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The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Posts Tagged ‘liberty counsel’

Liberty Counsel Condemns the Inhuman Treatment of Unborn Children

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 16, 2017

ATLANTA, GA — Today Liberty Counsel files an amicus brief in the case of West Alabama Women’s Center v. Miller defending the Alabama law that prohibits dismemberment abortions of live unborn babies, known as Dilation and Extraction (D&E), based on the medical evidence of their ability to feel intense pain.

Liberty Counsel’s brief lists ample evidence that unborn babies feel pain. “[I]t is entirely uncontested that a fetus experiences pain in some capacity, from as early as 8 weeks of development.” testified Dr. Maureen Condic before U.S. legislators. Early on in fetal development pain transmitters in the spinal cord are abundant, but pain inhibitors are sparse until later, according to Dr. Colleen Malloy. This medical information shows that premature infants have greater pain sensitivity than do full-term infants. Another demonstration of this is how premature babies actually require greater concentrations of medication to maintain effective anesthesia during surgery than full-term babies, as explained in the book Neonatal Pain.

If the vilest criminal has human dignity that protects him from an inhuman, painful punishment, then how much more should our laws protect an innocent unborn child that science proves is inherently human and experiences significant pain? Dr. Condic states “[I]gnoring the pain experienced by another human individual for any reason is barbaric.”

Doctors performing the D&E abortions are acutely affected by the child’s humanity and experience deep emotions and even nightmares. One deeply pro-choice abortionist was brought to tears when her own unborn child kicked at the exact same time that she severed another’s foot in a D&E abortion. “Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes” said Dr. Lisa Harris. “It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics.”

“We give our pets greater legal protections than we provide to the future citizens of America who have proven their humanity and their sensitivity to pain,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.  “Alabama’s law is a common sense solution to a barbaric and gruesome procedure,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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Christians Must Stand Their Ground, ‘Disobey’ Unjust Laws Limiting Religious Freedom, Says Matt Staver in Kick-Off to 4-Day Future Conference

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on June 15, 2015

Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision looms this month, Liberty Counsel Chairman Matt Staver and subpoenaed Houston pastor Steven Riggle asserted Sunday that Christians and churches across the country need to unite, stand their ground and defy “unjust” laws that restrict religious freedoms.

While speaking on the opening night of the four-day Future Conference hosted at the Skyline Church in San Diego, which is headed by pastor Jim Garlow, Staver told the audience in a video speech that the pending Supreme Court ruling could lead to the constitutionalization of same-sex marriage and would also be an “unprecedented threat” to American history and religious freedoms.

Staver, whose Liberty Institute advocates for numerous Christians persecuted by the government for upholding their faith, further explained that if same-sex marriage is ruled constitutional, it will not be something that Christians will simply be able to ignore.

Staver argued that civil authorities will force people and businesses to choose between “compromising” their biblical convictions of marriage being between one man and one woman or having to face the prosecutorial wrath of civil authorities.

The Supreme Court has historically made a few bad rulings that time and justice have been able to realize and overcome, and a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage would be yet another biasly-flawed Supreme Court ruling, Staver contended.

Despite the fact that multiple cases across the nation have arisen where Christian business owners have been prosecuted, threatened and fined for refusing to service same-sex weddings, Staver said Christians should not be coerced into folding their biblical beliefs in order to comply with the rule of law, especially when such a law contradicts God’s natural rule of a “higher law.”

“Martin Luther King Jr., in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, said there are two different kinds of laws. There is a just law and an unjust law,” Staver explained. “An unjust law is an earthly law that is in direct collision and conflict with the higher law. [MLK] said that we must disobey them. We can not give them the respect of the rule of law because our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not give respect to a lawless decision.”

Staver stressed that people must take a stand for their religious freedoms because judges and lawmakers are trying to stomp on them.

“We have policies at Liberty Counsel as a baseline for churches to adopt. But understand that these are not full proof. There are ideologues, whether on the bench or in legislative bodies, that really don’t care about your religious freedom, the First Amendment and these inalienable rights of conscience and they will override those liberties with this radical agenda,” Staver said.

