KnoxNews.com: If the state Court of Appeals upholds a lower court’s ruling that Rutherford County officials held an illegal meeting when they approved plans for a new mosque, the question will be, “What next?”
NC Register: Those who testified against a Colorado civil unions bill last week included a Catholic man with same-sex attraction and a Colorado attorney general who was adopted through Catholic Charities.
LifeNews: Under the leadership of Chairman Sam Mims, R-McComb, the Mississippi State House of Representatives passed pro-life Senate Bill 2795 by a vote of 76 to 31 yesterday.
Bloomberg: The Feb. 28 Virginia ruling is the first appellate decision addressing the application of the First Amendment to lawyer blogging, according to Bloomberg BNA Law Reports. The question of when and how attorneys may market themselves via blogs and websites has become a hot topic in legal circles. | Hunter v. Va. State Bar
KnoxNews.com: State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville and Rep. Rick Womick of Rockvale said Wednesday in a news release that they instead will focus on persuading voters to pass a proposed constitutional amendment on abortion.
National Review: Washington’s statement could easily have been aimed at the anti–Electoral College National Popular Vote effort, which is currently working to win support in several states. The measure has been approved by committees in Minnesota and Oklahoma and is pending on the Minnesota House and Oklahoma Senate floor. NPV is still pending in and could soon be approved by Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island legislative committees.
Christian Newswire: Today, Mississippi resident and post abortive mother Anne Reed filed a Life at Conception Citizen’s Initiative, which states: “The right to life begins at conception. All human beings, at every stage of development, are unique, created in God’s image and shall have equal rights as persons under the law.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Colorado mortgage banking company co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate.
Ed Whelan at National Review Bench Memos: Taking the opposite position, an amicus brief submitted by six “federalism scholars” in the pending challenge to DOMA (in United States v. Windsor) contends that section 3 “is an unconstitutional and unprecedented incursion into States’ police powers.” I find the brief’s arguments badly confused and utterly unpersuasive. Let’s consider them . . .
National Review Editors: And of course there is no suggestion in the Constitution — not the barest wisp of one — that this conception of marriage is impermissible. The country did not mandate recognition of same-sex marriage by every state in the union when it ratified the 14th Amendment in 1868, and not even the Obama administration thought it did until Thursday.
World Net Daily: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor pointed out that “neither the U.S. nor the Colorado constitutions allow a school that meets all other qualifications to be kept out of a religiously neutral program solely because the school’s core values are grounded in religious convictions.” “These schools provide an excellent education that meets all state standards,” he said. “It is good that they will continue to be welcomed into voucher programs like this one so that students, the community, and the government will all benefit.”
CNSNews: Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who serves as the top judge at the Vatican, recently stated that Catholic politicians who support abortion must not receive Holy Communion.
Christian Institute: Former Government Minister Ann Widdecombe is urging David Cameron to listen to his own party on the issue of same-sex marriage if he wants to stay in his position beyond the next election.
CNSNews: Opponents of homosexual “marriage” are planning to hit Washington, D.C. on Mar. 26 for a rally and protest march in support of California’s Proposition 8, which is set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court the same day.
Christian Institute: The BBC will broadcast an Easter programme saying the way Britain treats gay people is like the crucifixion of Jesus. Critics say the BBC has sunk “to a new low” by using the crucifixion to push a gay rights message. The programme will be broadcast on Radio 4 as part of a series of lectures in the run up to Easter.
AP: A new TV commercial features a good-looking young woman on a beach vacation lounging next to a good-looking young man. He bemoans the glare on his iPad and she fills him in on the Kindle Paperwhite’s sun-friendly screen
LifeNews: The Republican House voted 56-33 on Wednesday to override after the state Senate voted yesterday to do the same thing. The bill arrived on Beebe’s desk after clearing the Senate, 26-8, and the House, 68-20.
Washington Post: A lesbian whose adoption request was recently denied by Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court is appealing the ruling.
Salt Lake Tribune: Legislation to establish the Utah Marriage Commission in statute headed toward home plate Wednesday as lawmakers unanimously advanced HB147 out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Peter Sprigg at Washington Times: The number of flip-flops President Obama has now performed on the issue of marriage would be impressive for an Olympic gymnast. He was for homosexual marriage (in a 1996 Illinois state Senate campaign), then against it (in his 2008 presidential run), then for it again (in a widely publicized interview last May)
ABC: Two Detroit-area nurses filed a lawsuit to try to overturn restrictions on adoption by same-sex partners. But at the judge’s invitation, the case took an extraordinary turn and now will test the legality of a 2004 constitutional amendment that stipulates Michigan only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman.
Dallas Morning News: The latest assault on Planned Parenthood was launched Tuesday with a committee hearing a proposal to ban the organization from teaching or supplying materials about sex education to schools.
News & Tribune: A controversial bill that imposes new state requirements on clinics that offer the abortion pill is likely headed for a constitutional challenge if passed and signed into law, as expected.
LifeNews: The Obama administration should understand that it cannot force Americans to abandon their beliefs at the door of the workplace,” says Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The Constitution simply doesn’t allow the government to involve itself in religion by deciding what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where their faith may be lived out. Confining our faith to our homes and our churches is not the job of Washington bureaucrats.” “Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences whether they are at home, church, or work,” adds lead counsel Jonathan R. Whitehead, one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. [more]
Statesman.com: The abortion war, always simmering at the Texas Legislature, rose in intensity this week with Republican-backed legislation to ban the procedure after 20 weeks of gestation and a House Democrat’s effort to roll back a 24-hour waiting period approved in 2011 as part of the pre-abortion sonogram law.
LifeSiteNews: Prompted by the death of a third trimester abortion patient of LeRoy Carhart’s on February 7, 2013, seventeen members of the Maryland House of Delegates have sent a formal letter to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) seeking clarification of the state’s new abortion clinic licensing regulations that went into effect last year.
Steve Aden at Constituting America: During the founding era, Alexander Hamilton had written Federalist 78, to assure those wary of a strong federal judiciary that “[T]he judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution,” because it holds neither the power of the sword, as the Executive (Presidential) Branch does, nor the power of the purse strings, as the Legislative Branch (Congress) does. “It may truly be said to have neither force nor will,” Hamilton said, “but merely judgment.”
LifeSiteNews: Now she has left all of that behind, including a very lucrative financial settlement stemming from the arrest. She has chosen a life that confounds the culture of death, which depends on the clamor and ceaseless distraction of the modern world to drown out the quiet voice of conscience.
Supreme Court Petition Challenging Injunction Against Display of “Gruesome Images” Where Children Can See Them
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: Monday I filed a cert petition in Scott v. Saint John’s Church in the Wilderness, together with co-counsel Rebecca Messall, Thomas Brejcha, Peter Breen, and Jocelyn Floyd. I’m pleased to say that I’ve taken on the project pro bono, because I think it involves a very important First Amendment issue.
SCOTUS Blog: Greenhouse and Siegel use the source materials republished in the book to challenge the conventional wisdom that, “if the Court had stayed its hand or decided Roe v. Wade on narrower grounds, the nation would have reached a political settlement and avoided backlash.” Once again, Linda Greenhouse has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her work on this subject.
Washington Times: President Obama’s effort to reshape the federal judiciary will enter a new phase of open warfare with Republican lawmakers Wednesday when the Senate votes on whether to break the filibuster of Caitlin Halligan’s nomination for a seat on the prestigious D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
ENIDnews.com: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that invalidated a state anti-abortion statute. | Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice
London Evening Standard: The Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister has also described himself as not an “active believer” in God, although he has said he is committed to bringing up his children in the Catholic faith. His wife is a Catholic.
TDN.com: In response to a citizen complaint, Mayor Don Jensen told the Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association last month it was “not acceptable” to invoke the name of Jesus Christ during the prayer because it could expose the city to a lawsuit.
Roll Call: The Senate voted 51-41 to end debate on the nomination, nine votes shy of the 60 needed to move forward. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to cross party lines, voting to invoke cloture.
Rapid City Journal: Father Nathan Sparks, a reverend at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, gave the invocation at Monday’s council meeting, opening with scripture and ending in Christ’s name. The prayer marked another week the city council continues its stand against the Freedom From Religion Foundation . . .
Phayul.com: Around 200 Tibetans from all over Switzerland took part in a special solidarity prayer vigil in front of the United Nations office in Geneva yesterday.
CBN: The decision comes after the Cave Spring City attorney Zach Burkhalter advised council members the law restricts what prayers can be said at council meetings, but it doesn’t prohibit all prayers from being spoken.
TampaBay.com: High school students should know the difference between right and wrong, a St. Pete man told the Pinellas County school board at a town hall meeting Tuesday night. But elementary school students might not, and they could benefit from prayer in school, he said. Would the Pinellas school board consider it?
TribLive.com: Allegheny County nonprofits that own tax-exempt properties will likely receive one or more of 2,800 letters this week asking them to prove to the Office of Property Assessments that they deserve the tax break.
Prospectus News: Another individual who spoke against the bill that night was Kellie Fiedorek, a member of Alliance Defending Freedom, who brought up other reasons for opposing the bill. “I analyzed this bill and it contains no language that will provide comprehensive safeguards for the religious freedom of citizens and religious organizations in the state of Illinois,” Fiedorek explained. “No language that purports to address, let alone protect, the right to religious freedom of every citizen.”
NC Register: Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing a number of plaintiffs in HHS cases, also welcomed the proposed legislation. While the Alliance Defending Freedom has argued in court that the federal contraception mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Bowman told the Register that the proposed conscience-rights bill “is more specific; it blocks the administration’s hostility to religion possibly without having to rely on the courts, and it makes court action to protect religious freedom more swift.”
Life News: The new Continuing Resolution introduced in the House of Representatives does not include the conscience protections against the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate that pro-life advocates were hoping for.
Wesley J. Smith at National Review: Alliance Defending Freedom has won another preliminary injunction against the free-birth-control rule based on the religious objections of a business owner, this time for a Missouri plumbing-supply company called Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co. Inc. What is interesting is that the injunction was unopposed by the feds. Welcome, but odd . . .
Todd Starnes at Townhall: The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.
Christian Newswire: World Congress of Families invites pro-family leaders, activists and scholars to join delegates from over 80 countries at World Congress of Families VII (May 15-18, 2013) at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney . . . Other distinguished speakers include: . . . Roger Kishka (Alliance Defending Freedom) . . .
Religion Clause Blog: Last year the Czech Republic passed a law on return of church property confiscated during the country’s Communist regime. Under the law, the government will return land worth 75 billion crowns and will pay additional compensation of 59 billion crowns over the next 30 years.
Religion Clause Blog: A New York Jewish Week article today speculates that dramatic changes in the relationship of religion and government could be in the offing in Israel as Benjamin Netanyahu moves to form a coalition government that may exclude the haredi (strictly Orthodox) Shas and United Torah Judaism parties
AP: Germany’s foreign minister says Berlin will fight a European Union proposal to introduce mandatory quotas for the number of women on the boards of private companies.
The Hill: In a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, two legal scholars said that the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would be held constitutional despite arguments it would infringe upon the power of the Executive Branch.
AP: The court says in its Wednesday ruling that the law organizing the elections must be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its conformity to the constitution.
Doug Cook at MercatorNet: Australian activists for same-sex marriage have always insisted, that it will not lead to polygamy or polyamory. Never, ever, ever. Gay marriage is just like traditional marriage, except for the sex of the spouse. Activist Rodney Croome wrote last year that “studies show most LGBTI people want to be part of a two-person marriage, while partners in polyamorist relationships (most of which begin as heterosexual unions) say they don’t want their relationships recognised as marriages.” Former Greens leader Bob Brown described a push for polyamory as “nonsense”. | Hat tip: Ruth Institute