Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeSiteNews: “Judge Harrison of the Bedford County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court ruled that because Miller’s whereabouts are unknown, it cannot be proven that she is aware of the court order to transfer custody of her daughter Isabella. He scheduled another hearing for May 19.”
Stars and Stripes: “Members of the Alliance Defense Fund said a change to the law could compromise the work of military chaplains, possibly forcing them to teach acceptance of homosexual lifestyles even when it violates their faith. Earlier in the day, the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers reiterated its opposition to allowing gays to serve in the military.”
ADF attorney Kevin Theriot appeared with Mark Larson to discuss this: Change in military policy on homosexual behavior could affect chaplains.
The MP3 runs just under 11 minutes.
Jeffrey Rosen writing in The New Republic: “For the past few years, I’ve been giving Roberts the benefit of the doubt, hoping that he meant it when he talked about the importance of putting the bipartisan legitimacy of the Court above his own ideological agenda. But, while Roberts talked persuasively about conciliation, it now appears that he is unwilling to cede an inch to liberals in the most polarizing cases. If Roberts continues this approach, the Supreme Court may find itself on a collision course with the Obama administration–precipitating the first full-throttle confrontation between an economically progressive president and a narrow majority of conservative judicial activists since the New Deal.”
Christian Post: “The bullet-riddled body of a 20-year-old Christian student was found on the street of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Wednesday . . . ‘We don’t want elections, we don’t want representatives, we don’t want our rights, we just want to be alive,’ Baasil Abdul Noor, a priest at Mar Behnam church in Mosul, declared Tuesday . . . ”
Financial Times: “China’s holdings fell by $34.2bn to $755.4bn from the previous month, prompting renewed jitters that the country was diversifying from Treasuries over fears about their future value . . . Significantly, Japan overtook China as the biggest foreign holder of US Treasuries in December . . . ”
HSLDA: “In what is becoming an increasingly tragic situation, Christer and Annie Johansson are still separated from their 7-year-old son, Dominic, who remains in the custody of Swedish social services, where he has been since June. Nearly eight months ago Swedish authorities approached the Johanssons as the family was on a plane ready to relocate to India. Police officers took Dominic into custody, per the instruction of Swedish social workers . . . HSLDA and the Alliance Defense Fund are preparing to file a lawsuit which will be brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR is the international body that would determine whether the Swedish state has violated the Johannson’s human rights by “state-napping” Dominic without justification.”
New Zealand Herald: “Anti-abortion doctors have gone to court to challenge new Medical Council guidelines on how physicians with personal objections to abortion must deal with patients.”
NWI Times: “A husband and wife who had their embryo implanted into a surrogate, who then gave birth to their child, moved one step closer to getting the wife named the legal mother rather than the surrogate. The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a Porter Circuit Court decision that denied the husband and wife’s petition to establish maternity on behalf of the wife, who they say is the biological mother even though a different woman gave birth. The woman who carried the child, the wife’s sister, supports the wife’s petition to be named mother.”
KyPost: “The girl is the biological child of Kelly Mullen, who was Hobbs’ partner for seven and a half years. Mullen and Hobbs separated in July, 2007, sparking a bitter custody battle. Hobbs is fighting for shared custody and visitation rights. The courts say Mullen has sole custody of her daughter. She refused further comment when contacted by phone on Wednesday . . . How the case is ultimately decided could have wide-ranging implications for fathers, mothers, step-parents, grandparents or same-sex partners.”
ADF attorney David Cortman on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss this: ADF attorneys appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to protect school choice in Ariz.
The MP3 runs just over 7 minutes.
StarTribune.com: “Is Minnesota’s law that keeps corporations from spending money in support of political candidates unconstitutional? Officials at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce believe a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling says it is.”
Citizen-Times.com: “Buncombe County government is shifting the job of offering prayer at commissioners’ meetings from clergymen to commissioners themselves.”
Tony Mauro writes at Law.com (The National Law Journal): “Critics of the Supreme Court’s January ruling in Citizens United v. FEC are pointing happily to a poll released Wednesday that indicates widespread public opposition to the decision and its green light for more corporate and union expenditures in election campaigns . . . But not everyone reads the Washington Post poll results in the same way . . . ”
“Alliance Defense Fund attorneys appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, asking it to reverse a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that declared portions of a tuition tax credit program for students unconstitutional.”
Agence France-Presse: “Five of Mexico’s 32 states have announced plans to challenge a measure that legalizes gay marriage in the country’s Supreme Court.”
NY Law Journal: “Internet service providers that tip authorities to images of child pornography they intercept are not agents of the government and thus are not obligated to obtain a search warrant, a New York state judge has ruled.”
More information at Community Defense Counsel
The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Wednesday expressing concern over the effects that any change in military policy concerning homosexual behavior would have on the religious freedom of chaplains.
KCSG (AP): “Utah’s highest court weighed in on the long running dispute over a polygamous sect’s property trust Wednesday with one central question: Why did sect members wait so long to challenge a judge’s decision to remove the trust’s religious foundation?”
Gilbert Meilaender writes at The New Atlantis: “From January 16, 2002, to June 11, 2009, I served on the President’s Council on Bioethics . . . We all have a stake, therefore, in how public bioethical debate is structured. Indeed, it may be that we should care more about how it is structured than about what is decided on any given occasion . . . ”
Professor Meilaender is also the author of the most recent volume in our New Atlantis Books series — Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person.
George Weigel writes at EPPC: “And now we have the successor of John Quincy Adams and William H. Seward, Elihu Root and Cordell Hull, George Marshall and Dean Acheson suggesting that the defense of the LGBT agenda will, as a human rights issue, be considered on a par with such basic human rights as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and religious freedom — and that no small part of the substance of religious freedom may have to be sacrificed, if necessary, to advance that agenda. Religious freedom, rightly understood, cannot be reduced to freedom of worship . . . ”
Clarion-Ledger: “House Bill 837 would mandate school boards adopt a sex education policy by June 30, 2011, of their choosing: abstinence-only or abstinence-plus. Current law does not require schools to have a policy. The bill passed the House 83-32 and awaits Senate action.”
“In one sense, reparations also help to remind the perpetrator . . . that his conduct was not simply a private, ‘victimless’ transaction. In another sense, the availability of reparations expresses society’s interest . . . ”
America’s Right: “The complaint, filed by minor high school student Blake Robbins and his parents, alleges that the school district has been spying on the activities of students and students’ families through the ‘indiscriminate use of and ability to remotely activate the webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students,’ all without the knowledge or consent of any of the students or parents involved.”
North Carolina Family Policy Council: “Wake County and the Town of Apex have removed coverage for elective abortions from their employee health insurance plans, after recognizing legal questions raised by a 1981 state Supreme Court ruling that a county ‘exceeded its statutorily conferred power in levying the tax involved in the funding of medically unnecessary abortions.’”
The Center for Arizona Policy has issued an action alert: “HB 2148, Marital Preference for Adoption, will be voted on by the Arizona House of Representatives as early as next Monday, February 25. This bill gives children in foster care a chance to have a married mom and dad by establishing a preference for married couples where possible. HB 2148 includes several significant exceptions to enable a child to be adopted by a single person when it is in the best interest of the child. We have more information on our web site, including the CAP’s Family Issues Fact Sheet, current status of the bill, and details of legislative action tracked on our blog.”
Catholic News Agency: “A new website called Pornography Harms has been launched to provide access to credible, peer-reviewed research documenting the ill effects of pornography. The site was created by Patrick Trueman, a former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.”
“From the start, critics say, the commission has disproportionately focused its efforts on the persecution of Christians, while too often ignoring other religious communities and downplaying their claims of persecution . . .”
Associated Press: “Now, more women are being tested as part of routine prenatal care, and many end pregnancies when diseases are found. One study in California found that prenatal screening reduced by half the number of babies born with the severest form of cystic fibrosis because many parents chose abortion.”
WMUR: “The New Hampshire House has rejected a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to charge people who kill a fetus with murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.”
OneNewsNow: “‘The Ten Commandments case in Oklahoma is really about whether religious speech, like the Ten Commandments, has to be marginalized and censored when it’s displayed along with other historical monuments,’ explains Kevin Theriot, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). ‘In this case it was the Ten Commandments monument displayed with World War II monuments, monuments to individuals and even a monument to the Choctaw Indians.’”