“What should a pastor, what should people do?” Starver asked. “I believe we shouldn’t be intimidated. I believe that we should not change a single thing that we do. I believe we need to stand the ground on which God has given us. Stand your ground is my message to you. Don’t be intimidated by what’s coming.”

Staver also advised that Christians across the country need to unite on the same cause and speak out any time one of their brothers and sisters is persecuted by the government simply because they acted in accordance with their faith. Staver detailed his point by adapting a famous quote by anti-Nazi theologen Martin Niemӧller to modern-day society.

“First they came for the adoption ministry but I did not speak out because I did not do adoptions. Then, they came for the wedding photographer but I did not speak up because I did not do photographic weddings. Then, they came for the baker and I did not speak up because I was not a baker. Then, they came for the florist but I said nothing because I was not a florist. Then, they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me,” Staver said.

“This is not a call for lone believers to fall on their swords,” staver continued. “It is a call for us to speak for each other and stand together and even to suffer together. Like Esther facing the unjust laws of the Persian Empire, we must pray, then we must stiffen our spines. May God help us remain faithful, whatever the cost.”

iggle, who was one of five Houston-area pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, last fall because of his opposition to the city’s transgender bathroom ordinance, told the conference that it’s imperative for each individual evangelical movement across the country to unite as one super movement against the attack on religious freedom.

“It seems to me that we better find a way to take all of the voices and merge them together instead of a shout coming from here and here and over there,” Riggle, who pastors Houston’s Grace Community Church, stated. “I have been asked to sign three letters in one week all with them going here and going there. What would happen if 100 million people signed one letter. When are we going to figure this out?”

Although there has been no shortage of petitions and joint letters signed by evangelical leaders against same-sex marriage, Riggle compared those individual letters and petitions to the equivalent of a group of people trying to take down one bear by using nothing but small sticks and switches, instead of one giant stick to knock the bear out.

“I think we need to walk softly and carry a big stick,” Riggle asserted. “What I mean by that is until we unite our forces, we will continue to lose because it seems to me like we have whole lot of people walking around carrying switches.”

“Can you imagine 30 people surrounding the bear and everyone of them having a switch and all of them switching the bear and he may eat you if you do that,” Riggle continued. “If you figure that if all of you put your forces together and you get a big stick … and you put everybody together and you go out after the bear with [the big stick] and on your stick is ‘the lord is my strength.’ Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

Riggle also advised Christians not to back down in the face of government coercion. He insists that Christians need to be prepared to “run to the battle,” just as David did in his battle against Goliath.

“When you hear the threats and intimidation, don’t hide. Like David, run to the battle, don’t disappear. … When the giant shouts, shout back. … How do you shout back, shout back in the voting booth … shout back by running for office.”

Staver concluded by saying that a pro-gay Supreme Court ruling will create “impossible odds” for Christians that will force God to intervene, just as He did when he protected Daniel from the lions’ den.

“This could be the best, most magnificent time for the church because moments like this when there is an unprecedented clash, there is impossible odds that God will intervene for his people,” Staver said.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-must-stand-their-ground-disobey-unjust-laws-limiting-religious-freedom-says-matt-staver-in-kick-off-to-3-day-future-conference-140381/#kDfSPVUV2iI8RkA6.99

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Parks Services Reverses Decision – Permits Woman To Distribute Free Bibles

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on April 26, 2013

bible-e1365853008275A Louisiana woman who was ordered by Park Rangers to stop giving away free Bible at her farmer’s market stand, will now be permitted to after some timely legal assistance led to the Park Services Department reversing its decision.

According to reports:

“I was really just elated,” the woman, Shirley Elliott, told The Christian Post. “I was just happy that I could do what I felt like I needed to do, and what the Lord wants me to do.” Elliott says she always kept Bibles in her car to give to others, but found the Thibodaux Farmer’s Market near Jean Lafitte National Historic Park to be an ideal place to offer them to shoppers. She has been selling produce and homemade jellies at the market since 2011, according to Liberty Counsel, and in 2012 she set out the books along with a sign indicating they were free. But in December she was told by a park ranger that she could no longer offer the Bibles at her stand because “they were on federal property,” and she was instructed that she could hand them out in a separate area designated for literature distribution. (source).

