But There Must Be Some Mistake!

November 28, 1991

Dear Chairperson,
We have recently learned that your organization uses a name that is confusingly similar to ours. Your name "Always Causing Legal Unrest" uses the same initial letters as the American Civil Liberties Union
. You apparently shorten your name to "ACLU" and use that on buttons and other material, which serves to heighten the confusion between your organization and ours. Moreover, we have learned that you and members of the public refer to your organization as ACLU and to your buttons as "ACLU buttons."
     The ACLU is a national organization which has been known and recognized as a leader in the struggle for equal rights for all Americans since 1920. Many of your organization's views and goals are diametrically opposite to those of the ACLU, a fact which you cite in some of your literature. We certainly recognize and support your right to discuss and advocate your views, even if they are different from ours. However, your use of a similar name and the identical acronym will cause the public to believe--at the very least--that your organization is somehow sponsored or endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Therefore, we ask you to cease using your current name and acronym.
     We trust that you will understand our position and will agree to our request. However, please realize that the ACLU name and what it stands for are precious to us and to our 275,000 members nationwide, and we will take every legal effort to protect it.
     We would appreciate a response before December fifteenth and I look forward to hearing from you.

Most Sincerely,
Dorothy M. Ehrlich
Executive Director

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