Another team of LGBT campaigners suing the government’s plan to have only qualified candidates serve in the U.S. military – specifically those not suffering from gender dysphoria – is attacking several Christian organizations not party to the lawsuit.
The issue is that the Trump administration reversed President Obama’s order to allow transgendered persons to serve in the military, pointing out, among other things, the massive medical costs of transgenderism and the fact that they would not be deployable for much of their term of service.
Lawsuits followed, and the plaintiffs in at least two cases have successfully asked courts to subpoena private groups not involved in the cases for a wide range of their private communications.
WND reported a week ago on demands from plaintiffs in the case Doe vs. Donald Trump, the GLBTQ Legal Advocate and Defenders and National Center for Lesbian rights.
Now plaintiffs in a second lawsuit, Karnoski v. Trump, have done the same thing.
Liberty Counsel has responded on behalf of itself and the Family Research Council, contending such demands violate the Constitution.
“We will not be bullied,” Liberty Counsel said after the first demand. But the second was even more far-reaching.
The demand from the LGBT campaigners includes every document, conversation, note and “thought” concerning anything to do with “transgender” people on any topic or issue related to government policy, the organization said.
The demand is “clearly unrelated to the lawsuit that is challenging only the transgender military policy and is astoundingly broad,” Liberty Counsel said.
It also includes every single document, email and communication between Liberty Counsel, FRC and President Trump and his office, the vice president and his office, and others.
Liberty Counsel has filed an an objection to the second demand that is similar to the response to the first.
“The subpoena seeks information from Liberty Counsel and FRC which violates the First Amendment, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and civil procedure rules,” the legal team said.
“Liberty Counsel and FRC have a fundamental First Amendment right to petition the government, to associate with like-mined individuals and organizations, and to engage in protected speech to advocate for their respective missions.”
The LGBT campaigners are demanding “every single document, email, and communication between Liberty Counsel, FRC and the following: President Donald Trump, his office, Vice President Mike Pence, or his office, and any employee of the Department of Defense, which is the largest employer in the government and includes about 1.3 million active-duty soldiers.”
Liberty Counsel said the case is “retaliation for military policy with which these individuals and groups disagree.”
“LGBT activists are abusing subpoena power to deliberately harass pro-faith and pro-family groups like Liberty Counsel and FRC that are not in any way related to the lawsuit,” Liberty Counsel said.
“This new subpoena is outrageous because it even requests ‘conversations’ on any topic related to LGBT issues,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The LGBT activists essentially want to be brought into any conversation pro-family groups have on the topic of LGBT issues. This is an abuse of the legal system, and the plaintiffs should be sanctioned for their harassment. There is no legal basis for such a breathtakingly broad subpoena. It directly challenges our Constitutional protections and is solely designed to harass and intimidate. We will not be bullied.”
If there are communications that are pertinent, the plaintiffs must ask the defendants, the objection explains.
“Dragging Liberty Counsel and FRC into court disputes to obtain constitutionally privileged information is unwarranted and unlawful. Plaintiffs’ attempt to obtain constitutionally privileged information from Liberty Counsel and FRC is precisely the type of maneuver rejected by courts across the nation.”
The previous demand was a little less expansive, but no less illegal, Liberty Counsel said, calling for those who filed the documents to be sanctioned.
“We will not be bullied or intimidated. This unbelievable invasion of privacy must be exposed and fought, not just for our organization, but to protect the right for anyone to freely communicate with their political or military leaders,” said Staver.