Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Guardian: Government proposals to expand secret courts suffered a series of crushing defeats in the House of Lords on Wednesday night , significantly narrowing the scope of the justice and security bill.
Range Of Recent Legal Victories Is Ample Cause For Thanksgiving | Alan Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog
Alan Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: But this is a season of Thanksgiving, and all of us at this ministry have so much to be grateful for, as our gracious God has showered us, even in the last few weeks, with a series of important victories in a variety of cases from all over the country. A brief sampling . . .
Judge to DOJ: Are you saying doctors have waived their religious freedom? | Matt Bowman on the Hugh Hewitt Show
Volokh Conspiracy (video embedded): The Fifth Annual Rosenkranz Debate was held last Saturday during The Federalist Society’s 2012 National Lawyers Convention. The topic was “Natural Law Should Inform Constitutional Law” although I think the title should have been “Natural Rights Should Inform Constitutional Law” since that was what was actually debated. The advocates were Prof. Hadley P. Arkes (Edward N. Ney Professor in American Institutions, Amherst College) and Judge Alex Kozinski (Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit). It was moderated by Judge Thomas B. Griffith (U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit).
Human Events: In the Name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
WorldNetDaily: Voting machines suspiciously defaulting to Barack Obama? Buses loaded with strangers appearing at polling stations? Even ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports? In short, suspicions of vote fraud?
AP: Mississippi had the lowest abortion rate, at 4 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age. The state also had only a couple of abortion providers and has the nation’s highest teen birth rate. New York, second to California in number of abortion providers, had the highest abortion rate, roughly eight times Mississippi’s.
San Francisco Chronicle (AP): Brett Harvey, a lawyer at the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group that often helps towns defend their practices, sees it the other way. He says liberal groups have made a coordinated attempt to bully local governments into abandoning prayers, resulting in more cases. “It’s really kind of a campaign of fear and disinformation,” Harvey said. Harvey has talked with hundreds of towns about their policies and been involved in about 10 court cases in the past three years. Right now, his advice differs for different parts of the country because the law is in flux.
Heritage Foundation: Late last week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction temporarily halting enforcement of the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate against Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., as the lawsuit continues. This is the third such injunction issued against the mandate to date and the second to be obtained by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of its clients.
CivilBeat: The Hawaii Family Forum’s attorney, Jim Hochberg, said he believes members of the Legislature know that most of the people in Hawaii want to preserve marriage between a man and a woman. “So, I think they could smartly respond one of either two ways,” he said. “One, they could say that it is in the courts, so let’s wait to see what the courts say. Alternatively, they could say that they not do want to vote directly on this, so let’s let the people decide. That way the Legislature does not get blamed.”
WIBC.com: The five justices heard roughly 1 1/2 hours of oral arguments on whether the state constitution allows taxpayer money to fund vouchers that pay for religious or other private schools. Chief Justice Brent Dickson gave no indication on when they would rule. “We will attempt to resolve the matter, and we’ll let you know when we do.”
LifeNews: But here’s another way to do the math: add that 30% who believe abortion should be legal in most (but not all) cases to the 24% who believe it should be illegal in most cases and the 13% who believe it should always be illegal, and you find that 66% of voters believe abortion should be illegal in at least some cases.
WatchDog.org: Now that Gov. John Kasich has decided that Ohio will not establish its own health insurance exchange, small business owners with more than 50 employees have some hope for relief from a potentially ruinous requirement to provide employees government-approved health plans.
Reuters: Tunisia’s Islamist-led government will not allow puritanical Salafis to enforce their vision on a country grappling with the role of Islam in a once rigidly secular society, the prime minister said on Tuesday.
LifeNews: Planned Parenthood has botched another abortion on a woman, this time in Indianapolis, Indiana. After injuring the woman, staffers at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic attempted to hide the failed abortion from emergency dispatchers.
