First Amendment

Discussion to look at religious liberties

November 29, 2012
IL Staff
Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? The ACLU of Indiana is taking a look at the battle over religious liberties at its December First Wednesdays brown bag discussion.
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State urges justices to draw ‘bright line’ on school choice vouchers

November 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher on Wednesday urged the Indiana Supreme Court to uphold the state’s school choice voucher program, arguing that it did not constitute an unconstitutional government support of religion.
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Order compelling Star to name online commenter stayed after arguments

November 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star won’t have to divulge the identity of an online commenter pending further order of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in a defamation case on Tuesday.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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US Supreme Court rules on Stolen Valor Act case

June 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
While the health care decision was the ruling most people were waiting to hear, the justices also issued decisions in two other cases Thursday. The nation’s highest court found the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional.
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A 21st century expression of the law

May 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
The 'emoticon defense' raises brows, but it puts a focus on speech rights and school threats.
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Teens sue school after expulsion for online death threats

April 26, 2012
IL Staff
The three teenage girls who were expelled from school because of their after-school online activity filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court against the northern Indiana school district. The teens claim the death threats they made on Facebook were made jokingly and their First Amendment rights are being violated.
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Officer's statement not protected by First Amendment

March 16, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled the New Albany Police Department had the right to discipline an officer whose racially charged comments made to fellow officers were leaked to the press and made public.
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Shield law ruling unique in nation

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals adopts a modified test in a defamation case.
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COA upholds judgment in favor of employer in wrongful termination suit

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Insurance in a lawsuit filed by a former employee claiming wrongful termination.
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Student sues over 'I (heart) BOOBIES' bracelet

February 6, 2012
IL Staff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a northern Indiana middle school student who believed he would be expelled if he didn’t cover up his bracelet that said “I (heart) BOOBIES.”
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Appellate court to visit Sellersburg for arguments

February 3, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to a southern Indiana high school to hear a civil case involving First Amendment claims for a police officer’s private statements.
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Prisons face legal questions in managing inmate requests

January 18, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The institutions must balance religion of inmates and security of prisons.
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SCOTUS won't consider off-campus school speech

January 17, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has declined to take a pair of cases asking whether schools can censor the off-campus behavior of students who post messages or photos against school officials or other students.
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State Supreme Court's robo-calls ruling carries over to federal lawsuit

January 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court upholding the state’s automated phone call ban has found its way into the briefing of a federal appeal challenging the same statute, and the attorneys disagree on whether the state justices adequately addressed a First Amendment issue.
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Justices uphold Indiana robo-calls ban

December 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held the state can continue enforcing a ban on automated robo-calls, with four justices finding that enforcement does not violate the Indiana Constitution’s free speech rights.
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7th Circuit allows Indiana to enforce ban on out-of-state robo-calls

December 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Indiana is allowed to enforce the statute that restricts out-of-state robo-calls while an appeal on the issue is ongoing.
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Judge won't allow auto-dialer statute enforcement during appeal

December 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Balancing free speech rights with the public interest in preventing automated political calls from out-of-state entities, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request to continue enforcing Indiana’s auto-dialer statute while a higher court is considering his ruling from two months ago that blocked enforcement.
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COA to consider journalistic shield protections for anonymous online comments

December 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals hears arguments Monday on a question of first impression for the Internet-savvy 21st century: whether news outlets have any First Amendment or state journalistic shield protection from being required to disclose information that could help reveal the identities of people posting anonymous comments online.
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Courts limiting workers' online conduct

October 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Workplace Internet policies go up against free speech concerns.
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Can schools discipline for off-campus conduct?

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
School is back in session, and a new set of court rulings issued during the summer break may make it more difficult for school administrators to decide how to handle inappropriate or potentially disruptive online activities carried out by students off-campus.
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Circuit Court upholds ban on pen-pal solicitation by inmates

July 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The First Amendment rights of Indiana inmates aren’t being violated by a ban instituted by the Department of Correction on advertising for pen-pals and receiving materials from resources that allow people to advertise for pen-pals, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Judges halt enforcement of challenged laws

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two federal judges issued preliminary injunctions June 24 preventing parts of two new controversial laws regarding immigration and funding of Planned Parenthood of Indiana from being enforced.
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Judge: video games don't infringe on Dillinger trademark

June 17, 2011
Cory Schouten
A federal judge has shot down a lawsuit brought by heirs of notorious bank robber John Dillinger over the depiction of the Dillinger name in video games based on the classic movie "The Godfather."
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Planned Parenthood's request for restraining order denied

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Judge Tanya Walton-Pratt has denied Planned Parenthood of Indiana's request for a temporary restraining order barring the enforcement of a law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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