Hialeah City Charter

Marie A. Failinger mfailing at PIPER.HAMLINE.EDU
Wed Apr 22 00:59:42 PDT 1998

It should seem that the question should not be "can I get away with it?"
but "should I do it?"  Wouldn't a counsel who thought such references to
send Justice O'Connor's "political outsider" message to non-Christians or
non-theists be ethically expected to say,  "yes, you can get away with it,
but you shouldn't.. . .)  When a City Council reconsiders what it should
do with such phrasing, it no longer becomes a historical document but a
contemporary decision.

Marie Failinger

 On Mon, 20 Apr 1998, Rob Weinberg wrote:

> At 02:35 PM 4/20/98 -0400, Rick Nelson wrote:
> >In this case, we (Liberty Counsel) advised the City of Hialeah that
> >references in historical documents such as "in accordance with the will of
> >Almighty God" are not directives.  We cited the Constitution of the State of
> >Florida which states that "the people of the State of Florida, being
> >grateful to Almighty God ..." and also the Declaration of Independence
> >making several references to the "Creator" and "God", etc.  We advised that
> >such references do not create mandates (as the detractors argue), but merely
> >reflection.  Several detractors have argued that "Almighty God" can only be
> >a reference to a "Christian God" so other faiths would be adversely impacted
> >by city decisions.  The detractors suggest that such references in all
> >historical documents should be sought out and sterilized.  Do we really
> >believe that such a process would be a good use of our government's time or
> >money?
> That's really a political/economic question, not a constitutional question.
> The answer, of course, depends upon how win-able your ceremonial deism
> arguments will be. The real question is: Whether you win or lose, is it
> worth the expense of defending a court challenge?
> ******************
> Rob Weinberg, Montgomery, AL
> http://www.mindspring.com/~robertmw/

Marie A. Failinger
Hamline University School of Law
mfailing at piper.hamline.edu

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