Our legal system is supposed to be about providing justice for all. Unfortunately, some people use the legal system like a weapon to shut down people and groups who can’t afford expensive legal consultation. This is called “lawfare” – weaponizing the law to restrict freedom of speech and bury defendants in attorneys’ bills.
Even groups that have the law on their side aren’t safe from this kind of legal warfare. As CRC Senior Fellow Michael E. Hartmann has reported, the Washington state-based Freedom Foundation is mired in just such a costly legal battle with the Service Employees International (SEIU), and it’s jeopardizing their ability to even budget for the future.
The Freedom Foundation, an educational charity, has incurred the SEIU’s wrath by educating Washingtonians about their Supreme Court-backed right not to unionize. As Hartmann notes, the result resembles total war:
At this writing, the actions have cost the Freedom Foundation a total of about $1.4 million to defend against. “We’re surviving,” according to the pleasantly pugilistic president of the Freedom Foundation, Tom McCabe, “but we’ve been under the gun at the Freedom Foundation. They’ve overwhelmed us. We were getting a subpoena a day for a while.”
For Michael E. Hartmann’s full report on the Freedom Foundation’s legal battle with the SEIU, see his entry in Labor Watch.