Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Baptist Press: For the fourth week in a row, a Chinese “illegal” church refused Sunday to follow government orders not to meet, and this time at least 31 of its members were arrested.
Washington Post: Vacating a judgment, however, is an extraordinary remedy, and courts have in many instances declined to throw out a judgment even after concluding that a judge should have disqualified himself. It is not called for here. The California-based federal appeals court is already reviewing this decision — and it should uphold it.
NY Times: Now, members of the men’s track team have taken an unusual step of their own: they have filed a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights, which oversees Title IX, alleging that Delaware is discriminating against its male athletes.
AP on Google: An internal tug-of-war over control of jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs’ southern Utah-based church may force Utah courts to walk a constitutional tightrope that experts say could tread a little too close to separation of church and state.
AsiaNews.it: A mob attacks homes and places of worship. The Christian minority is forced to flee fearful of more violence. The discovery of a burnt copy of the Qur‘an in a Christian cemetery sparks a reaction among Muslims. Restrictions are imposed on the right to assembly. Paul Bhatti meets victims, urging everyone to remain calm.
Christian Newswire: Morality in Media announced today the mobilization of its War o n Illegal Pornography coalition in a three-day effort to flood the U. S. Attorney General with calls asking that he enforce existing U.S. obscenity laws.
Forum 18: The arrival at the Seydi Labour Camp in eastern Turkmenistan of Dovran Matyakubov, a Jehovah’s Witness conscientious objector, brought to ten the number of religious prisoners of conscience held in this camp, Forum 18 News Service notes. Nine are conscientious objectors. Matyakubov received an 18-month prison term in January for refusing compulsory military service.
Irish Times: THE DEPARTMENT of Education should take all reasonable measures to ensure parents have a choice of school patron, according to a new report by an expert group.
Catholic Culture: The Vatican has announced a new accord with Azerbaijan, establishing the juridical status of the Church in that country.
Brett Harvey at the Speak Up Movement Blog: As I discussed in Part 1 of “Selling Children: Condemned or Celebrated?” when prospective parents go to any lengths to satisfy their own need to create children, there are dangerous consequences for the women caught up in the “manufacturing process” and the children ultimately “produced.” Not only does commercial surrogacy encourage the exploitation of women, but the whole process ignores the best interest of children. Prospective adoptive parents undergo extensive analysis to ensure children are placed in the best environment available. In surrogacy, however, the evaluation process is skirted in favor of those who can afford to buy the child.
Ed Whelan at National Review: As I explain in my Part 1 post, the elementary principle that Prop 8 proponents are advancing in their motion to vacate former district judge Vaughn Walker’s anti-Prop 8 judgment on account of his failure to recuse himself is that a judge can’t confer on himself a valuable legal right that he has (or is reasonably believed to have) a strong and particular interest in exercising.
The Hill: On Friday, SBA answered Driehaus’s complaint and filed a separate brief in Ohio federal court seeking to overturn the state’s “false statement” law. The group says it’s buoyed by a recent decision by the Eighth Circuit Court that overturned a similar law in Minnesota.
LifeNews: The Texas state Senate has given initial approval to a bill that would allow women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound of their unborn child beforehand, in a measure legislators hope will reduce abortions.
LifeSiteNews: The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in Australia has banned billboards that read “The casualty list of every abortion: 1 dead, 1 wounded.”
Wall Street Journal: But politics indeed plays a large role, as Congress subsidizes favorite industries and the Federal Reserve pursues an expansive monetary policy. Ours is a timely chat, given the burst of food inflation the world is living through. Mr. Pope is running a multibillion-dollar business in the midst of economic turmoil, and he has strong views about why prices are rising and what can be done about it.
LifeSiteNews: Lawmakers in Oklahoma and neighboring Texas are taking steps to make sure that abortion providers stop ignoring Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines established for the abortion drug RU-486.
