Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
ADF attorney Steven Aden appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss this: Indiana county’s regulations on abortion survive ACLU challenge. | MP3 audio 18:14 mins
Washington Post: “Ensign, who was first elected to the Senate in 2000 after two terms in the House, is the third Republican to announce his retirement in this year. He follows Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) to the sidelines. Four Democrats, as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, are also retiring in 2012.”
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Pocono Mountain School District officials Friday on behalf of a 5th-grade student who was prohibited from distributing fliers that invited fellow Barrett Elementary Center students to a Christmas party at her church. District policies prohibit any student speech promoting Christianity.
Freedom from Religion Foundation: If enacted, Walker’s voucher proposals would ultimately destroy the dream of our common schools — secular public education in Wisconsin,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, who, with Dan Barker, co-directs the national state/church watchdog, based in Madison, Wis.
9news.com: A proposal to grant same-sex couples similar rights and protections as married couples is up for its first hearing at the Colorado Legislature Monday, and lawmakers expect to hear several hours of public testimony before they vote. | SB 172
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Blog: “The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups,” Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of Christian attorneys. “The university funded the advocacy and expression of other student organizations but singled out a Catholic student organization to exclude funding some of its expression based purely upon its religious content, and that’s simply not constitutional,” Lorence said.
Fox News: District policies, according to ADF attorney David Cortman, prohibit any student speech promoting Christianity.
The Hill: “President Obama on Monday ordered trials by military commission to resume at Guantánamo Bay. The move signals another defeat for Obama, who pledged to close the terrorist detention facility in Cuba within one year of taking office.”
Washington Times: “The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has released its semi-annual report on the caseloads of the federal courts, including district, circuit and bankruptcy courts. The report, available here, includes detailed information on the types of cases filed in the year ending June 30, 2010.”
CTV.ca: “The mayor of Saguenay is defying a ruling by Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal. Jean Tremblay was ordered to stop reciting a Christian prayer before City Council meetings.”
AP: “Most Indiana House Democrats remain in Illinois to boycott Republican proposals and say they’ll stay away as long as necessary – even if their absence shuts down state government when the current budget expires.”
Christian Science Monitor: Today’s Employment Situation report showed that in February “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers declined to 15.9% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate declined to 8.9%.
David Gainor writes at the Wall Street Journal: “Then we come to the nationwide ‘union’ protest – the so-called ‘rally to save the American Dream’ that got widespread coverage. Around America, pro-union groups rallied to ‘stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin.’ More than half that list of at 43 organizations involved as of Thursday gets money either directly or indirectly from King George. They might all get money from him. No reporter bothered to ask . . . And again, the Soros connection went unreported”
Wisconsin State Journal: “The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for Alliance Defense Fund, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Roman Catholic Foundation.
Kevin Theriot writes at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: The most frequent question we receive is, “How will same sex ‘marriage’ effect the religious freedom of churches?” Recent legal developments provide the best answer.
WDBJ7.com: “About 200 students walked out of Giles High School Monday morning, demanding the return of a Ten Commandments display.”
Boston Globe: “The Cranston School Committee is scheduled to vote on whether a prayer banner at a city high school stays up or come down.”
Atlanta J. Constitution: Interesting Georgia Supreme Court ruling today that an online high school meets the definition of “attending school.” | Draughn v. Draughn, Nos. S10A1599, S10A1600 (Ga. Mar. 7, 2011)
Minnesota Independent: In its DFL Dispatch — an email update to party activists — Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin said last week that the party will fight to stop a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage from passing in Minnesota. Some LGBT activists had been pressuring the party to make a bold statement in its communications about the issue. In the email, Martin said, “We will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution.”
Westchester Fox 19: “Washington, D.C.-based Operation Rescue/Insurrecta Nex is protesting Planned Parenthood Monday morning at the West Chester office of Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester).”
The Hill: “Where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his 87 Republican freshmen draw the line on spending will shape the entire 112th Congress. For now, the GOP and Obama are about $50 billion apart — and the clock is ticking.”
“As a handful of key pro-life bills are fighting their way to passage on Capitol Hill, pro-life legislators countrywide have mounted a a multi-faceted attack on the abortion industry with a surge of pro-life bills on the state level. Here is a roundup of the latest.”
New American: “Parents, not the government, are the ones ultimately responsible for making educational choices for their children, and jailing them for standing on this universal right is simply unconscionable,” declared ADF attorney Roger Kiska. “Irene Wiens was well within her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights to opt to teach her children a view of sexuality that is in accord with her own religious beliefs, instead of sending them to four days of classes and an interactive play that she found to be objectionable.” Kiska noted that the ADF is defending four similar case . . . [more]
LifeSiteNews: “Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and other pro-life and pro-family organizations have been negotiating with hospitals across the United States for more than a week to have them agree to admit baby Joseph Maraachli. Baby Joseph is the one-year-old in a London Ontario hospital whose doctors are seeking to remove his ventilator against his parents’ wishes.”
LifeSiteNews: “August 2008, following the arrest of the pro-lifers, the state decided not to pursue the charges against them. In September 2008, attorneys with Alliance Defense Fund, the Thomas More Society of Chicago, and the American Catholic Lawyers Association filed the complaint with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.”
