“Lawfare” Victory for Free Speech

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) achieved another major legal victory for free speech by forcing, under threat of litigation, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to display an advertisement that exposes Islam’s hatred of Jews and urges the U.S. Government to stop all aid to Islamic countries.  In addition, SFMTA, through its advertising agent Titan, has agreed to cover more than $10,000 of the associated advertising costs.

The advertisement, which is sponsored by AFDI and its directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, appears as follows:

Pro-Israel Ad

This advertisement, which has already run in New York City and Washington, D.C., is also the subject of a lawsuit filed by AFLC against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) for its refusal to run the ad.  The case is pending in federal court in Philadelphia.

Earlier this year, SFMTA’s agent refused to display the advertisement, prompting AFLC to contact Titan (which is the same advertising agent for SEPTA), informing the agent that a federal lawsuit would be forthcoming.

Rather than fight AFLC, SFMTA reversed course and agreed to run the advertisement, and SFMTA’s agent agreed to cover a large portion of the advertising costs.

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi commented,

“Government agencies are taking notice of AFLC’s aggressive litigation style and its impressive record of court victories.  Here, we were able to leverage our reputation to achieve an important free speech victory without having to fire a shot, thereby preserving our litigation resources for the next major court battle.”