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Under laws such as this, the ACLU and its state affiliates sometimes share in monetary judgments against government agencies.In 2006, the Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act sought to prevent monetary judgments in the particular case of violations of church-state separation. The affiliates operate autonomously from the national organization; each affiliate has its own staff, executive director, board of directors, and budget.In the twenty-first century, the ACLU has fought the teaching of creationism in public schools and challenged some provisions of anti-terrorism legislation as infringing on privacy and civil liberties.Fundraising and membership spiked after the 2016 election; the ACLU's current membership is more than 1.2 million. The ACLU has over 1,000,000 members and an annual budget of over 0 million.
In some cases, the law permits plaintiffs who successfully sue government agencies to collect money damages or other monetary relief.
The ACLU was involved in the Miranda case, which addressed conduct by police during interrogations, and in the New York Times case, which established new protections for newspapers reporting on government activities.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the ACLU ventured into new legal areas, involving the rights of homosexuals, students, prisoners, and the poor.
In 1940, the ACLU leadership voted to exclude Communists from its leadership positions, a decision rescinded in 1968.
During World War II, the ACLU defended Japanese-American citizens, unsuccessfully trying to prevent their forcible relocation to internment camps.In addition to representing persons and organizations in lawsuits, the ACLU lobbies for policy positions that have been established by its board of directors.