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posted by martyb on Thursday April 13 2017, @01:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the it-is-not-the-law...-yet dept.

Alabama lawmakers have voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a police department. The church has over 4,000 members and is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers:

"After the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the wake of similar assaults at churches and schools, Briarwood recognized the need to provide qualified first responders to coordinate with local law enforcement," church administrator Matt Moore said in a statement, referring to the mass murder of 20 first graders and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a deranged man with an AR-15 style rifle just before Christmas 2012. "The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests." The church would pay the bill for its officers.

[...] "It's our view this would plainly be unconstitutional," Randall Marshall, the ACLU's Acting Executive Director, told NBC News. In a memo to the legislature, Marshall said they believe the bills "violate the First Amendment or the U.S. Constitution and, if enacted, would not survive a legal challenge." "Vesting state police powers in a church police force violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," his memo states. "These bills unnecessarily carve out special programs for religious organizations and inextricably intertwine state authority and power with church operations."


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  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:15AM (6 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:15AM (#493214)

    Are conservatives being prevented from speaking on college campuses?
    The ACLU doesn't care.

    Actually, the ACLU has made the right noises in support of banned speakers on campuses. Did they airdrop lawyers in? No. So give them a half-assed C for at least making a nominal effort to uphold their stated principles when it hurt the Narrative.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:08AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:08AM (#493245)

    Did they airdrop lawyers in? No.

    Once again juhmoris proves himself to be a liar:

    Defending Freedom of Speech for Everyone, ACLU Sues UCSD to Enforce First Amendment Rights of the Student Press [aclu.org]

    June 1, 2016

    Acknowledging that speech may sometimes provoke and offend, the San Diego ACLU filed a lawsuit today against UCSD administrators to enforce core First Amendment rules against targeting the press or taking action based on the viewpoint of speech.

    The Koala publishes a satirical newspaper that routinely provokes outrage and offense. In response to a Koala article mocking “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces,” UCSD’s student government eliminated all funding for student media.

    ACLU Sues District Over Barring Anti-Islamic Shirts [campussafetymagazine.com]

    November 29, 2009

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a federal lawsuit Nov. 23 against the Alachua County School District charging that school administrators unlawfully censored students’ free speech on multiple occasions when high school, middle school and elementary school students were suspended and/or threatened with suspension for wearing t-shirts promoting their religious beliefs about Christianity and Islam in school and at school events earlier this school year.

    And they've been doing so for decades.

    This boy's lawsuit: Alan Newsom's $150,000 t-shirt [readthehook.com]
      Thursday Jan 29th, 2004

    Alan Newsom looks like a pretty typical 13-year-old. He wears standard eighth-grade garb– the backwards baseball cap, baggy, low-slung jeans, and a t-shirt.

    It's the latter item of apparel that propelled Newsom into court and provoked a precedent-setting decision on school policy and the First Amendment.

    Two years ago, when he was in the sixth grade at Jack Jouett Middle School, Newsom spent the weekend at an NRA Shooting Sports Camp learning about rifle target shooting and gun safety. Jazzed about the camp, he wore its bright purple t-shirt to school on April 29, 2002.

    But once he got there, he was asked to remove it. That request led to a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board, the superintendent, and principals at Jouett. Backed by NRA legal muscle, Newsom claimed his First Amendment rights had been violated and sued for $150,000.

    The two sides lined up amicus briefs. Those agreeing with Alan's First Amendment argument included the ACLU of Virginia and the state attorney general's office, which noted that the school's policy would ban many Virginia symbols, such as the state seal (with its semi-nude female warrior holding a spear), and UVA's crossed-saber sports logo.

    Iota Xi v. GMU, 1992 [gmu.edu]

    United States Court of Appeals,
    Fourth Circuit.

