* Throughout the month of May, we continued to prepare for trial in the Urth Caffe litigation, in which seven women claimed they were subjected to religious discrimination when the Urth Caffe staff asked them to leave after the women refused to abide by the café’s seating policy. The women later made the fraudulent claim that they were evicted from the café because they wore hijabs—Islamic head coverings worn by some Muslim women. The lawsuit was initiated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas front group operating in the U.S. This litigation against Urth Caffe, like other litigation of its kind, is part of the Brotherhood’s “civilizational jihad” to destroy America from within by exploiting and using its laws promoting liberty and equality against patriotic citizens and companies via lawfare. AFLC, however, went on the offensive and filed cross-claims for trespass against the seven Muslim women, and the judge denied their motion to dismiss the cross-claims.
After two years of motions and discovery, including depositions of all of the witnesses and production of thousands of documents, AFLC has demonstrated that there is not a shred of evidence of any discrimination. In fact, the security tapes show just the opposite. Urth Caffe’s seating policy was applied fairly and without regard to race, religion, or nationality.
Just in the month of May, AFLC deposed Plaintiffs’ expert and defended the depositions of Urth Caffe’s two experts, conducted a court-ordered mediation, and attended and argued at a hearing on Urth Caffe’s motion for summary judgment. In addition, we filed a motion for sanctions against Plaintiffs and their counsel, including their ACLU lawyer.
While we’ll have more to report on this case soon, we just concluded a follow-on mediation at which Plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit and receive zero money from AFLC’s client, Urth Caffe. A huge win for the good guys against the Muslim Brotherhood/CAIR/progressive juggernaut. The bad guys (and girls) have learned a valuable lesson: if you engage in lawfare against an AFLC client, be prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars and to get nothing in return!
* On May 1, we filed our opening brief in the California Court of Appeals in our lawsuit against The Irvine Company, the owner of the Irvine Spectrum Center and Fashion Island, two large shopping centers located in Orange County, alleging that the Company violated California’s liberty of speech provision by banning anti-abortion signs that it claims were “gruesome.” Under the California Constitution, large shopping centers are considered public forums for the right to free speech.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. (CBR) and its Executive Director, Gregg Cunningham.
Last October the case went to trial, where we prevailed on several important issues. We successfully challenged the shopping centers’ peak “blackout days,” where they tried to shut down free speech during the busiest shopping days when CBR’s audience would be the largest. And we successfully challenged restrictions on two out of the three anti-abortion signs at issue. In this appeal, we are challenging this last restriction.
* On May 7, oral argument was held in federal court in Michigan in our lawsuit seeking to stop the construction of a mega-mosque in the middle of a Chaldean Christian neighborhood in the City of Sterling Heights, Michigan. Our clients, many of whom fled religious persecution by Muslims, view the building of this mosque as an act of aggression against their community, similar to what they experienced in Iraq. We are arguing that the construction of this mosque violates local and state zoning regulations and by ignoring these regulations and granting preferential treatment to the Muslim organization over the rights of the Chaldean Christians, the City violated the U.S. Constitution.
* On May 17, following our filing of a formal request for a conference with the court, the judge presiding in our lawsuit filed on behalf of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer against SMART, a Detroit-based transit agency, agreed to hold a telephonic conference with the parties. We made the request because the court has yet to rule on the parties’ pending cross-motions for summary judgment, and it has been more than four years! The judge stated that she would promptly rule, but we are still waiting. This case involves the government transit agency’s rejection of our clients’ “Leaving Islam” advertisement.
* On May 25, we filed a cross-appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in our lawsuit representing Kimberly Thames, a pro-life demonstrator who was unlawfully arrested and jailed for 49 hours based on a facially bogus claim by a security guard at an abortion center that she had made a bomb threat. Last month, the presiding judge denied the police officers’ request to dismiss Thames’ constitutional claims against them, and the judge denied our request that he rule in favor of Thames as a matter of law. The court’s ruling sends the case to a jury. The police officers appealed the denial of their request to dismiss, providing us with the opportunity to cross-appeal the court’s legal ruling on liability.
* On May 30, we filed our opening brief in the Oakland County Circuit Court, appealing the convictions of our clients, five pro-lifers who were involved in a “Red Rose Rescue” at the Western Women’s Center, an abortion center in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan. In the brief, we set forth our legal arguments as to why the judge committed reversible error by not allowing the pro-lifers the defense of necessity and the defense of others and by not permitting us to question potential jurors regarding their biases related to the abortion issue, thereby depriving our clients of their due process rights and requiring a new trial with a properly instructed and unbiased jury. We are also challenging the sentences imposed by the District Court judge—sentences which include draconian conditions of probation that violate the pro-lifers’ fundamental rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
* We continue with court appearances, depositions, briefs, and motion practice in many other cases as well.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do what we do without them!