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Posts Tagged ‘Liberty Counsel’

WorldNetDaily reports that a federal judge is demanding the ACLU and the Santa Rosa School District release the names of plaintiffs covered in a consent decree that prevents teachers at the school district from openly practicing their faith.  The ACLU and the school district have so far refused to identify the subjects so that they can keep enforcing the decree even though the plaintiffs no longer attend the school district, which would make the decree moot.

Judge to ACLU: Where are plaintiffs?

School district’s policy has forced teachers to pray in closets


Posted: March 31, 2010
11:50 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Teachers say they are literally forced to pray in school closets to avoid contempt charges

A federal judge handling a case brought by the ACLU against a school district that has forced teachers to hide in closets if they want to pray now is demanding documentation about the status of the plaintiffs, whose identifies have been kept secret.

That’s because the case never was certified as class action, which means unless those for whom the case was brought remain in peril over the school’s actions, there are valid questions about “this court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the consent decree,” the judge wrote.

WND has reported on the case, which has included an order crafted by the ACLU requiring employees in the Santa Rosa School District to act in an “official capacity” whenever they are at a “school event” – including breaks, after-school events on or off campus and private events held on campus.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit Florida law firm, alongside Christian Educators Association International, is seeking to overturn the court order, which has resulted in three school officials being charged with contempt.

According to Liberty Counsel, school officials are strictly prohibited from showing agreement with anyone “communicating with a deity,” such as “bowing the head” or “folding hands.” “School officials” must also prohibit “third-parties” from praying, Liberty Counsel said.

Now, according to Liberty Counsel, the “anonymous plaintiffs” probably have “long since graduated.””But the plaintiffs’ permanent loss of legal standing hasn’t stopped the ACLU and the school district from continuing to defend the consent decree that has become irreversibly moot,” LC said in an announcement today.

“Having failed in its attempts to fine and jail school officials for praying, the ACLU, aided by the school district, has been opposing the efforts of Christian Educators Association International, represented by Liberty Counsel, to have the consent decree declared unconstitutional,” Liberty Counsel said.

The only problem is that the decree became legally moot – or of no consequence whatsoever – “on the day the ACLU’s clients graduated, less than four weeks after it was issued.

“Moreover, without clients that have a legal interest in the litigation, the ACLU was legally barred from continuing to litigate against the people of Santa Rosa County. The ACLU and the school district knew this but conspired to hide the fact that the two anonymous plaintiffs graduated. In the consent decree they jointly submitted to the court, they inserted provisions purporting to require the court to retain jurisdiction for at least five years, thereby inferring that their anonymous clients were much younger. They also asked the court to conceal the plaintiffs’ identity for another five years, so that no one would know they graduated,” according to Liberty Counsel’s report.

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers now has ordered that the participants “shall submit memoranda to the court by the close of business on April 7, 2010, advising the court on the status of the named plaintiffs’ continued interest in this litigation, the continued validity of the injunctive consent decree, and the basis for this court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the consent decree.”

The plaintiffs have always been identified only as “Minor I Doe” and “Minor II Doe.”

“It has been brought to the court’s attention that the two plaintiffs may have graduated from high school and thus no longer suffer a threat of harm from the school board’s policies and practices,” the judge warned.

This, he said, “raises questions regarding the court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the decree as well as the validity of the continuing nature of the injunctive relief provided by the consent decree. This case was not a class action. Even though the plaintiffs prevailed on the merits of their cause oef action … if the named plaintiffs no longer have a continuing interest in the suit, there is a genuine issue regarding mootness … which must be addressed.”

Liberty Counsel’s report said, “The ACLU’s conspiracy is now unraveling. Liberty Counsel raised the issue of mootness last year and then again in the motion earlier this year. The federal court that entered the consent decree, which has literally forced teachers and staff to hide in closets to pray, has now demanded an explanation from the ACLU and the school district as to why it should continue to enforce that consent decree.”

Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The errors in judgment by the ACLU and the school district are stunning. The school district agreed to enter into an unconstitutional consent decree that was legally effective for less than one month, then agreed to pay the ACLU a whopping $200,000, and then expended a great deal of additional resources to oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention and defend the unconstitutional and moot consent decree.

“From the beginning, our position has been that this order should be set aside. We will not rest until that happens. If the school board does not come to its senses and seize the opportunity before it to make things right, the voters of Santa Rosa County will hold them accountable in the next election.”

