Update: MRFF Lawsuit Against Military

This is an update on the previous post (below) regarding the MRFF lawsuit against the military.

The MRFF lawsuit (now available) is “comprehensive” in that it lists virtually every military ministry the MRFF could think of, and accuses the military of undefined impermissible conduct with them.  Michael Weinstein lists 11 different “evidences” of “patterns and practices” of improper promotion of religious beliefs.  The 11 examples essentially comprise the most recent highlights of Weinstein’s “war” against evangelical Christianity in the military; some of the examples are vague, and none of them are substantiated.  One of them will likely be quickly ruled moot, as the 523rd Fighter Squadron “Crusaders,” terminology with which Weinstein objects, have been deactivated since May and thus no longer exist.

It appears Weinstein intends to use one court case to address all of his accusations.  If he can get a judge to rule in favor of his client, he may be able to manipulate the ruling into a favorable view on the other 11 accusations.  In fact, the injunction that the MRFF is requesting is that

defendant Gates exercise his authority and prevent his subordinate, defendant Welborne, and those subordinates similarly situated, from infringing upon plaintiff Hall’s Constitutional rights. (emphasis added)

Such an injunction could be quite widely worded as to include quite a large part of the military population.  On the other hand, if the court is strict it may require him to substantiate each case (which Weinstein has yet to do publicly) or even declare the additional “evidences” immaterial, as the case itself has little to do with the military environment as a whole.

Given the “simplicity” of the underlying case, it increases the perception that Weinstein may have picked his venue and then gone “litigant shopping” when he recently advertised for plaintiffs in Kansas.