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The ACLJ's Work for YOU

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2021 12:00 pm

The ACLJ's Work for YOU

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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Today on Sekulow, the ACLJ's work for you. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow. We want to hear from you.

Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome to Sekulow everybody. If you're a regular listener to this broadcast, you know the expertise we have legally here in the United States on so many different topics and around the world. Of course, sometimes we dive into foreign policy, sometimes we're diving into legislation, sometimes we're diving into cases that we're working on like the life cases across the country. Whether it's informed consent case out of South Dakota where we represent Governor Noem in the state, or whether it's the case out of Mississippi before the US Supreme Court that we're awaiting the opinion on early this summer, our legal team is engaged all across the country.

And the world. And I think it's important to do for you as well, and our government affairs team as well, but it's to kind of show you that scope. And that's something we're trying to do as the end of the year approaches because I know if you're like me, you're not able to tune in every single day to the broadcast that you enjoy or the radio broadcast.

And so you might miss a couple of days because of something comes up or your routine has changed. So we wanted to kind of give you a sense of what the kind of work that we're doing at the ACLJ.org, what our lawyers are doing all across the country as they're fighting for the constitutional rights of individuals, the constitutional rights of states, sometimes we're suing states, sometimes we're representing states, other times it's the federal government that we are taking action against. Even in those cases, though, sometimes when we're taking action against the federal government, we're representing members of Congress at the ACLJ. Of course, we asked you to sign these petitions, so we're able to do all this work. Because of your support at the ACLJ, of the Americans for Law and Justice, we can do all this work.

We don't charge these clients. So whether it's a state or an individual, you can go to ACLJ.org forward slash help if you believe that you need legal assistance. An actual ACLJ attorney is going to respond to you. And if it's a case that we would handle as the ACLJ, we will do that.

And we take those steps. We've talked about it before how the first step is sometimes these individual cases where your constitutional rights may have been infringed by a school or a state entity or local entity or federal entity. And you start off with an information letter and see if they backed out. If not a demand letter, then ultimately working with a client, decide if they want to file a lawsuit.

But none of that costs the client a dime. So they're able to protect their constitutional rights, but also all of our constitutional rights because they take a stand. So your support of the Americans for Law and Justice at ACLJ.org during this critical month. This is the most important month of our year is December. Because again, we're working through it. You know with the case involving the vaccine mandate for employers, we know we're going to be working through the very end of the year because the briefing from the Department of Justice in defense of the mandate is not due to the Supreme Court until December 30th.

So after Christmas and right before New Year's. So your support of the ACLJ right now, I mean it is going to work that is happening right now at the Americans for Law and Justice. So go to ACLJ.org and support our work.

Again, double the impact of your donation there. You're going to hear today about our pro-life work, the rights of students, the rights of employees like we just talked about, the rights of citizens as well. So I just encourage you, as you listen today about all the different legal work we're focusing it on, we wanted to do this so that you're up to date if you miss broadcasts.

Because again, I know everybody, you want to tune in every day, but you're not able to do so for a full hour always. So this show is going to give you an opportunity to get a scope of where we are legally. And I think it will encourage you to support the work if you're able to financially at ACLJ.org. Right now, through the month of December, we have our matching challenge. And what does that mean? A group of donors who can match each donation that comes through at ACLJ.org.

So if you donate $20, that is like $40 because it initiates that match of a $20 donation to a $20 donation. So you see why this is such a critical time if you're able to support our work, do so at ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back on Secular. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift.

All right, welcome back to Secular. There's a lot to talk about today. Joining us in the next segment of the broadcast will be Senator Haggerty of Tennessee, the U.S. Senator, who is working to strengthen what we just talked about before.

We've talked about a lot on the broadcast over the years, which is the Taylor Force Act, but there's an attempt to give it some more teeth. So we'll be talking to him about that in the next segment of the broadcast. We'll be talking about the ACLJ victory for a student in Wyoming. Abby, we were contacted by this student.

Tell people initially what happened. That's right, Jordan. We were contacted by a student in Wyoming. She's a college student at a public college there. And she had enrolled in an English Lit class and had decided to write about the historical figure of Jesus, which was within the confines of the assignment given. Shortly after submitting her first essay, she was given a zero on the essay because of the content of her essay, which was about Jesus. And so she gets given a zero. That's like the worst failing grade you could get in college. What was the professor's response to why she got a zero? The professor had given them some boundaries for the essay writing at the beginning of class, which was, we don't want to hear about abortion, I don't want fantasy or fiction, and I don't want to read about your religious beliefs. But this was different. She was writing about the historical non-fictional character of Jesus, not about her personal religious beliefs.

Right. I mean, Jesus being a major historical figure, whether or not you're a religious person or not, there's not a real discussion about whether he existed. And so there's a lot to write about there.

