The Becket Fund has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the citizen John Doe whistleblowers targeted by the flying imams:
Today the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will file an amicus brief asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to dismiss all claims against the unnamed defendants (“John Does”) who reported the suspicious activity of six imams aboard a US Airways Flight in November. The brief argues that to allow the suit to go forward against the Does would result in a chilling effect, lessening the likelihood that similar activity would be reported in the future and potentially endangering the lives of American citizens. The brief relies in part on the recent legislation passed by Congress, which shields John Does who report suspicious behavior aboard an airplane.
In its 12-year history the Becket Fund has represented clients from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and other traditions. This is, however, the first time they have ever opposed someone’s claim of religious discrimination. “We had no choice,” said Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, President of the Becket Fund. “The Imams’ tactic of targeting ordinary citizens was giving the whole idea of religious freedom a black eye. We had to do what we could to put a stop to it.”
The Becket Fund has also offered to defend, free of charge, any of the private-citizen Does named in the lawsuit, should the case against them go forward.
Here is the PDF of the brief.
Update: Are the flying imams backing down?
Six imams removed from a U.S. Airways plane said they would not sue the passengers whose concerns led them to being kicked off a flight in November.
In federal court Tuesday, the attorney for the imams said, “We don’t contemplate naming any private passenger as a defendant.”
After being removed from their flight, the imams sued the airport, the airline and ‘John Does,’ which left open the possibility of suing anonymous passengers.
The attorney for one of the passengers says the imams’ offer comes only as congress is about to give immunity to those reporting suspicious behavior.
“The offer is only made after congress passes the immunity provision with the threat of assessing fees and costs against parties suing those making reports in good faith,” Gerry Nolting said.
Frank Gaffney follows up on the John Doe protection passed in Congress, noting: “There seems, by the way, to be ample support for tightening the legislation further should CAIR try to use its ‘good faith’ proviso to continue to hector public-spirited Americans.”
LGF spots a telling little
photoshopped image overlayed on a US flag over on the CAIR website. Take a look.