Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeNews: There is no reason that Kansas should succumb to the desire of the University of Kansas (KU) to continue decades of facilitating, promoting and paying for abortion trainingin their post-graduate residency program.
NY Times: Rick Santorum’s campaign has begun to argue forcefully that Mitt Romney will fail to win the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, leaving the decision to a wide-open national convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer.
Washington Post: Senate Democrats are asking the Internal Revenue Service to restrict the amount of money a tax-exempt organization can spend on political activities, warning that they will introduce legislation doing so if the tax enforcement agency fails to act soon.
Amnesty International: Proposals to reform the European Court of Human Rights would be a ‘huge step backwards for justice’
Amnesty International: The British government has proposed changes to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which would reverse progress towards access to justice for individuals challenging state power across Europe, Amnesty International said today.
Erik Michael Johnson at the Huffington Post: It was just this understanding of rights as obligations that governments must obey that formed the basis for a declaration of rights for cetaceans (whales and dolphins) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Vancouver, Canada last month. Such a declaration is a minefield ripe for misunderstanding, as the BBC quickly demonstrated with their headline, “Dolphins deserve same rights as humans, say scientists.”
Wausau Daily Herald: A southern Indiana pantry can no longer distribute federal food items because it asks clients to pray, and the agency cutting off the supply says it’s merely complying with state rules.
LifeNews: Another abortion practitioner has been suspended in the shocking expose’ revealing abortion doctors facilitating illegal sex-selection abortions.
Telegraph: It is better for children to be raised by two parents than one, and better still when those parents are married, the Government will declare today.
NPR (includes audio): One of the first physicians to voice support for Oregon’s controversial assisted suicide legislation in the early 1990s has used the state’s Death with Dignity Act to end his own life.
AP: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has moved to end a Republican filibuster against 17 judicial nominees, using a parliamentary maneuver that would limit debate time if he can get 60 votes.
Greg Baylor at Townhall: The State of Florida is punishing students who choose Florida Christian College (FCC), simply because the school is religious. Through the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) program, the state provides over $2,000 in annual tuition assistance to qualifying students who attend private colleges and universities in the state. In order to participate, a student must attend a college that has “a secular purpose.
CNN: Britain will argue that the two Christian women at the center of the case had the option of quitting their jobs and working elsewhere, so they are not covered by European human rights law, according to legal papers obtained by CNN.
William Saletan at Slate: I don’t buy this argument, in part because I agree with Furedi that something profound changes at birth: The woman’s bodily autonomy is no longer at stake. But I also think that the value of the unborn human increases throughout its development. Furedi rejects that view, and her rejection doesn’t stop at birth.
AP on Boston Globe: Abortion opponents call a bill before New Hampshire’s House “informed consent’’ because it requires women to wait 24 hours and be given information on fetal development. . .
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley at Baptist Press: Why is your church tax exempt? Why should it continue to be tax exempt? If I were to sit down and ask you these questions, would you have a clear and coherent answer? I suspect this is something we seldom think about. After all, tax exemption for churches has always been given and we assume, because of its historical longevity, it always will be given.
Catholic Culture: “The Amish are exempt from the entire health care reform law,” writes Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
NY Daily News: Cardinal Dolan revealed for the first time that the Catholic Church was caught flat-footed on last year’s gay marriage vote in New York — insisting it was “burned” by Senate Republicans who claimed it didn’t have a prayer.
Catholic Culture: Suicide bombers attacked a Catholic parish in the central Nigerian city of Jos on March 11, killing at least ten people.
Chicago Tribune: Just as President Obama’s top campaign advisors are arguing that the prolonged GOP primary is raising controversial issues that will alienate the eventual GOP nominee from independent and swing voters in the fall, Democrats are facing a similar quandary.
Sydney Morning Herald: The issue has returned to the forefront of the election campaign after Katter’s Australian Party launched a TV commercial questioning whether a vote for Mr Newman is vote for gay marriage.
