According to the NYT, I'm sad to report that the lackluster economy has placed the ACLU in financial trouble:
A longtime anonymous donor to the American Civil Liberties Union has withdrawn his annual gift of more than $20 million, punching a 25 percent hole in its annual operating budget and forcing cutbacks in operations.
ACLU executive director Anthony Romero reported that even though other large donors have stepped in to help, "we may still not have sufficient resources to replace our revenue gap. Therefore we will need to consider a number of budget reductions as well as the possibility of drawing down from our reserve funds if necessary."
If you are able to, please consider donating to the ACLU. Cutbacks in their work would have been disastrous under the worst of administrations; such a situation would be dangerous even under the best. As noted by Glenn Greenwald, "It is not hyperbole to say that, over the past decade, there has been no organization more important to the United States, the Constitution, and basic political liberties than the ACLU:"
From the start of the Bush/Cheney assault on core civil liberties -- when most organizations and individuals were petrified of opposing any efforts justified by "terrorism" -- the ACLU was one of a small handful of groups which defied that climate of fear by vigorously and fearlessly opposing those erosions. Along with that same small handful of civil liberties and human rights groups, the ACLU since then has been at the center of virtually every fight against government incursions into basic rights. They defend core Constitutional principles regardless of party or ideology, and they continue to lead this fight even now that Bush is gone from office.