Tag Archives: First Amendment

Nevada family arrested for not letting police use their home as lookout

fight-the-police-state

First, the Obama regime trampled on the First Amendment’s promise of freedom of religion by mandating religious Christian groups and institutions (hospitals, schools, universities, even the craft store Hobby Lobby) to provide contraceptives and abortifacients in their “health care” coverage of employees.

Then the regime and its accomplices in the Left and the media seek to trample on our Second Amendment’s promise of our right, as free citizens, to bear arms.

Now the police of Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas with a total population of 257,000, are trampling on the U.S. Constitution’s Third Amendment, which prohibits quartering soldiers in citizens’ homes in times of peace without the consent of the owner.

Henderson police arrested the Mitchell family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, in contravention of the Third Amendment. The Mitchells are now suing the City of Henderson, its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court.

Plaintiffs Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell state in their complaint:

“On the morning of July 10th, 2011, officers from the Henderson Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at a neighbor’s residence. At 10:45 a.m. defendant Officer Christopher Worley (HPD) contacted plaintiff Anthony Mitchell via his telephone. Worley told plaintiff that police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ against the occupant of the neighboring house. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence. Although Worley continued to insist that plaintiff should leave his residence, plaintiff clearly explained that he did not intend to leave his home or to allow police to occupy his home. Worley then ended the phone call.

Defendant officers, including Cawthorn and Worley and Sgt. Michael Waller, conspired among themselves to force Anthony Mitchell out of his residence and to occupy his home for their own use.

Defendant Officer David Cawthorn outlined the defendants’ plan in his official report: ‘It was determined to move to 367 Evening Side and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested.’

At a few minutes before noon, at least five defendant officers arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s house and prepared to execute their plan. The officers banged forcefully on the door and loudly commanded Anthony Mitchell to open the door to his residence. Surprised and perturbed, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell immediately called his mother (plaintiff  Linda Mitchell) on the phone, exclaiming to her that the police were beating on his front door.

Seconds later, officers, including Officer Rockwell smashed open plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s front door with a metal ram as plaintiff stood in his living room. As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor. Fearing for his life, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell dropped his phone and prostrated himself onto the floor of his living room, covering his face and hands.

Addressing plaintiff as ‘asshole’, officers, including Officer Snyder, shouted conflicting orders at Anthony Mitchell, commanding him to both shut off his phone, which was on the floor in front of his head, and simultaneously commanding him to ‘crawl’ toward the officers.

Confused and terrified, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell  remained curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face, and made no movement.

Although plaintiff Anthony Mitchell was lying motionless on the ground and posed no threat, officers, including Officer David Cawthorn, then fired multiple ‘pepperball’ rounds at plaintiff as he lay defenseless on the floor of his living room. Anthony Mitchell was struck at least three times by shots fired from close range, injuring him and causing him severe pain.”

Mitchell says in the complaint that the officers then arrested him for obstructing a police officer, searched the house and moved furniture without his permission and set up a place in his home for a lookout.

The officers also hurt Mitchell’s pet dog for no reason whatsoever.

From the complaint: “Plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s pet, a female dog named ‘Sam,’ was cowering in the corner when officers smashed through the front door. Although the terrified animal posed no threat to officers, they gratuitously shot it with one or more pepperball rounds. The panicked animal howled in fear and pain and fled from the residence. Sam was subsequently left trapped outside in a fenced alcove without access to water, food, or shelter from the sun for much of the day, while temperatures outside soared to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Sources:

H/t FOTM’s joworth

~Eowyn

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Obama backs off from anti-religious freedom HHS mandate – Update

crucifix repels vampire
Donovan Slack and Jennifer Haberkorn report for the Politico that “After a year of controversy, the Obama administration has changed contraceptive health coverage requirements for religious institutions that pay for their own insurance and objected to the policy on moral grounds.”
This morning, Feb. 1, 2013, the Obama regime’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) announced the change of policy, “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act“: Women will still be able to get the same health benefits, but certain religious employers will now be exempt from paying for it.
Christian institutions, specifically those of the Catholic Church, vehemently objected to the HHS mandate. In May 2012, 43 branches of the Catholic Church sued the federal government in Superior Court for the HHS mandate contravening the Constitution’s First Amendment on Church-State relations, by requiring religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for not just contraception services, but also abortifacients (abortion-inducing drugs), which violate the teachings of the Catholic Church.
However, HHS’s change of policy does not address the concerns of private businesses, such as Hobby Lobby, whose owners also object to contraception on religious grounds. Several dozen lawsuits have been filed, and the religious freedom issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court.

