ACLU faces claims it's diluting defense of free speech as memo says won't ...

The American Civil Liberties Union is downgrading its defense of free speech when it comes to defending hate groups because that type of talk can harm 'marginalized' groups by undermining their civil rights, it was revealed in an internal leaked memo.

'Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,' the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and 'Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.' 

The new guidelines were revealed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by former ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer. 

 The ACLU is down grading its defense of free speech after incidents like the one in Charlottesville, Virgina, in August 2017, according to a former board member

 The ACLU is down grading its defense of free speech after incidents like the one in Charlottesville, Virgina, in August 2017, according to a former board member

Ex-ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer argues all-encompassing defense of free speech no longer appeals to the ACLU's progressive constituency

Ex-ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer argues all-encompassing defense of free speech no longer appeals to the ACLU's progressive constituency

Kaminer writes that 'free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation's premier champion of the First Amendment.' 

ACLU legal director David Cole responded to Fox News when asked about Kaminer's article.

'We will continue to defend the speech rights of the unpopular, whether we agree with them or not,' Cole told the news network. 'Ms. Kaminer's concerns are refuted not only by the very document she cites, but by the ACLU's actions in continuing to defend those who express views contrary to our own.

'At this moment,' Cole added, 'we are representing the outspoken anti-LGBT advocate Milo Yiannopoulos and a student group in San Diego penalized for publishing a satire of 'safe spaces'

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