Here are highlights for October:
* On October 12, we successfully, yet again, represented a person whose religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate was denied. In this case, the person was a tenured professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Michigan.
In response to a demand letter we sent to the General Counsel of the University in September, the University reversed its denial decision and granted the professor her requested exemption. Mission accomplished!
* On October 13, we filed a petition for writ of certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an important First Amendment case.
In September 2019, AFLC filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Detroit and several City police officers, challenging their enforcement of various restrictions that prohibited pro-lifers from engaging in free speech activity during the 2019 Democratic Party presidential candidate debates held in July at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of Created Equal and its Founder Mark Harrington.
The lawsuit alleges that the City and several of its police officers violated the pro-lifers’ fundamental rights protected by the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
More specifically, during the two days of the debates (July 30 & 31), the City imposed draconian restrictions that prevented anyone with a message that conflicted with the policies of the Democratic Party candidates, particularly messages that conflicted with the candidates’ radical pro-abortion policies, from reaching the debate participants and attendees.
* On October 20, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Eastpointe, Michigan and two of its officials for allegedly violating the civil rights of pro-life activists who protest abortion on the public sidewalk at the Eastland Women’s Clinic, an abortion center located in the City.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two pro-life activists who want to engage in constitutionally protected speech activity at the abortion center but are prevented from doing so because the City and its police officers unlawfully target pro-life activists by issuing bogus criminal citations.
The lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
* On October 26, we filed a letter with supplemental authorities in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the appeal challenging the Covid-19-related “health” orders forbidding group protests. Then Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor de Blasio forbade protests against the COVID-19 restrictions but promoted, and even participated in, the Black Lives Matter protests.
During the litigation, the City and State defendants told the court that they had decided not to enforce the current restrictions against Geller.
This ploy is typical of government actors. After a plaintiff sues for a violation of the Constitution, the government tells the court that the case is moot and should be dismissed because the government has ceased the constitutionally offending behavior.
In our supplemental authority filing, we provided the Second Circuit with a recent case out of the Fifth Circuit that exposes and rejects this illegal gamesmanship.
* On October 27, we filed our reply brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the appeal of our preliminary injunction on behalf of a Navy SEAL who is facing separation proceedings because he objects to the vaccine mandate on religious grounds.
This appeal of the denial of our request for a preliminary injunction on behalf of Navy SEAL 4 is part of our larger case challenging the vaccine mandate on behalf of four Navy SEALs.
* We’re back! With the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk and his pledge to stop the censorship of conservative voices, AFLC has once again joined Twitter. You can find us at @aflc_freedomlaw. Please follow!
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do what we do without them!