The ACLU of Minnesota doesn't actually exist.
That was one of the more awkward revelations in last week's flurry of filings in the ACLU's ongoing lawsuit against the Tariq ibn Ziyad Academy. The civil liberties group sued the school and the state Department of Education in federal court two years ago, alleging that state funding for the school's Islamic education violated the constitution.[jump]
Last week, TiZA argued that the case should be thrown out: the ACLU of Minnesota can't sue them, they argued, because "Plaintiff AMerican Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (Plaintiff or ACLU-MN) does not exist."
It turns out they were right. Five years ago, the office of the Secretary of State dissolved the ACLU MN's non-profit corporation when they failed to file a routine annual renewal.
"The statute says if you don't file, you get dissolved," said Bert Black, legal advisor in the Office of the Secretary of State. "So they were dissolved."
Fortunately for the ACLU, shortly after the statute that dissolved the group is another one that offers an easy fix,. By filing a new form last Wednesday, the ACLU was able to retroactively un-dissolve itself. It's a real thing again!
The ACLU of Minnesota did not respond to requests for comment by the time this was posted.
Here's a copy of that pesky dissolution notice: