Free Speech And Judicial Elections’ Major Win For America: Today, on WallBuilders Live Matt Staver joins us from Liberty Counsel to discuss the fantastic free speech victory that recently took place in a lawsuit the SPLC initiated against Justice Parker. In order to be informed voters, we need to be able to hear what the belief system and values are of our judicial candidates. Join us today to learn more about this great win and its significance!
Air Date:Â 06/25/2018
Guest: Mat Staver
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! We”re talking about today”s hottest topics on policy, and faith, and the culture. We”re always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We take any issue of the day, no matter what that issue is instead of just having an emotional response to it we say wait a minute, what can history tell us about this issue? What’s happened on it before? What have other countries dealt with? What has our country dealt with on this issue? What does the Bible say about it? -most importantly. And what does our Constitution say about it? What’s the constitutional perspective on this issue as well?If we take time to walk through those things we’re going to get the right answer to any question in the culture today.
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So we’re discussing those things today with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian. He’s also the founder of WallBuilders. We’re also here with Tim Barton. He’s a national speaker and pastor, and he’s the president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.
You can find out more about us and the program at our websites. We have two of them. The first one is WallBuildersLive.com. Now at that website you can get a list of all of our stations across the country where we can be heard. You can also get archives of the programs, last few months or so they”re on the website. Just go to the archives section you can go back and listen to Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs where we dive into these principles; Good News Friday programs it”s just chock full of good news that’s happening out there in the culture; and there’s some of those great interviews we have the privilege of having with a special guest Monday through Wednesday. Check all of that out there at WallBuildersLive.com.
Then also we encourage you to visit WallBuilders.com today as well, because there’s a wealth of information and tools available to you right there at your fingertips at WallBuilders.com. It”ll equip, inspire, and educate you and get you prepared to be a better citizen; and you and your family joining us and helping to restore our Constitutional Republic.
Matt Staver and Liberty Counsel
All right, later in the program today we’ve got Matt Staver with us. He’s at Liberty Counsel, they do a phenomenal job defending religious liberty and so many other areas. And actually just had a great victory, he’s going to be sharing a little bit with us on that. And we’re actually kind of following up on a program we had last week, guys, we had Justice Tom Parker with us last week. We talked about his victory for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, or at least his victory in the Republican primaries; got a race in November.
Lawsuit Victory Against SPLC that Will Allow Judges Across the Country To Speak Their Convictions
But he also had a great victory in a lawsuit that is going to help all judges in Alabama, and frankly judges across the country, to be able to speak their convictions and let the voters know where they stand on the issues. And he also won that primary going up against Soros and the SPLC; the Southern Poverty Law Center was the one suing him and trying to keep him from being able to speak what he believed and telling people his convictions.
So just a lot of great victories that he shared with us last week on the program, appreciate him coming on. Well Matt Staver is the guy that actually represented him in this case that they just won against the SPLC dealing with what judges are able to say. So Matt will be with us later to talk about it.
And David we talked last week about how state judges are not necessarily something that most people pay attention to but it has a huge impact, a lot of the major issues are decided there. And so we should be able to know what these judges think and believe before we go vote for them.
Be Informed and Involved in Your State Supreme Courts
Yeah we should. And that should be an issue that we take time to look at. Oftentimes judges are considered down ballot races. I mean not the glamour races like governor, or U.S. Senator, or even congressmen. But I would argue that they have more clout than most governors do because the way judiciary is viewed today when the Supreme Court, even if the state gives you a decision it even binds the governor. Now it”s not supposed to, but that’s the way it works.
So in many ways, they have more clout and more power. Which means you really should investigate them more closely and see what their belief is. Because you can elect, for example, a pro-life governor and have a pro-abortion Supreme Court and guess what your policy is going to be? It’s not going to be pro-life, it”s going to be pro abortion.
So that is a very, very significant position.
Another Defeat for the SPLC, Win for Voters and Free Speech
And as we talked to Justice Parker last week, we not only talked about how that he may be in a position, if he becomes elected as Chief Justice, to help shape decisions that go to the U.S. Supreme Court, to give them the opportunity to turn back the clock into some good directions- some what we would consider Judeo-Christian value type positions.
