Ruling makes defending religious liberty costly
A faith-based legal group that works pro bono on a regular basis hopes to see legislation ushered in that will discourage awarding of legal fees – win or lose – so that Christians will not need deep pockets to defend their religious liberty in court.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) – an atheist group with an agenda to remove all semblances of Christianity from public schools – sued Valley Junior-Senior High School in Pennsylvania on behalf of a parent, seeking the removal of a Ten Commandments monument.
The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case after a federal judge ruled that the mother did not have standing because her daughter no longer attended the Pennsylvania school.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver disagrees with the Third Circuit’s ruling.
“I think the lower court was right,” Staver expressed. “The problem is that we have judges that come to a result orientation without following the law.”
Staver announced that he is working on legislation that would eliminate the attorney fees being awarded to the prevailing party – in this case FFRF.
“I think that will stop a lot of this,” the Christian legal expert continued. “That will mean that if they get threatened by Freedom From Religion Foundation or the ACLU – even if they were to lose – they would not have to pay attorney’s fees … so we can come in and offer to represent them at no cost. But they also have no cost if they lose.”
The Tribune-Review reports that the school’s insurance company will have to pay more than $163,000 in legal fees, — including the $40,000 that will go to FFRF – money that comes out of taxpayers’ pockets.
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