There's authors who don't, who are not Christians who have written books on the life of Jesus and pointed to where it marks in history. So she contacts us, they put those parameters on it, I'm sure for that student it's maybe a little confusing, and then we help kind of clear the way, tell people how we got this handled. So she addressed it immediately with her professor and apparently with her supervisor, the supervisor of the program. They had mentioned their belief that there was academic freedom for the teacher there. And so what we explained for the student, we provided her with an informational memorandum that explained what her rights as a student are, which is academic freedom. And the freedom to write about a topic such as Jesus, so long as it's within the confines of the assignment, and here it was. So we armed her with the information that she needed to know that she could advocate for herself and for her rights, and she chose to do so.

We offered to help further, but she was able to schedule a meeting with her supervisor again, talk through the matter, and they actually did agree to allow her to proceed with her essay on Jesus. And the informational letter, it's a good time to point out, this is a step below trying to send a demand letter, it's definitely two or three steps below before filing a lawsuit, but it allows students who may be in a situation where they don't want to file a lawsuit against their school, but they do need help. And the second level of help would have been like a demand letter, but we were able to put this informational letter, and a lot of that's available at ACLJ.org for people.

It is, and we respond almost every day to legal requests with an informational memorandum, and then we provide them our contact information. Some people want to just know that what they believe is true, that they have rights, and that those rights are being violated. Some want to advocate for themselves, and this student did that very well.

And then others need the ACLJ to intervene, which we also do on a weekly basis via demand letter. And Harry, at the college level, I'm interested to know, if I was talking to this professor, it's like whether or not they thought Jesus was a fiction character, or doesn't want to read about students' religious beliefs, but again, I feel like I should be able to then write about Muhammad. But if I was Muslim, would they not let me write about Muhammad? I mean, certainly a historical figure of huge significance.

Absolutely. But I think this move in Wyoming is very, very consistent with a prevailing pattern in universities and colleges throughout the United States. These colleges increasingly are rejecting the world of objective reality and objective truth.

Instead, they are grabbing and accepting theories from the Frankfurt School in Germany, which rejects the notion of objective truth, and this accepts instead the notion of fantasy, unreality, and untruth basically as the foundations of society. So I think this move is consistent with the notion that professors, by and large, now this is seeping down into community colleges, they seek to overthrow the Western tradition, and one way of doing that is by rejecting historical figures like Jesus. You know, one of the things, Abby, too, I thought the student was very gracious to the ACLJ, they had some issues getting help. Tell people about what happened there. She did. She actually indicated, and I'll just read her statement, when I reached out to her to provide the information, and then I followed up with her to see how things were going. She said, it really means so much that you guys responded and that this is important. I have tried getting into contact with others for assistance as well, and you are the only ones that responded.

Thank you so much. Yeah, so right there, I think that stands up so much for what we do at the ACLJ is being able to directly assist, and sometimes I think people think, you know, they hear about us or they see us in other media or even on this, they say, you know, maybe my situation is too small, it's not a big enough issue because I'm not really looking to sue, but this is a good time to remind our supporters, but also those people who might be in those situations, that your situation is not too small and that we'll have actual attorneys assist you. That's exactly right. And we do on a daily and weekly basis, you know, part of our mission is to educate parents and students and organizations as to what their rights are. And here, the right of a student to engage in religious expression, you know, the Constitution requires that there be neutral academic criteria, that they be judged by neutral criteria. And so that's what we did here is make sure that she was judged by neutral criteria. Yeah, I mean, to me, it's important to just underscore that if you go to ACLJ and you feel like you're in a situation like this, it's ACLJ.org forward slash help. You put in basic information about your situation.

I always want to remind people this time of year because nativity has come up, Christmasy has come up. We're able to handle those. We're going to be talking about that later too in the week and next week as well. Most of those are being handled more simply as well, where if you feel like your town or your city did something that makes you uncomfortable or change their policies this year, sometimes you can just utilize the resources at ACLJ.org. But if you need a little guidance, we are here and it doesn't cost you anything. And it's certainly just to put in the information ACLJ.org forward slash help. It doesn't take long to get a response. That's right. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

This is key. I want to go to Thad Bennett in Washington, D.C., too, because Thad, it kind of speaks to me. It's the core work of the ACLJ. We're there for that college student. Yes, we have a U.S. senator coming up next on the broadcast, but the core work of the ACLJ is those students and parents and people who are active in their community who know that something that happened to them was wrong. And they just need a little help in how to put it into words, if you will, and make sure that there is law backing them. Yeah, this is the heart and soul of what we do at the ACLJ, Jordan. And to be honest with you, the work that we do up here in Washington, D.C., the work that I do every day, really is done to enable the work that we do on the ground.

I mean, to preserve the liberties that people have all across this country. You know, Jordan, as you were talking to Abby, I had a couple of thoughts. The one was, you know, how crazy is this double standard? Because I just have no doubt that if this student was writing about, you know, Joseph Smith or even Dr. King or Gandhi or, you know, some other character affiliated with a different religion or even a Christianity, Jordan.

