After what sounds like years of discord, the national American Civil Liberties Union has taken over the South Carolina chapter, which the New York Times calls a first in the organization’s history.

“South Carolina as a state has a tremendous amount of civil liberties challenges, and our goal is to make sure there is a strong and viable affiliate to deal with those issues,” said Robert B. Remar, vice president of the A.C.L.U. and a lawyer in Atlanta.

The South Carolina affiliate has been troubled for the last decade, struggling financially, unable to find and retain an executive director, and overseen by a fractious board. Its last executive director embezzled from it. It has relied heavily on financial support from the national organization and has had little to show for its efforts until recently.

Those problems are not unique to the South Carolina affiliate, however, and Mr. Caesar and others contended that it was singled out for its criticism of the national organization. Its representative on the national board, David F. Kennison, had tangled with Anthony D. Romero, the national organization’s executive director, and the South Carolina affiliate was the only A.C.L.U. affiliate to sign onto a Web site, created in September 2006, that criticized the national group’s leadership.

The paper reported a few weeks back that things were heading this way.

Hat tip to Will Moredock for the links.

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