What We Do & Why

What we do

The ACLU-DE will take any legitimate action to defend basic rights and freedoms.  We do not consider political views when determining which cases to defend. Our most urgent work is to defend:

  • Your First Amendment rights — freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press; and freedom of religion.
  • Your right to equal protection under the law —equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
  • Your right to privacy — freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

We also work to extend rights to people who have traditionally been denied their rights: people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender individuals; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; and people with disabilities.

Why we do it

Rich or poor; straight or gay; black, white, or brown; urban or rural; pious or atheist; American-born or foreign-born; able-bodied or living with a disability; every person in this country has the same basic rights.  Those rights must be respected and upheld.

Our Programs 

1. Litigation & Legal Advocacy to establish case law and policy precedents that protect or expand civil liberties in Delaware. We receive many complaints every month about alleged violations to the rights and liberties of people throughout the state.

The ACLU-DE legal director, with the help of the legal panel, reviews these complaints and chooses a limited number of new cases each year that will advance constitutional rights. ACLU cooperating attorneys contribute their time and talent further extending the impact of our legal work.

2. Media Outreach, Public Education & Community Organizing to promote awareness of the Bill of Rights and empower the community to stand against unconstitutional policies and practices.  We cover a wide range of civil liberties issues on radio and TV, and in newspapers, online news reports and blogs. We hold public education events to highlight urgent issues. Our website offers resources and advocacy tools for everyone who works to protect freedom.

3. Legislative Advocacy & Lobbying to promote state laws  that strengthen constitutional rights and to defeat bills that threaten civil liberties. We maintain a strong presence at Legislative Hall in Dover to directly influence proposed bills with civil liberties implications each legislative session through lobbying, coalition building and grassroots organizing efforts.