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Blog of the Legal Times: Those nominees – Richard Taranto for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Robert Bacharach for the Tenth Circuit and William Kayatta Jr. for the First Circuit – all had their nominations languish in the full Senate, never getting a confirmation vote for months. To continue to be considered, the White House had to renominate them this session.
Trib.com: President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Wyoming Attorney General Gregory Phillips for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Seattle Times: Advocates on both sides of the abortion issue packed a Washington state House hearing to debate a measure requiring insurers to pay for abortions, in addition to the maternity care they’re already mandated to provide.
BuzzFeed: Originally formed to repeal DOMA in Congress, LGBT rights organizations are building a coalition to fight for “securing the freedom to marry nationwide.”
EU Court Holds Hearing On Right Of Religious Groups To Make Employment Decisions Based On Religious Affiliation
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On wednesday, 30 January, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg held a hearing in a case concerning the right of churches to choose employees based on religious affiliation.
Christian Institute: Parents need to protect children from the “porn” version of sexuality that has “saturated” the online world, a Daily Telegraph columnist has warned
Politico: State demographers say California’s Hispanic population will equal that of whites within six months and exceed it early next year — a milestone in the country’s racial and ethnic shifts.
WorldNetDaily: The Boy Scouts of America’s apparent decision to reverse a century-old policy to bar homosexuals from its ranks coincides with a sudden drop in major corporate funding that began last summer after a gay-rights blogger for the Huffington Post published a collaborative report that named the donors and chastised them for violating their own policy of not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. At the same time, two prominent board members – including an adviser to the Obama White House – were carrying out a vow to change the policy from within.
CNSNews: Newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Iran’s “continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion” and urged the release of an American Christian pastor imprisoned for his religious beliefs.
CNSNews: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made $64.2 billion in “improper payments” in fiscal 2012, according to the federal website PaymentAccuracy.
Stefano Gennarini at C-FAM: A major disagreement among demographic experts threatens to upend efforts to include population control and family planning programs in the United Nations new development agenda. Experts who view population growth as an obstacle to development are criticizing the “laissez-faire attitude” of developing countries toward population growth and high fertility. Yet other experts disagree, saying that population control and family planning are not essential to development strategies.
Austin Ruse at C-Fam: Policy makers around the world are regularly informed by seemingly authoritative sources that “sexual orientation and gender identity” are new categories of non-discrimination in international law. What this means is that national and international laws have to change to accept the idea that homosexuality and its various permutations including transvestitism cannot be discriminated against in any way.
ZimDiaSpora: THE draft constitution approved by Global Political Agreement (GPA) leaders and set to be tabled before Parliament on February 8 makes same-sex marriage a criminal offence.
San Francisco Chronicle: In the interview, Cordileone also warned against using the phrase “gay marriage” because saying the phrase might fool people into thinking it’s a legitimate pursuit that is simply lacking the government’s approval.
Delaware Online: Norman Spector and George Everett, who live just south of Smyrna, said they wouldn’t have missed a Wednesday night gathering that kicked off a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Delaware.
Citizen Link: Alliance Defending Freedom filed its brief Tuesday, arguing that the court should affirm the validity and rational basis of California’s marriage amendment. “Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks.
7th Circuit suspends abortion pill mandate for family-run auto lighting co. | Alliance Defending Freedom
“Americans have the God-given freedom to live and do business according to their faith. Forcing employers to surrender their faith in Aorder to earn a living is unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. Freedom is not the government’s to give and take away when it pleases. We are pleased that the court delivered the Obama administration a reminder of this foundational truth, and we are confident that this unconstitutional mandate’s days are numbered.”
7th Circuit Enjoins Enforcement of Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Against Catholic-Owned Small Business
Religion Clause Blog: In Grote v. Sebelius, (7th Cir., Jan. 30, 2013), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision issued an injunction pending appeal to prohibit enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a Catholic-owned for-profit small business and its owners.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the exclusion of a Christian pre-school and daycare center from a Missouri program that provides recycled tires for children’s playgrounds. Although the state highly ranked the center as qualified for the program, it denied its application solely because it is run by a church.
Ryan T. Anderson at Heritage Foundation: Contrary to what some say, there is no ban on same-sex marriage. Nothing about it is illegal. In all 50 states, two people of the same sex can choose to live together, choose to join a religious community that blesses their relationship, and choose a workplace offering them various joint benefits. Many liberal houses of worship and progressive businesses have voluntarily decided to do so. There’s nothing illegal about this. There’s no ban on it. What’s at issue is whether the government will recognize such relationships as marriages—and then force every citizen and business to do so as well. At issue is whether policy will coerce and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages.
LifeSiteNews: Ontario’s new Premier Kathleen Wynne promised to bring back a controversial sex-ed program at her first news conference after winning the leadership of Ontario’s Liberals party.
LifeSiteNews: A Supreme Court of Canada decision that upheld Quebec’s laws which provide rights to married couples that do not apply to couples merely living together has been applauded by pro-family organizations as a recognition of the unique and distinctive role that true marriage plays in society.
LifeSiteNews: Over the weekend, the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales distributed one million postcards for churchgoers to send to MPs asking for the defeat of the legislation.
LifeNews: A coalition of African-American pro-life activists have had their Twitter account suspended after firing off Tweets challenging the NAACP over its position favoring abortion.
Women in Combat and the Constitutionality of Male-Only Draft Registration | Ilya Somin at Volokh Conspiracy
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: The Pentagon’s recent decision to open up combat roles to women has led legal scholar Gerard Magliocca wonder whether our current system of male-only draft registration is still constitutional. Conservative commentator Dave Carter predicts that the courts will rule that it is not, and women will be made subject to the draft.
Aaron Zelinsky at Huffington Post: The federal judicial branch is in crisis. No, I’m not talking about marriage equality, the Voting Rights Act, or corporate financing of elections. Judges have a problem with how they hire their law clerks.
Cleveland.com: “While I recognize capital punishment is the law of the land, I cannot participate in what I consider to be a violation of the Constitution I have sworn to uphold,” O’Neill wrote in his dissent.
Religion Clause Blog: In Eau Claire County v. Borntreger, (WI App., Jan. 29, 2013) . . . Defendant’s religious objections to installing smoke detectors does not excuse non-compliance with the requirement that the building be structurally sound.
2nd Circuit Upholds Middle School’s Exclusion of Religious Blessing From Student’s Speech At School Ceremony
Religion Clause Blog: In A.M. v. Taconic Hills Central Hills School District, (2d Cir., Jan. 30, 2013), the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a free speech claim by a middle school student, the co-president of student council, who was not permitted to include a religious blessing at the end of her remarks at the school’s Moving-Up Ceremony.
AP: “You’re encouraging methods that are illegal in our country, that are an attack on human dignity,” Jean-Francois Cope, the opposition leader, accused her on Wednesday. “Children become objects, objects that can be bought and sold.”
AP: Forty-seven-year-old Kenneth Miller was convicted last summer of helping Lisa Miller and her daughter leave the country in September 2009 to avoid sharing custody with her former partner.
AP: The Rev. Robert Jeffress has changed the way he talks about homosexuality from the pulpit . . . But Jeffress said he was concerned that some other evangelical pastors were shirking this responsibility. “My sense is that people are just avoiding the subject, by and large,” he said. “They are so bent on trying to add to the numbers of their churches that they don’t want to disenfranchise new members or be characterized as unfriendly.”
AP: San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying “that’s not what I feel in my heart.”
National Review: Republicans — and for that matter, sensible Democrats — who have been silent about the new policy should speak up against it. Those who have prematurely endorsed it should read General Dempsey’s words, and reconsider. This policy barely even pretends to serve the goal of military effectiveness, which means it is not in the best interests of men or women, inside the Armed Forces or out.
World Net Daily: “No one should be ostracized because they don’t share the same sexual agenda as an activist group that opposes school choice,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The Constitution protects the right of private, Christian schools to teach and follow biblical principles. Any efforts to prevent these schools from participating in the state’s tax credit scholarship program would violate the First Amendment freedoms of these schools and the students who attend them,” Cortman added.
Hawaii Legislature Unwise to Take up Marriage Redefinition Now | Jim Hochberg at the Hawaii Reporter
Hawaii Reporter: James Hochberg is an Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney, local counsel for Hawaii Family Forum in its defense of Hawaii’s marriage laws in federal court, and president of Hawaii Family Advocates. He previously served as one of seven commissioners on the Hawaii Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law.
No Margin of Error for Military Chaplains Dealing with Same-Sex Couples | Ron Crews at American Thinker
Ron Crews at American Thinker: More and more, it is becoming evident that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) simply hasn’t satisfied many of those who pushed for it. As a result, any misstep or miscommunication by a military chaplain is exploited to the fullest in hopes of garnering even more benefits and privileges for military same-sex couples.
Equality on Trial: Their brief in Windsor is largely focused on the Tenth Amendment arguments raised mostly in Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services, decided by the First Circuit Court of Appeals (consolidated with Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.) The brief also focus on Congress’ ability to define its own terms for federal purposes. In their summary of the argument, they discuss the longstanding use of federal definitions in different contexts and then write . . .
One News Now: Legislators in Virginia are considering a bill that would allow students to object to secular teachings that violate their religious beliefs; and a school board in South Carolina is trying to decide how it can pray before meetings.
Jon A. Shields at Public Discourse: Pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike should consider a constitutional amendment that would allow, but not require, states to ban abortion in the second trimester.
The Hill: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Wednesday said he and freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are putting forward legislation that would cut the salaries of the two National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members who were recess-appointed last year.
AlbertMohler.com: I write as a former Boy Scout, who retains great love and admiration for Scouting and all that it has meant to generations of boys. This new policy will transform the culture of the Boy Scouts. This is exactly what those who demand the policy change are expecting. As the announcement made clear, this is no small alteration or adjustment. The new policy to be adopted by the Boy Scouts of America represents a revolution in what that esteemed organization understands “morally straight” to mean. We should not let that pass without taking notice of what that revolution will eventually bring about — nothing less than a reversal of what morality is understood to demand.
Israel National News: The United Nations says Israel must withdraw all of its citizens from the regions of Judea and Samaria. The recommendation came in a report issued Thursday by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has a history of passing numerous biased resolutions condemning Israel for various alleged ‘crimes’ each year.
NY Times: Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation.