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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonpartisan non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, lobbying, and community education. Founded in 1920 by Crystal Eastman, Roger Baldwin and Walter Nelles, the ACLU has over 500,000 members and has an annual budget over $100 million. Local affiliates of the ACLU are active in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The ACLU provides legal assistance in cases in which it considers civil liberties to be at risk. Legal support from the ACLU can take the form of direct legal representation, or preparation of amicus curiae briefs expressing legal arguments. When the ACLU was founded in 1920, its focus was on freedom of speech, primarily for anti-war protesters. During the 1920s, the ACLU expanded its scope to also include protecting the free speech rights of artists and striking workers, and working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to combat racism. During the 1930s, the ACLU started to engage in work combating police misconduct and Native American rights. Most of the ACLU's cases came from the Communist party and Jehovah's Witnesses. In 1940, ACLU leadership was caught up in the Red Scare, and voted to exclude Communists from its leadership positions. During World War II, the ACLU defended Japanese American citizens who were forcibly relocated to internment camps. During the Cold War, the ACLU headquarters was dominated by anti-communists, but many local affiliates defended members of the Communist Party. (via Freebase)