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Carrie Severino at National Review: Iowa’s supreme-court judges are initially selected by an unaccountable lawyer-dominated commission, via the system known as the Missouri Plan. As in other states, that method of selection has tilted Iowa’s judicial branch to the left on a range of issues, including gay marriage. And just as the people of Iowa demand more accountability, Justice Wiggins and his allies at the Times make the case for less.
Telegraph: Terminally ill children are subjected to needless suffering amounting to “torture” by parents who refuse to allow the withdrawal of treatment because of their religious beliefs, leading doctors have claimed.
Janet Levy at American Thinker: Mosques are modeled after the first mosque established by Mohammed in Medina, which was a seat of government, a command center, a court, a school, and a military training center and depot for arms. Mosque leaders today issue religious decrees, enforce Islamic doctrine, monitor conduct, provide training, punish transgressions, and command actions, including the requirement to conduct jihad
Catholic Culture: The president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod—the second-largest Lutheran body in the US—has joined with the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in decrying the HHS mandate.
Catholic Culture: Rev. Zafar Bhatti, who heads the Jesus World Mission, has been jailed after Muslims complained that he had insulted Islam in text messages.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court on Monday added one new case to its decision docket for the new Term, a test of federal court power to resolve issues under the Hague Convention on abduction of children to a foreign country. The case is Chafin v. Chafin (docket 11-1347). The specific question is whether an appeal in a Hague case becomes moot if the child involved has returned to his or her home country.
Baptist Press: The Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian educational organization, had intervened in the case to defend Hawaii’s marriage statutes, and its attorney, Jim Hochberg, said he was pleased Kay “agreed with every argument,” except one, “made on behalf of” the forum . . . Because of Hawaii Family Forum’s history in publically defending traditional marriage, Kay “allowed HFF to intervene and defend the marriage statute,” Hochberg said. To get the forum intervenor status, Hochberg sought help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-based organization that provides legal defense against attacks on religious freedom, to get the forum.
Denny Burk at Baptist Press: It is astonishing, however, that she would be so overtly dismissive of basic Christian morality — as if it were completely outside the bounds of rational discourse. Burnett couldn’t believe that a Christian would suggest that homosexuals can or would even need to “change.” In the course of her remarks, she told Mohler that his statements were “crazy” and “hateful.”
Telegraph: Relaxing Sunday trading laws to let shops open for longer would be a “major breach of trust” by the Coalition, a senior Conservative MP has warned.
Christian Concern: A Judge ruled on Friday 10 August that doctors can switch off a young boy’s life-support system even though his Christian parents wanted him to be kept alive as they still had hope of his recovery.
The Christian Institute: Campaigners are urging the public to take action to curb easy access to explicit internet pornography. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition urging “the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service”.
Campus Reform: A liberal arts college in North Carolina has become the first in the nation to prevent Chick-fil-A from being served at campus events over the restaurant’s indirect support of pro-family groups perceived by some as “anti-gay.”
Religion Clause Blog: As previously reported, last month a Pennsylvania federal district judge, from the bench, issued a temporary injunction against enforcement of Philadelphia’s new ordinance that bans public feeding of groups of more than 3 people in any city park.
Military.com: A Reserve Army general made history Friday when her wife pinned on her new rank making her the U.S. military’s first openly gay general officer. Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith receives the distinction after Congress repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in September. She will serve as the deputy chief at the Army Reserve’s Office of the Chief.
Lori Handrahan at Washington Times: In April, I said the Colombian scandal exposed a national security problem, the epidemic of U.S. government employees viewing porn — child porn — on government networks. I suggested readers type “Transportation Security Administration,” “U.S. State Department,” “Pentagon,” “Immigration and Customs Enforcement” and “child porn” into Google’s search field to understand the scope. I neglected to include “Missile Defense Agency.”
Marine Corps Times: Two national atheist groups, and one advocating religious freedom, have complained to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that officials at Camp Pendleton, Calif., continue to deny them access to the base while giving “preferential treatment” to Christian religious organizations, including a controversial church they say is steeped in “doomsday theology” and embroiled in sexual-abuse scandals.
Albany Times Union: A national atheist organization is threatening to sue the Shenendehowa school district over two songs taught to elementary school children that mention God in the lyrics.
