The ACLU reminds me of an old political cartoon of President Clinton watching the sunset out the window of the Oval Office. An aide standing nearby said, “Beautiful sunset, Mr. President” to which Clinton replied, “Thank you.”
In their 2013 Arkansas State Legislative Review, the ACLU took a lot of credit. They took credit for the defeat of bills that they had little or nothing to do with. According to them, their “high profile work to defeat reproductive health legislation” resulted in the defeat of pro-life bills by Sen. David Sanders and Sen. Missy Irvin. They went on to say that “pressure” on Sanders and Irvin kept these bills from running.
What pressure? What high profile lobbying efforts? I worked with Sen. Sanders on SB1157 and with Sen. Irvin on SB913. These bills did not run because we were one vote short of the five votes required to pass these bills out of the Senate Public Health Committee. This had nothing to do with any high profile lobbying by the ACLU or pressure on Sanders and Irvin. The ACLU is probably the last group these lawmakers would be afraid of.
In addition, they took credit for the defeat of our Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They failed to mention that the Municipal League and the Department of Human Services were the ones who led the charge. The ACLU just piled on at the end and claimed victory. That was bad enough, but they also claimed that passage of this Religious Freedom law would have allowed hotel owners to refuse to rent rooms to mixed race couples. I guess the attorneys at the ACLU must not be familiar with the federal Civil Rights Laws passed to prevent that sort of thing.
So goes the alternate universe of the ACLU. You can read all about it on their website.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.