On the night of October 18, 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were wrongfully arrested from their homes in the dead of the evening. The two were journalists who revealed that grand jury proceedings had been initiated to go after journalists for any notes on articles concerning Sherriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.
The two also announced that a jury had issued subpoenas which demanded that the identities of citizens who read New Times online stories concerning Joe Arpaio to be revealed. This was a move that endangered the safety and lives of hundreds of Maricopa County and which the two journalists sought to prevent by publishing the story. Sherriff Joe Arpaio arrested the two journalists for doing that story.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued Maricopa County for their detention by Sherriff Joe Arpaio which violated their first amendment rights. They eventually prevailed in the United States Court of Appeal for the ninth circuit winning a $3.75 million settlement.
Having experienced first-hand the violation of their fundamental rights and freedom, Lacey and Larkin used the settlement money to set up The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund goes to support groups that agitate for the civil, human and migrant rights. The fund also covers activists for civic participation and freedom of speech in Arizona.
The Lacey and Larkin foundation is one of the many civil liberties organizations that have been borne out of the need to stand up to abuses perpetrated by authorities. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was one of the earliest civil liberties unions founded from the World War 1. What started out with a few individuals between 1919 and 1920 has grown to incorporate more than 1.2 million members. Due to its vast scope of operations, the ACLU also has 300 attorneys in its staff and a thousand more volunteer attorneys.
The ACLU continues to fight for the rights of American citizens and defend the individual freedoms as outlined in the constitution. These privileges include that of speech, right to due process, women’s right to choose and the rights to privacy. The ACLU is also in the forefront of agitating for the rights of the minorities who have historically been discriminated against.
A lot of their efforts to date are still focused on championing for equality for black people, gay and transgender individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants and prisoners.
The ACLU, as a result, has over a century participated in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization. That fight continues to this day. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
The America Civil Liberties Union is a not-for-profit and also a non-partisan entity. The organization gets no funding from the government. They, however, get grants and contributions from foundations and individuals.
Payment of member dues and contributions mainly forms the source of funds that support ACLU activities. The ACLU has its headquarters in New York City and does its litigation throughout the United States. The cases are litigated to the highest court in the land; the U.S. Supreme Court.