Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Star News Group: “A Superior Court Judge has ruled that the Point Pleasant Beach Council must pay more than $11,000 for the legal fees of the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] after that organization filed a lawsuit over the constitutionality of the borough council reciting “The Lord’s Prayer” at the opening of municipal meetings.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have introduced legislation to permit federal and appellate judges to allow the use of cameras in the courtroom.”
Billings Gazette: “The Wyoming Supreme Court is preparing to hear a same-sex divorce case involving two women who were married in Canada . . . . A group of state lawmakers, including House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington, has filed a request to submit a friend-of-the-court brief in the state Supreme Court in support of the district judge’s position. The lawmakers are represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian civil rights group that has litigated against same-sex marriage in California. A lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund has appeared at committee hearings in this legislative session and has spoken in favor defining marriage as existing only between one man and one woman.”
Irish Times: “Former independent MEPs Dana Rosemary Scallon and Kathy Sinnott and an alliance of 30 community groups have called on parties and candidates to give an election pledge not to legislate for abortion in the wake of the recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.”
LifeNews: “On Wednesday, the House Health Care Policy Committee of the Missouri state House passed a bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy except if necessary to save the life of the mother.” (HB 213)
KOAT.com: “Similar bills have been filed and voted down the past few years. Many people in the audience Thursday said it would take a Republican majority in the legislature to pass them.”
Le Mars Daily Sentinel: “Iowa Senate Majority Leader Democrat Mike Gronstal has indicated he won’t allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor. Since the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, many Iowans have clamored for a vote of the people to have their say in the matter.”
WBOC.com: “Delaware lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation in March that would legalize civil unions in the state. If passed, Delaware will join about a dozen other states that allow civil unions or domestic partnerships.”
Leonard Link: “The Texas Court of Appeals (1st District – Houston) ruled on February 10 that the Harris County District Court had properly ordered the registration of a California parentage judgment involving a gay male couple who were intended parents under a gestational surrogacy agreement. Ruling unanimously in Berwick v. Wagner, No. 01-09-00834-CV, the court found that such registration complied with the requirements under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), a uniform law that has been adopted by both states.”
Wall Street Journal: U.S. tax and property laws are so complex that unintended consequences are common. Here is one: Thanks to a 1996 federal law aimed at preserving traditional marriage, thousands of same-sex couples in California, Nevada, and Washington state could get big tax bonuses on their federal returns starting this year. The bonuses are off-limits to heterosexual married couples, but they are a sharp reminder of the “marriage penalty” that often dings two-earner couples.
KAKE.com: “The Alliance Defense Fund has said the legislation is needed to prevent government from forcing people to go against their religious beliefs.”
FRC Blog: FRC’s Government Affairs department has produced a thorough summary of what’s happening across the country as courageous legislators, leaders and activists advance faith, family, and freedom in the states. (click the link for summaries)
SB 1482 would require the Commission on Judicial Performance Review to publish online a listing of appellate judges’ decisions and an electronic copy of the decisions. Posting this information in one easily accessible place for voters would shine light on what is currently a clouded and useless process for Arizonans.
SB 1472 would require the same Commission to publish information in the ballot publicity pamphlet listing the cases in which a judge’s ruling was declared unconstitutional and a brief statement of the reason why.
National Catholic Reporter: ”I am delighted to present an incisive look at the new conscience regulations from Professor Robert Vischer, law professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis. Vischer is also the author of Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State (Cambridge Univ. Press 2010).”
LifeSiteNews: “Girls of any age could obtain the Plan B morning after pill without a prescription, if a request filed by Teva Pharmaceuticals with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approved.”
USA Today: “Senate Democrats, who blocked a GOP effort last month to repeal the health care law, will try to remove these provisions when the spending bill goes to their chamber after the President’s Day recess. President Obama has vowed to veto the House bill, which seeks to cut at $61 billion in federal spending for this year.”
LifeNews: “Today, the administration rescinded part of the protections today with the Health and Human Services Department scrapping a portion of the rule, which it called “unclear and potentially overbroad in scope.” Obama officials put a new rule in place that leaves in place protections on abortion but offers no protection for medical workers who have moral or religious objections to dispensing or giving to women the Plan B drug or other emergency contraception that could act in some cases as an abortion drug.”
Boston Globe: “Governor Deval Patrick today quietly issued an executive order banning discrimination against transgender workers in state government, a move that advocates view as a first step toward passing statewide legislation.”
ouse members approved the Pence amendment on a 240-185 vote with 9 Democrats joining most Republicans to support de-funding the abortion business. Another 7 Republicans sided with most all of the pro-abortion Democrats in the lower chamber in voting for the pro-abortion organization to receive taxpayer funds.”
The Hill: “The House rejected a measure cutting an additional $22 billion from the Republican spending bill, as conservatives ran into a wall of opposition from the GOP establishment over the depth of reductions to federal funding.”
LifeNews: “A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds 53 percent of voters consider abortion morally wrong most of the time, while just 32% say it is morally acceptable most of the time. Another 15 percent of American voters are undecided.”
LifeNews: “Alaska could become the next state with a Choose Life license plate allowing state motorists to express their support for human life and the abortion alternative of adoption.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and several other Pennsylvania newspapers filed a petition today to open a sealed state Supreme Court case that could potentially alter part of the state’s abortion law. The case involves a 17-year-old who requested permission from an Allegheny County judge to have an abortion and was denied . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “Reuters and France 24 report that France’s governing UMP party plans to lead a debate beginning in April on the role Islam in light of France’s tradition of secularism– an issue that promises to be a major focus in France’s 2012 election campaign . . . ”
Thomas More Law Ctr.: “The Thomas More Law Center, yesterday afternoon, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it reverse a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which upheld San Francisco’s virulent anti-Catholic resolution . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Canada yesterday, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail, a Montreal municipal court judge upheld over constitutional attack four tickets given to cab driver Arieh Perecowicz for violating a Bureau du taxi rule that bars drivers from having items or inscriptions in their cab that are not necessary for the cab to be in service.”
Religion Clause Blog: “Yesterday’s Hartford Courant reports that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division is seeking approval from the Solicitor General’s office to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act which is being challenged by defendants in a Connecticut federal district court lawsuit.”
AP: “The Wisconsin State Patrol was dispatched Friday to find a Democratic state senator who fled the Capitol to delay the near-certain passage of a bill to end a half-century of collective bargaining rights for public workers, a measure that’s attracted thousands of protesters for four days.”
Idaho Press: “Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s vehicle was vandalized overnight at his Nampa home and he and his family have received threats, he told police.”
AP: “Antonio Zuniga was minding his own business, walking through his Mexico City neighborhood, when police arrested him on charges of murdering a young gang member he had never seen. He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in …
The Hill: “The Obama administration is asking a federal judge who struck down the healthcare reform law to clarify that states must still implement the overhaul as the appeals process plays out. Some states are saying the Jan. 31 ruling relieves them . . . ”
MyFoxOrlando: The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to clarify the immediate impact of his ruling last month that declared the new health care law unconstitutional, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. US District Court Judge Roger Vinson in Florida . . .
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AP on MyWay: “Republicans who swept into power in state capitols this year with promises to cut spending and bolster the business climate now are beginning to usher in a new era of labor relations that could result in the largest reduction of power in decades for public employee unions.”
ADF attorney Casey Mattox appeared on the radio earlier in the week to discuss the UC Davis situation. | Related ADF Media Update | George Rice Show; MP3 audio 8:32 mins | KFBK Radio; MP3 audio 2:55 mins
ADF attorney David French appeared on the radio to discuss recent developments in the UC Davis situation. | Related ADF Media | The Hugh Hewitt Show; MP3 audio 8:33 mins | The Janet Mefferd Show; MP3 audio 18:50 mins
Michelle Malkin writes at Townhall: “If ever there were proof that public unions no longer work in the public interest, this is it. Big Labor dragoons workers into exclusive representation agreements, forces them to pay compulsory dues that fatten Democratic political coffers and then has the chutzpah to cast itself as an Egyptian-style “freedom” and “human rights” movement.”
Rasmussen: “A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters consider themselves pro-choice, while 40% say they are pro-life, the same split found over three years ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.) . . . However, that does not mean half of U.S. voters are abortion advocates. Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters consider abortion morally wrong most of the time, while just 32% say it is morally acceptable most of the time.”
