AFLC Month in Review: November 2012

As you know, our religious freedom is under attack more than ever before by atheists and liberal, secular progressives alike. And now that the Christmas season is upon us, the “war on Christmas” rages. But do not despair, because this battle is far from over. Indeed, we are winning in the trenches. To that end, AFLC is pleased to have won a significant victory in a federal appellate court that will not only restore a time-honored Christmas tradition in Warren, Michigan, but will establish precedent to protect religious liberty all across the country.

For over 60 years, our client, John Satawa, and his family had displayed a Nativity scene on a public median during the Christmas season. There had never been a single complaint about the display. Indeed, this had become a community tradition. But that would soon change. In 2008, the local Road Commission received a written complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist activist organization that travels around the country challenging public religious displays. The Road Commission caved in to the atheists’ demand and banned Mr. Satawa’s Nativity display. AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise promptly filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Satawa, challenging the Road Commission’s decision. Muise argued his case before a three-judge panel of the United State Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which, this past August, ruled in Mr. Satawa’s favor, holding that the Road Commission violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and deprived him of the equal protection of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. As a result of this ruling, the Road Commission has recently approved Mr. Satawa’s permit for this Christmas season, and his Nativity scene is scheduled to go on display this December 15th—a victory for the good guys!

As you can see, AFLC remains vigilant in its mission to defend faith and freedom all across America. To that end, AFLC is pleased to report to you our significant accomplishments and case activity for the month of November. As the end of the year approaches, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to AFLC today to help support cases like our recent victory on behalf of Mr. Satawa.

Here are the highlights for November:

  • On November 27, a federal judge issued an order granting AFLC’s request to file a second amended complaint in its civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of four Christian missionaries who were unlawfully arrested for preaching the Gospel to Muslims at the 2010 Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The order permitted AFLC to amend its lawsuit to name as an additional defendant the American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), which is the organization responsible for the conduct of the Dearborn Arab Festival, an event with a long and disgraceful history of discriminating against Christians. Read the amended complaint here. Read more about the case here.
  • On November 21, AFLC, along with the private law offices of AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi, filed a devastating legal brief that asked a federal judge to find the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) liable to five of its former clients for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The legal brief demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that CAIR is not a legitimate civil rights organization. Read more about the case here.
  • On November 9, AFLC filed a motion and supporting legal memoranda in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, requesting the court to immediately halt the enforcement of the Obama administration’s unconstitutional “contraception” mandate. Read more about the case here.
  • On November 7, AFLC filed a petition with Sixth Circuit, asking the full court to review and reverse a panel decision that upheld a plainly unconstitutional speech restriction in AFLC’s lawsuit against Metro Detroit’s regional transportation authority, which refused to display a religious freedom advertisement on its buses. The ad stated, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get Answers!” Read more about the case here.
  • On November 1, AFLC filed a petition with Sixth Circuit, asking the full court to review and reverse a panel decision denying AFLC’s emergency motion for an injunction to halt the enforcement of a provision of Michigan’s election law that prohibits religious leaders from “influencing a voter at an election” by advising the voter “under pain of religious disapproval.” A violation of this Michigan criminal law subjects the offender to a fine or imprisonment. Read more about the case here.
  • And the list goes on . . . .

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Once again, thank you for your faithful support of AFLC. May God bless you and your family during this Christmas season.