ACLU is a principled defender of civil liberties

ACLU is a principled defender of civil liberties

Re: “ACLU failing in defense of civil liberties at a vital time,” June 30

I don’t agree with the American Civil Liberties Union on everything. But Melanie Scarborough couldn’t be more wrong when she asserts that the ACLU is “failing us” in protecting our civil liberties by “defending the least defensible.”

The ACLU correctly realizes that it’s often in the least defensible cases, involving some of the least sympathetic individuals, that our rights are most at stake because precedents can be set that negatively affect the freedom of all Americans.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is currently working with the ACLU on a case that illustrates this point. A provision in the housing rescue bill being debated in the Senate would mandate a fingerprint registry for a broad swath of employees in the currently unpopular mortgage industry.

But the ACLU realizes that fingerprinting employees who have not been convicted or even suspected of a crime puts us on a road to a surveillance society. So it has joined a coalition with CEI and other groups such as the American Conservative Union to oppose this provision, showing what a principled defender of liberties the ACLU is.

John Berlau

Director, Center for Entrepreneurship

Competitive Enterprise Institute