My hearing in Detroit, OTOH, was entertaining on a different but still buffoonish level. The SMART legal team twisted itself into gordian knots. I half expected Avery Gordon, lead attorney for SMART, to do the closing in the shape of a human pretzel. Gordon was quite taken with himself and his lawyerly acrobatics. Though few shared his enthusiasm for himself, he strutted like a rooster and danced like a lummox. His arguments resembled the first really popular computer game, "pong," bouncing all over the map.
The first twenty minutes were spent with Gordon arguing that testimony be given from either me or SMART's witness Beth Gibbons, despite the fact that that was why we were there and why I flew halfway across the country.
When the judge denied that, "isn't that what we are here for?" ...... the games began.
First Avery contended that SMART denied my ads based on "political speech." He made this the centerpiece of his case. He denied that the ads were religious in nature. Are these ads political?
But under cross-examination Beth Gibbons (witness for SMART) admitted on the witness stand that the ads were not denied based on content. End game. Bah dah bing, bah dah boom.
Gibbons went on to say that the ads were refused because of the "controversy" in Miami, and she said that she saw a link to an opinion piece by unindicted co-conspirator, Hamas-linked shill reporter, Jaweed Kaleem ...get this, in the Department of Transit newsletter (online).
But the money quote was -- the ad was not rejected on content. And Gordian knot Gordon kept repeating that viewpoint and/or that POV had nothing to do with the decision. So if it wasn't content and none of their views, biases and prejudices were considered, then what was it?
His political speech argument, it had no legs, so he ..... he attacked me (anti-jihadist!), FDI, my motives, my intent, blah blah blah, but not the merits of my case. He then went on to say, in his closing remarks, that he (SMART) did not care who was behind the ads, it mattered not (then why the ad hominem attack?). And further, he could not identify who was behind the anti-Gd ads they ran or the abortion ad they wouldn't run. Mind you, FDI, though viciously attacked, was not even on the ad. RefugefromIslam.com is. And what has FDI got to do with the ad anyway?
Gordian Gordan and I had a contentious back-and-forth on cross examination. He was wanting me to admit that FDI was a political organization, and hence the ad was political. I stated specifically that it was a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech (which is the political aspect of the organization) and religious liberty (religion). He did get pissed at me at one point and asked the judge to "admonish the witness." Heh.
Are you political or not?, he railed .............. both, I said.
And frankly, what does that have to do with the price of eggs in China or our bus ads?
I loved when he quoted my website, an Atlas reader (who knew?) and said, did you not say on your website today that you were coming here fully armed (here's what I actually wrote),
"Armed with hundreds of pictures of honor killing victims, Rifqa Bary's testimony, screenshots of facebook fatwas on apostates, and the actual death fatwa issued at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most important institution of islamic law in the Sunni world and the authority that approved the revealing English-language guide to the Sharia (Islamic law): Reliance of the Traveller. Reliance of the Traveller is a one-volume manual of Sharia. (The title implies that this is a handy compendium of Islamic law so that when you're on the road, you know how to behave in unfamiliar situations.)
I said, yes, absolutely. One should be fully armed and fight fiercely in defense of religious liberty and free speech, should one not? Is there anything more crucial? And he bellowed no, there's not. Sort of surprising himself, it seemed, that we were ....... agreeing.
Gordian Gordon railed about me in closing ............and referred to cases that frankly were not applicable.
Needless to say, my brilliant legal team, Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center (who made the closing remarks, steadfastly holding to first amendment protections -- superbly) and David Yerushalmi, who argued the case and got the stunning admission from Beth Gibbons, were a freedom lover's dream team.
Judge Hood will issue her ruling later this week on our injunction.
On a side note, a huge hug to Susan and Linda for welcoming me to Detroit and having me speak at their ZOA meeting (asking me at the last minute). They picked me up at the airport, took me to their event as soon as I landed, and then drove me to my hotel. Wonderful warriors, they came to the hearing as well, and I will post their impressions if they write them up.
It was a thoroughly exhausting and almost silly excursion. One has to ask why SMART is fighting this with such vigor. They are wrong. Categorically. And no matter the ruling, the transcript alone will make for knee slapping legal incredulity.
I will have more, but I have to be at CNN tomorrow morning for a debate with Ibrahim Ramey (Muslim American Society) on the Ground Zero Islamic Supremacist mosque at 6:30 am. My segment will be on at 7:40 am. If you are up, watch....