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ACLU conference, dinner open to all

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The Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis will host the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Student Conference that will focus on issues faced by students at the high school, college, and law school levels.

The conference, which is open to the public, will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.

The conference will be followed by the ACLU-Indiana Annual Dinner at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Student Center, 4th Floor, beginning at 6 p.m.

The conference’s theme is “The Life of Jane Addams.” It will honor various aspects of Addams’ life, including her time as a social worker, suffragist, anti-war protestor, founding member of the ACLU and NAACP, and first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner, which she won in 1931.

Following breakfast and registration from 8 to 9 a.m., ACLU-IN legal director Kenneth Falk will discuss “The Current Status of Civil Liberties,” followed by breakout sessions.

Susan Curtis of Purdue University’s Department of History will present a “Historical View of Jane Addams” that will explore her 18th century life during the luncheon from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

Workshops in the morning will include Butler University professor Terri Jett and ACLU-IN board member Daryl Campbell presenting a film and discussion, “Know Your Rights When Stopped By Police”; immigration rights and issues will be discussed by Juan Solana of the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis and Sister Marikay Duffy of St. Mary’s Parish in Indianapolis; and social networking and privacy issues will be addressed by Baker & Daniels partner Kevin R. Erdman.

Afternoon workshops include a discussion about religion in schools, which will include Eric Workman, a plaintiff in a case involving Greenwood High School’s decision to have prayer at its graduation ceremony; “How Straight People Can Advance LGBT Rights,” presented by Indiana native, Ball State University graduate, and current Miss New York Claire Buffie, with M. Cripe, former PFLAG board member; and reproductive rights and the national health policy, addressed by Betty Cockrum, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, with ACLU-IN board member Mikki Randolph.

Following the workshops, participants will be able to discuss how to have a successful student chapter, featuring professor Tom Kotulak of Indiana University-Southeast, officers of the ACLU of Indiana IU-Southeast Chapter, and ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Gilbert Holmes.

A public reception will begin at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The dinner will honor Indianapolis attorney Irving L. Fink for his lifelong commitment to protecting civil rights for all Indiana residents, including prisoners, conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War, and the Ku Klux Klan leadership. He also had a hand in helping found the ACLU of Indiana and the organization now known as Indiana Legal Services.

Buffie will be the keynote speaker and will discuss advocacy work for equal rights. Her platform is, “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk.”

Registration for just the conference is $25 and includes parking at Lot 85 on the corner of California and New York streets, a continental breakfast, and a light lunch. Registration for the conference and annual dinner is $75 for students and $100 without a student ID.

More information, including how to register, can be found at www.aclu-in.org. Registration and payment must be received by Oct. 6.

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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