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The Washington Post: The family from cable television’s polygamous “Sister Wives” reality show has told a federal judge in Utah how much they’ve been hurt by the threat of prosecution under the state’s bigamy law.
The Hill: Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson is addressing an unprecedented conference of scientific and religious leaders next month at the Vatican on the topic of stem cell research.
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Kansas to restore federal family planning funds to a Dodge City clinic that claims it is “collateral damage” to a new law aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood, saying that the U.S. Constitution trumps state law.
LifeNews.com: In 1996, the Brind quantitative meta-analysis of the extant induced abortion and breast cancer studies showed that there were 23 studies, 10 of which were statistically significant. Since then, there has been no tabulation to include the studies after 1997. An unpublished review in 2003 showed that there were 40 studies which showed a positive association between induced abortion and breast cancer.
Christian Concern: North Wales Police have announced that it will now be displaying rainbow stickers at the front desks of all its’ police stations as a sign of their “commitment to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”
The Christian Institute: David Cameron should “tread more carefully” in considering whether to redefine marriage, a prominent commentator has warned.
Christian Post: Virginia residents have just hours left to register to vote in the upcoming state election, where the Republican Party hopes to capture at least three seats to gain control of the traditionally Democratic chamber.
Fox News: A 16-year-old atheist said Thursday she is confident the law is on her side in her fight over a prayer mural that she wants removed from the auditorium of her high school.
CSMonitor.com: Mitt Romney is collecting from Wall Street. Rick Perry is getting moolah from the oil and gas industry. It’s harder to tell much about the donor base of Herman Cain, who is fifth in the GOP fundraising race.
MarketWatch: Executives, human resources and diversity professionals, employee resource groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and allies will gather in Dallas, Texas, on October 25-28 to consider ways to advance workplace equality.
The Christian Institute: The judge also said: “The case provides a vivid illustration of just how wrong these arrangements can go.”
Washington Post: Cain missteps on foreign policy and gay marriage This was his exchange . . . MR. GREGORY: A couple more. Same-sex marriage. Would you seek a constitutional ban for same-sex marriage? MR. CAIN: I wouldn’t seek a constitutional …
“Cindy Golding, the Republican candidate for District 18, has said she would support holding a popular vote on marriage equality, while her Democratic challenger, former news anchor Liz Mathis, has thus far avoided the issue . . . ”
Forbes: A seemingly insignificant property tax case in Anchorage, Alaska may have a profound effect on one of the techniques used to combat marriage equality. Alaska has a marriage amendment in its Constitution which provides that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The Alaska Constitution also has strong equal protection guarantees. The tension between these concepts is played out in the case of Julie Schmidt et.al, v The State of Alaska and Municipality of Anchorage.
LifeNews.com: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain pressed a no compromise pro-life view on abortion during a weekend interview with Meet The Press, and told host David Gregory he would not support abortion, including in cases of rape or incest.
TIME.com: A much more compelling argument was outlined by economist Timur Kuran in his 2010 book The Long Divergence. He makes the intriguing case that Islamic law was at the root of the problem. Its strictures, he claims inhibited the emergence of the institutions of modern capitalism as they developed in Europe. And the Middle East is suffering for that failure to this day.
LifeNews.com: Shelby County Health Department director Yvonne Madlock had announced in September that , after significant lobbying from pro-life advocates, Christ Community Health Services would receive the $397,000 contract with the county for family planning rather than Planned Parenthood.
JURIST: Melanie Lazarus, St. John’s University School of Law Class of 2012, is the author of the ninth article in a ten part series from the staffers of the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development under the direction of Professor Leonard Baynes. She writes on the need for New York to update the way it defines “parent” for custodial and childcare purposes…
State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) introduced a bill to amend the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act to give faith-based agencies such as Catholic Charities the right to decline an adoption or a foster family home application if it violates the group’s religious beliefs.
The university’s top-tier PPO insurance plan is available to same-sex partners in a civil union, but not to heterosexual couples in the same type of legal relationship. Male-female partners are eligible only for the university’s HMO plan — unless they marry, in which case they can pick either plan.
LifeSiteNews.com: After driving five hours to attend the Canadian bishops’ annual plenary assembly in Cornwall Monday, LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen was shocked to learn that he was barred from attending the public forum as a representative from the press.
LifeNews.com: This morning, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the US Senate Majority Whip, received the International Family Planning Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Illinois and the United Nations Foundation (UNF).
LifeSiteNews.com: As Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government continue to stifle debate on abortion, a Canadian pro-life group is throwing down the gauntlet against censorship on an issue critical to the future of the country.
LifeSiteNews.com: – A Chinese woman died last week during a forced abortion at six months pregnant, the human rights organizations Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and China Aid say they have learned.
