Alabama Supreme Court to hear case at Samford University

Judge dismisses claims in Ann Arbor law firm’s challenge to health care reform

Judging the judges: website helps Missouri voters

Jim Daly: Christianity not to blame for “anti-gay bullying”

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News

WI: DPI warns Cedarburg schools on sex ed “opt in” policy

Center for Reproductive Rights annual report: “Defending reproductive rights”

“Deutsche Bank responds to recent “anti-gay” violence and increased Muslim discrimination”

DC marriage referendum reaches high court

ACLU: Illinois recall measure on ballot unconstitutional, should be rejected

C-FAM and ADF submit joint brief to UN committee

“Churches contribute to gay suicides, most Americans believe”

Divorce rate up in China

Right declares war on NPR

    Politico: “NPR’s decision to fire Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims on Fox News has prompted calls on the right for Congress to remove its funding and concern on the left that NPR may have just handed its critics a powerful weapon for painting the broadcaster as liberal.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.politico.com

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Vatican synod sees growing concern over Islam

5th Circuit: Recipient of child pornography can challenge “sex offender” label prior to release and registration

The Rutherford Institute to represent pilot who refused virtual strip search

Ted Olson: Obama should not appeal DADT injunction

UK: Court ruling gives more weight to pre-nuptials

Video game makers fight Cal. violence restrictions

    ABA Journal: “In its brief in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which is scheduled for oral argument on Nov. 2, California declares that ‘violent video games, like sexual images, can be harmful to minors and have little or no redeeming social value for them’ . . . For their part, the video game and merchants’ groups stress that video games are like other forms of literature, incorporating plot, character development, dialogue and other elements that include ‘good-versus-evil, triumph over adversity, struggle against corrupt powers and quest for adventure.’”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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  • Source: www.abajournal.com

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6th Circuit upholds public high school’s interference with teacher’s curriculum choices

    Evans-Marshall v. Board of Education of the Tipp City Exempted Village School District, No. 09-3775 (6th Cir. Oct. 21, 2010)

    Unanimous decision by: SILER and SUTTON, Circuit Judges; CLELAND,

    SUTTON, Circuit Judge. Does a public high school teacher have a First (and Fourteenth) Amendment right “to select books and methods of instruction for use in the classroom without interference from public officials”? Yes, says the teacher, Shelley Evans-Marshall. No, says the Tipp City Board of Education. Because the right to free speech protected by the First Amendment does not extend to the in-class curricular speech of teachers in primary and secondary schools made “pursuant to” their official duties, Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410, 421 (2006), we affirm the judgment rejecting this claim as a matter of law.


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Religious Liberty

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Battle over education: Michelle Rhee, Tim Pawlenty and teacher unions

    MinnPost.com: “[O]ver the past month and a half . . . Pawlenty has subtly yet clearly laid out his education platform for the nation. It merges his aspirational record in Minnesota (that is, what he’s glad he did and would have liked to do but couldn’t) with related policies that fall outside a governor’s state-focused purview . . . His self-association with Rhee, meanwhile, gives a large window into what Pawlenty views as an exemplary record that he would say ought to serve as a model for other school districts across the nation.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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  • Source: www.minnpost.com

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Police see over 1,000 militant Islamists in Germany

Hungary: New constitution to declare marriage just for men and women

MS: Free exercise challenge to custody decree rejected

Vets stand guard over Christian flag in NC town

Sexually oriented business regulations proposed in Windsor, CO; San Antonio, TX; Menomonie, WI

    Windsor Beacon: “The new regulations proposed would limit the zoning areas the businesses could locate to only heavy industrial areas, with 1,500 foot buffers from schools, churches, residential zones, parks, cemeteries, playgrounds, child care centers and other adult businesses.”

    KENS 5 (San Antonio): “Under the current city ordinance, sexually oriented business must have a special permit and must operate within designated zones, away from schools and churches. But Clamp says some nightclubs and bars are employing women wearing pasties. Although the current ordinance doesn’t specify that as nudity, Clamp says they are now considering amending the ordinance to require more coverage.”

    WQOW: “The Menomonie City Council will have to wait before taking a vote that could keep an adult business out.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous

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Mich. woman accused of civil rights violation for seeking Christian roommate at church

Slate book review: “Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion”

    Lincoln Caplan writing at Slate: “It has been Brennan’s legal enemies who have generally been readiest to credit him with a political philosophy—albeit rooted in a personal, rather than principled, vision. Central to the conservative attacks on the Warren Court a generation ago was a portrait of Brennan as an avatar of judicial activism. A measure of that campaign’s lasting impact is that many liberals, too, assume that, in shaping key rulings of the Supreme Court, Brennan imposed his own views and preferences . . . The biography usefully complicates that reductive notion, most notably in the realm of gender relations.”

