Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a Michigan School District a legal letter Friday after the ACLU formally complained about prayers at the conclusion of football games that school officials found to be voluntary and student-led.
Cold Canadian Front: Threats to religious liberty in Canada show what may be in store for the United States | World Mag
J.C. Derrick at World Magazine: The Christian leaders I spoke with know that religious freedom in Canada is still far better than in many countries around the world, but they’re also aware of the slow ebb of infringement upon liberties once enjoyed. Several stressed the need for Christians to affirm what they support, instead of stating what they are against, to help alleviate the tension. But Benjamin Bull, chief counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Global, told me that alone won’t stem the tide: “They sound very much like the cautious Jews in Germany in 1935, who said, ‘Let’s just keep our heads down and be good citizens and all of this will blow over.’ I’m not equating the Holocaust to what’s happening, but it’s extraordinarily dangerous not to confront [the growing threat].” [more]
David P. Goldman at PJ Media: George Zimmerman is a scapegoat to avoid confronting the main problem afflicting black people in the United States: the breakdown of the black family.
AP: A third federal appeals court has declared President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of three members of the National Labor Relations Board unconstitutional. | NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Company Southeast
Washington Post: Britain on Wednesday legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval, clearing the way for the first same-sex weddings next summer.
Kellie Fiedorek at Alliance Defending Freedom: Despite what you might have heard over the past couple of weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26th that the supporters of Prop 8 did not have the legal right to defend California’s marriage law in federal court did not impact the validity of the marriage law over 7 million Californians voted to enact.
MyFox9.com (includes video): With legal help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Pham ultimately settled with the city without going to court. In fact, Pham was so excited he even had the settlement agreement bronzed to confirm the statue will stay for years to come. “My reaction was, ‘Thank God,’” he said. “Here in the free country — no matter how big you are, how small I am, how rich you are, how poor I am — we have equal treatment.”
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys representing 10 Evansville area churches have filed a motion to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit over the display of up to 31 temporary six-foot-tall crosses at the Evansville riverfront being decorated by area churches to raise money for charity.
AP: A 2011 North Dakota law that outlaws one of two drugs used in nonsurgical abortions violates the state and U.S. constitutions, a state judge ruled Monday.
Alliance Defending Freedom has sent 174 school districts in Kentucky a legal letter after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened them with litigation if any of them refuse to ban Gideon Bible distribution at their schools.
SCOTUS Blog: Some uncertainty hangs over gay and lesbian marriage rights in the nation’s largest state nearly three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court had appeared to clear the way for those couples to wed, with its decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry. A series of legal maneuvers by the “Proposition 8″ supporters has put the issue back before the state’s highest court, which has given signs that it intends to act speedily.
AP: The California Supreme Court is refusing to order the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
LifeNews: After a day filled with pro-abortion threats, pro-life people hiding in secure areas of the capitol fearing for their safety, jars of feces and urine and protestors disrupting the Senate proceedings, democracy finally prevailed.
Students for Life of America at LifeSiteNews: The sound in the rotunda was like nothing we have had ever heard before. It was inhuman, almost demonic. They chanted slogans like, “Whose choice? My choice” and “Pray, You’ll Need It, Your Cause will be Defeated” while periodically breaking into primal screams that echoed around us.
Washington Post: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Sunday that he was open to allowing a vote on a House bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Joe Scarborough at Politico: A consumer of national news might be surprised to learn that a plurality of voters support a congressional bill that passed the House that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. And while 60 percent of Americans think that abortion should be legal in the first trimester, Leonhardt reports that almost 70 percent of Americans believe it should be illegal in the second trimester.
SCOTUS Blog: Arguing that the right of same-sex couples to get married in California actually exists now in no more than two of the state’s fifty-eight counties, the sponsors of the “Proposition 8″ ban on such unions returned to the California Supreme Court on Friday, seeking an order to block further marriage licenses for gays and lesbians.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the official proponents of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court Friday to order the state’s county clerks to enforce the state’s marriage amendment.
