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Jeremy Tedesco: Are you, or the religious organization you serve with, religious? Ask the government to find out!
ADF Attorney Jeremy Tedesco at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: A Christian student group trying to form a recognized student organization at University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) recently found out it was not religious. How did it find this out? UNCG officials told it so.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at the TellADF Blog: In a major – and potentially far-reaching – decision, a federal court in Washington state has affirmed the rights of conscience of pharmacists.
Morning Sentinel: The Maine House of Representatives unanimously voted this morning to indefinitely postpone the bill, which has the effect of sending it directly to voters.
LifeNews: A couple in Oregon has been awarded $2.9 million because they would have aborted their little girl had they known she had Down Syndrome. Deborah and Ariel Levy told an Oregon court that prenatal testing they received said little Kalanit did not have Down Syndrome
Denver Post: The Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit Christian advocacy group dedicated to religious liberty, sent the proposed initiative to the Colorado Legislative Council on March 7. The amendment representative named is Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family.
Robert Wright at The Atlantic: . . . President Assad hopes to keep Christians in his coalition by harnessing their fear of a radical Islamist takeover. So far they seem to be sticking with him, and word of their allegiance is reaching American Christians. The evangelical press is reporting that Syrian Christians fear Assad’s fall and is quoting them as warning against foreign intervention. Catholic periodicals convey similar concerns . . .
CNN: Activists presented a petition Tuesday to the United Nations Human Rights Council calling on Pakistan to free a Christian mother of five from being put to death on the charge of blasphemy.
Fox News: Under fire from a United Nations Human Rights panel, a top Iranian official claims a Christian pastor insulted Islam but denies he faces execution.
Legal Times: Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s swallowtail morning coat will get heavy use the week of March 26. The Justice Department has just confirmed that Verrilli will rise to argue in three of the four separate and historic arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act later this month.
Catholic Culture: Hadley Arkes argues that the appearance of an article in a bioethics journal justifying infanticide demonstrates the need to revive the public discussion of the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act.
Catholic Culture: The government of Sudan, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has stripped between 500,000 and 700,000 Christians of their citizenship and ordered them to leave for the new nation of South Sudan, according to a report from Ecumenical News International (ENI).
The Tablet: The government has promised to “champion” marriage and families in an effort to reduce social breakdown.
The Tablet: He said: “If the stories in the press about Blair’s thinking are true, I think he should examine his conscience carefully”, Vatican Insider reported.
Engage Family Blog: On the final day of the 2012 Legislative Session, the West Virginia State Legislature approved H.B. 4605 a bill creating a premarital education option to applicants for marriage licenses in the state. The measure is aimed at strengthening the more than 13,000 marriages and reducing the more than 9,000 divorces that take place every year in West Virginia.
The Engage Family Blog (includes audio link): Two philosophers recently published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics promoting the idea of, “after-birth abortion.” Dr. Robert P. George helps us understand the logical implications of what we used to call, “infanticide” and how it reveals the necessary logical implications of the abortion industry itself.
Christian Institute: Tony Nicklinson wants doctors to be allowed to kill him, and yesterday the High Court gave permission for his legal case to be heard. But critics say it may put other vulnerable people at risk, and the Government has previously said there are “compelling reasons” for the courts not to get involved.
Personhood USA: The Colorado Personhood Coalition will host three separate press conferences throughout the state on Wednesday and Thursday to announce the launch of the 2012 Colorado personhood petition drive.
Family Foundation of KY: The leading supporter of the so-called “Bullying Bill” became verbally and physically abusive in a Capitol Annex hallway with an opponent of the bill after the bill went down to defeat in a House committee, attracting the attention of State Police and other observers. The Family Foundation called on the Fairness Campaign to issue a public apology for the behavior of its director, Chris Hartman.
Courier-Journal: A bill to expand anti-bullying laws by linking harassment to sexual orientation, race and other characteristics died in the House Education Committee Tuesday after meeting opposition from Republicans.
Channel 6 News: Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Tuesday said the government will introduce draft legislation this week to legalize same-sex marriages later this year, a move which had been expected for years.
PoliticsPA: News broke a few minutes ago that the House State Government Committee will delay its vote on HB 1434, known as the “Marriage Protection” amendment, proposed by State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).
Boston Globe: The sponsor of a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s gay marriage law proposed Tuesday to give voters a chance to weigh in through a nonbinding ballot question on whether the state should restore a 2007 civil unions law.
Wall Street Journal: The Pennsylvania House postponed a scheduled March 12 vote on the bill. House Majority leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, said the debate was cancelled due to “concerns raised by the medical community, among others,” Philly.com reported.
NY Times: The Judiciary Committee in the Republican-controlled House held a hearing to promote a mean-spirited and constitutionally suspect bill called the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.
Google News (AP): Argentina’s Supreme Court has ruled that any rape victim can get an abortion, setting a historic precedent in a country where abortions are generally illegal.
Sun Herald: A bill that would require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology has passed the Mississippi House.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The state would put new limits on certain abortion procedures and on insurance coverage of them and require schools to teach abstinence to students in sexual education classes, under bills to come before the Assembly Tuesday.
LifeSiteNews: Legislators in the Australian state of Western Australia are proposing a new law that would permit doctors to sterilize mentally ill minors who “consent” to such surgery, without any agreement from their parents.
WCNC.com: Although the rest of the South, often referred to as the Bible Belt, has adopted such a ban, the survey found 54 percent of Tar Heel residents interviewed opposed the constitutional amendment. It found that 38 percent supported it.
LifeSiteNews: Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-Fil-A, Inc., also responded to the controversy in a statement last month, saying that the company had “no agenda against anyone.” “At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions,” Cathy wrote. ‘‘While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”
Miami Herald: Across Latin America, public acceptance is gradually growing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, officials. It’s a phenomenon that has accompanied activists’ broader struggle to win rights to marry, adopt children or share financial benefits with same-sex partners, and to transform the way socially conservative nations view and treat gays.
Wanganui Chronicle: The council has a long-standing tradition of saying a Christian prayer after the formal opening of its six-weekly meeting. That tradition was challenged by Councillor Clive Solomon, and the dispute has been dragging on for more than a year.
AZ Family: “I personally don’t have a moral objection to contraceptives but I respect the people that do,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R, District 9), who introduced House Bill 2625. “House Bill 2625 allows Arizona employers to opt out of the contraceptive mandate if they have a religious or moral objection”
LifeNews: It was only 19 months ago that Kenya was changed forever by a new constitution allowing for the destruction of unborn life. Many Kenyans, and many Americans, still do not understand what has happened to our country. But pro-life organizations, including Human Life International (HLI) Kenya, are doing our best to educate and empower people to make a difference in the fight for life.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith at Washington Times: Late last month, two bioethicists – Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva – published an outrageous “paper” in the Journal of Medical Ethics justifying the deliberate, premeditated murder of newborn babies during the first days and weeks after birth.
LifeNews: The researchers from Anhui Medical College in China published their results recently in the Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology in an article entitled “The Impact of Prior Abortion on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms during a Subsequent Pregnancy: Data From a Population-Based Cohort Study.”
Life News: Three members of the Council, as represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, requested that HHS declare the grant void. In their complaint, they say “the Grant by HHS was improper, irregular, unnecessary, in contravention of the authority of the Executive Council and its duly elected members, and in disregard for the sovereignty of the State of New Hampshire.”
National Law Journal: We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2011 juris doctor graduates who took jobs at NLJ 250 firms, the nation’s largest by headcount as identified by The National Law Journal’s annual survey. We’ve also identified firm favorites — the schools where NLJ 250 firms recruited the most graduates. Finally, we have identified the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner in 2011.
One News Now: A lesbian couple from Pennsylvania legally “married” in Canada and then settled in Illinois. Then one partner — Sarah Farley — died of cancer, leaving her retirement fund to her parents. However, the surviving lesbian — Jennifer Tobits — then sued, claiming a legal right to the fund, even though same-gender “marriage” is not legal in either Pennsylvania or Illinois.
The Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to review a lower court’s decision that declared the Mt. Soledad Veterans’ Memorial cross in San Diego, Calif., unconstitutional.
Hartford Courant: Former U.S. Attorney and District Court Judge Christopher F. Droney officially became a member the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Monday during an induction ceremony that took place in Hartford before an crowd of luminaries from the bar, the judiciary, politics and law enforcement.
AP: In the middle of Sunshine Week, a period dedicated to government openness, the Obama administration is urging Congress to change the Freedom of Information Act to keep secret new categories of information that it says have been put a risk by a Supreme Court ruling.
NY Daily News: An ACLU lawyer is sticking up for a Boston-area high school student who was told by her vice principal to cover up her “All The Cool Girls Are Lesbians” t-shirt.
Religion Clause Blog: Tree of Life Christian Schools v. City of Upper Arlington, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32205 (SD OH, March 12, 2012) . . . The city sought in discovery to learn the name of an anonymous donor to the school who had pledged $6.5 million to purchase the property at issue.
Religion Clause Blog: . . . ordered the city of Dearborn to also pay $1 in nominal damages and to pay plaintiffs $103,401.96 is attorneys’ fees and costs.
Townhall: In the coming weeks, S.J. Res. 36, a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act will come to the floor of the U.S. Senate. If passed in both houses of Congress and signed by President Obama, this resolution of disapproval will nullify the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent rule amending its election procedures limiting the ability of employers, particularly small businesses, to obtain the legal counsel and fair representation they need to express their views on unionization.
