The ACLU of Missouri defends civil liberties and the principles of equality and justice in Missouri through its litigation, legislative and public education programs. The ACLU was founded in 1920 as the first public interest law firm of its kind, and is recognized as the country's foremost advocate of individual rights. We base our work largely on the Bill of Rights—the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution—which, along with state and federal laws, protects certain fundamental rights of individuals against the power of the government and will of the majority. Rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights include:
First Amendment Rights
These include freedom of speech, association and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Equal Protection of the Law
The right to equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or other such classifications. These rights apply to the voting booth, the classroom, the workplace and the courts.
Due Process of the Law
The right to be treated fairly when facing criminal charges or other serious accusations that can result in such penalties as loss of employment, exclusion from school, denial of housing or cut-off of benefits.
The Right To Privacy
The right to a guaranteed zone of personal privacy and autonomy which should not be penetrated by the government or other institutions, like employers, with substantial influence over an individual's rights.
Expanding Those Protections
The ACLU works to extend protection to segments of our population who have traditionally been denied these rights. They include racial minorities, sexual minorities, prisoners, soldiers, people with disabilities and children in the custody of the state.