Mat Staver
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is having a temper tantrum over a subpoena

Hate group leader Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel doesn’t like a subpoena that his group was served with. According to Mad Mat: “This subpoena is one of the most onerous and frivolous Liberty Counsel has ever seen …”

This from the same guy who tried to intimidate Southern Poverty Law Center by frivolously suing Guidestar USA for trademark infringement. The case was thrown out of court. Liberty Counsel is appealing (of course). He is also the same guy who is frivolously trying to prevent the ACLU from receiving court-ordered reimbursement of legal fees from the state due to the fact that his client, Kim Davis, lost her case. (The delusional Staver insists that he prevailed.)

Getting back to the subpoena:

Today, Liberty Counsel is filing an objection to a staggering subpoena from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and National Center For Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in the case Doe v. Donald Trump. The lawsuit seeks to block the ban on gender-confused individuals serving in the military.

The subpoena is dated April 18 and the document production date was May 2. The letter objecting to the subpoena is not timely (it is dated May 2). Moreover, the objection is, well, frivolous:

The subpoena requests communications between Liberty Counsel and the Trump administration concerning the military service of transgender people. Staver claims that these communications are privileged. Unless Liberty Counsel represented the administration as attorneys in this matter I do not see how this is privileged. Indeed, it should be subject to Freedom of Information Act discovery if necessary.

Mad Mat continues:

The subpoena was requested by two of the most aggressive LGBT activists groups. It demands every single document, email, and communication between Liberty Counsel and the following: President Donald Trump, his office, Vice President Mike Pence, his office, and any officers or employee of the Department of Defense… The subpoena deadline was today, less than two weeks from when it was served, and demands “all communications” during the last 14 months.

Staver needs a calendar. The production date is exactly two weeks from the date of the subpoena.

The fact that the lawyers are involved in LGBT advocacy is irrelevant. It must burn his butt that people presumed to be either queers or allies can assert control over Liberty Counsel to require document production. Staver goes (more) unhinged when he is forced to deal with LGBT people. The guy is an outright bigot.

Staver conveniently leaves out the part about communications relevant to transgender military service which narrows the scope. Liberty Counsel has only 35 employees total. They probably have fewer than a dozen lawyers. Each of them knows if they communicated with the administration concerning transgender military service.

Liberty Counsel is not a party to the suit. Several other organizations have received similar subpoenas from these LGBT activist groups. This subpoena is one of the most onerous and frivolous Liberty Counsel has ever seen and is intended to intimidate. If it was allowed to stand, then anyone could use a lawsuit to harass other people and groups with whom they disagree.

It is true that Liberty Counsel is not a party to the suit. It is also irrelevant. The rest is just crap. There is no intent to intimidate anyone. The objective is to find out how the Trump policy came about. It doesn’t seem to have come from military leaders and that calls into question the validity of their objections to transgender service.

“In more than 30 years of practicing law, I have never seen a subpoena like this one,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It directly challenges our Constitutional protections and is solely designed to harass and intimidate. We will not be bullied or intimidated. This unbelievable invasion of privacy must be exposed and fought, not just for our organization, but to protect the right for anyone to freely communicate with their political or military leaders,” Staver said.

In point of fact, with very few exceptions, all communications with the government become public information. The exceptions include national security interests and representation by counsel. If there is a constitutional protection, as Staver claims, Staver has not identified the nature of it. Confronted with gay or trans people, Staver’s limited thinking ability gets shut down completely.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.