The ACLU claims to exist to protect the civil liberties and constitutional rights of all Americans, but it’s really just an unprincipled left-wing lobbying group. Recently, the ACLU of Southern California opposed Proposition 98, a California initiative that would have reinforced state constitutional protections against seizures of private property, by preventing private property from being taken for commercial development, and ending rent control. The ACLU attacked Prop. 98 for seeking to “eliminate rent control,” and “restricting the government’s power.” Imagine that! Restricting the government’s power! That’s what most civil liberties guarantees do, after all: restrict government power. But the American Civil Liberties Union doesn’t have much to do with civil liberties, anymore, unless the beneficiaries are left-wing constituencies, like alleged terrorists.
While the ACLU was busy claiming that banning rent control is somehow a threat to civil liberties, it was also fabricating many new rights out of thin air: an alleged “right” to make sexual advances and have sex in public restrooms; an alleged “right” for swastika-wearing neo-Nazis to force restaurants like the Alpine Village Inn to serve them; an alleged “right” for illegal alien employees to demand that their citizen co-workers not say derogatory things about them, even outside their presence; and an alleged “right” for one Massachusetts man to perform oral sex on another man while on a public stage.
The ACLU in California is a “vigorous proponent of hate speech regulations,” and its Massachusetts chapter supports campus speech codes, ignoring that pesky First Amendment (which was, after all, written by dead white males — the ACLU is a big supporter of racial quotas, unsuccessfully arguing in Coalition for Economic Equity v. Wilson (1997), that minorities have a constitutional right to racial preferences that overrides state constitutional equal-protection provisions banning all racial discrimination). A prominent ACLU lawyer in Massachusetts argued that rape law should be redefined so that mere consent to sex is not enough, claiming that sex should only be allowed after express, explicit permission of the sort that precedes a medical operation.