Catholic Culture: The Scottish National Party (SNP) will lose support for its goal of independence by backing same-sex marriage, the Catholic bishops of Scotland have predicted.
NY Daily News: Timothy Cardinal Dolan hit Albany for a round of lobbying on issues close to the heart of the Catholic Church, with those ranging from abortion to same-sex marriage. Per our Glenn Blain, Dolan also spoke at length about a subject arguably as controversial as either of those: The Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations in clergy sexual abuse cases.
MinnPost: And in the 2010 referendum, voters did repeal it by a margin of 53-47 percent. Advocates of marriage equality believe that sentiment has shifted in favor and successfully petitioned to have the question on the ballot again this year. Public Policy Polling last week released a Maine poll that covered the question and reported its results thus . . .
FRC Washington Update: Until they iron out those fundamental questions, Gov. Perry has an even stronger case for booting Planned Parenthood from its network now that it’s been accused of 87,075 cases of Medicaid fraud in Texas. Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic manager-turned-pro-life activist, is teaming up with Alliance Defense Fund to expose the group’s multi-million dollar scam, in which it allegedly billed the federal government for thousands of services it never provided. Extortion seems to be a recurring theme for the organization, which has faced similar charges in California, New York, and Washington.
Ousted Iowa judges who voted to redefine marriage selected to receive John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage awards
Boston Globe: Three former Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in their state and a US diplomat have been selected as recipients of the 2012 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced today.
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal: Allred is trying to have it both ways. She wants to use criminal law to enforce standards of gentlemanly behavior while rejecting any reciprocal obligation for women to act ladylike. Thus feminism’s theory of equality between the sexes dissolves into incoherence in the face of real life.
A.W.R. Hawkins at The University Bookman: In America, it is currently difficult to define what it means to be an American. Not anecdotally, as in “what does it mean to you?” or “what does it mean to me?” but concretely, as in “what practices and beliefs have undergirded and characterized Americans from the Colonial Period to the twenty-first century?” Such questions have proven increasingly difficult to answer since the 1960s, when members of the counterculture began actively turning university into diversity and doing their utmost to divide Americans into categories and then set those categories against each other. And here, Charles Murray’s most recent work, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, proves a boon . . . Instead, Murray’s point is that “an evolution in American society” has taken place since the early 1960s, an evolution wherein Americans have lost their reference point on what it means to be American . . .
Isthmus: In 2009, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack recused herself from a case involving a lawyer who had worked for her. But in 2011, she had a change of heart. Roggensack decided, without explanation, to rule on the case. She cast a critical vote to spare two men represented by her former attorney, Donald Schott, from paying a $6.5 million judgment.
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: As the American Civil Liberties Union prowls the land to muzzle public prayers, rip out Ten Commandments monuments and terrify small towns over Nativity scenes, help may be on the way from the U.S. Supreme Court.
AP on Yahoo: The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.
NCPA Policy Digest: You probably already know the IRS tax code penalizes married couples. But did you know that ObamaCare will add another tax penalty, taking even more money out of married Americans’ pockets? There are two reasons for this …
Paul Ford at Slate: Why Have Children?, by Christine Overall, a philosophy professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, is about puzzles like these-not the specifics of reproductive technology, twins, or IVF, but about the moral questions that arise when one decides to have children, or more children.
Eve Tushnet at First Things: An older man I know once remarked that in his experience, there wasn’t much point in arguing that divorce was wrong. What he’d come to believe was that—especially when the couple had children—divorce was simply impossible. These two people would continue to remain yoked to one another’s lives, their memories, griefs, resentments as intertwined as their laddering DNA.
Cathy Youn at Newsday: The doomsayers may exaggerate, but the cheerleaders are misguided. It’s great news that more women are economically self-sufficient. But there are at least two major reasons the rise of single motherhood should not be hailed as a victory for female autonomy. One is children. The other is men.