LifeSiteNews: In an April 19 letter to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed by 94 House members, the lawmakers point out that “history has shown that the District has not always complied with this policy when it has been in place in the past.”
Omaha World-Herald: It’s possible that Iowa’s bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy may move forward by a Senate petition, Sen. Jim Seymour, R-Woodbine, said Thursday.
Gary Bauer at Human Events: Part of the “virtual medicine” or “telemedicine” movement that’s been gaining strength over the past three years, webcam abortions allow abortionists to sell abortions without being in the same room, or even the same county or state, as the patient.
WorldNetDaily: The lawmakers decided that “no provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 may interfere with an individual’s choice of a medical or insurance provider except as otherwise provided by the laws of this state.” According to officials with the Tenth Amendment Center, the law adopted by the legislature and signed yesterday by Gov. Jack Dalrymple is a modification of model legislation it has offered a number of states under the title of the Federal Health Care Nullification Act.
LifeNews: In February, newly elected Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) was forced to resign after a scandal involving an inappropriate email exchange with a woman he met on Craiglist. In order to fill Lee’s vacant seat, New York’s 26th District is poised to hold a special election on May 24th.
LifeNews: Despite her official position in favor of legalized abortion, Governor Bev Perdue signed a bill on Friday that protects unborn children and their mothers from violent crimes.
Tennessean.com: The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday claiming a widespread, unconstitutional pattern and practice of religious activities in the Sumner County school system. | ACLU press release and complaint
The Hill: The Susan B. Anthony List recently hired a lobbyist to keep the pressure on lawmakers to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, lobbying records show.
Howard Rich at Townhall: Well, as cash-strapped public sector unions find themselves beset by a rising tide of legislation targeting their benefits, collective bargaining and recruitment tools – they are becoming less inclined (and less able) to fight against parental choice plans. In fact, they must defend their bread and butter issues first – or risk losing everything.
LifeNews: Budget cuts at the University of Texas have forced college officials to lay off Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who was the main attorney behind the infamous Roe v. Wade case that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.
Steve Aden on the Zeb Bell Show: Planned Parenthood settles suit involving 14-year-old who obtained abortion after being impregnated by soccer coach
ADF attorney Steve Aden appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss this: Raped girl’s lawsuit against Planned Parenthood comes to a close. | MP3 audio 13:57 mins
One News Now: “The Indiana legislature has worded a bill that allows them to be good stewards of the people’s money in this regard without fear of jeopardizing other funding that is clearly not at issue in this bill,” he explains. “In fact, if the governor signs the bill and it’s ever attacked in court, ADF would offer to assist in mounting a legal defense of the law, free of charge.”
The Guardian: Campaigners have warned that Chinese human rights lawyers remain under intense pressure, following the disappearance of another high-profile legal figure. Li Fangping went missing on Friday after ringing his wife to say state security agents were waiting for him – just as lawyer Teng Biao returned home after a two-month disappearance.
One News Now: “One atheist group’s agenda should not diminish the sacrifice made by Utah Highway Patrol officers and their families,” contends ADF attorney Byron Babione. “We’re asking the Supreme Court to allow the families of the fallen to honor their loved ones through these constitutionally permissible memorials.”
Red State Blog — Post Comment: The good news is that the Alliance Defense Fund (HQ in Phoenix) has committed to defend the law for nothing. I’m encouraged by this because they’ve got a fantastic track record on these types of actions.
Red State Blog: UPDATE: RedState has received the following statement from Michael J. Norton, Senior Defense Counsel from the Alliance Defense Fund: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels should be commended for announcing his intention to sign into law the Schneider Amendment (H.B. 1210). Tax dollars of the people of Indiana should not be funneled to abortionists, especially during tough economic times. Indiana has worded a bill that allows them to be good stewards of the people’s money in this regard without fear of jeopardizing other funding that is clearly not at issue in this bill. The Schneider Amendment states that no state agency may enter into a contract with or make a grant to “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed that involves the expenditure of state funds or federal funds administered by the state.” If the bill becomes law, the State of Indiana would not be imposing conditions inconsistent with federal guidelines as some people allege, but instead would merely be applying its own congruent conditions for eligibility for qualified provider status under Medicaid. Similar provisions have been upheld by courts. The Schneider Amendment is good public policy to protect life as well as taxpayer resources.
