Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Immunity of San Antonio Police Denied in Case of Evangelists’ Unlawful Arrest and Harassment


Liberty Institute Continues Defense of San Antonio Evangelists Whose First Amendment Rights Were Violated by Irresponsible Use of Police Power

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, JULY 31, 2012 –Today, Liberty Institute applauds the U.S. Western District Court of Texas’ decision to deny a motion by San Antonio Police officers to dismiss a 2010 federal lawsuit that accuses them of the unlawful arrest and harassment of sidewalk evangelists. If found liable, the police officers will not be granted qualified immunity, but will be held accountable for “exercising their power irresponsibly.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mt. Soledad Update: Fighting for Our Veterans to be Heard


Yesterday, Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer was in San Diego on behalf of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA) for a hearing in the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case. The hearing focused on MSMA’s status as a party in the case after last week’s disclosure that the Department of Justice and the ACLU had entered into settlement negotiations that excluded the MSMA. The judge requested additional briefing on this issue.

Liberty Institute: City Officials’ Threats Against Chick-fil-A in Violation of the Constitution


Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast food chain, has been the center of a national debate since its president, Dan Cathy, publicly declared his support of traditional marriage.

In an interview with The Baptist Press on July 16, Cathy said: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Protecting the Rights of 50 Million Students: Liberty Institute Launches The Angela Project in August


Many of you remember the shocking story of Angela Hildenbrand, a model high school student and valedictorian, who was threatened with jail by a federal judge if she mentioned God in her graduation speech. Liberty Institute was able to step in and get this ruling overturned, but unfortunately, many stories of religious hostility and discrimination in public schools are never told – sometimes due to the fact that students are unaware of their constitutional rights.

Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross: One Step Closer to Victory


Earlier this month, Liberty Institute Director of Litigation Hiram Sasser traveled to the Mojave Desert on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to meet with U.S. Department of the Interior members and other government staff, as well as representatives from the Mojave National Preserve. The purpose of the meeting was to work toward the long-awaited land swap that must precede the restoration of the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Veterans’ Battle Continues in Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross Case


Today, Liberty Institute Appeared at U.S. District Court Hearing for the Landmark Cross Case to Protect the Interests of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association

SAN DIEGO, CA, July 26, 2012 —Today, U.S. District Court Judge Larry Alan Burns heard arguments about the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association’s (MSMA) status in the 20-year case that will determine the fate of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross. During a mandatory hearing held only miles away from the 29 ft. cross, Liberty Institute represented the MSMA to ensure the voice of the veterans group—which originally erected the memorial in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War—will be heard in any future proceedings. The Court requested that the MSMA file a motion to confirm its status as a party or seek intervention within the next 30 days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

EXPOSED: Obama Department of Justice and ACLU’s Secret Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Negotiations


Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Brian Bilbray Send Letter to Attorney General Holder expressing “frustration” about secret settlement negotiations that excluded veterans group

SAN DIEGO, CA, July 19, 2012 — Yesterday, Liberty Institute and Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) were surprised to discover that the U.S. Department of Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union engaged in secret settlement discussions and jointly filed a request to postpone a scheduled hearing that would determine the fate of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross. The Congressmen sent a letter to Attorney General Holder expressing “frustration” that this “latest development in the case involving the Mt. Soledad Veterans memorial raises serious concerns about the future of the Memorial.”

Empowering the Next Generation of Religious Liberty Defenders


You don’t hear much in the mainstream media about threats to religious freedom, but I can assure you that attacks on American’s religious liberties are very real – and are escalating. That is why we at Liberty Institute are committed to telling these stories, fighting the legal battles, informing the public and educating the next generation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Liberty Institute Attorneys’ Article Published in Texas Review of Law & Politics


Liberty Institute Director of Litigation Hiram Sasser and Attorney Justin Butterfield recently authored a law review article, “The Parsonage Exemption Deserves Broad Protection,” that was published in the Spring 2012 issue of The Texas Review of Law & Politics. Reed Smith, associate with Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi, and Mensing, P.C., was also a co-author.

House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare


On July 11, the House voted, 244-185, to repeal the 2010 healthcare reform law (ObamaCare), which was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court on June 28. The repeal bill still has to go through the Senate, where it most likely will not pass, but this vote by the House sends a clear message about the great concerns surrounding this new law.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Liberty Institute Op-Ed Published in Houston Chronicle


Liberty Institute President/CEO Kelly Shackelford and Attorney Erin Leu authored an op-ed that ran in last Sunday’s Houston Chronicle. The article covered recent legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, in response to violations of religious liberty that occurred at the Houston National Cemetery.

Michelle Obama Says There is No Place Better Than Church to Talk Politics


Last Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke before the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 49th general conference in Nashville, Tenn., telling the congregation that there is no better place than church to discuss political issues.