Welcome to Thursday, and happy National Eat Outside Day to all who celebrate!

  • 📬 Hit reply and tell us your favorite patio, food truck or rooftop to dine al fresco.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny, with a high near 76.

🚨 Situational awareness: A security guard and a shopper were killed in a shooting at a Menards on the northeast side of Indianapolis last night.

  • Authorities say the two men, whose identities have not been released, were shooting at each other.

Today's newsletter is 861 words — a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Bill Kole.

1 big thing: More legislation headed to court

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

At least five laws passed during the 2023 legislative session are being challenged in court.

Driving the news: The ACLU of Indiana recently filed another two lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of new laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly this year.

  • Last week, the ACLU filed a case in federal court against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles over a law allowing some noncitizens in the country on humanitarian parole to receive driver's licenses — but not all.
  • And earlier this week, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Corrections over a law prohibiting the agency from using state resources for or funding gender-affirming surgery for inmates.

Why it matters: State policy battles that get settled in the courtroom are costly and threaten to undermine confidence in the legislative process.

The big picture: In addition to these lawsuits, the ACLU is challenging laws that restrict gender-affirming health care for minors, ban the discussion of human sexuality in elementary schools, and prohibit people from getting within 25 feet of a law enforcement officer after the officer has ordered someone to stop.

Plus: The ACLU still has lawsuits pending over legislation passed in 2022 that restricts the rights of transgender girls to play girls sports in K-12 schools and bans nearly all abortions.

What's happening: Katie Blair, ACLU of Indiana director of advocacy and public policy, said the high number of legal challenges this year isn't stemming from a change in policy on the nonprofit's part.

  • Instead, Blair said lawmakers have become emboldened to pass more controversial legislation as some members of the Republican supermajority move further to the right and model legislation from other states.
  • "We're always going to go after unconstitutional legislation," she said.

The other side: In response to last year's lawsuit over the transgender sports ban, Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said lawmakers don't like to get the state sued but "it happens from time to time."

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2. Zoom in: The under-the-radar lawsuit

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

While the ACLU of Indiana's recent case against IDOC has been widely reported, the BMV challenge filed last week has gone largely unnoticed.

What happened: As part of House Bill 1050, a 62-page "various motor vehicle matters" bill, Indiana created an avenue for Ukrainian citizens in the state on humanitarian parole to obtain a driver's license.

Yes, but: State lawmakers did not extend this provision to those in Indiana on humanitarian parole from other countries.

How it works: Humanitarian parole is a status granted to some noncitizens that allows them to enter and remain in the United States during the duration of their parole.

  • It is granted for a variety of reasons, including for humanitarian crises or other circumstances affecting significant numbers of persons in their countries of origin.
  • People from Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua have received this status due to humanitarian crises in those countries.
  • Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, the U.S. began allowing Ukrainians to apply to the program.

The latest: The lawsuit filed in federal court last week was on behalf of five people from Haiti — four adults and a child.

  • The adults all have jobs but rely on friends, relatives and coworkers to get to and from work.
  • The ACLU petitioned to make the case a class action, on behalf of all similarly situated individuals.

What they're saying

3. Pit stop: Where the First Lady stops for news

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

🗣️ First Lady Jill Biden talked with students about mental health during a stop at Westfield High School yesterday as part of a back-to-school tour. (IndyStar)

🗳️ At the annual Indy Chamber HobNob last night, Republican mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve accused Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett of not being willing to debate him.

  • During previous mayoral election years, candidates have debated each other at the political event, but Shreve and Hogsett gave 10-minute stump speeches instead. (IBJ)

🌿 Retailers selling Delta-8 and other hemp-derived products are in a legal battle with the state of Indiana after Attorney General Todd Rokita issued an advisory opinion that the products are illegal.

  • In a lawsuit, retailers argue Rokita is "unilaterally reclassify(ing) low THC hemp extracts as Schedule I controlled substances." (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

🗳️ Sen. Chip Perfect, R-Lawrenceberg, will resign from his seat next month, less than a year into his third four-year term.

  • A private Republican caucus will choose a replacement to serve out the remainder of his term. (WFYI)

4. 🐶 Creature feature: Meet Pez!

The name is Pez, nice to meet you! Photo: Courtesy of Indianapolis Animal Care Services

Welcome to Creature Feature, where we introduce you to an Indianapolis pet available for adoption.

🐾 Pez here!

I'm a big friendly boy who loves attention! I just need someone to take me home.

De-tails: I'm 3 years old and 70 pounds.

  • I love treats and already know how to take them gently.
  • I also love to play ball.

What they're barking: I'm pretty treat-motivated, which should make me easy to teach.

  • I need a home without young kids, but may be OK with other dogs or cats after a slow, proper introduction.

Of note: IACS' "Cuddle Before You Commit" program gives you 14 days to get to know me, to make sure we're a good fit.

  • All adoptions are free.

Dig deeper: See Pez and more pets available at IACS and fill out an adoption application online.

Tell a friend about Pez!

Our picks:

🌮 Arika celebrated Eat Outside Day early and walked her dogs to Loco for dinner on the patio last night.

🏈 Lindsey is reading about NFL team owners and preparing for her fantasy football draft tonight.

🐛 James is on parental leave.