Friday, December 03, 2004

Taxpayers subsidize ACLU's liberal activities

Did you know that when the ACLU sues to challenge many of the traditional things that we do here in the U.S., you, the taxpayer, pay the ACLU lawyers fees?

42 U.S.C., Section 1988, of the United States Code now allows judges to award attorney fees to plaintiffs in civil-rights cases brought against local governments. This means that taxpayers often pay public money to the ACLU for its activities that are contrary to what a majority of Americans want.

A new online petition asks Congress to change this statute in hopes of preventing the American Civil Liberties Union from collecting attorney fees from taxpayers of local governments the ACLU takes to court.

The effort – spearheaded by Craig McCarthy of, a site dedicated to stemming judicial activism – seeks to change this part of the United States Code.

To right-thinking Americans, this is a particularly offensive affront. If you would like to sign the petition, click on the link above.

The language of the statute follows:

Section 1988. Proceedings in vindication of civil rights

(a) Applicability of statutory and common law The jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters conferred on the district courts by the provisions of titles 13, 24, and 70 of the Revised Statutes for the protection of all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and for their vindication, shall be exercised and enforced in conformity with the laws of the United States, so far as such laws are suitable to carry the same into effect; but in all cases where they are not adapted to the object, or are deficient in the provisions necessary to furnish suitable remedies and punish offenses against law, the common law, as modified and changed by the constitution and statutes of the State wherein the court having jurisdiction of such civil or criminal cause is held, so far as the same is not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, shall be extended to and govern the said courts in the trial and disposition of the cause, and, if it is of a criminal nature, in the infliction of punishment on the party found guilty.

(b) Attorney's fees

In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of sections 1981, 1981a, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 of this title, title IX of Public Law 92-318 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.), the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq.), title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), or section 13981 of this title, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity such officer shall not be held liable for any costs, including attorney's fees, unless such action was clearly in excess of such officer's jurisdiction.

(c) Expert fees

In awarding an attorney's fee under subsection (b) of this section in any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of section 1981 or 1981a of this title, the court, in its discretion, may include expert fees as part of the attorney's fee.

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