The Thomas More Law Center is asking a judge to halt the “harassment” by LGBT activists of a private think tank, the Center for Military Readiness.
The LGBT community has asked a court to subpoena all of CMR’s private communications, records and electronic files for the entirety of Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency.
The demands include all of the communications on the public policy of transgenders in the military or transgenders in general.
But CMR isn’t even a part of the lawsuit.
Kate Oliveri, TMLC trial counsel and the principal attorney representing CMR, said the “intrusive subpoena seeks information irrelevant to the underlying case in which CMR has no part.”
“It is an example of those pushing identity politics attempting to bully and silence any opposition through an abuse of the legal process,” she said.
The lawsuit between transgender activists and the president is in U.S. district court in Washington state.
Several transgender individuals and activist organizations are fighting Trump’s decision in August 2017 to stop transgenders from serving in the military. They are hoping to “uncover proof that President Trump’s order banning transgenders from serving in the military was motivated by ‘animus against transgenders’ communicated to him by non-party groups like CMR and others,” the legal team explained.
CMR not only is not party to the lawsuit, it “did not have any official or unofficial role in developing or implementing President Trump’s transgender ban.”
“Nevertheless,” said TMLC, “the LGBT-plaintiffs served a broad-ranging subpoena on CMR located in Michigan, commanding it to search all its records and electronic files for documents and communications generated in the past 36 months, from June 16, 2015 (the day Trump announced his candidacy) to the present, between CMR and the president, vice president and the Defense Department, relating to public policy on transgenders in military service.”
Elaine Donnelly is the president of the Center for Military Readiness, which she founded in 1993. CMR is an independent, non-partisan, public policy organization that promotes principles of unit cohesion, mission readiness and combat lethality. Donnelly believes that policies should be based on empirical evidence derived from actual experience, not sociological theories and “misguided” political objectives.
She warned of the consequences of allowing the subpoena to succeed.
“Their subpoena seeks to violate our First Amendment right to free speech, and to punish CMR for engaging in public policy discussions as an independent source of information and analysis. CMR refuses to be intimidated, silenced or deterred from our mission,” she said.
The legal team said the subpoena is part of a “concerted national effort by LGBT activist organizations to overturn President Trump’s ban on transgenders serving in the military.”
Federal lawsuits challenging the ban have been filed against Trump in the states of Washington, California, Maryland and in Washington D.C. Subpoenas were served on CMR in three of those cases. CMR filed written objections in all three cases.
However, a motion to compel CMR to produce the documents was filed only in the state of Washington case.
The demand, TMLC said, was “staggering.”
The subpoena asked for: any transmission by one or more persons to one or more persons by any means including, without limitation, telephone conversations, letters, telegrams, teletypes, telexes, telecopies, e-mail, text messages, computer linkups, written memoranda, and face-to-face conversations; ‘communication’ includes all documents and electronically stored information (‘ESI’) containing, summarizing, or memorializing any communication.”
In the court filing, Donnelly stated: “Neither I, individually, nor CMR as an organization, had any responsibility or role, either officially or unofficially, in the development and implementation of President Trump’s policy regarding service by people who identify as transgender or suffer from gender dysphoria. I have no insight, inside information, or evidence of President Trump’s state of mind or motivation for his July tweets and his August memo other than what can be surmised from publicly available information.”
The court filing said the plaintiffs don’t have the right to demand CMR spend huge amounts of money to look for the information they want.
Further, the information isn’t pertinent.
And, the filing said, there’s the issue of the First Amendment.
“The Constitution guarantees CMR a right to associate with others and to engage in activities protected by the First Amendment. Limitations on free speech rights may not be imposed when there is a ‘reasonable probability’ that it will ‘subject them to threats, harassment, or reprisals from either government officials or private parties.’
“Further, the speech sought in this case is political speech, which lies at the core of the First Amendment’s speech protections,” the filing explains.
WND reported CMR is not the only group facing such attacks by activists. A similar demand was presented recently to Liberty Counsel.
Instead of providing the information, Liberty Counsel filed an objection with the court.
“We will not be bullied or intimidated. This unbelievable invasion of privacy must be exposed and fought, not just for our organization, but to protect the right for anyone to freely communicate with their political or military leaders,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel.
His organization defends civil rights in court but is not part of the lawsuit, Doe vs. Donald Trump, brought by the GLBTQ Legal Advocate and Defenders and National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Nonetheless, the court sent Liberty Counsel a seven-page demand for records of its communications with the president, the vice president, the office of the president, the Department of Defense and others.