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Johnson v. Poway Unified School Dist., No. 10-55445 (9th Cir. Before: Barry G. Silverman, Richard C. Tallman, and Richard R. Clifton, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Tallman We consider whether a public school district infringes the First Amendment liberties …
HSLDA: The González family, who reside near Alicante, Spain, were giving thanks to God and to HSLDA after a judge dismissed their case this week. The family were facing a possible order to send their child back to school after prosecutors brought the case over homeschooling. HSLDA filed a brief and spearheaded an international petition for the family.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at the TellADF Blog: In Idaho, the freedom of schools to teach history and literature from religious texts is becoming quite a legal and political hot potato.
Catholic Culture: When Church leaders appeal for government to recognize the rights of the individual conscience, Hadley Arkes remarks, they risk creating confusion, because the contemporary world does not recognize the proper meaning of the term . . .
The Washington Post: Antiabortion activists who have sought for months to shut down a Germantown clinic picketed its landlord outside a Montgomery County middle school where his daughter is a student, school and police officials said Monday.
The Washington Post: More than 70 percent of Obama’s confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were “non-traditional,” or nominees who were not white males.
Slate Magazine: This conversation is part of a Future Tense, a partnership between Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State. On Thursday, Sept. 15, Future Tense will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., on the boundaries between humans and machines. RSVP here to join us for “Is Our Techno-Human Marriage in Need of Counseling?”
Lambda Legal objects to Idaho School Districts parental consent requirement for “Gay-Straight Alliances”
Lambda Legal: Last week, the school board issued a revised policy that now makes clear that student clubs are not prohibited from discussing “sexual orientation including such subjects as combating unfair treatment, prejudices, or stereotypes.” However, the policy retains the requirement for parental consent to join a club. Furthermore, it maintains a three-tier structure for student organizations (exempt, curriculum, and non-curriculum), relegating all non-curriculum clubs, including Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), to the third tier and significantly limiting their ability to access school resources.
Houston Chronicle: North Carolina’s system of publicly-financed elections for judges and other office-holders is deeply flawed, a new lawsuit contends, and portions of it should be struck down to protect free speech rights. A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of two political action committees that support anti-abortion candidates contends . . .
The Washington Post: he new academic year has ground to a halt for Roman Catholic high schools in the Philadelphia area, where on Tuesday the archdiocese called off classes for about 16,500 students due to a teachers strike.
Monsters and Critics: Proceedings opened Tuesday in a Swedish district court on charges against a man and 23 women over possession and distribution of child pornography.
Yahoo! News: Kurt Westergaard, who lives under round-the-clock protection, declined to elaborate on whether police had passed along a security threat while he was on a book tour in Oslo. Norwegian security police would not comment except to say that Westergaard had been in Oslo on Monday but had left the country.
Josh Tijerina at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Americans want marriage to remain the unique and diverse union that it is: one man and one woman. The data states it. The votes confirm it. The American people have spoken again and again—31 times in fact. Sure, a handful of activist judges, one council, and four legislatures have acted against the will of the people to impose same-sex “marriage,” but when the people decide authentic marriage prevails. Let the people vote!
Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: David Cortman, the ADF attorney handling the case, said that “[t]he mere fact that a classical text is religious does not mean it has no educational value. The Supreme Court itself has clearly acknowledged this.” Cortman also said that “[w]hen government officials ban the objective study of all religious texts, including the most important literary works of all time–such as the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad, and the Odyssey–it only contributes to the further dumbing down of public school education. It’s no wonder that the call for school choice has become so popular.”
News from The Associated Press: Federal judges who set the rules for U.S. courts say too many civil lawsuits are being kept from public view and are urging their colleagues to seal cases only in extraordinary circumstances.
East Valley Tribune: New restrictions on abortion are set to take Tuesday after Planned Parenthood Arizona announced Monday it would not appeal a ruling declaring them legal. But a court fight remains.
The Washington Post: A campaign to hold the pope responsible for “crimes against humanity” is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say, even as experts doubt it will have much success at the International Criminal Court.
News from The Associated Press: Four years ago, Gov. Rick Perry put aside his social conservative bona fides and signed an order requiring Texas girls to be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus. He says he was trying to curb cancer. But it didn’t take long for angry conservatives in the Legislature to override a measure they thought tacitly approved premarital sex, and for critics to accuse Perry of cronyism.
Houston Chronicle: A new public comment period has begun on whether Virginia should allow state-licensed groups to reject prospective adoptive and foster parents because of their sexual orientation.
