A report by the New York Times has confirmed what we already knew, the ACLU values the promotion of progressive ideology more than its core missions such as protecting freedom of speech. The article explains:
Its national and state staff members debate, often hotly, whether defense of speech conflicts with advocacy for a growing number of progressive causes, including voting rights, reparations, transgender rights and defunding the police.
Those debates mirror those of the larger culture, where a belief in the centrality of free speech to American democracy contends with ever more forceful progressive arguments that hate speech is a form of psychological and even physical violence. These conflicts are unsettling to many of the crusading lawyers who helped build the A.C.L.U.
As the National Review notes, the ACLU seemingly spent much of the last few years focused on fighting the Trump Administration and only have a few lawyers who specialize in speech issues:
Where the group once defended the free speech rights of everyone from civil rights activists to the Ku Klux Klan, it instead spent much of the Trump administration more focused on leading the resistance against the 45th president. Its annual reports from 2016 to 2018 do not include any mention of the “First Amendment,” “free speech,” or college campuses anywhere.
While the ACLU’s budget has nearly tripled to more than $300 million and doubled its corps of lawyers since Trump was elected, the group still has just four lawyers specializing in free speech — the same number as a decade ago.
In fact, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero is openly proud of the organization's role in the "resistance."
“Am I sorry I leaned into our opposition to Trump? Hell no,” Mr. Romero said.
Important players within the organization are concerned with Romero's partisanship.
“I share the discomfort with the A.C.L.U.’s engaging in partisan-looking activity; it risks taking luster off our reputation as straight shooters,” noted Ben Wizner, the longtime head of the A.C.L.U.’s free speech, privacy and technology project.
When the leadership of the ACLU admits that they are straying from the organization's reputation, we should take their word for it.