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J. Christian Adams

J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His New York Times bestselling book is Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department (Regnery).  His website is www.electionlawcenter.com. Follow him on Twitter @electionlawctr.
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Big Law’s Battle With Christians in Texas

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

One of the least recognized foes of Constitutional conservatism are lawyers at giant law firms.  Big Law lawyers have served as mercenaries for a wide spectrum of fringe causes. Unlike mercenaries, however, they are doing the left’s bidding for free.  In Houston, their doing it to attack Christian pastors who speak on theological matters.

But it isn’t just attacks on Christians.  These “pro bono” efforts by lawyers at large law firms have undermined America’s energy independence, the integrity of our elections and the security of the nation.  What’s worse, paying clients of the firms are unwittingly funding this political agenda.

Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker used pro bono lawyers from big lawfirms to attack religious freedom by issuing subpoenas to them.  (Read one here.)  One of the attorneys who issued the subpoenas is Kristen Schlemmer at Susman Godfrey, LLP.  Here firm page is here.

Kristen Schlemmer

Kristen Schlemmer

Mayor Parker had been unapologetic about attempting to bully and intimidate local pastors by subpoenaing their sermons and communications with their church members.  She finally has backed down after vigorous criticism, which included a call-to-arms from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  Houston has withdrawn its subpoenas after it was “deluged with telephone calls, letters, emails” and hundreds of Bibles and sermons according to Fox News.  Texas Attorney General (and now governor-elect) Greg Abbott also criticized the city, calling the subpoenas a “direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, has displayed both an astonishing ignorance of, and an astounding contempt for, the First Amendment in her quest.

But what is as bad is the help she has received from three Houston law firms – Susman Godfrey, Fulbright & Jaworski, and Haynes & Boone – in attempting to subvert the most fundamental principles of religious freedom protected by the Bill of Rights.

This controversy arose after the city government passed an “Equal Rights Ordinance,” which among its effects would allow men who identify as women to use a women’s bathroom and vice versa.  Denial of actual gender strikes at the heart of Judeo-Christian theology of God’s will.

Thus, critics gathered more than 50,000 signatures to put the “bathroom ordinance” on the ballot so the residents of Houston could vote on it. A lawsuit was filed after Parker and her lawyers threw out the petitions claiming there were too many invalid signatures.

The only relevant issue in this type of election lawsuit is the validity of the signatures of the Houston residents who signed the petitions and what standards the city used to determine their validity.  Yet the mayor subpoenaed the sermons and communications of local pastors who weren’t even parties to the lawsuit, seeking anything that discussed the ordinance, the petition, and everything from “restroom access” to “the topics of equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity.”

As Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission said in a letter to Mayor Parker, “the pastors’ understanding of the ordinance and the petition is irrelevant to the litigation.”  Their religious views on civil  rights, equal rights, homosexuality, and gender identity also “have nothing to do with whether there are enough valid signatures to place a referendum on the ballot.”  According to Kirsanow, these subpoenas were a “blatant attempt to punish these pastors for expressing their religiously-based political views.”  It was an “abuse of government power” and Kirsanow found it troubling that “given the number of lawyers involved, someone did not raise the First Amendment implications.”

And that raises a serious and embarrassing issue about Mayor Parker’s legal allies.  Here we have three prominent law firms – Susman Godfrey, Fulbright & Jaworski, and Haynes & Boone – providing their legal advice and assistance to help Mayor Parker and her administration violate the First Amendment rights of local pastors.

Susman Godfrey, which is listed as the “Lead Counsel for City of Houston” on the subpoenas, provided its services to Houston on a pro bono basis.  In other words, this law firm provided free legal services to the City of Houston, which has a budget of $ 4.5 billion and an in-house legal staff of over 100 attorneys according to the city’s website, in order to bully and intimidate those who supported a referendum, a basic act of political expression.  Haynes & Boone confirmed that they are working pro bono for Houston.  Sources indicate that Fulbright is also working pro bono but they refused to respond to a request for verification by a colleague.

Many law firms provide free legal services to clients who cannot afford representation.  Such pro bono work is usually to be commended as a service to the public, and lawyers who do such work don’t necessarily adopt the views or tactics of their clients.

But these firms did not offer to help the clients in this case who cannot afford representation: the pastors who don’t have a fraction of the resources of the city.  Instead, these lawyers masterminded chilling discovery on a pro bono basis for a very wealthy client, but a client who shares their worldview.

Houston isn’t the only place where Lawfare by Big Law is advancing a left wing agenda.  Robert Driscoll, a former official at the Department of Justice under President Bush and now in private practice, wrote this letter on my behalf scalding a lawyer at a big law firm for his style of representation of Shirley Sherrod in a defamation action against Andrew Breitbart.  Driscoll sums up the machine nicely:

Having worked at large law firms for the better part of 20 years during my career, I can only presume that your decision to write (on impressive Kirkland & Ellis stationery, no less, rather than an email) instead of calling, signals that you intend your letter to serve as “Exhibit A” to some discovery motion currently being crafted deep within the bowels of Kirkland & Ellis by associates eager to escape yet another soul-deadening document review for a brief, pro bono, taste of the adversarial process.

