News from The Associated Press: Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed last week by a machete-wielding intruder at his vacation home in the West Indies, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said Monday.
The Republic (AP): Kansas abortion providers who won a federal injunction to keep temporary clinic regulations from taking effect are asking a judge to award them attorneys’ fees and costs.
NewsTribune: A trial began today in Anchorage challenging Alaska’s 14-month old law requiring that women younger than 18 notify their parents before getting an abortion.
WND (Reuters): he White House announced plans on Monday to help “Arab Spring” countries swept by revolutions with more than $800 million in economic aid, while maintaining U.S. military aid to Egypt.
WorldNetDaily: Reports coming out of Iran say persecution of Christians is only growing more bold and brazen, as Iranian authorities once again raided a house church – this time in Shiraz – and arrested between 6 to 10 members of the congregation.
LifeSiteNews.com: Experts working for the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona, Spain, are calling for a national registry of doctors who will not perform abortions, in order to “improve” women’s access to “pregnancy termination.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: The Virginia House of Delegates today gave preliminary approval to a measure requiring a woman to receive an ultrasound before having an abortion.
LifeSiteNews.com: A new “reproductive health” bill being proposed in Tanzania’s National Assembly is “pure western imperialism,” according to a local pro-life leader. Emil Hagamu, Human Life International’s Regional Coordinator for English-Speaking Africa, called the bill “foreign ideology that is being imposed on our African culture whose objective is depopulation.”
LifeSiteNews.com: A Christian couple who were fined £3,600 for refusing to allow two homosexual men to share a bed in their guesthouse, lost their appeal of the conviction in a ruling handed down by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on February 10.
LifeSiteNews.com: “The injury to the conscience rights of Catholic hospitals was not done so much so much by the church’s ideological enemies on the Left but by the Romney administration,” C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League, told LifeSiteNews.com. The real harm, he says, came from Romney’s private counsel’s interpretation of a 1975 law that would have respected their religious views.
LifeNews.com: The Family Policy Institute of Washington has analyzed the bill, which should be a concern to pro-life voters.
News from The Associated Press: The White House said Monday legislation in the Senate that would give employers broad leeway to restrict coverage for contraception is “dangerous and wrong.”
LifeNews.com: “HB 1 recognizes that human life begins at conception and also declares that unborn children and their parents have protectable legal interests,” Marshall said in an email to LifeNews
The Volokh Conspiracy: So held the Hawaii Supreme Court, in Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem (Haw. Feb. 7, 2012), interpreting the Hawaii Constitution, though in reasoning that could be seen as applicable to the federal Constitution and to other state constitutions . . .
WorldNetDaily: Analysts have begun warning that the recent increase in violent protests in Egypt is putting the nation’s millennia-old minority Christian community in great danger, and members may be forced to leave their homeland.
Christian Concern: Bishops in the Church of England are resisting calls from a secular campaign group to ban the use of NHS money to fund hospital chaplains.
LifeNews.com: President Barack Obama’s right hand man said over the weekend that the revised mandate the administration put into place requiring insurance companies to distribute birth control and abortion-causing drugs to women at no cost is here to stay.
The Christian Institute: Tory MP, David Burrowes, is facing an ‘intolerant’ campaign to oust him from his seat because of his opposition to homosexual marriage.
Seattle Times Newspaper: With Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signature on Monday, Washington joins six other states and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Noah Feldman at Bloomberg: Today, however, such advice is treated as a national scandal. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent the last two weeks in hot water for telling an Egyptian TV interviewer that Egypt might do better to emulate the up-to-date South African constitution rather than our 223-year-old model.
Dale Carpenter at LaTimes.com: What potentially dooms Proposition 8 as it nears the Supreme Court is not necessarily the distinct whiff of prejudice but a lingering impression of incoherence.
LifeNews.com: After significant Sturm und Drang resulting from a Friday announcement by President Barack Obama that he would revise his original mandate forcing religious employers to pay for insurance coverage including birth control and abortion-inducing drugs, the Obama administration has implemented the original mandat
Religion Clause: In Wirtz v. City of South Bend, (7th Cir., Feb. 7, 2012), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed as untimely and moot an appeal by the city of South Bend, Indiana of two orders by the trial court in litigation over the city’s transfer of property to a Catholic high school for an athletic complex.
Alan Keyes at Renew America: Now we have come to a similar crisis, one that will determine whether American government will be a union of conscientious souls determined to do right, or become instead a league of wicked intentions determined by force and tyranny to impose the ruling passion of the day though all and every God-established right be ruined in the process.
In his broadcast today, Rush Limbaugh spent a great deal of time today reviewing this article by Hillsdale College Professor Paul A. Rahe: American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil. Rush has posted a transcript of his discussion. Rahe writes: “There is, I would suggest, a connection between the heretical doctrine propagated by Cardinal Bernadin in the Gannon Lecture and the difficulties that the American Church now faces. Those who seek to create heaven on earth and who, to this end, subvert the liberty of others and embrace the administrative entitlements state will sooner or later become its victims.”