Center for AZ Policy: Take the recent bill proposed in the Arizona legislature – SB 1462. On the surface, the bill seems well-intentioned . . . You see, groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have used the bullying issue in order to gain access to our public schools.
Jerry Newcombe at One News Now: During this election season, the issue of religion has come up on many occasions. But for the most part, we haven’t heard from many pastors — except, for example, from the brave priest from Indiana, with his denunciation against the Obama administration’s move to force Catholic agencies to fund contraceptives and abortifacients against their consciences.
Tex. Governor’s Office: Gov. Rick Perry’s Communications Director Allison Castle today released the following statement in response to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ announcement in Houston that the federal government is denying Texas’ waiver for the Women’s Health Program . . .
The Hill: The Obama administration confirmed Friday that it will stop funding a Medicaid family-planning and preventive care program for 130,000 low-income Texas women after the state barred Planned Parenthood and other “affiliates of abortion providers” from participating.
The Hill (includes video): North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) called on Congress to quickly pass legislation to green-light the Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing that the Obama administration is “killing energy development.”
Religion Clause Blog: In K.A. v. Pocono Mountain School District, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28749 (MD PA, March 2, 2012), a Pennsylvania federal district court issued an opinion explaining its denial of reconsideration of a previously granted preliminary injunction (2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121250, Oct. 20, 2011) allowing a 5th grader to distribute flyers to her classmates inviting them to a Christmas party sponsored by her church . . .
Religion Clause Blog: A Turkish military court last week handed down an important decision on the rights of conscientious objectors.
BosNewsLife: Suspected Hindu militants broke up a Christian prayer meeting and forced two women leading the gathering to stop evangelizing in India’s southwestern state of Karnataka, as part of several attacks against devoted believers across the country, Christians told BosNewsLife Monday, March 12.
The Hill: GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is holding a double-digit edge against his rivals nationally, two days ahead of important contests in Southern primaries, according to Gallup’s five-day tracking poll.
Missouri Family Update: ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman says the ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me” project is part of a nationwide campaign of intimidation aimed at public school administrators . . . No school district should be bullied into exposing children to sexually graphic material,” Cortman says. “It is reprehensible that the ACLU is more concerned about advancing an agenda that exposes children to harm than they are about protecting those children. Those who oppose bullying should not be bullies themselves.”
Findlaw: Rep. Slaughter, now known for leading the charge to ban insider-trading in Congress through the STOCK Act, is championing the movement toward a Supreme Court code of ethics.
ADF Attorney Matt Bowman at LifeNews: Americans across the religious and non-religious spectrum alike have taken umbrage to the President’s demand that they pay for contraceptives and abortion pills for other Americans whether they like it or not. And as a result, they’re banding together to remind the nation that this affront to religious freedom is a fight created not by religious groups, but wholly by the Obama administration.
Matt Sharp on WRVA 1140 AM with the Lee Brothers: School dishonors honors student’s service to children
ADF Attorney Matt Sharp appeared on WRVA 1140 Richmond, VA with Scott and Richard Lee to discuss this: School dishonors honors student’s service to children. | MP3 audio 8:47 mins
Travis Barham on The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh & Dave Householder: Christianity not a religion? Make up your own mind
ADF Attorney Travis Barham on on The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh & Dave Householder to discuss this: UNC-Greensboro: Christian club isn’t religious. | MP3 audio 23:45 mins
Life News: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.”
Oregon Faith Report: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) allied attorneys with the Seattle law firm Ellis, Li & McKinstry, PLLC, represented pharmacists in the lawsuit, Stormans v. Selecky. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is co-counsel together with ADF, which has provided financial and legal support for the case. Americans should be able to rely on health care providers who have a conscience,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven Aden. “The court’s decision is a ringing affirmation that conscience and good health care are not only compatible, but inseparable. Allowing pharmacists to exercise their consciences in this way serves both the patients and the pharmacists. It’s a win-win situation.”
