MWB Frank Haas will be in court on Monday 12/6/10.
The Judge has apparently ruled in a pre-trial hearing the following:
1. The Grand Master did not have the authority to expel a member based on the Laws of Masonry (West Virginia Lawbook).
2. The State of West Virginia has the authority to rule and force a private organization to follow its own rules.
3. The Grand Lodge had filed a motion to NOT allow any discussions regarding race. Their argument was that race was not pertinent to the case. She denied it and my understanding is that she indicated that it IS pertinent to the case.
As the Beehive has pointed out previously, Grand Lodges that have incorporated (and most if not all have), now are no longer purely private organizations but they have entered the civil world and are now subject to civil authority and to the rules of incorporation of their state. They no longer can violate the Civil Rights of their members. They can no longer get away with injustice with impunity. Civil courts will rule upon their practices because they have removed themselves from the exclusive private world into the public sphere. This they did of their own free will and accord and now it is time to pay the piper.
This could have far reaching effects for the high profile cases of Derek Gordon in Arkansas and Mike McCabe in New Jersey and many other Freemasons across the nation who have been treated unjustly by their Grand Lodges.
Stand by. Freemason Information will keep you abreast of this story as it develops further.