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Where’s the ACLU?

Via Glenn, I noticed this article talking about the entire Texas polygamy fiasco, and asking where the ACLU is in all of this.  The answer to me, is pretty clear.  It’s not George W. Bush perpetrating this outrage against people’s civil rights, so who’s to care?  If it can’t used it to beat those warmongering Republicans over the head, why does it matter?

The progressives’ defense of civil rights has become an utter joke, and it’s not just their willingness to throw the second amendment under the bus.  I’m not happy with Bush’s record on civil liberties at all, and for letting a weasel like Gonzalez run around for as long as he did.  But civil liberties violations don’t start and end with the Bush administration.

12 Responses to “Where’s the ACLU?”

  1. Noops says:

    I love your blog dude, but you’re beginning to sound a little shrill on this one. I’m certainly not a member of the ACLU, but this just seems intellectually dishonest. I don’t know all the circumstances around the polygamy thing, but comparing the head of the executive branch to a non-governmental non-profit is a little interesting, and I think intellectually dishonest. The ACLU is fundamentally defensive. They have to wait for the government to commit an abuse and then work through the course. The head of the executive branch actually has the governmental power to commit abuses (and I’m not Bush bashing, I’m president bashing)

    The other thing is a bit of a double standard. You here have argued that the NRA has to pick it’s battles. But the ACLU doesn’t? I suspect that this is a “third-rail” issue for them. So why would it be ok for the NRA to pick politically sensitive battles (Machine Guns, for instance), and not the ACLU. I could make the same strawman that the NRA didn’t fight the AWB hard enoughduring the Elian Gonzales insanity. “The NRA sure doesn’t respect our liberties, and they don’t start and end with the Clinton Administration.”

    The other

  2. Sebastian says:

    You’re right, it’s probably not entirely fair to the ACLU, but it hit a particular bone of contention I have with the left that they only seem to care about some civil liberties violations and not others. I do agree the ACLU has to pick its battles, but I think this is probably one they should be picking. If they pick up the ball and run with it on this, I’ll be sure to post an update to this one. I do think the ACLU does a lot of good things, but the problem of civil liberties in this country goes way beyond George W. Bush, and I think too many progressives have forgotten that.

  3. Bitter says:

    It’s also unfair to say they aren’t there. They have been in the courtroom trying to keep an eye on things. They probably should be taking some level of action, but I think at this point, inserting more lawyers may be a little chaotic.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if their best service to the case(s) right now is actually working with the individual lawyers and trying to coordinate. Some of the early reports of the courtroom were basically that it was utter insanity.

  4. Noops says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the issue of “choosing rights.” The ACLU has a terrible double standard where they read every OTHER right expansively and then read the 2A as narrowly as possible. And I think it’s pathetic and weasely. Humph.

    I do wonder what the ACLU will do if Heller goes for Individual Right. By legal definition, they’re theory of why they refuse to support Second Amendment cases is out the window. Will they begin fighting for every right? I honestly don’t know enough about the operations or politics of the ACLU to make an informed guess on that score. But I think it’s something we should make politically hay out of assuming that Heller goes our way.

  5. Noops says:

    they’re=their

  6. Sebastian says:

    I actually wouldn’t have too much trouble with the ACLU declaring the second amendment just isn’t their issue, as long as they aren’t actively hostile to it, and as long as they’ll defend gun owners when their rights are violated incidentally with another violation that is within ACLU’s purview.

  7. jeff says:

    These people need someone other than their lawyers to defend their rights to f__k their children? Yeah, what the ACLU is thinking is “It’s about time someone looked into this.” None of us really know all the facts, but if the authorities have real probable cause to believe that something funky’s going on in there, then they have the responsibility (yeah, not legally – they aren’t there actually to protect us but only to clean up afterwards – but morally) to do something about it.

  8. Sebastian says:

    And here I thought in this country you were innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by 12 of your peers.

  9. jeff says:

    Not at all saying they’re guilty. But isn’t the suspicion that something is going on – a crime – reason enough to investigate? If this were just one parent having one child taken away for suspicion of abuse none of this would be news. That happens all the time. The only reason this is news is that this is an unusual case with a large number of people and of course because religion’s thrown into the mix. Isn’t it typical to separate suspected abusers from the people they are suspected of abusing? Of course it’s going to take time – there are a lot of people involved. I feel bad for all of the kids involved. I can’t imagine how terrible my kids would feel if they were pulled out of our home and put with people they don’t know. But in this case it IS for the children. It’s not like someone quick-like wrote up a new crime to investigate these people for.

    What rights would you say are being infringed?
    1. No one’s telling them they can’t practice their religion.
    2. Don’t know that they took anyone’s guns.
    3. N/A
    4. I believe that it IS reasonable that they are being searched under the
    suspicion of abusing their children.
    5. Is this not the “process” part of due process?
    6. I’m sure if they’re charged, there will be a trial in accordance with all the rules and regulations.
    7. N/A
    8. Don’t know that anyone’s actually been arrested.
    9. N/A
    10. Unless the feds are stepping on state toes there’s no issue there.

    I don’t mean to sound pissy, and I definitley respect the fact that I’m commenting in “your house”, but I don’t see how this group is being treated any differently than any large group of people suspected of wrongdoing would or should be treated.

  10. ParatrooperJJ says:

    The warrant was most likely based on a fake phone call. Once the inditements are handed down, the affidavits will be unsealed and probably the whole case will go away.

  11. Sebastian says:

    My problem with it is that it is a large number of people, and they seem to be being treated collectively, when the state has very little evidence of crimes committed. The burden the state should have to meet for removing a child from his or her parents should be very high, as in, to do it as an emergency court order, should require the child to be in imminent danger, and as best I can tell, the state has no evidence that’s the case. In that case, investigations should progress, and if individuals are responsible for crimes, they should be charged. But you can’t just round up people like cattle, and treat them as a collective entity, our criminals justice system shouldn’t work that way.

  12. jeff says:

    “The warrant was most likely based on a fake phone call.” Hopefully they will be able to prove that beyond a shadow. Someone’s head should roll for that one if that’s the case.

    I can agree that rounding them up like cattle isn’t great. But if there really is something going on, wouldn’t taking them on one at a time be nearly impossible?
    (The ants in my kitchen are proving that!)
    If only we could develop a selective spray for pedophiles.

    I guess it all just depends on how far we’re willing to push the means to get to the ends. It is a tough call.

    How would you define imminent danger? Imminent danger of what?

    What a mess. My brain hurts thinking about it. I guess the authorities shouldn’t just be doing something do be “doing something”. But it does seem like they should do SOMETHING.

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