    Victor Michael Glasberg, Victor M. Glasberg & Associates, Alexandria, VA, argued, Jeanne Goldberg, Victor M. Glasberg & Associates, Alexandria, VA, Michael P. McDonald, Center for Individual Rights, Washington, DC, Stephen B. Pershing, ACLU of Virginia, Richmond, VA, for plaintiffs-appellees.

    ...
      Sigma Chi has for two years held an annual "Derby Days" event, planned and conducted both as entertainment and as a source of funds for donations to charity. The "ugly woman contest," held on April 4, 1991, was one of the "Derby Days" events. The Fraternity staged the contest in the cafeteria of the student union. As part of the contest, eighteen Fraternity members were assigned to one of six sorority teams cooperating in the events. The involved Fraternity members appeared in the contest dressed as caricatures of different types of women, including one member dressed as an offensive caricature of a black woman. He was painted black and wore stringy, black hair decorated with curlers, and his outfit was stuffed with pillows to exaggerate a woman's breasts and buttocks. He spoke in slang to parody African-Americans.
    ...

    Conservative lawmaker, ACLU back ban on campus curbs on 'hate speech' [baltimoresun.com]
    March 13, 1991

    With ACLU leaders standing at his side at a news conference, the Illinois lawmaker denounced what he called a wave of "thought control" on an increasing number of campuses in response to a rising incidence of student verbal attacks on blacks, Jews, Asians, women, the disabled and gays.

    He said such attacks were "deplorable" and commented that "I don't think people should make hate or racist comments." But, ZTC he said, the time had come to ensure free speech rights on all campuses when they get federal funds.

    Nadine Strossen, ACLU president, said the Hyde bill would provide "a means to challenge efforts at enforced orthodoxy."

    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by jmorris on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:32AM (4 children)

      by jmorris (4844) on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:32AM (#493252)

      Ok, fair enough. Hadn't seen those so good on them! However I knew they used to be more aggressive defending the rights of anyone. I was thinking of the recent big splashy cases where they said the right stuff but didn't do more, letting organizations like FIRE do the actual work. And did you notice that you only found the one example from Obama's election forward to now? And it was defending a student newspaper, not a high profile speaker. When UC Berkley went up in flames to shut Milo up, where was their lawyer drop? How about any of the other speakers being silenced in the $current_year? Do you see -anything- on aclu.org right now that isn't perfectly aligned with the Democratic Party's agenda?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:21AM (#493286)

        When UC Berkley went up in flames to shut Milo up, where was their lawyer drop?

        Just who exactly do you think the ACLU should be suing, the rioters? What specific policy was the cause of the 'flames?'

        How about any of the other speakers being silenced in the $current_year?

        Yeah, more vagueness. Name one of these speakers that was silenced. Not disinvited after protest but still free to stand in the quad and say their shit, actually silenced.

        I don't think you really understand what the ACLU does, they are just a generic liberal boogeyman to you. How come they don't live up to your strawman expectations? Because they are strawman expectations.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Magic Oddball on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:30AM (1 child)

        by Magic Oddball (3847) on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:30AM (#493289) Journal

        It would've made no sense for the ACLU to be involved in the UC Berkeley case, as the campus had fully backed his right to appear and had provided campus security (who also acted as armed escorts to & from the location). He was in the student union building waiting to speak when masked anarchists (who have become a huge problem at Bay Area protests) showed up at the peaceful student protest outside and essentially began rioting — smashed the student union's massive windows, threw fireworks, etc. They evacuated him for safety reasons at that point, put the whole campus on "shelter in place" lockdown and called in help from local police & other campuses.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @08:56AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @08:56AM (#493308)

          So. What you are saying is. Its all the ACLU's fault and they should sue themselves into non-existence?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:40PM (#493404)

        This is why we denigrate you jLo, you are proven to be incredibly wrong about the ACLU but you double down with a more recent story that doesn't really apply. At least you acknowledged the ACLU did defend conservatives, but that doesn't stop you from trying to land your original point. Brainwashed fool.