chklt_crim_100: Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

The Bill of Rights protects us against suspicionless searches and seizures. It guarantees due process to individuals who are accused of crimes and humane treatment to those who are incarcerated. The ACLU works to ensure that our criminal justice system indeed is just.

chklt_cyber_100: Cyber-Liberties


The advance of technology presents both opportunities for and challenges to liberty. As new technologies are implemented, their impacts on civil liberties must be given consideration. The ACLU supports uses of technology that enhance privacy and freedom while opposing those that undermine liberty and move us closer to a surveillance society.

chklt_discrim_100: Discrimination


The ACLU-NJ fights racial inequalities and ethnic bias, from the most overt kinds of exclusion (in 2002, a teenager the ACLU-NJ represented was kept out of a swim club because of the color of her skin) to more subtle forms of discrimination (drug policies that in practice affect communities of color almost exclusively). We work to pass laws that protect all people from all backgrounds, and we work to help New Jersey's communities move beyond the legacy of racism. To see an overview of ACLU-NJ work on Women's Rights, download the ACLU-NJ fact sheet (300k PDF).

chklt_poverty_100: Poverty Rights

Economic Justice

Poor people are one of the least powerful groups in the United States and their civil liberties are therefore always in a precarious state. The ACLU has historically defended the rights of the poor against government arbitrariness and abuse. Today, that work continues in defending poor peoples' access to the courts, to effective counsel in criminal cases, to equal educational opportunities, and to public accommodations. We also work to undo serious flaws in the nation's welfare laws that undermine the privacy and dignity of low-income families.

chklt_vote_100: Elections & Voting

Elections & Voting

Voting is more than a civic duty — it's a vital part of a democratic society. When voting laws or practices thwart an individual's ability to vote, it weakens democracy. The ACLU-NJ protects the right to vote for everyone.

chklt_freesp_100: Free Speech & Expression

Free Speech & Expression

The right to express yourself regardless of the popularity your views is basic to a democratic society. Throughout its history, the ACLU has met challenges from officials who cite reasons old and new to restrict this right. We recognize that if one person can be silenced, all of us are at risk.

chklt_immi_100: Immigrant Rights

Immigrant Rights

The Constitution guarantees basic rights and freedoms to all people in America, not just U.S. citizens. Advocating fair treatment for non-citizens has been an important part of the ACLU's work since its founding in 1920, when it opposed the summary arrest and deportation of Eastern European immigrants during the Palmer Raids.

chklt_gay_100: Gay & Lesbian Rights

LGBT Rights

Every person deserves the same legal protections, no matter their sexual orientation, including the right to marry. The ACLU-NJ advocates for equality both in the text of the law and in practice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. To see an overview of ACLU-NJ work on Gay & Lesbian Rights, download the ACLU-NJ fact sheet (300k PDF).

chklt_natsec_100: National Security

National Security

In the name of national security, the government has created a comprehensive, unchecked information-sharing network that lacks accountability. Law enforcement agencies can now monitor, collect, and share individuals' phone calls, e-mails, and records without evidence of criminal activity.

chklt_opgov_100: Open Government

Open Government

Open government is a cornerstone of democracy that enables advocates, activists and the press to monitor government performance and expose corruption. Without transparency in government activities, the American people are vulnerable to deception and abuse by our leaders.

chklt_police_100: Police Practices

Police Practices

Police have the vital and difficult job of protecting public safety. Performing this job effectively does not require sacrificing civil liberties. All New Jersey police agencies from the state patrol to city police forces need to respect the rights of individuals while enforcing the law. And when allegations of misconduct arise, there must be policies and mechanisms to hold police accountable for their actions.

chklt_prison_100: Prisons


The population in American prisons and jails has tripled in the past 15 years with the predictable consequence that facilities are overcrowded; medical systems are overwhelmed; work, education, and treatment programs are inadequate; and idleness and stress lead to greater levels of violence. We have fought and continue to fight these conditions through successful litigation on behalf of prisoners.

chklt_privacy_100: Privacy


The Constitution protects our freedom from government intrusion into our personal space and our personal lives. Individuals, not government, determine the course of their lives. The ACLU-NJ protects that right by fighting in court and pushing for policies that ensure our privacy has protection, especially amid the new threats of the information age.

chklt_relig_100: Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

All Americans have the right to practice the religion of their choice or no religion at all, free from interference by or endorsement of the government. The ACLU works to safeguard individuals' rights to worship as they choose and to maintain the separation of religion and government as an essential bulwark of religious freedom.

chklt_repro_100: Reproductive Freedom

Reproductive Freedom

The Constitution protects the right of individuals to make decisions about whether and when to become a parent, including the right to choose abortion, free from government interference. The ACLU seeks to maintain this fundamental right and opposes efforts to erode it with government-imposed restrictions.

chklt_youth_100: Student & Youth Rights

Student & Youth Rights

The future of liberty relies on young people who will carry on the torch of civil rights. The ACLU-NJ defends students whose civil liberties have come under assault, but the ACLU-NJ also works with energetic young activists to foster the future of freedom.

chklt_add_100: Additional Issues

Additional Issues

The ACLU's mission is to preserve and defend civil liberties principles, most of which are found in the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the United States Constitution. With an ever changing government and society, these rights are implicated in many contemporary issues around parenting, housing, education, health care, criminal justice policy, disability rights, women's rights, HIV/AIDS, and more.

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