But if it wasn't Jesus himself, I don't think there would have been a problem. But the second thing that came to mind is that what you landed your conversation with Abby on, I just want to encourage people to not be afraid to contact the ACLJ because so many times these issues can be resolved respectfully behind the scenes, just arming you with the information you need to go advocate for yourself. And Jordan, we can sort of dial that meter up according to how, you know, the client or the person involved here desires. If that doesn't solve the issue, we can go to the demand letter level if you're comfortable with that. If that doesn't resolve the issue, sometimes there are lawsuits that can be pursued. But I guess the bottom line thought for me, Jordan, we can't do any of that if you don't contact us, if we don't hear about the situation, if we don't have an opportunity to arm you with the information.

So kudos to the student, kudos to Abby. And just a reminder, that's why we do the work in Washington, D.C., so that these situations down on the states, down in your communities can be resolved in a satisfactory way. I thought what Dan said there is important, and I think for a lot of those individuals, the student in particular, when you're maybe, or you're business, if you work in a big company, you're not looking to necessarily file a lawsuit on this big company. You're looking to correct a wrong or just make sure, you have that feeling that what happened to you was wrong, and we're there for that.

So you don't have to just think ACLJ lawsuit only. But when we contact you, that's kind of the last resort. The first resort is to try and prevent having to file a lawsuit because we want a quicker resolution. That's right, and that's actually how we handle the majority of these cases is through informational letters or demand letters. And we're able to resolve them fairly quickly, typically when someone reaches out to us.

If that legal request falls within the scope of what we do, we are able to respond within 24 to 48 hours. All right, folks, again, that information will be up at ACLJ.org. We have a blog going up about that victory. Abby, great work representing that student in Wyoming.

A lot to talk about if we're going to continue to go on the show today. Senator Hagerty from Tennessee is joining us next. We'll be talking about the trying to add more teeth to the Taylor Force Act as well, kind of educate you about that. I was back in 2018, but it's a very important law that could be strengthened. We've got Republican support for that.

Can we get Democrat support for it? Support our work at ACLJ.org, double the impact your donation at ACLJ.org the entire month of December. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.

I want to talk about victories. Christy Campagnone, one of our litigation counsels up in our office in Washington, D.C., is joining us because we had a nice—I like these to report they get resolved quickly, expeditiously, because of the work of our lawyers. But like I said, it's not everything is the Supreme Court of the United States. Not everything is the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Not everything is court.

Sometimes you can just get them resolved. Christy also, by the way, was the Virginia Bar Young Lawyer of the Year, which we're very proud of. So Christy, welcome to the broadcast. Tell us a little bit about the background on this particular case. It was an interesting one because the sign that was put up became the central focus of this. Tell us about the case.

Yes, sir. So we had someone contact us who was working in a manufacturing facility, and he was celebrating the 10 days of Ah as a messianic Jew, and he had a Shabbat shalom sign that also included those words in Hebrew at his personal work station. Now it was his private station.

No one else was there. It was his own to display whatever he wanted, and there were several other employees at their work stations who displayed Halloween decorations and crosses, and one of his friends was in a motorcycle group that's Crusaders for Christ that had displays all over his work station. However, his supervisors specifically came to him and asked him to remove his Shabbat shalom sign. I'm going to stop you for a second because I want people to understand what Shabbat shalom means, good Sabbath. Shalom is peace, so it's peaceful Sabbath, good Sabbath. Shabbat shalom is a traditional Jewish greeting going to Friday evening and on Saturday.

Good Shabbos is what it's said in Hebrew and Yiddish. So it's a very common expression. Now why this was compared to a Nazi symbol is beyond me, Christy. So you want to explain that? I mean, is that what their justification was here? Yes. So he went to the HR representative and they said, well, if we allow you to put this up, it would be the same as allowing someone to put up a swastika because they're a racist. So equating racism as a religion, we're putting up the swastika to this Jewish heritage symbol. Yeah, I mean, it's a greeting.

Yeah. Shabbat shalom, good Shabbos, is a traditional greeting that literally was creating a constitutional crisis until we intervened for this company. I mean, really, it's ridiculous. I'm glad we got it resolved, but it shows you this. And then comparing it to saying, well, somebody could put up a Nazi symbol up there, which is, by the way, not the case. So I don't even know what they're talking about, but go ahead.

Well, I think your analysis is spot on. So if we focus on Shabbat shalom as a quote unquote offensive either symbol or set of words, I think it's important to keep in mind that we now live increasingly in a culture in which this type of confusion expands. And I think it's part of a willful policy within corporations, within institutions, and particularly within universities who seek to find offensive statements even where none can indeed be found.

