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NY Post: A transgender woman who received a settlement from the city over a brutality claim was aggrieved again when a Bronx clerk denied her and her partner a license to get married, according to legal documents.
An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney representing a religious organization filed a lawsuit Monday against officials with the town of Chichester. The town’s planning board rejected the nonprofit’s application to construct an electronic message sign on its private property. The sign would display Bible verses along a public road where numerous other signs of similar dimension are already displayed.
Citizen Link: In Badger Catholic v. Walsh, the University of Wisconsin appealed a 7th Circuit decision against it which found that Wisconsin’s refusal to fund certain expressive activities of religious student groups (while other student groups got funded for similar, but non-religious, activities) constituted “viewpoint discrimination” in violation of the First Amendment. The University either intentionally or unintentionally fell into the politically correct but blatantly wrong mindset that government can treat religious speech differently than non-religious speech. ADF has a press release that explains the case.
Matt Sharp on 680 WPTF with Bill Lumaye: School says no Christmas party invitations if held at a church
ADF attorney Matt Sharp appeared on the WPTF with Bill Lumaye to discuss this: Pa. elementary school: Invitations to children’s party OK…unless held at a church. | MP3 audio 6:45 mins
ADF attorney Dave Cortman appeared on the Mike Pintek Show on 1020 KDKA to discuss this: Pa. elementary school: Invitations to children’s party OK…unless held at a church. | MP3 audio 15:23 mins
LifeNews: “Congressman Chris Smith and human rights activists addressed China’s brutal women’s rights record at a Monday press conference marking the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.”
LifeNews: “Legislation in Washington state that that threatened to shut down 56 pregnancy centers has died, much tot he appreciation of the head of the nation’s largest network of pregnancy centers.” | HB 1366
AP: . . . it was President Bush – the bullhorn-wielding avenger who wanted Osama bin Laden dead or alive, who warned the world “you’re either with us or against us” – who told Americans their Muslim neighbors were with us. Not just that, he said, but they WERE us.
Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.”
Christian Science Monitor: “In Iran, young women are jailed for specious reasons, then raped before being executed in a barbaric effort to keep them out of heaven. The people of Iran are desperate for a show of support from the West. On International Women’s Day, will the West finally stand up for women in Iran?”
Eugene Volokh writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “But what I didn’t know until several years ago is that many courts are indeed authorizing sterilization of mentally retarded women, if certain procedures are used to try to make sure that the sterilization is really necessary to serve the woman’s best interests (and even if the woman is unable to meaningfully consent herself). In fact, the California Supreme Court actually struck down as unconstitutional a state law — passed in reaction to the sterilization movement exemplified in Buck v. Bell — that categorically barred such sterilizations.”
Gayopolis: “According to The Denver Post, Palacio was elected with more than 50% of the vote from members of the party’s state central committee at its biennial reorganizational meeting.” While the homosexual media is touting the fact of his sexual orientation, most regular news outlets are not reporting it. Numerous reports here. Denver Post report here.
The Hill: “Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), the most senior member of the Senate Republican conference, said Tuesday he will oppose the House-passed proposal to make drastic cuts to the federal budget.”
Seattle Times: “State House lawmakers voted 58-39 Friday night to approve a bill to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state as valid domestic partnerships in Washington.”
Opponents say the bill’s passage in the House will start an effort to put it to a referendum in November, 2012. Though 55,000 signatures are needed to get that question on the ballot, Delegate Neil Parrott, R-District 2, says many more will be gathered to fend of a challenge by same-sex marriage supporters.
LifeSiteNews: “With Japan’s well-below-replacement-level birth rate, and an ever-increasing number of deaths, the country’s population figures showed a decline of 123,000 in 2010, the fourth consecutive year of demographic collapse.”
LifeSiteNews: Filthy clinic conditions, massive privacy violations, illegal dumping of human tissue, staff members coaching underage girls to hide statutory rape: these, according to the pro-life group Operation Rescue, are just some of the numerous abuses committed at Texas abortion clinics uncovered during a three-month investigation.
Casey Mattox writes at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: “If you’re trying to get to the root of the left wing lean on campuses, try following the money.”
LifeSiteNews: “The new Canadian lawyer for dying one-year-old Joseph Maraachli, whose doctors are seeking to remove his ventilator against his parents’ wishes, announced today that the family will take the case to Ontario’s highest court.”
Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner: “Now we’re in a political season in which it is Republicans who seem hesitant to challenge an incumbent president. And we’re seeing the emergence of a new conventional wisdom: Barack Obama will be very, very tough to beat.
Howard Bashman has this commentary at the Legal Intelligencer via How Appealing: “In other words, it may be accurate that the U.S. Supreme Court only grants review on average of 2-3 percent of all paid (non-indigent) cases. But, of course, that does not mean that any given case has only (or sometimes even) a 2-3 percent chance of being granted review. On the contrary, although the average rate of obtaining review on petition for writ of certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court is extremely low, certain cases exhibit features that can make the likelihood of review quite high . . . ”
TampaBay.com: “Cannon, R-Winter Park, said he will unveil a bill this week that would replace the current seven-member Supreme Court with two five-member high courts, one to focus on civil cases and another to focus on criminal cases.”
Religion Clause Blog: “The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied review in Newdow v. Lefevre, (Docket No. 10-893, cert. denied 3/7/2011). (Order List.) In the case, the 9th Circuit rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to the inscription of “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins and currency”
Religion Clause Blog: “Today’s Daily Californian reports on a lawsuit filed in a California federal district court by a UC Berkeley graduate against Berkeley and the University system over a series of anti-Semitic incidents.”
Educationnews.org: “This article on the growing influence of Islam on American charter schools will appear in the forthcoming “Islam in Scholarship and Education” issue of Academic Questions.”
Fox News: District policies, according to attorney ADF David Cortman, prohibit any student speech promoting Christianity. “It’s another example where schools need to be educated about the First Amendment,” Cortman told Fox News Radio. “The policies that are at the heart of this lawsuit are unconstitutional.”
Charisma: “Christian students and churches shouldn’t be discriminated against, censored, and excluded in public schools because of their beliefs,” says ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Disallowing a fifth-grade student’s invitation to a Christmas party just because it takes place at a church is simply unconstitutional, especially when Halloween parties and promotional events for businesses and other community groups indiscriminately receive a free pass.”
LifeSiteNews: The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “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,” he concluded.
LifeSiteNews: Walder has sought legal counsel from the Alliance Defense Fund. He has declined to speak to media on the case, except to emphasize to LifeSiteNews.com that “TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast does not host any civil union ceremonies, regardless of whether the ceremony is for an opposite-sex or same-sex couple.”
The Daily Record: “Attorneys at the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in Arizona that represents the other two plaintiffs, declined to comment on the partial settlement. Last May, a federal judge refused to throw out the plaintiffs’ claims, saying more facts needed to come out.”
Inside Higher Ed: The Alliance Defense Fund praised the decision of the Supreme Court not to intervene in the Wisconsin case. “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.
TheTimesTribune.com: The suit, which states “students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” asks the court to declare the district’s policies and practices unconstitutional and to award “nominal damages” and pay reasonable attorneys’ fees. It was filed by Randall L. Wenger, a Harrisburg lawyer, and David A. Cortman and J. Matthew Sharp, two Georgia lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund.
CBN (includes video): Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and every pregnant mother should receive the help she needs to care for that life,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Piero Tozzi said at the 2011 Meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. “We couldn’t be more pleased to present this honor to the people of Chile for their painstaking and diligent efforts to help pregnant women and protect their preborn children,” he continued. [more quotes by Piero Tozzi]
One News Now: Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, is pleased that the ruling last September by the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been upheld. He calls it “a great victory for religious liberty.” “By upholding a lower-court opinion that says the University of Wisconsin has to treat religious groups the same as secular student groups when it’s distributing money for these groups to advocate their ideas on campus,” Lorence explains, “[the court is saying] that it is wrong for them to think that there’s somehow a constitutional prohibition on funding private religious groups on the same terms and conditions as everybody else.”
Chillicothe Gazette: “There will be a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the controversial question of invocations and prayer at Chillicothe City Council meetings . . . Columbus attorney Matthew Burkhart, a member of the Alliance Defense Fund, is expected to attend the meeting Wednesday. The ADF is a nonprofit coalition of attorneys that provide help to public entities wanting to develop prayer polices to continue including invocations at their meetings. The ADF is expected to recommend council create a list of clergy members to rotate among and conduct prayer just before the start of official council business.”
Weishuhn v. Catholic Diocese of Lansing
Issue(s): (1) Whether the ministerial exception grounded in the First Amendment bars employees of religious institutions, from asserting a state civil rights claim where the employment action does not involve selection of employees or an examination of church doctrine; (2) whether an employee of a religious institution who is found to be a ministerial employee should be barred from bringing a state whistleblowers’ action.
SCOTUS Blog: “If no one has standing to appeal Judge Walker’s decision, the reply brief said, the effect would not be to put that decision into effect, thus allowing gay marriages to occur. Rather, the brief said, the Circuit Court would have no choice but to wipe out the Walker decision entirely, on the theory that he had no jurisdiction to issue such a sweeping ruling against Proposition 8′s enforcement.”
Fox News: “However, thousands of local residents rallied to the support the banner. More than 4,000 signed a petition asking the district to keep the prayer.”
The Hill: The Senate on Monday night confirmed three district judgeships, which led Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) to boast that the GOP has approved nearly one-fifth of President Obama’s judicial nominations in just a few short weeks.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): “Just over 100 ago, the company we know as Caterpillar began building track-type tractors at a plant on the banks of the Illinois River. From these humble origins in East Peoria—the factory had 12 employees when it started—this icon of the American Midwest has grown into one of the world’s most competitive manufacturers, recently forecasting record profits for 2011. The question is, how come its home state of Illinois has so little to show for it? Part of the answer has to do with the unvirtuous circle created when organized labor—public as well as private—forgets it has an interest in a growth-friendly environment.”
Catholic Culture: “David Quinn of Ireland’s Iona Institute notes that there is a strong case to be made for nearly the opposite argument: that those who rely on condoms are responsible for thousands of African AIDS deaths.” | New book says Western opposition to fidelity message is killing millions of Africans
Catholic Culture: “A mob of an estimated 4,000 Muslims attacked a Coptic Orthodox parish in a town south of Cairo on Friday night, March 4, setting fire to the Coptic church and to several homes.”
Thomas Sowell writes at Townhall: “The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.”
The Hill: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced his panel would hold hearings to examine how “to develop our own American energy resources and also what has or hasn’t been done since President Obama took office.”