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The A.C.L.U. vs. Trump: 170 Legal Actions (So Far)

The New York Times: “A lawsuit filed on behalf of families separated at the U.S. border was just the latest defiance against the Trump administration by the civil-liberties group…

On Nov. 9, 2016, millions of voters woke desperate for something that might quell their anxiety that this was the beginning of the end of democracy in America. Overwhelmingly, the place they turned to was the A.C.L.U. Before the election, the A.C.L.U. was largely associated with either free-speech purism (the defense of Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill., in 1977) or leftist subversion of the American government (George Bush famously calling Michael Dukakis a “card-carrying member,” not so subtly equating support of the A.C.L.U. with communist sympathy, during the 1988 presidential campaign). Slightly less cartoonishly, the group has long been seen by those who are vaguely aware of its work as a collective of well-intentioned defenders of the Constitution, running their cases year after year and sending out newsletters to a membership made up largely of aging former hippies. In the 15 months that followed the election, the A.C.L.U.’s membership went from 400,000 to 1.84 million. Online donations in the years before averaged between $3 and $5 million annually. Since then, it has raised just shy of $120 million. “Until Trump,” Romero told me, “most of our support came from people who have been with us since we challenged Nixon. Now we’re kind of cool. Cool’s not a word generally associated with us.”

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