Meet the ACLU of Nevada

ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is a nationwide organization that advocates for civil liberties and civil rights of all people in the United States. Civil liberties and civil rights are the basic rights guaranteed to all people by law and protect citizens from actions by government that are illegal under constitutional law.

The ACLU of Nevada is an affiliate of the national ACLU, and it was founded in 1966. It is the only organization in Nevada dedicated solely to protecting the Constitutional rights and liberties of every individual in the state.

The ACLU looks specifically to the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and the civil rights Amendments to determine what issues it works on. The ACLU of Nevada also looks to the Nevada Constitution.

The ACLU of Nevada supports expanding the rights of individuals with respect to the government, such as: 

Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution
Free Speech, Freedom of Assembly, Religious Freedom,
Right to Protest, Government-Funded Religion
Ballot Initiatives and Referenda 1st
Open Meetings and Public Records 1st
Gun Rights 2nd
Drug Law Reform, Criminal Justice Reform,
Juvenile Justice
4th, 5th & 6th
Privacy, Reproductive Rights 1st, 3rd, 4th & 14th
Capital Punishment, Prisoner’s Rights 8th
LGBT Rights, Racial Justice 14th
Immigrant’s Rights, Women’s Rights, Disability Rights,
Children’s Rights, Voting Rights
15th & 19th

The ACLU is supported by dues from members and donations from individuals. We do not receive any government funding.

The ACLU has 500,000 members nationwide. The ACLU of Nevada has roughly 2,000 members and donors. The ACLU of Nevada is a joint entity comprised of both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations.

The ACLU of Nevada has staffed offices in Reno and Las Vegas. Our resources are leveraged through relationships with contract and cooperating attorneys, as well as volunteers and a robust legal internship program. We are governed by a statewide Board of Directors.

Through lobbying on legislation and regulations, litigating, and educating the public, we work on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom.

We receive approximately 2,000 requests for legal help each year. Although we are unable to directly assist the vast majority, we do respond to each request with information and referrals that we hope will help. The ACLU is not a general legal aid agency and does not handle cases involving issues such as of bankruptcies, contracts, wills, estates, trusts, divorces, child-custody, criminal convictions, organized labor or employment, insurance, individual immigrations, real estate, taxes, traffic accidents, or arrests, unless there is a core constitutional law principle at issue.

On average, we have 10 active cases and are involved with 30 legal advocacy projects each year. Our cases address significant civil liberties or civil rights issues and have a broad potential impact. 

At the 2013 legislative session, the ACLU of Nevada supported 58 bills and opposed 43 bills. Of the bills we supported, the Legislature passed 36 and the governor signed 34. Only 14 bills that we ultimately opposed were signed into law.

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