New York's top law enforcement officer is being taken to task for his efforts to punish and silence pro-life and Christian speech on public sidewalks.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D-New York) filed a federal lawsuit against 14 people who protested outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. The AG's lawsuit, filed in June 2017, is based on the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and similar New York laws – a law enacted by Congress to prevent actual violence and physical obstruction of abortion facility entrances.
But Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the people in question were in fact peaceful and standing on a public sidewalk.
"We represent one of those defendants, and our particular client is a pre-K teacher who spends his Saturdays on public sidewalks in public places around his area sharing the gospel – including in front of the abortion clinic. But he's always on a public sidewalk and he's always peaceful," Staver tells OneNewsNow.
"The attorney general knows this [and] the lawsuit is frivolous, but we are now in the midst of a two-week trial for this injunction that the attorney general is seeking literally to silence pro-lifers and Christians."
According to Staver, Schneiderman made an "absolutely unbelievable" statement when he announced the lawsuit last summer – especially considering the words came from the mouth of the state's top law enforcement officer.
"He said that 'We are not a nation where you can choose your point of view,'" Staver describes. "That's in fact exactly what the First Amendment protects: that we can have a specific viewpoint – and in this case, pro-life or Christian, those viewpoints are constitutionally protected ... but not according to the attorney general."
The New York attorney general's office did not respond to OneNewsNow's request for comment.