Month in Review – August 2021

Here are the highlights for August:

* On August 2, our opening brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was due in our case challenging the City of Detroit’s draconian speech restrictions imposed during the Democratic Party presidential candidate debates, which were held at the Fox Theatre in the City in July 2019.

The brief, which we filed early on July 28 and neglected to mention during our July month in review, was filed on behalf of Created Equal, a pro-life group, and its executive director, Mark Harrington.

The brief highlights, among others, the fact that the restrictions on the pro-lifers’ speech were content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

* On August 5, we filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against four pro-lifers who participated in a Red Rose Rescue in Grand Rapids, Michigan in May 2020.

The rescuers are each charged with one count of trespassing at an abortion center in the City.  The court held a hearing on August 19, and, unfortunately, denied the motion.

Jury selection was held on September 9, and the jury trial is scheduled to commence on September 17.

* On August 16, we filed a full-throated response in opposition to Genoa Charter Township’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit against the Township and its Ordinance Officer.

In this lawsuit, we allege that the Michigan Township and its officials violated the U.S. Constitution, the Michigan Constitution, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) when they denied a religious organization (Catholic Healthcare International) the right to build a modest chapel (St. Pio Chapel) and prayer campus on its 40 acre property located within the Township and when they demanded that the religious organization remove all religious symbols from its property, including the Stations of the Cross and an image of Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Our Lady of Grace”).

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for November 4 in federal court in Detroit.

* On August 26, we were notified that oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in our lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s mask mandate and contact tracing program will be held on September 23 in Philadelphia.

This is an appeal of the lower court’s denial of our request for a preliminary injunction.

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, will argue the case on behalf of our clients, who are challenging the mandate and tracing program on constitutional grounds.

* During the month of August, we successfully assisted numerous students and employees at the University of Michigan with their efforts to obtain a religious exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

On one occasion, we had to send a demand letter to the University’s general counsel.  Within hours, the exemption was granted.

The principal basis for the religious objection to the current vaccines (and thus the basis for seeking a religious exemption) is that all of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are morally compromised as they used cell lines originating from aborted fetuses in their manufacturing or testing.

Thus, it would violate the individual’s conscience to be vaccinated with any of these vaccines as he/she would be cooperating with/condoning a moral evil.

We are also assisting several members of the armed forces who similarly object to the vaccine mandate being imposed upon them.

* During the month of August, we produced two new episodes of our Videocast / Podcast series titled, “Faith and Freedom Fighters.”  Please listen, subscribe, and pass the word!

Thank you for your prayers and financial support.  We couldn’t do what we do without them!