Thursday, July 08, 2010

The ACLU's Andrea Guerrero speaks in La Mesa

See ACLU lawsuit to stop Los Angeles Unified School District from laying off large percentages of staff at schools with inordinately large numbers of new teachers: Lawsuit: Layoffs hurt minority kids

See also: Judge to LAUSD: No Layoffs at Gompers, Liechty and Markam This Year

See all ACLU posts.
See all David Blair-Loy posts.

Last night ACLU speaker Andrea Guerrero told La Mesa Democrats, "We defend you whether you are of our political liking or not." The fact is that it's impossible for a large organization to function--and even harder for it to get funding--without some horsetrading. Of course the ACLU plays politics; it just does it in a more restrained manner than most organizations.

There have been times when the ACLU has defended people with whom it disagreed. An example of this was when Oliver North testified before Congress about shenanigans in the Reagan administration such as selling missiles to Iran to get secret money to quash the uprising in El Salvador. (Now there's an example of some heavy-duty horsetrading: selling missiles to Iran!?! I don't recall the ACLU ever sacrificing its principles to that extent.) The ACLU insisted that the government couldn't use anything Oliver North said before Congress in its criminal case against him. A huge firewall was instituted between prosecutors and the congressional hearings.

Ms. Guerrero indicated that the new Arizona law ordering local police to act as immigration agents is unconstitutional because only the federal government is authorized to deal with such matters. This is the reason that California's Proposition 187 was enjoined several years ago.

Andrea Guerrero is the Field & Policy Director of the ACLU in San Diego & Imperial Counties.


Anonymous said...

So what are your examples of the ACLU's horse-trading? I know people like to demonize the organization, but from where I stand, it seems to always uphold the rights and freedoms our Constitution and Bill of Rights bestow.

Rizwan ali said...

I really appreciate san Diego Education Report blog nice posting thanks for sharing

Maura Larkins said...

Dear Anonymous:
Admitting that someone has a flaw is a far cry from demonizing them. In fact, I believe that the San Diego office of the ACLU is different from the Los Angeles office. I am in awe of the ACLU of Southern California for filing this terrific lawsuit. I don't think that the San Diego office would file such a lawsuit; it might offend school attorney Dan Shinoff, with whom ACLU head counsel David Blair-Loy has a remarkably cordial relationship. (Blair-Loy actually got an award from the San Diego Bar Association, and it wasn't for fighting his principles. It was for being "highly civil" to opposing counsel.) Another reason that San Diego's ACLU might be loath to file such a lawsuit is its relationship with the teachers union. When you're putting a lot of effort into cultivating friendships with people who are not interested in the constitution, or are actively opposed to some of its provisions, you're probably sabotaging your own ability to defend the constitution.