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Ninth Circuit to Hear Argument in Case involving Censorship of Pamela Geller Anti-Terrorism Ad
The proposed advertisement (directly below) was submitted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its executive directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
AFDI’s anti-terrorism ad included the very same pictures, names, and a similar message from an earlier anti-terrorism advertisement sponsored by the U.S. State Department, which was accepted for display on King County buses. The State Department advertisement displayed these “Faces of Global Terrorism” in an effort to “stop a terrorist” and “save lives,” offering “up to $25 million reward” for helping capture one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.
It’s not surprising that of the thirty-two terrorists listed on the FBI’s most wanted global terrorists list at the time, thirty terrorists had Muslim names or were wanted for terrorism related to organizations conducting terrorist acts in the name of Islam. However, after a Washington State politician and two Muslim-American advocacy groups complained because the list of wanted global terrorists in the State Department’s ad appeared to include only Muslim terrorists, the federal government terminated its “Faces of Global Terrorism” advertisement campaign.
In response to the government’s decision to remove its advertisement, AFDI created its own, similar advertisement to replace it. Despite originally accepting the government’s advertisement, King County rejected AFDI’s ad, claiming that it was offensive to Muslims.
AFLC argued below that King County’s refusal to run the advertisement was an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech and therefore the court should order the government agency to display the advertisement immediately. The district court judge disagreed, ruling that King County’s decision to reject the advertisement was “reasonable,”
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise, who will present argument before the Ninth Circuit, commented: “We are confident that the Ninth Circuit will reverse the district court’s decision, which sacrifices free speech at the altar of political correctness. Indeed, King County’s position is inconsistent with reality – namely, sharia-adherent jihadists pose a significant threat to our national security. There is nothing ‘reasonable’
Date: Monday, June 15, 2015, at 10:00 am
Address: The James R. Browning Courthouse
95 7th Street
San Francisco, California 94103
Judges: Circuit Judges Hawkins, Graber, and Gould
Case: American Freedom Defense Initiative v. King County
Case No. 14-35095.
Note: Robert Muise will be available for interviews after the hearing, and he can be reached at (734) 635-3756 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom. It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org.
Robert J. Muise, Esq.