When the American Civil Liberties Union arrived in South Carolina in 1968, it tackled a very different set of cases from the legal battles it is waging today.
The state’s ACLU chapter is marking its 50th year by reflecting on its past work, including fights that set important precedents on freedom of religion, freedom of speech and sexual discrimination.
But its anniversary also finds the organization taking stock and looking ahead to different sorts of battles, grassroots fights that increasingly have to do with economic and social justice.
ACLU of S.C. Executive Director Shaundra Scott said she expects future cases to focus on racial and youth justice, immigrants’ rights and criminal justice — the kinds of cases the national ACLU has pursued for a while.
“The mission of the ACLU — especially the ACLU of South Carolina — is to fight for the rights of the human race,” she said.
The ACLU of S.C. is headquartered in Charleston. In 2015, the group had three full-time employees. Today, office has five full-time staffers.
Susan Dunn is the office’s sole attorney, but she said the group relies on volunteer attorneys, too.
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