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Church Militant is suing the Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel.
About a year ago, Church Militant was identified as a "hate group" by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC calls Church Militant/St. Michael's Media a hate group because we support traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman and speak against same-sex "marriage."
Shortly after that, Nessel's attorney general's office joined up with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights announcing the formation of a hate crimes unit.
The Michigan attorney general publicly stated that they were relying in part on the list from the SPLC as a good starting point in putting together a database of hate crimes groups and monitoring hate incidents that were not actual crimes.
So, knowing that we were on the SPLC list — and Nessel's office had said they were using the SPLC list as a reference to start investigating groups — we reached out to the attorney general and asked if anything was going on with us; in short, were we a target of some kind of investigation — yes or no? So we filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the attorney general asking them to deliver any files to us about us.
After charging us $400 to process the request, they did inform us Church Militant was under investigation for hate crimes by their newly created hate crimes division, but they refused to tell us any specifics.
So we appealed and eventually, eight e-mails were released to us — but they were so heavily redacted, we could barely discern who they were even from. So we've filed suit, wanting to get a hold of whatever records the Jewish lesbian attorney general's office is compiling against this Catholic, pro-traditional marriage apostolate.
As her Democratic Party is so fond of blathering on about, no one is above the law.
That applies to her as well. She doesn't get to use her authority as attorney general — not to mention tax dollars — to establish and fund a department to go after imaginary hate crimes based on the list of a lunatic leftist group because she doesn't agree with our world view and religious beliefs.
When local media caught on to the story, they contacted the attorney general's office and they were told the file has been closed on the investigation into Church Militant for about six weeks, and the attorney general determined there was "insufficient evidence of a hate crime."
But there's more to this. They told the media outlet, the Detroit News, that the file would now be able to be granted under a FOIA. Well, we filed a FOIA request almost a year ago and haven't heard anything. So if we can get it now, hand it over.
But there's even more; any freedom-loving American should be deeply bothered by a government official wielding her power to "go after" a group whose ideology she just disagrees with.
As the old expression goes, just who do you think you are? You are a public servant — emphasis on servant — not overlord. You don't get to run roughshod over individuals' First Amendment rights — or rights of a religious group — just because you are an ideologically driven attorney general. We had enough of that with Obama's Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.
If there's no crime and no evidence of a crime, then we want to know what exactly it was that you were investigating. Who told you? What was reported? And just as important in the grander scheme of things, what happens with whatever information you collected? Is it getting stored away somewhere to hit us — or others — later with some fake charge? How is it being stored, if it is? Who has access to it?
We have a right to know — all of it — because it directly impacts us. We want a judge to do a personal review of the file and determine if what's being withheld can and should be released.
Nessel is saying the other documents can't be released because her department no longer has them, or they're shielded because of "investigatory reasons." Really? Well, go get the ones you gave away, and hand all of it over to a judge and let him or her decide — not you.
There are serious questions here, constitutional questions. Dana Nessel is Michigan's top law enforcement official. Should she and her office not have to be accountable to the people? Does she get to weaponize her office based on her sexual orientation or religious differences? And if the investigation is over, why are some documents shielded because they are considered "investigatory" material?
Church Militant is being represented in this case by the very exceptional team at Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their work for us is pro bono, but if you'd like to help them out, it's a lot better than giving money to a corrupt hierarchy.
Their link is below.