Yesterday, a Michigan federal judge granted a motion filed by (AFLC) requesting that the court “quash” harassing and burdensome subpoenas issued by CAIR to Ms. Zaba Davis, a private citizen who received the subpoenas because she publicly expressed her opposition to the construction of an Islamic center in her neighborhood. And in a rare move, the judge also awarded AFLC its attorneys’ fees and costs for having to bring the motion.In 2012, the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor (MCA) requested that Pittsfield Township, Michigan, rezone a parcel of land to build an Islamic School and community center. The Township denied the request, citing infrastructure and traffic concerns. Nevertheless, CAIR, which bills itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization” but is widely known in government circles as a Muslim Brotherhood front group, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Township on behalf of the MCA, alleging that township officials denied the MCA’s rezoning application out of discrimination against Muslims.
The MCA’s rezoning request was opposed by a group of Township residents who live in the neighborhood of the proposed development. The residents expressed concerns about the traffic congestion that would be caused by the construction of a school and community center in their neighborhood. Pursuant to their rights protected by the First Amendment, these private citizens circulated and submitted to their elected Township officials a petition expressing their opposition to the rezoning and several of them spoke out at public hearings held by the Township to discuss the matter.As a result of the citizens’ involvement, CAIR served harassing subpoenas on a number of these citizens, demanding that they produce private emails and other documents, and in some cases, appear for a deposition. In one instance, Township resident Zaba Davis and her husband came home to find several papers jammed in the crack of the front door of their home. The papers included subpoenas demanding the production of personal emails and other documents and a subpoena commanding Ms. Davis to appear at a deposition.
In response to CAIR’s abusive discovery requests, AFLC, which is representing seven of the targeted private citizens, filed a motion to “quash” and for a protective order against CAIR. The court granted the motion yesterday, ruling that the subpoenas violated the First Amendment and caused undue burden.Robert Muise, commented: “Private citizens have a fundamental First Amendment right to publicly express to their elected officials their personal views. CAIR’s ruthless attacks demonstrate that its objectives are dangerously at odds with the Constitution. Consequently, this ruling was important not only for our clients, but for all private citizens who want to speak out against CAIR.”
Robert Muise and AFLC also represent Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life in their lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate.