Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 12, 2015:
Ace lawyer David Yerushalmi’s parting words below are worth setting in stone: “A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”
At AFDI, we are not just raising awarness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat with our campaigns; we’re also setting legal precedents that have implications that can’t be understated: for decades, the left has been chipping away at our First Amendment rights. Without most Americans realizing, they’ve placed almost as many hedges and restrictions around the First Amendment as they have the Second.
This has to stop. The freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any free society. Without it, a tyrant can do whatever he wants and those who oppose him won’t be able to speak out. That’s just what all too many of our “leaders” want today: to be able to do their evil deeds without a murmer of dissent from the public.
At AFDI, we are standing up and saying no. We are defending not just our own rights, but those of every American. In city after city, we are rolling back rules and regulations that for too long have allowed only one point of view to have a public hearing.
Enough is enough. If we don’t stand now for freedom, it could be lost to us forever. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the great cause of the defense of freedom. So do we.
“Federal Judge Orders SEPTA to Display ‘Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred’ Advertisement,” American Freedom Law Center, March 12, 2015:
Late yesterday, a federal judge sitting in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the American Freedom Law Center’s (AFLC) motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) refusal to run a “Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred” advertisement on its advertising space violated the First Amendment. As part of his ruling, the judge ordered SEPTA to run the ad. (Read the judge’s Memorandum Opinion here).
The motion was filed on behalf of the advertisement’s sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its co-founders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and is part of a civil rights lawsuit filed against SEPTA last year.
In May of 2014, AFDI submitted the below advertisement for display on SEPTA’s advertising space:
SEPTA rejected the ad, claiming that it “tends to disparage or ridicule any person or group of persons on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness or disability.”
In its court filings, AFLC argued that SEPTA’s speech restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First Amendment. The federal judge agreed with AFLC on all of the issues presented, holding “that SEPTA’s anti-disparagement standard violates the First Amendment,” and stating further that he was “compelled to [reach this conclusion] under established First Amendment precedent.”
Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented,
“AFLC has made it clear in lawsuits across the country that government censorship of speech will not stand in the face of serious judicial scrutiny. Indeed, it is refreshing, but unfortunately rare these days, to have a case before a judge who is ‘compelled’ by the law and not by his only personal biases or political agenda when deciding important constitutional issues.”
David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added,
“Across the country, we have successfully litigated cases where government transit authorities permit the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to run ads misleading the public about Jihad and Islamic Jew hatred. When our clients run ads exposing this Jew hatred, all of a sudden the transit authorities are worried about the ‘tone’ of the conversation and attempt to shut it down. A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”