Bill Allows ACLU To File Frivolous Lawsuits - And Reply

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A relatively obscure bill from 1976 (42 USC Sect 1988) allows attorneys
in cases alleging civil rights abuses to collect their fees from the
government in cases in which they prevail. The laudible purpose of the
bill was to protect victims who could not otherwise afford to sue.

The unintended consequence was to allow the ACLU to file frivolous
lawsuits against government entities and, at the disgression of liberal
judges, to have their fees paid by the government. This means that in
the lawsuit to prohibit the State of Tennessee from allowing special
pro-life license plates, the ACLU could conceivably collect legal fees
from THE TAXPAYERS of Tennesse, even if their attorneys agreed to work on
a pro bono basis. Hamilton County was forced to pay $38,000.00 to the
ACLU in the case involving the Removal of the Ten Commandments from
County property.

Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind, has introduced H.R. 3609 to amend the law
referenced above which the ACLU uses continually to attack revered
institutions of American life. I call on all loyal citizens to recognize and oppose the abuses of the ACLU by writing your congressional
representatives in support of H.R. 3609.

Arlen Morgan
Tennessee Avenue

* * *

Arlen Morgan would blame the ACLU for Hamilton County's legal thrashing in the Ten Commandments fiasco. Remember that we picked that fight by embarking on a legal kamikase crusade.

Several County Commisioners thought they could pick up easy political points using the approach tried by the activist Judge Roy Moore in Alabama. Our "courageous" commissioners assured us that the good Christians of the county would pick up the tab. When time came to pay the bills, the collection plate was less than full. Lord, save us from ourselves.

Gary Tester
East Ridge

* * *

To Gary Tester

I was gratified to receive a response to my most recent letter regarding
the ACLU (the previous two were sent only to the Chattanooga Times Free

It was obvious, however, that you focused like a laser beam on your own
"pet peeve" and missed the larger point of the opinion piece. In so
doing, you mischaracterized my comment about the case in Hamilton County, reading into my one sentence in that regard a meaning that simply wasn't there. It is not the fact that the county became embroiled in a suit it was destined to lose that I was blaming on the ACLU.

Your point about the Hamilton County Commissioners miscalulating the
political gains in fighting the ACLU in that case is well taken. You
nevertheless ignore the larger problem which Rep. Hostettler attempts to address with H.R. 3609. Please understand the facts I referenced and respond to my real intent.

Arlen Morgan

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