Pioneer Press: St. Paul attorney Jane Bowman argued the proposed amendment is “redundant and unnecessary” because two state laws and a Supreme Court decision prohibit same-sex marriages. But Austin Nimocks, an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian advocacy group, said there’s no guarantee those laws would be upheld in the future. “The next Minnesota court challenged with this demand may not demonstrate the same level of judicial restraint,” he said. “The constitution is the people’s document, and they are entitled to change it,” Nimocks added.
God Discussion: In August, 2010, President Obama’s lifting of the ban was challenged in federal court in a case argued by the Alliance Defense Fund. In Sherley v. Sebelius, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said the research likely violated the law against federal funding of embryo destruction.
LifeNews: The precious tax dollars of the people of Indiana should not be funneled to abortionists, especially during tough economic times,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “The Indiana Legislature has worded a bill that allows them to be good stewards of the people’s money in this regard without fear of jeopardizing other funding that is clearly not at issue in this bill. In fact, if the governor signs the bill and it is ever attacked in court, ADF would offer to assist in mounting a legal defense of the law free of charge.”
Volokh Conspiracy: “From the Supreme Court’s own web site: This power of “judicial review” has given the Court a crucial responsibility in assuring individual rights, as well as in maintaining a “living Constitution” whose broad provisions are continually applied to complicated new situations.”
Roger Lowenstein at the NY Times: Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, faces a crisis of confidence. He is excoriated on the right for debasing the currency, and blasted on the left for failing to stimulate more than he has. It has gotten so bad that last week Mr. Bernanke, who prefers to discuss monetary policy with erudite professors like himself, submitted to the indignity of a news conference. Among the uninvited was Representative Ron Paul . . .
Star Parker at Townhall: The very entity – our government – that is supposedly there to protect us now has incredibly wide latitude to invade our lives and property. Even worse, not only is there considerable latitude to do this openly, but it can occur insidiously in ways where citizens don’t even realize it’s happening to them.
Adam Liptak at the NY Times: or many gay rights advocates, the decision amounts to a turning point in the debate — the moment at which opposition to same-sex marriage came to look like bigotry, similar to racial discrimination and the subordination of women.
The National Rifle Association today is dropping King & Spalding as an outside counsel in the wake of the firm’s decision last month to withdraw from representing House Republicans in support of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Religion Clause Blog: In a letter ruling in Oracle Institute v. Board of Supervisors of Grayson County, (VA Cir. Ct., April 26, 2011), a Virginia state trial judge rejected a number of defenses to a suit brought by an interfaith spiritual retreat center challenging the denial of a special use permit for property which it wished to develop.
Religion Clause Blog: In what may be a stretch of the language in O.S. Sec. 43.7, the clerk’s office essentially accepted the Freedom from Religion Foundation as the equivalent of an ordaining religious organization that approved the applicants.
Christopher Wolfe at Public Discourse: People generally take it for granted that marriage will be “available,” but despite the powerful forces inclining people to marry, the availability of marriage as an institution they can choose to enter cannot be taken for granted.
Religion Clause Blog: In Great Lakes Society v. Georgetown Charter Township, (MI App., April 28, 2011), the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected a religious organization’s “equal terms” RLUIPA claim because no evidence supported the contention that plaintiff’s applications for a special use permit and variance were treated differently than applications by non-religious organizations.
LifeNews: The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday on legislation that would ban federal taxpayer funding of abortions throughout the federal government in all agencies and programs.
Education News: Though universities know that such radical groups exist on campus, a fear of offending the community and discouraging future foreign students leads to inaction.