2014 was another year of challenges to basic civil liberties in Illinois and beyond. We jumped into a critical free speech case in the Central Illinois community of Peoria after our client, Jon Daniel, was arrested, had his home searched, and had his electronics (including a smartphone and laptop computer) seized, simply because Mr. Daniel had made several posts on Twitter as part of a parody account of the Mayor of Peoria.
We have sued the City of Peoria, Mayor Jim Ardis, and several other City officials involved in the manhunt, which was designed to discover not someone who was engaged in violence with a weapon, but parody with a smartphone. Our case is pending in federal court.
In another matter, the ACLU of Illinois continues to challenge the policies of the Chicago Housing Authority, which forces CHA residents living in mixed-income buildings to undergo invasive and embarrassing drugs tests in order to keep a roof over their heads.
We represent Joseph Peery, a former Cabrini Green resident who not only has never failed a drug test, but also has served as an anti-drug counselor, encouraging others not to get involved in using illegal narcotics. In October, a federal court judge ruled against the ACLU's effort to win a summary judgment motion in this case, but we are appealing that ruling.