The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for equal application of the laws, prohibiting states from denying any person the equal protection of its laws.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU's work in juvenile justice at the national level and in other states.

The youngest person ever put on death row was Paula Cooper of Gary, Ind. She was 15 when the crime was committed. At the time she was sentenced, Indiana law permitted executions for those as young as 10. Her sentence, death in the electric chair for fatally stabbing a 78 year-old woman in a burglary, attracted international attention. Even Pope John Paul II condemned the sentence and urged clemency. In 1987, the Indiana legislature passed a bill raising the minimum age for a defendant in a death penalty case from 10 to 16 years old. However, since the bill was not retroactive, Cooper's status was not affected.

Read more ...

Any student at Winamac Community Middle School who wanted to join the football team was allowed to play — unless that student was a girl. So when "C.B.," a seventh grader at the school, and her Dad asked the principal and the athletic director if she could join the previously all-male football team, she was turned away.

Read more ...

In 2012, the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of three students who were expelled for a Facebook conversation. The students' Facebook comments took place after school on their personal electronic devices. In the conversation, they repeatedly used emoticons and abbreviations that showed the comments were meant to be humorous. Nevertheless, Griffith Middle School near Highland in Lake County, Ind., suspended and ultimately expelled the students.

Read more ...

In the mid-to- late 1990s, the ACLU of Indiana (then known as the Indiana Civil Liberties Union or ICLU) brought suit against several schools for policies regarding student drug testing.

Read more ...

The ACLU defends basic freedoms, every day, for every American. Support us with your tax deductible gift today.