Rather than give up her desire to share the Gospel at her stand, Elliot contacted the Liberty Counsel a legal advocacy group which represents Christian victims of religious discrimination. Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast Jr. wrote a letter to Carol Clark, superintendent of the park. In the letter he advised of why the park’s decision amounted to viewpoint discrimination. According to the park’s own policies, non-profit distribution of literature that pertains to education, youth and nutrition is permitted. And thus preventing a licensed vendor from giving away free Bibles to those who choose to take them would be discrimination solely on the basis of its religious nature.

Thankfully the letter led to a swift resolution of the matter:

Clark responded with a letter to Liberty Counsel in which she called the situation a “misunderstanding.”  “The NPS (National Park Service) respects the right of vendors to make free religious materials available,” wrote Clark. “Please assure Ms. Elliott that she is welcome to offer free Bibles at her produce and homemade jellies table.” (source).

Christian perseuction in the United States of America | Park Services Bans bible distribution.

The Bible has returned to the Farmers Market.

The efforts to silence the voice of Christianity is becoming so vociferous that even a woman giving away free Bibles at a food stand is subject to persecution. Jesus Christ prophesied that this persecution would take place and even His own disciples faced it during their ministry:

Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. – Acts 5:25-32.

Pray for Christians to continue to exercise their right of free speech to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving world. As it grows more hostile to the Bible’s message (while accommodating and embracing other faiths), it is even more urgent to share the message of forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Courtesy of http://beginningandend.com/parks-services-reverses-decision-permits-woman-to-distribute-free-bibles/

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ACLU Puts Ten Commandments on Trial

Posted by faithandthelaw on May 4, 2012

Giles County, VA – On Monday, May 7, Judge Michael Urbanski of the  United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia will hold a summary judgment hearing on Doe v. School Board of Giles County. Liberty Counsel will represent the school board against the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents the Doe plaintiffs in the suit.

ACLU of Virginia sued the Giles County School Board after the Board adopted an open forum policy, which permits the display of historical documents by private individuals or groups. A privately-sponsored historical document display consisting of eleven documents, one of which is the Ten Commandments, in equally-sized frames was posted in Narrows High School. The Foundations of American Law and Government display also includes, among other documents, the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and Mayflower Compact. The purpose of the display is to teach the historical foundation of American law. Additional historical documents were later posted, consisting of the First Charter of Virginia, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a depiction and quote of Patrick Henry, a depiction of Minutemen, a depiction of George Washington, Washington’s Farewell Address, a depiction of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson’s letter to Reverend Samuel Miller, Jefferson’s 1779 Thanksgiving Proclamation, the Northwest Ordinance, and a document explaining the significance of each.

The Virginia Standards of Learning requires students to know about the foundational principles of civilizations, including the Hebrews, and the foundations of law and government. Secular textbooks published by Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill trace the roots of democracy and law and specifically refer to the Ten Commandments and many of the documents posted as part of the Foundations Display. One of the Doe plaintiffs, who is the parent of the other Doe plaintiff, a student at Narrows High School, admits that studying such documents is appropriate in a textbook and that the Ten Commandments was significant in the development of law and government. Nevertheless, the parent and the student complain that only the Ten Commandments document should be removed from the display of 20 documents. The ACLU does not challenge the curriculum, which integrates the Ten Commandments as part of various subjects of study, but only the inclusion of the Ten Commandments as part of the display.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The ACLU has done everything it could to run from the facts and the law that control this case. The Foundations of American Law and Government display has been upheld by multiple federal courts of appeal. It is clearly appropriate to include the Ten Commandments in a display on law, because there is no dispute that they helped shape American law and government. This display includes 20 documents and pictures and reflects the curriculum, which is clearly constitutional. There is no dispute that the Ten Commandments influenced American law and government.”

Mat Staver will argue in federal court on Monday in defense of the Giles County School Board.


