Politics

ACLU Has Filed 400 Lawsuits Against Trump Administration

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed nearly 400 lawsuits and other forms of legal action against the Trump administration, according to a breakdown from the organization.

The day after President Donald Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, the ACLU called his campaign promises “unconstitutional” in a tweet and added that the civil rights organization would “see him in court” if he implemented his agenda.

Since Trump took office, the ACLU has filed 237 lawsuits against the administration along with 160 other forms of legal action, the Associated Press reported. These include Freedom of Information Act requests, ethics complaints and administrative complaints.

The ACLU filed on 13 lawsuits and other legal actions against President George W. Bush by comparison, mostly over civil liberties and counter-terrorism policies, according to the Associated Press.

174 lawsuits have dealt with immigrant policy and the Trump administration’s rules on migrant detention and deportation proceedings. (RELATED: Judge Tosses Out ACLU’s Attempt To Stop A County From Cooperating With ICE)

The ACLU sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year demanding the agency release “at risk” detainees amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ACLU filed a lawsuit last year to block a Trump administration policy that would fast-track deportation proceedings.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: New York Attorney General Letitia James (C), New York Census Director Julie Menin (R) and ACLU's Director of the Voting Project Dale Ho (L) answer questions outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in the Commerce vs. New York case April 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. The case highlights a question about U.S. citizenship included by the Trump administration in the proposed 2020 U.S. census. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

New York Attorney General Letitia James (C), New York Census Director Julie Menin (R) and ACLU’s Director of the Voting Project Dale Ho (L) answer questions outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The group has also sued the Trump administration over its “zero tolerance” policy and demanded that the federal government pay damages to detained migrant families. The Supreme Court tossed out an ACLU lawsuit July 31 and ruled the Trump administration could use Pentagon funds to build the southern border wall.

Many of the ACLU’s lawsuits against the Trump administration are currently unresolved but the organization’s record is mixed with victories and defeats.

The Supreme Court handed the ACLU a victory when it ruled in June that LGBT people were protected from employment discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Other ACLU lawsuits were struck down by the Supreme Court, which upheld Trump’s travel ban and a policy barring transgender people from enlisting in the military.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told the Associated Press the organization’s national office and state affiliates received around $175 million in donations in between Trump’s election and inauguration. (RELATED: The ACLU Says Millions Of Americans Don’t Have Government Photo ID)

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Honoree, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Anthony D. Romero speaks on stage during VH1 Trailblazer Honors 2018 at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for VH1 Trailblazer Honors)

Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Anthony D. Romero speaks on stage during VH1 Trailblazer Honors 2018 (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for VH1 Trailblazer Honors)

He added that the ACLU had nearly doubled its headquarters staff since November 2016 from 386 to 605 people. The group now has 122 attorneys compared to 84 prior to Trump’s election.

“Donald Trump has provided a full employment program for ACLU lawyers on all of our issues,” Romero said.