1988 September 22

Attorney General Richard Thornburgh Attacks ACLU for “Political Agenda”


Richard Thornburgh, attorney general under President Ronald Reagan at the time, claimed on this day that he quit the ACLU in 1969 over its policies, which he said represented a “political agenda.” The person who hosted the dinner where he made this claim, however, recalled him saying the reason was because he was accepting a government post. The issue arose because Republican Party Presidential Candidate George H. W. Bush, on August 26, 1988, attacked his Democratic Party opponent Michael Dukakis for being a “card-carrying member” of the ACLU.

Learn more about the ACLU and its policies: https://www.aclu.org/

Learn more about civil liberties and the Reagan administration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDIGkT3jRj0

Learn more about the history of the ACLU: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

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