CNN: If the bill is signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah’s teachers will not be allowed to inform students about contraceptives, “the intricacies of intercourse,” homosexuality, or sexual activity outside of marriage.
Fox News: Intelligent design does not propose that there is a higher power, it doesn’t even suggest what the intelligent designer is or could be. It only explains that there are examples of design in nature that we can related to our own common experiences,” attorney William Becker told Fox News . . . The case has generated interest among supporters of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge’s case.
Michael J. Boskin and John F. Cogan at the Wall Street Journal: California’s rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking.
WLS 890 AM: The ADF press release states, “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.” [links to ADF PR and Washington Times article]
One News Now: Matt Sharp of the Alliance Defense Fund says he applauds Fairfax County Virginia schools for trying to right this wrong. However, ADF is continuing with the lawsuit — and Sharp explains why. “They can’t just stop there. There’s this unconstitutional policy that underlies this whole case,” says the ADF attorney. “The school district-wide policy … prohibits any credit for community service work done … if that community service work is done at a church.”
Abby Johnson Is Whistleblower in Lawsuit Alleging Medicaid Fraud at Planned Parenthood | NC Register
NC Register: “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else,” said Michael Norton, chief counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the suit on behalf of Johnson. “It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.”
Greeley Gazette: The Alliance Defense Fund is helping an honor student in Alexandria, Virginia after she was denied community service credit because her volunteering was faith-based rather than secular in nature. Matt Sharp, litigation counsel with the ADF, says his client, 17-year-old Sarah Stites, is claiming discrimination because she was denied any credit toward her 12 required community service hours because her work was done at her local church.
Pat Buchanan at Townhall: The gravest problem facing the Land of the Rising Sun is that it is dying. The sun that set on the Japanese Empire in 1945 has begun to set on the Japanese nation. A week before the anniversary of 3/11, buried in a story about Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s effort to rally support for a doubling of the 5 percent consumption tax, to preserve Japan’s social security system, was this startling statement: “We’re faced with an aging society and a declining birth rate unprecedented in the history of mankind.”
SCOTUS for law students: The law and process of California’s Proposition 8 (sponsored by Bloomberg Law)
SCOTUS Blog: The legal struggle over same-sex marriage in California presents important questions of constitutional law, democratic process, and federal court procedure. More than three years after California voters amended the state constitution to overturn a court ruling permitting same-sex marriage, the legal status of that referendum, known as Proposition 8, remains uncertain. The present stage for this drama is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but this is much like a pre-Broadway theater tryout with a Supreme Court run waiting in the wings.
The Weekly Standard: How’s the great contraception mandate battle of 2012 playing out? If you read the Washington Post’s news coverage, the issue is supposedly killing Republicans among female voters. But the newest Washington Post/ABC poll tells a different story.
NCPA Policy Digest: Looking down the road to one of the biggest delegate prizes of them all, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a near tie in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the Texas Republican Primary.
AP: Israel’s parliamentary speaker called off a legislative delegation’s visit to the U.S. after Washington denied an ultranationalist lawmaker a visa, citing his links to a terror group.
LifeNews: The new survey reveals that, by a 50-41 percentage point margin, Americans say all employers should not have to cover birth control or potentially abortion-causing drugs while a larger 57-36 percentage point margin say religious employers should not be forced to provide coverage.
The Hill: Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), already under fire for allegations he bribed his primary opponent to drop out of the race, questioned the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate at a town-hall meeting.
The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) charged Republicans on Monday of gumming up the judicial confirmation process in order to embarrass President Obama, and said he plans to file cloture to force votes on 17 of the outstanding nominees in the near future.
Idaho Statesman: DeMint, who voted last fall for two Obama judicial choices from South Carolina, said he’s now rejecting all of the president’s nominees to protest his winter recess appointments of four controversial nominees to avoid GOP opposition.
The Hill: The conservative seniors’ lobby 60 Plus launched a $3.5 million ad campaign on Monday targeting five vulnerable Senate Democrats over their support for the healthcare reform law’s cost-control board.
The Hill: The White House scrambled Monday to contain the political damage from rising gas prices, which have emerged as a primary threat to President Obama’s reelection.
Appeal Filed to Defend Texans’ Right to Speak About Recall Election | James Madison Ctr for Free Speech
Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund, The James Madison Center for Free Speech and other have filed an Appeal in the Texas Supreme Court, seeking to protect the First Amendment rights of Texans to speak about a recall election.
LifeNews: It’s official. The concern pro-life organizations had about the ObamaCare legislation funding abortions has been confirmed, as the Obama administration has issued the final rules on abortion funding governing the controversial health care law.
The Atlantic: From drugs to help you avoid eating meat to genetically engineered cat-like eyes to reduce the need for lighting, a wild interview about changes humans could make to themselves to battle climate change.