The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky promotes, protects, and defends individuals’ rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions. One of the ways we accomplish that mission is by litigating cases in Kentucky’s state and federal courts that will have a broad impact on civil liberties, either by setting a legal precedent or by affecting the policies and actions of public officials. Our efforts include providing direct legal representation to individuals in certain cases and filing amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs where significant civil liberties are implicated.
Because our legal efforts focus on defending individuals’ civil liberties, our cases challenge governmental action in a variety of contexts, including challenges to governmental agencies and organizations, municipalities, public schools, and the police.
Among the issues we work on are freedom of speech; freedom of religion; government-sponsored religious activities; privacy; discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or disability; and other issues of fair treatment by government.
In general, we do not handle cases that involve such things as:
- landlord-tenant disputes
- general disputes between employees and employers
- criminal prosecutions
- child custody
If you believe your rights have been violated and would like to receive help from the ACLU of Kentucky, you may submit your request by downloading and filling out our complaint form here and returning it to: ACLU of Kentucky, attn: Legal Intake, 315 Guthrie Street, Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40202-3820.
Welcome Heather Gatnarek, new Legal Fellow
Heather Gatnarek has joined the ACLU of Kentucky as our first Legal Fellow. Since 2012, Gatnarek has served as a Staff Attorney in the Kentucky Department of Advocacy’s Capital Trials Branch. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College, and her JD from Georgetown. While at DPA she was a member of Equal Justice Works’ […]
Now Hiring: ACLU-KY Legal Fellow
The ACLU of Kentucky announced the creation of a paid, one-year legal fellowship in which it will employ a second attorney on a full-time basis. The Legal Fellow will work under the direct supervision of the organization’s Legal Director and will assist in all phases of the ACLU of Kentucky’s legal program, including representing clients […]
ACLU-KY, FFRF file lawsuit challenging rejection of personalized license plate request
“IM GOD” license plate is fully protected individual speech The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY) and Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Kentucky man denied a personalized license plate reading “IM GOD.” Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) officials initially refused ACLU-KY/FFRF client Ben Hart’s request in […]
ACLU Files Motion for Legal Fees in Rowan County Marriage License Case
Couples’ Attorneys seek to recoup legal expenses to deter future civil rights violations Attorneys for the couples in the Rowan County marriage license litigation have filed a motion seeking to recoup more than $200,000 in legal fees incurred in challenging County Clerk Kim Davis’s policy of refusing to issue marriage licenses. In seeking the fees, […]
Louisville Metro Corrections Jail Overcrowding
Summer 2016 overcrowding at Louisville Metro Corrections has forced officials to re-open jail spaces, some not up to current fire code, to house inmates. The ACLU of Kentucky Legal Program sent this letter to the Commissioner of Kentucky Department of Corrections, hoping for action on moving state inmates out of Louisville Metro Corrections to help ease […]
VICTORY in Facebook Song Lyrics Arrest Case
ACLU of Ky. Suit on Behalf of Song Lyrics Defendant James Evans Results in $60,000 Judgment Against Defendants The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has resolved a federal lawsuit on behalf of James Evans, the Muhlenberg County man previously arrested and charged with making threats online for posting song lyrics from the heavy metal […]
Ruling Keeps in Place Contempt Order Against Kim Davis
Decision is Reminder to Other Government Officials to Enforce Law, Not Place Themselves Above it A federal appeals court on July 13, 2016 dismissed Kim Davis’s appeals in the Rowan County marriage licensing case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Miller v. Davis did not vacate the order that found Davis […]
Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests in Kentucky
Can I record or photograph the police in public? Are there limits on what I can say? What should I do if I’m stopped by the police? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Download and share the pdf KYR Demonstrations and Protests in KY! Information also available below: Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests in […]
VICTORY! Prison’s Anti-LGBT Literature Ban Lifted
The Kentucky Commissioner of Corrections has said that a minimum and medium security prison in West Liberty can no longer enforce a mail policy that prohibited prisoners from receiving books and magazines that “promote homosexuality.” In just a four-month period in 2015, the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex (EKCC) used the policy 13 different times to […]
Update: Rowan County Marriage Refusals Lawsuit
Rowan County Couples Point to Governor’s Admission He Lacks Authority To Declare Altered Licenses Valid Brief Filed Supporting Request That District Court Enforce its Orders Requiring Licenses Be Issued Without Interference November 20, 2015 Couples from Rowan County, Kentucky today filed a brief in U.S. District Court supporting their prior assertion that the Rowan County clerk’s […]