Saturday, February 10, 2007

OBT: More Molly Ivins

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director

The ACLU was deeply saddened by the death of legendary journalist and columnist
Molly Ivins, who passed away on January 31, 2007 after a long battle with

She was a much-loved member of the ACLU family, a steadfast supporter of civil
liberties and highly respected for her staunch commitment to the protection of
individual freedoms. Her cutting wit, remarkable intellect and down-home wisdom
will be terribly missed.

In recent years, Molly, in her ever-folksy style, used her columns to point out
how the Bush administration, in the name of national security and patriotism,
has curtailed Americans' constitutional rights and usurped excessive power.
Molly's appreciation for the ACLU's work in fighting off these assaults is best
understood in her own words. In a July 2005 column, she wrote: "We suffer the
worst attack on this country since Pearl Harbor, and the Bush administration
sends the FBI after the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU exists to
protect every citizen's rights as defined in the Bill of Rights in the
Constitution of the United States. The ACLU works solely through the legal
system: It does not advocate violence, terrorism or any other damn thing except
the Bill of Rights. Since when is that extremist? ... We are living in a time
when our government is investigating an organization that stands for the highest
and best American ideals."

In an interview for a documentary on the ACLU, Ivins, commenting on the
importance of religious liberty, recognized the ACLU's unrelenting persistence
in defending that ideal: "That principle," she said, "is so important that it's
worth being a pain in the ass about. And that's what the ACLU is."

She held a special place in the heart of the ACLU of Texas, Ivins' home state.
As Will Harrell, Executive Director of the Texas affiliate and a close friend of
Molly said, "She was a huge supporter of civil liberties and a national icon and
she will be mourned by many. But at the ACLU of Texas, we're deeply saddened
that we lost a neighbor and a friend."

She was one-of-a-kind, but we will continue to do the important work that would
make her proud. And we will laugh at ourselves, as she would have wanted from
us. The ACLU is establishing the Molly Ivins Fund for Justice and Liberty in
Ivins' honor.

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