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ACLU fighting for our fundamental rights

The syndicated story criticizing the ACLU’s request for documents relating to the federal government’s use of drones was grossly off-base (“ACLU has strayed far from its mission,” February 19, 2010.)

The ACLU has had a long history of ensuring government officials do not operate in the shadows and are subject to full accountability from the American people.

The right to know is perhaps one of the most fundamental rights granted under the Constitution. In order for democracy to function, the people must have unfettered access to information about government programs, policies and actions. Without consistent oversight from the people, there is a greater chance of corruption, wrongdoing or negligence.

In addition to advocating for full government transparency, the ACLU continues to address a variety of civil liberties issues in the courts, legislature and community.

Recently, the ACLU filed a legal brief in the Ohio Supreme Court arguing that cell phones cannot be randomly searched by police officers. The Court made a landmark ruling in the ACLU’s favor in late December 2009.

As the nation’s oldest civil liberties organization, the ACLU has long been on the forefront in the fight for fairness, privacy and accountability. While the nation, courts, and lawmakers may change over the years, the fundamental rights we defend do not.

Karyn Justice

Associate General Counsel

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio