ACLU of Kentucky

4:22 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Louisville Metro Council Members Seek to Bar ‘Hate Speech’ by City Hall Speakers

Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The language used by a controversial City Hall gadfly has a handful of Louisville Metro Council members seeking to change the rules for public comment at meetings.

For years, Connie Marshall, a former candidate for mayor, has used the lectern at public meetings to riff about different conspiracies against her, often in explicit terms.

Those speeches have made some council members uncomfortable.

Read more
11:28 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kentucky Senate Committee Passes Bill Requiring Mandatory Ultrasound for Abortions

Credit File photo

A Kentucky Senate committee has passed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound procedure.

Senate Bill 8 is the latest anti-abortion measure to clear the panel.

Lawmakers heard testimony from Derrick Selznick, who is director of the ACLU of Kentucky’s Reproductive Freedom Project. Selznick opposes the bill on the grounds that it’s demeaning to women.

Read more
Local News
12:40 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Longtime Activist Suzy Post to Get Metro Louisville's 2014 Freedom Award

Longtime Louisville activist Suzy Post will receive Metro Louisville's 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award.

Post has a long history of social activism in Louisville. She was president of what is now the ACLU of Kentucky and later the founding president of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. She's also the last surviving plaintiff in the 1970s lawsuit that forced the city's public schools to desegregate, the city said.

Read more
6:49 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Federal Court Sides With Plaintiffs in Kentucky Redistricting Case

Credit File photo

The three-judge federal panel tasked with determining the constitutionality of outdated Kentucky voting districts has granted the plaintiffs attorneys' fees, possibly paving the way to an official end to the state's two-year redistricting nightmare.

Read more
Local News
1:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Kentucky ACLU Criticizes Large-Scale Police Targeting of 'Low Level' Drug Suspects

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer
Credit Kentucky State Police

The Kentucky State Police embarked Friday on what officials are calling “the largest one-day drug round-up in agency history"—but the state ACLU suggests that the busts are misguided.

Dubbed “Operation Black Friday,” state police were targeting nearly 500 people were being  targeted for arrest across the state on charges mostly related to drug trafficking, KSP spokesman Sgt. Richard Saint-Blancard said.

Read more
Local News
7:02 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Now You Can Look Up Louisville Metro Corrections Inmates Online

Credit Google Maps

Louisville Metro Corrections has launched a new feature that allows people to look up information about inmates on the Internet.

The XJail system was officially unveiled last week. Users can search for jail inmates by name, alphabetically or by entry or release date.

The system gives information about when the inmate was booked, when they may be released and their charges. It also includes a mugshot.

Jail officials say they implemented X-Jail because they were getting hundreds of phone calls each day from people seeking information about each inmate.

Read more
4:48 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

ACLU to Schools: Stop Letting Groups Hand Out Bibles to Students


The ACLU of Kentucky is calling on school districts to disclose their practices for letting groups  distribute literature to students during school hours.

Spokeswoman Amber Duke says the ACLU request follows multiple complaints by parents over the past few years in Kentucky. Most recently the superintendent of Logan County Schools has admitted allowing Gideon International to distribute Bibles, saying it was a long-time tradition.

Duke says in the past, the ACLU has dealt with schools individually.

Read more
Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Strange Fruit: SCOTUS Takes on Marriage Equality; Filmmaker Byron Hurt on 'Soul Food Junkies'


This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two marriage equality cases. The Prop 8 case is a constitutional challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. The justices seem divided on the issue and there are even hints the case could get thrown out on standing. Tuesday's arguments brought us gems like whether gay marriage is newer than cell phones, whether it's harmful to children, and whether couples older than 55 should be able to marry even if they can't procreate.

Read more
1:54 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Tackle With TAC4 Hosting Immigration Forum

A Louisville-based consulting firm is hosting a forum on immigration reform with the hope of finding common ground.

In the past year, TAC 4 Solutions had held several public discussions on tough political issues such as gun control, campaign finance reform and President Obama’s health care law. The group's aim is to hold respectful dialogue and change the tone of political conversation.

There appears to be movement on improving the immigration system after Republicans performed poorly among Hispanics in the fall election.

Recently, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered a speech on immigration reform that was praised by liberal and Tea Party activists. Paul noted that Republicans have been losing "both the respect and votes" of Hispanics due to the GOP's "harsh rhetoric."

Kate Miller is a program director with the ACLU of Kentucky, and a featured panelist. She says it is encouraging to hear Paul’s remarks because the majority of Americans want to improve the system.

"We haven’t had an opportunity to review all of Senator Paul’s proposal, but I can assure you that we are thrilled that his proposal includes a pathway to citizenship," she says. "And really it’s not surprising that someone with his political background would support a more practical system. As most people know, it’s very expensive to maintain our current immigration system."

Read more
2:19 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents?

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Executive Director John J. Johnson
Credit Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.

John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, tells WFPL the commission agrees "wholeheartedly" with civil rights proponents, adding there is a potential risk for people to use their faith to discriminate.

"If this bill is adopted people can hide behind religious freedoms and discriminate in anyway they feel. They could say based on my religion I don’t think I should serve people based on interracial marriage. I don’t believe I should serve people because they are of a different religion," he says. "People can hide behind it in anyway, and it just makes it more difficult for the human rights agencies to pursue equality in our state."

Read more