Mikey Weinstein’s Lawyer Botches Complaint

A week ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein complained to US Navy CAPT Douglas Pfeifle that he was “essentially spiritually raping” his recruits after civilian chapel volunteers were summarily banned from the base earlier this month. CAPT Pfeifle replied to Weinstein the next day, saying he’d get back to him. A week later, with no response, Weinstein attempted to up the ante by having an actual lawyer write a letter to CAPT Pfeifle, claiming there was a “constitutional question” with the Recruit Training Command’s action [emphasis added]:

There is a constitutional question whether denying similarly situated individuals under your command substantially similar rights to exercise religious freedoms violates the right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

You don’t even have to crack out your high school American government books to see the error from Weinstein’s presumably high-brow lawyer. The Fifth Amendment contains important protections of citizens’ rights, but it has nothing to do with “equal protection.” That’s the Fourteenth Amendment.

The writer is Mr. Robert Eye of Kauffman-Eye, who has previously worked for Weinstein in the ill-fated Chalker and Hall atheist lawsuits. Eye’s other claim to fame is defending George Tiller’s abortionist associate, Dr. Kris Neuhaus. It seems Mr. Eye could use either a little constitutional law refresher or an assistant to edit his missives.  Maybe Chris Rodda could help.

The issue of recruit religious support at RTC certainly warrants further attention and, most likely, a better resolution. But Weinstein’s opportunistic sensationalism does little more than reveal his own goals of publicity and fundraising, which benefits himself before military religious freedom. To wit, even Eye’s letter cites only the “rights” of a civilian volunteer — not the recruits.

To this point, the Navy has said recruits will still have the ability to exercise their faiths. To this point — a month on from that decision — there are not (yet) any actual complaints from recruits themselves. There may yet be, and they should be entitled to religious exercise within the constraints of the basic training environment.