement that exist in many states. One lawsuit in progress involves overcrowding and unsafe conditions in 14 Pennsylvania state prisons. In Arizona, we won a decision that declared state policies restricting prisoners' access to the courts unconstitutional. Some of the worst conditions the ACLU has seen are in women's facilities. Moreover, women have special needs that have long been ignored, including gynecological and pre-natal care, and maintaining ties with their children. Thus, we have expanded our support of women prisoners and are currently litigating in seven states. The ACLU, working with the Delaware affiliate, has challenged conditions in that state's two youth facilities, where living units are overcrowded and unsanitary, children are physically and verbally abused, and educational and medical programs are inadequate. In Hawaii, the threat of an ACLU suit prompted the state to reduce its juvenile offender population by 60 per cent. As AIDS and tuberculosis spread through our nation's prisons, the ACLU is currently the only organization dealing directly with this problem. We are working to reduce overcrowding and other conditions that foster or exacerbate these diseases, to protect the rights of ill prisoners and, through workshops and publications, to educate prisoners and prison officials on these and related health issues. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT The ACLU believes that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and has no place in modern society. While civil liberties are too often sacrificed in the "war on crime," the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project remains a conscientious opponent of the death penalty, working to stop its extension to the federal level, and to bring about total abolition of capital punishment. Prominent in the ranks of the abolition movement, the ACLU is represented on the executive board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and advises the Board of the Death Penalty Information Center. In 1992, the ACLU helped block passage of a federal crime bill that would have authorized capital punishment for more than 50 offenses, including crimes not involving murder. We also led an effort that brought about the overwhelming defeat of a local initiative that would have expanded the death penalty's use in Washington, D.C. We are again battling anti-crime legislation that is virtually the same as its predecessor. And we are continuing to work for passage of a federal Racial Justice Act, which would allow convicted criminals to challenge a death sentence by showing a racially discriminatory pattern of sentencing. The ACLU initiated a long-term public education and media campaign to drive home just how discriminatory capital punishment is. The centerpiece of this effort is "Double Justice," a documentary video co-produced by the ACLU with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. "Double Justice" compellingly demonstrates that race -- particularly the race of the victim -- is the primary factor in determining whether a death sentence is imposed in this country. POLICE ABUSE Abuse of police power, especially in minority communities, is a persistent problem in the United States. The ACLU is committed to increasing police accountability, and to improving relations between the police and those they serve. On the first anniversary of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers, we issued a manual to help community residents advocate for civilian review of police misconduct cases and work cooperatively with their police forces. In New York City, a long-term campaign led by our New York affiliate resulted in the formation of a new Civilian Complaint Review Board to replace the previous board, which had been controlled by police officials. In Nevada, the ACLU affiliate sued the Las Vegas police in a shocking case of brutality that ended in an innocent man's death at the hands of three officers. The police settled the suit, filed on behalf of the victim's infant son, for $625,000 one of the largest settlements ever won in an ACLU case of this kind, and a tacit admission of guilt by the department. ================================================================= Liberty And Justice For All Every person in our society is entitled to protection against discrimination and civil liberties abuses. The reality is, however, that those who are most vulnerable or voiceless are often denied the liberties and fair treatment that others enjoy. The ACLU is working to create a nation where the promise of the Bill of Rights is kept for all. CHILDREN'S RIGHTS Children, who represent our hopes