One News Now: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” contends ADF attorney Michael Norton. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.”
One News Now: ADF litigation counsel Matt Sharp says his client, a 17-year-old who is currently remaining anonymous, is claiming discrimination because she was denied any credit toward her 12 required community service hours because her work was done at her church. The student had completed 46 hours of service at “Kid Quest,” a Sunday school program.
One News Now: “We have more than 250 signed affidavits from local citizens there in El Paso who are terrified that they may go to jail simply for engaging in legitimate political and free-speech efforts,” Oster reports. “The mayor can’t be allowed to put his opponents in jail just because he doesn’t like [that] they participated in a valid effort he doesn’t favor.”
Washington Times: Under the law, it is likely that Planned Parenthood was not aware of the sealed lawsuit, said Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Michael J. Norton, one of the lawyers representing Ms. Johnson. But once Planned Parenthood responds, “I suspect we will be, very shortly, in sort of what you would characterize as an all-out war,” he said.
Boston Globe (AP): The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge’s case. “There is basically a war on anyone who dissents from Darwin and we’ve seen that for several years,’’ said John West of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute.
WorldNetDaily: Scruggs said the statement that the district has changed its policy is simply not true. “They have never changed their policy. The board considered changing its policy to label recess ‘discretionary time’ which would permit students to have Bible studies during that time, however the policy change was never adopted.” Regarding the monetary claim, Scruggs pointed out the amount his client is seeking is only $1. “What they really want is an admission by the district that they did in fact violate Luke’s constitutional rights,” he said.
Opposing Views by FRC: According to Attorney Joel Oster, ADF has “more than 250 signed affidavits from local citizens who are terrified that they may go to jail for their legitimate political and free speech efforts.”"This is America,” Oster said, “and the mayor can’t be allowed to put his opponents in jail just because he doesn’t like the fact that they participated in a valid effort that he doesn’t favor.”
Obama Threatens TX Women’s Health – SE TX Planned Parenthood Million Dollar Fraud Revealed in Lawsuit | Texas GOP Vote
Texas GOP Vote: Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Bryan/College Station area, states in the lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) that Planned Parenthood knowingly sought improper reimbursements from the Texas Women’s Health Program from 2007 to 2009.
WorldNetDaily (includes video): “El Paso citizens should not live in fear of being arrested and jailed for exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster, who argued before the appeals court on Jan. 24 in Cook v. Tom Brown Ministries. “We have more than 250 signed affidavits from local citizens who are terrified that they may go to jail for their legitimate political and free speech efforts. This is America, and the mayor can’t be allowed to put his opponents in jail just because he doesn’t like the fact that they participated in a valid effort that he doesn’t favor,” said Oster.
Virginia School Threatens To Drop Student From Honor Society For Community Service Done At Church | Huffington Post
Huffington Post: “There’s no honor in penalizing an honors student’s community service to children just because it happens to be faith-based,” Sharp said, according to FOX News & Commentary. “Positive community service and leadership like this should be encouraged by schools, not subjected to unconstitutional discrimination.”
Planned Parenthood accused of filing millions of dollars in false Medicaid claims | Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud,” Norton said.
Planned Parenthood Accused of Medicaid Fraud, Wrongful Reimbursements Totaling $5.7M | Christian Post
Christian Post: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” Michael J. Norton, senior counsel for ADF, said in a statement. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else.” “It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.”
Huffington Post: “I think that the positions that the Becket Fund has taken in general are not at all dissimilar to the ones taken by the American Center for Law and Justice or the Alliance Defense Fund,” said Barry Lynn, …
News & Record: Attorney Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the lawsuit Feb. 29 on behalf of student Bryn Carmichael, said UNCG overstepped its bounds in trying to tell an organization whether or not it is religious.
WLJA ABC 7 (includes video): So with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based organization originally founded by James Dobson and other conservative religious leaders, the family sued.