The ACLU of Iowa is pleased to announce that Glen Downey of the Downey & Mundy Law Firm in Des Moines, has been selected to receive the Dan Johnston Cooperating Attorney award. The Dan Johnston Award is an annual award that honors those who make sustained and extraordinary contributions to civil liberties through their work as ACLU of Iowa volunteer attorneys.
ACLU volunteer attorneys are essential to the work the ACLU does. Its staff and funding is limited, so the success of our legal program depends greatly on the generous participation of our volunteer attorneys from around the state, who volunteer their time, expertise, advice, and resources.
Mr. Downey worked with the ACLU of Iowa to represent a Knoxville teenager who was threatened with criminal charges of sexual exploitation of a child—herself—for sending two suggestive photos of herself, which depicted no nudity, to another teen. That case was successfully settled earlier this month.
In 2016, Mr. Downey also worked to advance free speech in the state of Iowa by quickly getting charges of flag desecration dropped after a veteran, Homer Martz, was charged for hanging the U.S. flag upside down on his own property in Calhoun County to protest the Bakke pipeline.
Mr. Downey is a member of the ACLU of Iowa Legal Committee, assisting in case evaluation and development.
The Dan Johnston Cooperating Attorney Award is named in memorial of the long-time Des Moines and Washington D.C. attorney. As his first lawsuit fresh out of Drake Law School in the late 1960s, he represented the Tinker family in their landmark free speech lawsuit against the Des Moines Schools in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. He went on to a distinguished legal career, fighting for the fundamental rights of all Americans. Mr. Johnston passed away in 2016, and this award was created that same year in his honor.