Pentagon Papers attorney takes case brought by CAIR
Widely regarded as a "legendary" First Amendment advocate who has represented the likes of Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov, New York lawyer Martin Garbus has agreed to defend the co-author of "Muslim Mafia" and his son in a lawsuit brought by the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Garbus, who has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court along with trial and appellate courts in more than 100 cases, told WND he's defending co-author P. David Gaubatz because his case is a "continuation of a struggle being carried out throughout the world" to guard freedom of speech.
"I think a book has a right to be out there, and any attempt to stop the book, I think, would be violating the First Amendment," he said.
Garbus has been in the thick of numerous groundbreaking and highly controversial First Amendment cases over the past five decades, from Daniel Ellsberg's battle over the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War and Lenny Bruce's famous obscenity charges to radio host Don Imus' lawsuit against CBS after he was fired for his remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
Other clients have included activist Cesar Chavez, actor Robert Redford, actor Al Pacino, director Spike Lee, writer Samuel Beckett and Czech playwright Vaclav Havel. Later, when Havel became president of the Czech Republic, Garbus was invited to help write the nation's constitution.
One of his many seminal cases was Ashton v. Kentucky, in which the Supreme Court ruled in 1966 that libel could no longer be criminally prosecuted.
As WND reported, CAIR alleges Gaubatz's son, Chris Gaubatz, who served as an unpaid volunteer for CAIR in a daring undercover operation, obtained access to the D.C.-based Muslim group's property under false pretenses, removed internal documents and made recordings of officials and employees "without any consent or authorization and in violation of his contractual, fiduciary and other legal obligations to CAIR."
A federal judge in Washington issued a restraining order Nov. 3 barring the Gaubtazes from further use or publication of the material – 12,000 pages of documents along with audio and video recordings – and demanding that they return it to the Muslim group's lawyers.
Garbus told WND the material will be returned, and a proposed order filed Thursday indicates both sides have agreed.