As WND reported, Michelle Winkler, a clerical assistant, earlier faced contempt charges after her husband read a prayer at a private banquet held at a Naval base to honor noninstructional school-district employees. The judge eventually found that Winkler’s husband’s prayer at a voluntary gathering outside of school did not violate any court order.

During her testimony, Winkler broke down on the witness stand as she told a story about how her co-worker sought comfort from her after losing her 2-year-old child.

The two hid behind a closet door to pray, for fear they would be seen and held in contempt of the court order.

Denise Gibson, an elementary teacher for 20 years, testified that the order requires her to inform parents that she cannot respond if they mention church or their faith. She said she is prohibited from replying to e-mails from parents if they contain Bible verses or even “God bless you.” Instead, she said, the district has instructed her to open a separate e-mail to answer the parents rather than hit “reply.” The district calls for the action to eliminate any trace of religious language in school communication.

Liberty Counsel earlier successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges after the ACLU complained when Freeman gave a 15-second blessing for a lunch meal for 20 adults with no students present.

The men had faced penalties of up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines each.

The case began in August 2008 when two anonymous students sued with the help of the ACLU over longstanding practices at the school allowing prayer at some events. The school’s separate counsel had agreed to a consent decree that “essentially bans all Santa Rosa County School District employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities,” Liberty Counsel reported.

Members of the 2009 graduating class at Florida’s Pace High School expressed their objections to the ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace, a Santa Rosa County school, stood up at their graduation, according to Staver. Parents, family and friends joined in the recitation and applauded the students when they were finished, Staver told WND.

“Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith,” the organization reported.

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WorldNetDaily has a post detailing some of the proposed changed to Texas schoolbooks, including dropping some American heroes from the text and replacing them with more “progressive” ideas like dropping Christmas, Columbus Day, Independence Day, and removal of references to God in various places.

Look what they’re erasing from U.S. history!

American heroes could get swapped for hip-hop culture in textbooks


Posted: February 11, 2010
12:50 am Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A state board of only 15 people will vote on whether to revise U.S. textbooks to omit references to Daniel Boone, Gen. George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day and Christmas.

The Texas State Board of Education will also vote on a proposal to substitute the term “American” with “global citizen.”

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, is warning Americans to speak up before only eight people, with a majority vote, have a chance to literally rewrite American history.

He appeared on the “Huckabee Show” to explain why the board’s vote matters to the rest of America. Staver said Texas and California are the two largest textbook purchasers in the nation.

“Whatever textbooks they select affect the rest of the country because publishers publish those kinds of books, and the rest of the country follows,” he said.

But because of California’s budget crisis, the state hasn’t been able to purchase as many new textbooks, he explained. So the default is Texas.

“So when this 15-member board – eight people of that will make a majority – make a decision, it will affect the entire nation,” Staver said.

Those eight people could decide what children will learn in various other parts of the country.

According to Liberty Counsel, some of the suggestions that have come forward at various times include:

  • Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day and Christmas.
  • Including the cultural impact of hip-hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
  • Replacing the term “American” with “global citizen” – stating that students need to be shaped “for responsible citizenship in a global society” without any mention of citizenship in American society.
  • Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.

Staver said one proposal suggests the name of Nathan Hale, a patriot of the American Revolutionary War, be removed and replaced with the name of a man who invented fireman helmets. He also said one proposal suggests removal of references to Independence Day.

“Those are no good anymore,” Staver told Mike Huckabee. “America is looked at, not as some country that gave liberty and freedom to others around the world, but as a global villain.”

He warns, one proposal suggests take the Declaration of Independence and literally erasing God from its Preamble.

“A lot of the history – particularly religious history or patriotic history and American exceptionalism – all of that will simply be removed if people around the country don’t speak up,” he said.

Cynthia Dunbar, an elected member of the board and assistant professor at Liberty University School of Law, said, “James Madison warned us that when error is allowed to become steeped in precedent it leads to tyranny. If an erroneous view of our American heritage is allowed to stand, that view will be even more entrenched when we revisit this issue again in 10 years. Since the board consists of only 15 members, the decision of eight individuals may determine what goes into textbooks on a national level; it is crucial that the voices of patriotic Americans be heard.”

The board’s next meeting is in March, and the final reading and adoption of the social studies guidelines will be in May.

Note: Concerned individuals may call or fax board members or e-mail the Texas State Board of Education.

