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Times-Journal.com: : Standard insurance plans offered in Alabama would not cover elective abortions if a bill offered by state Sen. Shadrack McGill becomes law.
SeattlePI.com: The Senate will vote Wednesday on a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state. The Senate Rules Committee voted Tuesday to move the bill to a floor vote.
English pravda.ru: For the first time in the history of Europe, Islamic organization can participate in the elections. Party For Muslim Netherlands wants to get into parliament in 2015. The Netherlands could become the first country on the continent where the Islamists will participate in the legislature. The far-right sentiment is increasing in the country as well.
National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, No. 11-1196 (1st Cir. Jan. 31, 2012)
LIPEZ, Circuit Judge. This appeal presents the second chapter of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Maine laws imposing registration and disclosure requirements on entities that finance election-related advocacy. In a recent decision, we rejected claims made by one of the appellants here, the National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”), asserting that Maine’s laws regulating political action committees (“PACs”) are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. See NOM v. McKee, 649 F.3d 34 (1st Cir. 2011) (“NOM I”). We now consider similar contentions raised by NOM and co-appellant American Principles in Action, Inc. (“APIA”) concerning the law applicable to ballot question committees (“BQCs”). See Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 21-A, § 1056-B. Our decision in NOM I effectively disposes of most of appellants’ challenges to Maine’s BQC requirements. On the only substantively distinct issue — the constitutionality of the definition of “contribution” in section 1056-B — we conclude that the BQC law, like the PAC laws, is constitutional. We thus affirm in its entirety the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the defendants.
Christian Freedom International: But despite the consistent defamation of Christianity by prominent Muslims — which has included calling Christians “infidels” and “criminals” and the Bible as “fake” and “Greek mythology” — complaints filed by Christians against Muslims for these offenses in accordance with the contempt of religion law have come to no avail.
Christian Concern: Andy Stephenson and Kathryn Sloane entered a not-guilty plea yesterday (30 Jan) at Brighton Magistrates’ Court, after being arrested for a demonstration outside an abortion clinic in Brighton on 22 June 2011.
Christian Concern: A culture of sexual license and promiscuity in the UK is costing the taxpayer approximately £100 billion per year, according to findings by the Jubilee Centre. In a paper entitled “Free sex: Who pays? Moral hazard and sexual ethics” . . .
The Daily Times: A week after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Indian River School District’s appeal of a ban on prayer at school board meetings, a small group of Sussex County residents continued delivering Christian prayers on behalf of the district.
LifeNews.com: After years of protests and criticism from pro-life advocates, the biggest breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced it is halting further grants and donations to the Planned Parenthood.
GoLocalProv.com: Following up a federal court’s decision earlier this month finding unconstitutional the display of a prayer mural in Cranston High School West’s auditorium, Rhode Island ACLU attorneys have today asked the court to award $173,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs for their successful work on the case . . .
Liberty Counsel: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 that will expand the nearly nonexistent exemption for religious employers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare.
Boston.com: An Orthodox Christian church famed for its valuable icons was set alight in southern Macedonia overnight, authorities said Tuesday, as religious tension between Christians and minority Muslims grew over a carnival in which men dressed as women in burqas and mocked the Quran.
Washington Times: While the Obama campaign has consistently touted its grassroots, small-donor fundraising appeal, the reach of the tentacles of a few hundred Hollywood executives and financial moguls is astonishing.
WAAYTV.com- Huntsville, Alabama Television (includes video): It all started when the board of education received a complaint from a family in the school system and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Minnesota Public Radio News: he largest group working to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage said it has raised more than $1.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
CBS Seattle (AP): A House committee on Monday advanced a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, and the Senate is expected to vote on its companion bill within days.
News from The Associated Press: The U.S. Forest Service says it will re-authorize a permit for a 57-year-old statue of Jesus that had been facing eviction from a northwestern Montana ski resort.
Freedom From Religion Foundation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a cautionary letter to President Barack Obama asking him to once again disassociate the Oval Office from the so-called annual “National Prayer Breakfast” taking place on Thursday, Feb. 2. Obama is scheduled to once again participate.
BBC News: Labour’s Johann Lamont, the Tories’ Ruth Davidson, the Lib Dems’ Willie Rennie and Scottish Green Patrick Harvie are united on the issue.
ChicagoTribune.com: “This is a treaty outside of the EU,” British leader David Cameron insisted Tuesday at the House of Commons. “We are not signing it. We are not ratifying it. We are not part of it.” The decision by Cameron and Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas to reject the deal leaves Europe with a clumsy compromise and has thrown up legal questions about using EU-wide institutions like the European Court of Justice to enforce the pact.
The Washington Post: Something unexpected happened on the way to North Carolina’s vote on a gay marriage ban this May: Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue decided not to run for re-election, meaning more voters who oppose the ban could turn out at the polls.
