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Liberty Institute: oday, on behalf of several distinguished Christian theologians and scholars, Liberty Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting a request for the High Court to hear an important religious freedom case that could determine the future of prayers before legislative bodies throughout the U.S. The theologians seek to overturn the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s ruling in the case Galloway v. Town of Greece, which declared the town’s legislative prayers unconstitutional because they were not religiously diverse. A copy of the brief may be found here.
Chemerinsky Urges Compulsory Public Schooling and the Elimination (and Unconstitutionality?) of Private Schooling
Mirror of Justice: am not attending the AALS conference this year, but I thought to reproduce (with permission) a message on a constitutional law listserv that I’m on, written by Pepperdine law professor Mark Scarberry. Mark reports his impressions of a presentation by UC Irvine law dean Erwin Chemerinsky . . .
Gary Bauer at Human Events: More and more political analysts and weak-kneed politicians are advising the historically pro-life Republican Party to abandon its pro-life stance for political gain. My first response is that if you cannot trust a party on the value of defending human life, how can you trust it on issues like marginal tax rates. Still, consider this: A common but bogus attack on the GOP is that it rejects science. Notice I said bogus. Isn’t it ironic that just as science is proving the humanity of the unborn child some in the party of Lincoln are tempted to abandon the most defenseless Americans of all?
Pittsburgh Tribune; The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said the organization might sue over the filing of “sexting” charges against two Greensburg Salem Middle School students.
Public Opinion: Chambersburg Area School District community members are upset a Wisconsin organization is trying to end one of the district’s longest-standing traditions. By some reports, the CASHS’ Glee Club’s annual performance of “The Song of Christmas” has surpassed six decades.
WOUB.org: It has been a picture on the wall since the 1940s. Thousands of Jackson City Schools students have passed by the portait, perhaps some never realizing it was even there. Now a group based in Wisconsin, want the portait of Jesus Christ, that hangs above an entrance at Jackson Middle School, to be taken down, for what they say is a violation of the First Amendment.
ACLU: Former service members who are part of a class action lawsuit challenging a Defense Department policy that cuts in half the separation pay of those who have been honorably discharged for “homosexuality” will receive their full pay after a settlement announced today.
Christian Concern: Girlguiding UK are consulting the public on whether the Girlguiding Promise should be changed to “make it more meaningful to girls and women.”
Washington Post: Italian Premier Mario Monti, who is being backed by the Vatican in his bid for re-election, says gay rights issues — including gay marriage —should be decided by Parliament, not his government if he wins.
Casa Grand Dispatch: No legislature in the middle of the country has approved gay marriage. Of the nine states that allow it, Iowa is the only one not located on the nation’s coasts, and it adopted same-sex unions through the courts, not the Legislature.
TheRICatholic.com: The proposal to legalize “same-sex marriage” in the State of Rhode Island is immoral and unnecessary. Despite enormous political pressure, the General Assembly should stand firm, resist the current fashionable trend, and continue to uphold its longstanding commitment to marriage as traditionally defined.
Reuters: French Muslims have begun joining a mostly Catholic-led movement against same-sex marriage, widening opposition to the reform that the Socialist-led government is set to write into the law by June.
CNN: An anti-abortion group will not get a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on its appeal of federal law designating it as a political nonprofit that must disclose information about its financial donors.
Wesley Smith at National Review: Decadence is on the march! And now, a defense of pedophilia as just another “sexual orientation” has been published in the mainstream left wing UK newspaper The Guardian. From, “Paedophilia: Bringing Dark Desires Into the Light:” . . .
The Hill: U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller wrote Monday that Notre Dame’s claims of injury are not ripe and that the school does not have standing to bring them.
AP: Kansas’ law that restricts private health insurance coverage for abortions will go to trial to resolve whether it poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking to end pregnancies, a federal judge ruled Monday.
WBTW.com: The state of North Carolina is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that it can’t offer anti-abortion license plates unless it also makes plates available for people who support abortion rights.
Gary King at the NY Times: CONGRESS and President Obama have pushed through a relatively modest stopgap measure to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” but over the coming years, the United States will confront another huge cliff: Social Security.
Times Picayune: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is taking its fight for private school vouchers to the Louisiana Supreme Court, after a district court judge ruled that the way the state is financing the program is illegal.
The Guardian: Re-education through labour’ allows police to jail criminals without using courts and has targeted activists, claim critics.
NewsOK: Tom Colbert, sworn in as chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court the same week America was commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, recalled Friday the sacrifices that family members and others made for him to attain that position.
San Francisco Chronicle: Facing a tidal shift among voters embracing same-sex marriage, gay Republicans are offering their party a graceful retreat. But religious conservatives warn that retreat will doom the GOP.
NY Law Journal: The six-year renovation of the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square is nearing completion at a time when space is needed to accommodate a record number of federal judges in lower Manhattan.
