Though our constitutional freedoms and religious liberties are under constant attack, I wanted to share with you some of the important victories and ongoing work of the ACLJ in defense of faith, life, and liberty.
In just the last year, the ACLJ has been involved in a number of critical cases impacting the freedoms we have as Americans, and have achieved some monumental victories here at home and around the world.
One of the greatest challenges to life and liberty we have seen in recent memory is pro-abortion ObamaCare, with its influx in funding for the abortion industry and its unconstitutional restriction on liberty. The ACLJ has been deeply involved in the fight to stop this unconstitutional law. We are preparing for oral arguments later this month in federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. in our challenge to ObamaCare. We have also filed amicus briefs in challenges to ObamaCare in the Eleventh Circuit (which struck down the individual mandate), the Fourth Circuit, and the Sixth Circuit, and we are committed to supporting each of these lawsuits as they eventually will end up at the Supreme Court.
We are also in court protecting the rights of the unborn in several other critical cases. In one of the largest lawsuits against the abortion industry, we are suing Planned Parenthood in California for fraudulently overbilling taxpayers by tens of millions of dollars, overcoming several significant legal hurdles at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as this case moves forward to trial. We won a significant victory for life in New York City stopping a law from going into effect which threatened to shutdown pro-life pregnancy centers, and are continuing to defend the life-saving work of those pregnancy centers as this case is on appeal and in similar cases around the country. The ACLJ is continuing the fight to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress and in the states. We have also successfully defended the First Amendment rights of pro-life pharmacists to not be required to violate their conscience by being forced to dispense abortion-related drugs.
Internationally, we have also seen significant victories. Our work at the United Nations (UN), through the European Centre for Law and Justice, has resulted in the UN adopting our recommendations to prohibit Shariah law based religious discrimination. As the threat against Christians in Islamic nations continues to mount, we have engaged in successfully defending persecuted Christians. We are representing a Pakistani Christian convert as he seeks asylum from religious persecution. We have also helped bring those responsible for abducting a Christian woman and forcing her to accept Islam to justice, and succeeded in defending 43 Christians who were falsely detained in their homes. Our expansion with an office in Pakistan has allowed us to battle Islamic blasphemy laws and defend many other persecuted Christians.
In the U.S. we are working to stop the encroachment of Shariah law in our courts, and are continuing to battle the construction of an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero - on the site where landing gear from the hijacked planes landed - as that case progresses on appeal.
The ACLJ also remains deeply committed to protecting the sovereignty of the State of Israel – America’s greatest ally in the war on terror. I work closely with our national security legal team, including former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, in the U.S. and our office in Jerusalem, Israel. Last year, I presented arguments at the International Criminal Court in the Hague when Israel was falsely accused of war crimes that it did not commit. We are also continuing our work in Congress to defund the terrorist-led Palestinian Authority and at the UN to prevent Palestinians’ attempt to skirt the peace process with Israel and obtain statehood unilaterally.
The ACLJ’s international work has also led to several other victories including rescuing an American Christian missionary falsely imprisoned in Haiti and, in conjunction with the African Centre for Law and Justice, assisted in Constitution building in Zimbabwe.
In additional to our international work, the ACLJ remains committed to defending America’s religious heritage. When the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the presidential proclamation for the National Day of Prayer, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief arguing that the atheist group did not have standing to sue, and a federal appeals court agreed with our position throwing the suit out. We have also successfully defended the Pledge of Allegiance, filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging it not to take the case. The Supreme Court refused the case, letting a court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Pledge stand. The ACLJ also filed successful amicus briefs defending the National Motto (“In God We Trust”) and the phrase “under God” engraved on the Capital Visitor’s Center in Washington, D.C. and many other historical aspects of America’s religious heritage.
The ACLJ is committed to protecting our borders and has filed amicus briefs in several cases defending states’ rights to defend their own borders against illegal immigration. Most recently, the ACLJ successfully defended the right of states to impose business license restrictions on companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens with an amicus brief at the Supreme Court.
The ACLJ has also been deeply involved in protecting free speech and constitutional liberties at the local level. Our attorneys successfully defended the right of a public school student to wear a rosary – a symbol of his faith – at school. The ACLJ also succeeded in having a city ordinance that violated the First Amendment rights of pro-life advocates repealed after wining a lawsuit. ACLJ attorneys also assisted in obtaining vital medical care for “Baby Joseph” whose Canadian doctors were threatening to remove him from life-support.
Each of these successes and the ACLJ’s involvement in so many critical cases is a testament to the impact that our members are having around the world. The ACLJ remains committed to engaging in the legal, political, and cultural issues facing us today in defense of life, faith, and freedom here in America and across the globe.