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WorldNetDaily is reporting on a twisted case in Vermont in Virginia.  Lisa Miller used to live a homosexual “lifestyle” with her partner Janet Jenkins.  Lisa had a daughter, Isabella, while she was involved with Janet.

Since that time, Lisa has become a Christian woman and cast off her previous homosexual behavior; however, Janet is seeking full custody of Isabella claiming that she is a “parent”.  The Vermont courts have forced Lisa to allow unsupervised visits between Isabella and Janet.  The results of those unsupervised visits have caused Isabella to have nightmares, begin wetting the bed nightly, and talk about killing herself.

The Vermont court says that they will remove the child from Lisa by force if she does not comply.  The court’s “decision” on who gets custody will take place on January 28.

Court: Christian mom’s child must visit lesbian

State threatens to take daughter by force, if necessary


Posted: January 19, 2009
11:20 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Lisa Miller and her daughter, Isabella

A Christian mother has been told by a Virginia court that her 6-year-old daughter must now visit the mother’s former lesbian partner in Vermont, and if she refuses, the law will remove the girl by force, if necessary.

As WND has reported, Lisa Miller left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian when her daughter, Isabella, was 17 months old. But Janet Jenkins, Lisa’s same-sex partner when Lisa gave birth to Isabella, is seeking full custody of the girl, claiming she was a parent even though she is not biologically related to Isabella and never sought to adopt her.

The case has been further tangled by the courts, as Jenkins and Miller were joined in civil union in Vermont, but Miller and her daughter now live in Virginia, where the laws forbid recognition of civil unions.

Earlier this month, however, Judge William Sharp of the Shenandoah County Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia, ordered Miller to allow Jenkins a three-day unsupervised visit with Isabella.

Miller told LifeSiteNews that Sharp also ruled that Vermont’s civil union laws must be upheld in Virginia.

“At this point, the Virginia Marriage laws mean nothing,” wrote Miller in an email to friends and supporters. “Today, the homosexual agenda just marched through our back door.”

Miller had previously refused to comply with Vermont’s orders for visitations, claiming Isabella reported being compelled to bathe naked with Jenkins while visiting and came home speaking of suicide.

The non-profit legal group Liberty Counsel has been working on the case. The group’s chairman, Mathew Staver, told WND of Isabella’s traumatic visitations with Jenkins.

“She began having nightmares, bed-wetting, fears of leaving Lisa and even tried to physically harm herself after just a couple of visitations,” Staver said. “After having seen that, Lisa just simply said, ‘I cannot put my child in that situation anymore.'”

Miller appealed to the Virginia courts to overrule the visitation order, but upon threat of force and even jail, following Judge Sharp’s decision, she consented to allow another visit with Jenkins.

Though a Facebook page devoted to Miller’s story reports Isabella returned today from the visit safely, Miller faces an even more frightening date in the future.

On Jan. 28, a judge in Vermont will decide who gets custody of Isabella.

Discover how homosexuality and same-sex marriage are being “sold” to Americans using the same brilliant marketing techniques used by Madison Avenue, in David Kupelian’s controversial best seller, “The Marketing of Evil.”

WND reported earlier on the much-publicized custody battle in which a Vermont court ruled its civil union laws, rather than Virginia’s laws disregarding same-sex unions, should govern the case.

Though Isabella was born in Virginia, and the Millers live in the state, the Virginia State Supreme Court stepped away from its own state’s precedents and affirmed the Vermont court’s claim.

The case led to a clash over whether Vermont could reach over state lines to impose its civil union laws on Virginia’s soil.

Staver previously told WND, “States must have the sovereign authority to maintain their marriage policy as the union of one man and one woman, while rejecting same-sex unions. Virginia’s Constitution compels the state supreme court to not recognize out-of-state, same-sex marriages and civil unions.”

Though a Virginia county court agreed with Staver, the appeals court did not.

Furthermore, the appeals court ignored an argument by Staver and Liberty Counsel on Miller’s behalf to recognize Virginia’s new marriage amendment, defining marriage between one man and one woman, which was enacted during the course of the case. Instead, the appeals court cited a federal law that compels states to honor other state’s claims to jurisdiction. The court decided in favor of Jenkins.

The Virginia State Supreme Court could have made a ruling to put the issue to rest. Instead, it also chose to ignore the implications of Virginia’s marriage amendment and ruled that as no new arguments were presented in the case, the appeals court ruling must stand.

The U.S. Supreme Court could have also rendered a decision to clarify the conflict between the two states’ laws but chose last month to decline hearing the case.

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