July 20, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

US Supremes Back Louisburg Woman in Religious Freedom Case

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High marks to KCUR for reporting fairly on a story about Louisburg woman Mary Ann Sause whose day in court lasted several years and ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Five years ago, Sause, now 61, was listening to the Michael Savage show in her Louisburg home when she heard banging on the door. A rape victim years earlier, she called a friend to come over before she would open the door.

Photo courtesy of First Liberty Institute, which represented Mary Ann Sause.

When Sause finally felt safe enough to open it, she saw that her unexpected visitors were the police. Someone had complained that Sause was playing the radio too loud. The police reportedly told her if she did not let them in, they would issue a ticket.

A pro-life activist, Sause showed the cops a copy of the Constitution and asserted her Fourth Amendments rights against unreasonable search and seizure. This apparently irked the cops and prompted them to threaten to take her in for questioning. When Sause asked for a minute to pray, the one cop permitted it, but the other ordered her to get up off her knees and stop, adding a potential First Amendment violation.

For two years, Sause, a supporter of the police, sought only an apology from the Louisburg Police for the unwarranted entry and the mocking termination of her prayers. Not getting one, she took action. “I kept praying and I was like, Lord, I don’t know what to do, but I had to stand up for God and for myself and for people in the country,” Sause said. “So I filed a pro se (complaint) in district court here and it was just a miracle how it all happened.”

On Thursday, her case reached the Supreme Court, and the Court upheld Sause’s First Amendment claim. In a  a brief unsigned opinion, the Court found that a “lower court should not have dismissed Sause’s civil rights complaint against the officers.”

“It was so sweet,” said Sause, “thank you, God.”



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