First Amendment

Supreme Court draws distinctions in blogger Brewington case

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Blogger Daniel Brewington’s convictions for intimidating Dearborn Circuit Judge James Humphrey and obstruction of justice were upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday, but under different reasoning than the Indiana Court of Appeals applied.
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Blogger Brewington loses Supreme Court appeal over online threat

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday affirmed multiple convictions of a southern Indiana man who threatened a judge through inflammatory posts on a blog.
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Councilor: ACLU settlement won't deter panhandling proposal

April 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over enforcement of its panhandling ordinance, but that won't deter a City-County Council effort to pass a more restrictive law, a councilor said Wednesday morning.
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Settlement of federal case requires Indianapolis police to revise procedure

February 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of a settlement to a federal civil rights case, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be instituting a new policy prohibiting police officers from interfering with civilians who are recording their actions.
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Judges order injunction against enforcement of permit policy

February 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who wanted to protest a proposed United Nations arms treaty on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle in 2012 but was kicked off the property because of a lack of permit was victorious in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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Notre Dame refiles suit against Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

December 3, 2013
IL Staff
The University of Notre Dame has refiled a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of the so-called contraception mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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7th Circuit: Federal law does not preempt Indiana’s ‘robo-call’ statute

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the decision by a federal judge that Indiana’s Automated Dialing Machine Statute is preempted by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The injunction entered against enforcing the law had been stayed by the appellate court pending appeal.
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7th Circuit blocks Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

November 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Roman Catholic employers – including the owners of an Indiana company – won a Circuit Court ruling Friday blocking the “contraception mandate” contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
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Supreme Court vacates transfer in Star commenter case

October 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star has signaled an intent to comply with a court order to identify an anonymous online commenter whose remarks about a former Junior Achievement leader are part of a defamation lawsuit, according to an attorney representing the former executive.
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Brewington case focuses First Amendment attention on Indiana

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Daniel Brewington is either a poster child for the wrongful prosecution of free speech or a man whose online rants about a judge constituted criminal threats. It all depends on your point of view.
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Volokh: Case will have ramifications beyond Indiana

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
First Amendment scholar and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh knows a thing or two about blogging and free speech, as namesake of the popular legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy.
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ACLU alleges IMPD officers infringed panhandlers’ free-speech rights

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers violated the free speech rights of indigent panhandlers ordered to move from near Circle Center Mall last week.
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Prisoner adequately stated First Amendment claim against DOC employees

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals quickly affirmed the dismissal of most of a prisoner’s claims regarding violations under Indiana statute or the state and federal constitutions, but found her First Amendment retaliation claims against several Department of Correction employees should not have been dismissed by the trial court.
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Attorney says Washington nonprofit’s complaints are part of ‘smear’ campaign

July 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terre Haute conservative attorney James Bopp Jr. says that an IRS whistleblower suit and other complaints alleging Bopp has diverted funds from the nonprofit James Madison Center for Free Speech to his law firm are part of a “smear machine” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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Man loses challenge to Internet access restrictions

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A convicted sex offender’s probation condition restricting his access to certain websites and programs that are frequented by children does not violate the man’s First Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Police officer’s suit alleging retaliation for political comment survives

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of two Portage police officers and the city on a detective’s claim that he was transferred in retaliation for comments he made to a local newspaper following the mayoral primary election in 2007.
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SCOTUS issues 3 decisions; opinions on Ball State case, same-sex marriage to come

June 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Those who hoped to learn how the Supreme Court of the United States will rule on same-sex marriage likely will need to wait until next week. The U.S. justices issued three opinions Thursday, although none were from the highly anticipated cases before them.
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Justices look to set arguments in Rockport, blogger’s intimidation cases

June 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court may hold arguments in September on the case involving the controversial Rockport coal gasification plant as well as on the case of a Dearborn County man who was convicted of intimidation of a judge based on online rants.
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Criticism of judge results in discipline case

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden speaks his mind, sometimes to his disadvantage, he concedes. Now he could lose his law license because of things he wrote.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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ACLU of Indiana claims ordinances on door-to-door canvassing violate First Amendment

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The ACLU of Indiana announced Thursday it has filed lawsuits against the town of Yorktown and the city of Jeffersonville because their ordinances regulating the activities of door-to-door canvassers violate the right to free expression under the U.S. Constitution.
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Is COA opinion on threat to judge a threat to rights?

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Advocates say imprisoned blogger's ruling out of the Indiana Court of Appeals imperils the First Amendment.
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Settlement in works for teens expelled for online death threats

February 28, 2013
IL Staff
Griffith Public Schools and the three teens expelled from eighth grade because of a Facebook conversation are in the process of finalizing a settlement agreement, according to a joint status report filed Wednesday in federal court.
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7th Circuit grants injunction in company’s suit against providing employees contraceptives

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a case out of Madison, Ind., to be nearly identical to one out of Southern Illinois challenging the federal mandate that employers must provide contraceptives to employees despite religious objections, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction Wednesday.
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Supreme Court denies Star appeal in online commenter case

December 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday denied transfer in The Indianapolis Star’s appeal of an order that it identify a person who posted an anonymous online comment that has been included in a defamation suit.
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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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