Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Appeal Sought In Town Board Prayer Case

  
The Greece Post reports: Non profit church-state group Americans United for Separation of Church and State are appealing a decision reached by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Siragusa in August, which declared the opening prayer at Greece town board meetings to be constitutional.

The judge sided with the Town of Greece after two Greece residents, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, argued that explicit christian prayer before each meeting violated the first amendment.

Ayesha Khan, Legal director at Americans United, said the initial ruling was inaccurate.

"We think the trial court made a mistake," said Khan. Appealing the decision, she said, is a chance to get three judges to focus on the precise legal issue.

"We have strong evidence in the first amendment estblishment clause," said Kahn.

Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defense Fund, which represened the town, said he is very confident going forward.

"We thought the judge did a very thorough job. There is absolutely no evidence that the town was discriminatory against anyone," said Oster. "We don't have to rewrite our history because of a special interest group."

Both Oster and Kahn said they expect official oral arguments to be presented in the case by mid 2011.

Anonymous said...

So the town of Greece has no lawyers of its own but pays the lawyers of the Alliance Defense Fund to represent us?

They are not working for free. So a conservative christian organization that has its goal to promote christianity in the government specifically invocations at public meetings is on our contract payroll.

Alliance_Defense_Fund       10/06/2010 10:05 AM

SCATS ~~ You expect DiRaddo to work??? Besides, this is ALL Auberger's "cause."
  

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So the town of Greece has no lawyers of its own but pays the lawyers of the Alliance Defense Fund to represent us?
They are not working for free. So a conservative christian organization that has its goal to promote christianity in the government specifically invocations at public meetings is on our contract payroll.

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Alliance_Defense_Fund

SCATS said...

To 10:05AM ~~ You expect DiRaddo to work??? Besides, this is ALL Auberger's "cause."

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that the Alliance Defense fund was working pro bono . Am i wrong?

SCATS said...

To 11:59AM ~~ It's true they are a non-profit group. However, I see nothing that tells me Greece hasn't had to pay for any of their "services," so I assume we have, even if in the form of some sort of "donation."

What the article fails to mention is that this battle isn't about saying a prayer before the meeting so much as it's about specifically invoking the name of Jesus each time they do so. As I pointed out during last Fall's campaign, Auberger is the "hero" of another group whose mission is to do just that ;)

Anonymous said...

SCATS:

I agree with your assessment. It not about prayer but the attempt to assert a certain form of Fundamentalism associated with Christian supremacy. But in the interests of accuracy it's important we have the facts correct about payments.

SCATS said...

To 1:18PM ~~ I don't disagree with you. I've decided recently that it is up to the Town, school district etc. to enlighten us about the "truth" since they work for us (supposedly). They expect us to prove them wrong when they should know better (like when GCSD breaks their own policy, ignores NYSED laws etc.). Since I can find no evidence either way, let the Town of Greece come forward and show us this was "free," if they care.

Anonymous said...

SCATS' law:

Guilty until proven innocent.

SCATS said...

To 3:43PM ~~ In the Town of Greece, it's police dept. and our infamous school district, that's pretty much held true for awhile now anyway ;) Just ask Rahn, Pignato, Joseph, Schamerhorn, the band teacher, the spa owner and a multitude of others the powers that be have tried (or is it fried?) in the media before their trials.

Anonymous said...

It is not "guilty" unless it is illegal for the town to hire lawyers. That would be a crazy law here where everything is shady. We need lawyers.
The question is when did the town board vote to have prayer before the meetings? When did the town board vote to defend itself from the case against them of praying mostly to one particular religion's deity? And then when did the town vote to have the lawyer for the christian organization represent the town paid or unpaid. The town board members have to uphold the constitution of the US and the state and the laws pertaining to greece. If we are sued it is up to them to settle or fight. In either case they need the advice of counsel that has been approved by the town at a meeting. When did that happen?
Despite the fact that the 2 women still want to appeal, the town could just sit tight and let Siragusa's ruling stand the test of the next court, if it gets that far. There has to be something that was wrong in the proceeding not just that they didn't like the ruling.
If the christian lawyer is getting paid by us, it behooves him to prolong this litigation. The other group also has unlimited funds. It is great publicity for both groups. And we pay the price. If we lose eventually we get to pay their court costs too. Can I have an Amen?

SCATS said...

To 6:22PM ~~ Have you found something ... anything ... that isn't shady in Greece???

Anonymous said...

The trees along Ridge Road West that are dying in the median? They aren't "shady" any more...I wonder how much we paid for them....

SCATS said...

To 8:45PM ~~ Ha ha ha!!! Thanks for the laugh ;)