for tomorrow, are among our most vulnerable citizens. This is an urgent issue indeed, for many government child welfare agencies are further destroying, rather than improving, the lives of thousands of our society's youngest victims: neglected and abused children. Federal and state laws require that these agencies either provide services to help families overcome child abuse and neglect, or permanently relocate children to new, stable homes -- which are indispensable to a child's healthy development. Instead, far too many children are having their rights violated by being shuttled from one foster home to another, abused in foster homes and lost track of in the chaos of mismanaged government bureaucracies. The ACLU's Children's Rights Project is the nation's premier litigator for the rights of children in government custody and leads the effort to reform child welfare practices. As we pursue this goal, the ACLU is making legal strides around the country that translate into extensive systemic reform. In 1992, we won an unprecedented victory: A federal judge found that the District of Columbia had violated the constitutional rights of the children in its care by failing to provide them with necessary services. One plaintiff in the case, a boy who had lived in at least 11 different foster homes, had climbed into a garbage can at age eight and asked to be "thrown away." Today, that child is doing well in a specialized foster home and may soon be adopted due to an aggressive recruitment effort. As a result of the ruling, the ACLU was able to negotiate sweeping reforms that are now being implemented, putting Washington, D.C. well on its way to becoming a model for child welfare agencies nationwide. Other efforts of the ACLU and our affiliates have paid off as well. In Missouri, we won a far-reaching decision requiring child welfare officials in Kansas City to remedy the many problems that are endangering the welfare of children in foster care. The hiring of additional case workers is one of the numerous steps being taken. In Connecticut, we won a range of substantial reforms that include a $20 million increase in the social service budget. And in Kansas, we achieved a settlement that will dramatically improve the lives of nearly 10,000 foster children: The state must implement a reform program affecting every facet of its foster care system, ensuring that children receive the services and care that they need. The ACLU continued to make important progress in two protracted lawsuits brought against New York City's child welfare agency. One suit is aimed at compelling the city to protect children from abuse and provide them with legally mandated "preventive" services that are designed to keep troubled families together whenever possible. The other suit seeks to eliminate racial discrimination and other abuses from New York's child welfare system. RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH AIDS People with HIV disease, including AIDS, experience discrimination in employment, housing, health care, insurance and virtually all areas of life. Moreover, discrimination against people with HIV disease is exacerbated by homophobia, poverty and racism. The ACLU is a leading advocate for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS. We helped draft the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and were a key advocate for its passage. This landmark legislation, which outlaws discrimination against all people with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS, is a powerful new tool for protecting and advancing the rights of people with HIV. How broadly the ADA will be interpreted, however, and how effective it will be, depend on the outcome of early test cases. To launch that test, the ACLU's AIDS Project, together with local affiliates, has filed a number of carefully chosen cases in several states. Most of these target the pervasive problem of discrimination in health care and health insurance. For example, we challenged the exclusion of HIV-infected people from the South Carolina Insurance Risk Pool, a state program for people who can afford to pay for health insurance but cannot get it because of pre-existing health conditions. We also sued an Ohio hospital for refusing to provide emergency care to a man with AIDS. In addition, the ACLU produces several widely used publications and holds intensive training sessions aimed at teaching people with HIV disease and their advocates, as well as employers, landlords and others, about the protections provided by the ADA. The ACLU won a landmark court victory when Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regulations