Sarah Evans Barker

A judge’s ruling halting parts of the state’s new anti-abortion law is, in the words of retiring Indiana Planned Parenthood CEO Betty Cockrum, a “fine last hurrah” for her.

Roland Tanglao / https://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/

Hoosiers headed to the polls Tuesday will be able to snap a picture of their ballot after a federal judge last month halted a new law banning such photos, but the law’s author doesn’t want to give up the fight to prohibit so-called “ballot selfies.”

In oral arguments over the ballot selfie ban and in her ruling, Judge Sarah Evans Barker discussed the idea of writing the law differently to clear up its constitutional pitfalls.  For example, the idea of more narrowly tailoring the ban – allowing photos of unmarked ballots, for instance. 

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

Hoosiers going to the polls next month will be able to take a photo of their ballot after a federal judge halted a new state law banning so-called “ballot selfies.” 

The state said its law banning people from taking pictures of their ballot – whether filled out or not – in the voting booth was to help prevent voter coercion and vote buying and selling.  But federal judge Sarah Evans Barker says the state didn’t show any evidence that those problems exist.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

The ACLU says an Indiana law barring voters from taking pictures of their ballot in the voting booth violates the First Amendment, but the state is countering that the legislature is trying to prevent voter fraud. 

Each side presented their arguments in a federal court hearing Tuesday.

The state offered several potential problems the so-called “ballot selfie” law seeks to prevent: taking photos of one’s ballot could help facilitate buying and selling votes.  Barring pictures of a ballot could also help prevent voter intimidation and coercion. 

Federal Judge: Beer Wholesalers Still Can't Sell Liquor

Oct 1, 2015
Dawn Ellner / https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturesdawn/

 

A federal judge has rejected a plea from Indiana's largest beer wholesaler to sell liquor.

Monarch Beverage sued to get rid of Indiana's law that prohibits beer wholesalers from dealing liquor (and vice versa) -- they have to choose between the two. The company says this law is an equal protection violation and thus unconstitutional.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker says Monarch, in her words, "entirely failed" to show there's any company being treated differently.