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The ACLU of Indiana works to protect our freedoms, defend matters of equality, and provide justice for all Hoosiers. By working on a variety of issues, from prisoner rights and election issues to LGBTQ rights and freedom of religion and speech, the ACLU of Indiana stands up for the basic rights protected in the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. While the issues below may appear separate and unrelated, they all are a necessary part of preserving a democratic American society.

"With liberty and justice for all." Children learn this phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance at a young age. But what does it mean to have justice for all? It is a bold statement of equality and fairness for all people. A just system strives to prevent exclusion and unfair bias. This is at the heart of the ACLU of Indiana's mission.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, without probable cause and without a Warrant. The Fourteenth Amendment, which states that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in medical and genetic privacy at the national level and in other states.

In addition to our work to protect constitutional rights, the ACLU of Indiana brings cases involving civil rights laws that protect people with disabilities and those who receive Medicaid or other state and federal benefits.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, without probable cause and without a Warrant. The Fourteenth Amendment, which states that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in police practices at the national level and in other states.

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution  provides for equal application of the laws, prohibiting states from denying any person the equal protection of its laws.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect voting rights at the national level and in other states.

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishments in prisons and jails. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause also applies to the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect the rights of prisoners at the national level and in other states.

"All men are created equal." While it is a simple concept, it is one that can be especially hard to put into practice. The course of American history has been paved by movements for equality — civil rights, women's rights, and most recently, LGBTQ rights. The ACLU of Indiana has been there to fight for them all.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect disability rights at the national level and in other states.

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Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.

Click here to learn more about our the ACLU's work to protect the rights of immigrants at the national level and in other states.

 

Religious freedom is fundamentally important; that's why it's already protected in our state and federal Constitutions. But that doesn't give any of us the right to discriminate against others. We must ensure that hardworking gay and transgender people are not denied a job, evicted from their apartment, or refused service by a business just because of who they are.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect LGBTQ rights at the national level and in other states.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall ...deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect the rights of women at the national level and in other states.

For national and state information on reproductive freedom, click here.

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for equal application of the laws, prohibiting states from denying any person the equal protection of its laws.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in juvenile justice at the national level and in other states.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana mounts epic struggles to ensure everyone in America gets to enjoy the rights, freedoms and liberties that the Constitution guarantees. Since our formation, we have been involved in all aspects of the struggle for racial justice across the United States.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in racial justice at the national level and in other states.

Because we live in a free society, we must provide equal protection for everyone's freedoms, especially those in the minority — be it racial, religious, sexual preference, gender, age or other definition. When freedoms as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are in jeopardy, the ACLU of Indiana is there to defend them.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech. The Fourteenth Amendment, which states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States..." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect free speech at the national level and in other states.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.... The Fourteenth Amendment, which states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect religious liberty at the national level and in other states.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech....The Fourteenth Amendment, which states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work to protect the rights of protesters at the national level and in other states.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech, whether written or spoken. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, without probable cause and without a Warrant. The Fourteenth Amendment, which states that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...." applies these protections in the states.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in privacy and technology at the national level and in other states.

 

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The ACLU of Indiana is grateful to many donors and supporters who make our work in litigation, education and advocacy possible. Here are some of their stories....

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5 Things You Can Do

As long as there is an American Civil Liberties Union (and we've been around for nearly 100 years), we will take a stand for what is right. We're stronger when you stand with us. We started this feature because we're hearing from supporters like you every day, and we want to help you raise your voice in ways that can make a real impact. We'll share more things to do on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This is the Legal Docket category description.

In the mid-to- late 1990s the ACLU of Indiana (then known as the Indiana Civil Liberties Union) brought suit against several schools for drug testing students.

  • In 1996, Rushville Consolidated High School approved a program prohibiting students from participating in extracurricular activities unless they consented to random, unannounced urinalysis tests for drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The ICLU filed suit on behalf of four sophomores in Todd v. Rush County Schools, and in 1998, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the school, saying its drug testing program did not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • In 1997, Anderson High School suspended a male freshman student for fighting with another student. School policy required he take a drug test before being readmitted to school. The boy refused the drug test and was threatened with expulsion. The ICLU challenged the school's drug testing policy in Willis v. Anderson Comm. Sch. Corp., saying that fighting did not represent a cause for reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, and eventually prevailed in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court let the decision stand.
  • In 1999, Northwestern School Corporation in Kokomo established a drug testing policy as part of "zero tolerance" toward drug usage. The policy applied to many, but not all extracurricular activities, and required students to consent to random testing for drugs, alcohol and nicotine. In Linke v. Northwestern Sch. Corp., the ICLU filed suit on behalf of two students, challenging the policy under the Indiana Constitution. Though we prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2000, in 2002, the Indiana Supreme Court held 3-2 that the drug testing was constitutional. Because the challenge was brought based upon the Indiana Constitution, there was no chance of review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2002, when the U.S. Supreme Court did hear a case brought by two Tecumseh, Oklahoma students on Fourth Amendment grounds, the Court upheld 5-4 the constitutionality of mandatory drug testing, saying that students participating in extracurricular activities had a diminished expectation of privacy, and that the policy furthered an important interest of the school in preventing drug abuse among students.

Thank you for visiting the ACLU of Indiana. In addition to the legal and advocacy work we do to protect civil liberties across the state, we are always looking for opportunities to educate Hoosiers about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, civil rights laws and the Constitution of Indiana.

Here are a few resources you can download for your own use or for use in the classroom:

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The ACLU defends basic freedoms, every day, for every American. Support us with your tax deductible gift today.