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News from The Associated Press: The Virginia state Senate passed legislation Thursday allowing private adoption agencies to deny placements that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs, including opposition to homosexuality.
LifeNews.com: The liberal women on The View, Wednesday, shrieked at the “totalitarian” decision by a Texas judge to uphold a law requiring women to look at an ultrasound before having an abortion.
Jason Mazzone at Balkinization: By finding Proposition 8 to violate the Equal Protection Clause solely on the ground that it withdrew the right of marriage that gays and lesbians previously possessed in California (as a result the earlier state supreme court’s decision), Perry v. Brown produces a curious result. It appears to leave Proposition 8 partially intact.
The Guardian: A Christian street preacher told two gay men they were “sinners” who would “burn in hell” as they walked past him on a busy high street, a court has heard.
The Washington Post: Despite continuous attacks on Coptic Christians, a delegation of Egyptian Christian leaders said Wednesday (Feb. 8) they do not support the development of a Christian political party as a possible solution.
Tony Mauro at The Blog of Legal Times: By an 11-7 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee today approved a bill that calls for television access to Supreme Court proceedings. The bill, S.1945 . . .
LifeNews.com: Blackburn also refers to recent information released by the Alliance Defense Fund and the Susan B. Anthony List showing more examples of fraud and abuse from Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide in terms of misusing taxpayer funds . . . The ADF report found: . . .
WDAY | Fargo, ND (includes video): After years of legal wrangling, the controversial law banning gay couples from marrying is about to be challenged in North Dakota. Two Fargo men will make history trying to become the state’s first married gay couple.
The Editors – National Review Online: It’s not a good sign when a 77-page judicial opinion contains a falsehood in its first sentence. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the most notorious liberal activist on the oft-overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, begins his opinion for the 2–1 majority in the California same-sex-marriage case, Perry v. Brown, thus . . .
Janke Blumgart at The Huffington Post: There is a very strong pronatalist [anti-choice] current in Central and Eastern Europe and that goes along with nationalist tendencies in many of these countries,” says Johanna Westeson, European regional director for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Burton News & Staffordshire Newspape: PRIME Minister David Cameron should take back control of more than 100 crime and policing laws from the European Union, two Conservative MPs have said.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: After the passage of Spain’s liberal abortion law in 2010 the government began subsidizing abortion on demand, providing it at no cost to the mother.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The White House blog in a post called “Health Reform, Preventive Services, and Religious Institutions” addresses women’s preventive services required under the Affordable Care Act by religious institutions.
Houston Chronicle: Settling a controversial prayer lawsuit, the Medina Valley Independent School District has agreed that its teachers, administrators and other employees will not pray with students, elicit prayer, proselytize, or display religious artifacts.
The Courier-Mail: THE national legislature will on Monday become the Pink Parliament with a total of four gay marriage bills being up for consideration.
CNN.com: Spain’s best-known judge will be suspended for 11 years from the bench after his conviction Thursday for improperly ordering wiretaps while investigating a financial corruption case, the nation’s Supreme Court ruled.
Center for Reproductive Rights: Seeking immediate relief that would allow emergency contraception over-the-counter access for women of all ages, today the Center for Reproductive Rights asked a federal court to reopen the Center’s 2005 lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for imposing unnecessary age restrictions on the drugs, also known as the “morning-after pill.” | Tummino v. Hamburg
The Salt Lake Tribune: A bill advancing in the Arizona Legislature would abolish the police department in Colorado City, a northern Arizona community where state Attorney General Tom Horne says officers who are followers of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs flout the law.
Stratford Gazette: Perth County has dropped the long-standing tradition of reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of council meetings.
Fox News: A Rhode Island town is bracing for a potentially “boisterous” public hearing next week where officials will vote on whether to fight a court order to take down a prayer banner that has hung for decades in a high school.
Sacramento Bee: U.S. District Judge Fred Biery on Thursday admonished those who “demagogued this case for their own political goals.” He then added, “You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Friday Fax: C-Fam: Last week UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told African nations to repeal criminal laws that sanction homosexual conduct and to stop discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
NJ.com: State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) has introduced a measure to allow voters to decide whether New Jersey should allow gay couples to get married.
Republican Conservative Base Starts Rallying Around Santorum: The Republican Party’s socially conservative base, conflicted for months over which presidential candidate to back, is increasingly coalescing behind Rick Santorum in a shift that some observers say may energize his bid and slow Mitt Romney’s momentum toward the nomination.
Reuters: Birth and abortion rates among U.S. teens fell to record lows in 2008 as increased use of contraceptives sent the overall teen pregnancy rate to its lowest level since at least 1972, a study showed on Wednesday.
