Florida court strikes down Obama’s healthcare reform law

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This is the second judge to strike down the provision that forces Americans to purchase government approved health insurance. We also learned today that the Senate is taking up the Repeal Obamacare bill maybe this week and they now have 47 sponsors of that repeal bill. Of course Obama will veto it, but still the House passed the repeal bill already and if the Senate follows suit that is a strong statement to Obama whether he vetos it or not, that tells Obama the American people don’t what this monstrosity.

Here’s what candidate Obama said in 2008 about ‘mandating’ everyone purchase health insurance as Hilliary Clinton was advocating at the time:

Florida court strikes down Obama’s healthcare reform law

WASHINGTON: A US court in Florida has struck down President Barack Obama’s historic healthcare reforms, ruling that the requirement for individuals to purchase insurance is unconstitutional and is too central to making the law function. 

The White House termed it as judicial activism. (What else could the White House say?)

Giving a major blow to the historic Health Care Reform Act which was signed by Obama last year, the US District Judge Roger Vinson in his judgement ruled that the so-called individual mandate exceeds congressional power.

The whole law cannot stand as the law depends on the mandate to work. “I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit,” said Vinson, who on Monday became the second federal judge in two months to rule against the individual mandate.

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The court cited opposition to a British mandate giving the then East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America, which was the beginning of the country’s freedom struggle.

The Congress does not have the power to compel an individual to purchase insurance, he said.

“It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place,” Vinson wrote.

“If Congress can penalise a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be “difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power” and we would have a Constitution in name only.

Surely this is not what the founding fathers could have intended,” he wrote.

The judgement, which was immediately opposed by the White House was cheered by the opposition Republican party, which after gaining majority in the House of Representatives repealed the bill from the House this year.

“Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching,” wrote the White House healthcare messaging guru Stephanie Cutter in a blog post.

“We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts,” he said.

“This ruling is well out of the mainstream of judicial opinion. Twelve federal judges have already dismissed challenges to the constitutionality of the health reform law, and two judges – in the Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Virginia – have upheld the law.

In one other case, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a very narrow ruling on the constitutionality of the health reform law’s “individual responsibility” provision and upheld the rest of the law, he said.


“Liar, liar, pants on fire” — Feds keep x-ray images & Deploy Mobil Units

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Well I’ve been meaning to post this for some time now and an email from a friend and Porch reader reminded me of it again. So this time I’m posting it while it’s on my mind. We keep hearing these ‘full body scanners’ that are now at the airports and federal buildings are harmless and the images can’t be saved. Well guess what…..that was a lie. Now we have recently also found out that images taken at a U.S. courthouse in  Florida have been saved….35,000 of them. ….Sometimes celebrities are asked to autograph printed out images of themselves.

“Liar, liar, pants on fire” — Feds keep x-ray images

Ever since the federal government began deploying the new-fangled, full-body x-ray machines at airports and federal buildings to make us “safer,” Uncle Sam has been assuring us that the images of essentially naked bodies that the controversial machines take would not be recorded or stored.  Well, surprise — it now turns out the government has been lying. The full-body x-ray machines not only do record the images they take of law-abiding citizens (and others) but also store the images.

As a result of efforts by private organizations — most notably the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) — to uncover the truth about the government’s use of these privacy-invasive devices, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Marshals Service, have been forced to admit publicly that the machines in fact do exactly what the feds had assured us they would not do.

Even in the face of these recent revelations, the TSA continues to “assure” the public that despite the machines’ now-admitted ability to record and store image, the agency “turns off” this capability when it installs the machines.  If anyone out there (other than government employees) believes this, please raise your hands.  I didn’t think so.

Small wonder that the public’s trust in government (as measured, for example, in a recent survey by the non-partisan Ponemon Institute) is at an all-time low.

Barr Code

Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans


As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)

“It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

Though Reiss admits that the systems “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like the one shown at right, far less detail than is obtained from the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says. But EPIC’s Rotenberg says that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause, he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”

The TSA’s official policy dictates that full-body scans must be viewed in a separate room from any guards dealing directly with subjects of the scans, and that the scanners won’t save any images. (We now know this is a lie…they do and are saving images.) Just what sort of safeguards might be in place for AS&E’s scanning vans isn’t clear, given that the company won’t reveal just which law enforcement agencies, organizations within the DHS, or foreign governments have purchased the equipment. Reiss says AS&E has customers on “all continents except Antarctica.”

Reiss adds that the vans do have the capability of storing images. “Sometimes customers need to save images for evidentiary reasons,” he says. “We do what our customers need.”


Obama Admin. Argues in Court That Individual Mandate Is a Tax

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Oh brother, after telling us the mandate wasn’t a tax……..now it is a tax.

“The several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government….whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force……where powers are assumed [by the federal government] which have not been delegated [by the Constitution], a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy”…..Thomas Jefferson & James Madison from the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798

“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.” Thomas Woods

Obama Admin. Argues in Court That Individual Mandate Is a Tax

In order to protect the new national health care law from legal challenges, the Obama administration has been forced to argue that the individual mandate represents a tax — even though Obama himself argued the exact opposite while campaigning to pass the legislation.

Late last night, the Obama Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the Florida-based lawsuit against the health care law, arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction  and that the State of Florida and fellow plaintiffs haven’t presented a claim for which the court can grant relief. To bolster its case, the DOJ cited the Anti-Injunction Act, which restricts courts from interfering with the government’s ability to collect taxes.

The Act, according to a DOJ memo supporting the motion to dismiss, says that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person, whether or not such person is the person against whom such tax was assessed.” The memo goes on to say that it makes no difference whether the disputed payment it is called a “tax” or “penalty,” because either way, it’s “assessed and collected in the same manner” by the Internal Revenue Service.

But this is a characterization that Democrats, and specifically Obama, angrily denounced during the health care debate. Most prominently, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama argued that the mandate was “absolutely not a tax increase,” and he dug into his view even after being confronted with a dictionary definition.

At the time Obama made that statement, the Senate Finance Committee had just released its own health care bill, which clearly referred to the mandate penalty as anexcise tax.” But in later versions, the word “tax” was stripped, because it had become too much of a political liability for Democrats. The final version that Obama signed did not describe the mandate as a tax, and used the Commerce Clause — not federal taxing power — as the Constitutional justification for the mandate.

“”This is an about face from what is laid out in the law,” said Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independent Business, which joined the Florida lawsuit against ObamaCare. “In the text of the healthcare law, the findings for passing an individual mandate specifically rely on the effects of individuals on the national economy and interstate commerce. Nowhere in the findings is the mandate referred to as a tax. The Justice Department is now calling it a tax to try and convince the court not to rule on whether or not Congress exceeded their authority under the Commerce Clause by legislating that all citizens must purchase private health insurance or face a penalty.”

Put another way, the administration is now arguing in federal court that Obama signed a massive middle-class tax increase, in violation of his campaign pledge.


White House to State AGs: No ‘Legitimate Constitutional Concerns’ in Senate Health Care Bill

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What a joke this is. What would one expect the federal government to say about a bill they were about to pass into law? No it’s not Constitutional, but we’re going to pass it anyway? Of course not. They would be expected now days to rationalize it.

White House to State AGs: No ‘Legitimate Constitutional Concerns’ in Senate Health Care Bill

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House on Tuesday dismissed the concerns of 13 state attorneys general about the constitutionality of a clause in the Senate health care bill that singles out Nebraska for special treatment when it comes to covering the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage.

While stating that he had not read a letter from the attorneys general about the issue, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs nonetheless told CNSNews.com, “I do not believe that anybody has legitimate constitutional concerns about the legislation.”

Following are just some of the payoffs and kickbacks Sen. Reid is forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for so he can increase health care costs, raise taxes, cut seniors’ Medicare benefits, and put government bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions:

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) “Louisiana Purchase.” CBS News reports: “It started with Mary Landrieu. When reports surfaced she had been swayed with a $100 million Medicaid deal just for Louisiana, she bragged it was actually $300 million. The deal was so notorious, Republicans gave it a name. ‘We have new words in our lexicon, the Louisiana Purchase,’ Sen. John McCain said.”

Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) $100 Million “Cornhusker Kickback.” The Hill reports: “Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its Medicaid program under provisions in the Senate’s healthcare bill negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D).”

Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) & Carl Levin’s (D-MI) Sweetheart Deal for Nebraska/Michigan Insurance Companies. Politico reports: “In addition to the Medicaid carve out, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) negotiated an exemption from the insurance tax for non-profit insurers based in his state. The language was written in a way that only Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield nonprofit plans in Nebraska and Michigan, would qualify, according to a Democratic Senate aide.”

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) Takes Credit for $100 Million Hospital Earmark. The Associated Press reports: “A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.” (Since this was written Sen. Dodd has announced he will be one of the many not running for re-election in 2010…I wonder why?)

Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) Inserts Provision for ACORN Funding. The Weekly Standard reports: “Senator Roland Burris is claiming credit for a provision in Harry Reid’s ‘manager’s amendment,’ unveiled Saturday morning, that could funnel money to ACORN through the health care bill.”

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Secures $600 Million Medicaid Kickback. The Associated Press reports: “Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., negotiated $600 million in additional Medicaid benefits for his state over 10 years. He said Vermont is due the additional benefits because the state already has acted to expand Medicaid eligibility to the levels now contemplated by the federal government. Vermont would be unfairly penalized if other states are now being helped with that expansion, he said.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) Scores $10 Billion for Community Health Centers. The Associated Press reports: “Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who was angered after a new government-run health plan was dropped from the legislation to win over moderates like Nelson and Landrieu, held out on backing the bill until Reid, D-Nev., agreed to a $10 billion increase in support for community health centers.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) Negotiates Special Deal for Florida Medicare Advantage Recipients. The Associated Press reports: “Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., pushed a provision he said will let about 800,000 Florida seniors enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans keep their extra benefits. It also helps seniors in a handful of other states. Elsewhere, Medicare Advantage patients risk losing benefits because the private plans are a major target of planned cuts to Medicare.”

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Scores Extra Medicare Benefits for Montana Residents. The Associated Press reports: “Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee and a key architect of the legislation, put in a provision to help the 2,900 residents of Libby, Mont., many of whom have asbestos-related illnesses from a now-defunct mineral mine. Under Baucus’ provision, which never mentions Libby by name, sickened residents could sign up for Medicare benefits.”

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) Wins More Medicare Funding for Iowa Hospitals. The Wall Street Journal reports: “One change won by Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) would increase Medicare payments to medium-size hospitals, including eight in his state. Mr. Harkin said such ‘tweener’ hospitals are short-changed by the current system.”

Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) & Kent Conrad (D-ND) Win Higher Medicare Payments for Rural Hospitals . The Washington Post reports: “The Senate health-care bill has been full of goodies handed out to buy/earn the vote of various senators. … Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad’s higher Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in the ‘frontier counties’ of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.”

Attorneys general in 13 states signed a Dec. 30 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that was circulated by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster. The letter labels the Nebraska deal the “cornhusker kickback” and says it is unconstitutional to require the taxpayers of 49 states to subsidize federal benefits for one state. Medicaid is a federal-state health insurance program for the poor. (See previous story.)

When asked if President Barack Obama supported the Nebraska clause, which reportedly would save the state $45 million over a decade, Gibbs did not directly answer but told CNSNews.com, “He’s a supporter of the Senate bill, so I don’t know what that will lead you to conclude.”

The House bill includes a government-run health insurance plan (“public option”) that would compete with private insurers. It also specifically bans federal funding for any health plan that covers abortion.

The Senate bill does not have a government-run plan, and does allow for federal funding of health plans that cover abortion. Both bills mandate that employers provide and individuals carry health insurance, and that the government establish a “health care exchange” to allow individuals to choose from different insurance-coverage policies.

In their Dec. 30 letter to the Democratic leaders, the attorneys general wrote: “It has been reported that Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s vote, for H.R. 3590 [Senate health care bill], was secured only after striking a deal that the federal government would bear the cost of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees.”

“In marked contrast, all other states would not be similarly treated, and instead would be required to allocate substantial sums, potentially totaling billions of dollars, to accommodate H.R. 3590’s new Medicaid mandates,” reads the letter.

“As a practical matter, the deal struck by the United States Senate on the ‘Nebraska Compromise’ is a disadvantage to the citizens of 49 states,” the letter says. “Every state’s tax dollars except Nebraska’s, will be devoted to cost-sharing required by the bill, and will be therefore unavailable for other essential state programs.”

The letter also includes the signatures of attorneys general from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state.

CNS News.com

Fight with me to take back America

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I just found this article at Worldnet Daily and had to post it.This man Allen West must be a Tea party member.

Fight with me to take back America

Allen West hasn’t changed his core message since falling short in a run for Congress last year, but with the political winds now at his back, the retired Army officer’s passionately delivered emphasis on constitutional principles of liberty, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and free-market solutions is attracting an audience well beyond Florida’s 22nd district.

A video of his rally cry to the party base in preparation for a 2010 run has drawn more than 1.2 million views on YouTube.com

West was introduced to the nation in 2003 when he faced criminal charges for using shock interrogation tactics to protect his soldiers in Iraq.

Taped at the Revolution Nightclub in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in October, the video captures West giving supporters a taste of what it must have been like to prepare for combat in Iraq with the lieutenant colonel.

“It’s OK to come out here and cheerlead,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. “But you’ve gotta get your butts out there and understand there’s a fight – and you’d better be willing to fight for this country.”

Calling 2010 a defining moment for the nation, he cited Thomas Paine’s famous “times that try men’s souls.”

“If you’re here to shrink away from the duties, there’s a door. Get out,” West said. “But if you’re here to stand up – to get your musket, to fix your bayonet, to charge into the ranks – you’re my brother and sister in this fight.”

“We cannot live in a country where the government sits around and tries to design results and outcomes,” he said in the taped speech. “Every time they try to do that – Everyone has a right to own a home – how does that end up? Everyone has a right to health care – how does that end up?

“The Constitution says promote the general welfare, not provide welfare,” he said. “It is about setting conditions for our success.”

West said big government has produced an entitlement class, exemplified in a widely viewed video clip during the 2008 presidential campaign in which an Obama supporter exulted that if the Democrat won the White House, he would put gas in her car and pay her mortgage.

“If we are not willing to take a stand right now and take this country back and put it back on the right track with the principles and values it was established on, you’re complicit,” West said. “It’s your fault.

“It’s your fault,” he continued, pointing to different sections of the auditorium. “It’s your fault up there.”

In an interview during last year’s campaign, West told WND his controversial ordeal in 2003 – during which he drew support from congressmen and many Americans who regarded him as a hero – should tell voters what kind of a lawmaker he would be, particularly when it comes to issues of defense.

“If you’re a bad guy, and you try to get between me and the safety and lives of American citizens, you’re going to lose,” West said.

Army prosecutors charged West with aggravated assault, and he faced the possibility of up to eight years in prison. At a hearing, West was asked by his defense attorney if he would do it again.

“If it’s about the lives of my men and their safety, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can,” he said.

West eventually accepted a non-judicial punishment, the forfeiture of two months’ pay, about $5,000. He retired from the military and moved with his wife, Angela, and two young daughters to Broward County, Florida, where he taught high school. He served in Afghanistan as an adviser to the Afghan army until November 2007.

Worldnet Daily.com

Pace High School Principal on Trial for Praying at Mealtime


You know this article just shows how Topsy Turvy  America has gotten. We have made a complete 180% turn around from our first 175 yrs of government officials believing it was their right and duty to encourage Christianity in public schools to now being a criminal offense. I just don’t have the words to express how insane this is, especially since you consider we haven’t changed the 1st amendment in any way shape or form through Congress making a new law. It is the courts that are making new laws today and that’s unconstitutional. In the video I’ve posted with this article the Liberty Counsel attorney says the ACLU wanted the to have the Student President banned from speaking at graduation because she was a Christian and “MIGHT” say something offensive…….MIGHT?  What a disgrace to the founding fathers, our country’s Christian heritage and this country’s Constitution.  Anyway here’s this amazing and shameful story.

Noah Webster (founder of Webster’s dictionary) “The Bible was America’s basic textbook in all fields.” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]

“Education is useless without the Bible” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]

George Washington, “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs attempting to convince them to send their children to American schools… May 12, 1779]

Florida administrators stand trial for prayer in school

Frank Lay, Pace High School principal, and Robert Freeman, the school’s athletic director, will appear on criminal contempt charges for offering public prayer in a public school. The administrators face up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for offering a mealtime prayer. Lay and Freeman go on trial today at a federal district court in Pensacola for breaching the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). By violating the court order, the two are in danger of being found in contempt of court.

