April 20, 2016 Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and a fundamental right upon which our civil liberties rest. In Indiana and across the country, the ACLU works in courts, legislatures and...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thurs., April 7, 2016 "The ACLU stands firmly against discrimination in all forms, but that isn't what this law is about," said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive...
March 14, 2016 The deaths of Michael Brown, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, Scott Walker, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and many others are, according to ACLU National, "...grim reminders that there are...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Mon., Feb. 29, 2016 Indianapolis – Today a federal judge awarded a preliminary injunction to Exodus Refugee Immigration in a case brought by the resettlement agency,...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJan. 27, 2016 Agreement with DOC marks fundamental, systemic change in the treatment of seriously mentally ill prisoners We fully anticipate this cooperation [with the...
April 20, 2016
On July 1, 2016, a law that establishes a procedure for the release of law enforcement recordings, i.e., footage from body-worn or dashboard cameras, will go into effect in the state of Indiana. State lawmakers heavily amended the bill, HEA 1019, before it was passed into law on March 21. The amendments helped to rectify some of the problematic parts of the legislation, but those revisions did not go far enough in protecting the legal rights of people under open records laws to access video footage captured on police cameras.
March 30, 2016
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt denied the State of Indiana's request to stay her Feb. 29 ruling granting a preliminary injunction to Exodus Refugee Immigration, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, to stop Gov. Mike Pence from denying settlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.
The following statement can be attributed to Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director:
"We are pleased that Judge Pratt has recognized that the State of Indiana has no role in banning a group of refugees based solely upon their nationality. The Governor's position offends federal law, the U.S. Constitution, and our fundamental American values of providing refuge for families fleeing war and violence."
March 28, 2016
Last week Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1337 was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana believes this law has constitutional flaws, and we are in the process of reviewing it on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
The following statement may be attributed to ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk:
"We believe the law has constitutional flaws. The United States Supreme Court has made it quite clear that the Constitution absolutely prohibits states from interfering in this manner with a woman's decision to have an abortion."
The following statement may be attributed to ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar:
"Women across the country are outraged and insulted by this law, which intrudes on rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. This law restricts a woman's right based on her reasons for terminating a pregnancy, and it takes away the very thing a woman needs: the ability to make an informed decision about what could be a devastating situation. The ACLU of Indiana will continue to work to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference."
In the last legislative session, state lawmakers briefly considered a measure to update Indiana's civil rights code to include limited protections for a portion of the LGBT community. But, before it could be improved through the legislative process, the bill died without debate or a vote. One of the most glaring problems with the legislation was its failure to include any protections on the basis of gender identity.
What is fact and what is myth in the debate about transgender rights?
Join us for First Wednesdays in South Bend, when we explore what it means to be transgender in our society, the history of discrimination against the transgender community and why laws to extend protections in housing, employment and public accommodations must be extended to people who are transgender.
By Jane Henegar
You may have heard Governor Pence, in his State of the State address, challenging all of us to find a way in which religious liberty can co-exist alongside civil rights laws, including civil rights laws updated to protect gay and transgender Hoosiers.
The American Civil Liberties Union has fought long and hard for religious liberty for all faiths for nearly 100 years and we believe that freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination, both protected by the Constitution, can coexist.
As a nation grappling with how to address discrimination in a diverse society, we have decided again and again that, in this narrow conflict, freedom from discrimination prevails.
Every American enjoys broad and important religious liberty rights. For instance, clergy and faith leaders, not the government, determine which marriages their religious organizations officiate and bless. The ACLU would defend the constitutional rights of any pastor, rabbi, imam, priest or other faith leader if government tried to dictate the nature of their religious rites or ceremonies. The free exercise clause of the First Amendment protects those faith-based decisions. Further, existing Indiana civil rights law preserves full discretion for religious organizations in their hiring decisions. These current protections for religious organizations will not change.
December 1, 2015
A Fort Wayne mom who has early-stage Hepatitis C is one of thousands of individuals across Indiana whose lives could possibly be saved through an ACLU of Indiana class-action lawsuit filed in November, 2015.
