American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
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|American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey|
|Parent organization||The American Civil Liberties Union|
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit civil rights organization in Newark, New Jersey and an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. According to the ACLU-NJ’s stated mission, the ACLU-NJ operates through litigation on behalf of individuals, lobbying in state and local legislatures, and community education.
The ACLU-NJ was founded on June 16, 1960 when North Jersey- and South Jersey-based ACLU members convened in Newark to officially form a statewide affiliate. In its first decade, the ACLU-NJ formed the Community Legal Action Workshop (CLAW) to advocate for inner-city victims of civil liberties violations in light of the Newark riots. Volunteer ACLU attorneys Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Annamay Sheppard, both of Rutgers School of Law—Newark at the time, argued the 1972 sex discrimination case of Abbe Seldin, who won her right to play tennis on the Teaneck High School men's team.
The Issues 
The ACLU-NJ typically intervenes in civil liberties issues relating to free speech, the separation of church and state, election and voting rights, open government, privacy law, LGBT rights, reproductive freedom, women’s rights, student rights, racial equality, police practices, prisoner rights, poverty rights, and immigrant rights.
In New Jersey, police practices receive frequent attention from the ACLU-NJ. In 1967, the ACLU-NJ sued the State Police in the aftermath of the Plainfield riots, when state troopers searched 66 homes without a warrant.
Newark Police 
The relationship between the ACLU-NJ and the Newark Police Department has been particularly fraught since the ACLU-NJ's creation. After the Newark riots in July 1967 resulted in 26 deaths, the ACLU-NJ intervened on the behalf of arrested individuals and taught the population of Newark to document police brutality. Later that year, the ACLU-NJ petitioned unsuccessfully for the federal courts to oversee the Newark Police Department. In September 2010, the ACLU-NJ filed a similar petition with the Department of Justice in response to recurring complaints of police brutality and abuse
Open Government 
The ACLU's New Jersey chapter has also made open government a priority. In 2009, the ACLU-NJ announced the Open Governance Project, an initiative dedicated to government transparency and ease of access to government meetings and documentation.
Notable Lawsuits 
In 1997, the ACLU-NJ took on the case of Jon Holden and Michael Galluccio, a gay couple fighting to adopt their 2 year old foster son. They won the case, and New Jersey consequently became the first state to grant equal standing to gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt.
Sally Frank 
The ACLU-NJ served as co-counsel to Sally Frank, a Princeton University student fighting for the acceptance of women into the all-male Eating Clubs on campus beginning in 1979. The clubs, though private organizations, were deemed public accommodations actively discriminating on the basis of gender. The legal battles concluded in 1992, with all Eating Clubs accepting women.
Yorker, et al. v. Township of Manalapan, et al. 
On Aug. 25, 2004, the ACLU-NJ filed Yorker, et al. v. Township of Manalapan, et al. in state court on behalf of three African American youths who were searched and subjected to discriminatory treatment by Manalapan police officers. The officers allegedly told the boys' three white friends that they could go home. Manalapan Township paid $275,000 to settle the lawsuit.
The ACLU-NJ operates on donations. In the 2009-2010 financial year, the ACLU-NJ reported 31% of income from contributions, 1% from bequests, 17% from dues, <1% from court awarded attorney fees, 10% from grants, 40% from investment income, and <1% from other income.
ACLU-NJ Vs. ACLU-NJ Foundation 
The ACLU-NJ consists of the "ACLU-NJ" and the "ACLU-NJ Foundation." The ACLU-NJ is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, which funds legislative lobbying. "Card-carrying" members belong to this organization, the gifts to which are non tax-deductible. Donations to the "ACLU-NJ Foundation," on the other hand, are tax-deductible because this branch operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, focusing on litigation and public education.
Deborah Jacobs assumed the role of Executive Director of the ACLU-NJ in 1999. She began her ACLU career in 1992 at the ACLU of Washington, where she directed legal intake and managed volunteers. She also served at the head of the state ACLU affiliate of Eastern Missouri in St. Louis. Under Jacobs' leadership, the ACLU-NJ has become one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the country, and has paid particular attention to advocacy for racial justice, police accountability and open government. Jacobs testifies regularly before the state legislature on topics including marriage equality, unjust sentencing, sensible drug law reforms, racial profiling, police accountability, barriers to open government, free speech, election laws and voting rights, and other issues affecting the rights of people in the state. Jacobs has written opinion pieces for The Star-Ledger, The Bergen Record, The Trenton Times, The Press of Atlantic City, The Huffington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Newspapers, radio, and television reporters — including The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, and USA Today — regularly ask Jacobs for her take on the major civil liberties matters of the day. Jacobs holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. In 1990, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to study in Helsinki, Finland.
