Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeNews.com: Guidelines proposed by the pro-euthanasia Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) call on doctors in the Netherlands to refer patients for euthanasia — even if they have moral or religious objections to the practice of killing patients.
The Denver Post: The measure didn’t have the support of prominent gay-rights groups in Colorado, which planned to instead push for a civil-unions bill in the Legislature next year.
LifeNews.com: Legislators in Chile’s Senate Health Commission have opened the door towards legalizing abortion in a country where abortion is illegal without exception.
LifeNews.com: A new book by Scott Carney called the The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers takes a critical look at international surrogacy especially in India.
Catholic Culture: Police have arrested ten members of an armed gang for damage done to a church in the southern Kerela state, as well as for attacks on nearby homes.
Catholic Culture: A dozen unknown assailants have beaten a nun and a priest in Kangding, a city of 100,000 in a largely Tibetan area of south-central China
Catholic Culture: Legislation put forward by the Irish government to require mandatory reporting of sex-abuse allegations will not specifically mention the matter, but a justice department official says that the bill does not provide an exemption for sacramental confession.
The Center for Bioethics and Culture: This week, we are pleased to feature an in-depth report on assisted reproduction in Canada. The report was prepared by our 2011 Blackstone Legal Intern, Brittney Sharp. The report is especially timely as Jennifer Lahl will be in Toronto later this month speaking at a conference on reproductive issues and filming two interviews for our new film project, Anonymous Fathers Day.
FrontPage Magazine: While the Western media and governments have been preoccupied with the so called “Arab Spring,” little if any attention has been paid to the increased persecution of Christians in the Muslim Middle East.
The Christian Institute (includes video): The Government had to rely on Labour Peers and its own ministers to avoid defeat on a House of Lords motion regretting the impact of equality laws on religious liberty.
Andrew Breitbart: “The F Troop: How the GOP Candidates Failed Simply by Showing Up at MSNBC/Politico ‘Debate’”
Andrew Breitbart at Big Government: give all but one of the GOP candidates an “F” for last night’s performance. The very premise of the Republican presidential debate, hosted by NBC/Politico and broadcast by corporate welfare queen MSNBC proves that conservatives don’t understand the power the media is trying to exert over the next election.
BBC News – : Too many trivial cases are being sent to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), according a group of experts. The independent commission set up to consider a UK Bill of Rights has urged the government “to set the ball rolling on fundamental reforms” to the ECHR.
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: That’s a question that some readers asked on another thread, so I thought I’d pass along these excerpts from Troxel v. Granville (2000) on the subject. First, here’s an excerpt from Justice O’Connor’s plurality opinion . . . Second, here’s most of Justice Scalia’s dissent . . .
Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy: I decided to look for some real numbers, and I found this chart on the rates of unpublished opinions by circuits from 9/2009 to 9/2010. Here are the numbers listed from the highest percentage of unpublished decisions to the lowest . . .
Today, N.H. Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas informed the council that the Obama administration is taking over the awarding of federal family planning grants and taking control of the recipient decision-making process New Hampshire had.
Sentencing Law and Policy:: The Second Circuit has today issued an important new opinion in the on-going saga concerning whether and how the kids victimized by being featured in illegal child pornography can secure restitution awards from defendants who downloaded these pictures via the internet. The panel opinion in US v. Aumais, No. 10-3160 (2d Cir. Sept. 8, 2011) (available here), gets started this way . . .
The Courier-Journal: That issue arises from the hospital’s roles as Louisville’s main provider of indigent care and as the main teaching hospital for the University of Louisville, a state school. The state’s control of the real estate where the hospital stands is also a factor.
BaltimoreSun.com: Speaking at an Equality Maryland fundraiser in Chevy Chase last night, the governor said that the issue should be viewed from the eyes of the children of same-sex couples. He said children across the state should grow up in households governed by the same sets of laws.
Julie Rovner at NationalJournal.com: But in general, there has been a fairly bright line between contraception and abortion, if only because the former has been so much more acceptable to the public . . . For that reason, frontal attacks on contraception, and even federal funding of contraception, other than its relationship to abortion, have been relatively rare. But no more.
FRC Action: “Until the crisis within the family is reversed, America’s economic slowdown is only going to increase. The Baby Boom generation has already entered its peak productivity phase. As this generation’s skilled workers retire, they is being replaced by a smaller and less productive and skilled work force. This can only spell more trouble for America’s economy.
Religion Clause: Oklahoma School Districts Sue To Challenge Voucher Program: Yesterday’s Tulsa World reports that two Oklahoma school districts have filed suit in state court to challenge the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Act, as amended.
Care2 Causes: Doe’s lawyer for her case is Harold J. Cassidy, best known as the lawyer who helped orchestrate the South Dakota law requiring that all abortion providers tell women undergoing abortions that having an abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” a portion of which was upheld by the 8th court on September 2nd. Doe’s legal team has already stated they will appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court.
LifeNews.com: A Florida county has voted to revoke $500,000 in taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. After significant pro-life lobbying, the Children’s Services Council Taxing Authority (CSC) stopped funding Planned Parenthood after sending the abortion giant millions of dollars over the years.
Religion Clause: According to a JTA report this week, New York City election officials have changed their mind about permanently moving the polling location for New York’s 73rd and 74th election districts from a public school to St. Agatha’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn.
AP: Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, heir apparent to a billion-dollar banking dynasty and de facto ruler over 35,000 people, says he will exercise his veto if the people favor a referendum to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or if the child is severely disabled.
The Daily News Journal: With a new school year beginning, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) sent out their “Know Your Rights: Religion in Public Schools – A Guide for Administrators and Teachers” to public schoolsuperintendents across the state.
