First Amendment

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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7th Circuit rules against Anderson mayor in suit following firings

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith lost his appeal of the finding that he is not entitled to qualified immunity regarding all of the fired government workers involved in a lawsuit alleging their discharges violated the First Amendment.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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