William Saunders: “European Court of Human Rights Finds No Right to Abortion Under European Human Rights Convention”
William Saunders at The Federalist Society: Before the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR” or “the Court”) delivered its decision in the case of A. B. and C. v. Ireland (“ABC” or “ABC v. Ireland”) on December 16, 2010, there had been widespread speculation as to the potential breadth of the decision and its implications for the sovereignty of nation states that are members of the Council of Europe. Such speculation was encouraged by the fact that instead of being heard by a single Chamber of the ECHR, the case had been referred to the Grand Chamber, composed of all judges of the ECHR, and by the fact that the Court took longer than it normally does to issue its opinion…
Robin F. Wilson and Jana Singer at The Federalist Society: First, let me thank the Federalist Society and the LGBT Law Student Alliance for co-sponsoring this discussion and to thank my friends and former colleagues, Professor Richard Boldt for moderating and Professor Jana Singer for taking up this important conversation. I will talk today about reconciling same-sex marriage with religious liberty, values that I will argue need not be in tension if legislatures enact nuanced, thoughtful legislation recognizing same-sex marriage…
Gregory Baylor and Ronald Chen: Did the Supreme Court Properly Decide Christian Legal Society v. Martinez?
ADF Attorney Gregory Baylor and Ronald ChenThe Federalist Society: Let me start with a story. In September of 1969, most Americans still supported military involvement in Vietnam. Richard Nixon had won the White House in part based on a promise to restore “law and order.” He was referring to some of the violent protests against the Vietnam War, many of which had occurred on college campuses…
OregonLive.com: Wording that essentially condemned same-sex marriage and civil unions, and that stated such couples were unfit to be parents, was removed from the official party platform during a weekend convention in Bend.
KTLA.com: Los Angeles Unified School District officials are considering implementing special gay and lesbian inclusive curriculum in its schools in an effort to decrease bullying based on sexual orientation.
StarNewsOnline.com: The debate over teaching creationism in public schools has resurfaced in Brunswick County. But despite public officials’ desire to teach the religion-themed alternative to evolution, the school board’s legal team once again determined that it is not possible under the law.
The New Civil Rights Movement: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the conservative Christian lawyers who are supporting Prop 8 in federal court, are beginning a push to force the IRS to end its regulations that prohibit churches and other religious institutions from campaigning. [more . . . ]
Daily Monitor: The First Lady Ms Janet Museveni, was behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, US Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier, said in a leaked diplomatic cable.
NYTimes.com: But conservative parents have organized to lobby against change. “Saying that you should accept two moms as a normal family — that would be advocacy,” said Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council. “There should be no tolerance of bullying, but these groups are using the issue to try to press a social agenda.”
LifeSiteNews.com: The African island nation of Mauritius is on the verge of legalizing abortion in an apparent response to pressure from the United Nations, according to a local media source.
The Republic: Civil-liberties groups are suing a southwest Virginia school board for posting the Ten Commandments, contending that the display violates the Constitution’s guarantee of separation of church and state. | ACLU press release and link to the complaint
Is the NH Health Commissioner conspiring with the Obama Admin. to force New Hampshire to fund Planned Parenthood?
LifeNews.com: Now, New Hampshire Executive Councilor David Wheeler says he is concerned New Hampshire Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas is conspiring with the Obama administration to go over the heads of the council to restore the funding.
OneNewsNow.com: GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was on the offensive in Monday night’s debate when she suggested rival Rick Perry’s controversial vaccination order in Texas was payback to a campaign contributor.
President Obama’s plan to require individual Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty exceeds the powers granted both the president and Congress by the Constitution, a federal district court judge ruled Tuesday in Harrisburg
LifeNews.com: The Planned Parenthood abortion business has dropped plans to open a new abortion facility in Redwood City, California after city officials and a local Enterprise Rent-A-Car business refused to help it.
Religion Clause: The fines of $148 to $600 grew out of defendants’ refusal to display bright orange-red safety triangles on the backs of their horse-drawn buggies.
Wisconsin State Journal: Although a special prosecutor decided not to bring criminal charges in the June 13 altercation between two state Supreme Court justices, a disciplinary panel continues to investigate.
Religion Clause: Yesterday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Awad v. Ziriax, a case challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that bans state courts from considering international law or Shariah law.
CNN.com (includes video clips from the debate): Of all the jabs at Perry last night, these mattered most. Social Security stands out as the most important topic generating substantive disagreement among the top Republican contenders.
Paul Mulshine at the NJ Star Ledger (links to video and audio): In this post at the Lew Rockwell blog, Ron Paul explains the statement at Monday night’s debate that drove so many neocons crazy. It would be nice to see some of these liberal internationalists address the issues here. I can’t see much a rational person would disagree with . . .
LifeNews.com: Father Frank Pavone is being prevented from the Catholic Bishop under whom he serves from operating Priests for Life, the respected national pro-life organization that has been a leader for years in the pro-life movement.
Is Higher Education Worth It?: Even when the economy recovers, that will not guarantee future earnings for graduates. Because times are substantially different from that of the baby boomers, a serious question to consider is whether students should go to college at all.