LifeSiteNews.com: According to a report published in the international journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, current ultrasound scan guidelines used to determine if a women has had a miscarriage are inadequate and unreliable, and following these guidelines may result in healthy and wanted pregnancies being aborted.
Congratulations to allied attorneys Jim Bopp, Steve Fitschen, Jakub Kriz, Chris Lane, Roberta Livesay, Matthew McReynolds, Douglas Meyers, Arthur Schulcz, and Kevin Snider as well as new Honor Corps member Robert Reynolds for their recent accomplishments and successes listed below. …
LifeSiteNews.com: After being critically injured in a car accident that took the life of fellow Students for Life (SFL) staff member Kortney Blythe Gordon and her unborn daughter Sophy, SFL campus coordinator Jon Scharfenberger has passed away.
Sacramento Bee: Perhaps an even greater counterattack on what former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop’s seminal documentary on the issue “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” referred to as “the slaughter of the innocents” is a series of initiatives organized by a coalition of pro-life groups to put legislation on ballots in every state requiring an abortion-minded pregnant woman to see a sonogram image of her fetus prior to termination.
First Amendment Center: Kara Kowalski, a former high school student at Musselman High School in West Virginia, has petitioned for a writ of certiorari in a case involving school officials’ disciplining her for making negative comments in 2005 about another student online from her own home.
Douglas Schoen: Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd – WSJ.com: In interviews, protesters show that they are leftists out of step with most American voters. Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway.
NCPA Policy Digest: Fiscal illusion is a term that is applied when the public largely misunderstands key tax and spending parameters, which distort their financial and governmental beliefs. Looking specifically to Sweden, Bjorn Wallace and Tino Sanandaji, Ph.D. students at the Stockholm School of Economics and the University of Chicago, respectively, examine fiscal illusion in that country.
LiveScience: A team of South Korean scientists led by the Hwang Woo-suk – who made headlines in 2005 for falsely claiming to have extracted stem cells from cloned human embryos – has just announced that they have successfully cloned coyotes for the first time. Here are some answers to a few questions you may have about reproductive cloning.
The Salt Lake Tribune: The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to make a decision about whether to hear a case involving the appropriateness of placing 12-foot-high crosses on public property in the Beehive State to memorialize state troopers killed in the line of duty.
The Hill: The Iowa Republican Party officially set its caucuses for Jan. 3, guaranteeing a standoff between New Hampshire and Nevada for timing of their early primary elections and pushing the primary season up against the holidays for the second consecutive presidential campaign.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: Six of Missouri’s nine U.S. Congressmen have voted to eliminate abortion funding from President Obama’s federal health care law. The Protect Life Act, sponsored by Congressmen Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Dan Lipinski of Illinois, has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 248-173.
LaTimes.com: The choice of Paul Watford for the overburdened federal appeals court draws praise from both sides of the political aisle. Some see a smoother path for him to Senate confirmation.
The Globe and Mail: udge Moldaver and Judge Karakatsanis are seen as relatively conservative judges who will steer clear of using the Charter of Rights to strike down legislation.
FFRF.org: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked Northwest Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Rue to halt an evangelical “Seven Project” assembly in Trophy Club, Texas.
Personhood USA: The question of when life begins may be given needed clarity this November as voters in Mississippi are asked to render judgment on an initiative that would define “personhood.”
American Civil Liberties Union: A group of registered Nevada voters today filed the first of two lawsuits this week challenging two proposed ballot initiatives that could ban vital health services by granting legal protections to fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. | Related Personhood USA press release
World Congress of Families VI (2012) Takes Shape at Madrid Planning Committee Meeting: The following participated in the International Planning Committee Meeting for World Congress of Families VI: Ignacio Arsuaga — HazteOir.org, (Spain) and head of the local organizing committee for WCF VI, Lola Velarde — Institute for Family Policies (Spain), Christine Vollmer — Alliance for the Family (Venezuela), Natalia Yakunina — Sanctity of Motherhood Foundation (Russia), Larry Jacobs — WCF Managing Director, Don Feder — WCF Communications Director, Geert-Jan Poker — Familyfacts.nl (Netherlands), Lech and Ewa Kowalewski — Human Life International (Poland), Fr. Jaroslaw Szymczak — Institute for Family Studies (Poland), Silvio Dalle Valle — Association for the Defense of Christian Values (Italy), Austin Ruse — Catholic Family and Human Rights Foundation, Bev Adair — Family First New Zealand, Mary-Louise Fowler — Australian Family Association, Peter Westmore — National Civic Council (Australia), Alexey Komov — WCF Representatiive in Russia and CIS, Benjamin Bull — Alliance Defense Fund, Dorothy Patterson — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mary Ellen Smoot — Women’s Relief Society, Janice and Gil Crouse — Concerned Women for America, Roberta Kraft — Windway Foundation, Susan Roylance — Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, Chris and Christine Carmouche — GrassTopsUSA, and Preston Noell — Tradition, Family & Property.