But also the fact that he won that case, Matt Staver represented, also unties the hands really not just in Alabama but across the country, Rick. The decision you mentioned where Scalia talked about, “Hey, this is all about the voters.”
So now we have another federal court affirming that hey- these state judicial canons, that’s nonsense. You cannot prohibit a judge from giving an opinion and what he believes. He does not lose his freedom of speech because you have a judicial canon somewhere. That’s nonsense.
Liberty Counsel: LC.org
So that’s another good shot across the bow on that. And then also again the fact that the SPLC has been hit and yet another defeat for them, that’s just building on the reputation that these guys are not the good guys they hold themselves out to be. And even federal courts are now starting to chime in on that. So there’s a lot of good that came from that program last week. And Matt was so much of the one who helped orchestrate and engineer what we talked about last week.
Well Matt Staver’s with Liberty Counsel. Their website”s LC.org. You can find out more information there and get on their e-mail list and get their newsletter as well. But he’ll be with us right here on WallBuilders Live when we return from the break, so stay with us on WallBuilders Live.
Leadership Training Program
Hey, friends! We’ve got a great program to share with you today. It”s the WallBuilders Leadership Training Program and it’s an opportunity for 18 to 25 year olds to come spend two weeks diving into the original documents we’re always talking about here on WallBuilders Live.
Tim, you’ve already been doing this a couple of summers and seen the results of young people coming to this program. We’re going to see more of them coming this year.
Yeah, Rick, it”s something that”s been cool to see the transformation with young people coming in. The emphasis, for us, largely is a pursuit of truth. We have a culture that doesn’t know what truth is. We don’t know what biblical truth is, or constitutional truth, or the American heritage that we have. And so we really dive into original documents and say, “Well, what did they actually write? What did they actually do? Not just what did somebody say, what is actually true, and the truth is what’s transformational.
Yeah, guys. This really is a remarkable opportunity. And for those who want to spend time with us and spend time in the original documents, this is a great program. So, if you’re from 18 to 25, or you know someone who’s 18 to 25, send them to sign up for one of our three sessions this summer at WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining.
Great Victories All Over the Place
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Matt Staver back with us from Liberty Counsel. Matt, always good to have you sir.
Good to be with you.
Hey great victories it seems like all over the place at this point. But let”s zero in on Alabama first, Justice Tom Parker. You guys have been representing him in a case that really could affect, I mean obviously all judges in Alabama, but I’m thinking this is a shot across the bow on these judicial canon of ethics things all across the country- to say judges should be able to exercise their free speech.
SPLC Initiated Case Against Justice Tom Parker for Comments on a Radio Program
It sure does. This case was initiated by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They wanted to remove Justice Tom Parker from the Alabama Supreme Court. They don’t like him because of his judicial philosophy that looks at the original understanding of the Constitution. And particularly when you look at that, the Constitution cannot support same sex marriage.
And so he spoke about the Supreme Court opinion during a radio program, and he got a complaint from the Southern Poverty Law Center that Judicial Inquiry Commission could have filed a charge based on the canon that states judges in Alabama could not make any comment about any case pending anywhere in the country.
This would be so broad. It would apply to judges that are part time adjunct professors of law at law schools. We ended up filing a lawsuit against these canons, suing the Judicial Inquiry Commission.
“Now Justice Parker and All Alabama Justices and Judges Have Free Speech Across Alabama”
And the good news is now the judge has approved a permanent order barring enforcement of these provisions. So now Justice Parker and all Alabama justices and judges have free speech across Alabama.
But also it sends a shot across the bow that these kind of provisions violate the First Amendment. Judges do have the right to free speech. And we have to give some thanks to the SPLC because they’re the ones that started this controversy. But instead of taking it on the chin we went on the offensive.
I love it. I love it. And what they meant for evil has been turned into a whole lot of good right here. Because you know like you said, they wanted to silence this judge and now what they’ve done is as a result of you guys fighting back and winning this. You’ve secured free speech for all those judges in Alabama and as we said, maybe across the country.
I mean I remember, Matt, when I ran for Supreme Court and they threw these cannons at me and said I couldn’t talk about I was pro-life, and couldn’t talk about my belief system and my values. I would always quote that Republican Party of Minnesota v. White case where Scalia said, “Look, if you’re going to have an election of a judge, the judge has to be able to say what they believe and the people have to know what they believe to be able to cast an informed vote.” Was that brought up in this case, what the Supreme Court has said in the past on this?
Not Only Do Judges Have the Right to Speak, the People Have a Right to Hear
Yes it sure was. In fact you know not only do judges have a right to speak, but the people have a right to hear. They have a right to ask questions.
They have a right to know where the judges or judicial candidates stand. In fact, Justice Parker is running for the chief justice position of the Alabama Supreme Court. People have a right to know his judicial philosophy. He has a right to comment and speak about his judicial philosophy and his personal values system. That opens up the opportunity for us to be informed voters to elect the kind of judges that need to be on the bench, people that will respect the Constitution.
In this particular case, this was like Damocles sword, if you will, hanging over the neck of Justice Parker.
What the SPLC Started for Evil has Turned Out for Good
Had the JIC filed the charge at any moment, and they had this case open for a year by the way, he would have automatically been removed from the bench and he would have to fight for years to get back on the bench. In the meantime, the elections will be over, the chief justice position is coming up for a vote this November. He just won the primary in Alabama, and now he’s up against his Democratic opponent in the upcoming final election. The election would be over.
The good news is he’s got the right to free speech. He can speak, all the judges can speak, and the people have a right to hear. And the SPLC what they started for evil has turned out for good.
People Need to Know the Convictions and Beliefs of Judicial Candidates
Yeah, and they’ve used these cannons often to silence judges and certainly anyone that had any conviction whatsoever. And Matt I’m sure you know, if you and I could go back in time and keep the court where it’s only applying the law to the facts, circumstances before it and not making law, and not dealing with all the issues in the culture that it’s dealing with now; it might be a different ballgame. But at this point, these major issues are going to the court and the people need to know- does that judge have a belief system grounded in the Constitution or not?
SPLC Was Handed a Major Defeat
So like you said, it’s for the people as much as it is for the judges, and I’m just thrilled to see SPLC lose in this case. And for our listeners, it may not be familiar, Matt. Now the Southern Poverty Law Center I think has probably got you, me, Barton- you know all the conservatives on their hate group list and they disparaged us for years- Family Research Council, all the good guys. They just got handed a major defeat that-
-maybe could, you know, silence them a little bit from the defamation they’ve been throwing at all of us. Tell us what happened in this case.
SPLC Has Defamed and Harmed Many Organizations
Yeah they have defamed and harmed so many organizations- Liberty Counsel, WallBuilders, David Barton, Family Research Council, you name all the good, pro-life, religious freedom organizations- they defamed them by saying that they”re “hate groups” and that they”re “haters”.
Well that’s not only false and defamatory statement, it”s frankly dangerous. And we know that in the FRC case, someone even tried to commit mass murder as a result of the classification. Well the Southern Poverty Law Center got it handed to them.
The SPLC Spews Radical, Defamatory Rhetoric
There was an organization, the Quilliam Foundation, and Maajid Nawaz is part of that organization. He’s a liberal Muslim and he was speaking out against radical Islam. And yet the SPLC listed him as “Savaging Islam”. They put him in a resource manual that was provided to journalists- a field guide to anti-Muslim extremists. And they added him in there, send it out to journalists so that they could promote their SPLC propaganda, well you know what? They just had to pay $3.375 million dollars, almost $3.4 million dollars, as a result of, not even a lawsuit, a demand letter. It was so bad, that they paid almost $3.4 million dollars as a result of a demand letter.
They’ve now written an apology apologizing to Maajid Nawaz and the organization, apologizing to their readers for misleading them. And they have to keep it published on certain websites for up to two years. So this is an incredible victory against this radical, extremist, defamatory SPLC rhetoric.
