I can't find anything in traditional media about this, but the Thomas More Law Center says they're suing to overturn the Matthew Shepard Act. This group is known for silly lawsuits, the kinds that make even those who feel like Americans need a strong and responsive judicial branch roll their eyes, like when they sued the federal government for bailing out AIG because they sold insurance they thought Muslims would like in Muslim countries or when they sued Janet Napolitano because of that memo that said rightwing militias might get violent (where did they ever get that idea?).
It's hard to tell from their release just why they're suing - it seems like a big part of their case is that gays are evil perverts so the government shouldn't be protecting them:
All of the plaintiffs "take a strong public stand against the homosexual agenda, which seeks to normalize disordered sexual behavior that is contrary to Biblical teaching," the Law Center said in a news release.
I guess they don't know that the Establishment Clause doesn't go so far as to prohibit Congress from passing a law that makes a certain religion mad. Or they do, since they're lawyers and that's pretty basic. Or they just hate gays and were trying to look for a way to include that.
They provide a few more details:
The lawsuit alleges that the new law violates the plaintiffs' rights to freedom of speech, expressive association, and free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment, and it violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment. The lawsuit also alleges that Congress lacked authority to enact the legislation under the Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
The lawsuit says the Hate Crimes Prevention Act "provides law enforcement with authorization and justification to conduct federal investigative and other federal law enforcement actions against Plaintiffs and others deemed to be opponents of homosexual activism, the homosexual lifestyle, and the homosexual agenda," thereby expanding the jurisdiction of the FBI and other federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies.
I don't see how the free speech, expressive association, equal protection, and Tenth Amendment stuff doesn't also apply to the federal hate crimes law that's been on the books since the 60's. The religion one arguably could have been made about previous hate crimes legislation - if a preacher says Islam is wrong and a parishioner goes out and commits a crime against a Muslim (that's usually their argument about how hate crimes legislation violates freedom of religion), then the preacher is just as liable as they are now. Which is to say, not at all.
Maybe the point is just to try to raise awareness about this issue, since according to the Eugene Volokh post linked to before the jump, these folks aren't the best litigators.