WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Americans found to have been wronged by the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may sue individual government officials for monetary damages, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a unanimous decision.
Tanzin v. Tanvir concerned three Muslim men, a combination of American citizens and legal residents, who were placed on the federal no-fly list in retaliation for refusing to act as government informants for the FBI, SCOTUSblog reports. They sued, leading to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removing their names from the list, but a lower court ruled they were not entitled to damages under RFRA.
“There is no doubt that damages claims have always been available under §1983 for clearly established violations of the First Amendment,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority. “Given that RFRA reinstated pre-[Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v.] Smith protections and rights, parties suing under RFRA must have at least the same avenues for relief against officials that they would have had before Smith.”
“A damages remedy is not just ‘appropriate’ relief as viewed through the lens of suits against Government employees,” he continued. “It is also the only form of relief that can remedy some RFRA violations. For certain injuries, such as respondents’ wasted plane tickets, effective relief consists of damages, not an injunction.”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed in October, did not participate in the vote as she was not on the court when it heard arguments in the case.
“We’re glad the Supreme Court unanimously emphasized that the government can’t expect to be let off the hook by simply changing its tune at the last second,” Becket Law senior counsel Lori Windham said in support of the ruling. “This is a good decision that makes it easier to hold the government accountable when it violates Americans’ religious liberties.”
By making federal employees potentially liable for the actions of their offices, the ruling could have a deterrent effect in a wide range of religious-freedom cases going forward, such as the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor’s case against being forced to subsidize abortifacients, a threat Democrat Joe Biden has signaled he would revive as president.
PETITION UPDATE (12/12/2020) -
In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case filed by the state of Texas.
PETITION UPDATE (12/11/2020) -
6 states have formally joined Texas in its Supreme Court suit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—four battleground states who ran illegal and unconstitutional elections.
Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah have formally joined Texas and agree that the defendant states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify unlawfully enacting last-minute changes and ignoring both federal and state election laws, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.
While Missouri and 16 other states filed an amicus brief with the Court supporting Texas, 20 other states plus the District of Columbia signed an amicus brief supporting the 4 defendant states.
Please SIGN this petition and STAND with Texas, as the state seeks justice in the 2020 general election for all citizens of the United States.
'6 states formally join Texas in lawsuit defending the security of the 2020 election' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/6-states-formally-join-texas-in-lawsuit-defending-the-security-of-the-2020-election
The state of Texas has filed suit against Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia in the Supreme Court over changes which those states made to their election rules, claiming they violated the U.S. Constitution in the process.
Here is the central part of the argument: if Texas were to allow possible voter fraud to go unchecked in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia, it would be akin to committing fraud upon the people of Texas, who cast their ballots within the framework of the law.
Indeed, this would apply equally to all citizens who voted within the framework of the law across the United States!
Thankfully, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is stepping up to vindicate the right of all Texans - and, all Americans - to have every legal vote be counted.
But, the Supreme Court has only until Thursday morning to either accept or decline hearing the case.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition, now.
The main claim that Texas makes is that Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia violated the Electoral Clause of the U.S. Constitution by changing their election rules on mail-in ballots by executive or judicial action, rather than by action from the legislature.
But, America is a land of laws, and most people play by the rules. Citizens also want our state executives and judiciaries to play by the rules.
Bypassing state legislatures, even during a pandemic, cannot be justifiable as it goes against our system of checks and balances, and, ultimately, as it is the legislatures who have the power, vested by the people, to make determinations about state electoral regulations.
Texas also alleges that the defendant-states further violated the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause by applying different election rules for different parts of their respective states, meaning that election rules were not the same for every citizen of each state.
Texas approached the Supreme Court directly because in disputes between states, the Supreme Court is the court of "first impression." But, the Court only has a limited window to accept or decline hearing the case.
Please SIGN and SHARE this important petition today.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'‘This is the big one’, says Trump of Texas SCOTUS election challenge' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/this-is-the-big-one-says-trump-of-texas-scotus-election-challenge
'Texas asks Supreme Court to toss 4 states’ election results over illegal mail ballots' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/texas-asks-supreme-court-to-toss-4-states-election-results-over-illegal-mail-ballots