Tyler & Bursch, LLP
July 25, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Desare Ferraro at 951-600-2733
Ninth Circuit Forbids School Board Invocations and Censors Private Citizens
Chino, CA —Today, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the Chino Valley Unified School District board policy that allows invocations before the start of school board meetings is a violation of the Establishment Clause. The Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals came to a different conclusion in 2017 in American Humanist Association v. McCarty.
The Ninth Circuit further affirms the District Court’s injunction that enjoins the CVUSD school board members “from conducting, permitting or otherwise endorsing school sponsored prayer in Board meetings.”
“This requires the Board to censor or otherwise remove individuals who attempt to say a prayer, or anything that might resemble a prayer, during the public comment period,” said Robert Tyler of Tyler & Burch, LLP and legal counsel for CVUSD. “Such an overbroad injunction is a clear violation of the right of private citizens to address their local representatives in public meetings and is dangerous to the First Amendment.” Footnote 20 of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion makes this point more clear.
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld ceremonial prayer at city council meetings in Town of Greece v Galloway. In that decision, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted the historical significance of such invocations. “Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government…,” Kennedy wrote.
The CVUSD school board will be meeting in the coming weeks to determine its next course of action.
A copy of the Ninth Circuit’s Opinion can be found here.
The Riverside County law firm of Tyler & Bursch, LLP, represents CVUSD, with the support of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a nonprofit legal organization.
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Advocates for Faith & Freedom is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts. The firm, in association with Tyler & Bursch LLP, has represented clients across the country on matters governing land use and religious liberty in the public square.
Riverside County, CA (June 26, 2018) Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of NIFLA and against the Reproductive FACT Act, the California law that would force faith-based pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion.
Back in October 2017 in our case against this law, Scharpen Foundation v. Javier Becerra, a Riverside County Superior Court judge granted an injunction against the State, ruling it infringed upon free speech and therefore was a violation of the California Constitution.
After hearing about today’s concurring Supreme Court ruling, Robert Tyler, General Counsel for Tyler & Bursch’ LLP, commented, “After our victory in state court, and now this victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, our state case should be concluded and the judgment we received in our favor will no longer be subject to appeal by the State Attorney General. The California Legislature, Governor Brown and General Javier Bacerra should recognize this decision as a severe rebuke to their disregard for the Constitution.”
Nada Higuera, the Tyler & Bursch attorney who successfully argued the Scharpen case in Riverside County had this to say about the ruling, “The Supreme Court hit a home run and affirmed the principle that no American should be forced to speak a message that they disagree with. But this is not just a victory for free speech. It is also victory for the countless pregnancy resource centers and the women they serve. It is a victory for life!”
Both Robert Tyler and Nada Higuera will be available for comment and interviews today. Please call or text Desaré Ferraro at 714-348-0808 or email email@example.com.
About Tyler & Bursch, LLP and Advocates for Faith &Freedom: Tyler & Bursch’s attorneys have been serving businesses and individuals throughout Southern California for almost 20 years in federal and state trial courts, courts of appeal and arbitration. Tyler & Bursch provides legal and financial support to their non-profit law firm, Advocates for Faith & Freedom in defense of constitutional and religious liberty.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom Press Release
March 17, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sanada (951) 304-7583
School District Appeals Federal Injunction on School Board Prayer
Chino, CA. Late yesterday, Chino Valley Unified School District filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal from an Order of the United States District Court (Central District) that prohibits the school district and its school board members from continuing to allow a ceremonial prayer at the beginning of its school board meetings.
The school board decided to appeal that portion of the federal court’s order that enjoins the school board’s policy because, as the federal court ruled, the policy of allowing a prayers at the school board meetings “constitute unconstitutional government endorsements of religion in violation of Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights.”
“The District’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit will focus on the issue of whether a school district can continue with the long tradition of allowing a ceremonial prayer at the beginning of school board meetings,” said Robert Tyler, Managing Partner of Tyler & Bursch, LLP and attorney for Chino Valley Unified School District. He further stated, “The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that prayers in Congress date back to the first Continental Congress. The High Court has concluded that the well-established tradition of permitting prayer at beginning of city council meetings, Congress and state legislative sessions does not violate the Establishment Clause. Likewise, the courts should follow the Supreme Court precedent and allow the same to occur at the beginning of school board meetings.”
The school district recently retained the law firm Tyler & Bursch, LLP to represent the school district on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Tyler & Bursch’s services are being provided without charge to the school district. Advocates for Faith & Freedom is working in association with Tyler & Bursch, LLP to help underwrite the costs of the appeal.
Tyler & Bursch, LLP is a “for profit” law firm that dedicates a portion of its legal work to pro bono representation. Its website is www.tylerbursch.com.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of the U.S. Constitution in the courts. You can visit its website at www.faith-freedom.com.
Mobile Pregnancy Clinic Sues State Over New “Bully” Law
Temecula, CA ICU Mobile Riverside County, a mobile medical pregnancy clinic based in Wildomar, Calif., has filed a lawsuit against the California State Attorney General and other appropriate authorities saying the Reproductive Fact Act requiring nonprofit pregnancy care clinics to promote abortion not only violates their religious freedom, but also their free speech and free assembly rights.