Religion Clause Blog: Now in Independent School District No. 5 of Tulsa County v. Spry, (OK Sup. Ct., Nov. 20, 2012), in a 7-2 decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed that decision on standing grounds. It held that the school districts which were plaintiffs in the lawsuit lack standing because they are not taxpayers who have a right to challenge the program . . .
Religion Clause Blog: In Cassidy v. City of Brewer, (D ME, Nov. 19, 2012), a Maine federal district court dismissed on ripeness grounds a RLUIPA religious discrimination claim because plaintiff did not appeal the decision of the city’s code enforcement officer to the zoning board of appeals.
Good News Clubs Challenge California’s Requirement That Schools Charge For Space Used For Religious Services
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc. of West Orange County v. Buena Park School District, (CD CA, filed 11/19. 2012), alleges that the school district’s regulations that allow use without charge of school space by nonprofit organizations organized to promote youth and school activities, but not to the after-school religious activities of Good News Clubs amounts to unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, as well as infringing free exercise, equal protection and establishment clause rights.
Trib Live: New Kensington-Arnold School District has asked a federal court judge to dismiss the legal challenge against the Ten Commandments monument displayed at Valley High School.
The Guardian: So, when the IRS sits on its hands while Illinois Bishop Daniel Jenky commands all the priests in his diocese to read an anti-Obama letter at mass; when the IRS pretends not to be interested while Billy Graham runs full-page ads in national newspapers on the eve of the election whose message is a transparent endorsement of Mitt Romney; when the IRS has nothing to say about the fact that on 7 October, at least 1,000 pastors participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” by explicitly endorsing political candidates from their pulpits – we can only suppose that the IRS has decided to ignore its own code.
NBC Bay Area: The movement, called Pulpit Freedom Sunday and organized by the Arizona-based Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, encourages pastors to “preach a biblically based sermon regarding candidates and the election without fearing that the IRS will investigate or punish the church,” according to the group’s website.
AllGov.com: In its civil complaint, the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims the IRS is failing to collect $100 billion a year by permitting churches to maintain tax-exempt status, even though many are violating rules that prohibit tax-exempt entities from engaging in electioneering speech.
KHOU.com (includes video): Greene is an atheist from San Antonio. He threatened to sue Henderson County last winter over the nativity scene on its courthouse lawn, which has been displayed each Christmas for more than a decade. But Greene backed off the suit when his health began to fail. As a sign of Christian goodwill, a church in Athens raised money, and sent Greene hundreds of dollars to help him and his wife through the health scare. Greene said they were genuinely touched by the people’s “generosity and kindness,” so they bought a star for the county’s nativity scene. He sent the star in March.
Lancaster Online: Prayers were said at Monday’s Eastern Lancaster County school board meeting, the first meeting with a public comment period since the district stopped opening its meetings with prayer.
One News Now: “No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom, much less sacrifice their job in order to maintain that freedom,” Nimocks contends. “Religious freedom is important to every American, and that includes those who issue marriage licenses. It’s important that we as a society embrace the idea that they can do their job without having to violate their conscience.”
LifeNews: Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned and run company, is fighting back against a judge’s decision siding with the Obama administration saying that it has the right to force it to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.
The city of Duluth is ignoring a court order that prevents it from enforcing a First Amendment ban on people desiring to share their faith at a public park during the “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” event. The violation of the order prompted Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys to file an emergency motion Tuesday that asks the court to enforce its injunction and hold the city in contempt.
NV Court won’t force mentally disabled woman to have abortion | Catherine Glenn Foster on the Zeb Bell Show
Is Tyndale House Publishing religious enough for an Obamacare mandate exemption? | Matt Bowman on the Georgene Rice Show
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Yesterday afternoon the United Nations General Assembly adopted its biannual resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. Once again, the third committee proceedings at which the resolution was adopted, by 108 votes to 1, with 65 abstentions, were mired in controversy over “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI).
