ACLU Nebraska Mission Statement
ACLU Nebraska, an organization with a diverse membership, is committed to the protection of civil liberties of all persons. These liberties include those rights secured by the Constitutions of the Unites States and the State of Nebraska.
Individual rights are central to the organizing principles of our nation. Protection of these rights takes priority over government efficiency and the will of the majority.
ACLU Nebraska works through its legal, legislative, and public education programs to protect and promote civil liberties throughout the State of the Nebraska.
- FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Government may not censor speech, press, or other modes of expression. (1st Amendment)
- RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: Government may not infringe on people’s beliefs and activities, either directly (by restricting the free exercise of religion), or indirectly (by promoting its own religious preferences). (1st Amendment)
- RIGHT TO PRIVACY: Government may not search one’s home, body, or possessions without meeting strict standards of "probable cause." (4th Amendment) Also, government may not intrude into personal and family issues such as marriage, sexuality, childbearing, education, birth control, abortion, etc. (General principle underlying 4th, 14th, and several other amendments and recognized by the Supreme Court since the 1920’s)
- DUE PROCESS OF LAW: Persons accused of crimes have the right to a prompt and fair trial. (5th, 6th, and 7th Amendments)
- APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENT: Persons convicted of crimes may be punished, but punishments may not be excessive, cruel or unusual. (8th Amendment)
- EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW: Government may not discriminate on the basis of mere prejudices. People have a right to equal treatment regardless of their beliefs, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. (14th Amendment and civil rights laws)
- CENTRALITY OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS: Individual rights are central to the American way of life and must be respected even when they compromise governmental efficiency or are contrary to the will of the majority. Our government is one of limited powers and legislators should oppose laws that unnecessarily compromise the fundamental rights of individuals. Courts may and should strike down laws that violate people’s constitutional rights. (9th Amendment, constitutional theory, intent of the framers and a long history of judicial decisions)