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ACLU drops proposal to limit board members' speech

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] said Tuesday that a proposal [text] to limit ACLU board members from publicly speaking about their internal policies has been withdrawn [press release] by a committee of the National Board of Directors. The proposal drew criticism from editorialists, donors, and board members as a hypocritical limit on board members' ability to dissent from ACLU policies, and a lawyer for the New York Attorney General's office warned the ACLU not to adopt the proposed standards [JURIST report]. A lawyer for the AG's charities section said the office would be concerned if any nonprofit organization implemented policies restricting the board's ability to speak about internal policies.

The ACLU Committee on Rights and Responsibilities formally rescinded the proposal [memorandum] last week. The ACLU defended the initial report that suggested the restrictions as an attempt to perform those fiduciary duties that the ACLU owes to the public and its members as a nonprofit organization. The New York Times has more.

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