Here’s the summary of the proposed policy change, “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.” (I’ve saved the pdf document to FOTM’s Media Library. Click here!)
SUMMARY: This document proposes amendments to rules regarding coverage for certain preventive services under section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, and incorporated into the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act requires coverage without cost sharing of certain preventive health services, including certain contraceptive services, in non-exempt, non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance coverage.
The proposed rules would amend the authorization to exempt group health plans established or maintained by certain religious employers (and group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans) with respect to the requirement to cover contraceptive services. The proposed rules would also establish accommodations for group health plans established or maintained by eligible organizations (and group health insurance coverage offered in connection with such plans), including student health insurance coverage arranged by eligible organizations that are religious institutions of higher education. This document also proposes related amendments to regulations concerning excepted benefits and Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
~Eowyn & Steve

Update:

FOTM reader Patricia emailed us a communication from Dr. Helen Alvaré, Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University, of the pro-life Chiaroscuro Institute. Dr. Alvaré has studied the policy change document “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act” to conclude that our victory is only partial and our elation must be qualified. Here’s Dr. Alvaré’s e-mail:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ‘COMPROMISE’ DOES NOT PROTECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR ALL
Once again, the Obama Administration has delivered an unacceptable “compromise” regarding the HHS Mandate and religious freedom.
Today the White House expanded the exemption to church-affiliated non-profit organizations, but refused to extend it to individuals and for profit business owners—such as the Greens with Hobby Lobby.
I have reviewed it and have several takeaways:
1. The first “expansion” of the exemption is as small as the government could make it. Religious organizations which exist to spread the faith (i.e. Churches)– when they also do things like serve the poor or educate kids in a religious school–may have the exemption for those ministries as well as the Church itself.

2. Religious institutions who are not primarily in the business of spreading the faith– likely hospitals, schools, etc.– can have the exemption after a complicated “self-certification” procedure, but their employees and students will get free contraception without their employers’ input–under separate policies issued directly from the insurance company.
3. My third observation is not about the law, but about the administration. Their desperation to get contraception, early abortifacients and sterilization into the hands of every woman and girl would be comical if they weren’t in such deadly earnest. These new regulations are very long and very convoluted and very intent on exempting the fewest folks possible. I doubt most other provisions of the health care law have received this kind of attention.
4. Individuals and businesses which are not religious institutions are completely unprotected… THIS IS DISTURBING. In America, the right of religious freedom extends to all.

I can’t do better than echo Alan Sears, President of the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group who has said, “Religious leaders and their organizations cannot be bought off with personal immunity, in exchange for abandoning their fellow believers and their own flocks to federal subjugation of their freedoms. It behooves none of us to preserve our own ‘freedom,’ when no one in our audience will be allowed to accept and live by our Gospel witness.”
I more than suspect that this is an attempt to divide us and thereby to conquer…..why? We are winning both in the courts (by 10 to 4 so far) and in the court of public opinion.
The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith.
I encourage you to speak out against this “compromise” with your family and friends, and on your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Send letters please….copying them to the President, the Vice President (America’s top political Catholic, remember?) and Secretary Sebelius. Their addresses are below.
Thanks for sticking with us in this fight,
Helen
https://womenspeakforthemselves.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WomenSpeakForThemselves
https://twitter.com/womenspeak2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Vice President Joe Biden
Old Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20501
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
~Eowyn

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Ann Barnhardt Blast on Hagmann & Hagmann

WOW!!!!!

Ann Barnhardt is the guest (starting at the 9 minute mark) for a nearly 2-hour broadcast on the Hagmann & Hagmann Report and unloads on the contraception, social security, cultural corruption, the government corruption, the cult of Islam, the cabal of evil men who put their foreign-born puppet, Obama into power, and that’s just for starters.

