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“The House Judiciary’s constitution subcommittee will take up, H.R. 3 which is Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-N.J.) No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on Tuesday at 4 p.m. On Wednesday at 1 p.m., Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee will hear testimony on Chairman Joe Pitts’ (R-Penn.) Protect Life Act, H.R. 358.”
WSAU.com: “The city of Marshfield is once again under fire from the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation–this time for including a prayer at the start of Common Council meetings. The foundation filed a suit this week, claiming the prayer violates the constitutional separation of church and state.”
European News (includes video): “Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech setting out his view on radicalisation and Islamic extremism . . . ”
‘Europe’s human rights court is out of control… we must pull out’: Call by top British judge after ruling that prisoners should get the vote
Daily Mail: “Lord Hoffmann, who served as a Law Lord for 14 years until last year, said the court had gone beyond its remit in a way that would have ‘astonished’ its founding fathers.”
European News: “The leader of a newly created anti-Islamic party in Germany said he wants to stop the immigration of Muslims and described Islam as a “totalitarian system” bent on supplanting western liberal values.”
ADF attorney David French appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss this: Renowned professor challenges promotion denial over religion in appellate hearing. | MP3 audio 22:46 mins
Europe News: “Prime Minister David Cameron has now reignited the debate by claiming in a speech on Saturday that the long-standing policy of multiculturalism is a failure and in part to blame for fostering Islamic extremism.”
CBN (includes video): “They are trying to stop Turks in this country, citizens in this country from having the freedom to choose Christ,” he said. “Even though legally they have this freedom, they are trying to use my case as a precedent for others to say you don’t have this personal choice. This is definitely the goal of why they’ve opened this case against me.”
Guardian: “In the midst of the row over giving prisoners the right to vote, the thinktank Policy Exchange has called for the government to withdraw from the European convention on human rights if negotiations to limit and reform the European court fail. The ensuing debate has led to various myths about the court being recycled. Here are five.”
TheStar.com: “Texas Senate committee will begin considering an anti-abortion measure this week that, if passed, would be one of the strongest in the nation. The bill mandates that pregnant women be shown an ultrasound of the fetus at least two hours before an abortion.”
Maureen Downey writes at the Atlanta J. Constitution: Take a look at Senate Bill 55 and Senate Bill 34, both of which require public schools to allow children who are not enrolled to participate in extracurricular activities. I understand the impetus and the impulse, but at some point, don’t schools have the right to ask: How much more can we do?
Christian Science Monitor: “We have about 40 years before the jury renders its final verdict on Malthus. The population of the planet is currently 6.9 billion. By 2050, it will hit 9.2 billion, according to the US Census Bureau. Because of declining birthrates, population specialists believe that will be the peak. Whether you think more population growth is good or bad, that’s the predicted trajectory.”
Providence Journal: “Opponents of same-sex marriage will get a chance to push their own bid for a referendum at Wednesday’s State House hearing on a bill co-sponsored by House Speaker Gordon D. Fox to allow same-gender nuptials in Rhode Island.”
Christian Today: “How should a Christian organisation, devoted to supporting marriage and family life, approach cohabitation? There is a juxtaposition between advocating strongly, and singularly for marriage, and supporting the millions of children in this country whose parents cohabit, and who could be left vulnerable to financial insecurity and homelessness should the relationship break down.”
GoErie.com: “Supporters call them a matter of choice, a lifeline for children stuck in broken schools. Opponents deride them as unconstitutional and unworkable and warn that they will erode conditions in some of Pennsylvania’s most troubled schools.”
The Hill: “With House Republicans hosting two hearings on abortion legislation this week, two junior Democratic senators are promising to block efforts to place new restrictions on the practice.”
Washington Blade: “Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill gets its first hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 8 beginning at 1 p.m. in Annapolis. Those interested in testifying have until 12:45 p.m. that day to register, but a Senate spokesperson today warned that large crowds are expected so anyone planning to attend should arrive early.”
Denver Post: “Four Air Force Academy officers defended an upcoming prayer luncheon in court filings Monday, after a lawsuit alleged the event is unconstitutional because it appears to be sponsored by commanders and some faculty members feel pressured to attend.”
Boston Globe: “It is a surge in growth unlike any we have ever seen,’’ said Paul Grogan, president of the Boston Foundation, a charitable organization that urged the state to let more charter schools open. “We have a very strong cadre of charter schools that are proven providers and ready to expand.’’
Rob Vischer writes at the Mirror of Justice: “Apparently the Obama Administration is due to issue its new regulations on conscience rights for health care providers sometime between now and March 1. (See this court filing.) I’m trying to get up to speed on the Bush regs, and I have a couple of questions . . . ”
Georgeen Rice Interview with Maggie Gallagher: Update on same sex marriage legal battles across the nation
Oregon Faith Report: “Georgene Rice of KPDQ-FM interviews, Maggie Gallagher, with the National Organization for Marriage in California. She discusses the Supreme Court’s recent decision to deny an appeal to the D.C. same-sex marriage decision. They discuss whether it was a procedural decision or if it goes to the merits of the question of same-sex marriage. She also outlines the other defense of marriage actions that are being considered in the courts all across the nation.”
