The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner
regarding Secular Coalition for Arizona’s unwarranted attack upon the Arizona “In God We Trust” license plate:
“Secular Coalition for Arizona has the same opportunity as any other non-profit group to create a license plate that expresses their view. Rather than shutting down speech, they should add to the conversation with their own perspective. That’s how free speech works in this country. Arizona is well within its rights to offer its citizens an opportunity to voluntarily purchase license plates affirming the First Amendment and contributing, in this case, to the pro-bono work ADF does
to protect freedom of speech, religion, and conscience for all Americans. The way to counter speech you disagree with is not to use the government to banish a message like ‘In God We Trust,’ but simply to speak your own view.
“Furthermore, it’s widely known that the Southern Poverty Law Center engages in baseless smear campaigns aimed at destroying groups with which it disagrees, and it only attacks groups on the right. Even Politico
recently noted the longstanding criticism that SPLC is ‘becoming more of a partisan progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog.’ It’s disappointing to see elected officials become uncritical pawns in these ugly propaganda campaigns. The SPLC did good work years ago, but they’ve been widely discredited for decades by investigative journalists
, charity watchdogs
, and commentators
, and unreliable
. In fact, SPLC has been sued multiple times for unjustly spreading falsehoods about various groups in order to shut down those with whom they disagree. They even recently paid $3.375 million and issued a public apology
to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit by Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, whom SPLC falsely labelled an anti-Muslim extremist. Even some of our ideological opponents have sharply criticized SPLC
for attacking us.
“ADF is one of the nation’s most successful and respected Supreme Court advocates
. We’ve won nine U.S. Supreme Court cases in the last seven years. In 2018, Empirical SCOTUS ranked ADF first among ‘the top performing firms’ litigating First Amendment cases in its Supreme Court All-Stars 2013-2017
list. Whether it’s the national motto, freedom of speech in the public square, or freedom of religion and conscience, ADF will continue to defend and protect these constitutionally protected freedoms for all Americans.”
ADF attorneys are available for comment to the media. Contact ADF Media Relations at (480) 444-0020 or www.adfmedia.org/home/contact
.Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.