And Christy, I'm going to come back to you in a second, but I want to go to Wes on this. I mean, I tie this into the wreaths across America and this sensitivity factor that anything that even hints of religion and good Shabbat is not like a proclamation of a religion, but it's just a recognition of that particular Friday, Saturday for within the Jewish community, Messianic Jewish community as well. It just to me, this lack of understanding is mind boggling 20 years after the Supreme Court has resolved these issues.

Absolutely. Because, you know, we have in America, we have freedom of religion and religious symbols are allowed and they are everywhere. There's a lot of misunderstanding, I think, particularly because corporations and companies, they feel threatened by groups that complain. But we cannot let a litigious individual or litigious group rob people of their free exercise of religion or symbols that are meaningful to them like the Gold Star family.

So let me tie this back, Christy. So this was in his private workspace. Other people had other religious symbolism. Did they ever give a, other than that reference to, you know, a swastika, which is, it really not makes any sense. Did they give any other reason if they allowed other religious symbolism up, why they were really targeting Shabbat Shalom? No. And the contacts only concern was that it probably was the Hebrew language that was written on the sign.

So the fact that Shabbat Shalom was in Hebrew was enough to get them concerned, literally. Did they tell him to take it down? Yes. All right. So what did we do? You drafted it. It sounds like an information letter laying out what his rights were.

What happened with that? Exactly. So we explained under Title VII that this would be considered religious discrimination and he brought it to the general manager of the entire company. So he is just one of the many plants that represent this entire company. So he brought it to the general manager and it was promptly taken into consideration and his right to keep that sign was restored. And in fact, the general manager went ahead and forwarded this to the chief of HR for the entire company to make sure that all of the plants across the country are following and protecting the rights of their team members. Which tells you one person standing up for their rights in one plant, in one town, ends up affecting the human rights policy, the display policy for an entire company that's coast to coast.

So that should be encouraging. We certainly are. But this happens, folks, we get these all the time. We don't spend hours and hours talking about these on airs, but there are times when we want to and this is one of those days. And it does tie into the situation with Reaps Across America, this religious sensitivity that's out there that if it still, if it smacks of something that might express faith, all of a sudden, you know, they treat it like it's asbestos in the ceiling tiles. That's what we used to argue, by the way. That was our line.

I think Jordan Lawrence, a friend of ours, came up with that in the 1980s and 90s. They treat religion as if it's asbestos in the ceiling tiles. You got to cover it. You got to seal it.

Don't let it out in the public square. Now, you would think 40 years later, I think it was probably 35 years ago when Jordan came up with that, Jordan Lawrence, that we would be past that. But here we are. But the good news is we got it resolved quickly and that is important. So, Christy, thank you.

Thanks for the work on that. We appreciate it and thanks for the update. Yes, sir. Thank you. All right. Very good. So, there you go, folks.

That shows you the nature and scope of what we're doing. Our phone lines are jammed. Could we have time to squeeze one in, in two minutes?

Yeah, we could probably take a quick one. Let's go to Heather on line one in Texas. Heather, go ahead. Hi. Hi. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

First of all, I didn't know this was going on right now. I'm a gold star, south. My late husband was killed in Afghanistan. Yes. In 2012. And I live in Texas and he's buried in Arlington.

Yes. And Christmas was his favorite time of year and he loved decorating. He loved everything that Christmas stood for. We are Christians, but for me, Wreaths Across America is not about my Christianity. It's about celebrating a holiday with, with him in a way that I can't do myself because I have children and I can't travel out there. And I know someone already said that, but I just wanted to echo that because for me personally, it's, it's so comforting knowing that it's not just a lonely graveside there, that there are people who care.

And I have friends that volunteer with Wreaths Across America every year on our behalf so that they can decorate and do that for me when I can't do it. Well, Heather, you know, thank you. First of all, thank you for calling.

We're so sorry about your loss, but your husband's service to our country will never be forgotten. And I just want to say this. This is why these groups, I get infuriated and I'm going to say it with Mikey Weinstein's hyperbole. You're, you're such a tough guy. You're going to file a lawsuit because somebody, and I want to play for you, Mikey, what Heather just said.

She can't go to Arlington. So she's thrilled that Wreaths Across the America can do this for her and for her family. Wes?

Yeah. Thank you, Heather, for your sacrifice because you have sacrificed so much. We appreciate your phone call and we do remember you and this organization remembers you and we will always stand up for your rights.

No question about it, Logan. All right, that's going to do it for the first half hour. If you don't get us on your local radio station, we're broadcasting live right now on ACLJ.org and across social media and YouTube.

We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow.

And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. You know, if you're a regular listener to this broadcast, you know the expertise we have legally here in the United States on so many different topics and around the world. Of course, sometimes we dive into foreign policy, sometimes we're diving into legislation, sometimes we're diving into cases that we're working on, like the life cases across the country. Whether it's an informed consent case out of South Dakota where we represent Governor Noem in the state, or whether it's the case out of Mississippi before the U.S. Supreme Court that we're awaiting the opinion on early this summer, our legal team is engaged all across the country and the world. And I think important to do for you as well, and our government affairs team as well, but it's to kind of show you that scope. And that's something we're trying to do as the end of the year approaches, because I know if you're like me, you're not able to tune in every single day to the broadcast that you enjoy or the radio broadcast.

