December 16, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: Despite recognizing a privilege that does not appear in the Open Records Act, today’s opinion represents a victory for our client and for the people of Oklahoma. From the outset of this case, we have maintained that the Governor does not have the authority to unilaterally hide records without justification. In this opinion, the Supreme Court revoked the Governor’s self-issued blank check, shifted the burden of proof to the executive branch, and affirmed our insistence upon judicial oversight. As a result, the current and future occupants ofRead More →

December 3, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY— On Thursday, December 4, a federal judge will hear live arguments in Oklahoma Observer v. Patton, the case challenging our state government’s attempt to reduce press access and public accountability in Oklahoma’s execution process. The American Civil Liberties Union will be arguing on behalf of both local and national media organizations in response to a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office that asserts the press and public do not have an enforceable right to observe or scrutinize executions. The ACLU also will be arguing for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from carrying out newRead More →

October 24, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism. While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients’ deeply held religious beliefs. To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith. Our Oklahoma and Federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those ofRead More →

October 8, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY–The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a joint brief in the United States District Court here in Oklahoma City that includes a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Response to the State’s Motion to Dismiss in Oklahoma Observer v. Patton. The Motion for Preliminary Injunction asks the court to:   Enjoin the Defendants from curtailing, censoring, limiting, or hindering the ability of lawful witnesses and media representatives to witness the entire judicial execution process in Oklahoma without visual or auditory obstruction, from the time from when the condemned enters the execution chamber until the time the condemned is declared dead,Read More →

October 6, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: In short order, and not a minute too soon, the State of Oklahoma will begin to license and  recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, and one era of discrimination in Oklahoma will be resigned to the history books. We celebrate today’s victory and offer our sincere appreciation for the many allies of equality that have made today possible. As we celebrate, we know that this giant step towards equality must not be the last. We now turn our attention to ensuring that there is not a singleRead More →