AP: The Church of England has much explaining to do following its failure to vote to allow women to serve as bishops, its leader said Wednesday – and politicians from the prime minister downward are already demanding action or answers.
LifeNews: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has taken positions in the past supportive of abortion, says birth control pills should be sold over the counter. The morning after pill is already available over the counter for anyone over the age of 17 and the doctors’ group says the birth control pill should be sold that way, too.
Atheist Group Backs Parents Who Are Upset School Wants To Take Kids To See ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ At Church
CBS: KARK-TV reports that some parents were upset that Terry Elementary School in Little Rock wanted to take children to go see a play of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at a local church. “The parents that we know in this situation are reluctant to speak up because they are concerned about their kids being singled out and bullied,” Anne Orsi, a lawyer and member of the Arkansas Society of Free Thinkers, told KARK.
Reuters: A bomb exploded on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 15 people in what Israeli officials said was a terrorist attack that could complicate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
William Becker, Jr. at American Thinker: When Tuesday (11/19/2012), United States District Court Judge Audrey B Collins delivered a 28-page ruling denying my client the right to continue a 59-year-old tradition of exhibiting Nativity scenes along Ocean Boulevard in the City of Santa Monica this Christmas season, another dagger plunged into the heart of America’s twilight customs and traditions. The sneered-at “war on Christmas” was effectively lost for good.
UK Supreme Court: Institute of the Brothers of Christian schools can be held liable for sexual abuse by its members
The UK Law and Religion Blog reports on the ruling.
The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v. The
This is not a borderline case. It is one where it is fair, just and reasonable,
HSLDA: Kenyan homeschoolers are concerned that the proposed education law moving through their parliament will prevent them from exercising their right to homeschool their children.
Morning Star News: Islamic extremists from Somalia’s rebel Al-Shabaab militants on Friday (Nov. 16) killed a Christian in Somalia’s coastal city of Barawa, accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said.
HSLDA: The Social Welfare Committee responsible for keeping Domenic Johansson separated from his parents for more than three years has appealed the June 2012 court ruling that upheld Christer and Annie Johanssons’ parental rights.
For all these reasons, conservatives would be ill-advised to abandon support for conjugal marriage even if it hadn’t won more support than Mitt Romney in every state where marriage was on the ballot. They certainly shouldn’t be duped into surrender by the circular argument that they’ve already lost. The ash-heap of history is filled with “inevitabilities.” Conservatives—triumphant against once-unstoppable social tides like Marxism—should know this best. “History” has no mind. The future isn’t fixed. It’s chosen. The Supreme Court should let the people choose; and we should choose marriage, conjugal marriage.
Ken Mehlman at the WSJ (access via Google): They say demography is destiny, and in American politics destiny has belonged to those who best aligned their core beliefs with the rapidly changing and ever-improving citizenry. Conservatives—and I count myself as one—succeed when we attract new supporters to timeless traditions. The Republican Party’s loss in this month’s presidential election resulted partly from a failure to embrace some of America’s fastest-growing constituencies. One area of significant change is in attitudes toward legal equality for gay Americans.
San Francisco Chronicle: Protester Gypsy Taub speaks out against the Board of Supervisors decision to ban public nakedness while naked at City Hall in San Francisco, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. San Francisco lawmakers on Tuesday narrowly approved a proposal to ban public nakedness, rejecting arguments that the measure would eat away at a reputation for tolerance enjoyed by a city known for flouting convention and flaunting its counter-culture image. The 6-5 Board of Supervisors vote means that exposed genitals will be prohibited in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit.
The Republic (Scripps Howard News Service): If the American public is truly changing its mind on marriage, then author George Weigel believes it is time for Catholics to draw a bright red line between the state’s secular ceremonies and the church’s rites of Holy Matrimony. — At least, that’s an option that Catholics, and by implication other religious traditionalists, must be willing to consider, according to the Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar, who is best known as the official biographer of the late Pope John Paul II.