Sunday Sermonette: Sinclair Lewis
This summer the House quietly passed a bill to prevent lawyers from recovering fees from successful Establishment Clause lawsuits:
The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.[WaPo]
Since 1988, the government has been picking up the legal tab for people who successfully sue the state for violating their civil or constitutional rights.
It's a very good system to ensure that you don't have to be rich to have your day in court. If the government has violated your constitutional rights, they least it can do is pick up the cost of your suing them.
H.R. 2679 is a brilliant piece of legislation from the Republican point of view. If enacted, it could simultaneously discourage at least three despised groups from clogging up the courts with their tiresome preoccupations: Atheists, religious minorities, and poor people!
Update: Alon Levy posted some excellent talking points against the bill four days ago.