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Litigation and Legislative Update

This afternoon, we will file our brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.  This case involves a constitutional challenge to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed in 2003 and signed into law by President Bush.  As you may remember, I was in New York during the trial for this case, helping with strategic decision-making.  I am optimistic that the Supreme Court will hold that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is, in fact, constitutional.  This case has huge ramifications and could well affect the law in all 50 states. We are representing over 75 members of the United States Congress as well as 330,000 members of the American Center for Law and Justices Committee to Protect the Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion.  If you would like a copy of the brief, click here.

 

We are also filing a new lawsuit in federal court on behalf of a pastor who was arrested during a church service.  You may remember this case from last year.  Pastor Bori Oginni was conducting his weekly church service at a day care facility on Sundays.  Members of the church owned the day care facility and they agreed to let the church utilize its classrooms on Sunday mornings since there were no children at the day care center.  The pastor was actually arrested and cited with an illegal and unlawful assembly for conducting this prayer service.  The pastors church was outraged and so were we.  We went to criminal court and got all of the charges against the pastor dismissed.  We have now filed a civil rights action in federal court alleging various state law claims as well as violations of the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.  It is outrageous that a city thought that they had the authority to arrest a pastor for simply conducting a worship service.  I will keep you posted on the progress of this case.

 

I also want to give you a quick update on the legislation introduced by Congressman Todd Aiken to protect chaplains right to pray according to the dictates of their conscience at military events.  This legislation has now cleared the House of Representatives and is currently on its way to the United States Senate.  We are working with Congressman Aiken to ensure its passage.  This bill would go a long way in clarifying the free speech rights of military chaplains.  We saw good success with the Air Force guidelines earlier this year.  I have no doubt that this legislation will finish the task that was before us.  For updated information, tune into Jay Sekulow Live! on the radio and our weekly television broadcast, ACLJ This Week, as well.

 

 

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