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The Daily Collegian: “Penn State ACLU President Brian Flowers said Chick-fil-A’s corporate values and sponsorship of programs that outwardly advocate against same-sex marriage run counter to Penn State’s principles of equal rights.”
LifeNews: “The Virginia state Senate has signed off on a bill the state House revived that would crack down on abortion businesses in the state and ensure they are following better health and safety standards.”
Catholic Herald: “Briefly, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recip Erdogan, has put his weight behind attempts to crush a small Christian community and to seize an important part of its assets. Though there are now only a few thousand Syro-Orthodox Christians left, they are still in occupation of one of the oldest monasteries anywhere in the world.”
LifeSiteNews: “For the past week, the Irish Labour Party has become increasingly panicked, as it sees its support in the polls inexorably continue on a downward drift . . . Then the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the ABC case – and it said that Ireland would have to legalise abortion. Labour rushed out to support the ruling . . . three months later Labour ratings have sunk to just 17%.”
Herald Online: “Members of the S.C. House’s budget-writing committee voted Wednesday night to give the schools, organized under the state’s charter school district, $25million in state money in the budget year that starts July 1.”
Courier-Journal.com: “On Tuesday Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, filed as a proposed amendment to a nursing home bill language to require a patient seeking an abortion to get face-to-face counseling in advance. It also requires a physician to advise a patient of the right to view an ultrasound beforehand.”
Iona Institute: “A new poll in The Irish Independent today shows a clear majority of the public are in favour of same-sex marriage. Sixty-one percent say they back ‘State recognition of same-sex marriages’, with 27 percent opposed. However, this support is likely to be very soft and would change rapidly in a referendum campaign.”
DNAInfo.com: Across New York State, voters said they would support same-sex marriage laws 54 to 39 percent, with both New York City and upstate voters favoring the move. “Everyone supports same-sex marriage, except Republicans and senior citizens,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.
Statesman.com: “Today the small-government group Texans for Fiscal Responsibility will seek to shift the debate over the state’s education budget (dominated in recent weeks by stories about teacher layoffs), launching a website called Protect the Classroom. The group’s message is that schools are rushing to cut teachers’ jobs instead of administrative costs.”
CNSNews: “Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed same-sex civil unions into law Wednesday, calling it “a triumph for everyone” that gay and lesbian couples will have the same state rights as married partners.”
Richmond Times Dispatch: “Byron’s amendments to Senate Bill 924 would classify any facility that performs five or more first-trimester abortions as a hospital, subject to regulation by the State Board of Health, a regulatory board whose members are appointed by the governor.”
Christian Post: “Iranian authorities have released about half of the Christians arrested for their faith across the country in December and January, as well as one held in Shiraz since June, sources said.”
LA Times: “Officials will recommend the rare closing of a Los Angeles charter school for poor academic performance, the L.A. Unified School District has confirmed.
Washington Post: “The 34-year-old Ramzan Kadyrov, who rules Chechnya with an iron fist and imposes Islamic law in the southern province, told the mass market daily Komsomolskaya Pravda that he is “always on the lookout for a decent bride” but has not found the right woman yet.”
Christian Post: Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Austin Nimocks said the administration is “playing politics with marriage” and has left DOMA virtually defenseless. “With the Department of Justice now refusing to defend any and all lawsuits against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the federal definition of marriage has been placed in great legal peril,” he declared.
USA Today: The Alliance Defense Fund brands its coverage with a headline: “The Homosexual Agenda: The Principal Threat to Your Religious Freedom” – Their strategy is twofold: dilute moral values so that homosexual behavior is thought to be normal, natural, and good, while suppressing the religious and free speech rights of those who disagree…
Williston, ND: Strip club ordinance tabled again Ordinance would limit where new strip clubs could be located
Williston Herald: “An ordinance that would govern where adult entertainment businesses could be located was tabled a second time Tuesday by the Williston City Commission.”
Tulsa World: “Several bills that would restrict or possibly ban abortion have been introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature, causing many advocates for women’s reproductive rights to worry about the future of their services.”
Courier-Journal: “The Kentucky Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday morning in a challenge to a state law requiring that God be credited for Kentucky’s security.”
Findlaw (AP): “Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to find at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats who have been on the run for eight days to delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from nearly all public employees.”
LifeNews: “The Kansas state House passed two important pro-life bills today, the Abortion Reporting Accuracy & Parental Rights Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
One News Now: “A coalition of 34,000 black churches is blasting President Barack Obama’s decision to stop defending the federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage.”
Do Presidents Have a Duty to Defend the Constitutionality of Laws they Believe to be Unconstitutional?
