CHANGE OF HEART

Memo: ACLU Will Weigh ‘Effect on Marginalized Communities’ in Free-Speech Cases

The American Civil Liberties Union will now consider a free-speech case’s “effect on marginalized communities” when deciding if it will take it on, according to an internal memo leaked to Reason magazine. “Defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed,” the memo states. It also said the organization will not defend the speech of people who are intending to carry weapons. Authors said the memo, titled “ACLU Case Selection Guidelines: Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities,” is a guideline and is not a formal policy change, Reason reports. Previously, the ACLU has defended the free speech of people with white-supremacist views, including, famously, neo-Nazis who wanted to march through an Illinois town that is home to many Holocaust survivors.