And so you might miss a couple of days because if something comes up or your routine has changed. So we wanted to kind of give you a sense of what the kind of work that we're doing at the ACLJ.org, what our lawyers are doing all across the country as they're fighting for the constitutional rights of individuals, the constitutional rights of states. Sometimes we're suing states, sometimes we're representing states, other times it's the federal government that we are taking action against.

Even in those cases, though, sometimes when we're taking action against the federal government, we're representing members of Congress at the ACLJ. Of course, we asked you to sign these petitions, so we're able to do all this work. Because of your support at the ACLJ, of the Americans for Law and Justice, we can do all this work. We don't charge these clients.

So whether it's a state or an individual, you can go to ACLJ.org forward slash help if you believe that you need legal assistance. I want to take a few minutes here, Jordan, to thank our members around the country. We sat down and had our board meeting last week, and we do this end of the year board meeting because it gives you a good sense of where you are. And we've had an incredible year, and we've been able to accomplish a lot. Our Now More Than Ever campaign included the hiring of Rick Grenell, the former director of national intelligence, member of the cabinet, President Trump. The former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also a member of the cabinet for the previous administration.

And they're part of the ACLJ's International team. We're going to announce in the months ahead some big moves internationally that will impact the United States as well. So we've got some really big plans for 2022. I mean, significant expansion.

It's like doubling down on Now More Than Ever. But I have to say this to our members. None of this happens without you. And I will tell you, we're not like a lot of organizations in that we don't have, you know, we get some, and we're appreciative of everything. We don't get regularly $10 million grants and million dollar grants.

That's very rare for us. I mean, you could look at those over the course of our 20 years. I mean, our building in Washington was a large donation from a foundation. We'll never forget that.

That's been 20 years already. But it's because of people like you. Lots of people like you that make a difference. That was what we decided to do 35 or 40 years ago when we started. That it was going to be more of a, we now call grassroots model, but it was really going to be supported by everyday citizens.

The people that wanted to protect religious freedom, religious liberty, and protect our freedom and liberty as American citizens. And we have been blessed beyond anything we could imagine. We have facilities that we can't even, when I'm wearing these facilities, I still can't believe we're in these facilities. But that doesn't happen without you. But I just wanted to stop and say thank you from all of us. There's just me and Jordan on the set today, but there's a lot of people working behind the scenes, as you know. We don't have a camera back there. We should really get one.

And around this entire office and our offices around the globe. Thank you. Without your support, it doesn't happen. And as we said, we're in a matching challenge campaign. We're in the last days of the month. Jordan's going to let you know how to do it.

It makes a big difference on how we can proceed ahead. It's very easy to do. You go to ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org. Right on the home page there, you can do it on your phone, you can do it on your tablet, you can do it on your computer.

Very quick, though. I mean, by the time we come back from this break, you could have easily made the donation. And you'll see matching challenge or donate. Either one of those will take you to the right page. Put in your info, choose the amount you want to donate. You can also choose if you want to make a recurring monthly donation. That will still be part of the match.

People ask that all the time. And that will be part of the match. So you go to ACLJ.org. This is a great time to support our work. As you said, we're grassroots. You know, a $25 donation is a big deal for the ACLJ. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the broadcast. We've been talking about a lot of issues. We've talked about China. We've talked about the Texas law on abortion. We talked about the new case we're doing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dealing with the issue of abortion. We've got another one in the Third Circuit, or at least in New Jersey, Third Circuit for now, probably back to the trial court. And as I said at the beginning of the broadcast, we have been standing for life, including, and we've done everything from the modern technology on life and defending the fetal heart pills and that kind of thing to sidewalk counseling. And as I said, in 1988, we were at Fulton County State Court representing 400 protesters who were speaking out for life, including sidewalk counselors. They were all charged with crimes.

We ended up getting a great victory in that case. And as I mentioned, Andy O'Connell, father-in-law, was the judge, Judge Nick Lambros. I'm sure he's smiling down from heaven right now. And that was, I mean, it's hard to believe.

Andy, we'll get to Jeff in a second. It's hard to believe that was all those years ago, but there it was. 33 years ago, Jay, fighting for life, just as you're doing today. You were chief counsel of ACLJ then.

You still are. And we were fighting for life before a judge, my father-in-law, who said very clearly, I'm not going to stop anybody from counseling somebody on the street against murder. And that's exactly what he said, and that's where he put his ruling and his judgment. But all those 400 protesters who were being prosecuted for crimes, those were criminal cases, Jay, if you remember. No, exactly. No, no, no.

