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.
Judge: Handcuffing Disabled Students “excessive force”
The Federal District Court Judge presiding over S.R. et. al v. Kenton County issued an opinion October 11th that the cuffing of two students with disabilities by a school resource officer was an unconstitutional seizure and excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Court also ruled that Kenton County is liable for the […]
VICTORY! Federal Court Strikes Down Narrated Ultrasound Requirement
Late September 27, 2017 a federal court issued an order that strikes down an anti-abortion law that forced doctors to display and describe a patient’s ultrasound, as well as to play the fetal heartbeat, even if the doctor believed it would harm the patient or it was against their wishes. (Read the court’s full opinion […]
New ACLU-KY Report: Private Probation in Kentucky
After investigations, report recommends courts abandon private probation or adopt major reforms to ensure adequate oversight The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky issued a report on the status of private probation companies in Kentucky. The report comes after the organization conducted two, months’ long investigations into private probation in 2015 and 2017. In summarizing […]
Bible literacy classes in Kentucky public schools
Kentucky has more than 170 public school districts that are responsible for approximately 1,200 public schools. Many of those schools will soon be offering “Bible Literacy” courses to their students as a direct result of HB 128 that passed into law last session by the General Assembly. While courses on the Bible can be taught […]
ACLU-KY Lawsuit Challenges Governor Bevin’s Social Media Censorship
First Amendment Rights of Constituents Violated When Hundreds Are Blocked from Official Social Media Sites The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit July 31, 2017 challenging Governor Matt Bevin’s practice of permanently banning or blocking individuals from his official Facebook page and Twitter accounts. The suit seeks a declaration that the […]
Judge Grants Over $224,000 in Fees & Costs in Lawsuit against County Clerk Kim Davis
U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning has awarded $222, 695 in attorneys’ fees and $2,008.08 in costs to the plaintiffs in the case against the Rowan County Clerk who denied them marriage licenses. In civil rights cases in which the plaintiffs prevail against the government, federal law provides that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover […]
JCPS Males of Color Academy Proposal
The JCPS School Board voted to advance a proposal to create a Males of Color Academy. Prior to the Board’s vote, we issued a letter to Board Members outlining our concerns about the current proposal. You can read a copy of the full letter below: June 26, 2017 Dear Members of the Board: We […]
ACLLU-KY, Allies File Ethics Complaint Against Kentucky Judge Refusing Adoptions to Same-Sex Couples
ACLU of Kentucky, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Fairness Campaign urge the Judicial Conduct Commission to remove Judge W. Mitchell Nance from office. May 16, 2017 — The ACLU of Kentucky, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign, and University of Louisville Law Professor Sam Marcosson filed a […]
Lawsuit Keeps Last Abortion Clinic in Kentucky Open
A federal court signed an order April 10, 2017 that permits the last clinic in Kentucky to remain open during the pendency of the case. The American Civil Liberties Union and attorneys at Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Goodman P.S.C. filed a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking unconstitutional state laws that would have forced the clinic […]
Update: Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order in Clinic Closure Case
A Judge has GRANTED a temporary restraining order, blocking the state from shutting down EMW Women’s Surgical Center. The American Civil Liberties Union and attorneys at Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Goodman P.S.C filed a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking unconstitutional state laws that would have forced the clinic to close. The law that Kentucky used […]