Examiner.com: The Frederick News-Post reported Sunday that a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, was the target of vandals who glued gay marriage stickers and other items to the windows sometime Saturday night.
Sioux City Journal: “This is something the Legislature needs to address,” Branstad said, during his weekly news conference. “The present law is not clear and we cannot take action unless we have a law that gives us the authority to do so. I have always been one that believes that we have to abide by the constitution and the laws, and that we cannot by administrative rule do things that are not authorized by the law.” Pro-life advocates have urged Branstad to intervene in a controversy stemming from a decision by his administration to deny a request by 41 GOP House members asking the Iowa Department of Human Services to rescind state rules governing pregnancies terminated in cases of rape, incest and fetal deformation.
Cape Gazette: Councilman Vance Phillips, R-Laurel, who has been among the staunchest supporters of opening meetings with The Lord’s Prayer, told Betts council members have been placed in a precarious position. He said if council fails to abide by the court injunction and recites The Lord’s Prayer anyway, council members could be arrested or the county could be fined. “People tell me we should be willing to go to jail for this,” he said. “But what if the fine is $10,000 a day? What would you have us do?” he asked. He didn’t get an answer. The county’s lead attorney, Everett Moore, cut in before Betts could respond, reminding Phillips that the issue was not an agenda item and could not be discussed.
VaccineNewsDaily: Six families in the state of West Virginia are suing the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources, claiming the agency cannot force new vaccine requirements upon schoolchildren.
Reuters: They blend a toxic mix of smuggling, gun-running and human trafficking with the “takfiri” ideology of al Qaeda – which declares all Muslims who do not follow their purist, Salafist interpretation of Islam as “kafirs” – infidels. Crime and religion are soldered by ferocious opposition to Israel.
New Evidence of Corruption Involving Sale of Michigan Public School Property to the Islamic Cultural Association
Thomas More Law Center: A stunning new development has come to light surrounding allegations of public corruption over the sale of Farmington Public Schools (FPS) property to the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA). On Wednesday, August 8th, Reverend Bruce D. Burwell, Senior Pastor of Light of the World Christian Center in West Bloomfield, read aloud a prepared statement on how the person in charge of FPS properties told him the property was not for sale when he expressed an interest in purchasing it for his church. FPS subsequently sold the vacant Eagle Elementary school property to the Islamic Cultural Association.
Bill Spindle and Sam Dagher at Wall Street Journal: In the land of St. Paul’s conversion, ancient Catholic and Orthodox communities are finding themselves on the wrong side of an increasingly sectarian conflict.
One News Now: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has announced its chapter at the University of New York-Buffalo is being reinstated following last year’s controversy involving a member who admitted he was homosexual.
Jordan Lorence at the NY Post: The New York City ban is emblematic of the much-too-widespread habit of public officials considering private religious expression to be dangerous and threatening, like asbestos that must be expunged from the ceiling tiles of the public square.
University of Delaware Students Barred from “Ridiculing” with the Intent of “Excluding or Degrading a Person”
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy reports on the policy in question and links to some FIRE materials in connection with the matter.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: Judge Sam further ruled that “Utah’s cosmetology/barbering licensing scheme is so disconnected from the practice of African hairbraiding, much less from whatever minimal threats to public health and safety are connected to braiding, that to premise Jestina’s right to earn a living by braiding hair on that scheme is wholly irrational and a violation of her constitutionally protected rights.” | Clayton v. Steinagel, No. 2:11CV379 DS (D. Utah Aug. 8, 2012)
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: I have argued that such “hostile public accommodations environment” theories violate the First Amendment even when patrons claim that a business’s decor inside the business is offensive based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and so on. (See also Daniel Koontz,Hostile Public Accommodations Laws and the First Amendment, 3 NYU J. Law & Liberty 197 (2008).
CNSNews: report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that lifting the ban on federal oil drilling in certain areas could increase U.S. petroleum reserves by 30 percent, including an estimated 8 billion barrels of oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Obama at Iftar Dinner: Most precious right is “freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose”
CNSNews: “Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose,” said Obama . . . In his iftar speech, Obama’s phraseology seemed to define freedom of religion as merely “the right to worship as we choose.” The First Amendment, however, does not use the phrase “freedom of religion” or the word “worship.” Rather, it expressly prohibits the government from prohibiting the “free exercise” of religion–meaning government cannot coerce people anywhere in their lives (whether in or outside a house of worship) to act against their consciences or the teachings of their faith.
