The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 At the time that US Supreme Court had never upheld any free speech claims. People who had disbursed anti-war pamphlets were being put in prison and states sanctioned the mistreatment, even murder, of African-American citizens.
The ACLU was founded so that people who were being their rights as outlined the Bill of Rights would receive the backing of attorneys in their fight against this type of injustice. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/new-times-founders-helping-fund-latino-program-at-asu-journalism-school-6661821
Today there are ACLU chapters in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. There are over 2 million members supporting the organization. They have achieved a lot of good over the years. People who are LGBT are now a protected class when it comes to discrimination, for example, due to the ACLU.
Because they defend the rights of everyone in the United States they will defend the free speech rights those in the Ku Klux Klan, for example. It’s said that they don’t defend people like this because they agree with them but because every American has the right to freely express themselves and join any group they choose.
In addition to filing lawsuits against government entities when appropriate the ACLU also lobbies Congress on behalf of the rights of U.S. citizens. They push for the passage of bills that either advance civil liberties or to protect ones that are already a part of the law. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
The leadership of the ACLU says that society can’t just depend on courts because politics as well as public opinion matter just as much as what happens in a courtroom.
In Arizona there is another organization that supports the rights of citizens as well as migrants. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund was established as a result of a lawsuit that was won by two journalists. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had their rights violated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.
They successfully sued the county resulting in their getting a $3.75 million settlement. They used this money to create the Frontera Fund which is dedicated to supporting civil rights, in particular those of Hispanics in that state.
The Frontera Fund has provided money to many nonprofits in Arizona. Among these are the American Immigration Council, Aliento, The Colibri Center for Human Rights, and Justice that Works.
Much like the ACLU, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey believe that everyone has fundamental rights that need to be defended.