Representing more than 12,500 members and supporters throughout the District, ACLU-D.C. fights to protect and expand civil liberties for all people who live, work, and visit our city.




We are a local affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nationwide nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization devoted to ensuring free speech, equal rights, and other civil liberties.


Lawsuits are one of the key tools available for protecting individual rights. We litigate cases, both directly and as amicus curiae (friend of the court), that will broaden and strengthen civil liberties and civil rights.

Organizing & Advocacy

We strive to achieve long-term, systemic changes for the communities of D.C., alongside and in coalition with grassroots and nonprofit partners. We testify and lobby the D.C. Council and mobilize community members to advocate on issues impacting their civil rights.

Public Education

We offer public education through speaking engagements, providing Know Your Rights/street law trainings, and providing teach-ins on our different issue areas and campaigns.


Working across departments and in coalition with impacted communities, ACLU-D.C. launches campaigns for pro-active change in the District.


The phrase “knowledge is power” is certainly true when protecting your rights. The ACLU-D.C. trains District residents to understand their rights and react effectively when their rights are under threat.

“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy"


– ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin.


D.C. Statehood

D.C. is the only national capital in the democratic world whose citizens don’t have equal voting and representation rights. Granting D.C. statehood is needed, constitutional, and the only way to enfranchise more than 700,000 Americans who have been denied their full voting rights for over 200 years.

Criminal Legal Reform

The rights guaranteed to criminal suspects, defendants, offenders and prisoners are not mere technicalities. They are fundamental political rights that protect all Americans from governmental abuse of power.

Freedom from Discrimination

A cornerstone of our society, equal protection of the law is guaranteed by the Fifth and 14th Amendments. The ACLU fights to ensure that no one is subjected to unconstitutional discrimination.

Free Speech

The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak, assemble, and associate with others. These rights are essential to our democratic system of governance.

Reproductive Freedom

The ACLU works to ensure equal treatment and equal dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, from safeguarding marriage equality to ensuring gender-affirming care.

LGBTQ+ Rights

The ACLU works to ensure equal treatment and equal dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, from safeguarding marriage equality to ensuring gender-affirming care.

Cooperating Attorneys

A Better Childhood, Inc.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American Immigration Council

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Atkinson Law Group

Ballard Spahr LLP

Covington & Burling

D.C. Open Government Coalition

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Holland & Knight LLP

Human Rights First

Jenner & Block

Knight First Amendment Institute

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Law Office of Jeffrey L Light

Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Loevy & Loevy

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Morris E. Fischer, LLC

National Immigrant Justice Center

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Litigation Alliance


Public Citizen

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner LLP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Texas Civil Rights Project

University of California, Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs


Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic