The Indiana House of Representatives will soon start raising money to help pay for the cost of appealing a federal judge's decision barring prayers specific to any particular religion, including Christianity, in the legislature.
A federal appeals court panel of three appellate judges will hear arguments on that case at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Chicago.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said that a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Winston & Strawn, will present the lawmakers' arguments in that hearing. So far, he said, the legal bills have come to about $67,000, but that does not include any of the work preparing for Thursday's hearing.
He expects money raised from the public to defray those costs, currently being paid for by taxpayer-funds out of the House budget.
I get a big chuckle out of the fact that Bosma chose Winston & Strawn to represent the House in this case over home-grown Christian right attorney, Jim Bopp, who seems to have had a lot of success in the federal courts lately. Until recently, Winston & Strawn has been managed by former Illinois Gov. James Thompson (R). Thompson, who is a very moderate Republican, used to do battle with these Christian right folks all the time when he was Illinois' governor. Now, he's just making money off of them and laughing all the way to the bank. From what I remember of Thompson from my Illinois days, he would find Bosma's case to be the big joke that it is.