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TAHLEQUAH — The Woodall School District in Tahlequah has rescinded a decision to place boys and girls in separate classrooms for all academic subjects, after being warned by the ACLU that the sex segregated classes violated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 — 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 →


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 →

Members of the audience wait for a vote by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted 7-1 Tuesday to direct the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to remove a controversial monument of the 10 Commandments from the grounds of the state Capitol building. One member of the commission, Lou Kerr, abstained from voting. The vote took place during a special meeting of the commission. Linda Edmondson, a senior member of the Capitol Preservation Commission chaired the meeting. Edmondson, the wife of former state attorney general Drew Edmondson, said the special meeting was necessary because the commission’s next scheduled meeting was Oct. 15. Edmondson said she chaired the meeting because the commission’s chairman and viceRead More →

By M. Scott Carter A hearing has been scheduled for October in Oklahoma County District Court over the police seizure of Don Hoover’s 1994 BMW. Earlier this week, the ACLU of Oklahoma reported that a car owned retired political consultant Don Hoover had been seized by Oklahoma City police in 2014. In the story, Don Hoover said he had not been notified about the seizure. On Friday, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told The McCarville Report, a political newsletter, that Don Hoover had, indeed, received notification that his car had been seized. “This is a perfect example of the lies being told about assetRead More →

Tulsa police

TULSA, Okla. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Oklahoma filed a friend-of-the-court brief yesterday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, arguing that a police officer does not have a religious right to refuse assignments simply because they require him to serve people who do not share his faith. The Islamic Society of Tulsa held a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2011 to thank local police for protecting the center after it received threats during the previous year. As part of the department’s community policing initiative, Capt. Paul Fields was directed to attend, or send officers from hisRead More →