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ACLU defended First Amendment at the Super Bowl

American Civil Liberties UnionBaltimore RavensFootballRay LewisMitt Romney

News flash for Robert Ehrlich: The undeserved pot shot at the ACLU in your recent op-ed speculating on life if Mitt Romney had won the presidency is, indeed, based on fantasy and delusion ("What might have been: Life under President Romney" Jan. 27). As a Ravens fan, I must set the record straight.

Far from wishing to keep Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis from invoking God during post-game interviews, the ACLU would defend his right to pray any time during the game he wants. The First Amendment protects his right to pray.

But here's the supreme irony of your fiction: In the real world, the ACLU just won a victory for the First Amendment at the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Last month, a federal court blocked a plan by the City of New Orleans that would have severely restricted free speech.

Before the ACLU took action, a large "Clean Zone" would have barred fans from flying flags of any kind — Ravens, Mardi Gras, and American flags — without a permit, not only around the stadium but also in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Thanks to the ACLU, the Super Bowl was an occasion for the exercise of free speech and, thanks to Ray Lewis, freedom of religion. To that — and to you — I say, "Go Bill of Rights! Go Ravens!"

Susan Goering, Baltimore

The writer is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Baltimore.

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