PR.com: This year’s conference will feature an array of very respected speakers including Timothy Barton of WallBuilders, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Kerby Anderson of Point of View Ministries, Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund, Pastor Geoffrey Cohen of Gateway Church, and Dan Panetti, Worldview Director of Prestonwood Christian Academy.
NCRegister.com: “I believe the intent here is to fabricate an illegitimate transnationalist jurisprudence to alter the essential foundations of Chilean society — family and marriage,” Bishop Juan Ignacio González Errazuriz of San Bernardo, Chile, told the Register via email. “This is undoubtedly a very grave concern.” Bishop González’s concerns about the Atala case are shared by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based legal organization dedicated to protection of religious freedom, the sanctity of life and marriage and the family. The commission’s decision contained four fundamental flaws, according to a legal brief the ADF submitted last month to the Inter-American Court.
Phyllis Schlafly at Townhall: Why hasn’t any candidate been able to ride citizen dissatisfaction into majority support? I recommend that every presidential candidate read three books to understand why they don’t get it.
What’s A First-Year Lawyer Worth? Not Much, Say a Growing Number of Corporate Clients Who Refuse to Pay
Ashby Jones and Joseph Palazzolo at WSJ.com: That’s the message a swath of cost-slashing corporate America is giving the nation’s law firms, which for decades have essentially passed along the cost of training their youngest, greenest lawyers to their clients in the form of big hourly bills.
WorldNetDaily: The battle lines over homeschooling rights overseas and in the United States have been sharpened by the publication of a law journal article that concludes that Germany does persecute homeschoolers and that the first waves of its impact already have hit the U.S. The article, “Germany Homeschoolers as ‘Particular Society Group’: Evaluation Under Current U.S. Asylum Jurisprudence,” was written by Miki Kawashima Matrician and published recently in the 2011 Boston College International and Comparative Law Review.
“ACLU in Court to Challenge Religious Restrictions on Government-Funded Trafficking Victims’ Program”
American Civil Liberties Union: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts argued in federal court today that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must be prohibited from imposing religiously based restrictions on reproductive health services for victims of sex trafficking.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at Townhall: Over the course of the decades and years that have passed between the infamous Roe v. Wade decision (1973) and now, the demarcation between proponents of life and proponents of abortion has clearly proven to be a respect for life itself: an acknowledgement of the dignity of the human being, the human spirit, and the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” granted to all, regardless of age or date of conception.
Robert P. George at Public Discourse: Every member of the community has an interest in the quality of the culture that will shape their experiences, their quality of life, and the choices effectively available to them and their children.
Education Week: The Alliance Defense Fund, or ADF, a legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that was founded, according to its website, to protect the constitutional right to religious freedom, wrote a 10-page letter advising Gwinnett County not to alter the settings on its filtering software from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Blue Coat Systems Inc. The letter argued that lifting an LGBT filter would allow access to sexually inappropriate material, including sites that give explicit advice on gay, bisexual, and alternative dating and sexual relations . . . “A public school district’s decisions regarding what Web content to make available to students are curricular decisions,” the letter states, “and the case law is clear that public school districts have broad authority over curricular matters.”
OneNewsNow.com: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Roger Kiska is defending the family in the European Court of Human Rights, which has not been friendly to the couple so far. “We’re asking the court to immediately reverse … Sweden’s decision, saying it’s highly illegal to take away the parental rights for this family, and it’s also very damaging to the best interest of the child, to Dominic,” Kiska reports.
The Tennessean | tennessean.com: David Cortman, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, said that teachers from Cheatham County Schools have contacted his organization, which is considering a lawsuit. Cortman said Fields of Faith was a community event, and teachers were free to take part it. He compared the situation to a teacher attending a church that meets in a school. In that case, a teacher would be free to talk about religion to students who attended that church, even though it met in a school. “Otherwise, they would have fewer constitutional rights than an ordinary person,” he said.
Mere Weeks After Implementation, the Arizona Abortion Consent Act is Already Saving Hundreds of Lives
ADF Attorney Steven H. Aden at the TellADF Blog: There was a precipitous drop in abortions over the last two months – just after the August 11 decision of the Arizona Court of Appeals affirming the constitutionality of the Abortion Consent Act in a case argued by the Alliance Defense Fund along with the state attorney general and the Speaker of the House, and Planned Parenthood’s ensuing August 18 announcement that it was ceasing chemical (“RU-486”) abortion services in seven clinics statewide.
The Washington Post: It is a deficit of trust,” Ban told the group’s 125th assembly, held in the Swiss capital and attended by Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey. “People are losing trust in governments and institutions to do the right things.”