Ilya Somin writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “I’m not a fan of either the Obama Administration or some of the legal arguments they have made in support of the claim that DOMA is unconstitutional. But I do think that they made the right call here. If a President genuinely believes that a federal statute is unconstitutional he has a duty not to defend it.”
Federalist Society Podcast on the Government’s Duty to Defend the Law — And A Few More Thoughts on the Decision Not to Defend DOMA
Orin Kerr writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “The Federalist Society had an interesting podcast on the issue back in October that you can listen to here. It lasts 40 minutes, and it features Walter Dellinger, John Eastman, John Baker, and Dean Reuter.”
John Elwood writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “Cooke v. Tubra, 10–559 . . . presents the question whether the First Amendment bars a pastor’s defamation claim against the church that employed him when the claim is based entirely on statements made by church officials . . . In addition, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v EEOC, 10–553, involves whether the judicially recognized “ministerial exception” to the Americans with Disabilities Act, bars review of the termination of a parochial school teacher who teaches the full secular curriculum, but also teaches daily religion classes . . . ”
Bob Egelko writes at the San Francisco Chronicle: “President Obama’s decision Wednesday to stop defending a law banning federal marital benefits for same-sex couples will boost an array of court challenges to the measure, including two in the Bay Area by gay and lesbian government workers seeking insurance coverage for their spouses.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The Senate Judiciary Committee gave notice today that it will hold a second confirmation hearing for Liu . . . Obama nominated Liu a year ago to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.”
NY Times: “Violent clashes between protesters and the police broke out here in the capital on Wednesday, as the two main labor unions staged the first general strike of the year against the government’s austerity drive, paralyzing public services and disrupting transportation.”
AP: “Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose state Legislature is among those debating restrictions on collective bargaining, called public employee unions “the privileged elite” during a speech in Ohio.”
Lisa Keen writes at theWindy City Times: It is possible—just as happened in California—that some other entity might attempt to mount its own defense of DOMA in the pending cases. Last October, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, filed a motion in the two First Circuit cases, seeking to be named intervenor-defendant. Smith, aided by the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, said at the time that the Justice Department was providing “no defense at all” for DOMA. He withdrew his motion a few weeks later, without comment. [this report contains a lengthy list of responses from homosexual groups]
World Net Daily: Austin Nimocks, a senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said the move raises a lot of questions. “One of the reasons we have a Constitution is to prevent opinions from getting in the way of duties. The American people have a right to expect their laws will be defended by the people whose responsibility it is to do so,” he told WND. “One’s constitutional duty should not be optional.” [many more quotations and references to ADF and many other pro-family groups and lawyers] . . .
World Magazine: “When Congress enacts laws on behalf of the American people, the American people have the right to expect them to be defended when they’re challenged,” said Senior Legal Counsel Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund. “How the attorney general’s constitutional duty to protect and defend the laws of the United States becomes optional is a great mystery.”
Marcia Coyle at the Blog of the Legal Times: “A spokeswoman for Smith said his lawyers would need to review the cases pending in the 2nd Circuit before making any decision to try to intervene. Representing Smith in the 1st Circuit were three lawyers from the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, including senior counsel Brian Raum, and a solo practitioner from Salem, Mass., Philip Moran. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), to whom Holder addressed a letter explaining the administration’s decision, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
TPM: The Alliance Defense Fund, which asked a federal court for permission for Rep. Smith to serve as an intervenor-defendant in the DOMA cases in the past, issued a statement Wednesday that said it “will not waver in its ongoing defense of marriage nationwide.” “Either the House of Representatives or the Senate have the legal authority to intervene in pending lawsuits to defend the federal DOMA statute,” Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks said in a statement.
Charisma Online: “Marriage is a unifying issue in America. The federal Defense of Marriage Act reflects the reality that 90 percent of states protect marriage and that the citizens in those states believe in marriage as a union only between one man and one woman,” says Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “Tragically, the Department of Justice has chosen to appease a small—but vocal and wealthy—constituency and abandon its duty to the people.”[additional quotes by Austin]
TriValleyCentral.com (AP): The court on Wednesday denied a request from 13 lawmakers, including House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington, to file a “friend of the court” brief. The lawmakers were represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian civil rights group that has litigated against same-sex marriage in California.
KSWT.com (AP): “The lawmakers were represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian civil rights group that has litigated against same-sex marriage in California.”
Michael Foust writes at Baptist Press: aptist Press asked Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund — a Christian legal group — to explain the importance of the Justice Department’s decision. Following is a transcript:
WTEN.com (Albany, NY): Those against gay marriage, like the Alliance Defense Fund, reacted to this news by saying, “90 percent of states protect marriage and that the citizens in those states believe in marriage as a union only between one man and one woman. Tragically, the Department of Justice has chosen to appease a small–but vocal and wealthy–constituency and abandon its duty to the people.”
