As of Friday, June 27, ROPE has hired two different attorneys to represent the PEOPLE in the lawsuit against HB3399. If you would like to help us raise money to fund these efforts, you can do so here.
At the time of our associations with either set of attorneys, we had no idea who would represent the respondents (the state) in the lawsuit. Today, after speaking with Emily in the Attorney General's office, we have found the AG's office will be mounting the defense. I would like to point out, however, the AG's office is defending the respondents - the State Department of Education, Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman, Pro Temp Brian Bingman and the State of Oklahoma.
However much confidence we have in the ability of the AG's office to defend the state (and our hard work to Stop Common Core in Oklahoma) against this silly lawsuit, I ask you to turn your attention toward the Hobby Lobby religious liberty case. Today, Hobby Lobby won a major fight for the cause of religious liberty in the United States, however, there were many lawsuits filed in many different courts before this final verdict was reached today. In fact, though, the Green's attorneys represented them ably, many Amicus briefs were also filed in support of the original lawsuit to give the court other perspectives and information to consider.
So what is an Amicus brief? An Amicus brief is also called "friend of the court". Only the respondents in any lawsuit are given 'standing' in a lawsuit - it is up to those being sued to mount a defense. An Amicus brief allows people NOT a party to the original lawsuit to bring their voices into deliberation on the action. In other words, though the state is defending the state, no one is defending the PEOPLE. The state's interest and the people's interest are not always the same, as we found when the lawsuit was originally filed. Filing one or more Amicus briefs in response to this lawsuit help the voice of the people to be heard...yet again.
Here is the information I provided today on our Facebook page. If you have further questions or concerns, please either respond to the post here, on our Facebook page or feel free to message me personally through our Facebook page.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ROPE's REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE IN FILING AMICUS BRIEFS IN SUPPORT OF HB3399.
Please, rest assured we are not attempting to gain anyone's personal information in using the Go Fund Me site to collect money to fund our Amicus briefs on behalf of the people and HB3399. ROPE was the first organization in all of Oklahoma - and one of the first in the nation - to research, educate others and attempt legislation to stop the State Longitudinal Database. We will not use anyone's email addresses supplied to the Go Fund Me effort, period.
The Oklahoma Attorney General has agreed to represent the respondents in this case, yes. This is a good thing, however, again, the state is being represented and not the people.
Here is a statement from one of our attorneys, Don Powers, of Powers At Law, law firm in Edmond, Oklahoma (http://powersatlaw.com/),
"An Amicus brief provides a venue into the case, allowing us to present facts on the side of the people that can be helpful to the Attorney General and the Supreme Court in deciding the case in our favor. It simply allows the people to have more ammunition on our side."We have also secured the services of John Paul Jordan in Yukon, Oklahoma (http://www.jpjordanlaw.com/). Mr. Jordan replied,
"We have seen time and time again where an Amicus brief has helped to sway a court to have a more clear understanding of the issues. In addition, given the confinement of the briefs, an Amicus brief helps to get more information to the court that a party may not be able to include. We can't take for granted what information is presented to the court. For example, many Amicus briefs were filed in the Hobby Lobby case. This is a common legal practice."Please visit the websites for both sets of attorneys if you are concerned that our request is without merit, simply political or for any other reason than a pure representation of the people who fought so hard to STOP COMMON CORE in Oklahoma.