    At National Review Online, Ramesh Ponnuru comments: “[T]his defense misunderstands the conservative critique of judicial activism. That critique is perfectly capable of recognizing that an activist’s decisions might be ‘principled’ in the sense of fitting into a coherent political philosophy; what it denies is that the Constitution authorizes the justice to implement this political philosophy.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Bench & Bar

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Colorado waives medical marijuana fees for poor

    Boston.com (AP): “The Colorado Board of Health approved a plan Wednesday to waive the $90 registration fee for indigent medical marijuana patients, starting Dec. 1. Patients who want their fees waived will have to show that they meet other government standards for indigence, such as qualifying for food stamps.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.boston.com

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Nigeria: feared Muslim sect issues new threats

Civil organizations urge Mexican government to hold debate on same-sex adoption

RI judge to take up National Organization for Marriage’s case

ADF granted right to defend life in German euthanasia suit at European Court of Human Rights

Utah: Cedar City considering sexual orientation discrimination laws

Sexual orientation discrimination ordinance returns to Memphis City Council

Orthodox Jews urge Quebec to abandon proposed niqab ban

The real harms of prostitution

    MercatorNet: “The women explain to us how it feels to be treated like a rented organ. ‘It is internally damaging. You become in your own mind what these people do and say with you. You wonder how could you let yourself do this and why do these people want to do this to you?’ Women who prostitute have described it as ‘paid rape’ and ‘voluntary slavery’. Prostitution is sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, often worse. His payment does not erase what we know about sexual violence, domestic violence and rape.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.mercatornet.com

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Harvard Law removes GPA scale from transcripts, cites student complaints

TN: Prayer at school events silenced

The 2nd Circuit wrongly holds that public-school officials can constitutionally prohibit a student’s attempt to clear his name

Islamic law in U.S. courts

NYU Law School: OUTLaw protests JAG recruiters on law campus

European Court of Human Rights fines Russia for banning “gay parades”

May courts interpret contracts under religious law?

Why US lawyers fight for law on “gays” Obama opposes

Tea Party metaphysics: Economics and first principles

Chinese woman forced to abort 8-month-old fetus

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee blast NPR over Juan Williams firing

Clashes, protests in French tensions over pensions

Pentagon reworking military guidance on homosexual behavior again

Hugh Hewitt: The need for speed post-election

    Hugh Hewitt writing at Townhall: “On the day after [the election] the GOP leadership should gather and announce their intention to begin planning both to (1) block anything except minimalist measures in the lame duck session of the most-profligate and destructive Congress of modern times and (2) to develop the agenda for early January. They ought as well to pledge maximum transparency in those deliberations.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: townhall.com

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Renewable electricity standards kill jobs too

Alan Sears: District: Supporting teachers just isn’t in a principal’s job description

“National pro-marriage anti-gay groups unite to target Iowa judges”

Kingdom and Republic: Tax exemption for churches is not a gift from the state

Canada: “Gay seniors complex urged for Halifax site”

Kentucky Masons vote against outlawing “openly gay” men

    Lexington Herald-Leader: “John Wright refused to resign [as president of a Winchester Masonic lodge]. Later, he stood firm when a Frankfort lodge proposed a change to the group’s state constitution that would have prohibited openly gay men from being Masons in Kentucky. At an annual statewide meeting in Louisville Monday, attendees turned down the proposal.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.kentucky.com

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“The widow judge who ended DADT”

Facebook campaign could see Ireland appoint first “gay” president

Graphic abortion campaign ads are headed for local TVs, but not YouTube

Global aging: A gray tsunami is sweeping the plane

    Foreign Policy: “It’s true that the world’s population overall will increase by roughly one-third over the next 40 years, from 6.9 to 9.1 billion, according to the U.N. Population Division. But this will be a very different kind of population growth than ever before — driven not by birth rates, which have plummeted around the world, but primarily by an increase in the number of elderly people. Indeed, the global population of children under 5 is expected to fall by 49 million as of midcentury, while the number of people over 60 will grow by 1.2 billion. How did the world grow so gray, so quickly?”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Global: Marriage and Family
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  • Source: www.foreignpolicy.com

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“Facebook doesn’t get mad, it gets GLAAD”

China’s economic growth rate slows, but still at 9.6%+

NPR Ends Williams’ Contract for Muslim remarks after Soros donation and CAIR complaint

Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes

    Bloomberg: “Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda . . . he U.S. corporate income-tax rate is 35 percent. In the U.K., Google’s second-biggest market by revenue, it’s 28 percent . . . The high corporate tax rate in the U.S. motivates companies to move activities and related income to lower-tax countries, said Irving H. Plotkin, a senior managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s national tax practice in Boston.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.bloomberg.com

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Ohio Democrat Threatens Pro-Life Leader with Jail

Appeals court keeps military policy barring homosexual behavior for now

Pentagon trying to change culture to normalize homosexual behavior

Law Review: Justice Kennedy’s Vision of Childhood and the Role of Judges

    Tamar R. Birckhead, Graham v. Florida: Justice Kennedy’s Vision of Childhood and the Role of Judges (October 19, 2010). Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Vol. 6, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1694788

    “This short article examines Graham v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court decision holding that the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without parole for a nonhomicide crime. This article argues that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion is grounded not only in Roper v. Simmons, which invalidated the death penalty for juvenile offenders on Eighth Amendment grounds, and Kennedy v. Louisiana, which held that the Eighth Amendment prohibited the death penalty for the offense of rape of a child, but in Establishment Clause cases set in the context of public schools and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause cases upholding parental notification requirements for teenagers seeking abortions. Whereas many journalists and scholars consider Justice Kennedy a ‘legal pragmatist’ who lacks an overarching philosophy to guide his decision-making, in each of these opinions his view of childhood and the proper role of judges is consistent: children and adolescents are unformed works in progress, in the midst of both character and brain development, who are particularly susceptible to direct as well as indirect forms of coercion; as a result, when determining what liberty interests are protected by the United States Constitution, the role of judges and the courts is to ensure that youth mitigates rather than aggravates. Further, although juvenile justice advocates have heralded Graham as a clear victory, the opinion may raise as many questions as it seeks to answer.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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Law Review: Familial Norms and Normality

    Clare Huntington, Familial Norms and Normality (October 19, 2010). Emory Law Journal, Vol. 59, No. 1103, 2010; U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1694746

    “Social norms exert a powerful influence on families. They shape major life decisions, such as whether to marry and how many children to have, as well as everyday decisions, such as how to discipline children and divide household labor. Emotion is a defining feature of these familial social norms, giving force and content to norms in contexts as varied as reproductive choice, parenting, and same-sex relationships. These emotion-laden norms do not stand apart from the law. Falling along a continuum of involvement that ranges from direct regulation to choice architecture, state sway over social norms through their emotional valence is an under-recognized aspect of the family-state relationship.

    Although scholars have explored aspects of familial social norms, current accounts offer an incomplete picture of both families and family law because they insufficiently account for the elemental relationship between social norms, emotion, and the state. By exploring the confluence of these forces, this Article makes two contributions to the literature. Descriptively, this Article identifies the centrality of emotion in creating and defining familial social norms. First, emotion is often the content of a familial social norm; therefore it is impossible to understand the norm without understanding emotion. Second, emotions can trigger social norms, with particular emotions leading to changes in behavior. Third, familial social norms carry tremendous emotional weight, which explains why the cost of noncompliance can be particularly high in the family context. Finally, the emotion-laden nature of familial social norms complicates any predictive enterprise for law and policy.

    Normatively, a more complete understanding of the operation of familial social norms allows for more effective regulation of families. The state should recognize that emotion is a powerful point of entry when it seeks to influence norms and shape behavior. There are risks to this influence, but exposing the uncomfortable reality that the law often tries to manipulate our affective lives creates an opportunity to use this dynamic for more appealing ends, such as cultivating greater tolerance for parental conduct that falls outside dominant norms.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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Law Review: Hospice and Health Care Reform: Improving Care at the End of Life

    Kathy L. Cerminara, Hospice and Health Care Reform: Improving Care at the End of Life (October 15, 2010). Widener Law Review, Vol. 16, 2011; NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Research Paper No. 10-012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1694196

    “Health care reform focused on coverage of hospice care in significant ways. Specifically, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act) recognized the value in accessing hospice services as soon as possible by (1) immediately authorizing concurrent payment for curative and palliative care to children with Medicaid coverage and (2) authorizing a demonstration program to study the value of doing so with respect to Medicare beneficiaries. It also, however, imposed an additional requirement on physicians and nurse practitioners recertifying patients for hospice care eligibility, thus potentially over-regulating one aspect of hospice care. This Article lauds Congress for its position with respect to concurrent care but cautions that legal, regulatory, and medical professionals should carefully monitor the effects of the change Congress made to the recertification requirements. Without careful monitoring and calibration, the latter change could inappropriately chill hospice recertifications, thus negating part of the good accomplished through the former change.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
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  • Category: Sanctity of Life
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  • Source: ssrn.com

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