Tag Archives: first liberty institute

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Monifa Sterling Appeal

Disgraced former Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling’s appeal to the US Supreme Court has been denied.

After being court-martialed on an array of specifications, Sterling had teamed with the First Liberty Institute to appeal a charge related to her posting of Bible verses at her desk. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces had denied her appeal — with a dissent.  Her appeal to the Supreme Court was the final step.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was giddy, awkwardly managing to claim this constituted a win for “religious freedom.”

Even more awkwardly, Weinstein was taken to task by his own supporters for announcing that the denial of cert by the Supreme Court had been “unanimous.” The truth is that no one knows how the individual justices decided on that request for cert. Weinstein was Read more

Air Force Colonel Michael Madrid Punished for Religious Expression

First Liberty Institute has sent a letter to the Air Force demanding the reversal of punitive actions taken against Col Michael Madrid for expressing his religious beliefs about sexuality.

In 2014, one of then-LtCol Madrid’s subordinates — who was in the middle of being court-martialed — accused Col Madrid of

“engaging in demeaning and derogatory behavior toward [the subordinate] based on [the subordinate’s] sexual orientation” thus “creat[ing] a hostile work environment.”

Besides the troubled circumstances of Read more

Air National Guard Ignores FFRF Atheist Complaint

Not long after receiving a letter (PDF) from the First Liberty Institute, the New Hampshire Air National Guard at the Pease ANG Base has said they have chosen to ignore the previously reported complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation:

“We don’t plan on responding to the FFRF,” [Greg Heilshorn, spokesman for the New Hampshire National Guard] said. “We haven’t had any formal complaints from our airmen internally regarding any concerns with prayers being said at various ceremonies. We will continue as we’ve done before. It’s our tradition. We believe our chaplains…[are a] vital part of our organization.”

Well done. The US military is not obligated to respond to the FFRF — or any other third party complaint — at all. By declining to do so, they avoid the perception they are legitimizing the FFRF or its generalized accusations about religious expression in the US military.  Meanwhile, if there are any actual complainants who have an actionable grievance, they still have access to every grievance system within the military.

Part of the issue with Read more

First Liberty: “Unbelievable Opportunities” for Religious Freedom

First Liberty Institute, one of the leading religious liberty legal groups in the country, recently said in an interview that they’re very hopeful about the opportunities for freedom under the Trump administration. Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the First Liberty Institute, said

that President Donald Trump “made a lot of promises as a candidate about religious freedom. He’s very committed to making sure that things changed. And so now it’s just going to be a matter of whether those promises are followed through.

“So far, he’s been fulfilling his promises. Read more

Mikey Weinstein Loses Yet Again

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has an abysmal record as a lawyer, having participated in at least six lawsuits in the past few years and having won exactly zero.  (An MRFF FOIA lawsuit against the US Air Force Academy is scheduled for a settlement conference this month.)

In 2016, Weinstein’s impotence grew so much he lost in yet another area, his near-annual competition for the Christmas Grinch. Over the past couple of years Mikey Weinstein has been Read more

Bible-Quoting Court-Martialed Marine Goes to the Supreme Court

The case of former US Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling, who made national news when her court-martial included charges related to posting a Bible verse on her desk, has been appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Sterling was a substandard Marine, but the straw that broke the camel’s back to get her court-martialed was posting, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17…

Religious liberty lawyers at First Liberty Institute agreed that Sterling’s posting Bible verses is protected by law…[and] recruit[ed] one of the greatest Supreme Court litigators in recent decades, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, to lead their team…

Sterling’s case has become a fascinating discriminator for Read more

US Military Declines to Support Radio Christmas Show

sixstringsoldiersTodd Starnes made news last week when he announced he’d invited the US Army’s Six-String Soldiers to perform at his annual Fox Radio Christmas Show — and the Army denied his request because it determined the event was “religious.”

Starnes didn’t dispute the characterization:

I’ve been busted, folks. What the Army alleged is the gospel truth.

My Fox Christmas show unashamedly proclaims that Jesus is the reason for the season. We are loud and proud.

In my defense, though, the reason my Christmas show is religious is because Christmas is in fact a religious holiday.

Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, though, rejected the Read more

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