Here are the highlights for June 2017:
* On June 7, a federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York signed a stipulated order that ended our successful First Amendment lawsuit against several officials from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo).
In this lawsuit, we sued SUNY-Buffalo officials on behalf of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. (CBR), a national pro-life group, and its student sponsors for permitting an unruly mob of pro-abortion protestors to purposely disrupt a peaceful, pro-life demonstration on the university’s campus.
The court order requires the “State University of New York” to “not engage in discriminatory enforcement of its regulations against Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc., and UB Students For Life” and to “take all reasonable measures to enforce its policies against deliberately disrupting or preventing the freedom of any person to express his or her views.” The order also requires the State of New York to pay AFLC $30,000 in attorneys’ fees.
* On June 9, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and several government officials for violating our clients’ rights protected by the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of CBR, its executive director, Gregg Cunningham, Reverend Clenard H. Childress, Jr., an African American pastor of a black church in the Newark, New Jersey area, and Jacqueline Hawkins, an African American woman who is the director of minority outreach for CBR. Pastor Childress and Ms. Hawkins direct the NMAAC project, which was developed by CBR.
This past year NMAAHC officials prevented Pastor Childress and Ms. Hawkins from engaging in free speech activity on the public sidewalk outside of the museum. The activity involved the use of hand-held, photo-mural exhibits that demonstrate the devastation of abortion’s consequences on the African American community. Pastor Childress and Ms. Hawkins were ordered to stop their First Amendment activity under threat of arrest.
* On June 10, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise gave a speech about faith and religious freedom to a Catholic men’s group in Utica, Michigan.
* On June 13, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing against the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) motion to suppress the expert testimony of former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz setting out CAIR’s Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organizational ties. In this case, AFLC is representing five plaintiffs who were victims of a CAIR fraud. Central to CAIR’s defense is the claim that whatever wrong they engaged in, it was in an effort to help the victims as a legitimate Muslim civil rights organization. Mr. Schmitz has provided expert testimony that points to the fact that CAIR is not a legitimate civil rights organization but rather a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the U.S. CAIR is desperately seeking to keep this evidence away from the jury.
* On June 20, AFLC Senior Counsel Robert Muise presented oral argument in a packed courtroom in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in support of our request that the court issue a preliminary injunction halting the construction of a mega-mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan while our lawsuit challenging the Consent Judgment entered into between the City and the American Islamic Community Center (AICC) which granted AICC permission to build the mosque proceeds. Not surprisingly, the presiding judge (who was also the judge who approved the Consent Judgment we are challenging) denied our request. We are appealing that denial to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
* On June 30, we opposed a motion filed by CAIR and the ACLU in which they asked the presiding federal judge to exclude from the record all of the evidence connecting CAIR to terrorist organizations that we filed in support of our request that the court dismiss their lawsuit. In this lawsuit filed against our clients, owners of a small gun range in Oklahoma who prevented a CAIR board member from shooting at the range due to CAIR’s nefarious ties, CAIR and the ACLU are claiming that the owners engaged in religious discrimination in violation of federal law.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do what we do without them!