Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime For A Prayer?

Bracing for a rather large legal bill from the venerable Chicago law firm, Winston & Strawn, House Speaker Brian Bosma has decided to start passing the collection plate around to his friends so that taxpayers will not get stuck footing the bill for his prayer case that he is almost certain to lose. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider writes:

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.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

Isn't W/S Chicago-based, with offices in DC?

Bosma needs to be dragged across the state to defned this ridiculous taxpayer expense. He and Court Clerk Sadler could join in the "2006 Pandering Tour."

Gary R. Welsh said...

Yes, it is. The Star story has it wrong. I refer to it as a Chicago firm. It has offices in D.C. and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

This morning, on Abdul's radio show, BB used the argument that a federal court cannot dictate how a state elegislature runs its calendar.

All you constitutional scholars out there--that's a subtle brush to the law. Bosma knows Judge Hamilton's ruling ir probably a correct interpretation of the law, and stands little chance of gaining certiorari on its merits.

So...the oft-used states' rights argument can work. It has found favor with several federal appeals courts. The feds are reluctant to "intervene" in a state legislature's calendar.

Never mind the real argument..pick the one that has the ebst chance to wion.

All this, with taxpayer funds. Ya gotta love BB.

Fifty-five days until the sun sets on this his parade.

Queen916 said...

Wrong - Bosma has a great deal of support from voters and taxpayers for this appeal. Just maybe he wanted to keep local lawyers out of this political dog-fight.

It is evident that the anti-Christ supporters are at work interpreting the the U.S. Constitiution as it relates to religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Unless the Congress of these United States of America are going to stop praying at the beginning of their sessions, I don't see how he can lose the court fight!

Almighty God is on his side!

Gary R. Welsh said...

queen 916, this has nothing to do with freedom of speech--it is not a part of the legal argument. This is strictly an establishment clause case. Speaker Bosma, the Congress and every other legislative body are permitted to have prayers just like they always have. The prayers may not endorse a specific religion--that is all the court has ever said. Bosma and his supporters have chosen to misrepresent the case as something it is not for political gain.