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Georgia Employer Says It with Signs


Looman did receive some unexpected attention not long after he put up his signs and Facebook photos. He said someone, and he thinks he knows who it was, reported him to the FBI as a threat to national security. He said the accusation filtered its way through the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and finally the Secret Service. Agents interviewed him.
“The Secret Service left here, they were in a good mood and laughing,” Looman said. “I got the feeling they thought it was kind of ridiculous, and a waste of their time.”  Full Story   ~LTG

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Woman Challenges Oklahoma's "Mark of the Beast" Driver's License

The Left have been (mis)using the First Amendment’s religious freedom clause against Christians and conservatives for some time now. Now, our side is fighting back by invoking that same Constitutional right.
Charlie Butts reports for OneNewsNow, Sept 28, 2011, that the conservative Rutherford Institute has filed a suit to challenge Oklahoma’s biometric photo requirement for drivers’ licenses.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kaye Beach, who refused the required biometric photograph when she applied for renewal of her driver’s license in March, and asked instead that she be allowed to use a low-resolution photograph for her license, based on religious grounds. Although Beach met all the other requirements for renewing her license, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) refused her request, insisting that state law does not provide alternatives or exemptions to the digitalized photos.
So a lawsuit has been filed against the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety for not accommodating Beach’s religious beliefs and for violating the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.
John Whitehead, founder of The Rutherford Institute, explains:
“The biometric photographs digitalize your face and then put all your information … into a central computer which goes worldwide, which means it’s like a facial scan, which means wherever you go, that becomes sort of your ID card. Beach believes that’s the mark of the beast in the Book of Revelation.”
Whitehead points out the effects of the DPS denying Beach’s — or any of us’ — request go beyond her capability to drive.
“Because she will not get this type of biometric photograph on her driver’s license, she cannot get prescription medicines, use her debit card, rent a hotel, obtain a post office box, or drive a car. The argument here, as most people know in the Book of Revelation, is that the mark of the beast won’t let you buy, sell or move in society.”
Atoorneys with Echols & Associates are working with the Rutherford Institute in its defense of Beach’s right to religious freedom.
~Eowyn

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Spokane Transit to Run Atheist Ads


Via KHQ.com: The ad is simple in nature, a statement in white letters with a blue sky background and clouds that read: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”
That’s the advertisement set to appear on the sides of Spokane Transit Authority (STA) buses starting August 29. The ad was created by the Spokane Coalition of Reason, a local group of atheists, humanists, secularists and members of free thought societies. They are part of a larger, national organization called the United Coalition of Reason (UCoR).
Director of Ooh Media (that purchased the ads), Ted Carroll, sent this statement to KHQ: “As an agent and advertising space provider on STA buses, we were initially concerned with the message that UCoR was interested in running on STA buses but quickly came to the conclusion that it is all of our responsibilities as Americans to protect the 1st Amendment. We may not, as a company, share the same opinion as some, but we do share a common belief that everyone has a right to free speech regardless.”
Amy Bassford, an STA Bus rider said, “I think it’s horrible because I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my personal savior of my life.” Bassford went on to say that she believes the end times are near and thinks the ads are another sign of the end of the world.
Anita Coleman “If we’re going to be able to run ads that have a Christian quality then the atheistic ads should be able to run as well.” (No examples of that “Christian quality” provided.)
From the beginning, STA agreed to run the ads.  STA Chief Executive Officer Susan Meyer explained to KHQ , “STA cannot limit free speech, we’re a government entity and that isn’t our call.
Can’t wait for someone to purchase new signs for STA buses, “Believe in God? You are not alone.”
DCG

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Abortion Billboard Must Come Down

AP Photo

Earlier this month I reported on Greg Fultz of New Mexico who put up a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes which touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.

Now Fox News is reporting that a state district judge Thursday ordered Greg to immediately take down a billboard that implies his ex-girlfriend had an abortion. State District Judge James Counts issued the ruling as part of protective order the woman sought after Greg Fultz, 35, took out the sign on the city’s main thoroughfare in mid-May.

Fultz’s ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official had recommended the billboard be removed.

But Fultz’s attorney said his client is adamant about protecting his free speech rights and will appeal. “He said he is prepared to go to jail for this,” attorney Todd Holmes said. “His position is that this billboard is not really about her. It’s about his statement of fathers’ rights.”

It was unclear if the woman had an abortion or a miscarriage. Her attorney, Ellen Jessen, said earlier this month that she has not discussed the pregnancy with her client because that was not the point. The central issue is her client’s privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, she said.