SPLC Has Had a Lot of Influence
And these guys, Matt, Â just, I mean, they have been hired by some of the major companies out there including Amazon, Facebook, and others to basically vet folks like us and put us on a bad list. For instance Amazon has that, what do they call- “Smile” where they donate a percentage to whatever nonprofit-
-you have logged into your account. And SPLC has basically been the sole decider over whether or not they’ll even give you a “Smile” account. And of course they say “no” to groups that are Christian and espousing strong faith values. So they’ve got a lot of influence out there, and this could be a big turning point.
This Could Be a Turning Point
They have a lot of influence. And this field guide was given to journalists. So they not only have influence among journalists that promote this propaganda, but also with Amazon, Facebook, Twitter- all of these are using SPLC as a feeder, basically, to give thumbs up or thumbs down to different groups in their speech on these different social media platforms.
You know this settlement is now signed by the SPLC President Richard Cohen. And he now has been forced to say that he was wrong, the SPLC was wrong, to include Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation in their guide to anti Muslim extremists. And they apologized several times. They say “They extend their sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and to our readers for the error, and we wish him all the best”.
Now this is just one of many, I think that there ought to be many more of these kinds of lawsuits and/or demands to the SPLC to stop this false, dangerous, and defamatory rhetoric.
Well, Matt, we appreciate you guys. Keep up the great work LC.org is the website. You can get the Liberator newsletter at that website as well folks, visit LC.org. Make a donation and help them continue to fight these very important battles out there. Matt, keep up the great work, brother, look forward to next time.
Thanks. Good to be with you.
Stay with us folks! Right back with David and Tim Barton.
We Want To Hear Your Vet Story
Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live. Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.
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This Was A Sweet Victory Against the SPLC
We”re back here on WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us! And special thanks to Matt Staver for joining us on the program today.
Back with David and Tim Barton now. And of course guys, you know Matt has been dealing with the Southern Poverty Law Center for a long time so this victory with Tom Parker was sweet for him as well. But it bodes well for all of us in the conservative circles and Christian worldview circles that SPLC has gone after, to know that hey- now we’ve got a chance of fighting back at these guys.
SPLC is Used as the Measuring Line by Major Companies
Well it not only helps and gives us a chance, but when you look at what’s happening even with Alliance Defending Freedom, which we talked about how that they’re now off the programs where the donors can give to them as they make purchases. Because SPLC is being used as the measuring line for who can get the benefits, who can get the tax deductions through these various companies, whether it be Amazon or anyone else.
So when you start having a, not only a federal lawsuit like this, but also the fact that SPLC had to do an out-of-court settlement for defamation. That makes it a lot harder for groups like Amazon to continue using them, because they’re getting more tarnished, and more radioactive, and more things are coming out about how that they’re not the group they claim themselves to be. And that can be nothing but good for wholesome groups that have the Biblical kind of value system.
People on the Left and Right are Becoming Familiar With SPLC”s Agenda
Now although I appreciate the logic that you are communicating, one of the things that’s so true with liberals is generally if one of their own gets tarnished, they have an award ceremony and give them an award-
-and celebrate them. And so I’m not convinced yet that SPLC has become so radioactive that they won’t have an impact, at least under the radar. Certainly their name is at least becoming toxic enough that people on the left and right are at least familiar with them. And hopefully people on the conservative side can recognize them as the group that generally slanders people that hold what have been traditional moral values for thousands of years.
But one of the things that liberals tend to do, and so this is maybe I’m being too skeptical here so correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like liberals often will instead of cutting their losses and moving on, they will try to find a way to celebrate and build them up, and promote them, and pump them to try to keep their public perception high even though on the right it will not be. But then certainly behind the scenes, under the radar, they tend to keep doing a lot. So hopefully, hopefully there’s enough pressure that groups like Amazon come away from them, but I’m not convinced yet.
There is Hope that People Will Start Moving Away from the SPLC
That’s a great point Tim. It may not happen. I mean we have seen so many times when they do rally around to support each other. And often fear the same philosophical viewpoint, you just put your arm around them and say, “Hey brother, it”s OK. We’re with you.” But maybe that won’t happen this time. Maybe the fact that Amazon is such a public company with people buying stuff from all sides, maybe. You know, that’s hope, but that is a tendency on the other side, but hopefully it will at least start a trend moving the other direction.
