ACLU's Triumphs, Failures Over the Years

The American Civil Liberties Union's membership has surged since the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and enactment of the government's tough new anti-terrorism measures. Some of the group's successes and failures since its founding in 1920:

—1920: Roger Baldwin and others opposed to World War I establish the ACLU to help release other anti-war protesters still in prison and to oppose a crackdown against anarchists.

—1925: The ACLU is a friend of the court in the trial of John T. Scopes, the teacher who ignored Tennessee laws against the teaching of evolution; Scopes is convicted, but the case helps roll back Bible-based teaching in public schools.

—1920s-1930s: A series of successful challenges against the banning of ``obscene'' books, including James Joyce ``Ulysses.''

—1938: Wins the right of children of Jehovah's Witnesses not to salute the American flag in schools.

—1944: Its campaign to end the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II ends with the Supreme Court upholding the internment.

—1950s: In a series of suits, successfully challenges anti-communist ``loyalty oaths'' in government and business.

—1960s: A series of court decisions wins the right of indigent defendants to counsel and the barring of evidence obtained in illegal searches.

—1978: Successfully defends the right of Nazis to march in Skokie, Il., a Chicago suburb with a heavy presence of Holocaust survivors.

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