The Right to Work & Civil Rights

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Civil rights advocates of today can seek guidance from a decision issued 125 years ago. Antoinette Dakin Leach, challenged the denial of her admission to practice law in 1893 because she was not a voter and won. Judge Hackney wrote for the Indiana Supreme Court that “(t)here is a higher law in this country, . . . that law which accords to every citizen the natural right to gain a livelihood by intelligence, honesty, and industry in the arts, the … Read More

The Right to Vote Shall Not be Denied on Account of Sex-19th Amendment

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Transgender Voting Rights Hoosiers already face barriers to voting, from antiquated deadlines to strict photo ID requirements that are insurmountable for many. And one requirement hits transgender Hoosiers particularly hard—the identity requirement. Whether it’s identity documents or poll workers that impose barriers to your right to vote, the stakes are too high to sit this one out. An estimated 18,223 eligible Hoosiers could face societal barriers to voting due to their transgender status on November 8, 2016.  And it’s estimated … Read More

Thousands of Hoosiers Entitled to Vote by Mail

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First Responders and voters without transportation are now able to vote by mail! Indiana has expanded the number of Hoosiers entitled to vote an absentee ballot by mail over the last several years. There used to be a time in Indiana, when absentee voting was severely limited to those who were physically unable to be present on election day to vote at their polls. In the 90’s absentee voting in the clerk’s office was opened up to anyone regardless of … Read More

Today’s SCOTUS Decision a Victory for Reproductive Health Advocates

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Even missing one member of the Supreme Court, justices voted 5-3 that some of Texas’ abortions restrictions placed an “undue burden” on a women’s right to access an abortion pre-viability and therefore violate the United States Constitution. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote “It is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women . . ” Struck down were the following two provisions: (1) requiring clinics to meet the standards of a hospital operating room; … Read More

Injured at the Hands of Government?

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Police misconduct makes headlines, but there are multiple instances where people are injured at the hands of government. Examples include: Students denied equal access to education Citizens denied the right to vote Inmates denied medically appropriate care Loved ones wrongfully convicted Individuals arrested for recording police stops Persons denied free speech or religious rights Persons involuntarily committed without due process Communities subjected to racial profiling and illegal policing Retaliation by government on whistleblowers Sometimes injuries are due to bad actors, … Read More

Intersection of LGBT Rights and Women’s Rights

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Our history is replete with draconian laws that subject LGBT individuals to criminal prosecution; employment, marriage, adoption, and housing bans; deportation; and denial of health care.  So too, have women faced unjust restrictions over their reproductive autonomy.  In both cases, lawmakers cited unsubstantiated public health and scientific claims to justify these civil rights violations. On March 2, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in its first abortion case in 20 years, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. The … Read More

Todd Young and Candidate Challenges

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Have you ever wondered how ineligible candidates are removed from the ballot? Do you imagine government officials sifting through records and researching each candidate to ensure they meet the qualifications before putting them on the ballot? If so, you’d be wrong. Indiana has strict requirements to run for and hold office, but policing that eligibility is generally left up to individuals and their political parties. For better or worse, Indiana lawmakers have left it up to each major political party … Read More

Candidate Eligibility

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I wish I could tell you that the government researches each candidate’s qualifications to run for office and removes those ineligible, but I can’t. In fact, voters are subjected to more scrutiny by government officials than candidates by a long shot. But that’s another topic for another day. . . So, it’s up to individuals and parties to research candidates and file a challenge. And the deadline to do so is this Friday, February 12th at Noon. Don’t expect to … Read More

Pence Endangers Thousands of Hoosier Children

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Before you can say “What else is new?”, read how our Governor is placing thousands of children at risk every day. Despite last year’s US Supreme Court decision that legalized same sex marriage, including the same rights and responsibilities as married couples, Pence has turned his back on children born to two moms. Indiana provides that a child born to a married mom & dad through assisted reproduction has two parents to care for them, make medical decisions for them, … Read More

Future of LGBT Rights in Indiana

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Next week marks the halfway point in the 2016 legislative session, where 4 civil rights bills get their first and perhaps only public hearing this year. On Tuesday, Hoosier lawmakers will take up the issue of hate crimes, whereby criminal sentences can be enhanced upon proof the crime was motivated by a particular bias against the victim.  In the case of SB220, proof that the victim was targeted in part due to their race; religion; color; sex or gender; disability; … Read More