American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana files lawsuit against Attorney General Todd Rokita

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(Photo supplied/State Of Indiana)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of journalist, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Rokita held a press conference on October 14, 2021 “for credentialed media only.” Shabazz was denied entrance because Rokita claims that Shabazz is not an actual journalist. Shabazz said that is absurd because he has been covering politics for almost two decades. Shabazz is an Indianapolis-based journalist. He is currently the editor and publisher of Indy Politics, a website that reports on Indiana government and politics. He is also the host of “Abdul at Large”, which is a weekend radio program on WIBC. He also is the host of Indiana Issues, a statewide radio public affairs program.

“This goes to the heart of the First Amendment and our U.S. Constitution. If Attorney General Rokita can ignore this and ban me from his news conferences then he can do it to anyone in the press corps and that can’t be good for democracy and transparency. If Rokita is going to call for transparency and more openness when it comes to Hoosier public schools, then the least he can do is practice what he preaches when it comes to his own office,” said Shabazz.

Shabazz was also selected to moderate a Republican Senate debate in 2018, in which then-candidate Rokita, took part. On March 13, 2018, Rokita came on a WIBC program and said that Shabazz was a “patsy for the debate commission.” He also previously called Shabazz a “never Trumper.”

“As the complaint notes, the Attorney General’s decision to ban Mr. Shabazz is based on either personal antipathy or on the opinion that Mr. Shabazz’s reporting is too ‘liberal,’ or perhaps based on both. In either event, the Attorney General’s decision to ban Mr. Shabazz from press events is not viewpoint neutral. Blocking a journalist from attending a press conference because one does not agree with their reporting is a clear violation of the First Amendment. A free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government actions or wrongdoings,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk.

Even though Shabazz is banned from Rokita’s press conferences, he still regularly attends press conferences of other elected leaders, such as Governor Holcomb.

When asked if he would take an apology from Rokita, Shabazz said, “Sure. Why not?”

4 COMMENTS

  1. What is a credentialed reporter? Really? Which organization says who is a reporter and who is not? It seems like he is. I do see in riots all these folks with helmets on and cell phones saying they are ” reporters” Who is or who is not a reporter ?? Can you follow up in a story on this issue ?

  2. Did the ACLU file a lawsuit against the mayor of Chicago when she refused to talk to reporters that were not people of color? Looks like they (the aclu) is racist.

  3. Perhaps Shabazz has a history of making stuff up and pretending he is reporting news. That happens a lot with “credentialed” reporters. Since I have never read a single syllable of his “reporting” I do not know for sure. But I do have questions especially when the ACLU is involved. The ACLU gets government funding when they bring a “civil rights” case. That is how they make their money.

    Rokita is dong an excellent job as our State AG.

  4. Shabazz isn’t there to “report” anything. He is a partisan hack looking for a sound byte to take out of context for a “gotcha” moment, nothing more.

    The American Communist Liberal Union is just a joke, as always.

    Let’s apply the same logic to Potato Biden: Where is the White House press pass for OANN, Gateway Pundit, or Alex Jones?

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