ICU Mobile Riverside County is a subsidiary of the Scharpen Foundation, Inc. (“Foundation”), which is a foundation that also does business as and is publicly known as Go Mobile For Life. The organization is licensed by the State as a medical clinic and provides advocacy and free ultrasound services to pregnant women.
The Act was signed into law two months ago by Gov. Jerry Brown after the California Assembly and Senate passed Assembly Bill 775, which forces all licensed pregnancy care clinics to either post prominent signs in their lobbies promoting abortion or to include the information on their websites or clinic literature. The law is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Prolife supporters have opposed the law, calling it the “Bully Bill” because it compels workers to promote a state-mandated message that violates their personal and corporate religious beliefs.
“I will not post that notice in our clinic. I would rather close the clinic than post that notice,” said Scott Scharpen, a volunteer pastor and president of the Foundation. “Now, by law, we are required to provide referral information to a woman for services that we find morally and ethically objectionable, namely abortion.”
Advocates for Faith & Freedom is working with Scharpen and the Foundation’s clinic.
Robert Tyler, General Counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom said: “Article 1, section 2 of the California Constitution provides greater protection for free speech then does the First Amendment. This is why we brought this case in state court as opposed to federal court.” He further stated, “Under the ‘liberty of speech clause’ in the California Constitution, the government has no right to compel individuals or corporations to adopt the government’s view on abortion and has no right to compel them to advertise and promote abortions.”
Advocates for Faith & Freedom, through its legal counsel, Tyler & Bursch, LLP, are seeking a preliminary injunction, which, if granted, will block the law from being implemented while the case is in the court system. They are attempting to have the preliminary injunction heard before the end of the year. A hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction is currently scheduled to occur on December 23, 2015 in Department 07 of the Riverside County Superior Court located at 4050 Main Street, Riverside, Calif.
In the injunction, the Foundation’s attorneys argued that the Reproductive FACT Act is compelled speech in violation of the California Constitution. They additionally argue that the Act does not just compel ICU Mobile Riverside County to speak in a way that may stigmatize its services, but it goes so far as to force the clinic to expressly advance the availability of free abortions, which are contrary to their religious and moral beliefs.
Nada Higuera, co-counsel with Tyler & Bursch, LLP stated, “As a woman, this case is important to me because the services offered by ICU Mobile provide hope and real help to women who need it. It is frightening that our government is forcing ICU Mobile, a pro-life organization, to advance abortion.”
A copy of the complaint filed by Tyler & Bursch, LLP can be found here, while a copy of the preliminary injunction can viewed here.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts and is providing support to the law firm Tyler & Bursch, LLP. The law firm services are being provided pro bono. The website for Advocates for Faith & Freedom is www.faith-freedom.com.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom Press Release September 8, 2014FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Victor Bermudez or Lori Sanada (888) 588-6888
Is Jesus Allowed In School? Advocates for Faith & Freedom Files Suit
West Covina, CA. Advocates for Faith & Freedom filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Monday, September 8th 2014. The federal complaint comes after the parents of Isaiah Martinez felt their son’s right to freedom of religious speech was revoked in his classroom. Read More
Contact: Lori Sanada (951) 500-7854, (888) 588-6888
Teacher to First Grader: You’re not allowed to talk about the Bible in school
Temecula, CA., First grader Brynn Williams’ presentation of her family’s Star of Bethlehem was shut down because she’s “not allowed to talk about the Bible in school.”
Brynn’s incident at Temecula Valley Unified School District comes on the heels of a candy cane case involving West Covina Unified School District first grader Isaiah Martinez who was told, “Jesus is not allowed in school.” A copy of that press release was sent out by Advocates for Faith & Freedom last week and may be found here. Read More
Murrieta, CA. On Tuesday, August 13, Superior Court Judge Timothy Freer found two men “not guilty” after they were charged and tried for reading the Bible aloud in front of a line of people waiting to enter the DMV in Hemet, California.One of them is a Pastor Bret Coronado of Reconciled Christian Fellowship in Hemet, California and the other is an elder of the church.
Today, the case of two men arrested while reading the Bible – out loud and in public – is going to trial, over a year after the events transpired. One of them is a Pastor Bret Coronado of Reconciled Christian Fellowship in Hemet, California.
Two Christians Prosecuted for Reading the Bible in Public
Murrieta, CA. Yesterday, a trial court in Riverside County, California, heard arguments why the prosecution’s case should be dismissed in the case of People v. Brett Coronado. Advocates for Faith & Freedom are defending Pastor Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey on misdemeanor charges after they were arrested in front of a California DMV while Mr. Mackey was reading the Bible out loud. The incident took place on February 2, 2011, in front of a group waiting for the DMV to open for business. Read More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sanada (951) 304-7583 weekdays,
(951) 500-7854 weekends and evenings
San Francisco, CA. Today, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals decided that the people of California had no right to pass an initiative that limits marriage to one man and one woman. At the same time, the Court of Appeals denied a petition to intervene that was filed by Chuck Storey, County Clerk for the County of Imperial.