Lawsuit Seeks Uncensored Access to Executions, Citing First Amendment Press Freedom August 25, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma, and two newspapers filed a lawsuit today seeking to stop Oklahoma prison officials from selectively filtering what journalists can see during an execution. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Guardian US and The Oklahoma Observer, follows the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April during which prison officials blocked witnesses’ view when the procedure did not go as planned. “The state of Oklahoma violated the First Amendment, which guarantees the right of the press to witness executions so theRead More →

August 11, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – Twenty months after receiving an Open Records Request from local news and satire outlet The Lost Ogle, and over fourteen months after the ACLU of Oklahoma filed suit to compel their release, Governor Fallin today handed over 100 pages of emails regarding her decision to reject federal funding of Medicaid expansion. The release preceded a planned appeal of a district court ruling that rejected two of three privilege claims made by the Governor in her administration’s attempt to avoid the requirements of Oklahoma’s Open Records Act. The district court did allow the Governor to claim a “deliberative process privilege”,Read More →

July 9, 2014 by Hilary Hudson An expired driver’s license typically demands a routine trip to the tag agency and the accompanying annoyances – waiting in line, paying renewal fees, and posing awkwardly for a picture. Most Oklahomans, however, do not know just how much personal information they are sharing when they smile for the digital camera. The high-resolution photographs taken for Oklahoma driver’s licenses and identification cards actually contain biometric data: unique information that can be used to identify you based on your facial features. The information gathered includes physical signatures like iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns, and a digital imageRead More →

July 18, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma joins numerous Oklahomans and their families in celebrating the latest victory for marriage equality in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Bishop v. Smith, affirmed an Oklahoma Federal District Court’s order striking down Oklahoma’s ban on same sex marriages. The ACLU of Oklahoma, along with several other civil liberties and LGBT advocacy organizations, filed a friend of the court brief in the case urging today’s historic decision. “Today marks an historic moment in the progress of equality for Oklahomans andRead More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma – While we respectfully disagree with the District Court’s finding that a deliberative process privilege exists under Oklahoma law, this order holds that the Governor of Oklahoma can no longer unilaterally hide documents under the Open Records Act. Regardless of the outcome of any appeals, the fact that the government must turn over a log of the documents to the Court means at the very least that an independent set of eyes will review documents the Governor of Oklahoma has up to this point refused to disclose to theRead More →