In preparation for Donald Trump’s looming presidency, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently issued a statement and open letter to Trump warning that they will “see him in court” if the future president attempts to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises. Although the ACLU has successfully worked with numerous presidents from both parties to protect civil rights, the organization is currently amassing thousands of activists and litigators volunteering to remain vigilant against Trump’s potential policies.
“President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation’s highest office, we urge you to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero wrote in a statement this week. “These include your plan to amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants; ban the entry of Muslims into our country and aggressively surveil them; punish women for accessing abortion; reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture; and change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.”
Despite the fact that President Obama issued an executive order effectively discontinuing the use of torture during enhanced interrogations in 2009, Trump has advocated for reinstituting torture and could easily reverse Obama’s executive order. During the Fox Republican debate in March, Trump also defended torturing the families of suspected terrorists without due process.
“These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed,” Romero wrote in an open letter to Trump on Friday. “They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties.
“Many of our country’s most cherished rights are the result of ACLU litigation and advocacy,” Romero continued. “They include the Scopes trial (the right to teach evolution in public science classrooms) and the following Supreme Court cases: Korematsu (challenging Japanese American internment); Miranda (the right to remain silent); Griswold (the right to contraception); Loving (the right of interracial couples to marry); Gideon (the right to a court-appointed attorney if you can’t afford one); Windsor (striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act); and Obergefell (the right of same-sex couples to marry) and others.”
Founded in 1920, the ACLU has been defending the civil rights of individual Americans and groups for nearly 100 years. In addition to warning Trump this week, the ACLU is calling all supporters to sign an ACLU Action list designed to mobilize thousands of activists against the implementation of Trump’s unconstitutional campaign vows.
“One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency,” Romero cautioned Trump. “And when you leave the Oval Office, we will do the same with your successor as we have done throughout our nearly 100 years of existence. The Constitution and the rule of law are stronger than any one person, and we will see to that. We will never waver.”