You may remember Kamal Saleem, the phony ex-terrorist and Religious Right all-star who claimed that President Obama’s babysitter was setting up a shadow Islamic government and that Roe v. Wade imposes Sharia law.
Back in 2012, Saleem was scheduled to address a forum at a Michigan public school about the supposed dangers of Muslims in the U.S., prompting People For the American Way and the Council on American Islamic Relations to send a joint letter to the school asking them not to provide a platform for someone promoting misinformation and intolerance.
The school cancelled the event due to safety concerns after independently discovering that Saleem’s supporters bragged that he is a target of terrorist threats.
The hosts of the event — Republican National Committeeman and former state lawmaker David Agema, a local county commissioner, and a chapter leader of the anti-Muslim group ACT! for America — sued the school, the city and other city officials for a variety of claims, as well as PFAW and CAIR for the tort of interfering with a contract.
Agema is notorious for making bigoted comments against Muslims and gay people.
Right Wing Watch, a project of PFAW, was also mentioned in the lawsuit [PDF], which says the blog “criticizes and disparages conservative politics and Christian–Judeo values.”
The organizers were represented by Thomas More Law Center, a far-right legal group which counts Michele Bachmann and Allen West as board members, and its attorney Erin Mersino.
Today, a federal judge dismissed their lawsuit, noting that the plaintiffs “fail to state a constitutional deprivation” and base their lawsuit on “mere conclusory statements.”
Judge Janet Neff, a Bush appointee, correctly found that PFAW and CAIR were within their First Amendment rights to send a letter to the school: “The Court agrees that the petition from Defendants CAIR-MI, [Dawud] Walid, PFAW and [PFAW president Michael] Keegan to the school superintendent constitutes an attempt to influence governmental action, a petition that is protected by the First Amendment.”
As we’ve noted before, the Thomas More Law Center doesn’t exactly have the best track record:
The anti-gay and anti- Muslim group started by Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan is best known for its legal defeats, including its failed challenge to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act; unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood to “require it to declare a link between abortion and breast cancer;” and failed defense of the Dover, Pennsylvania school district where they argued “that federal law recommended that students learn alternatives to evolution such as the teaching of intelligent design.” After the disastrous Dover decision, Rick Santorum defected from the group’s Citizens Advisory Board, even though he stars in an ad for the Law Center, because of what he called their “huge mistake in taking this case and in pushing this case to the extent they did.”