White House Blog: President Obama Hosts Fourth Annual Iftar Dinner at the White House
CNSNews: Thanks to an Obamacare regulation that took effect on Aug. 1, health care plans in Oregon will now be required to provide free sterilizations to 15- year-old girls even if the parents of those girls do not consent to the procedure.
LifeSiteNews: Romney introduced the pro-life Catholic as his vice presidential choice at a campaign stop in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday morning. In his acceptance speech Ryan said, “America is more than a place; it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government.” “We won’t replace our founding principles,” Ryan promised. “We will reapply them!”
Blog of the Legal Times: More than 50 former federal judges and prosecutors are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a dispute over alleged government misconduct, taking a position in the case against the Justice Department. | Amicus Brief
Lollar, Cortney, Child Pornography and the Restitution Revolution (August 3, 2012). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 2013; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-08-02. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2123527
Des Moines Register: A socially conservative political rally at a Waukee church Saturday served as the kickoff for a renewed effort to throw out the Iowa Supreme Court justices who made same-sex marriage legal. The activist group Iowans for Freedom will run a campaign this fall against the retention of Justice David Wiggins . . .
Egger, Jeremiah, Glucksberg, Lawrence, and the Decline of Loving’s Marriage Precedent (May 2012). Virginia Law Review, Vol. 98, December 2012, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2124739
Rachel Alexander at Townhall: One of only two right-leaning justices who has served on the Washington Supreme Court in recent years is in the battle of his life to regain his seat. As a result of his freedom of religion, sanctity of marriage, gun rights, and the unborn, former Justice Richard Sanders has been a lightening rod for attacks from the left and the biased media. Those attacks finally cost him reelection in 2010, after serving on the high court for three terms since 1995.
Religion Clause Blog: In his remarks (full text), the President said in part . . . that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story….
7th Circuit: City’s Litigation Position On Proselytizers’ Rights Is Not An Official Policy For Sec. 1983 Liability
Religion Clause Blog: In Teesdale v. City of Chicago, (7th Cir., Aug. 10, 2012), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a suit brought by a group from a nearby Baptist church that sought to proselytize for several years at the annual festival of Chicago’s St. Symphorosa Catholic Church.
AP: So a week after Barbara Wise’s stroke, investigators say, her husband fired a single round into her head. She died the next day, leading prosecutors to charge the 66-year-old man with aggravated murder . . .
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: “Not this time,” promises former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, chairman of a new SuperPAC, appropriately named Defend Paul Ryan. Blackwell and other champions of fiscal discipline and entitlement reform have launched a campaign to get out the truth about Paul Ryan and aggressively refute any smear-attacks from President Obama’s supporters.
NCPA Policy Digest: The state of Illinois faces at least $83 billion in unfunded liability between its five pension systems, and is on track to spend more on its government pensions than on education by 2016, according to a new study released by Governor Pat Quinn’s office, says Fox Business.
Anna Williams at First Things: But it’s a little more complex than this. Pro-choice groups agree that there’s a clear, suffering victim in abortion: the woman. They mention not the women who are married and could afford to bear and raise a child, but the women who are young, poor, single, unhealthy, or raped. (And obviously these women do suffer — I’m not denying the difficulty and pain of their situations.) If they mention the unborn baby at all, it is to dismiss its status as a . . .
CNA: The Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill. on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate, charging that it requires an “intrusive government investigation” to determine whether the diocese is exempt from the controversial federal rule.
AP: The U.S. and the European Union have voiced doubts about Bucharest’s commitment to democracy, after a court failed to rule on whether a referendum to suspend President Traian Basescu was valid.
AP: Egypt’s military has shown no sign of opposing the president’s surprise decision to retire the defense minister and chief of staff and seize back the powers the military grabbed from his office.
SCOTUS Blog: Ruling that the Supreme Court settled the issue forty years ago, a federal judge in Hawaii has declared that same-sex couples do not have a constitutional right to get married. In a 117-page ruling (found here), Senior U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay concluded on Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s summary ruling in 1972 in Baker v. Nelson controlled the question. But even if it did not, the judge added, a state ban on gay marriages satisfies the minimum level of constitutional analysis.