Defending Against Attacks on the First Amendment
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”— First Amendment, United States Constitution
WHAT IS THE 5 FREEDOMS PROJECT?
The 5 Freedoms Project is a ministry effort of the Indiana Family Institute that educates the public on First Amendment rights and defends the same against government intrusion. If you have had your rights violated, please contact us.
WHY THE 5 FREEDOMS PROJECT?
The five freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment are under deep scrutiny and even attack these days. And, the challenges to the First Amendment have become so varied and numerous that national organizations are hard-pressed to respond to all of these threats in a timely and effective manner.
This is why (with Alliance Defending Freedom’s blessing) we launched the Five Freedoms Project in Indiana. Instead of delegating claims to the first attorney that responds, our plan is to develop a network of attorneys that focus in particular practice areas (such as employment law) and to match claims to an attorney in the relevant practice area. Further, and this is especially true in parental rights cases, cases can be won or lost in a short period of time if the claimant does not receive advice on his or her legal rights and assistance during the public relations firestorm that often develops in such cases. For these reasons, this project is designed to provide Indiana claimants with prompt legal referrals and public relations assistance.
WHAT DOES THE 5 FREEDOMS PROJECT DO?
Legal Referrals and Research Assistance. We do not provide legal services. Rather, we refer individuals and organizations with First Amendment claims to like-minded attorneys. Further, we work closely with Alliance Defending Freedom and other national organizations and can assist in researching complex or novel First Amendment claims.
Public Relations Assistance. Because many First Amendment cases attract statewide and even national media attention, we work with claimants and attorneys in developing public statements and a public relations strategy.
Education. Because many Hoosiers are unaware of the rights protected by the Indiana and U.S. Constitutions, we educate the general public about the five freedoms in the First Amendment.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
We request the following commitments from participating attorneys:
- A commitment to prioritize First Amendment claims that are referred to you. As explained above, we started this project to ensure that claimants are referred to an attorney within a business day (and hopefully sooner). Our plan is to build a large enough network that the weight of this is shared among participating attorneys.
- A commitment to handle First Amendment claims pro bono. Though these cases may qualify for grants from national or state organizations or for attorney’s fee awards, we cannot guarantee this. Our plan is to build a large enough network that the weight of this is shared among participating attorneys.
- A commitment to coordinate with Indiana Family Institute on public communications. Messaging is often critical in First Amendment cases, and we want to ensure that our public communication strategies are consistent with yours.
HOW IT WORKS
- Add your name to the list of participating attorneys by emailing Josh Hershberger at firstname.lastname@example.org
- When we receive a First Amendment claim that is relevant to your practice area, we will refer the claim to you for your review.
- If you decide to represent the claimant, we will ask your firm and the claimant to sign a Memorandum of Understanding concerning Indiana Family Institute’s limited role in the engagement.
- We will provide research and public relations assistance throughout the case.
For more information or if you have a question, contact Josh Hershberger at email@example.com.
5 Freedoms in Action
Case Studies Coming Soon!