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SIOA FILES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY LAWSUIT AGAINST GOVERNMENT

This is still America and we mean to keep it that way. Hat tip to our founding fathers.

Stop Islamization of America is filing suit against SMART, the government agency that handles advertising for bus ads in Detroit, for refusing to run our religious liberty bus ads. SMART's guidelines guarantee the freedom of speech, and it is clear that our ads were refused because of politically correct dhimmitude and self-censorship for fear of the Muslim community in the Detroit area.

We'll be posting the complaint soon. Robert has more.

This is
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UPDATE: Here
is a pdf of the complaint prepared by the inestimable David Yerushalmi and courageous Thomas More Law Center, keeper of the flame. Read the lawsuit – I posted it after the break. It is a beautiful case for freedom of speech. The language sounds like music

Sioa lawsuit

Plaintiffs American Freedom Defense Initiative (hereinafter referred to as “FDI”),
Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting (“Plaintiffs”), by and through their undersigned counsel,
bring this Complaint against the above-named Defendants, their employees, agents, and
successors in office, and in support thereof allege the following upon information and belief:
INTRODUCTION
1. This case seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental constitutional rights. It is a
civil rights action brought under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging Defendants’ restriction on Plaintiffs’ right to
engage in political and religious speech in a public forum created by Defendants based on the
content and viewpoint of Plaintiffs’ message (hereinafter “Free Speech Restriction”).
Defendants’ Free Speech Restriction prohibited Plaintiffs from displaying advertisements on
SMART buses that travel along major roads and highways throughout various counties in
Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne.
2. Plaintiffs seek a declaration that Defendants violated their clearly established
constitutional rights as set forth in this Complaint; a declaration that Defendants’ Free Speech
Restriction violates the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as set forth in this
Complaint; a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining the enforcement of Defendants’
Free Speech Restriction as set forth in this Complaint; and nominal damages for the past loss of
Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. Plaintiffs also seek an award of reasonable costs of litigation,
including attorneys’ fees and expenses, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and other applicable law.
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 2 of 8
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JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3. This action arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Jurisdiction is conferred on this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.
4. Plaintiffs’ claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are authorized by 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2201 and 2202, by Rules 57 and 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and by the
general legal and equitable powers of this Court. Plaintiffs’ claim for nominal damages is
authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
5. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims occurred in this district.
PLAINTIFFS
6. Plaintiff FDI is an organization that is incorporated under the laws of the State of
New Hampshire. Its “objective is to go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative,
cultural, sociological, and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and
values.”
7. “FDI acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local
government officials, the mainstream media, and others in their capitulation to the global jihad
and Islamic supremacism, the ever-encroaching and unconstitutional power of the federal
government, and the rapidly moving attempts to impose socialism and Marxism upon the
American people.”
8. FDI promotes its political objectives by, inter alia, sponsoring anti-jihad bus and
billboard campaigns, which includes seeking advertising space on SMART vehicles.
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 3 of 8
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9. Plaintiff Pamela Geller is the Executive Director of FDI, and she engages in
political and religious speech through FDI’s activities, including FDI’s anti-jihad bus and
billboard campaigns.
10. Plaintiff Robert Spencer is the Associate Director of FDI, and he engages in
political and religious speech through FDI’s activities, including FDI’s anti-jihad bus and
billboard campaigns.
DEFENDANTS
11. Defendant SMART is a governmental agency. It was created under Michigan
law, and it receives funding from the federal government, the State of Michigan, and the
counties of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne. SMART and its officials are responsible for the
acts, rules, regulations, policies, practices, procedures, and/or customs of SMART, including the
challenged restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech (Free Speech Restriction).
12. Defendant Gary L. Hendrickson, at all times relevant herein, was the Chief
Executive of SMART acting under color of state law. As Chief Executive, Defendant
Hendrickson is responsible for creating, adopting, and enforcing the rules, regulations, policies,
practices, procedures, and/or customs of SMART, including the challenged restriction on
Plaintiffs’ speech (Free Speech Restriction).
13. Defendant John Hertel, at all times relevant herein, was the General Manager of
SMART acting under color of state law. As General Manager, Defendant Hertel is responsible
for creating, adopting, and enforcing the rules, regulations, policies, practices, procedures,
and/or customs of SMART, including the challenged restriction on Plaintiffs’ speech (Free
Speech Restriction).
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 4 of 8
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14. Defendant Beth Gibbons, at all times relevant herein, was the Marketing Program