It’s easy to dismiss the rise of pro bono Lawfare of lawyers just being lawyers.  But that conclusion overlooks the tremendous damage that ideologically driven pro bono representation has done to the country, and our Constitution.  Lawyers at large firms have told me that the pro bono representation decisions inside their large firms are driven by ideology and almost exclusively aid the left.  Some firms have even jettisoned paying clients hated by the left so that the firm can take on their pro bono cause.

Conservatives have been largely afraid to confront the ideological orthodoxy of Big Law’s pro bono crusade.  That’s too bad because these lawyers inside large firms have shared the difficulties of going it alone in trying to bring balance to the pro bono agenda inside Big Law.  A little bit of criticism from the outside, they tell me, could go a long way toward helping them on the inside.

Americans ought to be unsettled at the City of Houston’s manipulation of our legal system to intimidate political opposition and restrict religious freedom.  And the law firms involved in helping Houston engage in this malicious assault on the First Amendment and religious freedom should be embarrassed by the actions of their lawyers.

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O’Keefe Video: Voter Fraud Ground Zero in ‘Ghetto Aurora’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

Lawlessness and racism, unleashed by Colorado's vulnerable "vote-by-mail" system.

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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Criminal Section

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

All ten new hires to the Justice Department's Criminal Section have far-left resumes -- which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the tenth of a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.)

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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Housing Section

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

All 11 new hires to the Justice Department's Housing Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the eighth of a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.)

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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Compliance Section

Friday, August 26th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

All 5 new hires to the Justice Department's Coordination and Compliance Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the seventh in a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.)

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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Education Section

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

All 11 new hires to the Justice Department's Education Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the fifth in a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, and four.)

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Reviewing the Resumes: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Voting Section

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

America should be appalled at the overwhelmingly politicized backgrounds of Eric Holder's hires in the Department of Justice Voting Section. (This is the second in a series of articles about the Civil Rights Division’s hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read the first article here.)

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Obama Pulls the Plug on a Great Run in Space

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

The president's NASA legacy, by choice, is a loss of dominance in space for America.

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Senate GOP Embarrasses Dems Over Boeing

Sunday, May 15th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

Senator Mike Enzi and Boeing lawyer Michael Luttig show up the Dems at their own hearing.

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Now Congress Steps to the Plate in the New Black Panther Scandal

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

It’s time for the DOJ to cough up information to the House Judiciary Committee and to Congressman Frank Wolf.

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The Justice Department Fix Is In

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

The long-awaited internal report on the New Black Panther voter intimidation dismissal is done, and sensible Americans aren’t going to be happy.

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DOJ Tells U.S. Soldiers: Go Bother Someone Else!

Friday, March 11th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

Their new website just tells servicemembers to go call the Pentagon if they didn't get their 2010 election ballots on time.

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The White Rose: An Anniversary of Three Executions

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

February 22, 1943: Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and Christoph Probst were executed by guillotine in Munich, Germany.

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Military Voting Accountability Starts Today

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

Today, there will be testimony before Congress about the Department of Justice's failure to protect the rights of military voters in 2010. Expect to hear two wildly different accounts of the DOJ's behavior.

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Bombshell: Justice Department Only Selectively Complies with Freedom of Information Act (PJM Exclusive)

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

According to documents PJM has obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if fulfilled at all. (And don't miss J. Christian Adams' PJTV interview here.)

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Private Citizens Fight Voter Fraud

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

Upholding the law when government won't.

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A Candidate for RNC Chair and His Anti-Constitutional Ideas

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

Saul Anuzis wants to alter the way we elect presidents by supporting the Soros-financed National Popular Vote movement.

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Do Voters’ Constitutional Cravings Spell Daniels in ’12?

Monday, January 10th, 2011 - by J. Christian Adams

The Indiana governor has a good shot at the nomination.

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Eric Holder’s ‘Made-Up’ Defense

Friday, December 31st, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

He claims that the New Black Panther case is a "made up controversy." Holder would be well-advised to retreat from this position. Too many stories, too many incidents are known by too many people.

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Want to Protect Voting Rights? Screen Restrepo

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

Department of Justice bureaucrats can learn from Sebastian Junger's prizewinning war documentary.

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Dems Should Seek Eric Holder’s Resignation

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

The next Congress is prepared to expose his myriad failures and outrages. Dems would be wise to ditch him prior to this public grilling.

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DOJ’s Military Voting Mess Continues Post-Election, but Congress Now Paying Attention

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

If you serve our nation and your ballot came too late or wasn’t counted, let PJM know so we can get the message to Congress. Send your stories to story@pjmedia.com.

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Ferreting Out Real Travel Expense Fraud at the Department of Justice (PJM Exclusive)

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

Secret inspector general reports detail tens of thousands of dollars in fraud by DOJ career employees — a much bigger scandal than Chris Christie staying at the Four Seasons.

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England’s Month of Remembrance: A Tradition We Should Adopt

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

The U.S. has no equivalent to England's omnipresent red poppy and its accompanying fundraising. Something to think about this Veterans Day.

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Reid’s Letters to the Casinos? Maybe Not Classy, but Not Voter Intimidation

Thursday, November 4th, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

There is no prohibition against employers telling employees how a potential candidate will affect the company, and thus the employee's job. This is protected speech under the First Amendment.

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