Heaven forbid the woman suffer “severe emotional distress” from a billboard that doesn’t mention her name. I’m glad to see this man make a fight for his rights and those of his lost child.

h/t Anon

DCG

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A Valedictorian Can’t Tell His Story

School Censors Religious Words in Graduation Speech

Via Fox News: A high school valedictorian in Vermont was forbidden by school administers from delivering nearly half of his graduation speech in which he discussed how Jesus had changed his life. “I was just sharing a story about my life and how it was changed,” said Kyle Gearwar, the valedictorian at Fair Haven Union High School. “And as an American and as a valedictorian I felt that I should have been able to do that.”

“They told me my speech was going to be a problem – that the school wouldn’t allow me to deliver the speech and they would prevent me from giving the speech if it came down to it,” Gearwar told Fox News Radio.  He said the principal told him to remove anything that “had to do with religion, God, talking about how He can help you. The thing that actually changed me, I couldn’t talk about.”

You can burn a flag but we’re not able to speak about God,” he said. “I just don’t agree with that.”

Brett Blanchard, the principal at Fair Haven Union High School, defended the censorship and said public school must be careful about allowing some to talk about their religion at a school-sanctioned event. “We are absolutely strong supporters of free speech,” Blanchard told Fox News Radio. “The federal law limits the kind of religious speech that’s permitted at a commencement at a public high school.

The issue was whether Gearwar’s speech was a personal testimony of how Jesus Christ changed his life – or if it was an act of proselytizing.

Among the many sentences that the school took offense to was this passage from Gearwar’s speech:

“I have peace and can finally enjoy every moment God has given me, good or bad. I wouldn’t be standing before you without the blessings God has given me through my tough situations. He is the reason I am the man I am today, made new through Jesus death on the cross.”

During the graduation ceremony, several audience members encouraged Gearwar to read the censored and redacted portions of his speech. The Christian teenager declined to do so, explaining that he had given his word to the principal and the assistant principal that he would abide by their decision.

“You’re supposed to respect your authority,” he said. “Even in the Bible it says you should respect the authorities of the land. I wasn’t going to disappoint these men.”

An editorial by the Burlington Free Press, chastised school administrators for “playing it safe.” “The school’s decision says much about how uncomfortable we all have become about discussing religion publicly,” the newspaper wrote. “We should be able to listen to others talk about their faith – those different from our own – without feeling threatened. Instead we live in a sad time when the risk of offending someone also carries the risk of being sued.

I appreciate Gearwar’s respect for his authorities.  I only wish he had been able to tell his story.

DCG

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"Irreparable Harm"

“Anxiety”

That’s what would happen to a student if he heard anyone praying at a high school graduation ceremony.

 Via Fox News Radio: A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony. Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”
 
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the school district is in the process of appealing the ruling and his office has agreed to file a brief in their support.
Judge Biery’s ruling banned students and other speakers from using and religious language in their speeches. Among the banned words or phrases are: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer.” He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program. “These terms shall be replaced with ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks’,” the judge’s order stated. His ruling also prohibits anyone from saying, “in [a deity’s name] we pray.” The judge did grant students permission to make the sign of the cross, wear religious garb, or kneel to face Mecca.
Ayesha N. Khan, an attorney representing the student and his parents, told KABB-TV she was delighted in the judge’s decision. “It caused him a great deal of anxiety,” she said, referring to her teenage client. “He has gone to meet with the principal to try and talk in a civilized way about long-standing problems and the school district has continued to thumb its nose.”
It caused him a great deal of anxiety?  How does her client deal with this?:

DCG
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First Amendment Still Alive


Remember the Christians that were arrested in Michigan in 2010 at the Arab-American Festival for peacefully distributing copies of the Gospel of John. Not only were they not violating any law, their activities were fully within our Constitution rights as U.S. citizens.
In lightning speed, within a matter of three minutes, eight Dearborn police officers surrounded the Christians, ordered them to cease and desist, and then arrested the missionaries.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Police in Dearborn violated the evangelists’ rights.  Amen! USA Today reports that the Court stated that the arrest violated the free-speech rights of a Christian evangelist (George Saieg) by barring him from handing out leaflets at an Arab-American street festival last year.
The Court of Appeals said the restriction was unreasonable, especially when vendors and pedestrians were allowed on sidewalks during the festival. Dearborn and its police department “violated Saieg’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech,” judges Karen Nelson Moore and Eric Clay said. “Absent an injunction, Saieg will continue to suffer irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law.”
Score one for the U.S. Constitution today!  Oh, and the evangelists plan to make an appearance at the next festival coming up on June 17-19. Let’s hope the cops leave them alone this time.
DCG

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