American Civil Liberties Union WV
The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) is a non-partisan, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to ensure the Bill of Rights and rights guaranteed by the Constitution are preserved for each new generation. The ACLU-WV accomplishes these goals through legislative advocacy, litigation, grassroots organizing, and public education.
WHAT WE OFFER
- Legal Assistance
- At the Legislature
- Legal Internship Program
- William Denman Youth Activist Scholarship
The ACLU usually files cases that affect the civil liberties of large numbers of people, rather than those involving a dispute between two parties.
Click here for more information about requesting legal assistance.
At the ACLU of West Virginia, legislation plays an integral role in ensuring civil liberties. In our effort, we maintain a full-time presence at the West Virginia Legislature and work closely with the ACLU national office. In general, the ACLU of WV takes a two pronged approach to legislation.
First, we believe that the best offense is a good defense. In our efforts to protect the Bill of Rights, we do our best to prevent unconstitutional bills from becoming law.
While we often combat legislation, we know progress also requires a well planned offense. So, ACLU of WV works alongside other organizations to develop, influence, and lobby for policies that further advance your liberties.
While we constantly monitor legislation to keep you informed, our real strength lies in you! The strength of our influence comes courtesy of our extensive grassroots network of volunteers who stand ready to visit, call, write or email elected officials.
Learn more about the issues here!
Law students interested in public interest work are encouraged to apply for summer intern positions with the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia Foundation (ACLU-WV).
Click here to find out more.
ACLU of WV is pleased to inform you that the ACLU of WV Foundation offers the William Denman Youth Activist Scholarship of $1,000 to a student devoted to protecting and defending civil liberties.
Click here to find out more.
TAKE ACTION NOW
- Juvenile Justice
- Know Your Rights: Children and Families
- Reproductive Freedom
- Civil Asset Forfeiture
- Social Media Privacy
- LGBT Equality
- Death Penalty
West Virginia made historic strides in the 2015 legislative session reforming our state’s broken juvenile justice system. Although the reform is a meaningful step in the right direction, the ACLU of WV turns its attention to ensuring that the state remains committed to making necessary reforms. West Virginia is projected to save at least $20 million due to the reforms passed last session. The ACLU-WV will push to ensure that those savings are reinvested into programs necessary to make lasting change, generate even more savings, and best serve our youth.
The juvenile justice system is complex and confusing. Between an alphabet soup of agencies and programs, complex rules, and a wide range of outcomes, it can be very frustrating to navigate the system and know what rights you have along the way. The ACLU of WV is dedicated to helping make sense of this system, and to making sure that parents and children know their rights at every step of the process.
The ACLU works to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference.
Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we strive to ensure that every woman has the opportunity to make a real decision and the ability to get the care she needs. With your help, the ACLU stands ready to block efforts to take this decision away from women and their families.
Our work focuses on a range of issues, including protecting access to affordable contraception, protecting a woman’s ability to make personal, private decisions about pregnancy and abortion, and fighting pregnancy discrimination.
Police can take possession of cash and goods of people suspected of crimes through a process known as civil asset forfeiture. Even if never convicted, individuals have only a short time to file expensive and complicated suits against the police to reclaim their property. If unclaimed, police departments can use the cash and sell the goods for their own benefit. This gives an incentive to over-police and flips the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head. The ACLU of WV through education and advocacy is working to limit the scope of this practice.
The digital revolution has dramatically changed the way we interact in our world. It has opened new opportunities, but it has also created new challenges; not least of which are the constant threats to our privacy. Through advocacy, litigation and education, the ACLU of WV will work to zealously defend people’s privacy rights in the digital world.
We advocate for state and federal non-discrimination laws, and litigate to ensure that religious beliefs cannot be used to justify acts of bias. While there is public support for making discrimination against gay people illegal, we have more work to do to ensure that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, can fully participate in civil society. The need for enduring attitudinal change underlies our strategic approach to advocacy, which combines litigation and lobbying with public education and grassroots organizing.
The death penalty is the ultimate denial of civil liberties. West Virginia abolished the death penalty in 1965. Motions to reinstate the death penalty have appeared in the West Virginia legislature, but attempts have never been successful. A bill was proposed in February of 2011 that sparked debate over reinstatement, but the bill did not pass.