Religion Clause Blog: In a Jan. 4 press release and a letter to parishioners from the Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina announced that it, along with 17 parishes, have filed suit against The Episcopal Church to establish the Diocese’s right to the real and personal property of the Diocese and its parishes.
LifeNews: The new report released by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) shows the abortion giant did a record 333,964 abortions on unborn children during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Those abortions were estimated to have generated $150 million dollars for the “nonprofit” organization.
Religion Clause Blog: The Day reports that on Friday, the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut filed suit in federal district court challenging the decision by the Norwich city planning commission not to extend a temporary permit allowing the St. Vincent de Paul Place soup kitchen to continue to operate in a former Catholic school building
Religion Clause Blog: In Chenzira v. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, (SD OH, Dec. 27, 2012), an Ohio federal district court held that a hospital customer service worker may be able to show that her employer’s refusal to accommodate her vegan beliefs amounted to religious discrimination under Title VII and state anti-discrimination laws. Plaintiff was fired for refusing to be vaccinated against the flu.
Alan Sears at Townhall: When a society’s laws recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman are changed to honor the unions of same-sex couples, it’s not just the law that changes—it’s also the society itself that changes. A top-down metamorphosis begins in which every aspect of public law changes to match the new definition of marriage.
LifeNews: Thomas G. Hungar, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, which includes the Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Medical Association, said in 2009 when the lawsuit was filed, “the language of the [Dickey-Wicker] statute is clear” that it “bans public funding for any research that leads to the destruction of human embryos.” . . . Sam Casey, General Counsel of Advocates International’s Law of Life Project, a public interest legal project involved in the case, pointed out that NIH officials have admitted they violated the public comment process by ignoring the majority of comments coming from pro-life advocates opposed to destroying unborn children for their stem cells.
Oregon Live: . Oregon voters passed the gay-marriage ban by nearly 57 percent, putting Oregon near the front of the state-by-state movement to formally seal off marriage from gay people. Today, Oregon is one of 31 states with constitutional bans.
AP: A Sri Lankan appeals court on Monday quashed a guilty verdict reached by lawmakers against the country’s chief justice in a much-criticized impeachment hearing, a move that could intensify a monthslong dispute between Parliament and the judiciary.
One News Now: In offering benefits to same-sex partners of employees, a Texas family values spokesman says a local school district is flagrantly violating the state’s constitution . . . Texas Values and the Alliance Defending Freedom are asking Attorney General Greg Abbott to rule this new policy unconstitutional.
Wall Street Journal: During the negotiations, the White House won a concession from Republicans to allow phaseouts for personal exemptions and limitations on itemized deductions, starting at an income of $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for joint filers.
Liberty Counsel: Today, Liberty Counsel will represent Rev. Scott Lively, an evangelical pastor who was sued by the foreign group called Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG). The suit heard by the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, alleges that Rev. Lively committed “crimes against humanity” in violation of “international law,” simply by sharing his Biblical views on homosexuality during a 2009 visit to Uganda.
“Americans should not be forced to pay for experiments that destroy human life, have produced no real-world treatments, and violate federal law–especially in burdened fiscal times like these. Congress designed a law to ensure that Americans don’t pay any more precious taxpayer dollars for needless research made irrelevant by adult stem cell and other research. That law is clear, and we had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold its clear intent.”
NY Times: With free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with diapers, parenting classes and even temporary housing, pregnancy centers are playing an increasingly influential role in the anti-abortion movement. While most attention has focused on scores of new state laws restricting abortion, the centers have been growing in numbers and gaining state financing and support.
William M. Briggs: The story informs us the birth mother is named Maude, while her live-in companion is called Delphine. The ex-fetus, miraculously made a human being at birth, is christened Sacha.
AP: The Supreme Court won’t stop the government’s funding of embryonic stem cell research, despite some researchers’ complaints that the work relies on destroyed human embryos.
CBC.ca: French President François Hollande says he backs a controversial letter from the education minister to the Catholic Church that asks that same-sex marriage not be discussed in classrooms.
FRC: We’re also grateful for their gutsy legal team–Tom Hungar of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Sam Casey of Law of Life Project, Steve Aden of Alliance Defending Freedom, and their colleagues, who gave this battle–and so many innocent lives–their absolute best.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Michael Norton tells OneNewsNow his firm is “very disappointed in this result, but we are not giving up.” “We have an opportunity, we think, to present some of these specifics to this judge, and we’re in the process of putting that together so that we can file a request that the judge reconsider this order and accept the specific evidence that we do have,” the attorney continues.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court on Monday released the schedule of oral arguments for the sitting that begins March 18, showing that the two cases on same-sex marriage will be heard — one on each day — on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27.
Stephen Moore at the Wall Street Journal: What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’ ”
FRC Blog (1/4 – links to filings): If you’ve lost track of where things are with the federal lawsuit to stop taxpayer funding of destructive embryonic stem cell research, here’s the update. | also posted at LifeNews