April 16, 2009
ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that it has filed a federal lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The lawsuit claims that her Department’s “Rightwing Extremism Policy,” as reflected in the recently publicized Intelligence Assessment, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” violates the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of the political beliefs.
|Click image to see view PDF of complaint.|
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham (President of the pro-life organization Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc (CBR)), and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray. The Law Center claims that Napolitano’s Department (DHS) has violated the First and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights of these three plaintiffs by attempting to chill their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims that the Department of Homeland Security encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center stated, “The Obama Administration has declared war on American patriots and our Constitution. The Report even admits that the Department has no specific information on any plans of violence by so-called ‘rightwing extremists.’ Rather, what they do have is the expression of political opinions by certain individuals and organizations that oppose the Obama administration’s policies, and this expression is protected speech under the First Amendment.”
Thompson added, “Janet Napolitano is lying to the American people when she says the Report is not based on ideology or political beliefs. In fact, her report would have the admiration of any current or past dictator in the way it targets political opponents.”
The Report specifically mentions the following political beliefs that law enforcement should use to determine whether someone is a “rightwing extremist”:
• Opposes restrictions on firearms
• Opposes lax immigration
• Opposes the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship and the expansion of social programs
• Opposes continuation of free trade agreements
• Opposes same-sex marriage
• Has paranoia of foreign regimes
• Fear of Communist regimes
• Opposes one world government
• Bemoans the decline of U.S. stature in the world.
• Upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India
• . . . and the list goes on
The Law Center is asking the court to declare that the DHS policy violates the First and Fifth Amendments, to permanently enjoin the Policy and its application to the plaintiffs’ speech and other activities, and to award the plaintiffs their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for having to bring the lawsuit.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.