Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday for the second time ruled that the Federal Communications Commission improperly fined CBS Corp. for airing singer Janet Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004.
Baptist Press: “It is baffling that the Supreme Court did not take this case, in light of the fact that just last year they said that roadside memorials to fallen troopers would not violate the establishment clause,” said Byron Babione, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund.
The News-Press: A proposal to permit students to pray or deliver “inspirational messages” at school events was approved by a Senate committee Wednesday, over strong objections from groups dedicated to protecting religious freedoms.
The Moral Liberal: Colorado College’s Student Code of Conduct contains a policy on “Respect” that prohibits “any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or group, or which destroys or removes public or private property, or which produces ridicule, embarrassment, harassment, intimidation or other such result.”
BBC News: Claims that some school children in Essex have been told by teachers to “act less gay” to avoid being bullied have been as labelled as “worrying”.
Windy City Times: A Timber Creek receptionist referred Windy City Times to The Alliance Defense Fund ( ADF ), a self-described “Christian legal alliance defending religious liberty, sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.” A 2005 Southern Poverty Law Center report listed ADF as one the top 12 most influential anti-gay groups in the country. ADF did not respond to a request to comment in time for publication.
The Washington Post: In a statement, the church said it “has no intention of allowing civil partnerships to be registered” in its churches.
American Center for Law and Justice ACLJ: In just a few short hours, more people have taken a stand for the war memorial statue of Jesus that sits atop Big Mountain in Montana than the entire membership of the atheist group seeking to have it removed.
Dodge City Daily Globe: An abortion rights advocate who once worked for the late Dr. George Tiller says plans to open an abortion clinic in Wichita next year are still on track.
LifeNews.com: An abortion practitioner based in Indiana is under investigation by state officials for hiding the fact that he does abortions in the Hoosier State on medical forms filed with Ohio officials.
The Washington Post: Mississippi’s Republican governor, Haley Barbour, says the life-at-fertilization initiative on next Tuesday’s state ballot is “ambiguous” and he’s not sure whether he’ll vote for or against it.
Boston.com (AP): The executive director of the driving force behind New Hampshire’s gay marriage law announced Wednesday she is resigning due to insufficient funding drawn partly through the group’s national organization.
The Associated Press: A New York group calling itself the first Parent-Teacher Association unit in the country dedicated to the needs of gay and lesbian youths is under fire from the president of the state PTA, who says permission was never granted to use the trademarked organization’s moniker.
CBN.com: The Alliance Defense Fund is representing the litigants. Attorneys claim federal and state law protects their clients from being forced to take part in the procedure.
ProLifeBlogs: “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.” . . . Demetrios K. Stratis, one of nearly 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance is local counsel in the case, Danquah v. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. ADF is currently involved in a similar lawsuit in New York state court involving a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Heritage Fundation: Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, explained at the hearing that “children are the product of sexual relationships between men and women” and that “men and women each bring something important and unique to the table of parenting.” Therefore, Nimocks argued, “this government maintains a compelling interest in protecting and preserving the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
MiamiHerald.com: Attorney Daniel Cox, representing Sanger’s mother Phyllis of Colonial Beach, Va., and brother Mark of Eugene, Ore., also declined to comment. Cox is a member of the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-based legal network that was involved in Schiavo’s case.
Reuters: Radical Islamists have seized control of 150 to 200 mosques and prayer halls around Tunisia this year, a senior religious official said Wednesday.
LifeSiteNews.com: The statistics for the number of abortions committed in Canada in 2009, the latest figures available, were released on October 28 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
LifeNews.com: Trespassing charges that had been pressed against pro-life students at Carleton University for putting up a pro-life displayed banned by the administration of their own college campus have been withdrawn.
“Anti-Gay Statements About Fellow Building Resident = Liability for ‘Hostile Housing Environment Harassment’”
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: That’s what seems to be the holding of Gilbert v. 7355 South Shore Condominium Ass’n & Shelley Norton (Chi. Com. Hum. Rel’s July 20, 2011), leading to damages of $2100, fines of $1200, and “reasonable attorney fees and associated costs,” which I suspect are likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. The statements were said by a condo association manager about a condo owner, but as I’ll note below the logic of this case would likewise apply to tenants speaking about another tenant.
Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy: I agree with most of what co-blogger Eugene Volokh writes about the benefits of have a wide range of student groups at law schools, including ones that focus on specific ethnic or religious groups.
Politico: If the Supreme Court next year gets rid of the health reform law’s requirement to buy insurance, Republicans could gain momentum to get rid of the rest of the law — and President Barack Obama would suffer a huge embarrassment at the height of an election year.
Statesman Journal: It will mark the first time in almost 25 years that two justices will retire and leave their seats to be filled by election rather than appointment by the governor.
ADF Attorney Daniel Blomberg at LifeNews.com: Imagine that medicine allowed doctors to easily and safely remove babies from the womb long before birth and put them in some sort of artificial womb to complete their development. Now ask yourself if this technology would completely remove the market for killing the unborn. Answer? No. Why?
David L. Hudson at First Amendment Center: One may believe that Justice Thomas is an outlier with his establishment-clause position. But his latest dissent hits the mark when he identifies that the Court is inconsistent when fielding church-state separation questions.
