First Amendment

Muslim inmate sues central Indiana sheriff over halal diet

August 18, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A Muslim inmate is using Indiana's religious freedom statute in part to sue a central Indiana sheriff for denying him a diet that follows Islamic dietary laws.
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Women sue Beech Grove after city blocked Facebook activity

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two women against the city of Beech Grove after the city removed comments the two women wrote on Facebook posts the city and police department had made.
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Suit aims to block Delta Bible distribution, graduation prayer

June 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Indianapolis aims to block future prayers at Delta High School graduation ceremonies as well as distribution of Bibles to graduating seniors at a mandatory pre-graduation luncheon.
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7th Circuit tosses would-be revolutionary's suit against Indiana bar

June 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man who challenged an Indiana Board of Law Examiners rule prohibiting a person “who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States or this state by force, violence or other unconstitutional or illegal means” lost Friday in the 7th Circuit of Appeals.
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7th Circuit: Women’s services ad can be posted in buses

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found a women’s health organization can advertise on city buses because its ad does not violate any of the transit company’s ad policies, overturning a Northern District of Indiana decision.
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Marijuana legalization group sues after Lafayette rally denial

June 9, 2016
IL Staff
A group advocating for the legalization of marijuana that was denied permission to rally on the grounds of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
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Long-running suit over blocked Indiana strip club dismissed

June 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A long-running federal lawsuit challenging a northeastern Indiana city's decision to stop a couple from opening a strip club has come to an end.
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Judge blocks Bartholomew court policy barring political activity

May 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday blocked a Bartholomew County policy that broadly barred court services employees from political activity.
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Supreme Court won't review appeal from POM juices

May 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place a court ruling that found advertising claims of the health benefits of POM Wonderful juices were deceptive.
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7th Circuit reverses ruling in favor of prison guard

April 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District Court decision that dismissed a prisoner’s First Amendment claims and granted immunity to the guard mentioned in his Eighth Amendment claims.
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Federal judge reaffirms ban on political ‘robocalls’ in Indiana

April 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Just weeks ahead of Indiana’s presidential primary, a federal judge reaffirmed Indiana’s ban on automated telephone calls for political purposes.
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Indiana trooper fired for proselytizing on duty to motorist

April 8, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana State Police fired a trooper who is facing a second lawsuit accusing him of preaching to citizens while on duty, saying Thursday he disobeyed a written order to stop the practice.
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Jury weighs punitive damages after $115M Hogan sex tape verdict

March 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors will consider punitive damages against Gawker Media after already awarding former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan $115 million in a lawsuit over its online publication of a sex tape.
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Apple's best arguments against the US over iPhone access

February 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Apple has just days left to marshal its legal arguments in the biggest battle in a generation pitting public safety against personal privacy: the U.S. government versus one of the world’s most powerful technology companies.
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COA finds 1 out of 3 dental advertising regulations unconstitutional

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The regulation that compels dentists to disclose every dentist within the practice in advertisements is unconstitutional, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. It held two other challenged regulations regarding advertising are not unconstitutional.
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Suit challenges constitutionality of RFRA fix, local gay rights laws

December 10, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The “RFRA fix” passed in April to quell discrimination fears about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is now being challenged as unconstitutional by two organizations that were the most vocal proponents of the original legislation.
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Indiana county to allow Nativity scene with Bill of Rights

November 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A southeastern Indiana county that was at the center of a legal battle over a Nativity scene on its courthouse lawn will allow a mix of religious and secular displays this holiday season, including a manger holding the Bill of Rights.
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Panhandling laws face challenge after church signs ruling

October 30, 2015
 Associated Press
Cities trying to limit panhandling in downtowns and tourist areas are facing a new legal hurdle because of a recent Supreme Court of the United States ruling that seemingly has nothing to do with asking for money.
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Experts say free speech at stake in 'American Sniper' appeal

October 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Legal experts say important free speech issues will be at stake when an appeals court considers whether former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is entitled to the $1.8 million judgment he won against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.
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Northern Indiana school district sued over Nativity scene

October 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A high school student and a parent are challenging the constitutionality of a live Nativity scene that's been included in a northern Indiana school district's annual Christmas show for decades.
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Woman asks court to allow marijuana use per church beliefs

September 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A Minnesota woman accused of violating probation says she should be able to use marijuana for religious reasons because she belongs to a pot-smoking church based in Indiana.
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7th Circuit: Marion County judicial elections unconstitutional

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The way Marion County judges are elected is unconstitutional, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, throwing out a 40-year-old system that ensured an even split of Democratic and Republican judges and facilitated a pay-to-play party slating system.
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ACLU of Indiana challenges state law banning ballot photos

August 28, 2015
 Associated Press
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is challenging a new state law that prohibits voters from photographing their ballots and sharing those images on social media.
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Risk to student in school religion case merits concealing mom’s name

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
The mother of a Fort Wayne public school student may proceed without identifying herself in a federal lawsuit claiming the second-grader was ostracized and shamed by a teacher because he told a classmate who inquired about his faith that he didn’t believe in God. The mother said identifying herself would disclose her son’s name, subjecting him to further harm and public criticism.
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Judge: Indiana prisoner’s peyote suit must proceed

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate’s federal lawsuit claiming he has a religious right to use peyote and tobacco must proceed, a judge ruled, though she also made clear state officials may seek a motion to dismiss the case.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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