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Tag Archive | "Judge"

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Creeping Christian Law: ‘Year Of The Bible’ Lawsuit Dismissed By Pennsylvania Judge

Posted on 04 October 2012 by Garibaldi

I don’t mind this resolution for a “Year of the Bible” and I doubt most people care about it being passed, but the judge does make an interesting point about how it is at worst “political pandering,”

“At worst, (the Bible resolution) is premeditated pandering designed to provide a re-election sound-bite for use by members of the General Assembly,” Conner wrote.

Hat tip for this article goes to JD, who asks, “is this a form of creeping Christian Sharia?”

‘Year Of The Bible’ Lawsuit Dismissed By Pennsylvania Judge

(Huffington Post)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) A federal judge on Monday (Oct. 1) dismissed a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that challenged a “Year of the Bible” resolution passed early this year by Pennsylvania lawmakers.

Yet U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner also questioned whether the resolution should have been adopted at all. The nonbinding resolution, introduced by state Rep. Rick Saccone, urges Pennsylvanians to read the Bible during 2012.

The judge dismissed the suit by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation after concluding that House members have “absolute legislative immunity” in passing such measures.

Conner emphasized, however, that his decision to grant immunity “should not be viewed as judicial endorsement for this resolution. It most certainly is not.”

“At worst, (the Bible resolution) is premeditated pandering designed to provide a re-election sound-bite for use by members of the General Assembly,” Conner wrote.

He called the resolution’s language “proselytizing and exclusionary,” and said the measure “pushes the envelope” of the separation of church and state.

“At a time when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania faces massive public policy challenges, these (government) resources would be far better utilized in meaningful legislative efforts for the benefit of all of the citizens of the commonwealth, regardless of their religious beliefs.”

Saccone, a Republican from the southwest corner of the state, praised the dismissal of the suit, but called Conner’s assertion that the resolution butts against constitutional religious freedom protections “nonsense.”

“This has been done hundreds of times,” he said. “We have a National Day of Prayer. ‘In God we Trust’ is on our money.”

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, called the outcome of the case a “Pyrrhic victory for the Legislature,” given Conner’s criticism of the resolution.

The judge’s comments about the case “are exactly what we think,” Gaylor said. “I hate to lose a lawsuit, but this is kind of a silver lining in it.”

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County Appeals Judge’s Ruling On Mosque Approval

Posted on 24 June 2012 by Emperor

The long road to completion for the Murfreesboro mosque:

County Appeals Judge’s Ruling On Mosque Approval

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – Rutherford County officials are appealing a judge’s ruling that voided the construction approval for a local mosque.

Chancellor Robert Corlew last month ruled that the county violated Tennessee’s Sunshine Law by not providing sufficient notice for the May 2010 meeting where the mosque was approved.

County attorneys argued that officials followed their standard procedure for informing the public of that meeting.

In his ruling, Corlew implied that they should have taken additional steps because of the intense public interest in the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

On Thursday, county attorneys filed a notice of appeal.

In the notice, they question whether requiring a different standard of public notice for the mosque is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee Constitution.

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Oklahoma: Judge Extends Ban on Anti-Sharia Measure

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Garibaldi

The real threat to Oklahoma?

The federal judge presiding over the sharia ban case in Oklahoma has decided to extend the TRO on a new Constitutional amendment banning Sharia in Oklahoma

Judge Extends Ban on Anti-Shariah Measure

By ANNIE YOUDERIAN

(CN) – A federal judge in Oklahoma said she needed another week to decide if the state’s new constitutional amendment barring courts from recognizing Shariah, or Islamic law, discriminates against Muslims.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange extended her Nov. 9 temporary restraining order blocking the results of the Nov. 2 referendum, in which 70 percent of voters passed the anti-Shariah amendment.
The amendment directs courts to “rely on federal and state law when deciding cases” and bars them “from considering or using Shariah law.
Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had asked the judge for an order barring state officials from certifying the elections results.
He called the amendment “ridiculous” and a “gross transgression of the Establishment Clause,” as it could void his will and other legal contracts between Muslims, though courts are allowed to consider the traditions of other religions. He noted that no other state constitution “attaches special burdens on a religious tradition.”
“Indeed, the only interest consistent with both the language and operation of the Shariah Ban is an interest in harming an unpopular minority,” he argued in hismotion for a preliminary injunction.
“The goal was to stigmatize Islam by establishing in the public’s mind that Islam is something foreign and to be feared,” he said.
In issuing the temporary restraining order, Judge Miles-LaGrange said Awad “has made a preliminary showing” that the amendment “is not facially neutral, discriminates against a specific religious belief, and prohibits conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons.”
On Monday, she extended her order to Nov. 29.

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Judge refuses to stop construction of Tenn. mosque

Posted on 19 November 2010 by Emperor

Will the loons accept the verdict or resort to violence?

Judge refuses to stop construction of Tenn. mosque

A judge refused Wednesday to stop construction of a proposed mosque in Tennessee that was opposed by some local residents who tried to argue that there was a conspiracy by Muslims to impose extremist law on the United States.

Opponents filed a lawsuit claiming that Rutherford County planning officials violated Tennessee’s open meetings law when they approved the site plan for an Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.

Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew ruled after closing arguments that he could not find that the “county acted illegally, arbitrarily or capriciously” in approving the plan.

But much of the questioning from plaintiffs’ attorney Joe Brandon Jr. during seven days of testimony since late September was about whether Islam qualified as a religion. He pushed his theory that American Muslims want to replace the Constitution with extremist Islamic law.

Corlew said there was some concern about the public notice requirements and suggested county or state officials look at those requirements. But he said the court did not find that members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro adhered to extremist religious ideas.

Mosque leaders want to expand their facilities to accommodate a growing congregation and currently the proposed site is being prepared but no construction has started. Federal investigators are looking into a dump truck that was set on fire at the construction site earlier this year and twice the sign announcing the future site of the new Islamic center was vandalized.

Brandon had his hands on his face and at times was bent over the desk during the judge’s ruling. Afterward he briskly walked out of the courtroom without addressing the media.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who opposes the mosque but was not among the plaintiffs, said the plaintiffs are disappointed with the judge’s decision. However, she said the judge did recognize some of their concerns regarding notification of public meetings.

“We felt like the judge did hear us on those issues,” she said.

During the testimony, witnesses pointed out that Islamic Center of Murfreesboro board member Mosaad Rowash previously had pro-Hamas postings on his MySpace page, something the mosque’s leaders have not denied. The U.S. government considers Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic political party with an armed wing that has attacked Israel, a terrorist organization.

But Corlew said the actions of individuals associated with the mosque was poor judgment.

Brandon said before the ruling that the dispute would continue, however the judge rules. “If the court rules against us, we’re not going to stop,” he said.

Cardoza-Moore said the legal team would meet with the plaintiffs to decide the next course of action.

Jim Cope, the attorney for the county, said they will be prepared for any further challenges.

“We will continue to defend the county’s rights and interests in seeing the actions that we took were upheld appropriately,” he said.

Layla Hantouli, a 22-year-old Muslim woman who has been following the testimony, was glad the judge ruled against the mosque opponents.

“The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is not promoting anything violent or anything unlawful,” she said.

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