Wednesday marks the official start of the new 112th Congress. All of the Representatives and Senators who were elected in November now officially begin their terms in office today. The ACLU welcomes all of the new Members of Congress and looks forward to working with each of them to advance and defend civil liberties and civil rights. As a nonpartisan organization, we are firmly committed to the belief that we have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. For us, it is all about principle, not partisan politics.
Earlier today, when swearing-in newly-seated Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Vice President Biden, who serves as President of the Senate, said, “I never get along with any interest groups in the United States Senate. The only one that I really respect, and I don’t agree with them most of the time, is the ACLU. Because they never, never vary. They have principles. They defend Nazis marching in Skokie. I admire you.”
We certainly appreciate the shout out from Vice President Biden. He gets what the ACLU has always been about at our core: We are committed to preserving and defending the Constitution and its Bill of Rights and ensuring that our rights and liberties are afforded to all, regardless of background or political belief. These principles have guided us well as an organization for over 90 years, and our country for over 200 years. We are proud of being the nation's foremost advocate for the rights of all, and we appreciate the Vice President's respectful acknowledgement of our work. The respect is mutual, Mr. Vice President.