Diary

1st Amendment Under Fire Federal Judge Rules Township Residents Can't Mention Muslim Or Islam

FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, Iftakhar Ahmad, top, a visiting religious leader from Pakistan, leads a prayer service at the Bernards Township Community Center in Basking Ridge, N.J. The Bernards Township committee voted Tuesday, May 23, 2017, to settle two lawsuits over its denial of a proposed mosque, filed by the U.S. Justice Department and the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. Some residents say their opposition is because of the selected location, not religious intolerance. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

To borrow from the “Princess Bride: This Freedom of speech thing, You keep using that pharse. I do not think it means> what you think it means”

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a settlement agreement, which reads more like an instrument of surrender, Bernards Township (“Township”), New Jersey officials agreed that, in addition to a $3.5 million payment to Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), residents and citizens of the Township are prohibited from commenting on “Islam” or “Muslims.” at the upcoming public hearing to approve the settlement.  Astonishingly, a federal judge approved the prohibition as a fully enforceable Order of the Court.

As a result of this suppression of speech, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday, filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court on behalf of Christopher and Loretta Quick.   The lawsuit was filed by TMLC affiliated New Jersey attorney, Michael Hrycak. Mr. Hrycak was assisted by TMLC staff attorney, Tyler Brooks. The TMLC is representing the Quicks without charge.

TMLC’s lawsuit alleges that Bernards Township’s settlement agreement constitutes a prior restraint on speech based on content, as well as, a violation of the Establishment Clause because it prefers Islam over other religions.  The lawsuit asks the court to: declare that the settlement agreement is unconstitutional; and to enter a preliminary and permanent injunction against its enforcement.

Read TMLC’s entire Federal Complaint here.

—PR Newswire

So much here, why judges matter, why having freedom of press is more than just having a press that is allowed to convey the news but actually does, why conservatives can no longer place faith in the rule of law and the judicial process.

First lets look at the judge’s decision and the case that leads up to. This is about as black and white prior restraint of political speech as can be imagined. It’s literally gagging people at a political function, what’s more as part of this settlement the ISBR is allowed to continue it’s anti-Christian and anti-Semitic practices. What’s more the township was pressured by the Obama administration with a lawsuit by the D.O.J in support of the ISBR. Net effect, the township doesn’t have the resources to go against the federal government and likely doesn’t the attention fighting the federal government would bring. After all who wants the EPA coming to town and deciding puddles are wetlands ?

The judge in approving this either must have been an Obama appointee or on drugs, perhaps both. Whichever there is no way to look at this as anything but an infringement of the Township’s rights. The ISBR has connections to unindicted terrorists, and while freedom of religion is guaranteed (well unless you are a baker or photographer) supporting terrorism isn’t.

Freedom of the press ? Search for this topic “Court: Residents Can’t mention Islam or Muslim at hearing ” Crickets. We don’t have press we have advertising outlets, that we grant special privileges to fabricate things about people they don’t like. It may seem a bit much to indict the press on a small incident, in a township many people may not have heard of, but this is hardly a lone incident. You can look for the House calling for another special prosecutor, the Debbie Wasserman I.T. Scandal, freedom of speech has become the freedom to make certain that some things won’t be heard.

Breakdown of process is obvious, The courts failed, the executive actively abetted the failure and the press somehow borrowed justice’s blind eyes when it came to exposing the problem.