SCOTUS Denies American Atheists Petition for Writ of Certiorari

The Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

The Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied the American Atheists petition for writ of certiorari. This ends the case that was filed in the commonwealth of Kentucky. The decision does not affirm that the decision of the Kentucky Appeals Court is correct, but it results in the law not being overturned. This case was one of about 350 that were denied without comment.

American Atheists National Legal Director Edwin Kagin has indicated he will file a new case in federal court. He is currently seeking plaintiffs. If you are interested in being a plaintiff in the federal case, contact me at edwin.hensley@insightbb.com.

You can see the SCOTUS denial here: scotus_denies_cert.

Ky Attorney General Conway Responds

Jack Conway's finally replied after SCOTUS ordered him to do so.

Jack Conway’s finally replied after SCOTUS requested him to do so.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway filed a response to the AA petition to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Originally, Conway elected not to reply. He was requested to reply by SCOTUS and finally did so.

I have attached the response here: Ky Attorney General Response.

I experienced several face palm moments when reading the document, but I will just discuss three of his claims.

1) the statutes are a part of the legislature’s valid secular purpose… of protecting the Commonwealth from all major hazards

This is an ASSERTION not backed up by any evidence. Exactly HOW do these religious proclamations and requirements protect us?

2) 39G.010 does not require anyone to recite, affirm, or swear to the text of 39A.235.

39A does make it a misdemeanor to violate that statute, the EOC IS REQUIRED to publish the findings in educational materials and annual reports, and the Governor is also required to publish the findings in annual reports.

3) While a movement to mix religion and government may exist, again it is completely irrelevant to the legal analysis of the statutes

This is an ADMISSION that there is a movement to mix religion and government. It is NOT irrelevant to these statues. These religious requirements can result in a misdemeanor, fine, and jail sentence. I would ask the court what this ADMITTED movement to mix religion and government might do NEXT if this law is upheld. What future religious offenses could be required, and what future jail sentences could be ordered? Today the atheists, tomorrow the Muslims and Jews.

Supreme Court Requests KY Attorney General Repsond

KY Attorney General Jack Conway filed a waiver of right to file a response with SCOTUS.

KY Attorney General Jack Conway filed a waiver of right to file a response with SCOTUS.

The Supreme Court requested KY Attorney General Respond

The Supreme Court requested KY Attorney General Respond

WASHINGTON D.C. – On December 14, 2012, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway filed a waiver of right to file a response with Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in response to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Kentucky Homeland Security case.The waiver of the right to answer by the defendants could be seen in at least two different ways: 1) They think our argument and case is so weak that no reply is necessary, or 2) They want SCOTUS to take the case.

On January 11, 2013, SCOTUS sent Conway a letter requesting that Kentucky file a response. SCOTUS told Conway

Although your office has waived the right to file a response to the petition for a writ of certiorari in the above case, the Court nevertheless has directed this office to request that a response be filed.

Forty printed copies of your response, together with proof of service thereof, should be filed on or before February 6, 2013.

Your attention is directed to the provisions of Rule 33 of the rules of this Court. Please note that the color or the cover of your brief should be orange.

This request by SCOTUS increases the probability that SCOTUS will review this case. Only one out of every thousand cases petitioned to SCOTUS are actually heard. The fact that SCOTUS is demanding Conway produce 40 orange covered copies of a response by February 6 indicates that at least someone has read something in the petition that concerns them.

You may read the letter from SCOTUS to Conway here:  SCOTUS To KY Attorney General.

Louisville Courier-Journal on the Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court

An article on the Kentucky Homeland Security case now appears in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

American Atheists Petitions the US Supreme Court

On November 13, 2012, American Atheists (AA) National Legal Advisor Edwin Kagin submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). This means that he is asking SCOTUS to review the Kentucky Homeland Security lawsuit. AA won at the Circuit Court level, but had the decision reversed by the Ky Court of Appeals. The Ky Supreme Court decided not to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

Filing the petition does not guarantee SCOTUS will here the case. Only one in one thousand cases are heard. Four justices must agree to hear the case before it will be heard.

You may review the petition here:Petition to the Supreme Court

Media Coverage of Ky Supreme Court Refuing to Hear Case

Lexington Herald Leader: Court Upholds Kentucky Law Requiring Reliance on God for Security

Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky can continue crediting god for homeland security

KY Supreme Court Denies Discretionary Review

The Kentucky Supreme Court sent a very short letter to Edwin Kagin, notifying him that they have denied a discretionary review. This means that the Kentucky Homeland Security Law stands at this time. One judge dissented and said there should have been a discretionary review. I believe that there had to be three judges request a discretionary review before a review would have occurred.

This does not mean that the Supreme Court has validated the Appeals Court decision, rather, it simply means that they will conduct a review. This does have the effect of leaving the law in place.

We plaintiffs have three courses of action: 1) Refile in federal court; 2) Request a review by the U.S. Supreme Court; 3) do nothing. I will keep you posted of any decisions regarding this case made by the American Atheists attorneys.

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