33 New Eng. L. Rev. 425 (1998-1999)
Inside the ACLU: Activism and Anti-Communism in the Late 1960s

handle is hein.journals/newlr33 and id is 435 raw text is: Inside the ACLU:
Activism and Anti-Communism in the Late
1960s
Allen Rostron'
I. INTRODUCTION                                     425
II. THE ACLU                                        429
A. Anti-Communism                               429
B.  Traditionalism                             434
C. Activism                                    438
III. RECONSIDERATION OF THE 1940 RESOLUTION         441
IV. VIETNAM                                         450
A.  Conscription                                451
B.  The Legality of the Vietnam War            454
C.  Civil Disobedience and Dr. Spock           458
V. CONFLICT AND COMPROMISE                          467
VI. CONCLUSION                                      473
I. INTRODUCTION
The American Civil Liberties Union is an organization that has never
known peace. In its nearly eighty years of existence, the Union has drawn
fire from all segments of the political spectrum. It has come into conflict
on some occasion with virtually every part of American society-govern-
ment, business, education, religion.
Some of the ACLU's fiercest battles have occurred within the organiza-
tion itself. The Union has suffered two remarkable internal conflicts in its
history, the first of which arose over the issue of communism. In 1940,
the ACLU's board of directors yielded to rising anti-communist sentiment
and adopted a resolution barring communists and other supporters of to-
talitarian doctrines from office in the Union.' All but one of the commu-
* B.A., University of Virgina, 1991; J.D. Yale Law School, 1994. The Author
wishes to thank Professors Charles W. McCurdy and G. Edward White for their
comments and evaluation of an earlier version of this Article.
1. Resolution Adopted by the Board of Directors and National Committee of ACLU
at Annual Meeting of National Committee at Town Hall (Feb. 5, 1940), microformed on
American Civil Liberties Union: Records and Publications 1917-1975, Reel 8 (Micro-
filming Corp. of America) [hereinafter 1940 Resolution].

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