LA Times: Reinhardt noted that a lawyer arguing against Proposition 8 had admitted in court that Walker’s injunction “’determines only that Proposition 8 may not be enforced in two of California’s 58 counties.”
MI federal court refuses to stop contraception mandate, says “secular” company can’t exercise religion
Religion Clause Blog: In Mersino Management Co. v. Sebelius, (ED MI, July 11, 2013), a Michigan federal district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to bar enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate against a for-profit corporation and its two Catholic shareholders. The court said in part . . .
Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard: Can you name the attorney general of your state? I’m betting most folks can’t. There’s a reason. Campaigns for attorney general get scant media attention, causing voters to ignore down-ballot races. This is unfortunate, especially if you reside in a red state. Because in the past few years Republican attorneys general have become a growing force in national affairs. They’re not quite a conservative juggernaut, but they’re headed that way.
Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane announced Thursday afternoon she will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, calling the prohibition “wholly unconstitutional.”
“The well-being of young women is more important than the bottom line of abortionists. All this law has sought to do since 1995 is to uphold the duty and desire of parents to protect their own children rather than allow them to be taken advantage of by others. As the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously found, the law constitutionally encourages ‘an unmarried, pregnant minor to seek the help and advice of a parent or other adult family member in making the very important decision whether or not to bear a child.’ The ACLU kept this law from protecting women for more than 17 years, but that is now over.”
Tom Ciesielka at LifeNews: Illinois’ long-delayed Parental Notice of Abortion Act will finally go into effect within a matter of days thanks to the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling this morning that the law does not violate the Illinois Constitution.
Religion Clause Blog: In Black v. Wilkinson, (EWCA, July 9, 2013), Britain’s Court of Appeal held that the Christian owner of a bed and breakfast operated from her home violated he Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 by limiting her two double rooms to married heterosexual couples.
4th Circuit in Liberty U. case: Congress had Commerce Clause authority to pass Obamacare employer mandate
Liberty Counsel: Today the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond cleared the way for Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit, Liberty University v. Geithner, against the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). The court reached the legal issues and did not dismiss the case on procedural grounds. The Court agreed with Liberty Counsel on the procedural questions at issue: Liberty University and the individual plaintiffs have legal standing to bring the case, and the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) also does not bar the case from being heard. However, the court concluded that Congress had authority under the Commerce Clause to pass the employer mandate.
Washington Times: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid laid the groundwork Thursday morning for going “nuclear” and changing the Senate’s rules to end filibusters of executive branch nominees, saying that he’s changed his mind since the beginning of this year.
Ryan T. Anderson at Kansas City Star: Obama is right, though. And so is Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in his dissenting opinion, writing: “I would not tar the political branches with bigotry.” Kennedy’s words highlight a larger cultural dynamic: The principal strategy of the forces that have worked for 20 years to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions has been cultural intimidation – bullying others by threatening the stigma of being “haters” and “bigots.”
Las Vegas Sun: They say the judge could rule as soon as Aug. 6, when oral arguments are scheduled on a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Americans United for Life: In a second special session of the Texas Legislature, office holders will again consider a life-saving package of legislation aimed at reining in an unmonitored, unregulated and unsupervised abortion industry, as well as legislation based on AUL-model legislation that would require life-ending drugs to be administered only by following FDA protocols. The newly renamed bills, HB2 and SB2, would also limit abortions after 5 months of pregnancy, would require that abortions take place in facilities regulated like out-patient surgical facilities, and be performed only by physicians who have admitting privileges at local hospitals so that the best care possible would be given in a life-threatening emergency.
AP: A Senate panel has approved a bill that would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The appellants, a group of business entities that
AP: A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday evening to block enforcement of a new Wisconsin law that bans doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing abortions. | The Order | ACLU press release announcing the filing and complaint.
