Indianapolis – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana will host a reception TOMORROW for founding members and supporters of the organization in Spruance Hall at the Indiana War Memorial. Speaking at the event are Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, and Dawn Johnsen, American Constitution Society. Members of the media are invited to attend.
WHO: American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana
WHAT: Return to the Indiana War Memorial, with guest speakers Louise Melling and Dawn Johnsen
WHEN: 6 p.m. TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
WHERE: Indiana War Memorial, 431 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, Entrance to the building is on Michigan Street. Free parking is available at the Penn & Vermont Lot at 407 N Pennsylvania Street.
WHY: In 1953, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union held its first meeting in St. Mary's Catholic Church after being denied a meeting space at the Indiana War Memorial. For 20 years, the ICLU attempted to reverse the State's decision, and in 1973 we prevailed when the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that permitted the ICLU to meet at the War Memorial. We celebrated with a program on free speech to a capacity audience in the War Memorial auditorium featuring William Buckley, Mike Wallace and Fred Friendly (producer for Edward R. Murrow, whose Argument in Indianapolis documented the episode). This year, 2013, marks the 60th Anniversary of the ACLU of Indiana, and we celebrate with a return to the Indiana War Memorial.
Learn more about the ACLU of Indiana's return to the Indiana War Memorial
Read about the beginnings of the ACLU of Indiana
Read the transcript of the public hearing to allow the ACLU to hold a meeting at the War Memorial
Read the appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court
Click here to download the event program. Click here to download an event flyer.
The Center encompasses the ACLU's work on reproductive freedom, women's rights, lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights and AIDs, and freedom of religion and belief. In her role as Deputy Legal Director, Melling directs a campaign to end the use of religion to discriminate. Melling has been with the ACLU since 1992, serving in several roles before becoming the Director of its Reproductive Freedom Project in 2003 and Deputy Legal Director in 2010.
Johnsen serves on the national board of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and as co-chair of the ACS Issue Group on Separation of Powers and Federalism. Since 1998 she has taught Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Seminars in the Separation of Powers and Sexuality, Reproduction and the Constitution at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Johnsen served in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Bill Clinton, including as Acting Assistant Attorney General heading the Office of Legal Counsel. From 1988-1993, she was the Legal Director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL Pro-Choice America) and worked at the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project.