The appeal of a 2006 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to retain a Ten Commandments monument on the Haskell County Courthouse lawn was argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver Colorado on October 4, 2007. Daniel Mach, Director of Litigation for the National ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, presented the oral argument to the Tenth Circuit. He was advised by Micheal Salem, an ACLU of Oklahoma cooperating attorney who handled the case at the District Court trial with former ACLU of Oklahoma Staff Attorney Tina Izadi. The ACLU ofRead More →

Travis Busby, a seventh-grader at Nimitz Middle School in Tulsa, refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance on June 8, 2005. He also opted not to participate in reciting the Pledge. As a result, the school’s assistant principal imposed a two-day suspension as punishment. Busby’s mother contacted the ACLU of Oklahoma and reported the incident to Staff Attorney Tina Izadi. After reviewing the mother’s report, Izadi initiated dialogue with Tulsa Union Public Schools, and was referred to the district’s attorney. During negotiations with the school’s lawyer, she explained the ACLU’s position that Busby’s punishment was a violation of his First Amendment rights. The districtRead More →

In a significant blow to a national effort to curtail equal opportunity in America, backers of a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would end equal access and opportunity programs in the state asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on April 4, 2008 to withdraw the measure from consideration. The move comes after supporters of the so-called Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative -spearheaded by wealthy California businessman Ward Connerly’s American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) as part of a national crusade against affirmative action – failed to collect a sufficient number of valid signatures needed to get the proposal on this November’s ballot. In conceding defeat, ConnerlyRead More →