An Evansville, Ind., area church filed an appeal Wednesday in an ACLU lawsuit over the display of up to 31 temporary crosses at the city's popular riverfront. A federal district court issued an injunction last month saying that the crosses cannot be displayed in the same manner as other community group displays, according to allied attorneys representing the congregation.
Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled last month that the proposed display at Evansville would be a government endorsement of Christianity, thus violating the First Amendment.
However, Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers say it is government officials who are in violation of the Constitution for singling out the crosses display. more >>
Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Indiana's new law upping the standards for non-surgical abortion clinics. The lawsuit argues that the law unfairly discriminates against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette, while supporters of the law argue it improves women's healthcare in the state.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the state's American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Planned Parenthood against the Indiana State Department of Health and the Tippecanoe County prosecutor. The lawsuit argues that Indiana's new law, which went into effect July 1 "is not only unreasonable, it is utterly irrational," and violates the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The law, entitled Act 371, requires clinics administering the two-pill abortion medication RU-486 to meet surgery center standards, including having separate recovery, procedure, and scrub rooms, as well as wider hallways. The bill was approved by the state's legislature in April and then signed into law by Republican Governor Mike Pence, being praised by supporters as a move to significantly improve healthcare for women. more >>
An Evansville, Ind., firefighter and youth pastor at the Memorial Baptist church is now at the center of a controversial incident in that town after he alleged police officers cuffed and threatened him with a stun gun because he waved hello during a bicycle ride on Tuesday.
The firefighter, George Madison Jr., 38, has filed a formal complaint with the Evansville Police Department, according to a report in the Courier Press.
Madison refused to publicly identify the officers involved in the incident, due to an ongoing investigation, but police records indicate the officers as Officer Clifton and Officer Clegg. The two police officers with those last names in the Evansville Police Department are Darin Clifton and Jason Clegg. more >>
A total of 23 states have joined forces to encourage the Supreme Court to rule once and for all that legislative prayer delivered at the beginning of government meetings is constitutional.
Indiana's attorney general Greg Zoeller and Texas's attorney general Greg Abbott co-authored an amicus brief, joined by 21 other states, filed in the Supreme Court case Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, Susan, which questions the constitutionality of public prayer at government meetings. The Supreme Court will be addressing this case in its next session in October 2014, and will be considering a previous ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York which found prayers in Greece, New York to be unconstitutional because they focused predominately on Christianity.
The amicus brief filed by Zoeller and others late last week "asks the Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had prohibited legislative prayer at the start of a government assembly," according to a statement issued by the attorney general's office. more >>
An Indiana-based academic institute has announced that while a physics professor who taught intelligent design will stay with the university, his proposed controversial course will not.
Professor Jo Ann Gora, president of Ball State University, announced Wednesday that while Physics Prof. Eric Hedin would remain, intelligent design would not be taught as part of a science course.
A United States district court judge has ruled against a group of churches that wanted to build a temporary cross display on some public waterfront property in Indiana.
Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled Wednesday that the proposed display at Evansville would be a government endorsement of Christianity, thus violating the First Amendment.
"…based on the size and scope of the project, this planned display of crosses would convey a message of the City's endorsement of Christianity to the reasonable observer," wrote Barker. more >>