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Planned Parenthood Launches Pro-Abortion “40 Days of Prayer”

Posted by faithandthelaw on April 12, 2012

Eureka, CA— Six Rivers Planned Parenthood of Eureka, California, has launched a campaign called the 40 Days of Prayer: Supporting Women Everywhere, which lists 40 different prayers for those committing abortions: the mothers, the escorts, the abortionists, and everyone involved except the unborn children.

The prayer event is supported by the so-called Clergy for Choice, “religious leaders who value all human life.” In truth, the purported “clergy” only value life once it reaches a certain age and actively seek to destroy the lives of defenseless preborn children. The concerted effort of this group to dehumanize children based on their age is similar to a tactic once used in Nazi Germany towards the Jews and other non-Arians: first ostracize them from the rest of society, and then annihilate them. Planned Parenthood’s attempts to develop a “spiritual” aspect to the pro-abortion argument can seem comparable to the religious leaders in Germany who supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

Planned Parenthood is making another desperate attempt to regain positive attention and funding, as both have been slipping through their fingers. Day 35 of the prayer campaign says, “Today we pray for girls everywhere, that they may have every opportunity for education, sport, health, art, and vocation.” Ironically, this prayer excludes girls who are in utero. It also offensively insinuates that mothers are incapable of becoming educated, enjoying art, being healthy, or holding a job.

Planned Parenthood’s prayer crusade is an attempt to mock and marginalize the highly effective “40 Days for Life,” which has unified half a million voices for the cause and saved at least 5,838 lives. As a direct result of this prayer event, 22 abortion clinics have closed and 69 doctors have stopped performing abortion.  Vision America has another positive prayer and fasting event called “40 Days to Save America,” which encourages pastors, priests, and rabbis to pray for God to intervene and save our nation.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “Planned Parenthood’s ‘prayer’ campaign is offensive. As much as they  might not like the comparison, Planned Parenthood today is no different than the eugenics promoted by its founder Margaret Sanger who advocated the elimination of ‘undesirables,’ just like the most famous eugenicist, Adolf Hitler.”

Editors note: Not a very wise idea to mock God:

Galatians 6:7:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

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Religious Freedom Restored In Florida School District

Posted by faithandthelaw on July 1, 2011

After months of litigation against the ACLU and the Santa Rosa County School District, and on the eve of Independence Day, a Christian legal defense organization has restored freedom to the District’s teachers, staff, students, and members of the community.

Faced with an imminent trial and surmounting evidence of their constitutional violations, the ACLU and the District agreed to settle Liberty Counsel’s federal lawsuit, challenging their Consent Decree on behalf of students, teachers, parents and community members. The Consent Decree that led to criminal indictments against school employees for prayer and banned “God Bless” in Santa Rosa County schools will now be gutted and revised.

“We are pleased that freedom has been restored to Santa Rosa County,” said Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law. “It is appropriate to celebrate these restored freedoms as America celebrates Independence Day. From the beginning we contended that this Consent Decree went too far and swallowed up the rights of teachers, staff, students and members of the community. The Constitution is not some relic that can be discarded at will.”

The amended Consent Decree will restore dozens of constitutional religious freedoms that were previously denied. In addition, Liberty Counsel and Christian Educators Association International will be awarded $265,000 in attorney’s fees and costs from an insurance provider, not the taxpayers, to compensate them for the litigation caused by the ACLU and the District.

“This is a huge step in the right direction and a victory for the citizens in Santa Rosa County,” said Liberty Council in a statement. “The notice of settlement was filed with the court this morning and awaits official approval by the school board and the court. As a result, the teachers will now be able to pray at school during their break times, pray during school events in a nonofficial capacity, attend and fully participate in baccalaureate services, have a Bible on their desk, wear religious jewelry, and assign readings from the Bible to students when relevant to nonreligious academic assignments.” The Consent Decree further acknowledges students’ right to voluntarily pray, submit religious answers in homework, and freely participate in private, after-school religious programs.

Liberty Counsel and its 24 clients will be hosting a Victory Rally and Celebration on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 7-9 p.m. at Pace Assembly Ministries, 3948 Highway 90, Pace, FL. This event is open to the public, but free tickets are required and can be ordered at www.LC.org.

