On January 10, 2013, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of Joelle Silver, a high school teacher for the Cheektowaga Central School District, who was forced by school officials to censor her personal speech and remove all religious content from her classroom displays under threat of being terminated from her employment.
On December 31, AFLC Senior Counsel Robert Muise filed a petition for an en banc – or full court – rehearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Crystal Dixon, a former human resources administrator at the University of Toledo who was fired in 2008 for expressing her personal, Christian viewpoint on homosexuality in an op-ed published in the local newspaper. On December 17, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit dismissed Dixon’s case and sided with the lower court, which ruled that the University’s “diversity” interests trumped Dixon’s First Amendment rights.
On December 20, Robert J. Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), presented oral argument in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in support of AFLC’s request that the court immediately halt the enforcement of the Obama administration’s “contraception” mandate. The request for an injunction is part of AFLC’s federal lawsuit challenging the mandate, which was filed jointly with California civil rights attorney Charles S. LiMandri on behalf of Priests for Life, a national, Catholic, anti-abortion organization based in New York.
BREAKING NEWS (December 21, 2012): The federal government entered into a stipulation filed in federal court that it would not enforce the HHS contraception mandate against Priests for Life pending a revision in the rules that would protect religious liberty. The court has endorsed the stipulation as to injunctive relief for Priests for Life.
In a short, 16-page opinion, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled late on December 13th that the City of Tulsa and two of its senior police officials, Chief of Police Chuck Jordan and Deputy Chief of Police Daryl Webster, did not violate the constitutional rights of Captain Paul Fields, a Tulsa Police officer who was summarily punished for refusing to attend a mandated Islamic proselytizing event held at a local mosque.
BREAKING NEWS (December 26, 2012): AFLC has filed a notice of appeal seeking review of the lower court's decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.