Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Founders’ view of prayer should prevail at Supreme Court | Alan Sears, Joe Infranco at Washington Post
Alan Sears, Joe Infranco at Washington Post: A more noble vision united the Founders and moved them in their life-and-death struggle. They looked for a diversity of opinions and beliefs and had the wisdom to know that accommodating religion and morality were, in Washington’s words, “indispensible supports” to democracy. In belief and practice, they rejected paltry personal complaints like “offense” and instead respected their differences. We may have a larger circle of beliefs today, but we would do well to follow their example.
Denise M. Champagne at the Daily Record (pdf file): At left is Brett Harvey, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who is representing the Town of Greece, and at right is Heather Weaver, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. They both spoke on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Town of Greece v. Galloway, at a public forum co-sponsored by Genesee Valley Chapter of the NYCLU, the Rochester Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and the Monroe County Bar Association. The forum was held at Nixon Peabody offices in Rochester on Tuesday evening.
Missouri Family Policy Council: The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a Missouri law that provides benefits to the surviving spouses of deceased public safety officers. A St. Louis area man had challenged the law, claiming that it discriminated against him based on his “sexual orientation.” | Gossip v. Missouri Department Of
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: With lawyers in different cases arguing that theirs is the best one for the Supreme Court to use in deciding the legality of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law, the Court on Monday indicated that it will examine all four pending cases together later this month. The Court’s electronic docket said the four will be considered on November 26. If any are granted then or soon afterward, the Court probably would hear and decide them in the current Term.
Pa. Mennonite cabinetmakers answer Obama admin. in brief at Supreme Court | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to answer federal government arguments that downplayed the need for the court to fully hear a Pa. family business’s lawsuit against the Obamacare abortion pill mandate.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court took off of its docket, and thus will not decide, a plea by the state of Oklahoma to revive a law that restricts doctors’ use of drugs rather than surgery to perform an abortion. In a one-sentence order, the Court dismissed as “improvidently granted” the case of Cline, et al., v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice (docket 12-1094).
LifeNews: Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest recently said, “Oklahoma legislators acted to curb the dangerous misuse of life-ending drugs by requiring physicians to follow FDA protocols that better protect women’s lives and health. But once again, the Oklahoma Supreme Court put itself between the abortion industry and the U.S. Supreme Court by reverse-engineering statutory language to invalidate the Legislature’s common-sense regulation of life-ending drugs. The Court’s decision is a thinly-veiled attempt to shield its original opinion from further review.” “This kind of legal maneuvering now exposes women to the increased dangers of life-ending drugs when misused by abortion profiteers,” she added.
Alan Sears at Alliance Defending Freedom: The opening of another session of the U.S. Supreme Court brings to the forefront several key cases being litigated or funded by Alliance Defending Freedom – cases with profound implications for the future of your life and your religious freedom. I want to give you a glimpse of what’s coming . . .
Reuters: The battle pits two residents of an upstate New York town, backed by a civil liberties group advocating for the separation of church and state against a town supervisor supported by a prominent, evangelical Christian organization. Both groups – Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Alliance Defending Freedom – have multi-million dollar budgets and litigate on a variety of related issues, often against each other . . . “This is the culmination of a coordinated national campaign to challenge legislative prayer,” Brett Harvey, a lawyer with ADF, said of the Greece case. There have been 19 federal lawsuits challenging legislative prayer since 2005, according to ADF data. Americans United was directly involved in five and has had input into others. ADF has represented government defendants directly in six and was indirectly involved in another six, according to ADF. [more]
Chicago Tribune: The latest ruling brings to four the number of appeals courts to rule for employers, including preliminary decisions, while two others have ruled that the regulation must be complied with, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Obama administration and a Christian legal group called the Alliance Defending Freedom already have Supreme Court petitions pending in two different cases concerning the same issue.
The Hill: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday ordered all state National Guards to grant same-sex couples full benefits after nine states have refused to do so.
Fox News: A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit challenging the restrictions moves forward. | Opinion
16 states ask Supreme Court to affirm Ariz. law against abortions that cause babies pain | Alliance Defending Freedom
Sixteen states are among the parties that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week that encourage the high court to reverse a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision against an Arizona law restricting non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks.
“I have a rule: I don’t do weddings,” Justice Kennedy said. The reason has to do more with another doctrine he has championed: federalism. “I have a theory that federal judges can’t take authority from state laws,” including those that regulate family relations, he said.
Jess Bravin at the Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said he was surprised the issue of gay marriage came to the high court so soon, before the nation had time to become more accustomed to the idea.
he last straw, he says, was Georgetown’s invitation of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to be a commencement speaker in May of last year. Sebelius has a record of supporting abortion rights, and abortion is the issue that really sets Blatty’s nerves on fire. He describes, his voice trembling, a particular abortion procedure in graphic detail. He pauses. His voice is nearly a whisper. “That’s demonic.”
Eugene Volokh at Volokh Conspiracy: The case is today’s Ex parte Lo (Tex. Ct. Crim. App. Oct. 30, 2013) — from Texas’ highest criminal court — and the provisions truck down is Tex. Penal Code § 33.021(b) . . .
At-risk youth, taxpayers gouged in effort to exclude religious contractor | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a friend-of-the-court brief Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in support of the Jefferson County School Board’s decision to contract with a non-religious program for suspended or expelled students operated by a Christian academy.
Washington Post: A measure to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity was on the verge of securing a crucial 60 votes in the Senate on Wednesday as supporters homed in on a handful of Republicans who might be willing to back the proposal. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act . . .
Will Baude at the Volokh Conspiracy: Today, the Missouri Supreme Court decided Glossip v. Missouri D.O.T., a case brought by a man seeking survivor’s benefits from the death of his same-sex partner, a Missouri patrolman. Missouri does not let same-sex couples marry, nor recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere. But Missouri law provides survivor’s benefits only to married couples. So Glossip argued that the law discriminated unconstitutionally on the basis of sexual orientation. (He did not challenge Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage.) The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the law, 5-2.
Delaware Online: “We are encouraged and believe we have the law on our side,” said Brett Harvey of Alliance Defending Freedom, the national Christian-rights watchdog group representing Greece in its appeal of a lower court ruling that its prayer practices are unconstitutional. “This case has the potential to set precedent that will last for decades. The last time the court heard a similar case was 30 years ago.” . . . Harvey cautioned against unwarranted government intrusion. “No one starts out a prayer saying ‘To whom it may concern,’ ” he said. “Everyone who prays, prays to a God or concept that is meaningful to them. You stifle religious freedom if you have government decide which prayers are acceptable or not. Requiring generic prayer excludes the devout.”
AP: Britain’s highest court has ruled in favor of a hospital that gained court approval to withhold treatment from a terminally ill man despite the family’s opposition. | Judgment and Court’s Press Release
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Monday to the Bordentown Regional School District after administrators decided to ban religious Christmas music during winter concert performances at elementary schools within the district.
BuzzFeed: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban most employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, was passed out of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with bipartisan support earlier this year.
Lyle Denniston reports at SCOTUS Blog: The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled today that a 2011 state law — now awaiting review by the Supreme Court — is so broad that it would outlaw all abortions done with medications, rather than surgery. The state court was answering two questions sent to it by the Justices last June, when they agreed to hear a case with state officials seeking to defend the law’s constitutionality (Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice).
Bloomberg: Texas asked a federal appeals court in New Orleans for an emergency order blocking a U.S. judge’s ruling yesterday in Austin striking down some state abortion restrictions as it seeks to enforce new limits on the procedure that were set to take effect today.
ABA Journal: At issue in Hunter v. Virginia State Bar (PDF) was a blog maintained by Horace F. Hunter, one of the two attorneys at Hunter & Lipton in Richmond. The noninteractive blog, This Week in Richmond Criminal Defense, which is accessible through the firm’s website, discussed a variety of legal issues and cases. But most of the posts described cases in which Hunter obtained favorable results for clients.
The health and safety of women is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line–including the bottom line of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion seller. The court was wrong to say that Texas can’t protect women by requiring an abortionist to have privileges at a local hospital where they can be treated in the event of complications.
AP: New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled.
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review: If we start thinking that we are above politics, we need to remember that if we don’t get our hands dirty paying attention to who it is we are electing, and to policy and pending decisions, we are shirking a responsibility. Disengagement is dangerous. Engagement is our civic duty.
Star Parker at LifeSiteNews: Our massive entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — now make up about 45 percent of our current federal budget. These programs are overwhelmingly driven by the demographics of the country, mostly directly, but also indirectly. Their economics are driven both by how long we live but also by how many children we have.
Religion Clause Blog: In Eden Foods, Inc. v. Sebelius, (6th Cir., Oct. 24, 2013), the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a preliminary injunction to a for-profit natural foods corporation and its Catholic owners who claim that the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act violates their free exercise rights as protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: The new case, Horne v. Isaacson (docket 13-402), is from Arizona, and the 2012 law at stake would prohibit a woman from having an abortion at twenty weeks or later in pregnancy — three or four weeks before the commonly accepted point at which a fetus could survive if born alive (that is, the point of fetal “viability”).
The Guardian: What happens to a country when its young people stop having sex? Japan is finding out… Abigail Haworth investigates.
Calif. school district: choirs can’t perform at best acoustic venues if they’re churches | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a California school district a letter Tuesday after its superintendent barred school choirs from performing at venues with superior acoustics merely because they are churches.
18 states encourage Supreme Court to hear Pa. abortion pill mandate case | Alliance Defending Freedom
Eighteen states are among the parties that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week that encourage the high court to accept a Pa. family business’s lawsuit and declare the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate unconstitutional.
Washington Post: More than half the nation’s attorneys general want the Supreme Court to revisit the Affordable Care Act in the coming months. Attorneys general in 29 states urged the court in filings this week to review lower-court decisions on the landmark health care law’s contraception mandate, but they were split over which of two cases the court should focus on.
Charles Glenn at First Things: Religious liberty and educational reform both require the end of the public school monopoly
Monica Showalter at Investor’s Business Daily: The focus was on family, not what Marxism could do for the working class. But unlike economic classes such as Kulaks or aristocrats who had fallen into his disfavor, women couldn’t be liquidated. Their favored institutions could, however, and that’s why Lenin specifically targeted marriage and family in his effort to build a “New Soviet Man.” Five elements stand out in how Lenin and his Bolsheviks used propaganda to get women to support his revolution.
State-Journal Register: Praying the rosary for marriage equality is “blasphemous,” Paprocki said in a statement. “It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy . . .
Russell Moore at ERLC: The headline, as is often the case with headlines, is awfully misleading. I am not calling, at all, for a “pullback” from politics or engagement. If anything, I’m calling for more engagement in the worlds of politics, culture, art, labor and so on. It’s just that this is a different sort of engagement. It’s not a matter of pullback, but of priority.
Wis. Supreme Court to hear arguments on legal unions imitating marriage | Alliance Defending Freedom
Volokh Conspiracy: This morning, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss inHalbig v. Sebelius, a suit challenging the legality of an IRS rule authorizing tax credits for the purchase of health insurance on federally run exchanges.
Mr. Moore, a 42-year-old political independent and theologian who heads the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, says it is time to tone down the rhetoric and pull back from the political fray, given what he calls a “visceral recoil” among younger evangelicals to the culture wars. “We are involved in the political process, but we must always be wary of being co-opted by it,” Mr. Moore said in an interview in his Washington office, a short walk from Congress. “Christianity thrives when it is clearest about what distinguishes it from the outside culture.”
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog reports: The Obama administration on Monday evening filed three documents in the Supreme Court responding to Affordable Care Act petitions.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneysMonday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a split U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision that allows local governments to impose stricter regulations on temporary church signs than other temporary, non-commercial signs.