Pace High School, located in Florida’s Santa Rosa County School District, is a school of more than 1,800 students. Pace is known by many as “the Baptist Academy.” For years, teachers and staff delivered prayers, mandated students complete religious-oriented assignments and encouraged involvement in religious clubs. Teachers offered Bible readings or biblical interpretations and talked about the churches they attended. Christian prayers during sporting events and other activities were common. All this was encouraged and endorsed by Principal Frank Lay.

The school district has allowed flagrant violations of the First Amendment for years. The Pace High School teachers handbook asks teachers to “embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.”

After years of warnings and abuse, last year the ACLU finally filed a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District, claiming that teachers and administration “endorsed” religion. Rather than fight, the School District consented to the entry of an order that prohibited, among other things, all prayer at school-sponsored events. Nine days after Lay signed the temporary injunction, he was accused of violating the order.

While both men are guilty, Lay deserves some time in jail. Lay was the one in charge. Lay asked Freeman to violate the court order. Lay knowingly asked and encouraged a subordinate to break the law. Lay’s contempt for the law and the constitution are reprehensible. His promotion and enforcement of Christianity within his school is truly criminal. Perhaps the greatest crime was that Lay was allowed to promote his religion for years unchecked. It is clear he hired faculty and staff who would support his agenda of proselytizing and evangelizing public school students. Such behavior is despicable, and deserves the full penalty of the law.

Principal Lay was warned repeatedly. He signed a document giving his word he would not engage in such activity only a week prior. Yet he violated the court order; he demonstrated that he was not a man of his word – his signature, his bond, his guarantee – meant nothing.

It would send a positive message to the kids if he served some jail time. No one is above the law. Those who break the law should be punished.

Lay showed contempt for the law. He abused his position of authority. As such, he is incompetent, and should not be allowed to lead a public institution such as a high school. He brings shame to himself and his community. His actions show a disrespect for faculty, students, and the nation.


GOOD FOR THEM: Graduating students defy ACLU


Good for them……excercising their 1st amendment rights against the bullies at the ACLU, because there is no “separation of church and state” clause in the Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,……”

George Washington, “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

Justice William O. Douglas, once wrote that forbidding public worship discriminates in favor of “those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.”

WND Exclusive


Graduating students defy ACLU

Seniors stand and recite Lord’s Prayer

Posted: June 05, 2009
10:45 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Principal Frank Lay

Members of the graduating class of 2009 at Florida’s Pace High School have expressed their objections to ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

The incident happened just days ago, but has been virtually ignored by media outlets throughout the region, according to officials with Liberty Counsel, a legal team representing Principal Frank Lay and teacher Michelle Winkler in their battle with the ACLU, which had complained that faculty and teachers were talking about their beliefs.

Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace, a Santa Rosa County school, stood up at their graduation, according to Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel.

Parents, family and friends joined in the recitation, and applauded the students when they were finished, Staver told WND.

“Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith,” the organization reported.

“Neither students nor teachers shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said Staver, who also is dean of Liberty University School of Law. “The students at Pace High School refused to remain silent and were not about to be bullied by the ACLU.

“Schools are not religion-free zones, and any attempt to make them so is unconstitutional,” he said.

Liberty Counsel has been representing Lay and Winkler against ACLU demands that all statements of faith be censored. The law firm also had volunteered to represent the school board in the dispute, but board members chose their own outside counsel.

The ACLU had sued the school six months earlier and as part of the discussions over that dispute, the school’s separate counsel had agreed to a consent decree that “essentially bans all Santa Rose County School District employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities,” Liberty Counsel’s report said.

The ACLU had alleged that during a dinner event at the school, Lay had asked the athletic director to bless the meal. In a second incident, the ACLU claimed Winkler’s husband, who is not a school board employee, offered a prayer at an awards ceremony.

As preparations were being made for the 2009 graduation, the ACLU demanded the school censor students from offering prayers or saying anything religious. As a result, two student leaders traditionally allowed by the school to address their graduation were banned from doing so.

Staver said class members, furious with the ACLU for hijacking their free speech rights, assembled the plan on their own. As soon as Lay asked everyone to be seated for the ceremony, the graduating seniors remained standing and recited the Lord’s Prayer.

A local Fox station had reported that students enjoyed a baccalaureate at a nearby church before the graduation. Class President Kaitlynn Floyd said then class members were grateful for the opportunity to attend that event.

Staver reported concerns over the application of an agreement reached by the school board to students’ rights remains an unresolved issue.


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