Research & Publications

Access in-depth resources and analysis published by the ACLU regarding our most pressing civil liberties issues.


ACLU 2023 Annual Report

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Annual Report

ACLU 2022 Annual Report

The ACLU’s 2022 annual report shares how the organization fought back against this year’s deluge of attempts to undermine democracy and strip away bodily autonomy. Highlighting litigation, advocacy, and grassroots efforts, the report breaks down the ACLU’s work to protect and advance voting rights, reproductive rights, free speech, transgender justice, and more. From filing nine lawsuits to halt state abortion bans after the reversal of Roe v. Wade to fighting for students’ right to learn free from censorship, the work outlined is a testament to the power and resolve of the ACLU across the country. There are also stories of ACLU clients, activists, and donors who are helping fuel this fight.

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Note: The “Protecting Protesters” section on page 10 was corrected on December 13, 2022.

Research & Analysis

‘If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit’: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System

‘If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit’: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System, an ACLU research report produced in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, documents the child welfare’s system’s disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous families and people living in poverty. Based on comprehensive research, including interviews with caregivers, staff, and experts; policy analysis; and new analysis of government data, this report details how conditions of poverty, such as a family’s struggle to pay rent or maintain housing, are misconstrued as neglect, and interpreted as evidence of an inability and lack of fitness to parent. The research found that child welfare systems too often charge parents of neglect and take away their children instead of providing support to keep families together. In addition to socioeconomic disparities, the report documents racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare system involvement. Black and Indigenous families disproportionately face intrusive child welfare interventions, including investigations and unjust removal of their children. This research not only provides a national perspective, but also includes select data points for each state and a deep dive into California, New York, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The report concludes with concrete recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers and stakeholders to take immediate measures to reduce the harmful impact of child welfare interventions, and to strengthen and support families and communities to prevent child maltreatment, without subjecting them to surveillance and regulation.

Author: Hina Naveed (@HinaEsq)

Press Coverage: ShiaWaves | The Imprint | Jurist | Al Dia News

Article/Blogs Written By Author: “Commentary: The Child Welfare System Needs An Overhaul” – Human Rights Watch

Related Advocacy/Litigation: “New York Committee to Investigate State’s Child Welfare System” | UN Calls for US Action to Address Racial Injustice in Child Welfare System

Research & Analysis

ACLU 2021 Annual Report

The ACLU’s 2021 annual report shares how the organization fought back against this year’s barrage of state legislation aimed at suppressing the vote, banning abortion, restricting transgender rights, and more. The report celebrates major victories, including the ACLU’s Supreme Court win protecting the free speech rights of 50 million public school students, and reflects on key moments throughout the organization’s history, such as Tinker v. Des Moines—the landmark student speech case that set the precedent for this year’s win. There are also inspiring stories of families within the ACLU community who are empowering the next generation of activists.

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Research & Analysis

ACLU Annual Report 2020

The ACLU’s 2020 Annual Report provides highlights of the organization’s litigation and advocacy work as it responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic across civil liberties issues, demanded justice for Black lives in the wake of an epidemic of police violence, and fought tirelessly to safeguard access to the ballot in the critical 2020 elections. The report also includes a reflection on the ACLU’s first century as it celebrates its centennial year, alongside a tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project in 1972.

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Issue Areas: Civil Liberties

Research & Analysis

Racial Justice Demands That Every Vote Is Counted

Anticipating the unprecedented surge in absentee ballots in this election, the ACLU Analytics team generated estimates of absentee voting volume by race and candidate support by vote-method in every county in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The team combined data gathered by a nationwide representative tracking survey conducted by YouGov with turnout modeling based on updated in-cycle ballot data to construct estimates through statistical modeling.

Our findings identify which counties potentially face the largest racial representation gap — that is, if the absentee ballot count is not completed, they will cause the biggest disenfranchisement of voters of color. What happens in these counties may well change the course and outcome of the election.

Issue Areas: Voting Rights

ACLU Magazine

Published twice a year, ACLU Magazine shares updates on the ACLU’s critical litigation and advocacy work across the country and tells the stories of the activists, attorneys, and clients at the heart of each case and campaign. To receive ACLU Magazine by mail, become a monthly donor today.

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