This Article First Appeared In the Times Of India On April 30, 2023
Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined other civil society organisations in suing a US state that had banned abortion clinics. In the recent past, the ACLU has sued various US governments on issues ranging from the use of helicopters to monitor protests to social media surveillance of immigrants. ACLU uses over half of its substantial $200 million annual budget to fund litigation related to civil liberties.
Many Americans find organisations like the ACLU unnecessarily anti-establishment. But their very presence enriches the democratic process, leading to robust discussions about the country’s policies — in courts, in the media, and on the streets. They ask difficult questions, compel governments to provide answers, and —in the process — improve the quality of governance in the country.