Here are the highlights for January, as we start off this new year at full sprint:
* On January 5, we participated in a hearing on behalf of several Trump electors who are facing civil claims brought against them by three Biden electors.
The hearing was scheduled for oral argument on our previously filed motion to dismiss in which we argue that the claims against the Trump electors are “patently frivolous.”
We are representing four of the sixteen Trump electors in this civil lawsuit, which was filed in Kent County, Michigan.
The Trump electors are also facing a politically-charged felony complaint filed against them by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
The trial court in the civil case had previously issued an order denying our request to stay the matter until resolution of the criminal case. We were seeking to protect our clients’ Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. An application to appeal the trial court’s order was filed with the Michigan Court of Appeals (it was not an appeal as of right, so we had to request that the court review the matter).
The day before the hearing on our motion to dismiss, the Michigan Court of Appeals granted the application for review. As a result, the trial court abruptly refused to hear our motions. Yet, she was unwilling to stay discovery! Remarkable.
A few days later, the Michigan Court of Appeals granted a stay of the entire case pending resolution of the appeal.
* On January 9, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc, asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to rehear our case against Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In this lawsuit, we are challenging the Attorney General’s political attack of parents who speak out at school board meetings against the indoctrination of their children by “woke” school boards.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of parents from Loudoun County, Virginia and Saline, Michigan.
The district court judge dismissed the lawsuit on “justiciability grounds”—claiming that the parents were not “injured” by the Attorney General’s policy and thus lacked standing to challenge it. The court refused to address the merits of the case.
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit (the very court where Garland presided as a judge) affirmed the lower court ruling. The petition we filed asked the full (en banc) D.C. Circuit to rehear case.
Unfortunately, on January 18, the Court denied the petition. We will be filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the high court to take up this important case.
* On January 16, we sent a letter to the Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor and sheriff on behalf of Andy Hess.
Hess volunteered to assist with a recount in the County this past December. During the recount, Hess found evidence of potential tampering with the ballots.
Hess raised the concern to the Oakland County Director of Elections, who expressed little interest in the matter, prompting Hess to comment that cheating on elections is “treason.”
The Director made a complaint to the County Sheriff’s department, claiming that he was “threatened” by Hess. The Director’s complaint prompted a formal criminal investigation against Hess.
In our letter to the county prosecutor, we point out that Hess’s comments are protected by the First Amendment. Therefore, they cannot serve as the basis for any criminal liability.
We posted an article on our website highlighting the problem with such attacks on the First Amendment. Unfortunately, we are seeing this “true threat” to our “democracy” playout against Republicans across the country.
* On January 22, we filed our opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, asking the court to review an adverse decision issued in our lawsuit filed against the City of Tulsa and its Chief of Police on behalf of a Tulsa police officer.
In 2019, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Tulsa and its Chief of Police on behalf of Wayne Brown, a Tulsa police officer who was wrongfully terminated because local political activists complained to the City about conservative social media posts Brown had made several years prior to his hiring as a police officer.
The “offending” social media posts included an image of Donald Trump riding a lion with a Confederate flag in the background and a “blue lives matter” image.
None of these posts caused any controversy or disruption in the workplace whatsoever. In fact, no one from the City police department knew (or cared) that the posts existed until a well-known anti-police activist, who was trolling the social media accounts of the officers, found them and complained to the Chief of Police.
Even though Brown’s post were fully protected by the First Amendment (they were speech made by a private citizen prior to his government employment commenting about matters of public concern), the lower court held that the interests of the police department trumped Brown’s fundamental right to free speech.
This is an exceedingly important First Amendment case. The lower court’s ruling must be reversed by the Tenth Circuit.
* On January 25, we filed a full-throated reply in support of our motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability in our lawsuit filed on behalf of Catholic Healthcare International, Inc. (CHI) against Genoa Township, Michigan.
In this case, we are challenging the Township’s denial of CHI’s request to build a modest adoration chapel and prayer campus on its 40-acre property in the Township.
As set forth in our filings, the Township’s actions violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a federal law that prohibits religious discrimination in the land use context.
You can read our reply brief here.
* The “Baby Doe” case continues. Throughout this month and from the moment we joined this important case, we were fully engaged in various discovery disputes—filing responses and replies to motions—in this remarkable custody case involving a baby girl who was rescued from the battlefield of Afghanistan and adopted by a Marine family.
Shockingly, Gitmo lawyers from large law firms want to take this little girl from the Marine family and give her to the Taliban.
In light of all that is going on in the Middle East and the resurgence, yet again, of jihadists, this case is becoming all that more important. You can read more about it here.
* As noted previously, we are working on a major case that we hope to file within the coming weeks in California.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do what we do without them!