Skip to comments.ACLU backs San Diego Minutemen in road battle
Posted on 02/02/2008 7:08:55 PM PST by NormsRevenge
NORTH COUNTY ---- The regional chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is backing the San Diego Minutemen in their battle to pick up trash near a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.
The civil rights group said it supports the Minutemen's efforts to win back permits to pick up freeway trash near the Interstate 5 checkpoint along Camp Pendleton and may join in the coming legal battle.
"If people are surprised, they shouldn't be," David Blair-Loy, legal director of the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said Friday. "The ACLU defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for everyone."
The San Diego Minutemen, an anti-illegal immigration group, is fighting a California Department of Transportation decision this week to shift the group's highway cleanup efforts away from the busy checkpoint.
Carlsbad-based attorney Howard Kaloogian, who represents the San Diego Minutemen, said he is not at all surprised by support from the unlikely bedfellow and called it "welcome."
"They are so clearly denying free speech rights that it is even obvious to the San Diego Minutemen political opponents," said Kaloogian, a former assemblyman who represented North County.
The San Diego Minutemen, a group of vocal illegal immigration opponents, is known for its frequent protests against the hiring of illegal immigrants at roadside day-laborer sites.
The ACLU and the Minutemen have come down on opposite sides of polarizing battles in the area, including a 2006 ordinance aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from renting residences in Escondido.
And in Vista, the ACLU is fighting to protect the names of people who have registered with the city as day-labor employers. On the opposite side of the courtroom, fighting to get the names made public, is an influential member of the Minutemen, Mike Spencer.
On the Minutemen Web site, the name of ACLU attorney Blair-Loy is listed with others under the heading "open borders agents and enemies."
But both groups are on the same side of the road in the scuffle with Caltrans.
Kaloogian said Friday afternoon that his clients will be filing suit Monday in federal court.
Along with free speech, the discrimination suit will address equal protection and due process concerns, he added.
Blair-Loy said the ACLU will monitor the case and may consider filing "friend of the court" briefs on behalf of the Minutemen.
"The state cannot discriminate based on viewpoint, if that is what the state is doing," Blair-Loy said.
Caltrans, citing safety concerns, notified the immigration activists Monday that neither their group nor any other would be allowed to clean the stretch of highway it adopted between Oceanside and San Clemente.
"We just don't think it is a safe location," Caltrans spokesman Steve Saville said Friday afternoon. "There's so much activity going on there that to throw another litter crew in the mix is a recipe for something bad to happen."
The agency offered to shift the group to a section of Highway 52 near Mission Trails Regional Park.
But the Minutemen want their original spot.
"We want the site that we had," Kaloogian said. "We want our free speech rights."
As to the issue of safety concerns ---- and the removal of the border checkpoint stretch from the litter-removal program ---- Blair-Loy said he would be looking to see if that is "a genuine statement or a pretext for discrimination."
>The ACLU defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for everyone.
But will never take sides AGAINST homosexual interests...
Beware airborne swine!
But knock me over with a feather on this one. I had to read it three times before I believed it.
Cool. The Minutemen have the constitutional right to pick up trash, but not defend American sovereignty.
Thanks alot, Norman.
Sorry RedBob... thanks.
Except the Boy Scouts of America!
Absoultely untrue statement, and if they ever got involved in a legal matter of mine, I would publicly tell these Communists to butt the he-- out.
This is utterly hypocritical and opposed to everythign the ACLU stands for. They are NOT for freedom for all but they have to pretend every now and then to fool the gullible.
Well, I'm not buying it. I've followed this Communist organization's activities and I know better.