The American Civil Liberties Union will stop defending hate groups planning to march with firearms, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The ACLU said it will also look at clients more closely for the potential of violence as a result of the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, said Anthony Romero, executive director of the civil rights group.
“The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb,” he said.
The ACLU had helped organizers of the Charlottesville rally obtain a permit. Some of the demonstrators openly carried firearms, which is permitted in Virginia, according to the newspaper.
But Romero said the firearms can suppress speech through intimidation, the Journal noted. And he said the ACLU will no longer defend groups carrying firearms.
“If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able