89.3 KPCC Southern Cal. Public Radio: A well funded Christian legal defense organization called the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is leading the charge to overturn the amendment that bans political speech in churches. For the last 3 years the organization has sponsored an event in which pastors give a political sermon and send the text of their speech to the IRS, hoping to trigger an audit. The ADF then offers free legal services to any pastor that gets audited. So far, the IRS hasn’t taken the bait. According to the ADF, the first amendment trumps tax law and pastors should be able to advocate for whatever they want. | ADF Attorney Erik Stanley and Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State were on the program.
USATODAY.com: Instead, the report says, Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens has created the “Divorce Hotel” for couples capable of ending their marriage without lawyers during a three-day mediation process.
TheHill.com: The director of the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of the nation’s fiscal future and warned the deficit reduction “supercommittee” to be wary of the nation’s ailing economy while weighing deep spending cuts and tax increases.
People For the American Way: People For the American Way Foundation and Proskauer Rose, LLP, a global law firm, sent a letter this weekend to the Ledyard Town Board, demanding that the town’s clerk fulfill her legal duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The letter refers to Ledyard Town Clerk Rose Marie Belforti, who had publicly stated that she will not sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples and refused to do so for Katie Carmichael and Deirdre DiBiaggio on August 30.
John Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute: We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document. However, the reality we must come to terms with is that in the America we live in today, the government does whatever it wants. And the few of us who actively fight to preserve the rights enshrined in the Constitution (a group whose numbers continue to shrink) do so knowing that in the long run, we may be fighting a losing battle.
WDBJ7: A member of the ACLU told News7 litigation is in the works but wouldn’t elaborate on the details of the possible suit.
A pro-euthanasia group has won approval from the Massachusetts attorney general to allow voters to decide whether to allow individuals to kill themselves with the help of a physician on next year’s ballot.
Chris Geidner at American Prospect: Once the state officials named as defendants in the case—including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-state Attorney General Jerry Brown—decided not to appeal the decision, the proponents of Prop. 8, represented in district court by Charles Cooper and members of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, were left as the only party to defend the same-sex-marriage ban.
Houston Chronicle (AP): ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman said in a statement that no district should be bullied into exposing children to sexually graphic material. “It’s reprehensible that the ACLU and Yale Law School are more concerned about forwarding an agenda that exposes children to harm than they are about protecting those children,” Cortman said in a news release.
“Religious freedom group backs Missouri school district over blocked gay, lesbian and transgender online content”
Springfield News-Leader (AP): The Alliance Defense Fund announced Monday that it and the Missouri Family Policy Council filed a brief Friday in defense of the Camdenton R-III School District.
ThinkProgress: During the Rules Committee debate, Stam acknowledged that he worked with lawyer Austin Nimocks in developing the language of the amendment. Nimocks works for the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay Christian group, and he recently testified before Congress in defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Andrew Keshner at New York Law Journal (9/9/2011): Facing a “made for television fact pattern,” a Long Island judge—in the “most heart-wrenching decision” of her 14 years on the bench—has rejected a man’s bid to be declared the legal father of a 6-year-old child that he claims is biologically his. [subscription only]
Chinese Human Rights Oppression: Anyone deemed disloyal to the Party is excluded from the people and loses his rights
Human Rights With Chinese Characteristics: WSJ.com (via Google): China released the first of what it says will be an annual blue book on human rights last Thursday, detailing how the country has “achieved great progress in the theory and practice of human rights since the introduction of reform and opening up.” . . . Anyone deemed disloyal to the Party is excluded from the people and loses his rights.
News from The Associated Press: A court in Thailand ordered the military on Tuesday to stop labeling transgender people as being mentally ill in a decision praised by activists.
News from The Associated Press: The Dutch government says it will amend a law that prevents transgender people from registering their new gender on official documents until they have had sex change surgery and been sterilized.
SCOTUSblog: On Thursday, September 15, beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies will host a symposium to review the Court’s October Term 2010 and to preview the upcoming Term.
David Limbaugh at Townhall: It is very disheartening to see Republican presidential primary candidates racing to out-demagogue one another in denouncing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s accurate description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
The Hill: These members are “skewing policy” at the Fed so that it is more interested in fighting potential inflation than in pursuing the second of its two mandates, maximizing employment, according to Frank.
Bloomberg: Data released by the Census Bureau today showed the proportion of people living in poverty climbed to 15.1 percent last year from 14.3 percent in 2009, and median household income declined 2.3 percent. The number of Americans living in poverty was the highest in the 52 years since the Census Bureau began gathering that statistic.
The Lookout – Yahoo! News: The poverty rate for children rose from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 22 percent last year, making kids more likely than any other age group to be poor. For children under the age of 6, the picture is even bleaker–25.3 percent of them lived in poverty last year.
Jennifer Corbett Doren at WSJ.com: The study, led by Northwestern University researchers, followed a large group of men in their 20s and found testosterone levels fell after they found partners and became fathers. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone thought to contribute to behaviors and other traits that help men find mates. But lower testosterone levels could help men who are fathers better handle the demands of parenting and allow them to become more nurturing, the researchers suggested . . .