Concord Monitor: Cohn and others believe the bill may pass the House but does not have the two-thirds majority to override a potential veto by Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who signed the bill three years ago legalizing same-sex marriage.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Gov. Bob McDonnell this morning said he supports a measure expected to clear the Senate today that would require a woman receive an ultrasound before having an abortion.
PilotOnline.com: One-by-one, three Virginia women told lawmakers about their gut-wrenching decisions to terminate medically perilous pregnancies and urged officials not to repeal state subsidies for poor women to abort fetuses with serious birth defects.
Maryland opponents of same-sex marriage protest: “Fix the problems we already have, not create new ones”
Baltimore Sun: “We ask the government to fix the problems we already have, not create new ones,” said the Rev. Michael DeAscanis, a Roman Catholic priest in St. Agnes and St. William of York Parish in Baltimore.
The Washington Post: Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch said the push for legalizing same-sex marriage is “clearly an issue of civil rights,” during an appearance Tuesday at a prayer breakfast with supportive clergy.
CNSnews.com: The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlook published today by the CBO.
LaTimes.com: The healthcare law’s mandate to require religious-affiliated employers to pay for contraception for their workers has prompted two lawsuits. If the matter gets to the Supreme Court, it will go before justices who recently affirmed — in a 9-0 ruling — that the 1st Amendment gives special leeway to religious employers.
How Appealing quotes and links to the AP and the earlier 5th Circuit opinion: A federal appeals court in New Orleans has agreed to rehear two cases in which a victim of child pornography sought restitution from men who viewed sexually explicit photographs of her on the Internet.” | In re: Amy Unknown.
The Hoya: Of the 78 cases brought before the Supreme Court since its term began in October, 73 had been argued beforehand — in a moot court at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Bloomberg: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said his pick to be the first openly gay justice on the state Supreme Court won’t rule on issues involving same-sex marriage.
NYTimes.com: The young Afghan woman gave birth to a third girl three months ago — to a husband, the authorities say, who had been demanding a boy.
The GW Hatchet: Four Supreme Court justices and three European human rights judges will visit the GW Law School in March to discuss the judicial system’s role in protecting civil and political rights.
OneNewsNow.com: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) teamed up with the liberal veterans group VoteVets.org and with anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to petition West Point to disinvite Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (USA-Ret.) from the February 8 event.
BET: Sticks and stones can break your bones, and, as the old schoolyard ditty goes, words may never hurt you. But at least they may lead you to be granted large damages in a lawsuit. A Seattle man has been awarded $100,000 in his suit against the Aberdeen School District, charging they did little to stop the racial and anti-gay bullying he endured from 2003 to 2009.
Conservative Christian Group Backing Push To Allow Worship Services In City School Buildings | New York Daily News
New York Daily News: Jordan Lorence, a senior attorney with the ADF, said the city’s policy was “strikingly abhorrent” because other community groups are allowed to use school buildings for non-religious purposes. “They are leading a one school district parade with their selective exclusion of worship services,” Lorence said.
LifeNews.com: Obama has appointed Andrew Hurwitz to the 9th Circuit Court, the most liberal appeals court in the country based in San Francisco and covering laws approved in western states. Yet, according to the Daily Caller, Hurwitz was instrumental to providing some of the legal framework for Roe, which resulted in 54 million abortions.
Austin passes new anti-crisis pregnancy center ordinance; pro-lifers promise fight | LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com: Attorneys representing the centers immediately notified the council of their objections. In October the Alliance Defense Fund, the Law of Life Project, and the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL) filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
Alaska Dispatch: You may have been confused about this whole issue if you read an article published earlier this month in the Catholic Anchor, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage. That article — picked up and featured by the Alaska Dispatch — said “religious liberty groups … are already raising concerns about the impact that the proposed law would have on faith-based institutions and nonprofits in Anchorage.” The article goes on to mention only one religious liberty group, the Alliance Defense Fund, a national legal fund defending “religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and the family,” according to its website. The fund analyzed the initiative, according to the article. In that analysis, the fund determined the initiative would “undermine religious liberty.”
LifeNews.com: ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman commented on the law and the lawsuit in remarks to LifeNews.com. “Pro-life pregnancy centers, which freely offer real help and hope to women and their preborn children, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of those who make their money aborting babies,” he said. “This order keeps the city from enforcing a law that is specifically designed to deter pregnant women from receiving the help they need to make fully informed choices about their pregnancy while this lawsuit goes forward. The order also means that the court is likely to find the ordinance unconstitutional.” Bowman noted the court was also critical of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s defense of the city ordinance: “Given the New York Civil Liberties Union’s (“NYCLU”) usual concern for First Amendment rights, its amicus brief supporting Defendant’s expansive view of the commercial speech doctrine is puzzling.”
