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ACLU investigates Jesse Singal and trans whistleblower

Jesse Singal was subpoenaed last week. Credit: YouTube

March 10, 2024 - 2:55pm

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri and Lambda Legal subpoenaed communications between journalist Jesse Singal and trans clinic whistleblower Jamie Reed, the former has claimed.

The groups are helping Washington University in St Louis amid a state investigation sparked by Reed’s allegations against the University’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Reed, a former case manager at the centre, said in early 2023 that clinicians rushed children into irreversible cross-sex medical interventions, sometimes against the wishes of parents, and failed to inform patients of side effects.

Singal asked an ACLU attorney for an explanation of the subpoena on Thursday, calling their request for his communications “unusual”. He was quickly removed from the subpoena, and an ACLU attorney told him he’d been included by mistake.

“I’m glad that the ACLU corrected what they are describing as a mistake, but I’m curious how my name got in there in the first place,” Singal told UnHerd. “I had always envisioned the ACLU as an organisation that would seek to protect my inbox, not pry into it”.

Lambda Legal did not respond to UnHerd’s request for comment. The ACLU of Missouri reiterated that Singal’s communications were exempt from the subpoena and did not comment further.

The ACLU has for years been moving away from civil liberties and towards a more explicitly progressive position. Famed, now-retired, ACLU attorney David Goldberger said in 2021, “I got the sense it was more important for ACLU staff to identify with clients and progressive causes than to stand on principle […] Liberals are leaving the First Amendment behind.”

The Washington case illustrates this trend well: the Missouri ACLU finds itself aligned with a university hospital system against a whistleblower and an independent journalist. The subpoena also requests Reed’s communications with 18 gender-critical organisations including Genspect, FAIR in Medicine, Do No Harm and the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine.

“They are using this (and me) as a way to go fishing into what they view as a huge conspiracy”, Reed told UnHerd of the subpoena. “They cannot wrap their heads around the fact that I am LGBT, a Democrat, and came to the conclusion from my work in a paediatric gender centre that patients were being harmed.”

Washington University, with the help of the Missouri ACLU and Lambda Legal, has thus far been able to dodge the Missouri Attorney General’s requests for patient records for a civil investigation into Reed’s allegations, and the institution denied any wrongdoing after an internal investigation. Reed, for her part, has been subject to criticism and mockery from Left-of-centre journalists who don’t consider her allegations credible.

The ACLU of Missouri lost its case pursuing an injunction against the state’s ban on cross-sex treatments for children in August 2023. Looking back on the experience, Reed told UnHerd that “the ACLU has lost its way and its moral compass.”


is UnHerd’s US correspondent.

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Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 months ago

The psychology is not hard to figure out. People in the depths of groupthink and crowd behaviour require an evil out-group to justify their own prejudices and unfounded beliefs, leading to a conspiracist mindset where all opposition is framed as being part of some big conspiracy against the noble in-group cause.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago

“People in the depths of groupthink and crowd behaviour” <– That describes the social conservative herd here at UnHerd to a T.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

In what way? People who are not progressives rarely have uniform views which they all agree on.
Progressivism on the other hand is intensely creedal and relies on social pressure towards group conformity around certain ideological beliefs.
Small-c conservatives have a wide range of political viewpoints from all over the political spectrum -right, left, or centre.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago

Social conservatives are progressives, just not Leftist ones. SoCons have a plan for society, and mean to enforce it by government no more limited than is required to effect that plan.
I am small c conservative, social conservatives are not.
I am American, not European, I know liberty is what is conservative. SoCons are no more conservative than were the Montagnards.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Inordinately fetishizing ‘liberty’ is mainly considered ‘conservative’ in right-libertarian sections of the anglosphere, particularly America. Anomic cultures where freedom of choice seems to be the only value they think it’s important to uphold.
In the greater scheme of things maximizing liberty at the expense of all other values is not particularly conservative
But you’re right that there are also forms of tribalism and crowd behaviour on the Right (altho I think eclipsed by progressive tribalism)

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

This is not about politics. This is about whether it is morally right or not to give hormonal drugs to and/or perform sexual reassignment surgeries on children who have no idea of how such procedures will profoundly impact their lives. Or do you believe children are mature enough to just know this?

R Wright
R Wright
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“Social conservatives are progressives”
The only people who believe this are hardened Traditionalists and apparently you.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
2 months ago

Whilst we have seen this behaviour a lot from transactivists for years now, I get the sense now that they are acting more out of fear than enraged righteousness.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago

From what I’ve heard from lawyer friends in the US, the ACLU is highly elitist. It is run by Ivy League graduates who refuse to hire lawyers who’ve graduated from non-Ivy League schools. For all their talk about equity and equality, they leverage their positions of power to hurt those less ‘privileged’ than themselves. I’m starting to get the distinct impression that our elite institutions are producing nothing more than spiteful entitled brats.

Edited to include this link from the Atlantic. It’s an article from 2001: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/04/the-organization-kid/302164/
Without meaning to, it provides invaluable insight into how we became so polarized in the West. Warning: it is a very very long read.

Arthur King
Arthur King
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Classism is indeed entrenched within progressivism. Notice how class inclusion in DEI is neglected.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Arthur King

Indeed those who would otherwise be vilified for their “privilege” use their championship of DEI as a shield and a stepping stone so that they can maintain what they see as their rightful position at the top,

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
2 months ago

I’m encouraged to read there are 18 (eighteen!) gender-critical organisations in the United States.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

So the ACLU is going after journalists and whistleblowers now. Utterly pathetic. I’m telling ya, we have a desperate problem with NGOs in the west. They are hijacking the political process for their own benefit.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“So the ACLU is going after journalists and whistleblowers now” <– No, against proven liars. Like Reed and Singal.

David B
David B
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

For decades at least, a large number of NGOs have been variously implicit components of the political process. It’s not a bottom-up hijacking but a top-down consent manufacturing industry masquerading as civil society.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago

It is far past time for these bigoted liars like Reed and Singal to be held accountable.
https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/family-of-missouri-trans-kid-jamie
https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/missouri-anti-trans-whistleblower
I know you Social Conservative are progressives who are fine with getting by on lies if you can, but why should anyone else take you seriously? . . .
. . . Other than as a threat to your chosen victims.
Your pogrom will fail.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Valerian drops

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

As relevant as anything the usual self–annointed here usually have to say.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

As the self-disappointed in reality spokesperson, i’ve yet to read anything you’ve written that isn’t the usual unthinking-progressive tripe.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
2 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Except you can quote not so much as one progressive thing about it. I doubt you even know what prgressivism is.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

You going away would be progress ?

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
2 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Increasingly, the modern political definition of ‘progressive’ has changed to mirror its use in describing the ‘progressive’ rock of the 1970s. Self importance, silly clothing, completely humourless, endless noodling around creating variations on the same tired old themes, and while the words may sound deep they make next to no sense.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Huw Parker

extreme stupidity you forgot