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FALL 2009 NEWSLETTER
VOL. 9, ISSUE 2
Board President’s message: Cathy Gibson
Googling away our privacy
“The fundamental problem inherent in the Settlement is the complete absence of any limitations on collection and use of reader information and no privacy standards for retention, modiﬁcation, deletion or disclosure of that information to third parties or the government. Without those limitations, an unprecedented quantity of granular information about reader’s activities will be, and indeed already is, being collected – including the identity of readers, every book searched for, browsed, purchased, and read.” -- Written statement of the American Civil Liberties Union before the House Judiciar y Committee hearing on the Google Books project, Sept. 10, 2009. Google’s project of digitizing as many books as possible has caused mixed reactions. The scope of the project is enormous, and the copyright issues alone are mind-boggling. Anyone who has tried to ﬁnd a rare or ephemeral book can only applaud this effort; h o w e v e r, a t r o u b l i n g complication has emerged. The G o o g l e Cathy Gibson technology also allows a data trail on who is accessing speciﬁc materials. The ACLU got involved to highlight the privacy issues involved. Recently a friend commented that this involvement was another example of causes that make it difﬁcult to defend the ACLU. To this friend it was a nuisance issue. I understand that reaction, but as a former librarian involved with intellectual freedom issues, I have to disagree. Those of you over See Google, page 5
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
2 LEGISLATIVE WRAPUP The ACLU of Indiana had some wins, losses and draws during the extended 2009 Indiana session. Read Joan Laskowski’s recap. 3 TINY TEAM, BIG WORK Our staff is smaller -- but busy as ever, with 800 calls per month coming into our ofﬁce. Legal director Ken Falk tells you how our team responds to every call. 4 A MOVING PICTURE American Violet captured the hearts of national and local moviegoers. Learn more about our exclusive screening in Indianapolis. 5 MEET GIL HOLMES A longtime force within our organization is back. Get to know our interim executive director as he discusses the importance of outreach. 6 OUR VISION, MISSION Where are we going? Read our new 2009-2012 strategic plan. ELECTION DO-OVER! Due to a delivery mixup, we are asking all members to vote again - even if you already sent in your ballot. Only the new ballots will count. We appreciate your understanding and participation. CANDIDATE GUIDE Look for a clip-and-mail ballot, candidate list, map and vote info.
ACLU OF INDIANA ****************
ACLU of INDIANA annual dinner Nov. 13, 2009 * Save the Date!
Juan Williams, author/TV host
Your Annual Dinner Committee has begun cranking up for this year’s celebration, and as a result we now have a date, location and a theme. Join us starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 at The Marrott, 2625 N Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Following our Safe and Free, and Growing! theme, we are gearing up for an amazing time. Don’t forget about our distinguished k ey n o t e s p e a k e r Ju a n Wi l l i a m s, commentator on National Public Radio and Fox News. Along with his impressive journalistic skills, Williams wrote the critically acclaimed biog raphy “Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary” which was released in paperback in February 2000. Go to www.aclu-in.org to reserve a table or become a sponsor. Tickets are $100 He is also the author of the nonﬁction bestseller Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, the companion volume to the critically acclaimed television series. This year’s
dinner speaker is made possible through a bequest from the estate of Marian McKay Walley, a passionate advocate of civil liberties and a longtime supporter of the ACLU of Indiana. Members of her family will be present to acknowledge our gratitude for her generosity and vision. Special thanks to Nora Hiatt for securing Juan, and to our Annual Dinner Committee for their efforts. We’ll see you in November!