Mike McConnell at WSJ: Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so. This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked.
AP: The White House had no immediate response to Boehner’s demand.
CNSNews: Unborn babies who have reached at least 20 weeks of age in utero are aborted at a rate of about 30 per day in the United States, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Not Qualified For Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just Lie — Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility
Forbes: If you thought the delay in the employer mandate was bad news for Obamacare, just wait. On Friday, Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post discovered that the Obama administration had buried in the Federal Register the announcement that the government won’t be able to verify whether or not applicants for Obamacare’s insurance exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the aid, in the 16 states that are setting up their own exchanges.
Louisiana State University has adopted a new speech policy in the wake of an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit filed on behalf of a student restricted from distributing pro-life material beyond a 1,000 square-foot area on campus.
4th Circuit rules on whether gov’t can force speech of pro-life centers | Alliance Defending Freedom
Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City of Council of Baltimore, Nos. 11–1111, 11–1185. (4th Cir. July 3, 2013)
Invoking the First Amendment, the district court fully and permanently enjoined enforcement of a City of Baltimore Ordinance requiring limited-service pregnancy centers to post disclaimers that they do not provide or make referrals for abortions or certain birth-control services. The injunction emanated from the court’s award of summary judgment to plaintiff Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Incorporated, on its claim that the Ordinance is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause. See O’Brien v. Mayor of Balt., 768 F.Supp.2d 804, 812–17 (D.Md.2011). Crucially, however, the summary judgment decision was laden with error, in that the court denied the defendants essential discovery and otherwise disregarded basic rules of civil procedure. We therefore vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings, without comment on how this matter ultimately should be resolved.1
Guardian: The birth demonstrates how next-generation sequencing (NGS), which was developed to read whole genomes quickly and cheaply, is poised to transform the selection of embryos in IVF clinics. Though scientists only looked at chromosomes – the structures that hold genes – on this occasion, the falling cost of whole genome sequencing means doctors could soon read all the DNA of IVF embryos before choosing which to implant in the mother.
Newsmax (video from Steve Malzburg Show): The fight to revive Proposition 8 in California isn’t over yet, despite an eleventh-hour request to halt gay marriage being turned down, according to Joe Infranco, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom.
David Azerrad at Public Discourse: The Declaration of Independence contains the clearest, most concise, and most eloquent articulation of the American creed: a political definition of man in two axioms, and three corollary propositions on government . . . Natural human equality is the first axiom of the American creed . . . The second axiom of the American creed is that human beings are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” . . .
Ryan T. Anderson at Red State: Not only was the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act baseless and just plain wrong, you won’t learn much from reading Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion. Except that he thinks only bigotry can explain support for marriage as it was until the year 2000—a male-female union. You can learn something, however, from reading the three dissenting opinions closely. The conservative justices’ dissents are like flares signaling the path that marriage proponents must take from here.
Do Traditional Marriage Supporters Deserve to Be Treated with Dignity? | Jim DeMint at Heritage Foundation
Jim DeMint at Heritage Foundation: Justice Kennedy says we’re denying dignity to people in same-sex relationships. But it is his ruling that denies dignity to those who don’t think a same-sex relationship is a marriage. His ruling denies dignity to the millions of Americans and their elected officials who have voted to pass laws that tell the truth about marriage.
Washington Times (6/30): “I think regardless of what anybody thinks about same-sex marriage, everyone who cares about democracy should be concerned about this decision,” said John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. “It’s fundamentally undemocratic.”
The Hill: The Treasury Department said that the administration will start enforcing the mandate in 2015, rather than Jan. 1, 2014, in order to give business more time to prepare.
BBC: The UK looks set to become the first country to allow the creation of babies using DNA from three people, after the government backed the IVF technique.
LifeSite news reports and carries the video: “A second African president has rebuffed President Barack Obama’s promotion of homosexuality in foreign relations during his $100 million tour of the continent.”
