Founding and Early Work
In 1958, spurred by the political environment created by the McCarthy hearings and the blossoming Civil Rights Movement in the south, Adam Mickey Duncan, an attorney and member of the Utah House of Representatives, helped secure the charter for the ACLU of Utah from the national ACLU. He and co-founders Spencer W. Kimball, Dean of the University of Utah Law School, and Stephen Smoot were tireless advocates of racial equality, separation of church and state, and free speech.
Those interested in reading more about the early history of the ACLU of Utah, should acquire a copy of Friendly Fire: The ACLU in Utah, by Linda Sillitoe (Signature Books, 1996).
The information below is only a partial history of the Utah Affiliate of the ACLU. The ACLU of Utah operates through public education, legal advocacy, litigation, and lobbying at both the state and local levels to ensure the constitutional rights and freedoms of everyone living in or visiting Utah. Our work is based on those principals outlined in the Bill of Rights and our priorities include: Participatory Democracy; Racial Justice; Immigrants' Rights; Religious Liberty & Freedom of Belief; and Privacy & Technology. In addition, we continue our commitment to reform the Utah criminal justice system, protect the First Amendment, reproductive freedoms, and equality for all.
The ACLU of Utah is comprised of two separate corporate entities: the ACLU of Utah Union and the ACLU of Utah Foundation. The ACLU of Utah receives no government funding and is supported by nearly 2,500 Utahns through membership dues and private donations, as well as small foundation grants, and court-awarded legal fees.
Help us defend and expand the principals and freedoms that truly make our nation great. Please consider becoming a member of the ACLU of Utah Union or making a tax-deductible donation to the ACLU of Utah Foundation.