In ‘Ward v. Polite,’ Sixth Circuit Reaches Right Result, but with Wrong Reasoning | The Moral Liberal
The Moral Liberal: In this blog entry, I’ll cover the facts at issue and discuss the court’s holding. Later this week, I’ll focus on how the opinion could harm campus speech in the future . . . ollowing her expulsion, Ward brought suit with the assistance of the Alliance Defense Fund, alleging that the defendants, employees of a public school, had violated her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religious exercise under the First Amendment.
Baptist Press: “Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The court rightly understood this and ruled appropriately,” said Jeremy Tedesco, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. Tedesco argued for Ward before the court. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the ruling “marks an important step in defending the religious and intellectual freedoms of Americans.”
CBN.com: “Rather than allow Julea to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor — a common, professional practice to best serve clients — EMU attacked and questioned Julea’s religious beliefs and ultimately expelled her from the program because of them,” said Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued Ward’s case last October.
World Mag: Jeremy Tedesco, the Alliance Defense Fund lawyer who argued Ward’s case, praised the court for recognizing Ward’s right to retain her religious beliefs while pursuing her education. “Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree,” he said in a prepared statement. “The court rightly understood this and ruled appropriately.”
News from The Associated Press: When federal regulators approved a 39-mile natural gas pipeline through northern Pennsylvania’s pristine Endless Mountains, they cited the operator’s assurances that it would make sparing use of eminent domain as it negotiated with more than 150 property owners along the pipeline’s route.
News from The Associated Press: Police say suspected Islamic insurgents have killed five people in attacks on security targets in Nigeria’s restive northeast.
LifeSiteNews.com: The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule on Thursday that defines “family” as at least two people living together “regardless of marital status, or actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” in addition to the surviving partners of AIDS victims who had previously been housed under HUD’s AIDS housing program.
News from The Associated Press: South Africa is recalling 1.35 million condoms given away at the African National Congress party’s centenary celebrations amid charges some broke during intercourse and others were porous, an official said Tuesday.
News from The Associated Press: The only movie ever banned in Britain for blasphemy was finally approved for distribution Tuesday, 23 years after it was outlawed.
Rasmussen Reports: Indiana as early as Wednesday could become the 23rd right-to-work state in the country, meaning non-union employees would not be required to pay union dues when working for a company that is unionized.
LifeNews.com: At least three Catholic bishops have said they will not comply with the mandate the Obama administration put in place recently in Obamacare that will force religious employers to pay for birth control, contraception and drugs that may cause abortions in their health care plans.
CSMonitor.com: Ron Paul is likely to win more delegates to the 2012 GOP convention than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum this week. Wait. What? That’s why he campaigned in Maine this weekend.
Pat Buchanan at Townhall: Now, not only is this a battle the Church must fight, it is a battle the Church can win if it has the moral stamina to say the course. In forcing the Church to violate its own principles, Obama has committed an act of federal aggression, crossing the line between church and state to appease his ACLU and feminist allies, while humiliating the Catholic bishops.
Heritage Foundation Morning Bell: The President is right to highlight the rising cost of higher education. Tuition and fees continue to shoot through the roof, now exceeding $17,000 per year, rising on average 8.3 percent at public universities this year. That means medium-income Americans are struggling to send their kids to college, and graduates are leaving school with monstrous debt.
Christopher Kaczor at Public Discourse: From its ancient Stoic origins to its modern Kantian formulations, human dignity is an important concept for sound ethical thinking. Doing so requires that we distinguish dignity as attributed, dignity as intrinsic worth, and dignity as flourishing.
Christian Civic League: Pastors are invited to discuss tax and religious liberty issues with Kevin Theriot, head of the Church Division for the Alliance Defense Fund, at Aldersgate Methodist Church of Rockland on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9 am.
The Hill: We’re at a point in America where about half of the people are getting something from government and the other half are paying for it, and we’re on track to have 60 percent getting something from government and 40 percent paying for it,” DeMint said.
NYTimes.com: The insults were furious. “Infidel!” and “Apostate!” the religious protesters shouted at the two men who had come to the courthouse to show their support for a television director on trial on charges of blasphemy. Fists, then a head butt followed.
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: Jim Campbell, staff counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, deplored the judge’s attack on religious freedom. “The government should not be able to force a private Christian organization to use its property in a way that would violate its own religious beliefs. Religious groups have the right to use their private property in ways that are consistent with their religious convictions.”
LifeNews.com: A pro-life member of Congress has introduced new legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia based on scientific evidence showing unborn children feel pain.
Michael Paulsen at Law and Liberty: What we think the point is of teaching Constitutional Law should, of course, greatly affect both how we teach Constitutional Law and what we teach as “Constitutional Law.” This is true not just for law school courses in the subject, but for undergraduate study of constitutional law as well.
ADF Attorney Jeremy Tedesco at Law and Liberty: On Friday, January 27, 2011, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down an important victory for religious liberty on public university campuses in a lawsuit the Alliance Defense Fund brought against Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on behalf of Julea Ward.