Tuesday, June 27, 2006



Rep. John Hostettler, a Republican from Indiana, wants to amend two federal laws (42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988) that he says are used by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union "to extort behavior out of individuals."

The Public Expression of Religion Act, taken up recently by a House Judiciary subcommittee, would prohibit damages and attorney fees from being awarded to plaintiffs in First Amendment cases.

Rees Lloyd, a judge advocate for the American Legion, has some examples of frivolous litigation by the ACLU that would be ended by passage of the bill:

"We should not punish government officials for a misstep in this constitutional minefield," says Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of the conservative Liberty Counsel.

Missteps? RSR is old, and his memory probably faulty, but the way we remember these cases is not as simple mistakes, but cold and calculating policies adopted with malice aforethought and undertaken with the full knowledge of the consequences.

In Dover, the Thomas More Law Center traveled the country looking for a school board that wanted to be the test case for intelligent design.

Likewise, the Alabama Ten Commandments monument was brought into the state Supreme Court building by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore as a deliberate provocation.

Not only was the monument ordered removed, but Alabama's judicial ethics panel, which included judges, lawyers and non-lawyers, removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office for defying the order to remove it.

Moore "showed no signs of contrition for his actions," according to the ruling issued by the judiciary panel.

Oh yeah, following their unconstitutional actions, the Dover School Board was voted out of office. Roy Moore got just 36 percent of the vote in the June Republican primary in his race for Alabama governor. There's a public expression on that sort of religion for you.

The Public Expression of Religion Act is nothing more than a naked attempt to institutionalize fundamentalism without giving the public any recourse in the courts.


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