HEAT ALERT

Pop-up storms expected through early Monday in CT. Some storms could be strong or severe

ACLU, for first time, elects Black woman as its president

Deborah Archer, a professor at New York University School of Law with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president.

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2021, 7:49 PM

Updated 1,236 days ago

Share:

ACLU, for first time, elects Black woman as its president
Deborah Archer, a professor at New York University School of Law with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president.
The ACLU announced Monday that Archer was elected over the weekend in a virtual meeting of the organization’s 69-member board of directors. She succeeds Susan Herman, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who had served as president since 2008.
As the ACLU’s eighth president since 1920, Archer will act as chair of its board of the directors, overseeing organizational matters and the setting of civil liberties policies. The fight against racial injustice is expected to be a top priority.
The ACLU’s day-to-day operations are managed by its executive director — a post currently held by Anthony Romero.
During former President Donald Trump’s four years in office, the ACLU filed an unprecedented 413 lawsuits and other legal actions against his administration, challenging policies related to immigrant rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, racial justice and other issues.
The campaign against Trump’s administration — promoted in a catchy “See You In Court” ad campaign — fueled huge increases in donations and membership. According to Romero, the ACLU national office and its state affiliates received about $175 million in donations in the three months after Trump’s election, helping to finance a major expansion of staff.
“The ACLU has proven itself as an invaluable voice in the fight for civil rights in the last four years of the Trump era, and we are better positioned than ever to face the work ahead,” Archer said.
Early in her career, after graduating from Yale Law School, she was a legal fellow at the ACLU in 1997-98. She has been a member of the ACLU’s board since 2009, and a general counsel and member of the board’s executive committee since 2017.
At NYU Law School, Archer is a professor of clinical law and director of its Civil Rights Clinic. She has served as chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates alleged police misconduct, and also was assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“There is no one better equipped, who best personifies or is more capable to helm the future battles for civil rights, civil liberties, and systemic equality than Deborah Archer,” Romero said.
Romero is hopeful that the newly installed administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be more attentive to the ACLU’s major concerns than the Trump administration was, but he expects daunting challenges ahead.
“President Trump may be gone but his toxic legacy on civil rights and civil liberties is still very much with us,” Romero said. “It will take years to clean up.”
“At the top of our agenda is the effort to redouble this nation’s longstanding but frayed commitment to civil rights and racial justice,” he added. “The country needs a president who will be transformational when it comes to these issues.”
Other ACLU priorities, Romero said, include voting rights, a rollback of the Trump administration’s get-tough immigration policies, and joining in efforts to thwart anti-abortion legislation surfacing in many Republican-governed states.


More from News 12
1:52
HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory continues in Connecticut; scattered afternoon thundershowers

HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory continues in Connecticut; scattered afternoon thundershowers

2:11
Doctors say exercising outside in hot weather can be dangerous

Doctors say exercising outside in hot weather can be dangerous

2:39
 DOT reaffirms commitment to keep roads safe following fallen tree incident on Route 15 that injured 2 in Orange

DOT reaffirms commitment to keep roads safe following fallen tree incident on Route 15 that injured 2 in Orange

2:20
Bridgeport woman rushes to aid of shooting victim; realizes it was her friend

Bridgeport woman rushes to aid of shooting victim; realizes it was her friend

1:59
Local car dealerships deal with impacts of massive cyberattack

Local car dealerships deal with impacts of massive cyberattack

0:53
Stew Leonard's in Norwalk unveils statue of founder

Stew Leonard's in Norwalk unveils statue of founder

1:43
Sen. Blumenthal pushes HEAT Act to prevent hot weather deaths

Sen. Blumenthal pushes HEAT Act to prevent hot weather deaths

1:04
DOT finalizes plans for Fairfield Ave. bridge replacement

DOT finalizes plans for Fairfield Ave. bridge replacement

0:23
Officials: Connecticut prison guard facing assault charges after allegedly hitting inmate

Officials: Connecticut prison guard facing assault charges after allegedly hitting inmate

2:32
Doctor: Critical shortage of primary care physicians in CT is a ‘public health emergency'

Doctor: Critical shortage of primary care physicians in CT is a ‘public health emergency'

0:42
Sen. Blumenthal urges Congress to pass HEAT Act

Sen. Blumenthal urges Congress to pass HEAT Act

0:38
The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

0:58
Bridgeport Pride Center celebrates grand opening

Bridgeport Pride Center celebrates grand opening

1:46
Fairfield celebrates International Make Music Day

Fairfield celebrates International Make Music Day

0:57
The Real Deal: Spending on gambling in Connecticut

The Real Deal: Spending on gambling in Connecticut

2:20
Bridgeport man says his AC was stolen from his window

Bridgeport man says his AC was stolen from his window

2:00
'You sweat just standing still.' Fans battle hot temps during 1st round of PGA Tour Travelers Championship in Cromwell

'You sweat just standing still.' Fans battle hot temps during 1st round of PGA Tour Travelers Championship in Cromwell

0:24
Stratford police mourn loss of officer Ken Kubel

Stratford police mourn loss of officer Ken Kubel

0:49
'The heat plays a really big part in what we do.'  Bridgeport FD conducts live burn training

'The heat plays a really big part in what we do.' Bridgeport FD conducts live burn training

2:03
‘Incredibly frustrating.’ New law will dramatically speed up wheelchair repairs

‘Incredibly frustrating.’ New law will dramatically speed up wheelchair repairs