The American Civil Liberties Union, which has described President-elect Donald Trump as a “one-man constitutional crisis,” is vowing to use its “full firepower” to fight some of the next president’s most controversial proposals.
The ACLU said in a statement following Trump’s election:
President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation’s highest office, we urge you to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made. These include your plan to amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants; ban the entry of Muslims into our country and aggressively surveil them; punish women for accessing abortion; reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture; and change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.
These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed, they are unlawful and unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments. If you do not reverse course and instead endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at every step. Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers and millions of card-carrying members and supporters are ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.
One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency.
The ACLU’s vow to fight Trump on any issue it determines unconstitutional may sound like an annoyance to many Trump supporters who are celebrating his victory. But for conservatives who are only celebrating Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the lawsuits may serve as a welcome safety net against some of Trump’s more rash proposals.
We’ve noted in the past that some of Trump’s remarks about property rights, the free press and his heavy focus on law and order, should at least be cause for concern for voters who believe the federal government’s job is to preserve and follow the nation’s Constitution.
American conservatives have the opportunity to do the country a great service by holding on to their principles even as the party that is supposed to represent smaller government is in control. That would be a huge departure from how the majority of liberals handled President Obama’s time in the Oval Office.
Remember how the left thought Obama would end unconstitutional wars and expand civil liberties? So they somehow gave him a free pass on extrajudicial drone executions and continuation and expansion of massive privacy intrusions.
Trump’s upsetting of the political establishment, while refreshing to anyone tired of big government politics, is by no means a guarantee that his administration isn’t poised to become a new version of the same problem.
And here’s the trap to avoid: Trump keeps his promises regarding the 2nd Amendment, and conservatives feel false security that his administration won’t violate other important constitutional protections.
After all, the whole reason for the 2nd Amendment is so the nation’s leaders listen up when the public points out unconstitutional overreach.