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Freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed to all Americans. As a core founding principle, free speech has a long history in America. Safeguarding this cherished freedom is the ACLU’s ongoing commitment. Since 1920, the ACLU has worked to preserve our freedom of speech.
The ACLU has been one of the nation's leading advocates for the rights of immigrants, refugees and non-citizens, challenging unconstitutional laws and practices, countering the myths upon which many of these laws are based. The ACLU supports rights for all people within the United States and is committed to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of non-citizens and to combating public and private discrimination against immigrants.
Established in 1965, the Voting Rights Project has worked to protect the gains in political participation since passage of the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) that same year. Since its inception, the Voting Rights Project has aggressively and successfully challenged efforts that dilute minority voting strength or obstruct the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice.
The right to practice religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works to ensure that this essential freedom is protected by keeping the government out of religion. The Constitution’s framers understood that religious liberty could flourish only if the government leaves religion alone, and we are dedicated to maintaining that separation to preserve religious freedom for all people.
The ACLU has advocated on behalf of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender people for over 70 years and in 1986 founded the LGBT & AIDS Project. The LGBT Project fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBT rights through the courts, legislatures and public education. The mission of the Project is to foster a society in which LGBT people and people with HIV/AIDS enjoy the basic rights of equality, privacy and personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.
The ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project protects everyone's right to make informed decisions free from government interference about whether and when to become a parent. Learn more about our work in reproductive health and take action to protect rights guaranteed to all Americans.
The ACLU of Arizona continues to fight unconstitutional conditions in our local prisons and jails and the "lock 'em up" mentality that prevails in the legislatures. Our guiding principle is that even though prisoners are deprived of liberty they are still entitled to basic human rights.
The bedrock of our democracy, the Constitution, guarantees the right to privacy and free speech. Unchecked government surveillance intrudes upon Americans' right to privacy, dangerously chilling speech and political dissent. We take pride in monitoring the interplay between technology and civil liberties, promoting uses of technology that enhance privacy and freedom, while opposing those that undermine freedoms and move us closer to a surveillance society.
Constitutional violations are far too common in public schools across the country. Teachers and administrators have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for the students that is conducive to learning. They also have a responsibility to respect each student's individual rights. These two missions are not incompatible. Simply put, students have rights too. Please visit our youth rights page in the Action Center for more information.
Despite evidence the Americans With Disabilities Act works, people with disabilities are still, too often, treated as second class, shunned and segregated by physical barriers and social stereotypes. They are discriminated against in employment, schools, and housing, robbed of their personal autonomy, sometimes even hidden away and forgotten by the larger society. Ensuring equal access for those with disabilities is a core guiding principle of the ACLU of Arizona.
The Racial Justice Program aims to preserve and extend the constitutional rights of people of color. Despite enormous progress, the promise of fair and equal treatment for people of color remains elusive. The ACLU is committed to combating racism in all its forms. Through our advocacy, which includes litigation, community organizing and training, legislative initiatives, and public education, we strive to educate and empower the public.
Liberty doesn’t have a gender, and the ACLU works to keep it that way. Our commitment to women’s rights aims to ensure that women and their families can enjoy the benefits of full equality and participation in every sphere of society.
The world of work can be intimidating, and it may seem as if the boss holds all the cards. In fact, Arizona and U.S. law guarantee certain rights for all workers, including the right to a minimum wage, limits on working hours, the right to a safe workplace, and the right to join or form a union. The ACLU is committed to worker rights and has a long history of defending and preserving the rights of workers.
The Bill of Rights covers all Americans, including suspects, defendants, offenders and prisoners. All too often, the rights of those involved in the criminal justice system are compromised or ignored. The ACLU is working to reform the criminal justice system and make the promise of fair treatment a reality for all people.
The costly War on Drugs continues to erode personal liberties without curbing drug trade or use. This heavy-handed tactic has failed. The ACLU supports a public health approach, including investment in drug treatment, education, and regulation of drug availability. The ACLU’s goal is to end punitive drug policies that cause the widespread violation of constitutional and human rights, as well as unprecedented levels of incarceration.
The ACLU wholeheartedly believes that we can be safe and free. There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today, as illegal government spying, provisions of the Patriot Act and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security.
The Fourth Amendment protects against unlawful searches and seizures. Despite this, countless citizens have been subjected to searches without suspicion. The ACLU of Arizona challenges such unlawful practices by law enforcement and in schools.
Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This principle gives individuals the ability to enforce their rights against violations by the government. The ACLU of Arizona recognizes this fundamental principle and works to protect fairness, justice and liberty for all.