Courtesy of http://www.christianlawjournal.com/featured-articles/religious-freedom-restored-in-florida-school-district/

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Saying ‘Jesus’ In School Faces Court on Monday

Posted by faithandthelaw on May 25, 2011

This Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on if students in elementary schools have the protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The case surfaced in the Plano Independent School District in Texas where Thomas Elementary School Principal Lynn Swanson and Rasor Elementary School Principal Jackie Bomchill were sued for restricting student speech when it referenced “God” or “Jesus.”

According to the Liberty Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families, in a prior incident, officials banned 8-year-old Jonathan Morgan from handing out candy with Jesus’ name on them to classmates at a school party. “Then they confiscated a little girl’s pencils after school because they mentioned ‘God,’” the Institute reported. The group also reported that: “They even banned an entire classroom from writing ‘Merry Christmas’ on cards to our troops serving in Iraq.”

The disagreement began in district court then progressed to a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit where school officials’ efforts to have the complaint rejected because of their “immunity” failed. Now the 5th Circuit appeals court has arranged an en banc hearing in which 17 judges will listen to arguments and decide the dispute.

The school officials are arguing, “that the First Amendment does not apply to elementary school students,” explains the appeal brief submitted by Liberty Institute. They are claiming that the case is a dispute of “first impression,” – that is, the first time the question has been raised. Swanson and Bomchill are urging, “that the First Amendment does not apply to elementary school students.” According to school officials, “neither the Supreme Court nor this Court has ever extended First Amendment ‘freedom of speech’ protection to the distribution of non-curricular materials in public elementary schools,” the brief explains.

Liberty Institute asserts, “The First Amendment is not implicated by restrictions on student-to-student distribution of non-curricular materials by elementary school students to their classmates.” Kelly Shackelford, the president and CEO of Liberty Institute, Stated that the fundamental question that remains is whether the appeals court will “strip away the First Amendment rights of kids and their parents in the schools.”

Shackelford believes this could quickly turn into slippery slope; If an elementary school student has no First Amendment rights, what about a middle school or junior high student. What if this later extends to the adult collegiate level? “This is chilling. What this means if they have no First Amendment rights is that they have no right to have a viewpoint different from the government,” he said.

Shackleford said he is pleading with Christian organizations and groups to be in prayer this weekend over the arguments and the outcome. According to his statement, “Whatever confusion may exist about student speech and the Religion Clauses, the confusion does not extend to the fundamental principle that school officials may not discriminate against student speech solely because it expresses a religious viewpoint.”

Courtesy of http://www.christianlawjournal.com/news/saying-jesus-in-school-faces-court-on-monday/

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Federal Court Enjoins Enforcement of Notorious ACLU Consent Decree in Santa Rosa County, FL

Posted by faithandthelaw on March 22, 2011

Pensacola, FL – Today, Federal District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers granted in part a Preliminary Injunction in favor of twenty-four clients of Liberty Counsel, and granted a request for hearing on their remaining claims. The case attracted national attention when the ACLU attempted to punish and even jail local school administrators and staff for praying over their meal. The ACLU pressured the Santa Rosa County (Florida) School Board into a Consent Decree that unconstitutionally forbids all manner of religious expression at school, right down to the mere uttering of the words “God Bless.” After vindicating the school officials charged with criminal contempt for prayer, Liberty Counsel filed suit to invalidate the unconstitutional Consent Decree. The School District joined hands with the ACLU in defending the Consent Decree, and both asked the Court to dismiss Liberty Counsel’s challenge.

Today, Judge Rodgers denied the motions to dismiss and concluded that the lawsuit must be allowed to proceed. Affirming Liberty Counsel’s long-standing position that the Consent Decree unconstitutionally bans the private speech of teachers, students, parents and community members at school, the Court concluded that “confusion exists regarding when [school employees] are acting in their official capacity, subject to the restrictions in the consent decree and other school policies, or when they are free to act or speak in a private capacity at school events.” In a blow to the ACLU’s argument that its Consent Decree was clear, the Court further concluded that “substantial confusion exists regarding what speech or conduct is permitted during school events.”