ACLU OF INDIANA
FALL 2009 force in defeating this legislation. Thank you. None of the many other bills i m p e d i n g a w o m a n ’s a c c e s s t o reproductive healthcare were passed. However, none of the reproductive freedom bills we supported were passed either. These included measures requiring pharmacies to ﬁll contraceptive prescriptions in a timely manner; deﬁning contraception and exempting it from abortion statutes; requiring a principal to notify parents if the school is providing abstinence-only sex ed courses; and requiring medically accurate ageappropriate sex education. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Our keenest loss came in the special session, when the state budget was passed with a neovoucher provision giving a tax credit for contributions to nonproﬁt scholarship-funding organizations. This takes up to $2.5 million of Hoosier taxes away from public schools and, for the ﬁrst
Joan Laskowski wrapup
Highlights of the 2009 General Assembly
Members of the 2009 General Assembly had two imperatives: to pass a state budget and to insure re-election. The ﬁrst required special session overtime for the legislators; the second required overtime for the defenders of civil liberties. This effort was l a r g e l y Joan Laskowski successful. Most Hoosier liberties survived. The ACLU of Indiana, led by Legislation Director Gavin Rose, followed over 100 bills, testifying and working with coalitions on many. Results for some of the priority bills follow. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS Once again there was a powerful attempt to make reproductive healthcare even less accessible in Indiana. A bill to require physicians who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges in the county or the county adjacent to where the procedure is provided made its way through both chambers. Under the color of patient safety, the legislation imposed stricter regulations on one class of doctors than on any others doing riskier outpatient surgical procedures. It also ignored the fact that because fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients have complications r e q u i r i n g hospitalization, hospitals have little interest in granting admitting privileges. As a result of strong coalition work and emails and calls from ACLU-IN Bill of Rights Lobby members, supportive legislators succeeded in passing daunting amendments late in the process. These required admitting privileges for all invasive surgical procedures and established the provision of breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured women. Insistence on these amendments ultimately defeated the bill in conference committee. Your efforts were the vital
makes the diversion from public to religious schools permissible. This is not the end of the ﬁght. Legislative backers promise to return to try to increase both the present 50% tax credit for each contribution and the present $2.5 million cap. This is the time to talk with your state legislators about your concerns regarding public school funding, which is a state constitutional mandate, and the preservation of religious liberty if government is permitted to use taxpayer money to beneﬁt religious institutions. VOTING RIGHTS The ACLU-IN supported a number of bills to ease Indiana’s most restrictive in the nation voter ID requirements; to extend poll hours; to expand the franchise and simplify voting procedures. Only two bills passed, one of which was vetoed. Legislation specifying that a voter who casts a provisional ballot must be told within three days of the election why the ballot is treated as provisional and what steps must be taken to have the ballot counted was passed by House and Senate but vetoed by the Governor. The legislation that was signed protects the voting rights of the military and public safety ofﬁcers and permits online voter registration for people with a valid driver’s license or state ID. A much-lobbied measure authorizing as sufﬁcient voter ID an ID document with no expiration date or an indeﬁnite date from an Indiana post-secondary educational institution or the military or the Peace Corps died in conference committee. Joan Laskowski, vice president of legislation, is a board member of the ACLU of Indiana and the national ACLU.
How did they vote?
Track your state legislators’ votes on these issues and more key civil liberties bills by clicking 2009 Voting Records on our www.aclu-in.org website. Whether your legislators have a high or low civil liberties score, your activism makes you part of a movement to preserve freedom. Ke e p i n c o n t a c t w i t h y o u r representative. Your interaction with your legislators and your contributions make it possible to hire a staff lobbyist to keep this movement alive.
time, makes them available to K-12 private schools, most of which are religious. The ACLU of Indiana strongly opposed this legislation. The Indiana Constitution forbids drawing any money from the treasury for the beneﬁt of any religious institution. State legislators who supported this current voucher-funding plan, and the Governor, argued that the funds are “uncollected” tax dollars and that this
ACLU OF INDIANA
IN THE NEWS
KEN FALK ON THE FOURTH The Independence Day 2009 edition of the Indianapolis Star proﬁled Ken Falk, talking - naturally - about civil liberties on the country’s birthday. Wrote the Star’s Will Higgins: “Ken Falk, who as the legal director for the ACLU of Indiana invariably is on privacy’s side, ﬁgures at least one of every 10 lawsuits he ﬁles is privacyrelated. Some he wins, some he loses. In 2006, Falk won a case against the Indiana attorney general, who had sought to seize medical records of minors from Planned Parenthood. In the fall, Falk appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court over a lower court’s decision to uphold a Plainﬁeld, Ind. ordinance that bars sex offenders from public parks. Not all share his view, but to Falk, “it’s a right of personal privacy to be able to walk in public places.”
