The Norman Transcript

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October 22, 2013

ACLU honors local lawmakers

NORMAN — Two Cleveland County legislators have been honored by the ACLU of Oklahoma.

State Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, were among five lawmakers honored for their courage during the 2013 legislative session.

Virgin, who represents House District 44, received the John and Claudia Holliman Award for Legislative Excellence for being a “persistent defender of civil liberties.”

The ACLU said she was “ever on guard for those who would sacrifice Constitutional rights on the altar of political expediency.”

Virgin was the House recipient of the award. Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, was the Senate recipient.

Wesselhoft, House District 54, received the ACLU of Oklahoma Freedom Award. The organization honors a House or Senate member who “has fought throughout the session to advance the ideals guaranteed by the United States Constitution and defended by the ACLU of Oklahoma.”

Wesselhoft was awarded for his efforts to ensure technologies like drones and cell phones do not demand Oklahomans sacrifice privacy for the sake of convenience.

Wesselhoft authored legislation that would prohibit the government from using drones to spy on Oklahomans without first obtaining a warrant and separate legislation that would require the government to first obtain a warrant before tracking an individual’s cell phone.

The other two winners were Rep. Dr. Doug Cox, R-Grove, and state Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa.

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