Via email from hate group leader Mat Staver:
Liberty Counsel has filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, arguing that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment by censoring a private flag in a public forum merely because the application form referred to the flag as a “Christian flag.”
Despite the clear evidence presented at trial, the First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city of Boston’s censorship of the Christian viewpoint on the public forum, a place designated as a “public forum” by Boston’s written policy and confirmed by its unbroken practice during which it never censored private speech – until Camp Constitution’s application. The Court of Appeals expanded the government speech cases far beyond Supreme Court precedent.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city of Boston finding that the flags were government speech. The Court wrongly accepted the city’s argument that the Establishment Clause justified its censorship. However, (1) the application form designates the flag pole as a “public forum” open for private speech; (2) the city never censored a flag in the 12-years prior to Camp Constitution’s application.