Ninth Circuit to Claremont: Not So Fast..

Published by 24 Comments

Perhaps a Victory in the Making

We have good news we trust will become even better news soon.   The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the district court made an error in preventing Riley’s Farm from seeking injunctive relief.  Likewise, the court clearly affirmed that public agencies cannot engage in First Amendment retaliation, indicating there was strong prima facie evidence that Claremont Unified School District did precisely that.

This means that if we prevail at the district court, Claremont will face the obligation of paying all of our legal bills, both what we’ve had to bear, and the unpaid obligations of four different firms who saw Claremont’s Constitutional violation as being so clear they put in their time with no guarantee of being paid.  In other words, Claremont could be facing penalties in excess of one million dollars.

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We also believe there’s a reasonable possibility the Ninth Circuit will amend this ruling, allowing us to seek compensatory and punitive damages, which would make Claremont’s burden even greater.

Why are we so resolved?  Why do we want to make the lives of public officials difficult?

The reason is very simple.  We should never elect people, or hire civil servants, who HATE THE BILL OF RIGHTS. If we don’t make trampling on civil liberties expensive, they will go right on doing it.  Public leaders need to recognize that our communities, and our nation, and our economy, are all made stronger by allowing differences of opinion.  If you are one of those people who say, “Jim, you can say anything you like, but you have to take the consequences,” then I would respond “you would have made a great German Nazi Lutheran in 1939.”  None of us should be arguing for a world where government can penalize you for saying the wrong things.

I don’t want my children living in a country where, upon trying to start their car in the morning, the dashboard lights up with a message reading, “We’re sorry.  You said something on social media that offends community standards.  The California DMV is suspending your driving privileges for seven (7) Days.”  That is totalitarian CHINA, and NOT the land of the brave and the home of the free.

And even today, I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t provide living history field trips unless I agree to conform all of my personal political speech to the neurotic standards of a few loud woke misfits.  We had a twenty year relationship with Claremont Schools.  They loved our programs, which were never political in the contemporary sense.   They loved our making history exciting for kids.

They threw us under the bus because they forgot all Americans have the right to speak their mind, not just the shrill complainers.

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This post was written by Jim Riley

24 Comments

  • Frances Valencia says:

    Thank you for being Freedom Fighters & for standing up for what is right! Sending love and prayers as you continue to fight this battle!

  • Kathy says:

    Praise God! Thank you for standing up for what’s right. We pulled our child out of CUSD for the nonsense that they’re teaching. Amen!

  • Shiela Hanlon says:

    “None of us should be arguing for a world where government can penalize you for saying the wrong things.” Amen, Jim. Amen.

  • Dr. Daniel Morse says:

    As a science educator of GATE students for many decades I want to thank you for standing up to what is right. First amendment retaliation is clearly wrong, as even the liberal 9th circuit has ruled. The programs that were cancelled have harmed hundreds of students of a clear, well-run, enriching and accurate history experience put on by a culturally diverse group of enthusiastic docents which I have witnessed numerous times. Each individual participating in cancel culture and history revision by putting their opinions above what a student might gain and experience need to be set back on their hind ends for unwarranted actions. They do not make up their own rules. The constitution does.

  • Kathy Johnson says:

    This is fantastic news!!! Hopefully, everything will be made right. You guys have been through so much, praying for you!

  • Marilyn Farrell says:

    Keep up the good fight and may freedom and liberty prevail.

  • zamar says:

    Supporting and praying for you from the “Live Free or Die” state. Thank you for staying in the 1A fight!

  • Bill Beeskow says:

    Doing what few others would dare to do. I appreciate your diligence.

  • James says:

    Thank you for taking a stand. Many of us are so tired of the WOKE status and cancel culture BS. I’ve really come to dislike the Political Views that are being established in our society, especially teaching our children reverse racism in schools now.

    Stay Strong in your resolve and keep fighting the good fight!!

  • Joan says:

    Thank you for fighting for our constitutional right of freedom of speech! My sons and I have such great memories of the field trips to Riley’s Farm that we still refer to them today, and they are in their 20’s. In addition, we still talk about the best apple pie and beef jerky!

    Keep up the good fight of faith! Our prayers are with you.

  • MR JAN says:

    Just as a business owner can “reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” any entity has the right to patronize whomever they please. Where in the Constitution does it say otherwise? Do you actually think that the Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) hates the Bill of Rights? Since I do not know just what you tweeted to cause CUSD to cancel their field trip but I am sure it must have been so egregious to offend many that read those tweets. Sure you have the right to your beliefs and opinions but if others do not agree they have the right not to patronize your business. That is like saying that Russia has the right to wage war but you do not the right to object to it.

