HR 2679 now has Senate companion bill, S 3696
I have commented extensively about HR 2679. I have some more comments to add now:
Ed "It's My Way or the Highway" Brayton said in opposition to HR 2679,
Other establishment clause cases involve the use of our tax dollars to pay for public displays for only one religion (Christianity, of course), or involve allowing only Christian groups access to public forums. Now, the STACLU [Stop the ACLU] crowd dismisses cases like that out of hand because, of course, they're in the Christian majority and they get their way. But if a city they lived in decided to use their tax dollars to pay for a Ramadan display but no other, or decided only to allow Muslim or Jewish groups to put up their displays on the grounds of city hall, their tune would change in a millisecond.
That is a straw man argument -- Ed knows very well that it is unlikely in the USA that a city would use tax dollars to pay for a Ramadan display but no other or decide to allow only Muslim or Jewish groups to put up their displays on the grounds of city hall.
Christian fundies are the least likely group to bring an establishment clause lawsuit. Christianity is by far the biggest religion in the USA and Christian fundies are not going to bring lawsuits against government endorsement of or entanglement with Christianity or nonsectarian monotheism. Even when an establishment clause lawsuit is not directed against a particular religious symbol -- e.g., a lawsuit against criticism of evolution in the public schools -- it is usually assumed that Christianity is the main target. Judge Jones was not just trying to protect his own hide when he chose Christianity and not, say, Islam or Judaism as the target of his remarks about the supposed "true religion" of the founding fathers -- he truly felt that Christianity was his main target. So Christian fundies see themselves as having a lot to gain and little or nothing to lose if this bill passes.
Also, as I have said numerous times, I think that a cap on attorney fee awards for both free exercise cases and establishment clause cases would be a better idea, but I think that HR 2679 is much better than nothing. I think that it is too early to speculate about what would be a good fee cap, but even a fairly high cap would be a great reduction compared to the exorbitant amounts that have been awarded, with awards in the range of one-half to one million dollars in establishment clause cases not being uncommon. Also, I think that there should be a basic cap for trial court litigation and caps for supplemental fee awards for any appeals.
Your Congressional representatives may be contacted through the following webpages:
House of Representatives
My previous comments about HR 2679 are in the following articles:
More Ed Brayton lies about HR 2679
Challenge to Ed Brayton and his pals
Hypocritical Ed Brayton still doesn't get it on HR 2679
HR 2679, the bill barring attorney fee awards in establishment clause lawsuits
Is the party almost over for ACLU and AUSCS?
Labels: Attorney fee awards