Think Tanks and Special Interest Groups

Interest groups are organized group of individuals who share common objectives and who actively attempt to influence policymakers in all three branches of the government and at all levels. Encompassing primarily corporations, other business

associations, citizen groups, unions, and professional associations, interest groups participate in every aspect of policy-making in the U.S. In this essay, I am going to write about the history and purpose of three interest groups: National Right to Life Committee, American Civil Liberties and The John Birch Society.

The National Right to Life Committee is one of the largest pro-life organizations in the United States. Their purpose is to work through legislation and education to work against abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide (NRLC.org). The organization was founded in Detroit in 1973 in response to the Supreme Court decision of Roe V. Wade. The trial was very controversial issue for it time. The Roes case required state to allow women to have an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy. This allowed women a choice if they would like to keep a child. The reason why this trial was controversial is that it dealt with abortion. The history behind the initiation of the National Right to Life committee is about a women name Roe who was a pregnant woman from Texas that wanted an abortion, but an existing statue prevented her from doing so. The Texas statue, originally passed in 1857 outlawed abortions except to save the life of the life of the mother. Roe filed a lawsuit in the federal district court on behalf of herself and all other pregnant women. Roe wanted to have the abortion statue declared because the 1857 statue passed in Texas was unconstitutional. It is stated that it was an invasion of her right to privacy guaranteed by the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendment. Therefore the Supreme Court declared the Texas abortion statue unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union is an interest group that is concerned with limiting governmental influence into areas it feels are part of an individual’s private life and outside the domain of authoritative control. And, it actively engages in attempting to limit governmental and institutional intrusion into these areas of civil life. Also, The ACLU believes that each and every member of society posses certain liberties and freedoms as human beings and citizens that can not be infringed upon nor negated. This organization was founded in 1920 by a group of citizens and wanted to defend and preserve the individual rights an liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. (ACLU.Org)

The John Birch Society is a conservative American organization that was found in Indiana in 1958. The purpose for this organization was against the growing threats to the Constitution of the United States. It defends what it sees as the original intention of the United States Constitution. They are against collectivism which is viewed as Socialism, Communism, and Fascism. The history about this organization is about a man name John Birch, who was a United States military intelligence officer and a Baptist missionary during the World War 2. He was killed by armed supporters of the Communist Party of China in 1945. Because of this outcome, the John Birch Society was created in order to stop any anti-communists. (JBS.org)

American Civil Liberties Union. 2007. 6 Nobember 2007

John Birch Soceity. “Truth, Leadership, Freedom”. 6 November 2007.

National Right to Life Committee. 2007. 6 November 2007

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