Archiver > IL-COOK-PALATINE > 2008-02 > 1202398375

From: ETM <>
Subject: [IL-COOK-PALATINE] 2008-02-05 SJCA eNews
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 10:32:55 -0500

> Subject: 2008-02-05 SJCA eNews
> Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 18:36:27 -0600
> St. Johannes Cemetery Alliance (SJCA)
> February 5, 2008
> It has been a while since the last publication of the SJCA eNews, and many
> have written to ask if we are still proceeding with our defense of St.
> Johannes Cemetery, or if it looks like the legal efforts are pretty much
> exhausted. The answers to those inquiries are a YES to the former and a NO
> to the latter.
> YES, the struggle continues on strongly, even after the long six years we
> have already endured. Daily, legal teams here in Chicago and in Washington
> DC are hard at work to protect the sanctity of St. Johannes and assure its
> sacred use for many more generations to come.
> No, we have not reached the end of the legal road. Even though we have faced
> several hardships for the past several years, we are still passionately
> pursuing the legal options which we still have available.
> To briefly sum up the three legal courses of action which we are presently
> engaged in, the following is from lead attorney Joe Karaganis:
> A -
> We will be arguing the challenge to FAA grant funding of the Phase 1
> Airfield project – the project that will destroy St. Johannes – on February
> 11, 2008 in the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The key
> issue will be the application of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration
> Act. We argue that federal assistance in the form of over $1.6 billion in
> federal grant and PFC funds and FAA grant contract conditions that require
> Chicago to build the Phase 1 project and destroy St. Johannes trigger the
> application of the federal RFRA statute.
> B -
> On a separate track (attorneys) of Hogan & Hartson (are) preparing a
> certiorari petition asking the Supreme Court to hear an appeal from the
> Seventh Circuit’s (referencing the) ... 2003 amendment to the Illinois
> Religious Freedom Restoration Ac. That (petition) will be filed in early
> March 2008.
> C -
> The third route is our defense of the Chicago state court eminent domain
> case raising:
> 1) the Illinois 1970 Constitution’s Freedom of Religion clause (which
> predates the Supreme Court’s 1990 Smith neutrality decision) and
> 2) the necessity argument – i.e., that St. Johannes is not necessary for
> Chicago (especially if the airlines do not authorize Phase II).
> [These arguments were presented to the DuPage County Court on February 5,
> 2008 in the form of a traverse filing. The attorneys for both sides of the
> struggle will appear before the court again in early March sometime]
> As you can see, much is still happening on a variety of fronts, in our
> efforts to prevent the desecration of St. Johannes Cemetery. You will be
> kept informed, via this newsletter, when major developments happen.
> Peace and Blessing to You,
> Rev. Michael M. Kirchhoff

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