FRC Action’s Values Voter Bus to Hold News Conference at Roadside Cross Now Facing Court Ordered Removal
FRC: On Thursday, Family Research Council Action’s (FRC Action) Values Voter Bus Tour will make a stop in Murray, Utah next to a roadside cross that is now facing removal in the court case, Utah Highway Patrol Association vs. American Atheists. FRC Action and Congressional candidate Carl Wimmer will express deep disappointment in the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal on Monday to hear the case.
Religion Clause: That section provides an exemption from Social Security taxes where both the employer and employee are members of a religious sect that opposes participation in Social Security. However, changes in regulations in 2009 created a problem where the employer was not an individual . . .
The Tennessean: The Alliance Defense Fund was contacted by the FCA Club and community members regarding the restrictions on the participation of faculty at the event, which was held after school hours. “We are concerned that your legal counsel may have provided you with inaccurate legal advice that impermissibly restricted the constitutional rights of teachers and staff to engage in private religious expression,” the letter stated.
Crosswalk ReligionToday News Summaries: Justice is not well-served when unhappy atheists can use the law to mow down memorial crosses and renew the suffering for the survivors,” said ADF senior counsel Byron Babione. Justice Clarence Thomas, the lone dissenter, also harshly criticized the court’s decision, saying it rejected “an opportunity to provide clarity” to an area of law that was “in shambles.”
JournalNow.com: The lawyers from a right-wing Christian organization that Forsyth commissioners chose for their wrongheaded and potentially costly fight for prayer at their meetings have filed to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. On the chance that the highest court in the land does choose to hear this case, we’ll have a good thought that the Constitution will prevail and the commissioners will finally have to give up this battle that would, in effect, give their government body the right to push Christianity on all.
Canada Free Press: “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.”
TheHill.com: “That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.”
NRL News Today: “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.” The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, on behalf of the nurses who “possess strongly held religious and moral beliefs that she may not participate in the process of an abortion that causes the death of a preborn child,” Bowman said.
World Net Daily: “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the organization. “No [fewer] than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. “That is flatly illegal,” he said.
Christian Post: “ADF is committed to defend the right of pro-life nurses not to be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said Matt Bowman of ADF on Tuesday. Bowman also said that throughout the country there are other legal challenges to hospitals requiring medical personnel to assist in abortions even if they hold religious objections. “ADF is currently litigating this case on behalf of a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York,” said Bowman, who added that his organization “successfully intervened on behalf of nursing applicants to a program at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.”
“T.C. Voters To Decide On Legal Protections For People Who Are Gay, Transgender” | Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio: But Elk Rapids Attorney Steve Francis has been scrutinizing the local law and he says there’s a certain group of Traverse City business owners who might want to take notice.
ABA Journal: Sanger’s brother and mother are represented by Daniel Cox, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund. Cox says Daniel Sanger told his mother he wanted to live before his health declined due to complications from a bed sore. An alliance press release says Sanger became unconscious after expressing a desire to live.
LifeSiteNews.com: “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.”
OneNewsNow.com: But Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Byron Babione tells OneNewsNow that American Atheists claimed the memorials are “a state establishment of religion.” . . . “It is baffling that the Supreme Court did not take this case in light of the fact that just last year they said that roadside memorials to fallen troopers would not violate the Establishment Clause,” the attorney laments.
Christianity Today: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Byron Babione said, “The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear this case is baffling in light of its comments just last year that individualized memorial crosses honoring fallen troopers do not amount to a government establishment of religion.” Babione and the ADF helped represent those who paid for and maintained the crosses . . . According to the ADF’s brief, that the crosses were memorials and symbols of sacrifice; they did not represent Christianity. “The [Utah Highway Patrol Association] chose the cross shape because it is the only symbol, given its historical use, that could simultaneously communicate messages of roadside death, commemoration, and highway safety,” the ADF brief said.
NY: Establishment Clause Challenge To Women’s Studies Program Dismissed On Collateral Estoppel Grounds
Religion Clause: In Hollander v. Members of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125593 (SD NY, Oct. 31, 2011), a New York federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations and dismissed on collateral estoppel grounds an Establishment Clause lawsuit by an alumnus of Columbia University.
Sky News: The country’s defence minister Ehud Barak and the foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman are said to be among those backing a pre-emptive strike to neutralise Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But a narrow majority of ministers currently oppose the move, which could trigger a wave of regional retaliation.
News from The Associated Press: An attorney for the wife of 55-year-old Daniel Sanger said the wife called him Wednesday morning to say her husband died overnight.
News from The Associated Press: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was flying to the chic French Riviera resort of Cannes on Wednesday to explain himself to European leaders furious over his surprise referendum on a bailout deal that took them months to work out.
The Hill: Lawmakers in Arizona’s Republican-controlled Senate voted Tuesday night to oust the head of Arizona’s bipartisan redistricting commission, leaving the state’s congressional map uncertain and prompting Democrats to turn to the courts for relief.
The Legal Intelligencer: A federal judge overseeing a dispute over death benefits between the parents and wife of a deceased Cozen O’Connor partner has requested the parties brief the constitutional question of same-sex marriage, increasing the potential for a determination of whether the Defense of Marriage Act and a similar Pennsylvania statute are valid.
LaTimes.com: n what could be a harbinger of the 2012 election, Colorado voters Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have raised nearly $3 billion for education by temporarily increasing state income, sales and use taxes.