Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Supreme Court Case Prompts $1 Million ACLU Gift

Wall Street Journal
September 15, 2010

In April 2009, 19-year-old Savana Redding appeared before the Supreme Court with her lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union. Ms. Redding was in eighth grade when she was strip-searched by officials at her middle school in an effort to find contraband ibuprofen. The ACLU argued that the actions of Safford United School District officials violated the young woman's constitutional rights and, ultimately, the justices agreed.

Andrea Soros was also in the chamber that day to observe the case, which she says was "pretty amazing" to watch. Ms. Redding "was basically somebody whose dignity was violated and who responded to that and found a partner in the ACLU," said Ms. Soros.

Seeing ACLU lawyers "under the gun" is part of what motivated Ms. Soros and her husband, Eric Colombel, to give a $1 million gift to the ACLU's Leading Freedom Forward campaign.

Ideas of "dignity and diversity" inform all of Ms. Soros's giving and this gift is to help build momentum around the organization's grassroots initiatives.