The US Presidency and the American Civil Liberties Union

The US Presidency and the American Civil Liberties Union

In the past year, the American Civil Liberties Union has made headlines again and again, challenging many of the policies of the Trump Administration. While the ACLU has always challenged policies that it deemed unconstitutional, the organization’s relationship with the presidency has not always been as fraught with conflict.

Several letters contained in a folder labeled “ACLU Endorsements” that were recently digitized for the first time to be included in American Civil Liberties Union Papers, Part II: Southern Regional Office, document past presidents attitude toward the stated mission of the ACLU.

The letters below help provide a deeper understanding of the evolving relationship between the United States highest public office and the most prominent civil rights organization.

Harry Truman:

Dwight Eisenhower:

Lyndon Johnson:

John F. Kennedy:

All the documents seen here are sourced from the American Civil Liberties Union Records at the Seely G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton Library. This year they were digitized for the first time and are now available to students and researchers anywhere in the world in a fully searchable digital collection, American Civil Liberties Union Papers, Part II: Southern Regional Office.

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