Ross Douthat writes at the NY Times: “This is what’s at stake, for instance, in debates over abstinence-based sex education. Successful abstinence-based programs (yes, they do exist) don’t necessarily make their teenage participants more likely to save themselves for marriage. But they make them more likely to save themselves for somebody, which in turn increases the odds that their adult sexual lives will be a source of joy rather than sorrow. It’s also what’s at stake in the ongoing battle over whether the federal government should be subsidizing Planned Parenthood.”
Michigan Messenger: “The Oakland Press reports that anti-abortion advocates plan to deliver a petition containing 10,000 signatures to the city’s council Monday night to oppose the opening of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city.’
FoxNews: “With recall efforts pending against nearly half of the members of the Wisconsin state Senate and Badger State residents weary of the 18-day shutdown in the legislature caused by the Democratic minority’s exodus to Illinois, the end seems to be in sight.”
“Late last week, the Kansas state House of Representatives passed a law that would change the way the state selects its appeals court judges, scaling back a system that has given disproportionate power to lawyers and pushed state courts to the left.”
NY Times: Quantifying the employment impact of these new technologies is difficult. Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy, is convinced that “legal is a sector that will likely employ fewer, not more, people in the U.S. in the future.” He estimated that the shift from manual document discovery to e-discovery would lead to a manpower reduction in which one lawyer would suffice for work that once required 500 and that the newest generation of software, which can detect duplicates and find clusters of important documents on a particular topic, could cut the head count by another 50 percent.
Washington Post: “The brilliant professor, who turned just 40 in October, testified that he would not allow his academic musings to interfere with the duties of a lower-court judge to follow precedent. He should be confirmed and given the opportunity to demonstrate that he can do that.”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Retta v. Mekonnen, (TX App., March 3, 2011), the Texas Court of Appeals dissolved a temporary injunction that had been issued by a Dallas trial court. The appeals court concluded that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to issue the injunction because the dispute requires the determination of religious doctrine and church governance. At issue was an amendment to the bylaws of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Debre Meheret St. Michael’s Church in Dallas . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “The Montana Supreme Court last week ordered a stay and expedited appeal of a trial court’s order that a woman with cancer undergo surgery despite her religious objections. In Office of State Public Defender on Behalf of L.K. v. Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, (MT Sup. Ct., March 2, 2011) . . . ”
AP: “Of America’s 7,382 state legislators, only 85 are openly gay or lesbian. They are, however, playing an outsized and often impassioned role when the agenda turns to recognizing same-sex couples with civil unions or full marriage rights.”
AP: “Seven hundred gay and lesbian couples have married in Mexico City since the capital enacted the first law in Latin America explicitly allowing same-sex marriages a year ago.”
Christian Post: Up until now, the Department of Justice defended DOMA in lawsuits challenging its constitutionality since taking office two years ago. But the Alliance Defense Fund says the defense filings by the Obama administration have been deficient and have actually “undermined rather than defended DOMA.”
GodDiscussion.com: Gregory S. Baylor, Senior Counsel – University Project, at the Christian conservative legal organization, the Alliance Defense Fund, applauds BYU’s decision: Give credit to BYU for not making an exception to the honor code for a star athlete on a team that might legitimately compete for a national championship. BYU’s action demonstrates that it values its institutional integrity and religious commitment s more than the prestige and and plaudits that come with athletic success. Also give credit to BYU for embracing and maintaining a stance on human sexuality that is utterly countercultural, particularly when it comes to college life. Many believe that college is a time for complete sexual license, and BYU refuses to float along in the cultural currents. Good for them.
AP: “India’s Supreme Court ruled Monday that in rare cases a terminally ill patient can be removed from life support, a major shift in a country where such acts have long been illegal.”
ADF attorney Matt Bowman writes at the Washington Examiner: Would it surprise anyone to find out that left-wing extremists believe that religious hospitals must perform abortions? This is what the ACLU has been trying to convince people to believe in its recent press releases. The latest attempt was the organization’s recent opposition to the Protect Life Act, H.R. 358, which protects conscience rights of pro-life health care providers.
Heritage Foundation Foundry: Last week, when the National Center for Health Statistics released the latest results from the National Survey of Family Growth, The Washington Post reported that one finding “may surprise those bewailing a permissive and eros-soaked popular culture: More than one-quarter of people interviewed in their late teens and early 20s had never had sex.” Many conservatives do rightly criticize our current “eros-soaked popular culture.” But those conservatives who follow The Heritage Foundation also know that abstinence has been on the rise for some time now and that stable family relationships have a strong positive impact on teen sexual behavior.
“Georgia’s top court has upheld a state law that requires voters to show photo identification before they cast ballots.” | Democratic Party of Georgia v. Purdue, No. S10A1517 (Ga., March 7, 2011)
AP: “The White House is pushing a message of religious tolerance ahead of this week’s congressional hearing on Islamic radicalism, which has sparked protests on grounds it unfairly singles out Muslims as potential terrorists.”
Washington Times: House panel to look at radicalization of U.S. Muslims
Star Advertiser: “Hawaiian Electric Co. used managers and outside contractors to repair storm-damaged power lines yesterday after its unionized work force walked off the job over a contract dispute.”
The Hill: “HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.”
Houston Area Pastor Council (HAPC): “Pastor Steve Riggle, Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church, Executive Committee member of Houston Area Pastor Council and a member of the Coalition For a Greater Houston is one of a diverse group of community leaders involved in opposing the implementation of Rebuild Houston. Passed in November with a razor-slim margin of .9 percent as Proposition 1, a growing number of people believe there are major issues that require investigation.”