ACLU Urges Congress to Reject H.R. 2679

27 07 2006

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

Well it comes at no surprise to us at Stop The ACLU and Wide Awakes Radio that the American Civil Liberties Union is opposed to passage of H.R. 2679, the Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005.

A review of the bill is as follows:

PERA would eliminate the ability for judges to award attorney’s fees compensation to groups like the ACLU in Establishment Clause cases only. These fees where originally authorized by CONGRESS so that good attorneys wouldn’t be dissuaded from accepting civil rights cases pro bono.

But in the hands of the ACLU it has become a source of income for the organization. In any other type of lawsuit, ie: personal injury, the attorney’s fee if any comes out of the settlement with their client if they prevail. But not under the law authorizing these fees.

The ACLU actively shops around for reasons to challenge any public displays of religion in order to collect these “attorneys’ fees”. This has led to a systematic removal of your Constitutional protections under the 1st Amendment to freely exercise your religious beliefs. They accomplish this by judge shopping. They shop for a district to present a case in. A district in which one of their “best buddies” activist judges will hear the case and more often than not, rule in the favor of the ACLU.

The ACLU prefers to bring these types of lawsuits against cities, towns, and states which are usually cash strapped. First it is a matter of sending a letter to the governing body recommending that they cease and desist from further allowing public displays of religion. That if they fail to do so, it will cost the city, town, or state massive amounts of money to defend against them in court. And usually, a city or town is likely to not challenge. They will capitulate to the will of the ACLU. But if it does come to trial and they prevail, the amounts awarded to the prevailing party are often compounded by the amounts awarded to the ACLU attorney(s) for fees that had they NOT prevailed, would have gone uncollected.

This is extortion. Do what we tell you or something bad is going to happen. Pure unadulterated extortion.

It is these practices that the Public Display of Religion Act of 2005 (H.R. 2679) promises to eliminate so of course the ACLU would be opposed to its passage. They aren’t interested in protecting your right to freely express your religious beliefs in public.

From the ACLU’s News Release on H.R. 2679 dated 07.26.06:

The American Civil Liberties Union today urged the House Judiciary Committee to reject H.R. 2679, the “Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005” (PERA). The panel is expected to vote on the legislation today [meaning Wednesday – in committee]. The bill would bar the recovery of attorneys’ fees to citizens who win lawsuits asserting their fundamental constitutional and civil rights in cases brought under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

If this bill were to become law, Congress would, for the first time, single out one area protected by the Bill of Rights and prevent its full enforcement,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Proponents of the measure claim that the bill is needed to protect religious freedom, when in fact, the bill would undermine it. We hope that the committee will stand for the Constitution and reject this unwise proposal.” emphasis mine

Hold the presses… Stop Stop Stop…..

Did they actually make an argument that if the bill becomes law, Congress would single out a Constitutional protection and block it from enforcement?

WRONG!

The only thing being discussed is a law written and adopted by Congress for the awarding of the fees. And the removal of the fees from a certain kind of cases in order to remove the ability for unscrupulous people like the ACLU to abuse it. In other words, shop around for cases in order to create a money making enterprise out of the award.

The so-call establishment clause only appears one place, in the first Amendment. The leftists at the ACLU are addicted to abusing the so-call protection of separation of church and state. Which is a fantasy created by people like the ACLU in order to have grounds in which to remove religion from the public sphere. Here’s what it actually says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Amendment I of the United States Constitution

Where is this phantom “separation of church and state”? I don’t see it mentioned.

I do see a provision whereby the Congress of the United States is preventing from making a law which establishes a religion in the United States. The founders were escaping a government that dictated that if you didn’t follow the Church of England, you were a criminal. This is what they were trying to avoid.

I fail to see how putting a nativity scene in the public square or a cross being present on a war memorial constitutes Congress making such a law. Because Erie, PA allows the erection of a nativity scene in Perry Square doesn’t constitute Congress taking any action what-so-ever to establish a national religion.

Democrats strongly opposed the bill yesterday.

A veterans’ group, the American Legion, has pushed for the legislation out of concern that war memorials and cemeteries could be cleansed of religious symbols. Mr. Nadler called the gravestone issue a “red herring” and submitted a letter in which the ACLU said it would “vigorously defend” the rights of veterans to use any religious symbol they choose on grave markers. The letter did not address the use of Christian crosses in publicly owned group memorials or tombs for unknown soldiers.
…..

After more than an hour of debate yesterday, the committee adjourned before taking an up-or-down vote on the bill.

But the ACLU would have you believe otherwise. Their press release continues:

The ability to recover attorneys’ fees in civil rights and constitutional cases, including Establishment Clause cases, is necessary to help protect the religious freedom of all Americans and to keep religion government-free. People who successfully prove the government has violated their constitutional rights would, under the bill, be required to pay their own legal fees — often totaling tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Few citizens can afford to do so. But more importantly citizens should not be required to do so where the court finds that the government has violated their rights and engaged in unconstitutional behavior.

The ability of the ACLU to collect attorney’s fees in establishment clause Cases does not protect your religious freedoms, it attacks them. The ACLU actively shops for these types of cases because in the hands of judges like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former Chief Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and former National Board member, the ACLU will prevail every time. And it becomes a business.

It is time that these types of abuse be brought to an end. Call, write, email, fax, and visit if you can , your Congressman and urge him to vote for the Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005 (H.R. 2679), and put an end to the abuse a
nd prostitution of our Constitution and our Judicial Branch of government.

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