Exactly. Those cases were dismissed. So, yeah, Jeff Surtees, senior counsel for the ACLJ, that was 32 years ago, as Andy said, but we've got one right now. Jeff, give us the background on this case out of New Jersey. Sure thing, Jay. Yeah, the city of Englewood, New Jersey, adopted an abortion buffer zone ordinance that prevents sidewalk counselors and others from going within eight feet of an abortion clinic entrance or driveway.

Although agents of the clinic, Jay, including so-called escorts, are permitted free passage. And if you can believe it, this ordinance is almost entirely word for word, the same as the Massachusetts buffer zone law that the Supreme Court unanimously struck down as unconstitutional. And 2014 and McCullen, 2017, and McCullen v. Coakley. We sued the city on behalf of a long-time sidewalk counselor who, in rain, cold, you know, no matter the weather, wants to speak with women entering the clinic. And like all sidewalk counselors, she doesn't want to, like, show them graphic pictures of things and yell at them or anything like that.

She simply wants to tell them that God loves them, that help is available to them and their children, that they are not alone. Well, after extensive paper discovery and numerous depositions, multiple rounds of briefing, we got summary judgment from the district court. It was a resounding victory in the court where the court held that the ordinance violated both the United States and New Jersey constitutions. Well, the city appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. And because of a panel not exactly, how shall I say, ideologically friendly to our client's position, the court reversed the district court. Now, the court didn't uphold the ordinance.

The court said that the constitutionality of the ordinance couldn't be decided without a try or a fact, making certain factual determinations. So that's what we're getting ready for now. We're currently hard at work on reviewing and putting together the materials that are needed for this final pretrial order, which is due on December 3rd. And then just four days after that, we have a final pretrial conference and the trial is going to be scheduled soon right after that.

So I think for people to understand, Jeff, the scope and significance of this, you actually maybe there may be a little bit of history here. You actually may be trying this case by Zoom. We may be trying this case by Zoom. You know, we've heard a lot about the Supreme Court doing stuff by teleconference and a lot of the Court of Appeals doing things by by Zoom. And here we are doing a trial with numerous witnesses, numerous documents and all of that all being done via Zoom. So it's it's it's a new day and we'll we'll see how it goes.

We're working hard to make sure that we have all that technology down. We've done a few and do a few practice rounds to make sure that everything is going without a glitch. It's very different. I'll tell you that I've done depositions. I did an arraignment on about two weeks ago.

It's a very different process. But Jeff, I want to focus on for another moment here that we had been at the ACLJ, the Fight for Life, your father in law, Pat Monahan. This is I know we're bringing up nostalgia here, but Pat Monahan still the senior counsel with the ACLJ. When we mentioned that case in front of Judge Lambros, your father in law, Pat Monahan and I were we're already working together. And he was my co-counsel in those days. We have been doing this for four decades.

It's amazing. And the fight, you know, we have we've had victories along the way and we've had defeats along the way. But we keep fighting every day, every month, every year. We keep fighting not just for the right to life, but the right of sidewalk counselors to be able to speak about life. You know, and it all just goes to show, you know, that this current administration used to be we would talk about, you know, the Clinton administration talk about abortion, safe, legal and rare.

That's not we don't have that anymore. We now have an all out all abortion ideology at work in this administration and the current administration doesn't want it. And what I'm saying is that they just don't want to ensure access to abortion. You know, they want to force people into paying for it. And in the case of medical professionals, they even want to force people into participating in it. Now, siloed counselors are literally on the front lines of sharing the pro-life message for those who need to hear it most and shutting down that speech. You know, it's not just offensive to the right of free speech, which you have been working on.

My father in law has been working on for four decades now. It's an insult to those women who are entitled to hear that abortion is not their only choice. And actually, Jay, I have to say it all relates to our case in the Eighth Circuit representing the state of South Dakota. Abortion is an irrevocable choice with enormous consequences. Why shouldn't women contemplating this choice be counseled about the options that are available to them? Abortion ideal ideologues would prefer to keep women in the dark and ignorant of those options. And I'll just goes to show that the pro-life cause, which you and others have been working for for decades now, is not just for in defense of life. The unborn life, the pro-life cause, and those pro-life laws are pro-women. You know, it's interesting you said the Eighth Circuit case because there's one where, Jeff, they just put forward a new idea.

Again, like seeing in Texas, these are new approaches. And this was informed consent where they were before the woman has the actual abortion. She would seek counseling that would be provided no cost just to make sure it's not a coerced abortion.

Because that has actually been a serious issue. And even that Planned Parenthood and these groups object to. They do object because they don't want women to be fully informed of the choice that they are making. In the case of Planned Parenthood, it's not just that they are 100% behind the abortion ideology. It's that for every abortion, it's money in their pocket. And that's how borderline criminal it is. And that is how why we should not expect Planned Parenthood agents of Planned Parenthood to be giving counseling for a woman who's contemplating abortion about her options.

