AFLC Month in Review: August 2012

On behalf of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), we are proud to report to you AFLC’s significant accomplishments each month, which, of course, are made possible by your prayers and generous support.

For August, AFLC achieved two major, precedent-setting victories for religious liberty and freedom of speech. Additionally, AFLC’s attorneys were engaged in heavy-lifting, “trench litigation” – that is, drafting and filing motions (and responses to motions), court hearings, and discovery, including depositions – all of which are time consuming and costly, but yet necessary to achieve victory for our clients and for America’s future. As you review this past month’s accomplishments, we hope you can see that AFLC’s attorneys not only work tirelessly, but we strive for excellence in all that we do.

Here are the highlights for the month of August:

  • On August 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an important ruling in favor of AFLC, holding that government officials in Michigan violated our client’s right to freedom of speech and deprived him of the equal protection of the law by prohibiting him from displaying a nativity scene on a public median during Christmas. Our client, Mr. John Satawa, had been displaying his nativity scene on this median for over 60 years when government officials ordered him to take it down in 2008 after receiving a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist organization. You can read more about this victory here.
  • On August 29, in a total victory for AFLC, a federal judge issued a final ruling striking down the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) “no-demeaning speech” restriction and ordering the MTA to display a pro-Israel/anti-jihad bus advertisement submitted by the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI). The federal judge’s order converted an earlier preliminary injunction into a permanent injunction, and it declared that the MTA speech regulation violated the First Amendment right to free speech. The judge also awarded FDI nominal damages. You can read more about AFLC’s victory here.
  • On August 14, after months of intensive discovery, AFLC filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court in Oklahoma on behalf of Captain Paul Fields, the Tulsa Police Department veteran who was punished for refusing to attend an Islamic proselytizing event held at a local mosque because it violated his Christian beliefs. The motion argues that the undisputed facts demonstrate that the City of Tulsa and its senior police officials retaliated against Captain Fields in violation of his right to the free exercise of religion. You can read more about the case here. This case also attracted national media attention. released an exclusive report on the case, which you can read here. AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show. And the case was covered by the Fox News cable network.
  • The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) launched a targeted smear campaign against AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi. David is a target of CAIR’s vitriol because he is a leader in exposing CAIR as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR’s most recent attack was based on the fact that the Republican Party adopted a plank in its platform that supports the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model legislation, which David authored. You can read more about CAIR’s smear campaign here.
  • Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a ruling that our clients, several Michigan-based Christians, lacked “standing” to challenge Obama’s federal Hate Crimes Act. While the ruling dismissed the lawsuit, it did so by holding as a matter of law that the Act does not prohibit public denunciations of homosexuality, including speech directly quoting Leviticus 20:13, which imposes the death penalty for sodomy. You can read more about this case here.
  • On August 29, we responded to the motion filed by Obama’s Department of Justice, which is asking the court to dismiss our legal challenge to the HHS mandate filed on behalf of Priests for Life. We argued in our brief that Priests for Life has standing to sue because it is subject to the unlawful mandate and will therefore suffer an injury as a result. The government mandate requires Priests for Life to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients in its healthcare plan in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs. You can read more about this case here.
  • Finally, throughout August, we have been preparing and taking the depositions of several officials implicated in the case involving the unlawful arrests of four Christian missionaries at the 2010 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The Christians were arrested for preaching to Muslims. You can read more about the case here.

Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.