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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Saturday September 30, 2006
04:50 PM

Why Was This Bill Passed?

[ #31177 ]

From the first paragraph of this Washington Post article:

With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment's separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees.

And in case you're not familiar with the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the "Establishment" clause is the very first clause:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now I'm not going to get into the merits of attorneys recovering their fees, but why was this particular clause singled out for special treatment?

From the same article:

A federal statute, 42 United States Code section 1988, provides that attorneys are entitled to recover compensation for their fees if they successfully represent a plaintiff asserting a violation of his or her constitutional or civil rights.

I have no further comment. I think this speaks for itself, but I'm hopeful the Senate won't pass this.

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  • It is to prevent organizations (read ACLU; which is none of those letters) from collecting attorneys fees on establishment cases. They can still get other types of monies like court costs, etc.

    The reason? Abuse of the system.

    I am not arguing it either way but I am no fan of the ACLU.