Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Pro Life Blogs: Irish voters will take up a referendum this Saturday to decide whether or not to surrender their parental rights to the government. The referendum would insert a “child rights” amendment into the Irish constitution and open families up to forced adoptions and the use of the “best interests of the child” standard in “all proceedings.”
National Review: Florida congressman Allen West trails his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by .8 percent and, though Murphy has declared victory, West isn’t conceding. West is behind by a margin greater than the .5 percent required to trigger a recount, but he is demanding one nonetheless, citing vote-counting irregularities.
Telegraph: A judge has warned a mother to stop poisoning her children against her lesbian ex-partner after hearing how the couple have fought a bitter ten year custody battle costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Huffington Post: Tuesday’s elections brought two historic firsts for religion in American politics: A Buddhist senator and a Hindu representative — both from Hawaii — will join Congress. Democrat Mazie Hirono beat former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), making Hirono the first Buddhist in the Senate.
NY Times: If the French bill passes, France will become the 12th country, including Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Sweden, to make its marriage laws “gender neutral.” In Germany, registered same-sex couples have essentially the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, but same-sex marriage is not legal.
Blog of the Legal Times: How much restitution is a victim of child pornography entitled to? That’s the tough question before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington.
Analyzing Common Problems with University Policies | David Hacker at the Speak Up Movement University Blog
David Hacker at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: Several of Harris’ posts include examples from Alliance Defending Freedom cases, like College Republicans at San Francisco State University v. Reed (a speech code case) and Roberts v. Haragan (a speech zone case). Here are links to each part of the series . . .
Rev. Robert Sirico at the Acton Institute: Another way of looking at this is to understand that freedom itself is not a virtue, but rather the context in which virtue (or vice, for that matter) becomes evident. If a free market is the expression of the liberty of economic actors to satisfy their needs, then the morality of the market will depend on whether or not those desires and their fulfillment was moral in the first instance.
Victor David Hanson at National Review: Conservatives are divided, acrimoniously so, over three schools of explaining The Defeat . . . 1. The Near Fatalists . . . 2. The Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve What If-ers . . . 3. The Big Tenters.
Christian Institute: Equalities Minister Maria Miller says the Government will publish the results of its consultation on redefining marriage before Christmas. The Government says it has received a staggering 228,000 responses – the largest number in British Government history.
Catholic Culture: “Other publicly funded Catholic school boards in Alberta, and across Ontario (with the exception of Halton region), support the vaccine, which is funded by the federal government,” The Globe and Mail stated in an editorial. Calgary Catholic school trustee “must show leadership and adaptability and choose to protect children – rather than risk being forced to.”
CNBC: Boehner said House Republicans are asking Obama “to make good on a balanced approach” that would including spending cuts and address government social benefit programs.
Boston Globe: Police are investigating after someone spray-painted swastikas on a Stockton Springs church, and the pastor says the church was targeted because of his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Nathaniel Frank at the Daily Herald (AP): After the losses in Maine in 2009 and California a year earlier, LGBT advocates knew they needed to craft an effective response to Schubert’s false message that gay equality harms kids. Enter Freedom To Marry. The umbrella group was founded in 2003 by the civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson, who has consistently preached about winning hearts and minds in between elections rather than in the frenzied lead-up to them. While gay groups had spent millions of dollars on public opinion research before and after the Prop 8 loss in California, no one had ever stopped to pull it all together . . . Frank, author of “Unfriendly Fire” and a visiting scholar at Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, is writing a book called “The Anti-Gay Mind.”
Boston.com (AP): Ray Sullivan, campaign director for the group Fight Back RI, says the General Assembly should have at least four or five additional supporters of same-sex marriage following Tuesday’s election.
Reuters: Germany’s Angela Merkel on Wednesday warned Britain not to turn its back on Europe ahead of talks in London with Prime Minister David Cameron aimed at overcoming divisions that threaten to block a European Union budget deal later this month.
