There were the selfie-happy Democrats singing "We Shall Overcome" while demanding passage of a bill that those right-wing nutjobs over at the American Civil Liberties Union have "strongly" argued would undermine civil liberties.
(source: "Democrats: We Will Overcome the Constitution"@Reason.com)

For those who don't know the context, a group of Democratic lawmakers in US House of Representatives staged a "sit-in", to protest failure to pass gun control bills as a response to Orlando, FL shooting.

The "demanding passage" part of a claim is pretty obvious (if not 100% accurate, the bills weren't even brought to vote because they failed in the Senate), but the assertion that ACLU[1] argued that the proposed bills that failed to pass "would undermine civil liberties" is something unexpected.

[1] the "right-wing nightejobs" part of the claim is meant as an irony.. ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is generally viewed to be more liberal than conservative and doesn't exactly have a reputation of strong Second Amendment support, compared to many other liberties

  • 1
    I haven't downvoted this question, but it feels a little like publicising a talking point rather than asking a useful question.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 11:11
  • 2
    @andrew there is no usefulness requirement for questions on this site.
    – user30557
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 11:18
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    @AndrewGrimm When people want to publicize a talking point, they usually simultaneously self-answer and accept their own answer. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/27704/…
    – DavePhD
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


The ACLU did characterize the proposed bills as undermining civil liberties because they would use the no-fly list, a list that the ACLU has long argued violates due process, to restrict access to guns (or in the case of Feinstein's bill, another yet-to-be-created list that they also characterize as overly broad).

Here is their position statement on these bills. This paragraph summarizes their problem with one of the bills:

The ACLU strongly urges you to vote against the Cornyn Amendment because it uses the error-prone and unfair watchlist as a predicate for a proceeding to deny a firearms permit. The Cornyn Amendment establishes the watchlist system as the basis for the government to seek a court order denying a gun permit.

They posted almost the same argument on December 7, 2015.

They had similar due process concerns with Feinstein's bill.

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