AP: 4 Same-sex Couples File Lawsuit In Tennessee Four same-sex couples legally married in other states have filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s law that prohibits recognition of their marriages. National Center for Lesbian Rights press release: Same-Sex Couples File Marriage …
USA Today: Hours after same-sex couples lined up Monday across the state to marry, Gov. Chris Christie dropped his administration’s efforts to end gay marriage.
Pew Research: Virtually all of the recent court challenges have argued that the state bans on same-sex marriage are incompatible with the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision (U.S. v. Windsor).
LifeNews: In a major victory for Canadians fighting against euthanasia, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled today that doctors can’t remove a patient’s life support without their consent. The Canadian Supreme Court heard the case of stroke patient Hassan Rasouli, a 61-year-old man with severe cognitive impairments. | Opinion: Cuthbertson v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53
The Wichita Eagle: The Kansas Supreme Court unanimously ruled Friday to indefinitely suspend former state Attorney General Phill Kline from practicing law in Kansas after determining he violated professional conduct rules. | Opnion: In the matter of Phillip Dean Kline
AP: France’s constitutional court has ruled that mayors cannot refuse to carry out same-sex marriages just because they oppose them.
Jim DeMint at the Wall Street Journal: Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it’s worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.
lliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health filed suit Thursday over $14 million in taxpayer dollars that the state has provided to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
Chen Guangcheng at Public Discourse: Renowned human-rights activist Chen Guangcheng calls on American citizens to recognize that China’s barbaric violations of human dignity threaten justice on a global scale. Americans must take practical, immediate actions, no matter how small, to abolish these atrocities.
Buzzfeed (includes text of memo): Oregon Chief Operating Officer and Director of Administrative Services Michael Jordan issued a memo to state agencies Wednesday ordering the recognition of all legal marriages performed outside of the state — including the marriages of same-sex couples. “Oregon agencies must recognize all out-of-state marriages for the purposes of administering state programs,” Jordan states in the memo. “That includes legal, same sex marriages performed in other states and countries.”
KATU.com (includes video): “Same-sex marriage decision leaves Oregon in an ironic spot”
AP: Racial tensions and gang problems were plaguing a Northern California high school when three students arrived for classes in 2010 wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.
All Americans, including family business owners, have the constitutionally protected freedom to live and do business according to their faith. The Obama administration has been attempting to deprive Americans of this cherished liberty.
Willamette Week: Opponents of Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage have filed a lawsuit in federal court today, asking a judge to overturn it. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by Portland attorneys Lake Perriguey and Lea Ann Easton on behalf of two gay couples, seeks to have 2004′s Measure 36 ruled unconstitutional. | Geiger v. Kitzhaber
AP: A federal judge stunned the courtroom Wednesday by saying he’ll hold a trial before deciding whether to overturn Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The Times-Picayune: The St. Joseph Abbey monks will be able to legally sell handcrafted caskets from their St. Tammany Parish monastery near Covington after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by Louisiana’s board of funeral directors to overturn an appeals court ruling that allowed the monks to sell caskets without a funeral director’s license.
‘She gave her eggs, I carried the baby’: ‘Two-mom’ IVF approach allows lesbian couples to share pregnancy role
Daily Mail: Fertility clinics have put a new twist on how to make babies: A ‘two-mom’ approach that lets female same-sex couples share the biological role. One woman’s eggs are mixed in a lab dish with donor sperm, then implanted in the other woman, who carries the pregnancy.
Religion Clause Blog: The Thomas More Society announced that a petition for certiorari (full text) was filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the 6th Circuit’s decision in Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius.
AP: Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that anti-abortion backers turned in signatures to put the ballot measure to voters next year. The question would direct state lawmakers to add “unborn human beings” to state criminal code.
The war on Christians: The global persecution of Christians is the unreported catastrophe of our time
John L. Allen, Jr. at The Spectator: According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith. In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs. The carnage is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents not only the most dramatic Christian story of our time, but arguably the premier human rights challenge of this era as well.