Legal Director 
Ed Barocas has served as Legal Director for the ACLU-NJ since May 2001, overseeing the ACLU-NJ's legal program, and managing a docket of over 30 cases. Ed served for six years as Special Counsel for the Special Hearings Unit of the Office of Public Defender in Newark, where he represented convicted sex offenders in tier classification and notification hearings and litigated class-action suits challenging the constitutionality of Megan's Law. He managed the Unit's largest office, covering six NJ counties. He also taught a course at Rutgers Law School. Prior to serving as Special Counsel, Ed was an Assistant Deputy Public Advocate for the Division of Mental Health Advocacy in Wall, NJ, where he advocated for the rights of the mentally ill on individual and hospital-wide bases. He negotiated reform of adolescent behavioral programs and proposed a policy for community placements and for the closure of a psychiatric hospital, which was presented by the Protection and Advocacy Advisory Council to Governor Whitman and was later adopted. Ed also has copyrights for over 40 comedy and political parody songs. He has performed with members of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and has an album scheduled for release in the Spring of 2010. Ed attended Rutgers College in New Brunswick and received his Juris Doctorate in May 1992 from the National Law Center at George Washington University.
- "ACLU of New Jersey: About Us." Accessed September 3, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/aboutus
- Markos, Kibret. "Making legal history, and a few enemies ", Nov 1, 2010. Accessed Mar 2, 2011 The Record (Bergen County)
- "Our Fight for Civil Liberties: Past, Present, and Future." Accessed September 3, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/Next50.pdf
- "Closed Case Archive." Accessed September 17, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/theissues/closedcasearchive/
- Johnson, Thomas A. "TROOPERS SEARCH PLAINFIELD HOMES FOR STOLEN GUNS; But House-to-House Hunt Is Ended After Negroes Complain of Damage SOME WEAPONS FOUND Heavily Armed Troopers Act Without Warrants Under Proclamation by Hughes Homes in Plainfield Searched For Stolen Guns by Troopers." July 20, 1967. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60C1FF8355812718DDDA90A94DF405B878AF1D3&scp=1&sq=plainfield+new+jersey+aclu+1967&st=p
- Herman, Max. "Ethnic Succession and Urban Unrest in Newark and Detroit During the Summer of 1967." http://www.cornwall.rutgers.edu/images/stories/pdf/Herman-July_2002-Report.pdf
- "ACLU-NJ: Our Fight for Civil Liberties." http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/Next50.pdf
- Jacobs, Deborah. "A Petition for Justice in the Newark Police." The Huffington Post. Sept 9, 2010. Nov 16, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-jacobs/a-petition-for-justice-in_b_710554.html.
- "In the Matter of a Petition for an Investigation into the Newark, New Jersey Police Department by the United States Department of Justice Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141." Nov 15, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/090910NPDUSDOJPEtition.pdf
- ACLU-NJ: Our Fight for Civil Liberties. http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/Next50.pdf
- Friedman, Alexi. "Civil liberties group ACLU marks 50 years of fighting for rights in New Jersey." The Star Ledger. June 13, 2010. Nov. 16, 2010. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/06/nj_aclu_to_celebrate_50th_anni.html
- Taub, Nadine. "Nadine Taub Collection of Sally Frank Court Documents, 1879-1992 (bulk 1979-1992): Finding Aid." January 12, 2009. November 23, 2010. http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead/getEad?eadid=AC194&kw=
- Cocuzzo, Kenneth. "Town pays $275,000 to settle discrimination lawsuit." The Star Ledger. March 29, 2007. November 23, 2010. http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/2007/03/town_pays_275000_to_settle_dis.html
- "Financial Report: ACLU-NJ Operating Income and Expenses 2009-2010. ACLU-NJ 2010 Annual Report.
- "ACLU of New Jersey: About Us." Accessed December 7, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/aboutus
- "ACLU-NJ Board of Trustees." Accessed December 10, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/aboutus/boardoftrustees/
- The ACLU-NJ: "Deborah Jacobs." http://www.aclu-nj.org/aboutus/leadership/deborahjacobs.htm.
- The ACLU-NJ: "Ed Barocas." Accessed November 23, 2010. http://www.aclu-nj.org/aboutus/leadership/edwardbarocas.htm