Thursday, July 14, 2005

"We View Litigation As A Last Resort"

So says ACLU's West Virginia executive director, Andrew Schneider. But, intimidation is the ACLU's first resort. He forgot to mention that...

Clay County, West Virginia Courthouse has become one of the newest Ten Commandments news items. Nearly 200 county residents attended a meeting of the County Commissioner's to decide whether to leave up a plaque of the Ten Commandments or bring it down. Why? Because two county residents thought the Ten Commandments should go and utilized the ACLU cards they carried, calling in the ACLU to back them up with threat of a lawsuit if the plaque was not retired.

Said Andy Waddell, a county resident and an admitted ACLU member, of the plaque, "it's scary" that Clay County places more weight in the Ten Commandments than Supreme Court rulings.
Last October, the American Civil Liberties Union, which Waddell is a member of, sent a letter to the commission stating that if the plaque was not removed, there could be legal action.

Prompted by the letter and recent rulings of the Supreme Court Clay County Commissioners decided to put the vote to the people, as to whether the Ten Commandments should continue to hang along side several historical documents, including the Bill of Rights. The vote was nearly 40 to 1 in favor of leaving the Ten Commandments hang in the Courthouse. (And told the ACLU, by this action, to go hang themselves).
The ACLU's West Virginia executive director, Andrew Schneider, said Wednesday that the group was still considering a lawsuit but has not filed one. "It's not as if we haven't decided that the Ten Commandments plaque in the county commission room of Clay County is violating the law. . . . We are only considering how to deal with that violation," Schneider said. "We view litigation as a last resort."

Intimidation is nothing new to the ACLU. The following was written in 1989:
"And considering the fact that the ACLU no longer has to take many of its cases before the bench - its influence is so great that even a threat of a lawsuit is often enough to change policies, reshape legislation, and redirect priorities in case after case - those achievements are even more remarkable." (Trial and Error - The American Civil Liberties Union and its Impact on Your Family, George Grant, p.28, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc. (1st. ed. 1989)

How well does intimidation pay? The ACLU bragged themselves,
“In 1978, the national ACLU's annual income was $3.9 million and the organization ran a small deficit. By 1999, annual income was an off-the-charts $45 million. The endowment fund has gone from $780,000 to a whopping $41 million. ” (ACLU National Director Retires for Much More Freedom, Robyn E. Blumner, St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 3, 2000)

The residents of Clay County, West Virginia have spoken. They have been intimidated, but stand firm in their convictions and have shown their choice through the democratic process of voting. The majority will not be intimidated by the minority in this matter, and as far as the ACLU is concerned, Clay County residents have sent a clear message - they will not be intimidated by a threat of litigation.

cross posted at Crosses aCross America

posted by Is It Just Me? at 11:19 PM