The Corner

Group Files Motion to Block Construction of Mosque Near Ground Zero

The American Center for Law and Justice, which represents New York City firefighter and 9/11 survivor Tim Brown, is continuing to work on preventing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Yesterday, ACLJ filed a motion asking that the mosque developers refrain from any building or demolition at the site.

ACLJ filed a lawsuit last year, arguing that the city’s Landmarks Preservations Commission had acted improperly in coming to the decision that the building currently on the site owned by the mosque developers was not a historic landmark worthy of preservation.  A Freedom of Information Act request made by ACLJ led to the city releasing e-mails, which showed that city officials had been working with mosque developers behind the scenes. At one point, a city employee even drafted a letter for the mosque developers to submit to the community board that needed to approve the mosque.

However, the city has not yet released all the relevant e-mails, which form the basis of ACLJ’s claim in the lawsuit that there was an inappropriate cooperation between the city and mosque developers.

“In our affirmation to the court filed today, we cite the Respondents’ failure to answer its petition in a timely manner.  The affirmation also cites two complaints to the Department of Buildings noting unauthorized work without proper permits at the mosque site and the developers’ application for $5 million in public funding through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation as an indication that project is moving forward,” the group said in a statement.

ACLJ expects the filing could result in a court date as early as next week.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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