The New Republic reports:
A Trump-appointed Texas judge has ordered three senior Southwest Airlines lawyers to take eight hours of “religious-liberty training” from the far-right Christian hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.
In his late Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr specifically mandated the lawyers take the training as part of court-ordered sanctions for religious discrimination. He described ADF as one of several “esteemed non-profit organizations that are dedicated to preserving free speech and religious freedom.”
The mandated hate-group training is the latest phase of a lawsuit brought by flight attendant Charlene Carter, who sued Southwest for firing her in 2017 after she sent confrontational anti-abortion messages to her union’s former president. Carter argued she had been discriminated against based on her religious beliefs, and U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr sided with her in December, ordering she be reinstated.
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The judge, a Federalist Society member, worked for Texas AG Ken Paxton before being appointed to the federal bench by Trump in 2019.
A Trump-appointed Texas judge has ordered three senior Southwest Airlines lawyers to take eight hours of “religious-liberty training” from the far-right Christian hate group Alliance Defending Freedom. https://t.co/uRBtIyurv6
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) August 8, 2023
NEWS: Federal judge in Texas orders airline lawyers to take “religious-liberty training” from the extremist advocacy organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, in issuing sanctions in an employment case on Monday. https://t.co/onHycu5zmf pic.twitter.com/WE6cuJDr5d
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 8, 2023
I had the pleasure of attending the investitures of US District Judges Brantley Starr and Ada Brown.
Both judges are brilliant legal minds – and I have no doubt they will uphold and defend our Constitution.
I have every confidence that they will serve Texas with distinction. pic.twitter.com/eD6XeQ4i8u
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 13, 2022
If upheld, Trump Judge Brantley Starr’s order would let courts force lawyers to undergo religious indoctrination sessions from an extremist group that may well contradict their own deeply held spiritual beliefs and freedom of speech. This cannot possibly be legal.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) August 8, 2023