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Dr. Klopfer, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the Center for Reproductive Rights, filed a lawsuit last May challenging the ordinance. Dr. Klopfer, who owns and operates Fort Wayne Women’s Health, argued that the ordinance would prevent him from performing abortions because he couldn’t find a doctor in the area who was willing to associate with him for the purpose of being his designated physician. On June 11, the Commissioners voted to retain the Alliance Defense Fund as legal counsel for the lawsuit at no cost to taxpayers. | Related ADF Press Release: Federal court: Critical aspects of patient safety law in Allen County, Ind. can go into effect
Christian Post: Jim Campbell, an Alliance Defense Fund legal counsel, believes that Protectmarriage.com should be able to defend the measure.”Politicians should not be able to nullify a democratic act of the people by refusing their duty to defend it,” he said in a January statement. “The people of California have the right to be defended, and thus the official proponents of Proposition 8 must have standing to defend that law.”
NCPA Policy Digest: “There is evidence that once a government lets its debt/gross domestic product (GDP) ratio rise more than 90 percent, the economy begins to seriously weaken and government spending starts to spiral out of control as the interest payments on the debt grow faster than the economy. The United States will probably hit the 90 percent threshold within a year . . . ”
LJWorld.com: “Joel Oster, senior litigation counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said the legislation is needed to prevent government from forcing people to go against their religious beliefs. He cited an instance in New Mexico where a photographer was ruled in violation of state law because she refused to photograph a same-sex wedding.”
Washington Times: “Fast-track Obamacare challenges: Constitutionality of individual mandate should be resolved now”
Washington Times: “While lower courts wrestle over the constitutionality of Obamacare, nearly one-sixth of the economy hangs in the balance. The plans of doctors, medical students, hospitals, clinics and millions of employers will change based on whether the health care law stands or falls. The Supreme Court needs to step in and resolve the doubt.”
One News Now: It’s clearly unconstitutional. It violates virtually every provision of the First Amendment, as a matter of fact,” notes Casey Mattox, attorney and spokesman for ADF. “It’s a denominational preference by the government, and it, of course, violates the free exercise and free speech clauses as well. So it’s a real problem.” The university almost immediately responded to ADF’s letter.
John Allen Jr. writes at the Wall Street Journal: “Fewer Americans get annulments. Is it because fewer are getting married in the church at all?”
SCOTUS Blog: “On February 18, the Court will consider petitions on such issues as the significance of a “critical habitat” designation under the Endangered Species Act, whether the remaining part of Booth v. Maryland should be overruled, and whether a privately donated display of the Ten Commandments on government property violates the Establishment Clause.”
Douglas Johnson, the Federal Legislative Director of the National Right to Life Committee, writes at Public Discourse: “The history of federal abortion funding highlights the urgent need to reverse the new health care law’s assault on unborn life, and to enact a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Mr. Wenger, along with Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defense Fund, sought a redacted version of the case file so they could prepare their Supreme Court brief, but the request was denied. Still, they maintain that Judge Ignelzi considered all the facts and made an informed decision. “Whatever went into the judge’s decision, we can be sure it was a weighing of testimony and facts about the maturity, health and safety of letting the minor undergo a secret abortion without her parents’ knowledge,” said Mr. Bowman, “and the law of Pennsylvania defers to the judge who decides to protect her by involving her parent.”
Heritage Foundation Morning Bell: “Let no one be confused, the stakes in Wisconsin are high and the Badger state could turn into the crucial battle ground between progressivism and the new Tea Party majority in the country. Issues as important as public sector compensation, bulging state deficits, union power, federalism, education, federal entitlements as well as others are being fought over.”
National Journal: “The House passed an amendment Thursday that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement the network-neutrality order it approved in December.”
The Hill: Walker said demonstrators who filled the state capitol building in Madison and the boycott by state Senate Democrats — some of whom fled the state in protest — have steeled the resolve of members of his party . . . Walker also fired back at President Obama, who sided with the public employees, saying on Fox News Friday, “We are focused on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the government and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budgets, which they are a long way off from doing.”
“The 7-to-4 vote by the Judicial Proceedings Committee sends the bill the Senate floor, where a lengthy and emotional debate is expected next week on the most high-profile social issue facing lawmakers during their 90-day session.”