Hate group leaders Mat Staver and Tony Perkins

Will they unite in holy wedlock?

Hate Group Leader Mat Staver has been having a hissy fit over subpoenas issued in regards to Karnoski v. Trump challenging the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service. On December 11, 2017 Judge Marsha Pechman, United States District Court Western District of Washington, issued an injunction, enjoining the administration from enforcing the ban.

Liberty Counsel and Family Research Council both received subpoenas:

All Documents and Communications from the Relevant Period between You and President Trump,
the Executive Office of the President, the Trump Campaign, Vice President Pence, the Office of
the Vice President, or the Department of Defense, concerning military service by transgender
people, public policy regarding transgender people, medical treatment for transgender people,
and/or transgender people in general.

At issue is how the ban was formed. Was it the product of military analysis or — more likely — upon the advice of right wing anti-LGBT hate groups? Lambda Legal seems to have a point. The latest version of the ban was reportedly authored by Mike Pence with assistance from Ryan T. Anderson and other right wing groups. The Department of Defense had hired the RAND Corporation to study this issue and they said that transgender people should be allowed to serve. Presumably RAND has no agenda. Fundamentalist Christian organizations do have an agenda and are biased. Which group is more likely to produce an intelligent analysis; RAND or the Christians?

Horatio Mihet of Liberty Counsel, representing Liberty Counsel and Family Research Council, sent out a bloated nine page objection asserting all manner of issues claiming that the subpoenas were violations of religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of association and so on. At the end of the bloat there is this specific summary:


Liberty Counsel and
FRC object to this Request because it seeks information privileged under the First Amendment;
violates Liberty Counsel’s and FRC’s right to freedom of association, freedom of speech, and
freedom to petition; violates Liberty Counsel’s and FRC’s statutory rights under the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act; violates the limitations imposed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26; violates
Plaintiffs’ obligations under Fed. R. Civ. P. 45; imposes an unconscionable and undue burden on
Liberty Counsel and FRC; seeks information more readily available through alternative channels,
including the parties to this litigation; seeks irrelevant information; and fails to allow a reasonable
time for compliance.

There certainly is no privilege regarding communications with the government. If this objection has any hope at all it will be based on “undo burden” according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Pechman was appointed by Bill Clinton, a decision she might be regretting after almost two decades of service. The poor jurist has to deal with the insane Trump administration and Christian crazies.

On the other hand, Jedge Pechman is originally from Brooklyn. She knows a thing or two about wacky people.

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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.