Ken Falk wrapup
Small staff, but heavy caseload for legal
Since my last report, the legal staff has shrunk. Jackie Bowie Suess has resigned after more than a decade of service. Although no longer employed as a staff attorney, Jackie continues to work as a cooperating attorney so we still receive the beneﬁt of her presence and excellent work. However, her absence as a full time attorney with the ofﬁce is, and will continue to be, felt. No new attorney has been hired and no new hiring is planned for the foreseeable future. As a result, the entire legal staff is now two attorneys − myself and Gavin Rose − and our legal assistant, Kandy Kendall. Nevertheless we continue to receive 600-800 requests for assistance a month, all of which are processed by Kandy and a small number of dedicated volunteers. We continue to have an extremely active litigation docket
and I would encourage you to review it on our website (www.acluin.org). Among our recent successes: A preliminary injunction order that was later turned into an agreed judgment resulting in the permanent removal of a Ken Falk church trailer from school grounds that was being used for religious instruction during the school day (H.S. v. Huntington County Community School Corp.); successful defenses, in a number of cases, of homeless individuals who received citations for being on Indianapolis sidewalks (City of Indianapolis v. McClellan; City of Indianapolis v. Byrd); a settlement allowing the posting of an atheist’s group message on Bloomington buses (Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign v. Bloomington Public Transportation Corp.); an appellate decision striking down as unconstitutional as applied a municipal ordinance that banned a sex offender who was no longer
required to register from entering a city’s parks (Dowdell v. City of Jeffersonville). We continue to litigate a wide range of cases across the spectrum of civil liberties. Some of the cases include: a challenge to the failure of administrative law judges to consider additional evidence in Medicaid hearings (Curtis v. Murphy); a case claiming that the Americans with Disabilities Act is violated by the intrusive questions concerning past mental health treatment demanded of those applying for the Indiana bar (Doe v. Individual Members of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners); a number of litigation challenges to policies and practices which impinge upon prisoners’ religious practices in both the state and federal prison systems; cases attacking the policy of the State of reducing the number of hours for respite and attendant care services for some Medicaid recipients (B.N.
v. Murphy, Chadwell v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration); a challenge by motorists who claimed they were wrongfully stopped and detained in a trafﬁc stop (Lockridge v. City of Lawrenceburg); challenges, on selfincrimination grounds, to requirements imposed on sex offenders both while in prison and on parole (Clark v. Buss, Fields v. Buss). The extensive docket reﬂects the dedication and commitment of the staff who manage an enormous amount of litigation at one time. Thank you for your continued help and support and please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
Ken Falk came to Indiana in 1977 to work for Legal Services in Muncie and has been with the ACLU of Indiana since 1996. He is the organization’s legal services director and an adjunct professor at the Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis.
How does ACLU of Indiana decide what cases to accept for representation?
ACLU OF INDIANA
A look inside the ACLU of Indiana
The ACLU of Indiana is one of 50 state or regional afﬁliates of the American Civil What exactly is the relationship between the ACLU and the ACLU of Liberties Union. Our agreement with the ACLU is that most Indiana donations and some Indiana membership fees are shared with the ACLU, and we work with ACLU on Indiana? some of our public education, litigation and legislative advocacy efforts.
In the mail, on the phone, in person, and over the internet, we receive over 800 requests for assistance each month, and several volunteers help our legal staff sort through these requests. Of course, with a legal staff of just two full-time attorneys, a part-time attorney and a paralegal, we can only take on a small fraction of these cases. Our priorities are defending Hoosiers from government actions that violate the Bill of Rights, which leads us to have an active docket of cases involving freedom of speech, free religious expression, equal protection and due process rights of children and people with disabilities, and prisoners’ rights to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. Our current docket can be viewed on-line at http://www.aclu-in.org/
On Sept. 17, the American Civil Liberties Union brought a national case home to Indianapolis. That day honors the Constitution of the United States and the organization hosted two free s c re e n i n g s o f American Violet, a real-lifeturned-movie portrayal of a mother falsely charged as a drug dealer. The ACLU took on this case and wo n . M o re t h a n 2 5 0 people attended the screenings – and some movie-goers actually dropped in dollar bills on t h e i r w ay o u t ! “ Fo r decades, the ACLU has been at the forefront of helping individuals keep their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” said Gilbert Holmes, interim executive director of the
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ACLU of Indiana. “This ﬁlm is a prime example of how the organization comes to the aid of persons who lack the resources to defend themselves.” More details at americanviolet.com. This community outreach event was courtesy of the ACLU, Madame CJ Walker Theatre, Mays Chemical Company, Indianapolis Urban League, and IU School of Law (Indianapolis).
Enclosed is my check for:
VISA_________MASTERCARD________EXP DATE ___/____ ACCOUNT #__________________________________________
SIGNATURE_________________________________________ Mail checks or cash to ACLU of Indiana, 1031 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-3952
ACLU OF INDIANA GOOGLE, from page 1 sixty will remember the charge slips in the back of library books that listed the prior readers of the book. I remember thinking that this information was fascinating and offered insights into people I knew. Therein is the rub. This information was none of my business, and over the years libraries have done all they could to protect the privacy of their readers, listeners, and viewers. From a privacy consideration, one of the best features of the newer l i b r a r y c o m p u t e r i ze d circulation systems is that the link with a particular borrower is broken as soon as the item is returned. In the old days of photographic transactions it was possible to reread the ﬁlm and determine what items a speciﬁc user had borrowed. The Indianapolis public library system required a court order before it would provide any information to law enforcement agencies. The Patriot Act added a new and disturbing rule that required libraries to reveal to federal ofﬁcials items that had been loaned to a particular person, but prohibited them from reporting that such requests had been received. (It is impossible to know how much of this process went on or is still going on.) Recently I have been thinking more seriously about the data trail we all leave behind us when we use those store cards that ﬁt on your keychain (think CVS and Marsh) and probably many others that I haven’t thought about. The statement of the American Civil Liberties Union is that “we have been the nation’s pree m i n e n t a d vo c at e i n s u p p o r t o f individual free speech rights and one of the foremost protectors of individual privacy”. I can tell you what I have been reading if I choose to do so, but “Big Brother” should not be able to pry into my reading habits via Google on a whim or suspicion. 5
Gil Holmes wrapup
Carrying the torch
Several adjectives come to mind when describing the events that are now unfolding in the world as we know it, and in our own ACLU of Indiana afﬁliate. The times are exciting, exhilarating, challenging, promising, and even frightening when considered in the context of civil liberties, and where the path will take us on our journey to continue to uphold the constitutional guarantees of all who reside within our borders and shores. There is general excitement that we have elected and installed for the very ﬁrst time a president who is unlike any of the previous inhabitants of this ofﬁce, a man who is of A f r i c a n American descent. While the excitement about this historical event is clearly universally high, there is both a positive and negative Gil Holmes response to this phenomenon. It is not unreasonable to think that the Bill of Rights, particularly the 1st Amendment, will face challenges as we struggle to both deﬁne and protect free speech. Here in our afﬁliate, there is a feeling of exhilaration which plays out in several ways. We are seeing a surge of renewed and growing interest and active participation in the work of the ACLU of Indiana. Our board has recently completed a very comprehensive strategic plan (see page 6 for details), and this issue of the newsletter details how we successfully hosted a community outreach project -- the screening of the movie “American Violet” -- and our plans for our Annual Dinner which will take place on Nov. 13. HOLD THE DATE! You will receive more information on the dinner very soon. Our keynote speaker will be Juan Williams, nationally featured commentator on PBS and Fox News. Our dinner theme will be “Safe and Free, and Growing!” This captures the national ACLU theme of “Safe and Free” along with our own new posture of growing. We have launched a project to plan for a signiﬁcant upgrade of our home in the Price Building. Ultimately, this plan, borne of necessity will preserve our
building, add to its value, and provide both a functionally efﬁcient, as well as attractive environment that our members, supporters and staff can be proud of. For a number of reasons we face signiﬁcant challenges, as do all sectors of our society. The most critical challenge we face is ﬁnancial. We simply must generate renewed efforts to reengage our historically loyal and generous supporters; sustain and grow our membership; reach out to those who would become supporters if given the opportunity. The board of directors has thrown its support behind a plan to create a functional development operation which will guide this effort. Each of us has a role to play if we are to be successful in meeting this challenge. We face an incredibly promising future. We see mounting interest on the part of young people who are expressing high interest in being more engaged in the cause of civil liberties. We have had requests for participation ranging from already active chapters such as the Indiana University SE Student Chapter, to the Notre Dame University Law School where there is an emerging chapter. We must, in my opinion, continue to do outreach to those populations that have not heretofore been engaged in our work. There is also an element of fear that hovers over our civil liberties. The rancid air of incivility, distrust and suspicious rhetoric seems to me to suggest that unless we as civil libertarians set a course of maintaining objectivity and hue to the time tested precepts of liberty, we face the risk of an erosion of the freedoms we hold dear. So become a member and donate what you can. See page 4 of this newsletter for details. Come join us! Gil Holmes is interim executive director of the ACLU of Indiana and a longtime board member.
“WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT
challenges facing us. If you truly believe in the strength, beauty and genius of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, then you must consider yourself a civil libertarian and a person who does, and will, support the ACLU of Indiana.”
ACLU OF INDIANA
OUR STRATEGIC PLAN
2009-2012 MISSION: The ACLU of Indiana promotes, protects, and defends the rights, liberties and freedom guaranteed to all people in our state by the U.S. and Indiana Constitutions. VISION: The ACLU of Indiana will be widely recognized as the preeminent organization in the State of Indiana that carries out its mission of defending and protecting the civil liberties of Indiana residents through the development of vital, visible, sustainable programs of advocacy, education, outreach, litigation, and legislative engagement. This summer, the ACLU of Indiana created a blueprint for our next three years – a strategic plan for 2009-2012! There is a truly budding sense of excitement and energy that now permeates the ACLU of Indiana environment. It’s our future to either own or watch fail.
Cong rats, Fran!
Fran Quigley, former Executive Director of the ACLU of Indiana and current board member of the ACLU of Indiana Foundation, is the author of a book recently published by Indiana University Press. Walking Together, Walking Far is the story of the partnership between the I.U. School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine to combat HIV/AIDS in Kenya. The paperback book is $19.95 and is available in local bookstores, from Amazon, and in many local libraries.
Indiana board members meet with individual ACLU members to discuss the state of civil liberties in Indiana, concerns the member may have, and whether the member will, in addition to paying membership dues to the Union, continue to help us defend the Bill of Rights by making a tax deductible contribution to the ACLU of Indiana Foundation.
Learning from the past
History is important! In August, ACLU of Indiana interim executive director Gil Holmes met with Rebecca Shepherd Shoemaker, a retired professor of history at Indiana State University. Shoemaker, a historian, has written a history of the ACLU/ICLU from its beginnings through the early 1990s but believes that there is a need for another volume covering 1990s to date. Gil has had preliminary discussions of this project with several board members and other supporters, and hopes to get some traction on it in the near future. Everyone associated with the ACLU of Indiana should indeed all be proud of all of the hard work and dedication that has kept us going for over 55 years. Share your own photos or memories with us. E-mail Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org. The story needs to be told!
Indiana’s premier civil liberties advocacy organization seeks a dynamic, effective leader to direct and successfully implement the recently approved strategic plan for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which has a membership of 4,500 and an annual budget of $625,000. The principal goals identiﬁed in the plan are to improve the efﬁciency of the administration, promote public awareness of the ACLU in Indiana and increase membership. The ED will supervise a renewed interest in fund raising and development, including major donor cultivation. The ED joins a legal director who has an outstanding reputation for successful litigation contributive to civil liberties. Our successful applicant will have the enthusiastic support of a committed and diverse Board. Applicants should possess a strong commitment to civil liberties and be willing to address challenging and rewarding goals. Please send a cover letter, resume, references, and a writing sample to Executive Director Search, ACLU of Indiana, P. O. Box 441660, Indianapolis, IN 46204-9998 or, email@example.com.
We need you - and a friend!
Become a member by visiting www.aclu-in.org, or call 317.635.4059. Donations are also accepted to further our work.
Bill of Rights fundraising drive
An annual tradition resumes in November and December, as the ACLU of Indiana conducts its most important fundraising drive of the year, the “Bill of Rights” campaign. The campaign is grounded in the ﬁrm belief that personal outreach and one-onone conversations with members and potential supporters are the most cost effective and friendly way to raise funds. ACLU of 6
Twitter for us
The ACLU of Indiana is interested in social media. We’re already on MySpace, but we’d love volunteers to help us get the message out on both Facebook and Twitter, and do so regularly and professionally. Contact us if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org or to get more information.
ACLU OF INDIANA
NOVEMBER 13th - annual dinner with keynote speaker Juan Williams NOVEMBER-DECEMBER “Bill of Rights” fundraising drive JANUARY Our annual report recapping events of 2009 APRIL Our yearly ﬁnancial report and summary
FALL 2009 NEWSLETTER
SPECIAL ELECTION GUIDE
SAFE, FREE ... AND GROWING!
see inside for details!
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