Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Katherine T. Phan reports in The Christian Post: “The University of California in Los Angeles has responded to media pressure and agreed to allow a graduating student to thank Jesus in her personal statement.”
Mercury News: “The offer came to families on the edge of desperation, living and working around the clock on garbage dumps whose sickening stench seeps into their clothes . . . More than 600,000 young women are trafficked each year around the world, according to a U.S. State Department estimate.”
Christian Telegraph: “The Czech Republic’s Roman Catholic Church has appealed to the Constitutional Court against a ruling giving the state ownership of Prague’s 14th century St Vitus Cathedral, reports Ecumenical News International
“The committee voted 12-7 for David Hamilton’s nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, with all Democratic members in favor and all Republican members in opposition . . .
Hamilton . . . struck down in 2002 an Indiana law that required a woman to receive in-person counseling 18 hours before undergoing an abortion . . . The Seventh Circuit also reversed a 2005 opinion by Hamilton in which he ruled prayers in the Indiana legislature could not use ‘Christ’s name or title or any other denominational appeal.’”
Fox News: “A Christian evangelical group that works to improve the lives of underprivileged children says it has been prohibited from conducting Bible study classes in public housing projects in Tulsa, Okla., potentially violating a Supreme Court ruling that upheld religious groups’ right to the use of public institutions.”
Clarke Forsythe: “If Judge Sotomayor holds the position that she signed onto via the PRDF’s brief, then, if an abortion-related case comes up on the docket, it will lead to her reading the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into the Constitution by judicial interpretation.’”
Peter Slevin reports in the Washington Post: “Recognizing that strong Democratic majorities and the election of Barack Obama as president make it increasingly unlikely that federal laws will be tightened or Roe v. Wade overturned, opponents are pressing legislators to make abortion more difficult to obtain and, they hope, harder to accept.”
ACLU: “Dozens of Tennessee schools have restored access to online information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, just over two weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against two Tennessee school districts for unconstitutionally blocking student access to such sites.”
One News Now: “The Alabama senator leading the GOP’s vetting of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said the American tradition of impartial courts is ‘under attack’ and the pivotal question in her nomination should be whether she allows personal views to color her decisions as a judge.”
Thomas More Law Center: “The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that it has filed a friend of the court brief opposing the ACLU’s campaign to tear down another war memorial cross. At issue is a small cross originally erected on Sunrise Rock in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in memory of the dead of all wars. The cross is located in California’s Mojave Desert . . . ”
Times Online: “BOYS as young as 12 are to be issued with condom ‘credit cards’ allowing them to pick up free contraception at football grounds, barber’s shops and scout huts.”
LifeSiteNews: Up to 4,000 social conservatives are expected to descend upon liberal Amsterdam, Netherlands, on August 10-12 for the biennial World Congress of Families, a meeting that brings together scholars, academics, policy makers, elected officials, and activists for four days of speeches, lectures, and networking.
On Tuesday, June 9, 2009, a broad coalition of concerned citizens from all across New York State will descend upon the East Steps of the Capitol to participate in a “Stand for Marriage” rally organized by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms.
NY Times: “A Caucous leadership fight erupted on the floor of the Senate around 3 p.m., with two Democrats, Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, joining the 30 Senate Republicans in a motion that would displace Democrats as the party in control . . . It was not immediately clear whether the same-sex marriage legislation played any role in the leadership dispute . . . ”
LifeSiteNews: “As Sonia Sotomayor finishes making the rounds on Capitol Hill, meeting individually with lawmakers, two more US senators insist the Supreme Court nominee will continue to uphold legal abortion by maintaining Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.”
Judicial ‘Activism’ Isn’t the Issue: Liberals and conservatives both show too much deference to Congress.
Jeff Rowes writes at the Wall Street Journal: “The practical result is that judges of both persuasions almost never enforce any constitutional limit on the power of government to regulate property and the economy. Given that the vast majority of law concerns these two areas, the real crisis in constitutional law is not judicial “activism” but judicial passivism.”
Tony Mauro writes at the National Law Journal: “In a landmark ruling that could affect state judicial elections nationwide, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that due process requires a state judge to recuse when a party in a case before him or her has had a ‘significant or disproportionate’ influence on placing the judge on the court through a large campaign donation. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the the 5-4 majority, emphasized the ruling affects only extreme cases like the West Virginia case before him in Caperton v. Massey Coal Co.”