Huffington Post: “The Republicans’ insistence in unilaterally disarming on social issues means that only the left is discussing abortion and marriage,” said Penny Nance, president of the conservative Christian group Concerned Women for America. “Refusing to discuss this important issue left their candidates unprepared to intelligently engage on life.” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said polling showed that if the Romney campaign and its backers had been willing to attack Obama on his support for abortion rights and Planned Parenthood and his contraception mandate, it “could have changed the outcome of the election.”
CNSNews: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Wednesday that if the $16.394 current legal limit on the federal government’s debt must be raised in the next few months by another $2.4 trillion, “We’ll raise it.”
National Journal: Based on racial exit-poll data available from select states, Obama would have definitively lost 12 states to Republican nominee Mitt Romney if only white voters mattered. Add another three possible toss-up states and that’s a full 242 possible electoral votes that Obama would not have.
AP on MyWay: She’s among many people attempting to bring local complaints directly to the central government in an age-old Chinese tradition that has continued during the Communist Party era. But police never make that easy, and this week, as an all-important leadership transition begins, a dragnet is aimed at keeping anyone perceived as a threat or a troublemaker out of Beijing.
Reuters: Saudi judges who enforce sharia (Islamic law) have condemned what they see as “the stench of Western ideas” in sweeping legal reforms pushed by King Abdullah, underscoring friction between government modernizers and religious hardliners.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Don’t be afraid of raising taxes to rescue the budget. In Tuesday’s election, 54 percent of California voters approved Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax hike that staves off dire spending cuts. If the measure had failed, trigger reductions would have forced schools and community colleges to trim their budgets by $5.3 billion and made the state’s colleges and universities cut $500 million.
Reuters: World shares and the euro fell on Wednesday as investors worried that the deep fiscal challenge facing U.S. President Barack a day after his re-election could lead to a new recession.
Columbus Dispatch: Two sitting Ohio Supreme Court justices, one Republican and one Democrat, were unseated in yesterday’s election, marking the first time in recent history that two incumbents were removed from the state’s top court.
AP: The Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request to block a judge’s hearings into the health risks of a mentally impaired woman’s pregnancy.
Available for media interviews following Norton’s oral argument against motions to dismiss Johnson v. Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, a lawsuit that alleges “repeated false, fraudulent, and ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements” through the Texas Women’s Health Program
AP: President Francois Hollande’s Cabinet pushed ahead with a controversial French bill Wednesday that could see gay marriage legalized early next year, defying vocal opposition in the majority Catholic country from religious leaders
WorldNetDaily: Tea-party advocate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was declared the winner by the Associated Press with 98 percent of precincts reporting. She led Democratic Farm Labor Party millionaire Jim Graves, by just over 3,000 votes out of nearly 350,000 votes . . .
AP: A slim majority of Puerto Ricans sought to change their ties with the United States and become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum that would require final approval from Congress.
FoxBusiness.com: Equities, commodities and other risky assets tumbled on Wednesday after U.S. elections left Washington, D.C. as sharply divided as before as the fiscal cliff looms large.
R.J. Snell at Public Discourse: Naïve proponents and skeptics of the natural law often point to the world “out there” as the source of objective truth (or lack thereof), but the truths of the natural law are to be found through the actions of our intellect.
Bipartisan Victories Fuel Strong Election Night Performance For Arizona Educational Choice Champions
The American Federation for Children—the nation’s voice for educational choice—today congratulated a slate of bipartisan legislative candidates across Arizona who were victorious in last night’s elections and have pledged to support and advocate for meaningful education reform, including educational choice.
NCPA Policy Digest: For several decades, support has coalesced in favor of broad school reforms in an effort to increase student achievement scores. Recently, reformers have focused on the role that teacher unions play in K-12 education, say Amber M. Winkler, Janie Scull and Dara Zeehandelaar of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. . . . Source: Amber M. Winkler, Janie Scull and Dara Zeehandelaar, “How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison,” Thomas B. Fordham Institute, October 29, 2012.