I mean, that's just ridiculous. We need an independent third party counselor who objectively gives the woman or informs the woman of the options that are available to her. Now, if she hears all of that and wants to go through with her choice, then that is her decision.

But right now, what we need to do is ensure that women are able to give full and informed consent regarding this irrevocable choice with enormous consequences. Well, I'm going to tell you this, Jeff. You've been fighting this now for decades, too.

I mean, you know, and I think about you and Jordan and our whole team. Eric Zimmerman and Miles Terry, this whole group of lawyers now in their 40s, some approaching 50, that have been fighting this. And this fight will continue.

We are not going to stop this fight. And Logan, you had mentioned earlier that we have a lot of resources and a lot of content available on this. Yeah, we've had 30 years of our 40 years almost of archived content on this issue, starting from the very early days of the pro-life movement to how things have changed and what we're doing now. Multiple documentaries, whether that's Choosing Life, which was the history of sort of the 80s and 90s pro-life original movement. I'm sure a lot of you listening were part of that movement.

So you can go back. We have so much great footage from that time period. So it's really interesting to watch. You see all kind of crazy.

It got on both sides. A very interesting watch. Again, we made that about 10 years ago, but it's available on acljfilms.com. More recently, we did the film Abortion, Inc., which shows sort of where the seedy business side of the abortion industry, if you will. And that's available as well on acljfilms.com.

And on the apps also, I believe it's available on the apps we have developed for Roku and Apple TV. You can find that in the ACLJ app. But beyond that, if you go to aclj.org or find our YouTube or Facebook channel, there's so much content on this topic. Whether that's news and blogs you can read to keep yourself informed, whether that's full length documentaries with clips, things you can share. Look, a lot of times you may have problems to kind of figuring out the words to say when you want to post about this issue.

It's very sensitive. We provide a lot of content, a lot of content you can share, a lot of news, science, events that are happening related to the life topic as well as plenty of other topics that are within the scope of the ACLJ. You can find that at aclj.org. Again, follow us on all social media platforms because we're always posting stuff related to this. Even when there's these big cases, there are always smaller ones happening. There's obviously historically so many that we do here. Petitions you can get involved in and plenty of other ways at aclj.org.

That's also where you can go to financially support the work of the ACLJ. Currently we're in the process of working on a brand new series called Revenge of the Taliban. You saw clips from it yesterday.

It's a great multi-part documentary interview series with some of the leading names, whether it's the people you hear here like Jay Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow, Rick Rinnell, Mike Pompeo, but other people like Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Langford, and Congress people everywhere. We've run out of time. I ran out of the list.

It's too strong. We'll be right back. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Last year we told you about the city of Louisville, a failed attempt to crack down on pro-life sidewalk counselors tried to use the COVID pandemic as cover. And then that did not ultimately go into the law. They didn't pass that. But the new city council, which has a different political balance, took up the buffer zone measure again this year.

This year's version of the ordinance makes no mention of the public health emergency. It was about alleged history of blocking and obstructing and harassing health care facilities. Well, we at the ACLJ represent those sidewalk counselors. Our senior counsel, Frank Manion, joining us now because we have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Kentucky.

And, Dad, again, this is core ACLJ. You fought at the Supreme Court and we're right back here fighting at the district court. You know, I just was going to say, as we have Frank come on here, we were just talking about something at the national level where we worked hard to get a piece of legislation in the Democratic House modified so that it would take out the ability of the IRS to spy on and get access to every American's records.

If you had more than $800 in transactions, initially it was $600 in a single transaction. We got that out. We got to watch what they'll do regularly. But then also at the same time we're doing that, we've got our lawyers like our senior counsel, Frank Manion, and his team filing a federal case in the western district of Kentucky on an issue that's front and center for the ACLJ. And that is pro-life counseling outside of abortion clinics. Frank, tell us about the case.

Sure, Jay. You know, as you said, this is core ACLJ work. You've argued two of these cases at the Supreme Court. One of those, Hill v. Colorado, the cities and towns across the country are still focusing on, even though in 2014 in the McCullen v. Coakley case, a unanimous Supreme Court, including, you know, RBG and Sotomayor, placed sidewalk counseling by pro-lifers at the top of the hierarchy of free speech. And struck down a buffer zone ordinance in Massachusetts, and most importantly in the context of this case, completely ignored Hill v. Colorado. In other words, they didn't explicitly overrule it, but essentially they said, that case doesn't have any impact or any effect on what we're doing here. What's happening is local governments, like in Louisville, like in Englewood, New Jersey, where we're getting ready for a trial at the beginning of next year, have simply ignored the McCullen case. And in our case against Louisville, we're calling to account and saying, you just can't do this. If you've got people breaking laws, obstructing, hindering, assaulting, harassing, go after them.

You're easily capable of doing it. You don't shut down part of the traditional public forum to peaceful sidewalk counselors. So, you know, you mentioned, because I think it's worth pointing out here, Frank, that I went to the Supreme Court twice on this. And then the third case came out and there's probably a series of about four of these cases involving these buffer zones. We had the floating buffer zone.

