The organization was founded in 1959 and has been successful in challenging unconstitutional laws that were discriminatory against minorities in the state. One of its victories was in 1960 when it overturned a law, which made multi-racial marriages illegal.
Besides that, they managed to win the famous Ernesto Miranda case. This is what led to the rise of the Miranda warning, which police have to read suspects before interrogating them.
In 2013, they helped to get a conservative federal judge to rule that Sheriff Joe Arpaio was engaging in racial profiling in traffic stops against Latinos. The ruling ordered Judge Arpaio to stop enforcing immigration and directed that a court monitor gets embedded in the office to eliminate unconstitutional racial profiling.
The ACLU of Arizona has also been working to defend immigrants. It won a court case, which struck down a law in the state that said immigrants could not get bail. They also managed to destroy another law in the state that made it mandatory for all law enforcers to enforce immigration.
Right now, the ACLU of Arizona has a case, which is challenging an executive order that denies driving licenses to immigrants allowed to stay in the US legally. Besides that, it is also working on a case to thwart a law that makes working with fake documents a deportable offense.
The ACLU of Arizona has corroborated with that of San Diego to launch an office in Tucson. The project will focus on immigrant litigation. The project was initiated out of a desire to prevent constitutional violations along the border.
About the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were the victims of Joe Arpaio’s illegal arrest. They went to court and successfully sued the sheriff’s office for a lot of money. The two, who are also co-founders of Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times, decided to dedicate the settlement money they got to fund organizations dedicated to fighting for the rights of Migrants in Arizona.
The settlement was $3.75 million. This is an amount, which was awarded to them after an unlawful arrest in October of 2007. Joe Arpaio, who was the Maricopa County sheriff at the time, conducted the arrest. The arrest was done in the middle of the night while the two were in their homes.
They were arrested after it was revealed that there were grand jury proceedings, which wanted to gain access to reporters’ notes. Specifically, the proceedings sought access to notes that touched on the Sheriff.
Besides that, the subpoenas wanted to gain access to the names and addresses of those who read articles published by the New Times online concerning the sheriff. After the arrest, the two decided that they would sue the county.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had spent their careers defending the First Amendment rights, and this was a clear opportunity to challenge the violation of those rights in court. It was not an easy case, and they only managed to get justice at the ninth circuit US Court of Appeals.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund will be dedicated to the groups, which support migrant, human, and civil rights. Besides that, any organization, which is involved in advocating for the right to free speech and civic participation in the state of Arizona up to and including the border with Mexico, will also benefit from these funds.