Yeah, absolutely. Quick break guys, we’ll be right back. Stay with us folks! You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties Â and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor”s briefing.There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Moment From America”s History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Federal courts have made several amazing rulings recently. Ordering the removal of a cross from a cemetery, banning religious holiday displays, removing the Ten Commandments from public view, prohibiting student prayers whether verbal or silent, and numerous other similar restrictive rulings.
As one current justice has noted, “The Supreme Court has now become quote, a national board of theology.” Our Founding Fathers would be astounded. They designed the first amendment to keep the federal courts completely out of this issue.
As Thomas Jefferson forcefully declared, “I consider the federal government as prohibited by the Constitution from meddling with religious exercises. The first amendment was designed to keep decisions on religious expression out of the federal courts and in the hands of the local communities.” For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.
SPLC Will Continue to Have Influence, But We Will Keep Fighting
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Talking about the victories for Justice Tom Parker in Alabama, and also just in general against Southern Poverty Law Center. So all good news, could have been good news Friday program today. But guys this is just the beginning, I think we got to remember these guys have hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re going to continue to have great influence with large companies that have left-leaning corporate boards, like Amazon and Facebook and that sort of thing. And that’s, you know, that’s going to be a long term battle to make sure that conservatives, and Constitutionalists, and Christians still have a voice in this culture.
Well it is. But I think there’s another really significant victory that”s in this with what Matt talked about. Because he talked about how that with the Judicial Conduct Board there in Alabama, that they have now released Justice Parker from what they were going to do to him. And I say “what they’re going to do to him” in the sense of we’ve talked about Alabama before with other judges, and they are almost Napoleonic in the way they handle stuff.
In the American System We are Innocent Until Proven Guilty
In the Napoleonic system, you were guilty until proven innocent. It was that way across much of continental Europe, it was that way in England, etcetera. And so in the American system, we came back and said, “No, no, no, you’re innocent until proven guilty. And you get to call all sorts of people in your defense. You can compel witnesses to come testify. You can confront the accuser. We won’t use any hearsay testimony.”
Our due process clause is from the fourth through the eighth amendment that were designed to put everything in favor of the defendant and not in favor of the government.
But what Matt said about what Justice Parker was facing there was if the judicial commission had filed any kind of a charge against him, he would have been suspended from the bench. Not because he was guilty of it, just because they accused him of it.
Isn”t that crazy?
An Accusation is Not a Conviction
That is so ridiculous. So I can file a charge against somebody. And just accusing them of something, it causes them to lose their position. That’s so crazy. And for a state judicial body to have that Napoleonic position that just because a charge has been filed- I mean you can file political charges all day long- what an easy system to abuse.
So that is a major major victory that they’re not going to file a charge as a result of him being able to win a federal lawsuit.
Yeah and hopefully a shot across the bow to these other states, as Matt put it, to know that their cannons can’t do that either. Granted Alabama’s went even further than I think a lot of the states do, but it certainly says you can’t find some little thing that a judicial candidate says, just simply expressing their belief on a radio program- which is what happened here with Justice Parker- and then file some claim against them. And just by filing that claim, they get removed from the bench. Of course we know how elections work. Like Matt was saying, this would have been right before the election. This was a way for them to try to defeat him in the campaign.
Huge Defeat for SPLC and Major Win for Free Speech
And fortunately that way is not going to work. So there’s a lot of good news in many directions from what Matt was able to do with this case. It’s just great news.
Great news all the way around. And we have more good news for you on our website at WallBuildersLive.com. If you visit that page you can go into the archive section and listen to some of those good news Friday programs or some of the interviews that we have.
We get all kinds of great e-mails and wonderful feedback. Share two of those with you before we close out. This one says, “Wow, this is remarkable! Thank you David for inviting Barry on-“ That’s Congressman Barry Loudermilk, and a lot of folks enjoyed that program. We had Barry on as often as we can, but that was after that incredible incredible miracle that took place with him at that softball game where the guy was trying to shoot as many Congressmen as he could. And as our listener said, “God’s mercy endureth forever.”
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