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.
Hemet, CA. On February 2, 2011, one assistant pastor and two elders from Calvary Chapel of Hemet, California, went to the Hemet DMV before it opened and one of the men started to read the Bible aloud. Less than thirty minutes later, he was arrested for “impeding an open business” under Penal Code Section 602.1(b). Read More
San Francisco, CA. Today, Advocates for Faith & Freedom filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the newly elected County Clerk for the County of Imperial, Chuck Storey, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the defense of Proposition 8, the voter-backed initiative that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Read More