Get To Know the ACLU [Infographic]

The ACLU stands at the forefront of almost every major struggle for civil liberties and civil rights in America since its founding nearly 100 years ago. In carrying out its mission to ensure the Constitution protects everyone — especially those who have been historically denied such protections — the ACLU is a key player in many landmark court cases establishing fundamental American rights, liberties, and principles.

These cases chart the evolution of civil rights and liberties in the United States. But most importantly, they demonstrate the power of the people, with help from organizations like the ACLU, to shape history.

Get to know the ACLU
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has fought for our rights. Here’s a few of our landmark Supreme Court cases through the decades.

1920
ACLU founded
Roger Baldwin and Crystal Eastman establish the American Civil Liberties Union.

1925
Scopes monkey trial
Separation of Church and State:
The ACLU defended a public school teacher prosecuted for teaching evolution.

1932
Powell v. Alabama
Right to Counsel:
The Supreme Court established that all defendants have the right to an attorney.

1944
Korematsu v. u.s.
Japanese Internment:
The ACLU challenged the wartime relocation and forced detention of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans.

1954
Brown v. board of education
School Desegregation:
The Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional after the policy is challenged by the ACLU and the NAACP.

1967
LOVING v. virginia
Interracial Marriage:
This unanimous decision overturned state bans on interracial marriage.

1971
reed v. reed
Equal Protection:
The Supreme Court declared sex-based discrimination unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

1989
Texas v. Johnson
Free Speech:
This case established flag burning as constitutionally protected free speech.

1997
ACLU v. Reno
Internet Speech:
The Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, an attempt by Congress to censor “indecent speech” on the Internet.

2001
INS v. st. cyr
Right to Court:
The Supreme Court affirms the right of immigrants facing deportation to have their case reviewed by a judge.

2015
OBERGEFELL v. Hodges
Marriage Equality:
The right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.

Get To Know the ACLU

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