Rees Lloyd made the comments in an online podcast hosted by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., in which the two discuss the congressman's legislation, the Public Expression of Religion Act, or PERA (H.R.2679). The bill would prohibit judges in civil suits involving the First Amendment's Establishment Clause from awarding attorney's fees to those offended by religious symbols or actions in the public square – such as a Ten Commandments display in a courthouse or a cross on a county seal. Lloyd, a California civil-rights attorney, is an officer with the American Legion who wrote a resolution passed by the national organization supporting Hostettler's bill. As WorldNetDaily reported, Hostettler's proposal would amend the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. Section 1988, to prohibit prevailing parties from being awarded attorney's fee in religious establishment cases, but not in other civil rights filings. This would prevent local governments from having to use taxpayer funds to pay the ACLU or similar organization when a case is lost, and also would protect elected officials from having to pay fees from their own pockets. Hostettler says some organizations have created a new civil liberty – a right to be protected "from religion, which is found nowhere in the Constitution, nowhere in the Bill of Rights." The Indiana congressman blames "a very select group" for "perverting" the original statute, including the ACLU, People for the American Way and Americans United for the Separate of Church and State. "They use this statute to extort behavior out of individuals," the congressman said, citing the Indiana Civil Liberties Union threatening local educators. The group sent a letter to officials saying they would be sued and be forced to pay attorney's fees should any graduation prayers be offered at commencement ceremonies. The threat sent the message, Hostettler said, that individuals tied to school districts could be impoverished personally. Said the lawmaker: "When officials see the potential threat of a lawsuit, they stop allowing children to write papers for English class – when they're asked to write about the most important person in their life and they decide to write about Jesus Christ." Hostettler's bill would allow cases to move through the courts without public officials worrying about being held personally liable for thousands in attorneys fees. "Let's let these cases go forward; let's let the courts decide what's constitutional and what's not, and let's not leave it up to the ACLU," he said. Hostettler explained that while government entities can pay attorney's fees charged to individual elected officials, they don't legally have to, which puts the politicians on the hook. Saying most taxpayers are in favor of allowing public religious expression, the congressman noted the irony of those same taxpayers being forced to pay the ACLU to sue their local governments. "The current threat to public officials is very real; it's ongoing," Hostettler stated. "It's been the case for several years that public officials are scared to death to suggest any type of public recognition of our Christian roots. It's a problem that needs to be addressed in Washington, D.C." PERA would prohibit damages, court fees and attorney's fees from going to plaintiffs in establishment-clause suits while keeping the original purpose of the civil-rights law, Hstettler says, to provide a means for those whose religious liberties have been blocked to find justice. The congressman wonders why the ACLU would oppose his legislation since it still provides for "injunctive relief" – e.g., a court can rule in the ACLU's favor and force the removal of a Ten Commandments display – but takes out the monetary incentive for lawsuits. "If they're not out for the money but are really out to preserve our civil liberties … then the ACLU should not be opposing my bill," Hostettler commented.
In the podcast, Lloyd decried the "terrorizing litigation tactics of the ACLU." Said Lloyd: "Not only can the ACLU brings these suits and compel taxpayers to pay them to destroy the public display of our American history and heritage, but so can Islamist terrorists or Islamist sympathizers in our midst. "All they have to do is walk into court, make their claim that they're offended by the sight of a cross or other religious symbol, and they're going to win the case because judges follow one another under stare decisis," or deference to precedent. The judges would then order that fees be paid to the Islamists, Lloyd contends. Lloyd said this issue came into focus for him when he witnessed the fight in San Diego, Calif., over a cross on a veterans' memorial on public land in the Mohave Desert. "For me, that was the one step taken too far," Lloyd said. "Now, for the first time, the ACLU was attacking the very veterans who secured their freedom." A civil-rights activist since the '60s, Lloyd worked with the ACLU in the '70s and was "very supportive" of the 1976 Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Act because it was a "noble attempt to assure that people who had legitimate civil-rights violations and injuries could secure legal representation." Stated Lloyd: "The ACLU has perverted, distorted and exploited the Civil Rights Act … to turn it into a lawyer-enrichment act." Lloyd says the American people are "oblivious" to how many millions of dollars in taxpayer funds are going to the ACLU each year. The attorney pointed out many attorneys in cases brought by the ACLU are volunteers, so the fees the group is awarded normally do not go to reimburse an attorney but rather directly into the organization's coffers.
