PERA (H.R. 2679), the Public Expression of Religion Act would amend two federal laws that are currently used by groups like the ACLU to extort behavior out of individuals.
The article states further:
Rees Lloyd, a former ACLU employee who went on to work as a judge advocate for the American Legion, also testified in favor of the bill; his written testimony stated that there is no need for the ACLU to have its attorney fees paid in religious display cases it challenges in court.
"As a former ACLU attorney, I know to a certainty that the ACLU's litigation is carried out by staff attorneys, or by pro bono attorneys who are in fact precluded from receiving fees under the ACLU's own policies," said Lloyd.
He provided many instances in which he felt unjustified attorney fees were paid to the ACLU:
$1 million was given to the ACLU by the Dover, Pa., School Board in the "Dover Design Theory Case" when the ACLU claimed that teaching "intelligent design" alongside Darwinian Theory violated the Establishment Clause.
Another involved a Ten Commandments monument that was ordered removed from Alabama's state judicial building in 2003. The ACLU and sister organizations received $500,000 in attorney fees.
Lloyd also cited the Redlands, Calif., City Council, which voted to remove the cross in 2005 from its City Seal because the ACLU threatened to sue. Lloyd said the only reason given for the vote was the fear that court-awarded attorney fees would take away taxpayer funds needed for city services.
Because the city could not afford to change all of the seals, employees who had badges -- police, fire, emergency services -- were called in and had holes drilled through the crosses of their badges to comply with the ACLU's demands.
The threat of such attorney fees, according to Lloyd, "is having a chilling effect on the exercise of fundamental First Amendment rights."
It is about time something was done to give the defendants protection from the financial intimidation of the ACLU.