Court To Liberty University: Your Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover Kidnapping Children From Their Gay Parents

On the same day in 2012 that a preacher was found guilty of abetting the kidnapping of her daughter to Nicaragua, lesbian mom Janet Jenkins filed a RICO lawsuit against many of the parties suspected of conspiring in the crime, including Liberty University, the parent of the vile anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel, whose president Mat Staver is specifically named in the suit. Today the ACLU reports that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s ruling that Liberty University’s liability insurance policy covers such lawsuits. Read the ruling. (Tipped by JMG reader BK)

  • Gustav2


    Really, just did that, really, really loud! Really.

    • oikos

      I’ve never heard of Joshua Block, but I like him.

  • oikos

    Don’t you hate when that happens?

    • crewman

      I don’t understand how a lower court could have ruled that way in the first place. Insurance does not cover illegal activities. Otherwise every criminal would take out top-notch life insurance policies.

      • oikos

        It does seem pretty strange.

      • bkmn

        Fundie judge perhaps?

      • PLAINTOM

        I don’t know where the judge got his degree but I can probably guess where he goes to Church.

        • RNegron

          Maybe he graduated from Liberty “University”.

          • andrew in ct

            THANK YOU for the air quotes!!

          • Steverino

            Which, of course, is neither.

    • HadenoughBS

      And the Liberty University/Counsel anti-gay losing streak continues. Way to go, losers.

      • bsinps

        You are so right on this. And this case is a huge loss. Some one, or more , may meet Bubba very soon.

    • MDB

      The Fourth made it crystal clear:

      “As we have emphasized, the Jenkins Complaint alleges Appellee’s liability for injuries arising from its direct involvement in conspiracies to commit kidnapping and racketeering, which carry criminal penalties.

      We conclude these claims clearly and unambiguously trigger the Intentional and Criminal Acts Exclusion.”

      • clay

        Weren’t no accident and it didn’t just happen to occur.

    • clay

      “An accident occurred when my foot encountered a bit of a wet spot on the polished tile floor, and I somehow found a part of my body firmly lodged in part of the young man of Puerto Rican descents’ anatomy. Allegedly.”

      • oikos

        All part of gawd’s plan, Clay. 🙂

      • Cuberly
        • clay

          I like how the situations the MP just happens to find himself in just keep getting worse and worse, the wife standing further and further.

          • Cuberly

            HA! And that look on her face as he attempts to kiss her….lol…

  • Octavio

    It’s noon and I’m still trying to wake up. This has helped a great deal. I love the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. 🙂

  • Michael Rush

    does this mean some religious nuts will get jail time ? when will the persecution stop !

    • Reality.Bites

      You don’t do jail time when someone wins a lawsuit against you (and that hasn’t happened at this point).

      All this means is they’ll all be personally (or the “university” will be) on the hook for any damages and costs the plaintiff may be awarded at some time in the future.

      • Michael Rush

        ” abetting the kidnapping ” sounds more serious to me , we’ll see how it plays out .

        • MDB

          from page 31 of the decision: “…Appellee’s liability for injuries arising from its direct involvement in conspiracies to commit kidnapping and racketeering, which carry criminal penalties.”

          • Michael Rush

            ten bonus points to the first person who can spot a story where Liberty Counsel / Mat Staver are the victims in all this .

          • MDB

            Barbwire column in about 24 hours.

      • scorpiomike

        I did not read the decision, but I would think this also means the insurance company is not required to assist in their defense (which is usually a part of liability insurance contracts).

        • PLAINTOM

          The ” University” will only be able to afford the incompetent “lawyers” produced by their own “University”.

          • oikos

            Christian circle jerk.

          • Chucktech

            Liberty “U”: “Oh, FUCK!!! Jesus, fuck, we’re really fucked now! Let’s bend over and kiss Jesus’ ass goodbye… Jeezy gawd, we’re so fucked…”

          • I just ran that through my head with Butterfly McQueen delivering that monologue and it was pretty damned amusing!

          • jmax

            The Phelps family doesn’t seem to be very busy these days. Maybe they could help.

          • Michael Rush

            They’ll be represented by Sylvia Driskell , the 66 year old Nebraska woman who sued every gay person on Earth .

        • clay

          Yes, including paying for it– all damages are payable by Liberty University, Liberty Law, and its Dean and members.

          • David Walker

            I feel a money beg coming on.

    • CPT_Doom

      No jail time from this lawsuit, it’s a civil case only; but this means any judgments will be paid by the school and/or employees, if the jury finds them liable.

      However, the good news is that there is no Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in a civil suit. A lawyer conducting a deposition can ask pretty much anything he/she wants, and the subject providing the deposition has to answer. Civil litigants are also free to share their findings from depositions with the criminal justice system. Given the number of statements Staver, et. al., have made during this case about Miller, Jenkins and their daughter, there’s going to be a deep pile of sh*t to dig through for Jenkins’ lawyers.

    • RoFaWh

      A year or so ago, I was reading an article about the difficulties English employers have with new hires out of the Millennial class. Example: gal hired. Did absolutely nothing. They fired her. Her response? “You can’t fire me, I have a degree.”

      In a like way we can expect to see the fundagelicals try to defend themselves in court with “You can’t convict (or jail or fine) me; I’m a Christian!”

      I’d love to see some judge peer over his glasses at a defendant stupid enough to try that and then investigate whether the person is, in fact, a Christian. Can they recite the Nicene Creed? Have they actually been baptized? If so, when and where and by whom, and where’s the paperwork? And then investigate how good their knowledge of scripture is.

      With the hopeful conclusion (a) you are not a Christian in the eyes of the law and, anyway, (b) even if you were, your defence is rejected without further comment. A passing reference to that bibblical verse about obeying the existing authorities wouldn’t be amiss.

  • MDB
  • Treg Brown

    Yay. Personal responsibility/consequence for the things you say and do.

  • oikos
  • Mark

    Sweet but bring on the money begs now.

    • oikos

      and cries of persecution.

  • Jake

    Is the child still in Nicaragua? Have charges been filed against the other mother?

    • D. J.

      I don’t think they know where the child is now. ITIR eventually the trail went cold in Nicaragua.

  • bambinoitaliano

    But but but when will i get to see them get hand cuffed and send to jail?!!

    • Craig Howell

      Perp Walk! Even better than Road Trip!

  • sw42


    • Gustav2

      It really is the End Times when you can’t steal children for Jesus.

      • Tor

        Or at least have it covered by Obamacare.

      • Chucktech

        Yes, it really is the End Times [for Liberty “U”].

    • oikos

      Another one of the goals of teh Gay Agenda™realized,



    • bkmn

      I’d be happy just to get him disbarred.

    • radiofreerome

      Send him to Iran. Tell the Iranian government he’s gay.

      • Tor

        Now you’re talking!!

  • Trevor Brown

    Karma bitches. If Mat Staver knew anything about the plot but did not go to the police then he is personally culpable.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      .. and should be rotting in a jail cell.
      Kidnapping is one of the worst crimes imaginable.

  • JT

    Fantastic! Sue those fucking criminal racketeers out of existence!

  • Justin

    Bankrupt the mofos.

    • Chucktech

      Then, put them in jail.

    • clay

      If this is a RICO case, can’t we also jail Staver and his (former) student worker, as well?

      • RoFaWh

        Staver, like a lot of other fake xtians, should be put in jail on general principles.

  • bkmn

    This ruling should be used to get Staver and Co. disbarred.

    • oikos

      I hope that is delayed while they represent the renegade clerks opposing issuing marriage licenses. Their track record speaks for itself.

      • bkmn

        Even if they get disbarred they will just operate behind the scenes after they open a new law office in the name of someone who hasn’t passed Liberty’s Law Skool yet. But it would still be delicious to see them disbarred and liable for all the crap they pull.

        • oikos

          I love that they are so utterly incompetent as to think they could get away with kidnapping.

          • Beagle

            Unfortunately, they’ve succeeded in one way — Jenkins still hasn’t seen her daughter.

          • oikos

            That part sucks and I hope for them to go to jail and/or be bankrupted.

          • D. J.

            I like and.

          • Chucktech

            That’s what happens when you’re so addled by the Jeezy Gawd. With the Jeezy Gawd, all things are possible. Even beating a RICO rap.

            “Oops, what’s that? Whaddya mean the Jeezy thing’s not working??”

        • D. J.

          Pat Robertson’s idiots, oops, Law Skool graduates might try to step in. If Robertson’s avoid it, then the level of stink does go sky high.

    • Tor

      I’d also like to see the insurance company drop them for filing a fraudulent claim.

      • bkmn

        And once an insurer drops you it is very hard to find coverage from everyone else….hehehe.

        • clay

          Can’t be accredited without the financials in place– feds are even more strict about that than professors credentials. Plus, if they loose their insurance, they loose all federal grants and loans, and all GI Bill students, and most publishing for professors.

          • barracks9

            I realize that would cause a shitstorm for a lot of people who weren’t directly involved in this case, but when you work for a “university” of this reputation, you gotta know that house of cards could come tumbling down at any time.

          • bkmn

            Please keep going…

      • D. J.

        Drop them? File fraud charges against them. Fraud is NOT dischargeable under bankruptcy.

    • clay

      Liberty Law should loose its accreditation, as well.

      • delk

        Losing accreditation means NO Federal jobs for graduates.

        • Treg Brown

          I’m not seeing a problem with that delk. They must have known there is always a strong chance the school could lose their sketchy accreditation. After all, they are college students and should have a modicum of critical thinking skills. 🙂

          • delk

            Neither do I! The rule was to stop the idiots (Monica Goodling) from placing bigger idiots into Dept of Justice.

          • Treg Brown


  • Porkie

    I am seriously amazed that a lower court could find that ” Liberty University’s liability insurance policy covers such lawsuits ”
    Where did they train, Liberty University?

    • oikos


    • MDB
      • Guess?

        Don’t Blink!!

    • Davidjs

      If I wasn’t so cynical, I would strongly suspect that the judge in the lower court was trying to set a legal precedent so that all the kiddy-diddling churches out there wouldn’t have to cough up their own money to settle lawsuits, but rather the insurance companies would have to pay out.

      • clay

        Isn’t the RCC self-insuring?

        • As the wealthiest entity on the planet, and the largest holder of real estate, I wonder if they need to be.

        • dzerres

          their insurance is declaring bankruptcy.

    • AmericanPaPISSED

      Liberty University School of Law: “Study Law from a Biblical Worldview” (apparently not from a legal view)

    • dzerres

      Didn’t Michele Bachmann get her law “degree” from Liberty? And she’s the one that thought the Revolutionary War began in NH instead of next door in Massachusetts.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        No, I believe her undergrad was at Oral Roberts and her JD is from Regent… Pat Robertson’s pet project, and worse than LU, as bad as that is.

  • Gene

    yum….justice with a side order of Schaedenfreude.
    Its been a bad week…month..year…couple of years, for poor Staver…he really seems to believe that we are truly evil and vile. He is just projecting I think

  • Freeman

    I see that Jerry Falwell’s rotting corpse is still stinking up the joint over there.

  • JaniceInToronto

    Why aren’t the miscreants in jail already?

    • I love your use of the word “miscreants”…

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Court: Insurance Policies aren’t the new Indulgences
    Entitled Christianists seem to think they can buy Insurance to safeguard them against their own crimes (even kidnapping), just like the church used to sell Indulgences. Sorry Lincoln U, ain’t gonna happen in the 21st century!

  • JustSayin’

    That ruling and its detailed justifications is a major smack down of liberty u. And their egregious teachings to its law school students.

  • Tor

    I’d thing the insurance company would have denied coverage a long time ago.

    • JustSayin’

      Why? All the policies they hold are about things like slip and falls or other accidents. They excluded coverage of criminal acts so have very little exposure as a supporter of Bigot U. In fact if liberty was not trying to stall the RICO case and create distraction they never would have sued their insurer.

  • Ninja0980

    Serves the SOB right.
    Such a pity jail time likely isn’t to follow but at least he will be hit in the pocketbook.

    • Chucktech

      No jail time with this ruling, but that has nothing to do with the RICO charges. THAT’S what will result in jail time.


    I think we may have discovered why Mat moved to Florida and left his position at “Liberty University”.

    • MDB

      As a named party, that won’t protect him from any damages or criminal penalties.

      • clay

        (The university might claim it protects them, however, and try to make Mat pay all of it, while fending off their accrediting body’s questions about what they’re teaching law students.

        But then, they are now a largely on-line school, so he could still be in control as Law School Dean.)

        • MDB

          Liberty’s exaggerated numbers list Residential enrollment 13,500
          Online: 95,000 ???

          real numbers :
          2014,15: 47,460 total undergraduate enrollment
          2013,14: Forbes statistics listed total enrollment at 74,372, of which undergrad was 46,133)

          Four year graduation rate of ONLY 27%
          Shocking, absolutely shocking.

      • Porkie

        But It will allow liberty U to blame it on him and a few other disposables, It may not help financialy but it will help with the PR aftermath.

    • Dot Beech

      If he moved to Florida, it’s almost certainly because he anticipates a large money judgment against him and is preparing to file bankruptcy to discharge the debt. Florida is one of the states with the very, very generous homestead exemptions. If he bought a large house, he has protected all his assets there.

      Where does he live? Let’s look it up on Street View.

  • Sk3ptic

    Well, imagine that! What, even when kidnapping’s in the name of the lawd?


    Who knew ? Insurance not only won’t cover acts of God but also criminal activities committed in the name of God.

    • barracks9


    • Chucktech

      Apparently this is a big fucking surprise for them.

      • clay

        It’s so hard reading legalese.

  • Stev84

    Also shows you how little Christian legal organizations really care about their pawns. They just need willing idiots to advance their agenda. But they don’t want to put their own money on the line. This is an organizations with hundreds of millions of dollars. They could pay this out of their own pockets.

  • David Walker

    Oops. “Liberty” “Counsel” lost? Srsly? “Liberty” “Counsel”? Mat Staver’s little fiefdom? Isn’t this a first or something?

    • Shocking isn’t it? I think I need to sit down a while, oh wait I am. I’m just so confused….

      • David Walker

        Would it help if you clutched my pearls?

        • Oh yes! Thanks! Whew…..that is better. I think some tea and toast are called for. Won’t you join me for some light pearl clutching refreshments?

          • David Walker

            Sounds delish!

          • B Snow

            Or other treats from The Pearl Clutch Cookbook. (I so want this to be a thing….)

          • The Pearl Clutch Cookbook: When life gets brutish, sooth yourself with gentle cuisine.
            By B. Snow.

            How’s that?

          • B Snow

            But what sorts of recipes would it have? Finger sandwiches? Petit fours? I can’t think of anything else dainty/sensitive.

          • Hmm, thats a stumper for sure. Milk toast, Cheese Rarebit, Stratas, oooh! eggs! Poached eggs can be comforting, especially with toast soldiers. I think twill be a very thin recipe book, as I’m outta recipe ideas myself.

  • D. J.

    Please hire ADF Mat. Was Anita Staver involved in this too?
    I followed this case from the beginning but it has dragged on for so long it is hard to remember all the specifics.
    I do recall that “LC” enlisted the help of Mennonites to get the child into Canada and finally Nicaragua.
    ITIR the Mennonites were not happy upon learning they had been hoodwinked by “LC”.
    ITIR Staver saying at the time he felt no remorse and given the opportunity would do it again. (No surprise there) Hoping to create a new Underground Railroad to steal kids from all gay parents.
    The custodial mother the child was stolen from deserves Justice, as does the child. I would wager the mentally unstable legally declared unfit mother for Jeebus has poisoned the child’s mind against the long childless legal custodial Mom.
    Criminal RICO charges against everything Mat Staver has ever touched! Yes! Please!

  • I can’t imagine the grief of the mother who has been without her child all these years.

    At this point of the game, I think its fairly obvious that while these extreme right winged xtians repeatedly mouth jeebus’s name, they are head over heels in love with the old testament god. They wank over the passages of old testament god laying waste to cities, and entire populations. They want to wield death and destruction to all those they hate, and man o’ man do they have a long hit list.

    • jmax

      Jesus is a pussy. God is Rambo.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    “I knew we should’ve sprung for that Kidnapping Children From Their Gay Parents rider,” said Liberty University president Jerry Falwell (Jr), slapping his forehead,

  • They still haven’t managed to extradite this horrible “mother” from Nicaragua?

  • MM

    JMG should cover the latest development in this case. A wealthy Christian businessman, who is alleged to have funded Lisa Miller’s escape to Nicaragua, is being prosecuted in Buffalo.

  • Ninja0980

    Anyone know the name of the district court judge?
    My guess is he/she is a Federalist Society hack.

    • Baltimatt

      It’s in the ruling:

      Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Lynchburg. Norman K. Moon, Senior District Judge. (6:13-cv-00033-NKM-RSB)

      • He’s a Clinton appointee.

        • Baltimatt

          He ruled against Liberty University in a different case.

          In November 2010, Judge Moon rejected an argument brought by a private Christian college regarding the constitutionality of the federal healthcare law. Liberty University contended that the Commerce Clause does not allow Congress to mandate that Americans buy a commercial product. Moon disagreed with that claim, stating that purchasing insurance is within the authority of the federal government and the Commerce Clause.

          • Insurance law is a fairly irritating field to work in. Particularly since the insurance companies challenge every goddamn thing in court.

          • delk

            Tell me about it! Took 16 months to deal with the ERISA case I was part of, and my husband has written two ERISA textbooks, lol!

          • FSM have mercy, that’s ridiculous.

            I’ve been told that they would rather spend $20,000 on lawyers challenging a $2,000 claim than just pay up.

          • RoFaWh

            Their business model is unsound. then.

            A lot of businesses are only pretend: airlines pretend to sell tickets to fly from A to B, but make their money nickel and dimeing everyone. Insurance companies pretend to sell insurance and pay out claims, but while they’re happy to sell, they seem to think that a pay out is a failure on their part that must be fought tooth and nail.

            There’s a LOT wrong with that picture.

          • Their business model is not unsound. It’s very, very, very sound and quite profitable. It just ignores things like people, fairness, morals, etc.

            These are the people dictating whether others will get certain medical care or not. And people say government is the problem?

  • D. J.

    I wonder if Matt Barber still finds the idea of prison for Jeebus an honor?

  • “The Jenkins Complaint further alleges that Staver and Lindevaldsen routinely instructed their Law School students that the correct course of action for a person in Miller’s situation would be to engage in ‘civil disobedience’ and defy court orders.”

    Yeah, how’s that working for you Matt?

  • Bj Lincoln

    Good! Insurance should NEVER cover kidnapping!

  • Michael

    Anti-gay “Christians” of 2015 practicing their glorious new “sincerely held religious beliefs” of discrimination, sedition and kidnapping! How Christ-like they are!

  • newtosf921

    Don’t you just love that the gays have so much better, smarter, logical and rational lawyers then these right wingers?!?!?!?

  • dcurlee

    Your breaking the law why did a judge ever find in favor of Liberty. Idiot

  • RottenJohnny

    Which boils down the all involved in the kidnapping in any way are fully liable for any damages the court(s) might reach. I love that rulling: violate the law, and your insurance company can say, “Oh, really? You want us to pay for your crimes? LOL!!!”