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ADF attorney Jeff Shafer writes at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: The monopoly authority to centrally influence how young people understand the world is quite a prize. As we have explored in past posts (see, e.g., here and here), the idea of the religious neutrality of secularism is a myth. Secularism is a rival religion. But the myth of its non-religious character secures its governing role in our system, due to the constitutional interpretation which hands civic control exclusively to the “non-religious.” (It’s all in the categorizing, you see.) From that position of authority it is uniquely empowered to fulfill its own Great Commission to go and make disciples. Its control over the State Church of Education gives it a tremendous competitive advantage.
Reuters: “The big finding here is that American Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of gay and lesbian issues,” said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted telephone surveys of 3,000 Americans.
Telegraph: “Cambodia has banned foreign men over the age of 50 marrying local women in an effort to combat sham marriages and human trafficking.”
Huffington Post: “San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled Friday that state air quality regulators failed to properly consider alternatives to their so-called cap-and-trade program, a key piece of California’s landmark global warming law, AB 32. Goldsmith ruled that the failure to consider alternatives violated state environmental law, so the California Air Resources Board must conduct further review before implementing the plan.”
Washington Post: A South Carolina father who was repeatedly jailed after insisting he couldn’t make child-support payments of about $50 a week is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to end five states’ practice of locking up delinquent parents without providing them with a lawyer.
LegalNewsLine: “Following the lead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry in support of a loser pays tort reform initiative, two state legislators have filed bills that could make the reforms a reality.”
Washington Post: The state’s challenge of the nation’s health care law should bypass an appellate court and go directly to the Supreme Court because of the “crippling uncertainty” a delay imposes upon the states, Virginia’s attorney general argues in a filing to justices.
NPR: The Title X Family Planning program, established in 1970 with bipartisan support in Congress and signed into law by President Nixon, has been largely noncontroversial. It makes no funds available for abortion, and focuses on what Nixon characterized as the premise that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” But funding for Title X, which serves more than 5 million men and women annually, is on House Republicans’ chopping block.
WWLTV.com: The American Civil Liberties Union is defending a student from Desoto Parish Middle School after the principal ordered her to go home or to change her t-shirt which said “Some Kids are Gay. That’s OK.”
LifeNews: And USA Today doesn’t like laws protecting taxpayers from having to pay for abortions in the new state taxpayer-funded health insurance exchanges the Obamacare law created. Mary Spaulding Balch, an attorney for the National Right to Life Committee, responds in her own opinion column the newspaper published.
NPR: Europe’s human rights court opened a hearing Tuesday into a Gypsy woman’s allegation that she was wrongly and forcibly sterilized at a state-run hospital in her native Slovakia because of her ethnicity.
Boston Globe: The abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America today praised US Senator Scott Brown for pledging to oppose a House Republican effort to eliminate federal grants and contracts that benefit the women’s health services provider Planned Parenthood.
ParentCentral.ca: “Premier Dalton McGuinty is refusing to order Catholic schools to allow gay-straight clubs because it is too politically risky before an election, say Ontario same-sex rights advocates. But a government spokesperson said Monday the province does not compel schools to create gay-straight alliances if a student asks, as long as there is some other group providing student support to help students feel safe and welcome.”
“Netherlands: Gay couple sues mayor, police for failing to protect them from Muslim violence and intimidation”
Jihad Watch: “A gay couple from Utrecht is holding the municipality, the police and central government liable for the financial and emotional damage they suffered as a result of intimidation and violence of Moroccan youths.”
Christian Institute: “The Government’s controversial equalities watchdog is set to be stripped of a number of its responsibilities, the Home Secretary announced yesterday.”
All of which brings me to a question: Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we’re being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?
The Hill: A group of 29 fiscally conservative organizations have written to Congress calling for the immediate defunding of Planned Parenthood, adding to the chances the GOP will push for this in negotiations with Democrats over a 2011 funding bill.
BBC: When an amateur video of a screaming, naked boy being plunged by a priest into an ice hole in Siberia appeared on the web, it caused a massive outcry in the Russian media and blogosphere.
KTKA.com: The fetal pain bill is patterned after a Nebraska law. It says that after the 21st week of pregnancy, abortions would be allowed only to prevent the mother’s death or substantial and permanent harm to her physical health.
ADF attorney Travis Barham at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: Standing. For most people, it is something they mastered when they were about one or two years old. For lawyers, it is a migraine-inducing set of legal doctrines that dictates whether someone has the right to bring a lawsuit in federal court . . . As David French explains at Phi Beta Cons, this standing question is critical for students because it determines whether courts will even review their schools’ speech codes. Until recently, the unquestioned rule was that students could challenge policies that “chilled” their speech. | Related ADF Media Information
ADF attorney Erik Stanley at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog (includes video): The Church’s story in this case is truly remarkable. The County had no basis to assess the property taxes against the Church in the first place and the Church faces the very real prospect of losing everything because the County refuses to correct its own wrongdoing. Take a minute and view the video about the Church of the Isaiah 58 Project and what it is doing to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in its community . . .
ADF attorney Gary McCaleb at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: That is why ADF and its allied attorneys just filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America case, to inform the court that changing the law will risk the religious freedom of chaplains and service members. This case, which is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is a direct attack on the law which prohibits open homosexual behavior in the military.
Christian Post: The Christian group, under fire by gay rights activists for the so-called “gay cure” app, responded to the controversy Monday, saying its Apple app is being grossly misrepresented.
The Christian Institute: Sex education resources should be licensed to ensure they are age-appropriate, an MP has said, following concern among parents about “inappropriate” materials. Andrea Leadsom’s comments come in the same month that a report by The Christian Institute highlighted shocking resources being pushed by public bodies for use in schools.
Independent: “The number of foreign students and their dependants coming to Britain could be cut by around 100,000 a year under plans.”
NBC-2.com: Women seeking an abortion are already required in Florida to have an ultrasound in the second or third trimester but not in the first. The measure (HB 1127) would extend that requirement to the first trimester . . .
Care2.com: “The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is urging Montana lawmakers to vote down a bill that would not only repeal a Missoula LGBT-inclusive employment protections law but would forbid Montana cities from enacting similar ordinances in the future.”
PRWeb: The supporters will gather for a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” rally to call on their elected officials to reject the extreme proposal that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding for preventive health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, family planning, birth control, and testing for sexually transmitted infections, as well as Medicaid.
Kathleen Quilligan writes at NWITimes: “According to a statement from Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the organization is asking Indiana residents to ask their elected officials to reject state and federal legislation that would prevent it from receiving federal funding. It receives about $3 million each year in federal family planning and Medicaid funding.”
Wall Street Journal: “Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown on Tuesday became the latest Republican to express support for continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which has become a target for socially conservative GOP budget cutters in the House.”
LifeSiteNews: “Joseph Maraachli, who had been set to have his ventilator removed against his parents’ wishes at an Ontario hospital last month, received a tracheotomy Monday morning and is doing well, says his family.”
Phyllis Schlafly writes at Townhall: As the new Republican House majority wrestles with ways to cut our unsustainable budget deficit, Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet. On March 14, he said, “We cannot cut education.” But why not? If we are going to cut programs that are proven to have failed to achieve their goals, federal spending on education should be at the top of the list.
David Prentice writes at LifeNews: So, does the Minnesota Medical Association support the idea of gestating human clones to birth? That’s what their press release a few days ago suggested. But their 2010 policy book states that while MMA supports cloning human embryos for experiments, MMA opposes gestating cloned human embryos to birth (see item 560.13). So which is it?
Gather News: esus. How many times should the word Jesus be sung in a song to not be a violation? Once? Three times? Who knows? But the boy wanted to dance to his favorite song, so his mother apparently contacted the Alliance Defense Fund, who filed a lawsuit on their behalf. They claimed her son’s First Amandment rights were violated.
Michael Foust writes at Baptist Press: Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, told Baptist Press that pro-choicers want to “shut down the real help and hope that pregnancy centers offer women.” ADF, a pro-life legal group, filed a suit against New York March 18. “There’s not any question that crisis pregnancy centers are being targeted,” Bowman told Baptist Press. “You can read the pamphlets from the abortion movement targeting them. It’s not hidden. I think these attacks on pregnancy centers are an attempt to distract from the growing national scandals in the abortion industry and to give women fewer choices when they experience an unexpected pregnancy.”
LifeSiteNews: The lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund is in response to Bill 371-A, which was signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last Wednesday . . . “At a time when New Yorkers believe the city’s abortion ratio to be too high, it’s absurd to see the city work with pro-abortion groups to ensure that the public is ‘protected’ from the ‘threat’ of these compassionate, caring, nonprofit groups that exist specifically because they oppose harm to women and their babies,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
NRL News: Crisis Pregnancy Center Expected to Challenge New NY City Regulation Impeding Work of Women-Helping Centers
National Right to Life News: The suit was brought by Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is one of four of what are called “limited-service pregnancy centers” affected by the law. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sued on behalf of the Center on First Amendment freedom of speech grounds. “We will show that the county has no facts to justify the idea that any signs are needed except the ideological complaints of abortion activists,” Matt Bowman, an ADF attorney, told the Gazette newspaper. “There are no facts, no examples of a pregnancy center doing anything but offering real help to women.”
