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Leave It To The Liberals

July 24, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By MIKE MANNO

Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, is a faith-based nonprofit that provides shelter for homeless and abused women. The Hope Center also maintains a church on its premises.
Last February, while the center was full, an intoxicated man who “identifies” as a woman was denied admission to the center after being expelled from another homeless shelter for fighting. The center did provide the individual with cab fare to a local hospital to treat his injuries. Besides space, the center was also concerned about the effect the presence an intoxicated man might have on the battered women it sheltered.
Notwithstanding any of that, the individual then filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission claiming that “she” was denied admittance because of “his” gender identity.
Naturally, the commission, as all bureaucracies do, decided to investigate, and then filed charges against the Hope Center. The shelter then engaged Kevin Clarkson from a local law firm to represent it before the commission. Not surprisingly, the nature of the charges against the nonprofit women’s shelter raised some eyebrows and generated coverage by the local news media.
When reporters called Clarkson for comment, he explained that as a religious organization Hope Center does not house biological men because if it did so it might traumatize and present safety risks for the battered women housed there, who had already suffered from domestic violence. Sounds reasonable enough; complaint made, complaint responded to by counsel. No big news, except in the local area.
But wait, as they say in the infomercials, there’s more.
Enter one Pamela Basler, executive director of the Equal Rights Commission, who then filed charges against Attorney Clarkson and his firm for violating local speech ordinances, forcing the firm to withdraw from representing Hope Center. It seems that Basler took offense, not only that Hope was being represented, but that its attorney had the gall to answer a reporter’s inquiry by giving his client’s side. Apparently she must have already “convicted” Hope and was now going to punish its legal team.
Shades of Dick the Butcher — “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” (Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2).
Obviously, for an entrenched liberal bureaucrat, giving Hope an opportunity to defend itself is too much to bear. Thus it became necessary to attack its defenders.
Now enters First Liberty, a major legal organization defending religious freedom, on behalf of Hope’s law firm. It has filed a petition to dismiss the complaint, stating: “Not only are the ordinances at issue inapplicable, they are unconstitutional…and are unconstitutional content- and viewpoint-based restrictions both facially and as applied…violating [the firm’s] First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly.”
First Liberty contends that the attorneys are immune from liability for statements made in furtherance of their representation of a client; and that the commission has no legal authority under existing Alaska law to pursue such a matter.
In a statement, First Liberty says, “the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission is preventing an attorney from zealously advocating for his client by ignoring widely recognized protections for the attorney-client relationship, bringing charges against [Hope] and its attorneys beyond its legal jurisdiction, and is violating the First Amendment rights of the attorney and client.”
We have yet to find out if the commission will now charge First Liberty. Liberal insanity on the loose, stay tuned.

The Marquette Warrior

In my March 29 column I related the story of Dr. John McAdams, a professor at the Jesuit-run Marquette University, who was being fired over a blog post criticizing a teaching fellow for blatantly criticizing the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage.
As the story went, an undergrad student asked during a classroom discussion if a specific theory of justice might be used to resolve the dispute over same-sex marriage. The discussion was not allowed because the instructor deemed there could be no discussion about same-sex marriage, “[T]here are some opinions that are not appropriate that are harmful, such as racist opinions, [and] sexist opinions….”
After the student took the story to McAdams, the professor wrote on his campus blog, The Marquette Warrior, taking the instructor to task for using the liberal tactic of denying legitimacy of opinions with which they disagree. “How many students . . . simply stifle their disagreement, or worst yet get indoctrinated into the views of the instructor, since those are the only ideas allowed?” he asked.
The Jesuits apparently took offense at all of this and ultimately a faculty committee suspended McAdams until he publicly apologized. Not to be outdone, the university president banned McAdams from the campus, stating that his presence on campus would be a threat to public safety. The professor sued and the lower courts ruled against him. Not surprisingly, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities weighed in on the side of Marquette. McAdams appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on April 19.
This month the Wisconsin high court ruled 4-2 in favor of McAdams; it ordered Marquette to immediately reinstate him and sent the case back to the lower court to determine damages. “The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” said Justice Daniel Kelly, writing for the majority.
McAdams’ attorney said that all the professor wanted to do was to teach “without having to compromise his principles.” Marquette issued a statement saying, “At Marquette University, we are proud that we have taken a stand for our students, our values, and our Catholic, Jesuit mission.”
McAdams is now working on a book titled Sixty Politically Incorrect Things You Should Know.
Of course, both these cases show the liberal propensity to curb speech with which they disagree.
But the liberal snowflakes at Marquette do have some good news to warm the cockles of their young hearts: The university has just recognized a student organization for the promotion of abortion and homosexuality.
“It’s normal and okay to have an abortion,” says the club, Marquette Empowerment.
And so it goes. . . .
(You can contact Mike at DeaconMike@q.com.)

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