THE ACLU’S FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS
Catalyst January/February Issue 2001
· 2001 began with another ACLU lawsuit. The subject? The posting of the Ten Commandments on a monument in a Plattsmouth city park in Nebraska.
· At the behest of the ACLU, a court in Muhlenberg County in Greenville, Kentucky has asked the county attorney to review a request to post the Ten Commandments as part of an historical display in the county courthouse.
· A federal appeals court ruled in December that a Ten Commandment monument on the lawn of a municipal building in Elkart, Indiana violated the First Amendment. The Indiana chapter of the ACLU declared victory.
· Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Courthouse was the scene of another fight over the posting of the Ten Commandments. This time the ACLU deferred to its sister organization, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, letting them file suit.
· The ACLU is currently appealing a decision made last fall by a district court that allowed a moment of silence in Virginia’s public schools. The Union maintains that this practice is unconstitutional because it amounts to state-sanctioned prayer.
· Three new prison chapels are being built in Louisiana—all with private funding—but the ACLU doesn’t like it. It says the chapels improperly promote Christianity over other religions.
· Rastafarian students in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana discovered what the ACLU means by religious liberty when the Union took their case after they were banned from class violating the school’s dress and hair code. The ACLU defended the students, on religious expression grounds, for wearing their hair in braids and covering their heads.
· In California’s Mojave Desert there is a memorial for the local men who died in World War I. Because the memorial is in the shape of a cross, the ACLU threatened legal action. The National Park Service, which controls the land, immediately folded and allowed the ACLU to win uncontested.
· Olathe Public Library in Olathe, Kansas no longer marks books suitable for Christians. That is because the library’s board gave in to a protest from the ACLU.
· Rita Cline is Shawnee County treasurer in Topeka, Kansas. In her offices, she has posters proclaiming “In God We Trust.” The ACLU sued to get them removed. But this time they lost. Big. Not only will the posters remain, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Crow labeled the ACLU’s action “patently frivolous,” and ordered the civil libertarians to pay for Cline’s legal fees.
We congratulate Judge Crow and the American Center for Law and Justice for winning this case. The wonder is why other judges don’t have the courage to slap the ACLU with frivolous lawsuits.