Dear President-Elect Trump,
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has stood as this nation’s premier defender of freedom and justice for all.
As you assume the nation’s highest office, we must ask you now as president-elect to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made.
Specifically, you promised to:
- amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants
- ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs targeting them
- restrict a woman’s right to abortion services
- reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture
- change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression
These proposals are not simply unAmerican and wrong-headed. They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties.
Many of our country’s most cherished rights are the result of ACLU litigation and advocacy. They include the Scopes trial (the right to teach evolution in public science classrooms) and the following Supreme Court cases: Korematsu (challenging Japanese American internment); Miranda (the right to remain silent); Griswold (the right to contraception); Loving (the right of interracial couples to marry); Gideon (the right to a court-appointed attorney if you can’t afford one); Windsor (striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act); and Obergefell (the right of same-sex couples to marry) and others. We have worked with and battled American presidents of both parties to ensure that our country makes good on its founding premise as the land of the free.
If you do not reverse course and endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at your every step. Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers, and millions of supporters stand ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.
Anthony D. Romero Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union