Ira Glasser: Would Today’s ACLU Defend the Speech Rights of Nazis?
In 1977, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) went to court to defend the rights of American Nazis to march through the streets of Skokie, Illinois, home to many Holocaust survivors. The ACLU defended the Nazi’s right to march and won the case on First Amendment grounds, but at a high cost: 30,000 members quit the organization in protest.
The Skokie case cemented the image of the ACLU as a principled, absolute defender of free speech. The following year, Ira Glasser would become the organization’s executive director, a position he would hold for the next 23 years while leading the charge against government regulation of content on the Internet, hate speech laws, speech codes on college campuses, and more. Now Glasser is the subject of a new documentary,
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