On Alert: ADF Attorneys Seek Opportunities to Protect Your Liberty
- By Alan Sears
- Posted May 23, 2012
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It’s often been said that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The Alliance Defense Fund is committed to maintaining that vigilance for you nationwide and around the world, as we remain on the alert for opportunities to defend the religious freedom of people of faith and to take on cases that can make a long-range, long-term impact on the American legal system.
In Denver, for instance, ADF staff and allied attorneys filed a brief late last month with the Colorado Court of Appeals in defense of a Douglas County voucher program that pays for students who attend “private school partners” rather than government-run schools. Our friend-of-the-court brief –filed along with local attorney Stuart Lark on behalf of the Association of Christian Schools International, the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, Shepherd of the Hills Christian School, Southeast Christian School, and Valor Christian High School – counters a lawsuit attacking the voucher program for including private religious schools.
Then, on May 3, our attorneys sent 40 letters to schools in 23 states now maintaining policies that violate the First Amendment-protected rights of students. The mailing is part of an ongoing legal effort to change unconstitutional policies at more than 160 public universities and colleges.
Those problematic policies include speech codes, speech zones, efforts to force student clubs to accept voting members and officers who disagree with the clubs’ beliefs, and directives allowing non-religious student groups but excluding religious student groups from using activity fees that all students are required to pay for. (One North Carolina school, Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, has already agreed to modify its policies in the wake of the ADF letter.)
Meanwhile, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, ADF attorneys have offered to defend a 91-year-old World War I and II memorial cross at no charge against an atheist group threatening to sue to have the cross removed. Some 150 citizens and officials attended a May 2 rally to show their support for the memorial, which stands in the parking lot of the town’s fire station.
The offer of free legal defense – made possible through your support – is in line with ongoing ADF efforts nationwide to affirm constitutional protections for veterans’ memorials, including California’s Mojave Cross Memorial and Mount Soledad Veterans’ Memorial, and the World Trade Center Cross of the National September 11 Memorial, now under attack in New York.
And, in Honolulu, a federal judge has ruled that ADF attorneys representing Hawaii Family Forum can intervene and defend against a legal attack on the state’s marriage laws – a lawsuit seeking to redefine marriage. This move by ADF attorneys mirrors our intervention, as part of the legal team for ProtectMarriage.com in California, to defend that state’s constitutional marriage amendment after the governor and other officials there refused to defend it.
Across America, ADF staff and allied attorneys are working diligently to find effective ways to stand with you in defending marriage and veterans’ memorials, protecting religious freedom on campus, securing parents’ right to a private Christian education for their children, and in a thousand other ways keep a door open for the spread of the Gospel. Please join me in praying faithfully for their efforts.
Author: Alan Sears