AFP: Various armed groups are known to operate near the area, including Muslim separatist rebels waging a decades-old insurgency and former guerrillas who have branched out into crime, including kidnappings and robbery.
Christian Post: Gene Ulm, Public Opinion Strategies partner and ADF survey director, said the survey’s findings, which are similar to that of Lawrence Research, are not surprising. “More than 63 million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on constitutional marriage amendments. Forty million Americans in all … have voted to affirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” he said in a statement. “This survey, along with the nearly 80 percent win rate in ADF marriage cases, shows the opposition has created an illusion of momentum, but not a real base of support or track record of victory in the court.”
National Secular Society: We were motivated to intervene because we were convinced that the outcome of the case was likely to have a profound effect on the future of Human Rights in theUK, and probably also in Europe. Another intervener, coming from a rather different perspective, the (American) Alliance Defense Fund goes even further. It considers it is “stand[ing] in defense of religious freedom in the United Kingdom in cases that — if they are decided the wrong way — could have a negative impact on your religious liberty here in the United States”.
William Carroll at Public Discourse: Modern science does not require us to abandon notions of nature and human nature upon which so much of traditional ethics depends.
Religion Clause: In a press release on Thursday, the ACLU and Americans United announced that they are dropping a lawsuit filed in 2008 (see prior posting) challenging a proposed D.C. arrangement with a religiously-sponsored homeless shelter . . .
Reuters: Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution and strengthen Islamic law, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Wednesday, three months after its former civil war enemy South Sudan became independent.
Religion Clause: On Friday, the 9th Circuit refused to rehear the case and also refused an en banc rehearing. However 5 judges, in an opinion written by Judge Bey, dissented from the denial of an en banc rehearing. In Jewish War Veterans v. City of San Diego, (9th Cir., Oct. 14, 2011), Judge Bey wrote in part . . .
OneNewsNow.com: Attorney Travis Barham, legal counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. “We were hoping that the court would step in and just establish the principle that students have the legal right to challenge speech codes that actually muzzle their speech,” he says.
Religion Clause: Church Sues New Jersy City Over Zoning Delay: According to North Jersey’s The Record, last week the Harlem-based Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ filed a civil rights lawsuit against Hackensack, New Jersey and 5 city officials over a lengthy delay in approving the church’s use of a former school as a school for its clergy.
Legal Periodical: “Sexual Rights and religion: Same-sex Marriage and Lawmakers’ Catholic Identity in Argentina”
(abstract only below)
Juan Marco Vaggione, Sexual Rights and religion: Same-sex Marriage and Lawmakers’ Catholic Identity in Argentina, 65 University of Miami Law Review 935-954 (2011).
The legal regulation of marriage in Argentina has undergone reforms that, in a variety of ways, have dismantled religion’s influence over law. While these reforms reaffirm the centrality of marriage in the construction of the sexual order, they also redefine marriage, distancing it from the sacrament defended by the Catholic Church. In 1888, civil and religious marriages were distinguished from one another as part of a reform process in response to late-century secularist and liberal ideologies. 1 Church and State became, at least legally, autonomous with respect to marriage; while the latter regulated the civil contract, the Church only concerned itself with the celebration of the religious sacrament. However, the legal construction of marriage was, of course, substantiated by the religious doctrine. Almost a century later, in 1987, 2 the related Divorce Law was passed, 3 made possible largely by the recent restoration of democracy and the influence of women’s movements in the region. 4 The law distanced itself from religious sacrament by establishing the solubility of the bond as a constitutive part of the institution of marriage. Finally, in 2010, a new reform took place through which marriage was authorized between same-sex couples, 5 arising from a demand primarily promoted by the movement for sexual diversity. This reform broke from the principle of Catholic doctrine that the sexes are complementary and generated complete equality in marriage between partners of the same or opposite sexes.
NYPOST.com: A public Brooklyn school refused to promote a Muslim boy to the sixth grade because of his religion, says an incendiary lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court.
SMH.com.au: Serious and fatal diseases such as pancreatic cancer, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes may eventually be treated using stem cells from breast milk following a remarkable discovery at the University of Western Australia.
Findlaw: Any country can have a Bill of Rights, but as reported by the Los Angeles Times, Scalia believes it’s the Constitution’s structure that makes ours unique.
News from The Associated Press: Washington state officials on Monday released copies of signature petitions that forced a vote on a 2009 domestic partnership law, disclosing the names of signers after a judge rejected arguments that supporters could be harassed.
News from The Associated Press: A Swedish court on Tuesday convicted 23 women and one man of child pornography offenses in what investigators called a unique case because of the number of female perpetrators.
The European Union’s top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists said threatens important research since no one could profit from it.
Tuesday round-up : SCOTUSblog: One of yesterday’s grants was United States v. Alvarez, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime to lie about having received military honors.