that had severely limited AIDS education efforts for the last six years were declared unconstitutional. The regulations had forbidden the use of federal funds for materials deemed "offensive" to the "majority." And seeking to reverse the most irrational AIDS-related ruling yet, the ACLU asked a Texas appeals court to overturn the attempted murder conviction and life sentence of an HIV-infected man who spit on a prison guard. The ACLU also published a book-length study on emerging civil rights issues related to AIDS, focusing particular attention on the growing populations of women, adolescents and parents infected with HIV. In addition, we are the only national organization with an AIDS education program for prison populations. WORKERS' RIGHTS Traditionally, the American private workplace has been a zone in which the Bill of Rights does not exist. Changing that circumstance is a key element in the ACLU's program. Eighty million people work in the private sector of the American economy, and only about a quarter of them are protected by union contracts. The rest are employed "at-will," which means they can be fired at any time for virtually any reason, or for no reason at all. The ACLU's National Task Force on Civil Liberties in the Workplace is advocating legislation that would abolish the archaic employment-at-will doctrine and permit the firing of employees only for just cause. This effort, assisted by ACLU affiliates, has focused on five states where such bills are under consideration. The ACLU recently punctuated its commitment to protecting and expanding workers' rights by awarding our 1993 Medal of Liberty to Dolores Huerta, who, together with the late Cesar Chavez, was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of migrant farmworkers and other workers. ================================================================= Financial Highlights This information is based on audited financial statements, which may be obtained by writing to the ACLU or the New York State Department of State, Office of Charities Registration, Albany, New York, 11231. ACLU and ACLU Foundation Statements of Support, Revenue, Expenses and Changes in Fund Balances for Year Ending December 31, 1992. ACLU Income Total Funds Support and Revenue Contributions 8,533,424 Bequests 288,289 Interest, dividends, etc. 55,899 Other income 106,114 ------------ Total Income 8,983,726 Expenses Program Services Legislative 906,431 Education 1,345,463 Policy formulation 504,977 Affiliate program 4,125,485 ----------------- Total program services 6,882,356 Supporting Services Fund raising and development 1,560,899 Management and general 538,903 ---------------------- Total supporting services 2,099,802 ------------------------- Total Expenses 8,982,158 Statement of Changes in Fund Balances Balance at beginning of year 3,274,263 Excess of support and revenue over expenses 1,568 Balance at end of year 3,275,831* * Balance includes $1,520,489 in restricted funds whose principal is not available. ACLU Operations as a percent of expenses National Program 31% Policy 6% Legislative 10% Education 15% Affiliate Program 46% Program Services Combined 77% Management 6% Fund raising 17% Supporting Services Combined 23% ACLU Foundation Income Total Funds Support and Revenue Contributions and grants 8,975,383 Bequests 889,480 Legal expenses awarded 1,324,559 Interest, dividends, etc. 829,494 Other income 188,870 ------------ Total Income 12,267,786 Expenses Program Services Litigation 7,790,495 Education 1,796,047 Affiliate program 163,273 Annuity payments 64,318 ---------------- Total program services 9,814,133 Supporting Services Fund raising and development 877,996 Management and general 1,242,983 ---------------------- Total supporting services 2,120,979 ------------------------- Total Expenses 11,935,112 Statement of Changes in Fund Balances Balance at beginning of year 11,900,584 Excess of support and revenue over expenses 272,674 Balance at end of year 12,173,258* * Balance includes $11,850,559 in restricted funds whose principal is not available. ACLUF Operations as a percent of expenses National Program 81% Education 15% Litigation 66% Affiliate programs 1.5% Program Services Combined 82.5% Annuity payments .5% Management 10% Fund raising 7% Support Services Combined 17.5% ================================================================= American Civil Liberties Union (as of October 11, 1993) ACLU Executive Staff Ira Glasser Executive Director Laura Murphy Lee+ Director, Washington Office Alma Montclair Director, Administration and Finance Sandra Sedacca Director, Development Steven Shapiro++ Legal Director Loren Siegel