Remember that one? And then you had, like wherever anybody went, you couldn't talk to them. You couldn't hand them a piece of literature. So here's the question that I know what our audience is saying. Well, goodness, you all argued this at the Supreme Court. Then there were subsequent cases that even affirmed it even more. And you're still having to go back to the district court to enforce what the Supreme Court already said is the law of the land. It's unbelievable, Jay. And what's happening is I think you have local governments giving into vociferous, well-funded, influential pro-abortion constituencies where they are. And we saw it in Englewood, New Jersey, and we're seeing it here in Louisville, Kentucky. And they're just ignoring what the Supreme Court said in McCollin.

It's just amazing. We shake our heads. I think this was a unanimous Supreme Court decision in an abortion case that went our way that has never, ever happened.

And so they just pretended it didn't happen. And they go back to the Hill case and to other cases that we've easily distinguished. And that's why we're hopeful that either we're going to get our preliminary injunction, we filed that motion today, or we're going to get this up to the Sixth Circuit.

And we've got one going up in the Third Circuit, too. And, you know, the way I see this, Jay, is this is going to be the chance for you to get back to the Supreme Court and finally have them drive the stake in the heart of the constitutional ghoul that is Hill versus Colorado. Yeah, could you imagine finally, I mean, before 30 years later, Frank, I think I was 35 when I argued that thing.

I'm 65. It's like, you know, it's like it's like Groundhog's Day keeps coming back around. I mean, exactly. I mean, I mean, Pat Monahan and I have been arguing these cases. You know how long now? Since 1985. Yeah. And I know you were doing those, Frank, back in the 80s.

So if my math is correct, what is that, 37 years? I don't even want to think about it. We look the same. Exactly.

Maybe you do. Frank, one of the things I thought that was worth pointing out was that when we did last year, when this failed, they were trying to literally doing this when Louisville was experiencing massive protests after the verdict with Breonna Taylor. And then at the same time, this is how aggressive this pro-abortion movement is, Frank, I think it just shows that, that at the same time that was going on, like the streets were not being able to be under control, they were trying to get through this buffer zone.

Yeah. They're going after quiet, calm, caring, pro-life sidewall counselors who just want to give women alternatives to abortion. And frankly, I think the reason they go after them is that they're successful at persuading women to not go through with abortion. 50 times a year, our clients have been successful in turning women around by offering them caring, loving alternatives to abortion. And so under the guise of trying to go after lawbreakers and obstructors and harassers, they really want to go after the sidewall counselors because they are successful. You know, it's interesting to me, Frank, as I reflect on this, and I want to thank our ACLJ members, because the truth of the matter is we could not do this without you.

And it does take incredible perseverance. I was just thinking about that. I was thinking about those early days of those cases, you know, 37 years ago. And then in the 90s, it was a big issue. Again, we had the Sheng case, and then like you said, Hill versus Colorado, and then there was Madsen. Remember all those cases.

And then you had, I know you, Frank, and the team did around the country. And yet here we are again, having to do this as we're actually winning on the abortion issue. And look, women facing a crisis moment in their lives, having an alternative to an abortion is really important. And I applaud those women that make that difficult choice sometimes for them. I mean, we think about it and we say, well, but we're not the person that's having that situation. And I applaud the willingness to have the child and bring that child to term.

I've got six grandkids. I mean, the technology now, my brother-in-law, Gary Hickson, said this many, many years ago. The technology was going to get to such a point that they would never be able to, the pro-abortion crowd would never be able to deny that this was a child in the mother's womb. And that technology is there.

Yes, it is there. And it's making it more and more difficult for this movement to try and pull the rug over people's eyes. It's ultimately here, we fight all of these battles, and we've continued to fight all these battles because we believe in free speech, we believe in the rights of these sidewalk counselors, we believe in the ability. Also, we believe in the life of the unborn and we believe that we should do everything we can to protect it, whether that's supporting a case out of Texas, whether that's supporting the case out of Mississippi on December 1st at the Supreme Court, the Dobbs case, whether it's in South Dakota on informed consent. We are working on so many, and always have, on every single front when it comes to life.

Every way legally possible, whether it's protecting your pro-life speech, whether it's protecting a pro-life viewpoint, whether it's actually fighting directly the abortion industry and late-term abortions and supporting that legislative bans on those late-term abortions. And now we've entered a new era where we can directly challenge Roe vs. Wade, and the Supreme Court has decided they're actually going to hear for the first time since Casey a new challenge right on his face to Roe vs. Wade. Folks, we are gaining momentum in this fight.

It doesn't mean we'll win every battle, but we're gaining momentum and we need your support. Donate at ACLJ.org, our Matching Challenge Month. Double your impact today. That's ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. A $50 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 20:07:41 / 2023-07-05 20:31:41 / 24

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