By Joseph Laycock
This week, on the 22nd and 23rd of January, The Satanic Temple (TST) and the city of Scottsdale will meet in court to determine whether TST’s lawsuit over a retracted prayer invitation will proceed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit began in 2016 when Scottsdale—which recently voted to spend another $130,000 to fight the lawsuit—scheduled the Temple to give a prayer invocation, only to retroactively uninvite them and change their policies to restrict which religious groups can offer invocations. The Satanic Temple sued, Scottsdale attempted to have their case dismissed, and here we are with the case likely heading to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Central to this case has been TST’s attorney, Stuart de Haan. Often in cases like this, the public only hears who wins. The legal principles behind the case are left unexplained, leaving pundits and spin doctors free to impose any narrative they want. So we went straight to the devil’s advocate and asked De Haan to explain his case to RD.
Why did you become a lawyer?
I had no aspirations to become a lawyer early on. I had always been fascinated with political theory and had a degree in political science. Several years and several pizza delivery jobs later, I found out there was this occupation that involved taking on the establishment. I’ve been practicing criminal defense for over a decade now.
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