Director, Public Education Barry Steinhardt Associate Director + Succeeded Morton Halperin in 1993 ++ Succeeded john a. powell in 1993 Projects and Regional Offices Alvin J. Bronstein Director, National Prison Project Dorothy Davidson Director, Mountain States Regional Office Janlori Goldman Director, Privacy and Technology Project Lucas Guttentag Director, Immigrants' Rights Project Marjorie Heins Director, Arts Censorship Project Marcia Robinson Lowry Director, Children's Rights Project Lewis L. Maltby Director, Task Force on Civil Liberties in the Workplace Kate Martin Director, National Security Project Laughlin McDonald Director, Southern Regional Office Voting Rights Project Isabelle Katz Pinzler Director, Women's Rights Project Estelle H. Rogers Public Policy Director Reproductive Freedom Project William Rubenstein Director, Lesbian and Gay Rights Project/AIDS and Civil Liberties Project Diann Rust-Tierney Director, Capital Punishment Project Chief Legislative Counsel, Washington Office Catherine Weiss Litigation Director Reproductive Freedom Project ================================================================= National Board Of Directors Nadine Strossen * President Alice Bendheim * James D. Crawford Franklyn S. Haiman James Hall, Jr. Margaret Russell Gwen Thomas * Vice Presidents Richard Zacks *# Treasurer Michael Meyers Corporate Secretary John M. Swomley Board Secretary Frank Askin * Vivian O.Berger * James E.Ferguson, II * General Counsel Richard Axelrod Judith Bendich * Ann K. Benfield A. Stephen Boyan, Jr. Jay Brause Barbara A. Brenner John Carroll Kenneth B. Clark # David Drachsler Dan Edwards Ellen Feingold Joyce S. Fiske Roger W. Fonseca Mary Ellen Gale * Elizabeth Garst Shelley Geballe Diane Geraghty Ricardo Guarnero Margie Pitts Hames David Harris Mark Henricksen Susan N. Herman * Edward Ice Woody Kaplan Robert Kapp Gara LaMarche * Joan Laskowski Denise LeBoeuf Stephen E. Lee Micki Levin * Roslyn Litman Joseph P. Lynch Joan Mahoney Nancy Maihoff Richard Maiman Martin Margulies Elizabeth M. McGeever Jon Meyer E. Walter Miles Olinda Moyd Wendy C. Nakamura Slater E. Newman Rolland O'Hare Charlene Orchard R. Samuel Paz Robert B. Remar * William F. Reynard Edmund H. Robinson Trish Rose George Rudiak David Rudovsky Sheldon Schaffer Raymond Schowers Stephen L. Silberman Matthew Stark Bryan A. Stevenson Thomas B. Stoddard Philippa Strum * Frank Susman Allan H. Terl Sam Walker Leland Ware Charles Watts David Waxse Benson Wolman Monica Zucker * Executive Committee Member # Ex Officio ================================================================= National Advisory Council Dr. Kenneth B. Clark Chair Hon. Birch Bayh, Jr. Henry Steele Commager Father Robert F. Drinan LaDonna Harris Aileen C. Hernandez Chesterfield Smith Vice Chairs Floyd Abrams Charles Ares Harry S. Ashmore Edward Asner Mona H. Bailey Hon. Mary F. Berry Robert Bierstedt Sallie Bingham Julian Bond Ralph Brown David Carliner Lynn Castner Catherine Cater John Chrystal Ramsey Clark Hon. John Conyers Mary Dent Crisp Hon. John Culver Irving Dilliard James Dixon Norman Dorsen Ronnie Dugger Mrs. Henry E. I. duPont Frances T. Farenthold James Farmer Rabbi Alvin I. Fine W. W. Finlator Jefferson Fordham Hon. Lois Forer Monroe Freedman Henry Lewis Gates Thomas P. Gill Hon. Jack Gordon Stephen J. Gould Dr. Benjamin Hooks Jeannette Hopkins Charles Horsky Hon. Shirley Hufstedler Thomas Kerr Dr. Milton R. Konvitz William M. Kunstler Burt Lancaster Norman Lear Charles H. Lohah Burke Marshall Hon. George McGovern Wesley H. Maurer Maury Maverick, Jr. Ariel Melchoir Sylvan Meyer Maya Miller William Milliken Jerry Muskrat Louise Noun John B. Oakes Charles Ogeltree Robert O'Neill Barbara Scott Preiskel Lillian Roberts Catherine Roraback Carl Sagan Susan Sarandon Grant Sawyer Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Hon. Patricia Schroeder Faith Seidenberg John Seigenthaler Stanley K. Sheinbaum J. McNeil Smith Lloyd M. Smith Kathleen Sullivan Kurt Vonnegut John W. Walker Faye Wattleton Hon. Lowell Weicker Howard Whiteside Roger Wilkins Willard Wirtz Stephen J. Wright ACLU Foundation Officers Nadine Strossen, President; Ira Glasser, Executive Director; James C. Calaway, Treasurer; Board of Directors: Frank Askin, Alice Bendheim, Judith Bendich, Vivian O. Berger, James E. Ferguson, II, Mary Ellen Gale, Susan N. Herman, Gara LaMarche, Micki Levin, Robert B. Remar, Philippa Strum, Gwen Thomas, Richard Zacks# ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher://aclu.org:6601 | American Civil Liberties Union National Office ftp://aclu.org | mailto:infoaclu@aclu.org | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank