Saturday, February 10, 2018

Liberty Counsel files frivolous appeal in Guidestar case

 Hate Group Leader Mat Staver
Hate Group Leader Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group really doesn't like being called a hate group. The Christian supremacist law group sued Guidestar USA after Guidestar included the Southern Poverty Law Center designation on its website. The suit was frivolous and the case was dismissed.

The basis of Liberty Counsel's suit was the Lanham Act. The purpose for the Lanham Act, which was enacted in 1946, is primarily to protect trademarks from infringement and the use of deceptively similar trademarks that might cause consumer confusion. False advertising can be a violation of the Lanham Act under certain circumstances.

To assert a claim of false advertisement, Liberty Counsel had to demonstrate that Guidestar made a false or misleading description of fact or representation of fact in a commercial advertisement about a product offered by either Guidestar or Liberty Counsel. In point of fact, GuideStar’s notation that Liberty Counsel “was flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center” is a literally true statement that cannot possibly be proved false unless SPLC changes its opinion of Liberty Counsel (which they will not).

But before you even get to whether or not the statement was true or false, it has to be within the context of commercial speech. The Court ruled that it was not commercial speech which is simple common sense given that both Guidestar and SPLC are nonprofit organizations.

Staver, the moron that he is, insists that the judge was wrong and that forms the basis for the appeal. Even if somehow, miraculously, the Fourth Circuit were to conclude that this constitutes commercial speech it could never be proved that the speech was false. Moreover, Liberty Counsel and Guidestar are not commercial competitors.

If a third party plaintiff had to foot the legal bills, this suit would have never been brought in the first place. That party would certainly not then pursue an appeal that has no chance of prevailing. But here you have a group of lawyers abusing the court system at our expense — and Guidestar's. Hopefully, Guidestar will recoup a large portion of its legal fees incurred in the defense of a clearly frivolous action.

I still have two open FOIA requests pertaining to Liberty Counsel. The information might be of value to Guidestar and I will pass it along if the IRS ever complies as required by law. I have also referred Liberty Counsel's status as a religious organization to my Republican congresswoman who happens to have a transgender son. Hate group leader Mat Staver is stunningly deranged.

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