CAIR Continues Attack on Free Speech

CAIR-MI LawfareAs we previously reported here, a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Ann Arbor, Michigan granted our motion to “quash” harassing and burdensome subpoenas issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to Ms. Zaba Davis, a private citizen who received the subpoenas because she publicly expressed her opposition to the construction of an Islamic center in her neighborhood.  The Magistrate Judge ruled that the subpoenas infringed upon Ms. Davis’ right to freedom of speech.  As we further noted, the judge also awarded us our attorneys’ fees and costs for having to bring the motion.

CAIR lawyers recently filed an appeal of the Magistrate Judge’s decision to the District Court Judge, objecting only to the judge’s ruling in which he awarded us our attorneys’ fees and costs (CAIR no doubt is seething at having to make payment to AFLC).   And in typical CAIR fashion, its lawyers pressed the “anti-Muslim-victim” narrative in their filing.  However, last Thursday, we filed our response to CAIR’s frivolous objections, and you can read that brief in full here.  Below is an excerpt from our brief:

Plaintiff inexplicably (and quite inappropriately) begins its objections to Magistrate Judge Grand’s Order with an ad hominem attack against Ms. Davis’ Jewish counsel, Mr. David Yerushalmi, for a statement he made in a press release.  (Pl.’s Objection at 5 [Doc. No. 172]).  Indeed, despite making this irrelevant and impertinent personal attack its opening argument to this court, Plaintiff proceeds to state that “it is unclear what exactly opposing counsel Yerushalmi means [by his public statement].”  (Pl.’s Objection at 5).  We then learn, however, that this statement by a Jewish lawyer in New York who has no connection whatsoever to Pittsfield Township is apparently “the latest example of the anti-Muslim haze that has always surrounded this case.”  (Pl.’s Objection at 5).  Thus, even in its objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Order, Plaintiff could not resist playing the “anti-Muslim” card in its opening hand.

Unfortunately, these attacks on free speech are par for the course for Plaintiff (and its attorneys).  Indeed, Plaintiff’s abuse of the discovery process to chill the free speech of private citizens is a primary reason why we (in particular, Ms. Davis, a non-party) are before the court today—as Magistrate Judge Grand’s Order makes explicit.  (See Order at 9-11 [“The subpoenas directed to Davis should also be quashed as an undue burden on her First Amendment rights.”]).  Thus, and apparently unwittingly, Plaintiff has hoisted itself upon its own petard at the first opportunity, unable, apparently, to resist attacking anyone who makes public statements critical of Plaintiff (and its counsel).