NEW YORK (AP) — The day after Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union posted a message to him on its website:”See you in court”
As president, Trump has not squared off against the ACLU in the witness stand, but the wider warning was borne out. As of this week, the ACLU has registered nearly 400 lawsuits and other legal activities against the Trump administration, some meeting setbacks but many resulting in important victories.
Among other successes for the ACLU, it prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case blocking the administration from placing a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Additionally, it spearheaded legal attempts that curtailed the policy of separating many migrant children from their parents.
“The assault on civil liberties and civil rights is greater under this administration than any other in modern history,” said the ACLU’s president, Anthony Romero. “It’s supposed we have been living with a three-alarm fire in every portion of our residence.”
Since the day Trump took office, the ACLU — according to some breakdown it supplied to The Associated Press — has registered 237 lawsuits against the administration and about 160 other legal activities, including Freedom of Information Act requests, integrity complaints and administrative complaints.
Of the lawsuits, 174 have dealt with immigrant rights, targeting the household separation policy, detention and deportation practices along with the government’s repeated attempts to create it tougher to seek asylum in the U.S.-Mexico border.
The other suits tackle an array of issues according to the ACLU’s agenda: voting rights, LGBT rights, racial justice and many others. In a single long-running circumstance, the ACLU succeeded in blocking the government’s policy of barring young immigrant women in government custody from getting abortions.
“Donald Trump has supplied a full employment program for ACLU lawyers on all our issues,” Romero said.
The White House, in response to the new tally of ACLU legal activities, said the company had become preoccupied with opposing Trump to the detriment of its historical mission.
“Rather than fighting for the most vulnerable and those seeking a voice, the ACLU has blatantly and fully integrated itself as part of the Democratic Party and the radical Left,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
To place the brand new tally in view, the ACLU says it filed 13 lawsuits and other legal actions against President George W. Bush’s government in his first term, mostly alleging encroachments on civil liberties linked to counter-terrorism policies.
Many of the ACLU’s recent suits remain unresolved. Of those which were determined, Romero stated, the ACLU has won a lot more frequently than it’s dropped, though a precise breakdown was inaccessible.
One of the setbacks, ACLU national legal director David Cole stated, among the most disappointing involved Trump’s attempts to ban foreign nationals from many predominantly Muslim nations . Lawsuits by the ACLU and its allies successfully blocked implementation of the first two versions of this ban, but the Supreme Court allowed a third version to enter effect in 2018.
With a similar 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court also permitted the execution of the Trump administration policy barring transgender individuals from enlisting in the army . Courts had supported efforts by other groups and the ACLU to scrap the ban.
Still another LGBT rights instance recently ended in a major victory for the ACLU and its allies when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in June that gays, lesbians and transgender people were protected from employment discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the ACLU’s clients, Aimee Stephens, was fired from her job at a Michigan funeral home since she was transgender; she died just a few weeks before the high court ruled in her favor.
There is no question the ACLU has caught the attention of Trump and his administration.
The Republican president, in an”Evangelicals for Trump” rally in January, derided the ACLU as a”set of beauties” who had filed a suit accusing public colleges in Smith County, Tennessee, of promoting Christian religious beliefs.
“We won’t allow faithful Americans to be bullied by the hard left,” Trump said.
In a May 2018 speech, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions assailed the ACLU to get a lawsu