Jonetta Barras’ article on the ACLU was probably more balanced than most (largely because she allows Arthur Spitzer and William Lightfoot to state their case in their own eloquent way), but let’s not forget that the ACLU has never been the final arbiter of policy in any community.
Having lived a few years in authoritarian societies, I feel that many of my fellow citizens here in the U.S. are dangerously naive about the likelihood of “civil servants” refraining from abusing all the powers granted to them.
I’m an ardent supporter of the ACLU not because I want them to win every case they take on (I’m probably not far removed from Jamin Raskin in the proportion of ACLU positions I could enthusiastically favor), but because I count on the ACLU to force the body politic to think twice, thrice, or better yet six or 10 or 20 times before deciding to allow The Authorities to muscle in on our personal freedom.
Chevy Chase, Md.
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