Attorneys head to court Tuesday to challenge a Michigan law that
prevents pastors from influencing voters.
Robert Muise, co-founder of
the American Freedom Law Center, has filed suit
against the Michigan attorney general and a local prosecutor,
"seeking to enjoin a provision of the Michigan election law that
actually makes it a crime for a Christian, a priest, a pastor to
attempt to influence a voter at an election by advising them 'under
pain of religious disapproval,' as the statute says."
It is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment,
fines, or both. Muise sees that to mean religious leaders are
denied the free speech rights others enjoy.
"Certainly in this election cycle we see a lot of persons, a lot
of groups who are trying to influence voters to vote a certain way
based on whatever their particular cause celeb might be," the
"But for a religious person to try to influence a voter to vote
in accord with God's Word, in accord with biblical principles, that
would put the priest, pastor, or minister subject to criminal
prosecution under this Michigan election law."
Muise adds the law is unconstitutional on its face, so he will
ask a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction to ensure that
it is not used to silence people of faith as the election