Michael Barone writes at Rasmussen Reports: Enormous contributions, yes — to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.
Cal. Catholic Daily: In response to a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice informing the speaker of the House that the DOJ and President Obama will no longer defend a key component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the Alliance Defense Fund is issuing the following statement from ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks . . . [ADF Press release quoted]
One News Now: Joel Oster, an ADF attorney, summarizes what happened in 2009 that brought on the legal action now. ”[The church] worked with city officials to make sure their building plans complied with the code,” he explains, “but when the application was submitted to the town council, the city of Medina responded by placing a moratorium stopping all church buildings within the city.”
One News Now: “The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) says the executive branch of the government has upped the ante by refusing to show up in the existing court cases, which is ultimately a disappointment to most Americans. (Listen to audio report) . . . “The Department of Justice has a constitutional duty to defend the laws duly enacted by Congress,” notes ADF attorney Austin R. Nimocks. “And the refusal of the attorney general to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act just because they don’t like it politically is really inexcusable.”
Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor via MinnPost.com: “This only confirms what has appeared to be the case in several recent lawsuits. In those defense-of-marriage cases, the [Justice Department] has undermined rather than defended DOMA,” said Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund. “The American people have a right to expect their laws to be defended by the very people whose job it is to do so: their government officials,” he said. “But the administration is making clear that they are simply not going to defend marriage.”
LifeNews: “Reeling from a vote in the House of Representatives that would deny any and all taxpayer funding, the Planned Parenthood abortion business is turning to its non-abortion “services” to defend the need for the government dole.”
NCPA Policy Digest: When the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, Congress did not give it a monetary policy goal as we understand that term today. The Fed’s monetary policy role evolved gradually, and congressional mandates — such as achieving full employment and price stability — came later, says Robert McTeer, a distinguished fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.”
An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney representing members of a pro-life student group filed suit against Carleton University Friday for repeatedly blocking the group from expressing its views on campus while allowing other student groups to express themselves freely.
The Daily Caller: “Wisconsin’s teachers are required to teach children about the history of the labor union movement and collective bargaining in the United States, per a law former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed in December 2009. Wisconsin’s Assembly Bill (AB) 172 requires the state’s teachers to incorporate “the history of organized labor in America and the collective bargaining process” into their lesson plans.”
New Jersey has no constitutional or legal basis for recognizing an infertile wife as the mother of her husband’s child born to a surrogate, a appeals court held Wednesday in a ruling that harkens the landmark Baby M case
LifeNews: “A new report the Planned Parenthood national abortion business recently released shows the embattled agency did more abortions in 2009 than it has done in any prior year. The report also shows it providing fewer pregnant women with non-abortion services.”
Andrew Biggs and Jason Richwine write at the Wall Street Journal: “Leaders across the country are proposing restrictions on public employees’ pay and benefits in order to put their budgets on a more sustainable path. The political left’s counterattack is that government workers aren’t overpaid compared to those in the private economy. Who’s right?”
Rep. Jim Jordan writes at The Hill: “Uncle Sam is spending you into the poorhouse. Taxes, inflation, unemployment, interest rates – all could skyrocket if Washington keeps spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have. Unless we begin to cut spending now (a lot of spending) these four horsemen of debt will ride roughshod over families and businesses already struggling to get by. Fortunately, we still have a chance to kick the spending addiction and keep the American Dream alive.”
The Hill: Unions are not the cause of the country’s economic woes, Vice President Biden said Wednesday. “Public employees are not the problem. The problem is much deeper,” Biden said during a fundraiser in New York for Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).
The Hill: “The 26 states and a business group that successfully challenged the healthcare reform law in federal court said the judge clearly meant to halt implementation of the healthcare overhaul.”
The Hill: “Democratic strategists believe their Tea Party moment has arrived. Working with labor unions and liberal groups, they are using the Presidents Day congressional recess to organize a public backlash against billions of dollars in cuts to federal programs.”
Washington Post: “A group of more than a hundred law professors from across the country has asked Congress to extend an ethical code of conduct to the Supreme Court – for the first time – and clarify when individual justices should step away from specific legal cases.”
AP: “One way for President Barack Obama to win the future, it seems, is to have his administration stop defending a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage.”
LifeNews: “The attorney general of the state of Delaware wants the licenses of two abortion practitioners who were colleagues of embattled abortionist Kermit Gosnell yanked because they did not report problems associated with their colleague.”
AP: “The Obama administration announced it no longer will defend the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage. Here, in question-and-answer form, is a look at the Defense of Marriage Act and the impact of the administration’s policy reversal on this 15-year-old law . . . ”
AP: “Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to a deal that will limit further debate on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights for public workers and lead to a vote on the measure later Thursday.”