    • Jim Riley says:

      Individuals have the right to boycott any enterprise they like. Governments do not, as the court upheld here. Engaging in retaliation for First Amendment speech would allow the government to put an end to any speech it didn’t like. We’re pleased the court ruled the way it did and we believe we prevail on damages as well.

  • Mark Kirsnis says:

    Keep fighting the good fight, Jim. and may God bless you for it!
    (and keep making those 5 LB. apple pies!)

  • Jose Aragon says:

    God bless you all at Riley’s Farm! I immigrated to the US in the late 60’s where I met my wife, married and had our daughter. She recalls many beautiful trips to your farm as a child with her classmates. She is now 40 and fighting to keep the tradition alive with her own son but has encountered a group of parents at their school district looking to do the same number Claremont did. Beaumont Unified School District will hold their school board meeting this Tuesday the 22nd and it is said the parents looking to “cancel” you great folks will be there in full force trying to convince the board to take you off the approved field trip list. It’s a shame what this society has become. I am almost embarrassed to say the U.S. I knew and loved is being erased by these people who preach “live and let live” yet they don’t practice it themselves. Please take a look at Beaumont Unified as they may be next on the list of your defendants.

  • Jim Riley says:

    Someone who describes himself as “Chad Chuckleberry” (using a fake email address), has this to write..

    “You posted racists tweets, insulted people with mental issues , and used sexual profanity when reacting to students (kids) walking out to take a stand. The only people that back you are just as racist as you, fake Cristians who love to hate. Regardless of what happenes (sic)in the courts you tarnished whatever respect Rileys (sic) farm had.

    Heres an example,when responding to white supremacy. im sure your supporters wont see anything wrong with it.

    “You mean those 3 guys who live in two different counties in Arkansas? If there’s a problem in America today it’s BLACK supremacy. Farrakhan, Obama, Lebron James, etc. Typical brain dead feminist”

    Followed by..

    Im (sic) sure you’ll censor the comment, like the hypocrits people like you tend to be.”

    Jim Riley responds..

    Don’t you love it when people who dare you to publish can’t bring themselves to be identified?

    There was, of course, nothing ‘racist’ in anything I tweeted. Louis Farrakhan is a known racist and black supremacist who advocates Jewish genocide. Barack Obama sought his approval and sat under the racist preaching of Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. Le Bron James compares NFL owners to “slave owners” and brags, as a youth, he wanted “nothing to do with white people.” If the races were reversed here, there would be hell to pay. We simply can’t have a double standard and expect to end racism.

    You can oppose police brutality, furthermore, without embracing BLM itself — an organization run by people who brag about being “trained Marxists.”

    The broad-brush hate these people demonstrate, (and their unwillingness to consider all perspectives), is truly disturbing.

  • Theresa Pierce says:

    For the life of me I cannot fathom how some people, let alone one 4th grader’s parent, can bring about this turmoil in the first place. I’ve been to Riley’s Farm. I’ve come for the pies, I’ve come to events, I look forward to planning to attend a Revolutionary Day and I will be there for Sleepy Hollow. How can one persons opinion be more important than the hundreds of thousands of people that come whenever they can to enjoy whatever is going on at Riley’s farm. I’ve even debated history with the Blacksmith and absolutely LOVED IT! I have never been around so many well educated people who live to make history a live lesson. It’s a wonderful place and should never be bothered by any political agendas in the future. If you don’t like “real” history don’t go there. If you are uncomfortable with your child going on a field trip there don’t send them. Shame on the 9th Circuit for even suggesting this was worth the time and money of our civil servants and taxpayers.

  • Stephanie Schmitz says:

    Yes, you have freedom of speech, however, you do not have freedom from the repercussions of said speech! ‘Bout time you racists get put in your place! Welcome to 2021, where the consequences of your actions actually matter!

  • Amy Burland C says:

    Proud of you Jim, even tho my city will be forking out the money. They have done stupider things (like trying to buy the Water District for which we lost $12 M.)
    You’ve been doing it right since ’79 at AHS.

  • Skip Mahoney says:

    Not to mention, when LeBron James warned others against speaking out against Chinese slavery because “you don’t realize who might get hurt,” his concern was about upsetting his Chinese partners and hurting the profits of fellow millionaires like himself who profit from actual SLAVERY, TODAY!

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