OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the unconstitutional conviction of activist and Sooner Tea Party head Al Gerhart, of Oklahoma City, in an opinion released today. Gerhart was convicted of two felony offenses for sending strongly worded emails to a state senator during the 2013 legislative session. American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Legal Director Brady Henderson represented Gerhart during district court hearings in the case, arguing that Gerhart’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. Today the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed, reversing Gerhart’s conviction and ordering charges to be dismissed. The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLURead More →


TAHLEQUAH — The Woodall School District in Tahlequah has rescinded a decision to place boys and girls in separate classrooms for all academic subjects, after being warned by the ACLU that the sex segregated classes violated both state and federal law. Woodall put the single-sex class schedule in place at the beginning of the current school year. The school claimed the system was designed for scheduling convenience, and as a cost savings measure–justifications that are not allowed by law–but the district was able to revert to a coeducational schedule without incurring any additional costs. The following is attributable to Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney atRead More →


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s controversial monument to the 10 Commandments, which had stood on the northeast side of the State Capitol Building, was removed Monday evening, after a protracted legal battle. Work crews removed the six-foot tall, 4,800-pound granite monument from the Capitol grounds around 10:30 p.m. Monday evening. The removal followed an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling in June that the display violated the state constitution. John Estus, spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, told the Associated Press the state would pay the $4,700 fee to remove the monument. Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma praised the way state handled the removal of the monument. “TheRead More →


OKLAHOMA CITY — Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Mary Fallin’s office released a list of questions and answers regarding the stay of execution she issued for Richard Glossip. Gossip was set to be executed at 3 p.m. Sept. 30. However, problems with the drugs obtained by the Department of Corrections caused the governor’s office to stay the execution until November 6. Fallin’s office said she ordered the 37-day stay because the DOC received potassium acetate instead of the court-approved potassium chloride. Since then, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to put all future executions on hold. Pruitt also issued a media statement on Thursday.  PruittRead More →

A proposed Oklahoma City ordinance could hamper the sales of The Curbside Chronicle, published by and for homeless residents in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY – An anti-panhandling ordinance being considered by the Oklahoma City Council violates the United States Constitution and its passage would spark a substantial legal challenge, the Legal Director of American Civil Liberties of Oklahoma said Thursday. The ordinance, written by Ward 6 council member Meg Salyer, would prevent persons from standing, sitting or staying on the “portions of any street or highway improved and open for vehicular traffic or any median for any purpose.” But that same language, ACLU Legal Director Brady Henderson said, would also prevent media professionals from doing their jobs, eliminate public service activities such as the Fill the BootRead More →


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin stayed the execution of Richard Glossip late Wednesday afternoon, less than an hour after the United States Supreme Court denied Glossip’s request for an emergency stay. The 37-day stay is the second in the past two weeks for Glossip. Late Wednesday afternoon, Fallin’s office issued a brief statement: “Last minute questions were raised today about Oklahoma’s execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection,” Fallin’s statement said. “After consulting with the attorney general and the Department of Corrections, I have issued a 37 day stay of execution while the state addresses those questions and ensures it is complying fully withRead More →


UPDATE — Embattled Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Mary Fallin Thursday. Glanz’s short, two-paragraph letter said his resignation would be effective on Nov. 1. Glanz asked Fallin to call for a special election “to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.” Friday, the governor issued an executive order, setting the primary election for March 1, 2016. The special general election would be April 5, 2016. Filing period for the post, the governor’s order indicated, is Dec. 7, 8 and 9.   TULSA — The Tulsa World newspaper reported Wednesday that Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz will resign from hisRead More →