Forbes: The decades-long campaign by conservatives to build a lasting majority on the U.S. Supreme Court may come to an end over the next four years, now that President Obama has apparently been reelected to the White House.
Seattle Times: Attorney Sheryl Gordon McCloud wins a six-year term on the state Supreme Court, turning back former Justice Richard Sanders, with King County heavily in her favor.
Seattle Times: Altering the course of U.S social policy, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, while Washington state and Colorado set up a showdown with federal authorities by legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
Alan Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: Those results, and their impact, are in God’s hands, but this we know: like that beachfront pavilion in Ocean Grove … like the faithful Christians who have held to their faith in that case in the face of a legal hurricane … this ministry, by God’s grace, will still be standing for the Truth, for religious freedom, for the constitutionally protected rights of you and your children and grandchildren. Please join me in praying for His clear direction in all these things (John 15:5).
Religion Clause Blog: Florida voters yesterday (official results) defeated Amendment 8, the proposed Religious Freedom Amendment, that would have repealed the state’s Blaine Amendment– the state constitution’s ban on public funds going to religious institutions.
Religion Clause Blog: In Emmanuel Temple, The House of Praise v. Abercrombie, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157950 (D HI, Oct. 2, 2012), a Hawaii federal district court dismissed a constitutional challenge to Hawaii’s Civil Unions Law. Plaintiffs complained that the Act chills their free exercise of religion because it does not exempt churches from Hawaii’s anti-discrimination laws.
Religion Clause Blog: In Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Horne, (10th Cir., Nov. 5, 2012), the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected on procedural grounds a constitutional challenge by the polygamous FLDS Church to Utah’s reformation of the FLDS United Effort Plan Trust.
“Suffering patients need understanding and sound medical treatment, not encouragement to kill themselves. The people of Massachusetts were right to reject this attempt to masquerade doctor-prescribed death as compassion.”
“The caring concern of parents for the health of their young daughters is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line. Montana voters have wisely passed this common-sense law to ensure that parents can protect their daughters from abortionists who prey upon vulnerable young girls. The voice of an abortionist should not be allowed more weight than the voice of parents when their daughter is pregnant.”
Wall Street Journal: Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
AL.com: Roy Moore, forever known as Alabama’s Ten Commandments judge, has been re-elected chief justice in a triumphant political resurrection after being ousted from that office nearly a decade ago.
Seattle Post Intelligencer (AP): ustices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince each led about 67 percent to 33 percent with about 80 percent of the precincts reporting.
The Hill: McCaskill was leading Akin 52.9 percent to 40.8 percent, with 84 percent of precincts reporting. Libertarian Jonathan Dine pulled in 6.3 percent of the vote.
LifeNews: There are 37 states that require parental notification or permission before a minor can get an abortion. Montana is one of just 13 states without this common-sense policy. However, 70 percent of voters in the state approved Legislative Referendum 120, which takes a step toward solving this problem. LR-120 would require an abortion practitioner to notify a parent of a girl younger than age 16 before performing an abortion.
Telegraph Herald: Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal won re-election Tuesday as his party fought to retain its narrow hold on the chamber and prevent Republicans from gaining control of most of the levers of state government. As of early Wednesday, The Associated Press had declared Democrats winners in 9 Senate races. With 13 Democrats not up for re-election, that gives the party 22 of the 26 seats it needs to retain outright control. More than a half-dozen other races remained too close to call or appeared headed for recounts, according to AP’s vote tallies.
Politico: “I think this is premature,” he added. “We’ve got a quarter of the vote. Now remember, here is the thing about Ohio. A third of the vote or more is cast early and is won overwhelmingly by the Democrats. It’s counted first and then you count the election day and the question is, by the time you finish counting the election day does it overcome that early advantage that Democrats have built up in early voting, particularly in Cuyahoga County.”
LifeNews: With 87% of all votes recorded, Question 2 is behind 51-49 percent, losing by about 29,000 votes out of approximately 2.5 million cast.
Mercury News: Democrats appear to have seized a super majority in both legislative chambers, which would give them the ability to approve taxes without Republican support.