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Can you explain why TST used Marc Randazza as a lawyer?

In 2018 The Satanic Temple sued Twitter for religious discrimination. Marc Randazza reached out to The Satanic Temple to offer pro-bono representation, which The Satanic Temple accepted. Several members in TST leadership at the time objected strongly to The Satanic Temple accepting legal representation from Randazza on the grounds that he had been seen casually socializing with people with awful alt-right views, and was on the record mocking social justice activists and expressing advocacy for “free speech” in a way that trivialized or expressed disdain for members of marginalized communities. In short: Randazza is a piece of crap person with shitty views, and some members of leadership therefore felt uncomfortable with the idea that TST would use Randazza for legal representation (even with it being pro-bono).

Lucien wrote about this topic in 2018 (Down the Spiral of Purity) and again in 2020 (Uncompromising Justice: On Legal Neutrality and Due Process). These articles provide detailed accounts of the facts surrounding the lawsuit and Randazza’s role as legal counsel, as well as Lucien’s reflections on the rationale for not refusing free legal work from a lawyer who had represented right-wing bigots and had expressed awful views himself. You can also find a discussion of this and related issues that includes quoted statements from TST and Lucien Greaves in the article Why I haven’t left The Satanic Temple by Stephen Long.

When people bring up the 2018 lawsuit and subsequent controversy that arose over TST accepting pro-bono legal work from Randazza, it is sometimes presented with incorrect statements or linked to unrelated claims in an attempt to gin up anxiety or doubt about The Satanic Temple. It’s worth noting that legal representation does not equate to endorsement from either side. For example, the ACLU, one of the country’s most beloved civil rights organizations, often defends Nazis, KKK members, racists, and totalitarians. No one believes that the ACLU endorses their client’s racism, nor does anyone believe that the KKK members represented by the ACLU support the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. We hope that the quick summary and links provided here give you enough information to continue to look into the facts and make your own value judgment on the matter.

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