Austin R. Nimocks at Townhall : Although supporters of the measure have indicated it will not infringe on the religious freedom of those who do not condone such “marriages,” multiple amendments to protect the conscience/religious freedom rights of all Washingtonians were considered and rejected. As a result, many of the claims regarding the pending Washington legislation simply cannot be squared with reality.
The Chaplain Alliance joins with many churches and organizations, such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Military Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Alliance Defense Fund, and many others who have spoken their concerns on the administration’s recent action.
Telegraph: A Roman Catholic Bishop has urged MPs “of Christian conscience” to rebel against their party leaderships and vote down plans to legalise same-sex marriage.
“No one should be threatened with arrest for exercising his constitutionally protected free speech rights. The court was right to recognize that the city used an unconstitutional policy to stifle religious speech in a public park. We are pleased that the policy is now on hold and that the court has determined that we are likely to succeed in this case.”
The ABC This Week and additional information is available at Breitbart’s Big Government.
The Washington Post: In Maryland, a Democratic governor’s efforts to persuade a heavily Democratic legislature to pass a same-sex marriage bill could come down to the votes of a few Republicans.
LifeNews.com: bortion advocates and the White House are using a misleading figure to defend the new mandate the Obama administration put in place that requires insurance companies to offer birth control drugs that may cause abortions at no cost.
Chicago Tribune: As bundled-up parishioners hurried in and out of Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, gay rights advocates marched on the sidewalk, criticizing Cardinal Francis George and speaking optimistically about a same-sex marriage bill introduced last week at the Illinois Statehouse.
Washington Times: “I can’t believe in 2012 the federal government is raiding Amish farmers at gunpoint all over a basic human right to eat natural food,” said one, who asked not to be named but who got weekly shipments of eggs, milk, honey and butter from Rainbow Acres. “In Maryland, they force taxpayers to pay for abortions, but God forbid we want the same milk our grandparents drank.”
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence will be available for media interviews immediately following a hearing Tuesday on whether a federal court should issue an order to stop the eviction of worship services from New York City’s public schools.
Religion Clause: The New York Times reported yesterday that Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari was stopped by Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur airport on Thursday and was deported back to Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudi king where the journalist will face blasphemy charges . . .
NY Daily News: The “systemic, ongoing fraud” is meant to mask the fact that “attending Brooklyn Law and forking nearly $150,000 in tuition payments is a terrible investment,” the four grads charged in a suit filed last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court
LifeNews.com: As for the President’s insistence this saves money, Blue Cross’s unofficial estimate was that it would cost $2.8 billion for the contraceptive/sterilization/abortifacient coverage, and $13 billion for all preventive care services.
The Christian Institute: Government minister, Eric Pickles, has vowed to overturn a judge’s ban on formal council prayers – within a week if possible. The backlash follows a “ludicrous” case brought by the National Secular Society against a small Devonshire town council.
Green Bay Press Gazette: he group that sued the U.S. Forest Service over a statue of Jesus Christ says the Brown County Board should stop saying prayers before its monthly meetings.
Findlaw: They answered God’s call to a life of religious service. Now a group of nuns in suburban Chicago are calling for intervention — divine or otherwise — to stop a strip club from opening next door to their convent.
Liberty Counsel: Liberty Counsel has two filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court addressing both the Anti-Injunction Act and the Commerce Clause. Liberty Counsel represents Liberty University and two private individuals in the case of Liberty University v. Geithner. This case is being held at the Supreme Court pending the outcome in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services . . .
Gaston Gazette: In a letter to State Attorney General Roy Cooper last week, ACLU leaders said the organization was echoing residents’ concerns that the prayers recited before the General Assembly overtly favored Christianity.
NJ.com: Trenton will be packed with emotion this week as both houses of the Legislature are expected to pass a gay marriage bill, but leaders on both sides of the issue concede it will kick off a long political standoff between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democrats.
Elizabeth Marquardt at The Atlantic: Today we are witnessing an equal opportunity run on deliberately conceiving motherless children. Men, alone or in pairs, can buy eggs and rent wombs, too
The Hill: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced a bill on Thursday to give President Obama line-item veto power — a change she says could help reduce the budget deficit and save taxpayers millions in wasteful spending. The Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act, S. 2086 . . .
NYTimes.com: The comments reflect Mr. Romney’s evolution from abortion rights advocate to abortion foe; gone was any trace of the candidate for governor who, 10 years ago, answered a Planned Parenthood questionnaire by saying he backed “state funding of abortion services” under Medicaid.
OneNewsNow.com: The Virginia Senate is considering a bill that would give home-schooled students access to participate in sports at public schools, and one attorney thinks the proposal is a good idea. H.B. 947 . . .