One News Now: “An Israeli author and expert on the Middle East is warning Americans that Islamic immigrants could possibly flood the U.S. as a result of the events taking place in Egypt.”
Paula Szuchman writes at the Wall Street Journal: “. . . from Ohio State University. The research, published in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, found that couples where the father participates equally in traditional caregiving tasks, like preparing meals or giving baths (!!), tend to clash more than couples where the mother does a bigger share. Specifically, couples that strive for more equal co-parenting end up displaying “less supportive and more undermining co-parenting behavior toward each other,” the researchers found. But when the father spent more time playing with the kid, while the mom did more of the nuts-and-bolts caregiving, the couples had a “stronger, more supportive co-parenting relationship.”
Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Ho’s health is declining, and his succession plan has run off the rails. He has at least 16 children by four women, three of whom are alive and retain the title of “Mrs. Ho.” The four families are jostling for control of his assets, estimated at more than $3 billion.”
ACLU: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments today in a case defending the right of transgender people to receive medical care while they are incarcerated. Under Wisconsin law, prison doctors are prohibited from prescribing hormone treatment to transgender inmates. The law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin and Lambda Legal.”
LifeNews: “A new memo ironically uncovered by a liberal, pro-abortion blog is making the case a conservative web site has advanced that the Centers for Disease Control purposefully delayed issuing its normal annual report on abortion figures in the United States.”
BBC: “A Christian health worker asked a colleague to treat one of his patients because he believed the man was homosexual, a hearing has been told.”
LifeNews: “In what one pro-life advocate says is a kickback for CHA, President Barack Obama appointed one of its legal leaders to a spot as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”
The New American: Randall Wenger, an attorney who is representing the case with the ADF, noted that Officer Armbruster “understood that police officers are called on to acknowledge and respect” the constitutional guarantees of American citizens, “including Christian pro-life advocates, who have the same First Amendment-protected rights to express their beliefs as everyone else. He should be commended for holding to his duty as a civil servant to protect — not violate — the free speech rights of the group he was told to arrest.” Tom Marcelle, senior counsel for the ADF, predicted a favorable decision from the Third Circuit Court within 60 days. “Placing an officer on unpaid leave, putting a disciplinary letter in his file jeopardizing his promotion to sergeant, and threatening him with termination is the wrong response to upholding his oath as a law enforcement official to obey the Constitution,” said Marcelle. “This case should never have been dismissed, and we’re optimistic that the 3rd Circuit will agree.”
Rasmussen: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration . . . ”
The AZ Daily Star carries commentary by Dr. Gilbert Shapiro: Indeed, 84 bills (22 in the past two years) advanced by the Center for Arizona Policy have become law. No CAP-opposed bills were passed. It should come as no surprise this was due to overwhelming support from Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican House and Senate legislators. In 2010, The Arizona Capitol Times, a nonpartisan newspaper covering state politics and government, reported that “insiders” judged CAP and its president Cathi Herrod among the most influential lobbying organizations and lobbyists in Phoenix. Has theocracy come to Arizona?
Lexington Herald-Leader: “Somali immigrants who won a long zoning battle in their effort to open a mosque in western Kentucky have stopped worshipping at the location.
Family Policy Council of West Virginia: Eleven members of the West Virginia House of Delegates introduced the West Virginia Grieving Parents Act (HB3043), or “Bobby’s Law,” on Monday, February 7, 2011. The proposed legislation would close a legal loophole that has prevented parents of the legal means they need in order to bury, and properly grieve for, their stillborn or miscarried child.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas talks about ‘life’s calling’ during impromptu visit to Ave Maria University
Naple News: “Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visited Ave Maria University on Friday afternoon, and delivered one overarching message to several hundred students there: little separates him from them, and they have the capacity to do great things too if they look for their calling and follow it.”
Akhil Reed Amar: “Constitutional showdown: A Florida judge distorted the law in striking down healthcare reform.”
Akhil Reed Amar writes at the LA Times: “If Congress can tax me, and can use my tax dollars to buy a health insurance policy for me, why can’t it tell me to get a policy myself (or pay extra taxes)? Vinson offers no cogent answer to this basic logical point.” | Ilya Somin and David Bernstein counter Amar at the Volokh Conspiracy.
Star Advertiser: “The state Senate could vote as early as next week on Family Court Judge Sabrina McKenna’s appointment to the Hawaii Supreme Court following the unanimous approval of her nomination yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
“There have been four rulings on the constitutionality of the Obama health care law. All four considered the same legislative provisions, constitutional clauses and court precedents. Yet the two decisions from judges appointed by Democratic presidents upheld the law, while the two from judges appointed by Republicans, including a ruling on Monday, struck down part or all of it.”
Tulsa World: “The White House enlisted surrogates to validate its pick to fill a vacant judicial slot in Tulsa, but it remained unclear whether that would be enough to rescue one of the few American Indians selected for the federal bench in U.S. history. Questions still surround a process that triggered immediate opposition to the nomination of Arvo Mikkanen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City.”