LifeSiteNews.com: Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told LifeSiteNews.com “we will not comply” with the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious institutions to cover abortifacient products such as Plan B, Ella, and the IUD.
MSN.com: . . . including requiring doctors to tell women that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer and eliminating tax credits for post-secondary medical institutions that perform abortions.
James Freeman at WSJ.com: It’s unclear why a charity focused on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer would decide to align itself with a group so closely tied to just one political party.
Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan: President Barack Obama Needs To Stop ‘Intruding Into Internal Life Of Church’
CBS New York (includes video): “The federal government should do what it’s traditionally done since July 4, 1776, namely back out of intruding into the internal life of a church,” Dolan told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
The Hill: The White House struggled Wednesday to contain the growing uproar over its birth-control mandate, with Democrats peeling off one by one in what has become an increasingly divisive election-year controversy.
OneNewsNow.com: Liberty Counsel is proud of an Alabama school board for standing strong against a complaint filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation concerning religious assemblies.
JURIST: The Parliament of Uganda [official website] on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would criminalize certain homosexual activities.
LifeNews.com: “I’m not a Catholic but I stand in 100% solidarity with my brothers & sisters to practice their belief against govt pressure,” Warren said. “I’d go to jail rather than cave in to a govement mandate that violates what God commands us to do. Would you? Acts 5:29.”
Des Moines Register: A same-sex couple filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Iowa Department of Health, seeking a new death certificate for their stillborn child after one of their names was removed from the original death certificate. | Lambda Legal press release
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: Conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby has a good article today on the somewhat overwrought criticism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for saying, in Cairo, that the US Constitution is not a good model for other countries in 2012. As Jacoby points out, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia recently actually said that “[t]he bill of rights of the former ‘evil empire,’ the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours,” without raising any such hackles.
Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy: In contrast to Judge Walker’s maximalist opinion striking down Prop 8, it’s generally accepted that Judge Reinhardt’s opinion was minimalist. There’s a commonsense way in which the opinion is not at all minimalist.
If you happen to be around Charlottesville tomorrow, Friday, February 10, you might want to come over to a symposium on how to resolve conflicting legal norms in US and foreign courts . . .
ADF Attorney Jeremy Tedesco at the Online Library of Law and Liberty: In the end, the court struck at the very heart of what Julea’s lawsuit is all about: that the First Amendment prohibits public universities from demanding that students change or violate their beliefs as a condition to getting a degree. As the court said: “A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems . . . as the price for obtaining a degree.” The Sixth Circuit is right, “Tolerance is a two-way street.” A fact that is often lost on public universities when it comes to Christian expression and belief, as Julea’s case so clearly shows.
LifeNews.com: In a new interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, “pro-life” former Democratic congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan says he is opposed to the controversial new Obama mandate that forces religious employers to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs in employee health insurance plans.
LifeNews.com: Melaney Linton, who will now oversee Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, is determined to further the Life-ending work of Planned Parenthood . . .
NewsOK.com: Religious groups that oppose President Obama’s mandate that they provide contraception are using the right to religious liberty as a way to discriminate against women, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in an email opposing congressional repeal of the mandate.
Joe Infranco and John Eastman on Ave Maria Radio with Al Kresta: Analyzing the 9th Circuit Prop. 8 ruling
Casey Mattox on the Vicki McKenna Show: ADF report to Congress identifies Planned Parenthood waste, fraud, and abuse
ADF Attorney Dale Schowengerdt appeared on several radio shows to discuss the Prop. 8 ruling. | The Drew Mariani Show - MP3 audio 11:40 mins | WSHO in New Orleans with Kathleen Benfield – MP3 audio 16:13 mins | The Victoria Taft Show - MP3 audio 7:56 mins
Catherine Glenn Foster serves as litigation counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom at its Washington, D.C., Regional Service Center, where she is a key member of the Life Litigation Team to protect the sanctity of human life. Foster earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center and also holds a M.A. in French from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in History and French from Berry College. She is admitted to the bar in Virginia and is an Alliance Defending Freedom Blackstone Fellow.
Inside Bay Area: Austin Nimocks, a senior lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, one of the groups defending the law, would not reveal the strategic considerations, but promised: “We will do something. I can guarantee that.”
The Bend Bulletin: Austin Nimocks, a lawyer who argues against same-sex marriage for the Alliance Defense Fund, noted that while some polls showed increasing support for gay marriage, voters had never approved it at the polls. In 31 statewide votes, voters have consistently defined marriage as between a man and a woman, he said. “I don’t see a shift in momentum,” Nimocks said. “You can use all the polls you want. You can say anything you want to about civil unions or domestic partnerships, but when it comes to marriage, the record is clear.”
