Social & Political

Making civil liberties litigation a losing proposition

<![CDATA[Erwin Chemerinsky – Legislating Violations of the Constitution –

With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act – H.R. 2679 – provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

Imagine that lawyers who spent years defeating unConstitutional laws that prevented blacks from voting in the South were not able to be compensated. Why weren’t attorneys who successfully defend religious expression not included in the ban on compensation?

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