On October 28, 2015, a majority of the full court of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of a group of Christian evangelists who were violently attacked by a hostile Muslim mob while preaching at the Arab Festival in Dearborn Michigan. Video of the assault went viral on YouTube.
The 6th Circuit completely reversed a lower court decision which ruled in favor of Wayne County and officials from the County Sheriff’s Office who silenced the Christians’ speech in response to the hostile mob’s reaction. The case, Bible Believers v. Wayne County, was brought by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) on behalf of the Christians.
On August 27, 2014, a divided, three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit dismissed the civil rights lawsuit, finding that the violent response of the Muslim hecklers justified the Wayne County sheriffs’ order to the Christians that they would be arrested for disorderly conduct if they did not leave the festival area.
Within days of receiving the adverse ruling, AFLC filed a petition for rehearing en banc, requesting full court review. On October 23, 2014, the court granted the petition, vacated the panel decision, and scheduled oral argument for March 4, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On October 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit (en banc) ruled in favor of the Christians on every issue, completely reversing the lower court opinion, and directing the court to enter judgment in the Christians’ favor.
In its decision, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the County and the two Deputy Chief defendants were liable for violating the Christians’ First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion and for depriving the Christians of the equal protection of the law. The court ruled that the individual defendants did not enjoy qualified immunity and that the County was liable as a municipality for the constitutional violations.
Read More At: americanfreedomlawcenter.org