Hostettler's bill, which was introduced first in 2003 without success, currently has 35 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and sits in the House Committee on the Judiciary.The Center For Reclaiming America claims that they have over 100,000 signatures backing this bill. Honestly, I don't know what they are waiting on. If we can up our petiton from 19,000 to 25,000, I will personally take the signatures to Congressman Hostettler myself....I promise you. I only live two hours from D.C. SIGN OUR PETITON TO STOP TAXPAYER FUNDING OF THE ACLU ....and spread the word as far and wide on this petition as you can! CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND TELL THEM TO SUPPORT PERA|W|P|113575815424346601|W|P|Stop Paying For The ACLU|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Friday that police had a constitutional right to randomly search passengers' bags on the New York City subway to deter terrorist attacks. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled the searches were an effective and appropriate means to fight terrorism, and constituted only a "minimal intrusion" of privacy. "The risk to public safety of a terrorist bombing of New York City's subway system is substantial and real," Berman wrote in his opinion. "The need for implementing counter-terrorism measures is indisputable, pressing, ongoing and evolving." Random bag searches began on July 22 after a second set of bomb attacks on London's transit system. In a statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the ruling, calling bag searches a "reasonable precaution" that police would continue to take. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which had sued to stop the searches, plans to appeal, Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. She said the "unprecedented" bag search program violated a basic freedom.Well of course they plan to appeal, they wouldn't want common sense to prevail! I understand the ACLU's concern on this. No one wants to live in a police state. However, I think they are completely overzealous in this. The majority of people do not mind being searched if it means they will live another day. Besides, the ACLU would have another fit if we were to try to implement profiled searches. And they have even proven through their lawsuit in Tampa against Raymond James Stadium that they are against searches across the board. The irony is that on their own building they have a sign that says you may be subject to search upon entering. The ACLU have twisted a legitimate attempt to protect NY's citizens into a scare tactic method completely overexaggerated. Why can't they see what most people can? The threat of being blown up is a greater risk, than the far fetched idea of a police state.|W|P|113358241199529499|W|P|ACLU Loses In Subway Search Case|W|Pemail@example.com
The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that unborn children are not “human beings,” and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregancies.
The unanimous decision overturns the manslaughter conviction of 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, who was found guilty in connection with the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine shortly before his birth.
“I’m extremely happy and grateful,” said Aiwohi. “I believe [the case] changed me into a better person and I just hope to share that with others.”
So, responsibility goes out the window on this one. This irresponsible mindset is much too far reaching in today’s American society. Taking responsibility for one’s concious actions is fading fast. People need to realize that along with rights, comes responsibility, and with that responsibility our very rights and liberties hinge. Who takes responsibility for the death of this child? According to this court, no one.
Tayshea gave birth to her son, Treyson, July 15, 2001, but the boy perished within two days with high levels of methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system, according to the local coroner.
The woman allegedly admitted to using the drugs for three days before the birth and took a “hit” on the morning her son was delivered.
In their ruling, the justices cited statutes noting a crime needed to be committed against “a human being.” They declared since Treyson was not a “person” when Tayshea was smoking the drugs, she could not be prosecuted for harming the infant in her womb.
“The proscribed conduct must have been committed at a time when Treyson ‘qualified’ as a ‘person,’ defined by the Hawaii Penal Code as ‘a human being who has been born and is alive,’” they wrote.
“It is so insane,” Nancy Heisser of Grants Pass, Ore., told WorldNetDaily. “A little baby died, and the mother walks away scot-free. This is a travesty against this little one.”
What kind of future impact will a ruling like this have? Under the new, federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, people other than the mother who cause the death of an unborn child can face prosecution. If this had been a boyfriend who had kicked the woman in the stomach, or pressured the drugs on her, there might have been a conviction. But according to this court, we are not even talking about a human being, so what does it matter. This is one horrible decision after another. From the decision to drugs while pregnant, to the decision of the Court to hold no one responsible for this irresponsible death. I wonder if after the case was over, this woman went out for another hit.|W|P|113352143937773594|W|P|Ruling: Pregnant Moms Can Now Harm Babies|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org