People who receive federal Medicaid benefits through the state should not be denied medically necessary treatment.
Our case against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration challenges FSSA's policy of denying a life-saving drug to certain Medicaid recipients who have early-stage Hep C, which the lawsuit claims violates federal Medicaid law.
Hep C is a chronic disease that can lead to severe health problems, such as liver failure, cancer and even death. People in the early stages of the disease have the potential to be completely cured and their pain alleviated by a drug called Harvoni, yet the FSSA's policy provides the drug only to people in later stages of the disease. People who receive federal Medicaid benefits through the state should not be denied medically necessary treatment.
November 17, 2015
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is deeply saddened that Governor Mike Pence has joined the backlash against Syrian refugees in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. These refugees are fleeing violence and oppression and should not be blamed for the very terror they are fleeing. We caution public officials against any reflexive reactions to curtail our civil liberties and target individuals because of their nationality in response to these horrific events. Refugee admission has long been a federal matter in which states do not have authority. We urge Governor Pence to rethink his position and affirm the need for refugees to seek sanctuary from the brutality of terrorism.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thurs., April 7, 2016
"The ACLU stands firmly against discrimination in all forms, but that isn't what this law is about," said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive director. "Unnecessary restrictions, like those recently signed into law, demean women and threaten the quality of their health care. The ACLU of Indiana will continue to work to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to continue a pregnancy without undue political interference."
Indianapolis – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed a lawsuit today against the Indiana State Department of Health, prosecutors of several counties and the state medical licensing board asking the Court to block enforcement of a new law that imposes unconstitutional restrictions on women seeking abortions and their health care providers. The ACLU of Indiana and PPINK claim the law violates due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment as well as First Amendment rights of free speech.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mon., Feb. 29, 2016
Indianapolis – Today a federal judge awarded a preliminary injunction to Exodus Refugee Immigration in a case brought by the resettlement agency, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and ACLU national. The order prohibits the State of Indiana from taking any actions to interfere with or attempt to deter the resettlement of Syrian refugees by Exodus in Indiana, including by withholding funds and services due Exodus and the refugees it serves.
"We are extremely pleased by the decision," said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana. "The equal protection clause of the United States Constitution demands that all of the refugees who are extensively vetted and finally approved by the federal government be treated equally. Indiana was not, and now, pursuant to the trial court's order, must do so."
The lawsuit, filed in November on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc., sought the injunction to stop the governor from taking any actions to suspend, block or withhold aid from refugees or from Exodus. Exodus is a nonprofit corporation that receives federal money through the state's Office of Refugee Programs, located within the Family and Social Services Administration, to assist in resettlement of federally approved and screened refugees. The funds are used to assist with employment training, English language education and other services.
"This ruling puts the brakes on Governor Pence's end run around the Constitution. No state can unilaterally ban a group of refugees that has been vetted and admitted by the federal government. By trying to block Syrian families based solely on their nationality, Indiana is flouting federal law, the U.S. Constitution, and our fundamental American values of providing refuge for families fleeing war and violence," said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.
Exodus has settled 892 refugees, including some from Syria, in the past fiscal year, and is projected to settle approximately that number in 2016, including 19 Syrians approved for refugee status by the federal government that have been placed with Exodus.
The decision, Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Mike Pence, et al., Case 1:15-cv-01858-TWP-DKL was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, on February 29, 2016.
Contact: 317-635-4059 Ext. 122
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2016
We fully anticipate this cooperation [with the Indiana Department of Correction] will continue and that these changes will have a significant positive impact by reducing the severity of mental illness in prisoners who will one day rejoin society.
—ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk
Indianapolis –A long-running class action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission against the Indiana Department of Correction has been settled with a proposed agreement that awaits approval by the Court after notice to the class. If approved the agreement will fundamentally transform the way seriously mentally ill prisoners are treated in state correctional facilities. The changes will affect hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners in Indiana who will receive better access to mental health care and who will no longer be held without treatment in solitary confinement.