American Civil Rights Union

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The American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) was founded by Robert B. Carleson, who served as Ronald Reagan's Chief Deputy Director of the California State Department of Public Works starting in in 1968. According to his biography[1], on the site, he founded the organization to serve as a "'constructive alternative' to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His goal was to provide a vehicle to protect the civil rights of all Americans - rights that continue to be undermined by the left-wing and anti-family agenda of organizations like the ACLU."

ACRU's Legal Director and General Counsel is Peter J. Ferrara.


The ACRU states that its mission is to focus "on those areas of our civil rights which are ignored, or even actively undermined, by other supposed civil liberties groups." These include:

  • Property Rights
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Equality Under the Law which has been "broadly undermined in American life today through racial quotas and preferences and other race conscious policies."
  • Right to Keep and Bear Arms
  • Individual Liberty and Federalism


The group outlines its activities on its website as:

  • publishing papers, studies and commentaries "to advance a sound understanding of important constitutional issues."
  • conducting forums, debates, and conferences
  • identifying key test cases to pursue in court
  • monitoring the activities of existing organizations and expressing views on their positions.
  • monitoring judicial appointments and performances and expressing views on nominees and the judicial conduct of those who are confirmed.

Address overlap

From information on tax forms and current web site contact information, the ACRU may have shared the same address as the 60-Plus Association, a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. Records show the two occupied the same address.[2][3]

Contact information

Suite #960
1600 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 703 807-0242
Toll free: 877 730-ACRU (2278)
Email: info AT

Related SourceWatch resources

External articles


  1. About our founder,, accessed July 20, 2007.
  2. American Civil Rights Union Issue: Second Amendment, accessed September 13, 2010
  3. 60 Plus Association/Guidestar [60_Plus_Assoc-2009_990_form.pdf 60 Plus Association 2009 Form 990], accessed September 13, 2010
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