McClatchy: The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” would eliminate tax breaks for abortions. The “Protect Life Act” would restrict use of federal funds for abortions under the new health care law. While both may pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, their prospects of passing a Democratic-held Senate or escaping President Barack Obama’s veto pen are slim to none.
Des Moines Register: “No one ever said fighting for equal rights was easy. And no one ever said it was quick, either. In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling that paved the way for gay marriage. It was a victory to be celebrated. But it wasn’t the end of a quest to obtain equality for all Iowans.”
Boston Globe: “But Patrick, over the long run, is unlikely to transform the ideological imprint of a bench that, even when dominated by Republican appointees, became the first high court in the nation to legalize gay marriage.”
The Daily Cardinal: Seven higher education organizations have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving UW-Madison and its refusal to fund activities for the Badger Catholic group on campus . . . The appeals court voted 2-1 in a September 2010, ruling the university could not refuse funding to the student organization.”
AP: A month before Obama reached out to businesses, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent 171 letters to various businesses and their trade associations. He asked for help in “identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth.”
AP: “Wilders faces charges of inciting hatred against Muslims after he compared Islam to fascism and called for a ban on the Quran.”
Religion Clause Blog: “Today’s Winter Haven (FL) News Chief reports that the school board, after consulting its attorney, has responded by moving the prayer to precede the official start of the meeting and adding this disclaimer to its agendas . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “Yesterday President Obama announced his intent to appoint twelve individuals to President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Apparently this groups replaces 15 members whose one-year terms are expiring.”
Religion Clause Blog: “However, according to today’s Nigerian Compass, the Seventh Day Adventist Church is threatening to sue if the date is not moved to a week day since the Saturday timing will disenfranchise its members”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Indonesia yesterday, a thousand Muslims surrounded a house in West Java, attempting to prevent the Ahmadiya movement from holding worship services.”
The States Can’t Afford ObamaCare: Their budgets will be crushed by the Medicaid expansions that the feds are forcing on them
George Melloan writes at the Wall Street Journal: “Behind this week’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson overturning ObamaCare on constitutional grounds, there is a deeper economic reality. The states can’t afford it. That’s a primary reason why 26 states joined in the Florida lawsuit to nullify the federal law. It also would be a good reason for the Supreme Court to uphold Judge Vinson’s ruling.”
Charisma Online: “Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Woodridge Church against the city of Medina for allegedly manufacturing a new zoning ordinance to prevent the church from building a new 42,000-square foot facility.”
LifeNews: “Media Matters for America, a liberal “media watchdog” front group founded and supported by liberal billionaire George Soros has staged a conference call with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and liberal activists on how to counter the videos that have shown the abortion business’ staffers aiding alleged sexual traffickers.”
Spencer Hatton writes at the Yakima Herald: The Alliance Defense Fund, a group of lawyers who seek to protect the freedom of religious expression, has also pledged to defend the city against any legal challenge to its continued practice of offering a prayer before each meeting. “We must continue the fight for religious freedom and the right of conscience so that the life-changing message of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed and transform our culture,” reads a plea for donations from the Alliance Defense Fund’s website. “Each win for the Body of Christ is a loss for the opposition. It’s that black and white. Will you help us win?” Council members expressed relief that the Alliance Defense Fund is willing to foot the city’s legal bills.
Eric Rassbach, Ashley Samelson Mcguire write at the Wall Street Journal (full access via Google): “But the United Nations is implicated too. How? It has repeatedly endorsed blasphemy laws like Pakistan’s, in the name of defending religion . . . ”
Assyrian International News Agency: “News of a massacre of two Christian Coptic families by Islamists just emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of the Internet connections after a week of Internet blackout by the Egyptian regime. The massacre took place on Sunday, January 30 at 3 PM in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, Minya province. Two Islamists groups, aided by the Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Copts, killing eleven Copts, including children, and seriously injuring four others.”
Daniel Estrin writes at Public Radio International: “Egyptians are out on the streets expressing pent up anger about their daily lives, like rampant unemployment and low wages. About 40 percent of Egyptians live on around $2 a day. This leads to one of the biggest reasons for social anxiety in Egypt: many people can’t afford to get married. It’s been a cause for concern in Egypt for a while.”
“Nobody Gets Married Any More, Mister” Welcome to our urban high schools, where kids have kids and learning dies.
City Journal: “Here’s my prediction: the money, the reforms, the gleaming porcelain, the hopeful rhetoric about saving our children—all of it will have a limited impact, at best, on most city schoolchildren. Urban teachers face an intractable problem, one that we cannot spend or even teach our way out of: teen pregnancy. This year, all of my favorite girls are pregnant, four in all, future unwed mothers every one. There will be no innovation in this quarter, no race to the top. Personal moral accountability is the electrified rail that no politician wants to touch.”
The Hill: “Perhaps no issue will test Boehner as much as authorizing more debt, which pits the harsh reality of governance against the core promise that 87 House Republican freshmen made to their constituents: We will stop borrowing money we don’t have.”