The American Civil Liberty Union has decided to make an “exception” to its supposedly unshakable policy of being non-partisan and non-political—Oh, the pop-up fundraising appeal the group is currently showing on its website says to contribute to “stop Trump’s attack on civil liberties.” Then it vanishes, with the permanent text on the site staying abstract and without any overtly partisan slant. Nice. And dishonest!—and announced its opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
This should not have surprised anyone, because the ACLU has become a sham organization, claiming to be non-partisan and apolitical while every day making it increasingly obvious that it, like so many organizations that take that pose (including virtually all of the mainstream news media), it is a fully committed ally of the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, there is always hope that at crucial moments in the nation’s history, organizations will find their soul, their guys and their principles before they seep away.
For this we need look no farther than The American Bar Association, another “non-partisan” group that habitually endorses Democratic Party agenda items that should not concern it at all. Its membership is overwhelmingly Democratic, and being that this entire section of the political spectrum is in the process of being ethically corrupted, many members, including members of its governing body, were prepared to turn on Brett Kanavaugh, a judge the organization had rated as very qualified for the Supreme Court, and recommend his rejection as a consequence of unsubstantiated, last minute allegations of sexual misconduct by an accuser dredging up dim memories from more than three decades ago. As a lesser tactic, many were in favor of bolstering the Democratic Party’s disingenuous call for an open ended FBI investigation, not because it is likely to clarify anything, but because it will accomplishe the Party’s stated objective since before Dr. Ford was persuaded, or pushed, to play the part of Anita Hill in this adaptation of “The Clarence Thomas Hearings.” They want to delay until after the November elections.
Thus it was that Robert Carlson, the latest Democratic Party contributor to lead the organization, wrote this letter on ABA letterhead, falsely stating that he was speaking for the ABA itself:
“The American Bar Association urges the United States Senate Judiciary Committee (and, as appropriate, the full Senate) to conduct a confirmation vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States only after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor Ford and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Rather than allow him to hijack its process and integrity, the ABA sent this letter to the Judiciary Committee, clarifying that Carlson was speaking for himself only:
Of course, if it were really a non-partisan, non-ideological organization, the ABA would be in the process of removing Carlson from office. In every organization, falsely using one’s post to imply organizational support of a personal view is a firing offense. Instead, the ABA took the face-saving measure of posting Carlson’s misleading letter (lawyers are prohibited from engaging in misleading conduct) under a link saying, “ABA President Calls For…” THAT’S deceit (lawyers are prohibited from engaging in deceit). Most readers will not notice the material distinction between the President of the ABA’s position and the official ABA position, and that’s just the way the association wants it.
Well, it’s not exactly integrity, but it’s a lot closer than what the ACLU has become.
One could consider this post just an addendum to this one, in which I translated the official ACLU statement in June that, once you plowed through all the equivocation, announced that the organization would now be openly partisan and actively oppose “those with whom it disagrees” and take “counter-measures.” I wrote,
Wading through the many ‘but ifs” and “on the other hands” that make the memo a masterpiece of equivocation, a careful reader can only come to one fair conclusion: the current ACLU staff and leadership have a crippling conflict of interest, and rather than effectively eliminating it, has chosen to rationalize it. The conflict of interest is that the ACLU is now a full-fledged progressive advocacy organization that views maintaining its ideological allies in the political culture wars a co-equal objective to protecting the rights of all Americans. That means that it cannot be trusted to exercise non-partisan, unbiased judgements regarding whose rights to protect. Worse still, the memo flatly states that the ACLU’s current position is that “there is no presumption that the First Amendment trumps all other amendments.” This is a symbolic canary dying in the poisoned mine shaft, for many of the group’s admitted allies, including the Democratic Party, are increasingly hostile to freedom of speech as an absolute value essential to the vitality and survival of American democracy. Now we know that the ACLU can no longer be counted upon to defend that freedom—it depends, says the memo, on balancing a myriad of factors.
Thus yesterday’s announcement was entirely consistent with mission of the New, Wholly Democratic Party-Owned American Civil Liberties Union:
NEW YORK — In the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sworn testimony of sexual abuse at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, the American Civil Liberties Union has announced its opposition to his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not support or oppose candidates for political or judicial office. In this instance, the national board held an extraordinary meeting, and has chosen to make an exception to that policy.
“The ACLU’s board of directors, deeply concerned by the allegations raised in recent weeks, has made a rare exception to its longstanding policy and voted to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” said Susan Herman, president of the ACLU.
The ACLU’s national board of directors passed a resolution stating:
“The ACLU opposes the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There are credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh has engaged in serious misconduct that have not been adequately investigated by the Senate. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible testimony, subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, the inadequate investigation, and Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony at the hearing lead us to doubt Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
“This is not a decision taken lightly. We cannot remain silent under these extraordinary circumstances about a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land. The standard for such an appointment should be high, and the burden is on the nominee. That burden is not met as long as there are unresolved questions regarding the credible allegations of sexual assault.”
“As a nonpartisan organization, the ACLU does not oppose Judge Kavanaugh based on predictions about how he would vote as a Justice. We oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him,” concluded Herman.
Under its current policy, the ACLU does not take formal positions on judicial nominations. This is the fourth instance in the organization’s 98-year history that the ACLU’s national board of directors has voted to oppose a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Most recently, the organization did not endorse or oppose the nomination of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all.
Thank goodness the ACLU has been protecting the right to engage in dishonest speech all these years.
1. Does anyone believe that the ACLU, completely staffed of late with hard left legal activists, really does not oppose Kavanaugh because he is viewed as a threat to progressive policies on the Court?
2. The supposed non-partisan watchdog of our civil liberties has announced that it is willing to jettison the core right of due process to defeat a conservative judge with an impeccable record—just ask the ABA. Why is that?
3. The judge’s accuser was “sworn” and her account was “credible.” So were the judge’s denials! The very rights that the ACLU supposedly defends hold that it is the accuser, not the accused, who has the burden of proof. Dr. Ford offered no proof at all.
4. It is very difficult and often impossible to prove a negative, and the ACLU’s resolution is engaging in ethical and legal fantasy. Most frightening of all, it is endorsing a system by which an accusation has to be disproved by the accused, no matter how old or lacking in details that accusation is. This is the kind of totalitarian justice that the ACLU was founded to oppose. Now it is endorsing it.
5. The rampant Democratic rationalization that the basic rules of fairness and justice are inapplicable to a Supreme Court nominee has been audaciously and cynically wrong from the beginning. How convenient that Democrats have discovered an exception to due process and the burden of proof just when they want to savage a qualified conservative judge to protect their desired ideological mix on the Court! How stunning and depressing that the ACLU is willing to embrace such an exception, even when it is directly opposed to its mission and values.
Thus, tragically, we can add the ACLU to the growing group of organizations, officials and individuals corrupted by the Left’s furious, anything goes, the ends justify the means attack on Brett Kavanaugh. The last part of the previous post is an apt summary here:
America must have a dedicated defender of the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights that will not weigh what opinions are worthy of protecting. Now that the ACLU has made it clear that it doesn’t want the job, we had better find another one fast.