The American Civil Rights Union
American Civil Rights Union
Founded in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) describes itself as a true civil rights organization, devoted to maintaining all rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. It differentiates itself from the ACLU, which it attacks for selectively supporting the Bill of Rights. They have criticized the ACLU for supporting gun control, opposing the death penalty and supporting affirmative action and diversity programs. Their offices are in Alexandria, Virginia. For work on issues such as affirmative action, they claim to have campus chapters.
Several prominent Conservatives are represented on the policy board of the ACRU, including Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, Harvard Professor James Q. Wilson, and Bush Secretary of Labor nominee Linda Chavez.
The ACRU does not litigate, but does file amicus briefs and "refers cases to conservative organizations like the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and the Landmark Legal Foundation."
The issues of concern to the ACRU are property rights, freedom of religion (they oppose restrictions on religious speech in public venues), equality under the law (specifically in terms of opposition to diversity programs and affirmative action), the right to bear arms, and individual liberty and federalism.
In their amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case involving McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, ACRU's policy board said setting variable contribution limits for senatorial candidates who face wealthy self-financed opponents violates the Constitution.
The ACRU also runs an "ACLU Watch" web page, where it analyzes recent Supreme Court decisions related to civil rights. In many of these cases the ACLU and ACRU have filed briefs on opposing sides.
The ACRU organized the Scouting Legal Defense Fund, to oppose the right of homosexuals to join the Boy Scouts. They also monitor United Way charities that have decreased or discontinued support to Boy Scout groups.