A trial on the merits will occur in mid-summer. In the meantime, Judge Rodgers concluded that even though “a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy,” one aspect of the Consent Decree – its attempt to prohibit school employees from fully participating in private baccalaureate events – is so flawed that it must be immediately stopped. The Court thus enjoined the School Board “from enforcing any school policy that restrains in any way an employee’s participation in, or speech or conduct during, a private religious service, including baccalaureate” pending the trial on the merits.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “We are thrilled that the court has halted the School District and the ACLU from violating the constitutional rights of school employees. School employees do not lose their constitutional rights as a precondition to receiving a government paycheck. The ACLU-crafted Consent Degree is outrageous and blatantly unconstitutional. It literally attempted to criminalize Christianity. We are pleased that this assault on the Constitution has been halted.”

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Ten Commandments Pulled Off Students’ Lockers by Virginia School Administration

Posted by faithandthelaw on February 28, 2011

Floyd, VA – Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the Floyd County High School administration, requesting the reversal of their censorship of religious material posted by school students on the face of the students’ lockers. On February 23, Jacob Agee and other students who are members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes posted copies of the Ten Commandments on the face of their assigned lockers. Very quickly thereafter, Principal Barry Hollandsworth and Assistant Principal Tony Deibler removed each copy. Jacob then met with Principal Hollandsworth, who explained that he could not permit students to use the face of their lockers for religious expression because if he did, students of all religions could use their lockers for religious expressions of their respective religions.

These acts of censorship violate the students’ right to free speech. Students at the school are generally permitted to decorate the faces of their assigned lockers without prior approval of staff or administrators. However, school officials now say that prior approval is necessary for student expressions on their assigned lockers, so that they can censor religious viewpoints. A tour of the school would quickly reveal a variety of student expressions of school spirit, support of activities, birthday well wishes, social causes, and so on. In this case, the school has opened up student lockers for student expression and is monitoring and censoring religious speech.

There is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion and student speech endorsing religion. While a school could prohibit all stickers on student lockers, school officials cannot selectively discriminate against religious viewpoints while allowing other secular viewpoints. This is, in fact, what the school has done in this case.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, stated, “Liberty Counsel stands ready to defend the legal rights of students and members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Floyd County High School. The school officials censored the Ten Commandments from the students’ lockers solely because they deemed them to be religious and thus impermissible. Censoring religious viewpoints of students, while permitting secular viewpoints, violates the First Amendment. Floyd County school officials must immediately reverse course.”

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ObamaCare Reaches Court of Appeals with Filing of Brief Challenging Constitutionality

Posted by faithandthelaw on January 18, 2011

Lynchburg, VA – Today Liberty Counsel filed its Initial Brief at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Liberty University and two private parties, against the so-called “ObamaCare” legislation passed last year. District Court Judge Norman Moon found that Liberty University and two individual plaintiffs had standing to assert their constitutional claims against the individual and employer mandates, that their claims were ripe for consideration, and that the Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits taxpayers from trying to enjoin the collection of taxes, does not bar the claims. He then ruled on the merits of the substantive claims, finding that Congress acted within its authority under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the mandates in the healthcare law. 

This appeal is focusing on the merits of the claim which form the core part of this litigation, namely that Congress lacks authority under the Constitution to force individuals to purchase a government-defined health insurance product at a government-defined price and also lacks authority to force employers to provide a government-mandated health insurance product. The brief addressed the Commerce Clause, the Taxing and Spending Clause, General Welfare Clause, First Amendment, Equal Protection, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

On Wednesday of this week, the U.S. House plans a vote to repeal this same healthcare law.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “I am confident that the federal healthcare law will eventually be struck down on appeal because it is unconstitutional. Congress does not have the authority to force every American to purchase a particular kind of health insurance product. If Congress had authority to force every American to buy a particular health insurance product, then Congress’s authority would be unlimited. The authority and scope of the federal government’s reach into our private lives would increase and our liberty would decrease.”

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