Pastor Lively Files Challenge to Judge’s Prejudicial Language

Jun 8, 2017

Earlier this week federal Judge Michael A. Ponsor ruled that he lacked jurisdiction to hear a lawsuit against Pastor Scott Lively by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company that the federal Alien Tort Statute (ATS) does not allow a foreign citizen to sue a U.S. citizen in America alleging violation of some international law. Even though the court dismissed the case in favor of Lively, due to the prejudicial and immaterial findings and outrageous statements by Judge Ponsor, today Liberty Counsel filed an appeal to strike Judge Ponsor’s language that was not necessary to the disposition of the case.

Judge Ponsor should have dismissed the case in 2013, when asked to do so following the Supreme Court opinion. Instead, he forced Lively to needlessly endure four more years of intense litigation and discovery by the army of lawyers working for the Center for Constitutional Rights, an organization that has received funding from George Soros.

Judge Ponsor had no choice but to follow clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent when he ruled this week the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. That should have been the end of the matter. But, Judge Ponsor, known for his support of the LGBT agenda, went on to appease the LGBT activists by making unlawful “findings,” including that Pastor Lively violated international law of “crimes against humanity.”

Judge Ponsor had correctly concluded that he lacks jurisdiction over the lawsuit brought under the Alien Tort Statute by the Ugandan homosexual activists, because SMUG had failed to bring forth any evidence that Lively did anything illegal in the United States. Judge Ponsor correctly found that Lively “supplied no financial backing,” and “he directed no physical violence, he hired no employees and he provided no supplies or other material support” to alleged “crimes” supposedly committed by various people in Uganda.

 However, Judge Ponsor improperly littered his Order with a prolonged tirade against Lively, badly distorting his Christian views and activism, and insulting him with such unbecoming epithets as “crackpot bigot[],” “pathetic,” “ludicrous,” “abhorrent” and numerous others. Even more egregiously, and even though he admittedly lacked jurisdiction to rule on SMUG’s claims, Judge Ponsor purported to conclude, without even a pretense of legal or factual analysis, that Lively’s Christian beliefs and pro-family activism violated “international law” and that Lively’s peaceful speaking on homosexuality in Uganda somehow “aided and abetted” crimes supposedly committed by people Lively has never even spoken to or met.

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