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: “Judicial nominees, including nominees to vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, are required to complete a bipartisan questionnaire compiled by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s questionnaire and related attachment available below . . . ”
Law.com (AP): “Justice Clarence Thomas took in more than $300,000 in royalties for his autobiography last year, far more than he earned as a member of the Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia received nearly $100,000 for his new book.”
The National Law Journal: “Is Judge Sonia Sotomayor a judicial activist? Just hours after Sotomayor’s selection to fill the upcoming vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, special interest groups began the hunt for the dreaded activist in her, sifting decisions and speeches for evidence.”
LA Times: “A campaign to roll back gay rights that kicked off in Washington state over the weekend has split the Christian conservative community, with some wondering whether it is the right time for a fight and others arguing that time may be running out.”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Baer v. White, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46412 (ND IL, June 3, 2009), plaintiffs challenged as too narrow the Illinois provisions protecting some religious objectors from furnishing their social security number in order to get a drivers’ license. Under Illinois Vehicle Code 6-106 and 92 Illinois Administrative Code §1063.63, an exemption is available only if the religious order or sect to which an applicant belongs does not permit the individual to apply for a social security car.”
WorldNetDaily: “A polygamy advocacy organization says the New Hampshire law that is intended to assure ‘equal access to marriage’ for all instead specifically embeds in state statutes bigotry against polygamists.”
Liberty Counsel: “Today Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a 75-year-old National World War I Memorial with an 8-foot cross, located in the Mojave Desert of California. In Salazar v. Buono, the ACLU filed suit to remove the cross. Following the lower court ruling, the cross was covered with a cloth and now is boxed in with plywood so it looks like a blank sign. It remains that way pending the Supreme Court’s decision.”
Keren Rivas reports in the North Carolina Times-News: “During that time, the affidavit said, the undercover officers documented about 288 violations of the county ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses, at least 349 violations of conduct in a licensed premise, and 17 drug violations.”
Lack of due process in English family courts? Parents losing kids due to government adoption quotas?
Andrew Alderson reports in the Telegraph: “However, within 24 hours of the birth of their daughter on Thursday, weighing 7 lbs 10 ozs at Wexford General Hospital, the baby was instead seized by Irish social workers in the town. Tomorrow her parents must begin what is likely to be a lengthy legal battle in Ireland for their right to bring up the child. It is understood that social workers may seek to have her adopted.”
Dawson Bell reports in the Detroit Free Press: “In October 2004, a Glengariff poll showed 24% of Michiganders supported marriage rights for same-sex partners, and only 42% supported legal recognition of civil unions. In the new poll, support for same sex marriage was 46.5% and for civil unions 63.7%. Forty-eight percent of state voters said they opposed adding marriage rights, the only one of nine gay rights issues not winning majority support.”
Lornet Turnbull writing in the Seattle Times: “Patterned after online sites in Massachusetts, Arkansas and Florida, the idea behind WhoSigned.org is generating debate inside and outside the gay community and raising questions about privacy in the democratic process and whether such tactics amount to intimidation.”
Jim Minnery, president of Alaska Family Council, writes in the Anchorage Daily News: “This is about a movement among activists promoting the homosexual legal agenda to persecute and prosecute anyone who won’t be coerced into fully and openly endorsing their agenda. Christians and others of different faiths are now being targeted across the country who decline to endorse, facilitate, or participate in activities that violate their conscience or religious convictions.”
Marcel Honore reports in The Desert Sun: “Rifkin said she worried about the timing of a federal lawsuit filed recently in California that contends Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. The suit, she said, could do more harm than good if heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Its present roster makes a favorable ruling unlikely, she believed.”
OneNewsNow: “But Dale Schowengerdt of the Alliance Defense Fund says a local television station conducted an independent test to see how loud the bells were. ‘A local TV station did a story on it, checked the level, said it was barely above road noise, the sound of road noise — so we’re talking about just normal church bells,’ he points out.
Schowengerdt admits the sentence surprised him. ‘The judge let them ring the bells twice on Sunday and certain other religious days, like Easter and Christmas,’ he notes. ‘[But] if somebody makes a mistake and the church bells go off at some other time, he’ll spend the ten days in jail.’”
Eric Young reports in the Christian Post: “‘While we appreciate the District’s concern for abiding by the recent Consent order … treating FCA and CWO equally with other student clubs in no way violates this Order,’ wrote David A. Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, in a letter last month to the principal of Jay High School, the superintendent of the Santa Rosa County School District, and members of the Santa Rosa County School Board.”
