1977 July 20

ACLU Faults President Carter’s Civil Liberties Record During His First Six Months


On this day, the ACLU accused President Jimmy Carter of “a poor civil liberties record” during his first six months in office. It accused the president of failing to exercise leadership and stand up to Congressional threats to civil liberties. In the national security area, it continued, Carter had abandoned the critical positions he took as a candidate and no longer supported strong controls over the intelligence agencies. On the positive side, it praised his policies on amnesty for Vietnam War protesters, school desegregation, freedom of information, voter registration and human rights.

In retrospect, compared with Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who preceded him (1969–1977) and Ronald Reagan who followed him (1981–1989), President Carter’s record on civil liberties looks far better than this early ACLU report indicated.

On President Carter’s civil liberties record, read: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Obama to Wilson (2012)

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!