Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Senate Hearings on Public Expression of Religion Act Set For Wednesday

Crossposted excerpt from STOP THE ACLU

When the ACLU wins a case against the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments, veterans memorials, and other symbols of American history and heritage guess who pays them? You do! However, there is current legislation going before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, as well as a companion bill going before the House that is designed to put a stop to this.

Former ACLU attorney, Rees Lloyd,
whom I had the pleasure of interviewing, is stepping up to the plate.Record Gazette:

Rees Lloyd, Banning-based attorney and Commander of American Legion
District 21 (Riverside County), has been selected to testify on behalf of The
American Legion before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution in
support of passage of Senate Bill 3696, Veterans Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public
Seals and Other Public Expressions of Religion Act of 2006 (“PERA).

S 3696 (PERA), sponsored by Sen. Brownback (R-Kan), a companion bill to
H.R. 2979 (PERA), sponsored by Rep. Hostetter (R-Ind.), would amend all relevant
federal laws to eliminate the authority of judges to award taxpayer-paid
attorney fees to the ACLU, or anyone else, in lawsuits under the Establishment
of Religion Clause of the First Amendment against veterans memorials, the Boy
Scouts, or the public display of the Ten Commandments of other symbols of
America’s history with a religious aspect.

The following is from an email sent out by Mr. Rees Lloyd:

While most Americans remain unaware of it, the ACLU has been reaping
millions of dollars in taxpayer-paid profits in lawsuits against veterans
memorials, the Boy Scouts, or against the public display of the Ten Commandments
or other symbol of our American heritage with a religious aspect.

For but three examples, the ACLU received some $950,000 in attorney fees in
a settlement with the City of San Diego in the ACLU’s lawsuit to drive the Boy
Scouts out of Balboa Park. In the famous Judge Roy Moore Ten Commandments Case,
the ACLU, and cohort so-called “public interest” law firms, received $500,000.
In the recent “Intelligent Design” case against the Dover school board, the ACLU
received $2,000,000 in attorneys by order of a judge — although the law firm
which represented the ACLU informed the court and public that it had acted pro
bono and waived any attorney fees. Thus, it was pure profit to the ACLU.

Further, the ACLU has used the threat of imposition of taxpayer-paid
attorney fees to extort local elected bodies, city or county councils, school
boards, into surrender to the ACLU’s demands to secularly cleanse the public
sphere of any evidence of our American religious heritage.

Moreover, the threat of imposition of orders to pay ACLU’s attorney fees in
such cases has caused third parties, like The American Legion and other
non-profit organizations, to suffer a chilling effect on their First Amendment
rights to participate in such lawsuits to protect veterans’ memorials.

S. 3696 (PERA), and H.R. 2679 (PERA), would put an end to that abuse of
benevolently intended laws by the ACLU, or anyone else following the ACLU’s
precedents, for instance, Islamist terrorists or their sympathizers in our

This reform of the law should be supported by all Americans across all
party, ideological, philosophical, or religious lines.

Simply put, the ACLU’s profiteering at taxpayer-expense by exploitation of
benevolently intended civil rights laws intended to benefit poor people is a

The ACLU have turned the intention of this Act, just like they do the Constitution, on its head. A huge portion of Establishment Clause cases are settled outside of court because of threatening and intimidation from the ACLU. Most of these small schools and towns can not afford to defend themselves from the well funded ACLU and give in to their demands and threatening letters. They know they can not afford to lose. If they do they will be paying for the ACLU’s attorney fees which in many cases reach the millions. Despite all of this some people are trying to claim, like the ACLU, that this law would prevent people who were actually injured by an arm of the state forcing religious views on people such as a school forcing children to pray from being able to afford to defend themselves.

Read the whole post at STOP THE ACLU, linked above, but I'll include the final paragraph:

The ACLU supports many radical causes, and while they may have every right to do so, it should not be at the expense of taxpayers that do not support such causes. Please contact your Congress critter, and representative, and tell them to support PERA. Find your Representative here. Find your Senator here.

Sign Our Petition To Stop Taxpayer Funding of the ACLU

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