Daily Source Bias Check: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Left Center BiasLEFT-CENTER BIAS

These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias.  They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes.  These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.

  • Overall, we rate the ACLU Left-Center biased based on supporting left leaning positions. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a few failed fact checks.

Detailed Report

Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180


Founded in 1920, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonpartisan, non-profit, organization  whose stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” It works through litigation, lobbying, and community empowerment.

Funded by / Ownership

The ACLU is a 501(c)4 non-profit corporation and is funded through donations.

Analysis / Bias

The ACLU in their blog section and even news section often cite to places like the Huffington Post for news articles but sometimes they will use basic reporting like AP or Reuters. Beyond their news and blog posts most of the site covers issues that are often considered more liberal causes but most often it is consistent with their stance on the rights they champion. The ACLU has defended the KKK, Pro Abortion, and Neo-Nazi’s right to assemble and protest (1 2 3).  They will often be accused of being left biased as they do not advocate for gun rights, however they equally do not champion gun regulations either.  A quick search for Gun Rights or even Guns will yield no results or results only related to search and seizure cases they have taken on.  They do not agree on the individuals rights to own firearms but do not advocate on their beliefs.  They have teamed up with the NRA several times in a sort of odd fellowship (4). Their Blog & News feed’s can often be filled with more left leaning stances, but they are not biased in their case work load or defending the rights they advocate for. There have been times Justice Scalia the most outspoken and most conservative justice at the time had ideas that line up with the ACLU (5). Most modern conservatives may often take issue with much of what the ACLU advocates and litigates in courts. However, the ACLU has defended religious freedoms in the school as well. Including the right to pray in school (6). I would try to advocate that the ACLU is more neutral than left, but with the major shift in American politics to the right, I can no longer advocate that stance.

A factual search reveals a few failed fact checks.

  • “When the country was founded, Congress had exactly the same attitude about the sanctity of Christmas celebrations that a 7-Eleven does today: ‘Yeah, we’re open.'” – Pants on Fire
  • Voter identification laws make it complicated and expensive to get an ID, essentially instituting a modern-day poll tax. – Mostly False
  • “Half the states in the U.S. have laws that criminalize criticism.” – Mostly False

Overall, we rate the ACLU Left-Center biased based on supporting left leaning positions. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a few failed fact checks. (M. Allen 2/9/2017) Updated (3/4/2019)

Source: https://www.aclu.org/


Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources

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