Faith Leaders Object to Subpoena

liberty-counsel-large-2016LIBERTY COUNSEL

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Liberty Counsel filed an objection to a staggering subpoena from Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund (Lambda Legal), which represents the Human Rights Campaign and other plaintiffs in the case of Karnoski v. Trump. The objection to the subpoena was filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Dr. Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church of Springdale, Arkansas, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Floyd and Perkins have been targeted by these activists for simply participating in President Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, which the president established to understand the concerns of Christians and receive counseling on a wide range of issues.

The subpoena seeks information from Floyd and Perkins which violates the First Amendment, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and civil procedure rules. Liberty Counsel previously filed objections on its behalf to the same subpoena and on behalf of FRC.

This subpoena in Karnoski v. Trump, requested by very aggressive LGBT activists, demands not only the information regarding the “transgender” policy for military service but wants all communications and documents regarding all public policies regarding “transgender” people, including medical treatment and anything referring to “transgender” people in general. This includes every document, conversation, note, thought and everything else concerning anything to do with “transgender” people on every topic and/or issue in government policy. That demand is clearly unrelated to the lawsuit that is challenging only the transgender military policy and is astoundingly broad. It also includes every single document, email, and communication between Floyd and Perkins 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.

This case is retaliation for military policy with which these individuals and groups disagree. LGBT activists are abusing subpoena power to deliberately harass pro-faith leaders like Floyd and Perkins who are not in any way related to the lawsuit.

“LGBT activists are abusing the legal system to harass and bully,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “They began with nonprofit groups and now they are going after individual pastors and faith leaders. These abusive tactics are far outside their legal authority. This subpoena is outrageous because it even requests ‘conversations’ on any topic related to LGBT issues. There is no legal basis for such a breathtakingly broad subpoena,” said Staver.

Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.