Last December, a Las Vegas shooting victim sued The Bail Project, a national non-profit bail fund who provided the alleged shooter bail in an unrelated case. The Bail Project’s Las Vegas chapter closed shortly after the suit was filed, to the delight of conservative media.
In Minnesota and nationwide, conservative pundits are suggesting that a similar lawsuit be filed against Minnesota Freedom Fund. Growing right-wing support for this legal strategy follows two years during which Minnesota Republicans introduced (and Minnesota Freedom Fund defeated) legislation squarely aimed at our organization. One bill, the so-called BANE Act, would have made it illegal to operate a nonprofit bail the state. The bill has already been reintroduced this year, although it currently has little chance of becoming law.
Against a backdrop of disinformation and political hostility to community bail, on Feb. 7, 2023, we launched a 501(c)4 political organization, Minnesota Freedom Fund Action (MFF Action), to advocate for pre-trial and immigration justice and to protect the legal and political interests of community bail funds. The launch of MFF Action sends a clear message to opponents of bail funds and bail reform: We are ready to fight back.
MFF Action is lobbying lawmakers and officials, endorsing supportive candidates, educating the community and our national audience, and changing the narrative around pre-trial fairness.
“While we believe pre-trial fairness should be a bipartisan issue, the last midterm cycle demonstrated our opponents’ willingness to politicize, weaponize, and misrepresent our work for partisan political ends,” said Elizer Darris and Mirella Ceja-Orozco, our co-executive directors.
“Until now, our political opponents have relied on our relative silence as a non-political charitable organization. The launch of MFF Action should signal to our opponents that we are fully and vocally joining the fight for pre-trial fairness and immigration justice in Minnesota. We will only close our doors when the cash bail system and the harms of immigration detention have been eliminated.”