We are pleased to report to our supporters each month our significant activities and accomplishments, all of which are made possible by your generous support. Here are the highlights for August 2013:
On August 5, we announced that we negotiated a settlement agreement on behalf of our clients, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and its executive director, Frank Gaffney, to end a federal lawsuit filed last year concerning the use of the well-known slogan, “Peace through Strength,” which was popularized by President Ronald Reagan as he led America to victory in the Cold War. A small policy organization trademarked the slogan and subsequently sued our clients for using it. After we took up the fight, the organization caved in and agreed to cancel the trademark and pay a portion of CSP’s legal costs.
On August 6, we filed our reply brief in support of our motion for summary disposition, arguing that former Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown‘s defamation suit against our client, Ericah Caughey, is frivolous and should therefore be dismissed. On August 7, AFLC Co-Founder & Senior Counsel Robert Muise presented oral argument in support of our motion in a Michigan state circuit court.
On August 10, Muise was a guest speaker at a conference in Michigan that discussed the topic, “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” The conference was well attended and informative.
On August 13, Muise was a guest speaker at an event sponsored by a Catholic men’s group. The topic of his speech was Islam and the U.S. Constitution.
On August 16, we filed a motion for summary judgment in a Michigan federal court, asking the court to rule that the refusal of a Detroit-area transportation authority to run a “Leaving Islam” advertisement on its buses violated the U.S. Constitution. This week, we are filing a lengthy brief in opposition to the transportation authority’s motion for summary judgment.
On August 19, we filed a federal lawsuit challenging Obama’s newly announced regulations regarding the application of the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate to religious organizations. The lawsuit was filed in D.C. federal court on behalf of Priests for Life; Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life; Dr. Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life; and Janet Morana, the Executive Director of Priests for Life. Our lawsuit alleges that the new regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious organization to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
On August 20, we filed our reply brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of our petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the Court to review and reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s decision that dismissed the civil rights lawsuit of Crystal Dixon, who was fired by the University of Toledo for expressing her personal viewpoint on homosexuality in an op-ed in a local newspaper.
On August 20, Muise also had the privilege of participating as a guest speaker in a national webcast to discuss religious liberty in America. The webcast was hosted by Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone. Other guest speakers included Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Senator Rick Santorum.
On August 21, in a victory for AFLC, a federal judge entered a final order permanently halting the enforcement of a City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, ordinance that prohibited a pro-life advocate from displaying a “Free Ultrasound” sign in his vehicle, which he parks outside of a local Planned Parenthood. The order also requires the City to pay $7,000 in legal fees and to reimburse the demonstrator the $50 he had to pay in past fines.
On August 28, we filed our reply brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in defense of several Christian evangelists who were violently attacked by a Muslim mob for preaching the Gospel at the 2012 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The brief demonstrates that the law enforcement officers present at the scene had a constitutional duty to protect the Christians from the attack.
On August 30, we filed our opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, asking the court to overturn the denial of our clients’ trademark application for “Stop Islamisation of America” and “SIOA,” which the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board’s (TTAB) concluded was disparaging to Muslims. In our brief, we argue that the term “Islamisation” is not a disparaging term, but rather refers to a political movement to implement Islamic law or sharia as the law of the land.