My politics have a distinctly libertarian bent. (In a college of education this makes me about as popular as a colonoscopy.) But more important than my political bent is that I believe in intellectual consistency.
In general, even when I abhor some of the specifics of the ACLU’s positions (they’ve supported the KKK, NAMBLA, etc) I agree that defending the constitution is more important than the specifics of any one case. However I can no longer support the ACLU. They seem to have decided to pick and choose the parts of the Bill of Rights they are going to support.
- Prior to Heller an older case (Miller), if read carelessly, left open the door for the 2nd Amendment as a collective right. However even the DISSENTERS in the Heller case make it clear that the 2nd amendment is an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT. How much clearer can it be?
- The ACLU’s About Us page says:
“The American system of government is founded on two
counterbalancing principles: that the majority of the people governs,
through democratically elected representatives; and that the power even
of a democratic majority must be limited, to ensure individual rights.
Majority power is limited by the Constitution’s Bill of
Rights, which consists of the original ten amendments ratified in 1791,
plus the three post-Civil War amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and
the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage), adopted in 1920.
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantee”
I’m unclear on when the 2nd amendment was dropped from the Bill of Rights. Heck, it specifically says there were 10 amendments there.
- The ACLU has historically pushed cases to the Supreme Court in order to get precedent established. Now that one has been established, ignoring it makes the ACLU hypocrites.
If the ACLU wanted to stay neutral, I would have been fine with that. The NRA is more than capable of dealing with all the gun rights cases in this country. But taking a position AGAINST the Constitution, AGAINST the Supreme Court, and AGAINST a civil right is unacceptable.
The comments thread of that post is amazing – they have 1 person who agrees out of hundreds of posts, many who now intend to stop contributing. Here are a few of my favorite comments:
excesses of government power. How is it that your take on the second
amendment only recognizes a collective right in defense of the state?”
“I have long believed that the ACLU does worthy work, but adheres to a
definition of “civil liberties” that comports with elite liberalism
first and an honest and robust reading of the Constitution second.”
and finally: “I want my $50 back.”