WhiteHouse.gov: “Michelle and I join Christians here in America and around the world in observing Ash Wednesday. We mark this solemn day of repentance and promise, knowing that Lent is a time for millions to renew faith and also deepen a commitment to loving and serving one another.”
KFBB.com (AP): “The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the United Nations to intervene in the case of a Montana State Prison inmate the ACLU says is being subjected to ‘torturous’ treatment.”
Daily Herald: “Wheaton is a vote away from adopting a local law providing guidelines for its long-standing tradition of offering religious invocations before city council meetings.”
Advocate: “Leaders of antigay groups, including Center for Military Readiness president Elaine Donnelly (pictured), will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon to call for maintaining the military’s antigay ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy . . . Joining Donnelly at the press conference, according to information obtained by People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch blog, will be . . . Jordan W. Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund. . . .”
“ACLU Sues To Obtain Information About Taxpayer-Funded Religion In Abstinence-Only Programs Overseas”
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit against the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to obtain public documents detailing its overseas abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, which a recent Inspector General’s report says unconstitutionally promote religiously infused materials and messages . . . ”
“NYCLU Settlement Ensures that The Salvation Army May Not Proselytize While Performing Government-Funded Social Services”
ACLU: “In a settlement agreement announced today, New York City, Long Island and New York State government agencies have agreed to a system for monitoring The Salvation Army to ensure that it does not impose religion on recipients of its government-funded social services . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “The EEOC announced last week that it had filed suit in a North Carolina federal district court against a Goldsboro, North Carolina construction company that refused to accommodate the religious needs of Seventh Day Adventist employees . . . Yesterday, in another case, the EEOC announced that UPS Freight, one of the country’s largest trucking companies, will pay $46,000 to a Rastafarian who was fired shortly after he was hired because he refused for religious reasons to cut his hair or shave his beard.”
“The 210-109 vote on House Bill 1590 came just an hour after the House rejected a proposed constitutional amendment, CACR 28, that said marriage in New Hampshire could only be between a man and a woman . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “The court agreed with defense counsel that the ash should be removed before the jury returned to avoid improper influence for or against the prosecution’s case.”
“Pacific Justice Institute is announcing its second annual effort to encourage student clubs and churches to host baccalaureate services for high school seniors. For decades, baccalaureate services have provided meaningful spiritual encouragement to graduate . . . ”
AP: “The wife of an activist Chinese lawyer missing for more than a year challenged claims by authorities in China that he was working in a remote western region of the country and had been in touch with relatives, a human rights group said Thursday.”
Family Policy Institute of Washington email: “House Bill 1329, which could force daycares (including church daycares) to join a union if other daycares in their area chose too, is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Labor and Commerce & Consumer Protection on Thursday at 3:30pm, in Senate Hearing Room 4 of the Cherberg building. The Committee plans to hear a striker amendment, which could significantly change major provisions of the House bill.”
AP: “A Ugandan pastor is showing gay pornography at church to try to garner support for a proposed law that would impose the death penalty for some gays.”
ADF attorney David Cortman appeared on The Michael Medved Show to discuss the status of litigation over Arizona’s School Tax Credit.
The MP3 runs just over 33 minutes.
Family Policy Council of West Virginia: “On Wednesday, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia (FPCWV) announced an aggressive campaign to garner 2,500 signatures on a petition asking legislators to let the people vote on the definition of marriage . . . Those wishing to add their names to the petition may do so electronically at www.wvformarriage.com/petition.”
Cal Thomas writes at Townhall: “President Obama’s appointment of Rashad Hussain, his deputy associate counsel, as special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, charged with safeguarding and protecting ‘the interests of the Muslim world,’ should be of serious concern to Congress and the American public.”
Buffer Zones and Abortion Protesting: Where Do We Draw the Line?
“This article will discuss a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion free from harassment and intimidation versus an abortion protester’s First Amendment right to free speech outside abortion clinics.”
Law Review: Allowing States to Balance the First Amendment with Parents’ Rights to Privacy and Sovereignty in the Home
Internet Child Protection Registry Acts: Protecting Children, Parents and . . . Pornographers? Allowing States to Balance the First Amendment with Parents’ Rights to Privacy and Sovereignty in the Home
“This Comment evaluates states’ role in the tug-of-war between governments attempting to help parents protect children from unwanted, and potentially harmful, electronic communications and the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from abridging a person’s freedom of speech.”