Published in the Baltimore Sun on January 30, 2013

Letter-to-the-Editor response to "What might have been: Life under President Romney" by Mr. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

By Susan Goering

Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland

Baltimore, MD

News flash for Mr. Robert Ehrlich, Jr.: The undeserved pot shot at the ACLU in your recent oped speculating on life if Mitt Romney had won the presidency is, indeed, based on fantasy and delusion. As a Raven's fan, I must set the record straight. Far from wishing to keep Raven's 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 upcoming Super Bowl game in New Orleans. Last week, 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 game this Sunday will be an occasion for the exercise of free speech and, thanks to Ray Lewis, freedom of religion.

To that - and to Mr. Ehrlich -- I say, "Go Bill of Rights! Go Ravens!"

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