National Journal: The Supreme Court may have given a boost for same-sex marriage supporters, but that doesn’t mean Rep. Tim Huelskamp is giving up. Late last week, the Kansas Republican introduced a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. To be sure, adding an amendment to the founding document of the United States is a long shot to say the least, even if it gains some attention in the beginning stages.
Washington Post: Now that the gay marriage fight is intensifying on the state level, how much will both sides spend on it over the next three years? Tens of millions of dollars. An array of groups has already mapped out plans to raise and spend millions between now and the end of 2016. Here is a look at some — but not all — of the key players . . .
NAACP, ACLU attack AZ bill prohibiting gender- and race-selection abortions, motion to intervene filed | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a motion to intervene Monday in a lawsuit filed by a branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others against an Arizona bill that prohibits gender- and race-based abortions.
The university fired Crystal Dixon, who works in the school’s Human Resources department, after she wrote a short op-ed responding to a local newspaper’s editorial that compared the efforts of homosexual activists to the black civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Supreme Court “carjacked the nation” with same-sex rulings, Perkins says | CBS Face the Nation Video
CBS Face the Nation Video: “We’re going to see a loss of religious freedom, there is no question about it – it’s already happening,” Perkins said. “We’re already seeing bakers and florists and photographers forced to participate in same-sex marriages under the threat of law and, in some cases, even jail. I can’t think of anything that’s more un-American than that.”
Same-sex marriage decisions beg question, should America’s new motto be ‘in polls we trust’? | Cal Thomas at Fox News
Cal Thomas at Fox News: The problem for people who believe in an Authority higher even than the Constitution is that in our increasingly secular and indifferent society it has become more difficult to persuade those who do not subscribe to an immutable standard to accept that view.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a pro-life student group filed a federal lawsuitFriday against the University at Buffalo for charging the group unconstitutional fees in order to exercise its freedom of speech.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Sunday declined to vacate Friday’s premature order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the lawsuit concerning California’s marriage amendment.
The legal team defending California’s marriage amendment filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to vacate a premature order that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued Friday. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys submitted the application to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the associate justice who decides such motions pertaining to the 9th Circuit.
AP: A federal judge on Friday blocked Michigan’s ban on domestic partner benefits for employees who work for public schools or local governments, saying state lawmakers simply wanted to punish gays and lesbians. U.S. District Judge David Lawson said plaintiffs who have lost benefits or were forced to buy expensive private health insurance have made a “plausible claim” that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
LA Times: The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California. The court lifted its stay on an injunction which ordered state officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8. With the court’s action, counties can now begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Alliance Defending Freedom is advising Delaware clerks of the peace that they do not have to violate their faith or conscience by solemnizing relationships inconsistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage.
One of the government’s top priorities should be to protect the health and safety of its citizens, and that’s all that Oklahoma is trying to do. The unapproved use of RU-486 has been traced to many side effects and the deaths of several women.
SCOTUS Blog: Edging closer to a new review of state power to restrict the right to abortion, the Supreme Court on Thursday added to its docket a case from Oklahoma, while indicating that it would not move ahead until it gets some answers from that state’s Supreme Court. If the case does go forward to a full-scale ruling by the Justices, it could be a test of state authority to ban abortions performed with medicines, rather than surgery.
How Appealing links to coverage and the ruling.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: Impact of voting, marriage rulings spreads
PBS: Obama: States Should All Recognize Marriage
Supreme Court Decisions Mean Marriage Debate More Important Than Ever | Jim DeMint at the Heritage Foundation
Jim DeMint at Heritage Foundation: We’ll be joining with millions of Americans to ensure that support for marriage gets even stronger. Citizens and their elected representatives have the constitutional authority to make policy that recognizes marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That’s why it was a bad decision for the Court to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court failed to recognize that, just as the states have constitutional authority to make state policy about marriage, Congress can pass a federal statute defining a term used in federal law—and that’s what DOMA has done for marriage.