Manager of SMART acting under color of state law. As Marketing Program Manager,
Defendant Gibbons is responsible for creating, adopting, and enforcing the rules, regulations,
policies, practices, procedures, and/or customs of SMART, including the challenged restriction
on Plaintiffs’ speech (Free Speech Restriction).
STATEMENT OF FACTS
15. As a governmental agency that receives state and federal funds, SMART is
mandated to comply with federal and state laws, including the First and Fourteenth Amendments
to the United States Constitution.
16. According to SMART’s “Advertising Guidelines,” “First Amendment free speech
rights require that SMART not censor free speech and because of that, SMART is required to
provide equal access to advertising on our vehicles.” Consequently, as a matter of official
policy, practice, custom, and/or procedure, SMART has intentionally dedicated its advertising
space on its vehicles to expressive conduct (hereinafter “Free Speech Policy”).
17. Pursuant to its Free Speech Policy, SMART permits a wide variety of
commercial, noncommercial, public-service, public-issue, political, and religious advertisements
on the outside of its vehicles.
18. For example, pursuant to its Free Speech Policy, SMART permitted the Detroit
Area Coalition of Reason, an atheist organization, to place an anti-religion advertisement on its
vehicles. The atheist advertisement stated the following: “Don’t believe in God? You are not
alone.” The advertisement also listed the website (DetroitCoR.org) of the organization. A true
and accurate photograph of this advertisement is attached to this Complaint as Exhibit 1.
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 5 of 8
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19. On or about May 12, 2010, Plaintiffs submitted a request to display an anti-jihad
advertisement on SMART vehicles. Plaintiffs’ advertisement stated the following: “Fatawa on
your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get
answers!” The advertisement also included the following website address:
RefugeFromIslam.com. A true and accurate photograph and a true and accurate image of the
advertisement are attached to this Complaint as Exhibit 2.
20. Plaintiffs’ request to display their advertisement met all of the procedural
requirements established by SMART to display such advertisements on its vehicles. Plaintiffs
entered into a contract through SMART’
s advertising agency, completed all of the requisite
forms, and made all of the requisite payments.
21. On or about May 24, 2010, Defendants denied Plaintiffs’ request and refused to
display Plaintiffs’ advertisement. Defendants’ denied Plaintiffs’ advertisement, and thus denied
Plaintiffs access to a public forum to express their political and religious message, based on the
content and viewpoint expressed by Plaintiffs’ message (Free Speech Restriction).
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Freedom of Speech—First Amendment
(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
22. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate by reference all stated paragraphs.
23. By reason of the aforementioned Free Speech Restriction, created, adopted, and
enforced under color of state law, Defendants have deprived Plaintiffs of their right to engage in
political and religious speech in a public forum in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the
First Amendment as applied to the states and their political subdivisions under the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 6 of 8
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24. Defendants’ Free Speech Restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation
of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
25. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ violation of the Free Speech
Clause of the First Amendment, Plaintiffs have suffered irreparable harm, including the loss of
their constitutional rights, entitling them to declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal
damages.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Equal Protection—Fourteenth Amendment
(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
26. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate by reference all stated paragraphs.
27. By reason of the aforementioned Free Speech Restriction, created, adopted, and
enforced under color of state law, Defendants have unconstitutionally deprived Plaintiffs of the
equal protection of the law guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in that Defendants, through their acts, policies, practices,
procedures, and/or customs, including their Free Speech Restriction, prevented Plaintiffs from
expressing a message based on its content and viewpoint, thereby denying the use of a public
forum to those whose views Defendants find unacceptable.
28. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ violation of the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Plaintiffs have suffered irreparable harm, including the
loss of their constitutional rights, entitling them to declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal
damages.
Case 2:10-cv-12134-DPH-MJH Document 1 Filed 05/27/10 Page 7 of 8
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PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs ask this Court:
A) to declare that Defendants’ Free Speech Restriction violates the First and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as set forth in this Complaint;
B) to preliminarily and permanently enjoin Defendants’ Free Speech Restriction and
its application to Plaintiffs’ speech as set forth in this Complaint;
C) to award Plaintiffs nominal damages for the past loss of their constitutional rights
as set forth in this Complaint;
D) to award Plaintiffs their reasonable attorney fees, costs, and expenses pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1988 and other applicable law; and
E) to grant such other and further relief as this Court should find just and proper.
THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER
/s/ Robert J. Muise
Robert J. Muise, Esq. (P62849)
LAW OFFICES OF DAVID YERUSHALMI, P.C.
/s/ David Yerushalmi
David Yerushalmi, Esq.

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