National membership in the [ACLU], which fights for freedom of speech and religion, equal protection, due process and privacy, has doubled since Bush took office in 2001 - an extraordinary spurt of growth for the 88-year-old institution. [...]By the end of Clinton's second term, Utah's ACLU chapter had only 1,300 members.
The ACLU counted about 250,000 members in the final year of Bill Clinton's presidency. Today, the organization has about 500,000 card-carriers, 2,500 of them in Utah.
Fundraising has increased in kind. According the IRS, the nonprofit had about $44 million in annual revenues in the 2000 fiscal year. In the fiscal year ending in March of 2007, it collected more than $80 million.
To its credit, the ACLU has stayed extremely ideological but definately not partisan. Both parties have found its positions annoying and objectionable. It is considering helping the polygamists in Texas, is against voter ID laws but for eliminating campaign finance regulation (save disclosure laws), against the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegence, against the public displays of the Ten Commandments, against torture, against warrantless wiretapping, against "extrodinary rendition," for same sex marriage, and for Rep. William "$90,000 in his House office freezer" Jefferson (D-LA) [he declined their offer of help]. Its members include likely Libertarian Party presidential nominee ex-Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), who lead the impeachment battle against Bill Clinton .
Their role as Gadfly and legal harrasser of the Bush Administration will ensure that future Administrations will think twice before attempting to expand their powers, let alone exercise those claimed by Bush during his 8 years....especially with all of those new members and new donors.