One News Now: ADF attorney Erik Stanley explains the situation. “The assessor responded by sitting on the paperwork for three years and then only granted the church a property tax exemption for the tax years of 2009 and forward, assessed the church over $50,000 in property taxes for the time that he sat on the church’s application, didn’t act on it, and that resulted in a tax lien that was put on the property.”
School bans disabled talent show boy from singing and dancing to song about Jesus because it was ‘too religious’
Daily Mail: “But a lawsuit from Christian legal group the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of the boy prompted the district to change its policy, reported Fox News and Charisma.
LifeNews: “Demonstrating allegiance to the pro-abortion agenda, Stephen Six successfully captured the attention of President Obama and recently received a judicial nomination to the Federal Appeals Court. That’s bad news for America and here’s why: Mr. Six is notorious for using political powers to protect the abortion industry.”
The Obama administration will introduce its first statement calling for the United Nations’ top human rights body to combat discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world, completing a U.S. reversal from years of ambiguity on the subject during the presidency of George W. Bush.
AP: “But the department says some licensing agencies and schools for barbering, cosmetology, massage therapy, home health care work and other occupations may be denying admission because of HIV status.”
AP: “Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said the affirmative action policy in force since 2001 can no longer be justified because today’s Police Service of Northern Ireland has risen to 29.76 percent Catholic. That contrasts with the 8.3 percent Catholic composition of the police force it replaced, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, in 2001.”
WCFCourier.com: Gov. Terry Branstad picked Zager, Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield of Des Moines and private attorney Thomas Waterman of Pleasant Valley to replace three Supreme Court Justices who were voted out during November retention elections because of a ruling on same-sex marriage.
Journal-Sentinel: “In a further sign of acrimony on the state’s highest court, Supreme Court Justice David Prosser said Monday that discord among the seven justices would dissipate with his election next month because some of his fellow jurists don’t want him re-elected . . . In recent weeks the Supreme Court election has been portrayed as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to end most collective bargaining for most of the state’s public workers. In effect, a Prosser election defeat would be viewed as a victory for unions.”
Wiley Rein LLP: “In the Fall of 2011, George Mason University School of Law, in partnership with Wiley Rein LLP, a Washington, DC law firm, will launch a Supreme Court Clinic to provide pro bono legal representation before the United States Supreme Court.”
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “In a case that appears bound for the state Supreme Court, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Monday asked the state appeals court to lift a Dane County judge’s hold on a law sharply curtailing public union bargaining. The Court of Appeals panel in Madison quickly responded Monday by asking for information from the prosecutor on the other side of the case by the end of Tuesday . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “The Supreme Court today denied certiorari in Foundation of Human Understanding v. United States, (Docket No. 10-648, cert. denied 3/21/2011) . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday the Australian Human Rights Commission released a 92-page report titled Freedom of Religion and Belief in 21st Century Australia. Here are some excerpts from the Report’s findings . . .
Religion Clause Blog: “A case in Tampa, Florida has re-ignited debate over the application of Shariah law by U.S. courts. The unusual procedural posture of the case has a Tampa mosque arguing against Florida courts applying religious law, while former trustees of the mosque are arguing in favor of using religious law.”
SCOTUS Blog reports on the cases of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC and Weishuhn v. Catholic Diocese of Lansing.
SCOTUS Blog: “2 U.S.C. § 1988 authorizes courts to award reasonable attorneys’ fees to prevailing parties in civil rights litigation. In Hensley v. Eckerhart (1983), the Court held that prevailing defendants can generally recover their fees only when “the suit was vexatious, frivolous, or brought to harass or embarrass the defendant.” Today, in Fox v. Vice (No. 10-114), the Court will hear oral argument regarding whether a defendant can recover fees for a federal civil rights claim that is determined to be frivolous . . . ”
USA Today: The controversial Florida pastor who halted plans to burn a Quran on the 9/11 anniversary last year oversaw the burning of the Islamic holy book on Sunday after it was found “guilty” during a “trial” at his church.
Reuters: “China, with Russia, India, Brazil and other developing countries have condemned the U.S.-led air strikes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as risky and unwarranted overreaching by the West.”
The Hill: “A senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee escalated his party’s attacks on the Obama’s administration’s military action in Libya, calling the move unconstitutional.”