The Religion Clause Blog reports: “Originally it was reported that the White House had created six task forces (see prior posting); however yesterday’s report suggests that a seventh has appeared: Reducing Teen Pregnancy and Abortion.”
Forum 18: “Azerbaijan’s repressive new Religion Law, and amendments to both the Criminal Code and the Administrative Code came into force on 31 May, Forum 18 has learned. New ‘offences’ – such as more severe censorship – and new punishments are introduced for religious activities and organisations the government does not like. All registered religious organisations must re-register by 1 January 2010, the third time re-registration has been demanded in less than twenty years.”
Hat tip: Religion Clause Blog
AsiaNews.IT: Only weeks after Benedict XVI’s visit to Israel, Tax Chief Yehezkel Abrahamoff, has seized church funds to force ecclesial institutions to pay tax, instead of waiting for the outcome of negotiations on the fiscal statute of the Church in Israel. A personal initiative or a change in the policy of the Netanyahu government? Possibile problems for schools and hospitals.
Hat tip: Religion Clause Blog
PressDemocrat.com: “A battle over sex education is under way in Sonoma County, pitting a longtime abstinence-only group against California Department of Education officials who say the group breaks state law when it teaches in the classroom.”
KTVA.com: “The city is revising its gay rights proposal and clarifying what it would mean if the assembly decides to pass it. The controversial ordinance looks to add sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination laws, making it illegal for employers and landlords to discriminate against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.”
CNSNews: “The Judicial Confirmation Network (JCN) says Judge Sonia Sotomayor failed to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee a controversial document arguing that the death penalty is “racist” and a violation of the present ‘humanist’ thinking of society.”
One News Now: “Despite threats from the ACLU, 400 students in Florida broke protocol during a graduation ceremony.”
Drew Zahn reports at WorldNetDaily: “‘It’s ridiculous to be sentenced to jail and probation for doing what churches have traditionally done throughout history,’ said a statement from Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been retained by Painter. ‘Christians shouldn’t be punished for exercising their faith publicly.’”
Yahoo News (AP): “Conservatives scored victories in some of Europe’s largest economies Sunday as voters punished left-leaning parties in European parliament elections in France, Germany and other nations.”
Aaron J. Leichman reports in the Christian Post: “‘Christian student groups shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,’ said David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. ‘Further, it is unconstitutional to prohibit school district employees from attending a private religious service on their own time and in their individual capacities.’”
Andy Peters reports at Law.com:
More information: ADF National Litigation Academy
Eric Resnick reports at Gay People’s Chronicle: “A day after the suit against Proposition 8 was filed, the Alliance Defense Fund of Scottsdale, Arizona, an anti-LGBT legal advocate involved in the effort to pass Proposition 8, asked Judge Walker to allow it to oppose Olson and Boise.”
Catholic News Agency: “The apologetics organization Catholic Answers has filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service claiming the federal tax collection agency has ‘intimidated’ churches and non-profit groups into silence on politically controversial moral issues.”
AP: “An activist who worked alongside slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk announced plans Sunday for a march on Washington this fall to demand that Congress establish equality and marriage rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. . . the march planned for Oct. 11 . . . ”
AP: “China is requiring personal computers sold domestically to carry software that blocks online pornography and other Web sites – potentially giving the government new control over the Internet with a tool the developer said Monday will give parents more oversight.”
Gallup: “Americans are six percentage points more likely than they were four years ago to favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military, 69% to 63% . . . ”
AP: “The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from Indian tribes that wanted to block expansion of a ski resort on a mountain they consider sacred.”
AP: “The Supreme Court won’t stop Pennsylvania officials from prosecuting a man whose computer was found to contain child pornography while it was at Circuit City being upgraded.”
Duke Law Journal: “The Supreme Court’s decision striking down a Texas statute prohibiting homosexual conduct in Lawrence v. Texas is vague in many ways. The opinion failed to articulate both the contours of the right the Court was recognizing and the level of scrutiny courts should apply when enforcing the right. When a question concerning the rights of minors arises under Lawrence, the answer is even more obscure.”
Duke Law Journal: “We argue that Congress should remake the United States Supreme Court in the U.S. courts’ of appeals image by increasing the size of the Court’s membership, authorizing panel decisionmaking, and retaining an en banc procedure for select cases.”