Ernest (Ernie) W. Chambers (born July 10, 1937) is a Nebraska State Senator who represents North Omaha's 11th District in the Nebraska State Legislature. He is also a civil rights activist and is considered by most citizens of Nebraska as the most prominent and outspoken African-American leader in the state. As a State Senator, Chambers was considered one of the Legislature's most passionate, controversial and colorful members and was characterized by some outlets of the national media as "the Maverick of Omaha," the "angriest black man in Nebraska," and "defender of the downtrodden". Due to a term limits law passed in 2000, his term in the Nebraska Legislature ended in January 2009. It is generally agreed that even after 38 years he would have easily won re-election. As he put it, "They had to change the [state] constitution to get rid of me." He is the longest-serving state senator in the history of Nebraska.
On November 6, 2012, Chambers was once again elected to represent north Omaha's 11th district in the Nebraska Unicameral, defeating Brenda Council by a "landslide".
Ernie Chambers targets 'so help me God' in oaths (story needs to be rewritten in Celebatheist wording. Link to story here.
On September 14, 2007, Chambers filed a lawsuit against God, seeking a permanent injunction ordering God to "cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats...of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent".
Chambers said his action was in response to another lawsuit filed in the state court that he considers to be frivolous and inappropriate. In that case a woman was taking Lancaster County Judge Jeffre Cheuvront to federal court for ruling that the words "rape", "sexual assault kit", "victim", and "assailant" could not be used in her testimony.
Senator Chambers (a member of the Judiciary Committee) stated that the case "is inappropriate because the Nebraska Supreme Court has already considered the case and federal courts follow the decisions of state supreme courts on state matters." He went on to announce his lawsuit against God and said "This lawsuit [against Judge Cheuvront] having been filed and being of such questionable merit creates a circumstance where my lawsuit is appropriately filed. People might call it frivolous but if they read it they’ll see there are very serious issues I have raised."
Chambers' lawsuit drew even more media attention than the lawsuit that had inspired him to take the action to prove his point. Many media outlets covering the story made no mention that Chambers' case was intended to show that the courts were currently required to hear cases, regardless of how frivolous they were. The confusion was furthered by Chambers himself who, apparently tongue-in-cheek, told reporters that his case was not to protest frivolous lawsuits, but to insure them saying his action was "in response to bills brought forth by other state senators to try and stop lawsuits from being filed. 'The Constitution requires that the courthouse doors be open, so you cannot prohibit the filing of suits, Anyone can sue anyone they choose, even God.'"
The case was finally closed on February 25, 2008, when the Nebraska Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal and vacated the order of the district court. The court quoted cases according to which "[a] court decides real controversies and determines rights actually controverted, and does not address or dispose of abstract questions or issues that might arise in hypothetical or fictitious situation or setting".