The filthy-rich ACLU
Many current board members vociferously insist that Romero's mistakes must be viewed in the larger context of his accomplishments, which are indeed impressive: He doubled the size of the full-time staff in the ACLU's national office, from 186 to nearly 400; he raised staff salaries; he lifted the ACLU's membership from 300,000 to 550,000; he nearly doubled both the total revenue of the ACLU and the net assets of the ACLU Foundation; he brought in new support from foundations; and he launched a TV series.
Imagine -- a full-time staff of nearly 400 in the national office alone! Also, the ACLU's lawsuits often get free legal help from outside attorneys. And in the Dover lawsuit, volunteer attorneys from the Pepper-Hamilton law firm did most of the work but ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State pocketed all of the profits, about $750,000 (the $1 million attorney fee award minus about $250,000 in expenses).
Ed "for crying out loud" Brayton is fond of pointing out that the fundies also collect these attorney fee awards in 1st amendment religion lawsuits -- but the fundies usually sue under the free exercise clause (and sometimes the free speech clause) and almost never sue under the establishment clause.
As an alternative to a ban on attorney fee awards in establishment clause lawsuits, I have proposed a cap on attorney fee awards in both establishment clause and free exercise clause lawsuits.