In response to the final passage of House Bill 3052 by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma released the following statement: May 2, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of OK, 405.524.8511, rkiesel@acluok.org “When HB 3052 was introduced earlier this session in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, it was far from perfect. However, as it moved through the political process even the modest reforms it offered to our broken criminal justice system and overincarceration crisis were turned on their head by the same political mindset that has stood in the way of true criminal justiceRead More →

ACLU and Women’s Health Advocates Had Filed Lawsuit to Protect Vital Health Services in Oklahoma   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2012 CONTACT: Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma, (405) 524-8511; rkiesel@acluok.org OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck down a proposed ballot initiative that would have banned vital health services by granting fertilized eggs and embryos the same constitutional rights as people. The justices ruled that the initiative was unconstitutional in light of the previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the right to have an abortion. The AmericanRead More →

  In response to the passage of House Bill 3052 by the Oklahoma State Senate, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma released the following statement: April 26, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of OK, 405.524.8511, rkiesel@acluok.org “Before HB 3052 arrived in the Oklahoma State Senate it offered modest reforms to our broken criminal justice system and overincarceration crisis and represented a promising first step towards meaningful reforms in the future. However, after a Senate committee stripped the bill of important provisions that would protect the people of Oklahoma and their tax dollars, the bill is reform in name only.Read More →

  The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma released the following statement in response to the Oklahoma State Senate’s passage of House Bill 2388, authorizing drug test for applicants of TANF upon a finding of reasonable cause.  The original version of the bill would have required ALL TANF applicants to submit to a drug test and would have required the applicant to pay for the drug test.   April 26, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of OK, 405.524.8511, rkiesel@acluok.org   “We are pleased the Oklahoma Senate has learned the lessons of other states who sought to impose suspicionless drug tests onRead More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – A lawsuit was filed today on behalf of six Oklahoma voters – including women’s health providers– against an Oklahoma ballot initiative that would ban vital health services by granting fertilized eggs and embryos the same constitutional rights as people. The voters are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the Center for Reproductive Rights. “By their own admission, the proponents of this initiative aim to strip women and families of their established right to decide whether and when to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term,” said Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma.Read More →

Oklahoma Gazette Clifton Adcock February 29th, 2012   The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a number of bills this session to require drug-testing for applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. According to the state Department of Human Services, 3,922 adults and 17,233 children received TANF funds in January. Most of those households are single-parent homes with low or no earned income, and the maximum time a person can receive TANF is five years over an adult’s lifetime.While only two such measures were introduced in the Legislature last year, eight drug-testing bills have emerged this session, six of them originating in the Senate. TheRead More →

January 10, 2012 Discriminatory and Unnecessary Law Maligned American Muslims and Presented Legal Bind For Courts FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666 media@aclu.org DENVER, CO – A federal appeals court today unanimously upheld a ruling that blocked implementation of a discriminatory and unnecessary Oklahoma state constitutional amendment that would have prohibited state courts from considering what is broadly described as Islamic “Sharia law” and “international law.” The court concluded that by singling out Islam for unfavorable treatment in state courts, the law likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court rejected the state’s argument that the constitutional amendment was necessary to protectRead More →