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American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. Alvarez

679 F.3d 583 (2012)

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American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. Alvarez

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

679 F.3d 583 (2012)

Facts

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU) (plaintiff) brought a federal suit challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois eavesdropping statute. The ACLU filed the action in anticipation of a police-accountability program it intended to implement. The ACLU’s program involved recording police officers without their permission when the officers were performing their duties in public places and speaking at regular volumes. The ACLU intended to employ this program at protests and demonstrations and publish the recordings online. The ACLU argued that the planned recording program was protected under the First Amendment. The state’s attorney (defendant) argued that the First Amendment afforded no protection to recordings of police officers performing their duties in public places. The state’s attorney also argued that the law was justified by the important interest in conversational privacy. The district court dismissed the case, and the ACLU appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sykes, J.)

Dissent (Posner, J.)

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