Byron York at Townhall : Surveying those articles, the executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, concludes that “an unusually large number” of Republican candidates “belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.” Perry and Bachmann, in particular, are connected to “fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity,” which Keller says “has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.”
Robert Knight at Townhall: But I’m not here to poke holes in evolutionary theory. I have a larger ambition, which is to expose the misuse of science as a false religion.
Ed Whalen at EPPC: In developing their positions on Supreme Court appointments and the Department of Justice, presidential candidates should 1) welcome the battle over the Supreme Court, 2) determine to fight hard for high-quality justices, 3) frame the argument for why abortion policy should be restored to the democratic processes, 4) support the Defense of Marriage Act, and 5) commit to select senior legal leaders who fully embrace their goals and priorities.
George Will at The Washington Post: Since the New Deal, courts have stopped defending liberty of contract and other unenumerated rights grounded in America’s natural rights tradition. These are referred to by the Ninth Amendment, which explicitly protects unenumerated rights “retained by the people,” and by the “privileges or immunities” and “liberty” cited in the 14th Amendment. Progressivism, Bernstein argues, is hostile to America’s premise that individuals possess rights that preexist government and are not fully enumerated in the Constitution.
LifeNews.com: Since being pro-life means so much more than just voting for pro-life candidates, we have to act pro-life on a daily basis. So what can a middle or high-school age student do? This list consists of just a few ideas that students can do to spread awareness about abortion, even if they’re unable to vote . . .
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) does not have a legal right to sue over the law’s requirement that most people buy insurance. The court vacated a lower court’s ruling in the case and instructed the lower court to dismiss the suit.
Forbes: The average sitting Supreme Court justice is worth at least $2 million and possibly as much as $20 million a piece according to annual disclosure statements filed by the nine-member court.
OneNewsNow.com: “The mere fact that a classical text is religious doesn’t mean that it has no educational value,” contends ADF’s David Cortman. “The Supreme Court itself has clearly acknowledged this. It’s ridiculous that a historical religious text that has been studied as part of Western civilization for hundreds or even thousands of years is somehow automatically off limits.”
OneNewsNow.com: “Planned Parenthood and other proponents of death work diligently to restrict the information mothers have about abortion and the life within them,” explains Steven H. Aden, attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). “It was incredible for the lower court to have determined that the law cannot acknowledge that a pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being because some human beings are somehow not persons.”
After First Amendment challenge, Livingston amends zoning code to allow cross on resident’s front lawn
NJ.com: Racaniello, who felt that the township was preventing him from expressing his constitutionally protected religious beliefs, enlisted the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund — a coalition of Christian attorneys — which argued that the township was violating Racaniello’s First Amendment rights by enforcing “vague” ordinances in “ad hoc” manner. Although his attorney, Jonathan Scruggs, said in July that the alliance would take the township to court unless Racaniello was allowed to display his cross on the tree — which is within the right-of-way — Scruggs yesterday said he was “satisfied” that the new ordinance addressed his and Racaniello’s concerns. “I think it’s an appropriate response,” Scruggs said of the amended ordinance. “We’re satisfied that the vagueness of the ordinance was corrected.”
SnoValley Star: The free-speech zones set up by Issaquah are merely circumventing the First Amendment, said Nate Kellum, one of the attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund representing Ascherl . . . “Ascherl’s literature distribution was far less prone to create congestion than these other activities.” The city’s expression areas don’t allow for real freedom of expression, Kellum said. “What is free speech if no one can hear it?” he asked.
AP: A militant Muslim group claimed by video it carried out recent attacks in western China that killed at least three dozen people, a monitoring group said.
AP: A group in one Massachusetts town wants to ban students from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in the public schools, saying it has no educational value and is reminiscent of totalitarian regimes.
TheHill.com: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is encouraging all members of his conference to attend President Obama’s address to Congress on Thursday night, even as a few GOP lawmakers have said they won’t go.
Toledo Blade: How long can a computer hard drive be left behind before it is considered abandoned and subject to search by police without a warrant? That was the question before the Ohio Supreme Court Wednesday as it weighed the child rape, child pornography, and other convictions of Dennis Gould, 47 . . . | Hat tip: How Appealing for providing a link to the documents, summary of the case, and video of the arguments.
AP: British health officials say they will lift the ban on gay men donating blood – as long as their last sexual contact with another man was more than one year ago.
The Hill: The guitar company has tried to tap into anti-government sentiment following a raid on its factories by federal agents. Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson Guitar, will attend President Obama’s address to Congress on Thursday as a guest of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
AP: President Jacob Zuma on Thursday appointed Mogoeng Mogoeng as chief justice of South Africa, casting aside accusations that the judge has been lenient on rapists and is homophobic.
Michael Barone: Last Night The Reagan Library/MSNBC/Politico debate: Brian Williams . . . embarrassing
Michael Barone at The Washington Examiner: The biggest mystery about the Reagan Library/MSNBC debate last night is why the Reagan Library allowed MSNBC to be the co-sponsor. Brian Williams, whom I haven’t watched much in recent years, seems to have been drinking liberally of the MSNBC kool-aid; many of his questions were so steeped in liberal distaste for Republican positions that it was embarrassing
Maggie Gallagher at Human Events: The goal of the APP Palmetto Freedom Forum on Monday in Columbia, S.C., was a different kind of debate that would break new ground. Boy, did it succeed . . . | The debate is available at YouTube in 8 high quality videos. The first video is here. Links to the others will be visible after clicking the link to the first one.