Sacramento Bee: roposition 8 backers are already dismissing the ruling as the work of a liberal appeals court. As Brian Raum, a lawyer for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, said in a statement, “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage – tried in San Francisco – turned out this way.” But before they engage in the usual stereotyping of the 9th Circuit, Proposition 8 proponents might want to carefully examine the legal precedents the appeals court relied upon in handing down its decision.
Pueblo Chieftain: Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund that helped defend Proposition 8 in court, noted, “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”
The Alabama Baptist: The Vanderbilt is just one of dozens of cases playing out on campuses all across the country, said David Cortman, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “The university is supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, but it ends up being the storefront of censorship,” he said, noting the CLS v. Martinez decision does not apply to private schools.
Bloomberg: This is a blatant matter of abusing the rights of church officials to be involved in local affairs,” said Joel Oster, a lawyer in Kansas for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based group that represents religious organizations. “We are excited about this case because of the precedent that could be established.”
WNYC: Similar efforts are underway on the right. The Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee that supports candidates who oppose abortion rights, along with the Alliance Defense Fund, released a report on Tuesday that it says details Planned Parenthood’s “systemic abuse of taypayer dollars.”
Daniel B. Wood at Christian Science Monitor at Yahoo! News: The Alliance Defense Fund, which helped to defend Prop. 8 in court, has not divulged its plans, but senior counsel Brian Raum has said the group expects to make a decision “in due time.”
Baptist Press (includes video of Alan Sears): Alliance Defense Fund attorney Dale Schowengerdt said that while the decision’s outcome was more narrow than Walker’s, its reasoning in striking down Prop 8 was broad. “It’s not a narrow ruling in many regards,” Schowengerdt told Baptist Press. “The court basically said there’s no legitimate reason to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The court said Proposition 8 was supported by nothing but animus.”
The New American: Steven Aden, senior counsel at the pro-family Alliance Defense Fund, expressed his disappointment with Handel’s departure from Komen, noting that she had become “another victim of Planned Parenthood’s mafia-style shakedown of the Susan G. Komen organization.”
San Francisco Chronicle (Bloomberg): “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way,” Brian Raum, an attorney for proponents and senior counsel at the legal group Alliance Defense Fund, said in an e-mail. “But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”
NCRegister.com: till, whenever marriage has been put to a vote, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing its definition. Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum said that “63 million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63% voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.”
News from The Associated Press: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is calling on the country’s ruling generals to sack the current military-appointed government . ..
Reuters: A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state won final legislative approval on Wednesday in a largely party-line vote that moved the state to the cusp of becoming the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.
News from The Associated Press: A nonprofit legal firm, Liberty Institute in Washington, D.C., planned to file its petition Thursday . . .
Daniel Henninger: “Transformers: The Catholic church learns the true meaning of Obama’s ‘transformative’ presidency” | WSJ.com
Daniel Henninger at WSJ.com: Pope John Paul II, surveying from his seat in the eternal hereafter the battle between the American Catholic Church and the Obama administration over mandated contraception services, must be permitting himself a sad smile. The pope knew more than most about the innate tensions between the state and its citizens. The Obamaites will object that it is unfair to liken their government to the Communist Party of Poland. That is not the point. What the former Karol Wojtyla knew is that any state will claim benevolence on behalf of doing whatever it thinks it needs to do in pursuit of its goals.
The Hill: Members approved the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act, H.R. 3521, by a 254-173 vote . . . Among Republicans, the vote was 197-41 in favor of the bill, and among Democrats, the vote was 57-132 against.
Education News: A bill sponsored by California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza that makes it easier for school districts to block charter schools has passed through the Assembly.
David Cortman at the Washington Examiner: The intolerant and discriminatory exclusion of people of faith from university programs and professions has no place in a society dedicated to religious freedom and tolerance for all. Public universities, hospitals, and professional licensing boards should not force people to violate their sincere religious beliefs as the price to enter or stay in a profession. In the words of the court, “tolerance is a two-way street.”
Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse: This week’s decision in the Prop 8 case is a desperate appeal to Justice Kennedy, and the latest assault of judicial supremacy.
Heritage Foundation: When John F. Kennedy was President, just over a quarter of federal spending went to fund programs paying for some 21.7 million Americans to be dependent on Uncle Sam. But as high as that spending and dependence on the federal government was then, it has exploded today, with one in five Americans — more than 67.3 million — depending on Washington for assistance.