Steven Aden: Abortion to Protect the Life of the Mother (Or to Limit the Number of Boys Born) | Townhall
Steven Aden at Townhall: Stop and think about this—an executive director from Planned Parenthood, the abortion mammoth that performed 330,000 such heart-stopping “procedures” in America last year, is on record saying it’s not her place to denigrate a woman’s decision to abort a child based on that child’s gender.
Casey Mattox: North Carolina Apologizes for Past Sterilizations. What about the Present? | American Thinker
American Thinker: More taxpayer funds continue to be spent on sterilizations in North Carolina than in any other state in the union. As of 2006, the most recent year for which information is available, $11,464,000 (see table 3.8) was spent on taxpayer-funded sterilizations in North Carolina. In fact, more than one in ten of all taxpayer-funded sterilizations occurred in the Tar Heel State.
Detroit Free Press | freep.com: Julea Ward was an Eastern Michigan University student dismissed from a graduate counseling program after she refused to counsel a gay client. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that she can have her religious discrimination lawsuit tried before a federal jury. / Gene Parunak/ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND
WSJ.com: Jordan Lorence, an attorney representing the Bronx Household of Faith, said New York is out of step with other large U.S. school districts. Mr. Lorence has filed for a new injunction against the policy and expects to appear in federal court Tuesday. “This is not over,” said Mr. Lorence, of the Alliance Defense Fund, a network of Christian attorneys.
Auburn Journal: “No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group based in Arizona that helped defend Proposition 8.
“The Obama administration’s rule change doesn’t change anything. The so-called ‘accommodation’ still forces people of faith to violate their religious beliefs and core values. The issue is whether the government will respect our God-given first freedom, religious liberty. If it does not, Christians will resist, and ADF will defend them.”
Christian Post: Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Doug Napier said, “It is still forcing people of faith to subsidize practices and treatments that violate their values, their morals, and their religious beliefs.” Innocent lives are a blessing, not a burden, he emphasized. “The Obama administration is hiding behind the argument that it is better to eliminate babies before we incur economic ‘cost,’ but it is just another extension of ObamaCare – only now, it’s a ‘death panel at birth.’”
Christian Post: “The Supreme Court has addressed this issue at least five times since 1981,” Lorence explains on ADF’s “Speak Up” website. “When the government opens a building for expression by private groups, it cannot deny access to religious groups. The Supreme Court has explicitly rejected the Establishment Clause as a reason justifying this kind of exclusion, because these are private religious speakers, not endorsed by the government. Government accommodation of private speakers does not mean the government endorses their messages.”
Asian Journal: “No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group based in Arizona that helped defend Proposition 8, told the AP.
WSJ.com: “These churches are running into the harsh reality that in New York City, it is difficult to find reasonably priced facilities,” said Jordan Lorence, an attorney who argued the churches’ side in the court case. “They are very expensive in Midtown, or they’re nonexistent in some of the poorer areas of town, where the churches do their work.”
Middle East Forum: The beginning of the New Year saw only an increase in the oppression of Christians under Islam, from Nigeria, where an all-out jihad has been declared in an effort to eradicate the Muslim north of all Christians, to Europe, where Muslim converts to Christianity are still hounded and attacked as apostates.
WNYC: But some felt the modification was not a enough. Doug Napier, senior counsel for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, described the change as a “sleight of hand.” “It is still forcing people of faith to subsidize practices and treatments that violate their values, their morals, and their religious beliefs,” he said in a statement.
WorldNetDaily: “The Obama administration’s rule change doesn’t change anything. Employees will still pay for this coverage,” said Senior Counsel Doug Napier of the Alliance Defense Fund.
DNAinfo.com: After that injunction was thrown out last June, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian religious liberties organization, filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined on Dec. 5 to review the case. That left the Bronx Household of Faith and other churches that met in schools with an eviction date of Feb. 12.
Christian Post: Also dissatisfied with the new plan, Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Doug Napier said, “It is still forcing people of faith to subsidize practices and treatments that violate their values, their morals, and their religious beliefs.”
Baptist Press: “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “The city should recognize that using a sleight-of-hand to force pro-life centers to post the message the city wants does not solve the First Amendment problems with the law.”
The Hill: “So this issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down. They don’t have the authority … to tell someone in this country, or some organization in this country, what their religious beliefs are. Therein lies the problem.”
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: The latest polling on the issue of same-sex marriage by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (conducted in October 2011) finds that the public divides almost evenly: 46% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 44% are opposed.
The Christian Institute: The saying of prayers as a ‘formal’ part of local council meetings has been ruled unlawful by the High Court today in an extraordinary judgment. The judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, said there is no law that gives councils the power to do so. But critics hit back, saying the ruling also means a council has no power to formally start its meetings with the national anthem.
Charter school teachers fear IRS rules change: A little-noticed proposed change in Internal Revenue Service regulations could have devastating effects for charter school teachers by making them ineligible for state retirement plans, and they could stand to lose much of the money that they already have accrued.