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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.
“Pleased by court rulings, backers of gay marriage now gird for fight to extend it nationwide” | Star Tribune (AP)
David Crary at Star Tribune (AP): Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, suggested that efforts to end that division would not be easy, given that many states have electorates that seem solidly opposed to gay marriage. “The fight is far from over,” Rauch wrote in a commentary. “By refusing to override those majorities, the court green-lighted the continuation, probably for a decade or more, of state-by-state battles over marriage.” . . . “The debate over marriage has only just begun,” said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.
The Hill: Gay rights lobbyists plan to use their victory at the Supreme Court to push legislation that would ensure married same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits in all 50 states.
Ken Kuklowski at Breitbart: News reports that California’s Prop 8 has been struck down as unconstitutional are completely false.
IMPORTANT analysis from legal scholars linked toward the bottom of this post. _________ The opinion is here (official server) and here (Alliance Alert server). KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., …
Roundup Cal. Prop. 8 marriage case: Cal. Gov. orders issuance of licenses, 9th Circuit says not so fast
This post will be updated as the day progresses. ________ The opinion is here (Supreme Court server) and here (Alliance Alert server). RTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which SCALIA, GINSBURG, BREYER, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. …
AP: A Montana judge says a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus that was placed on federal land on Big Mountain near Whitefish nearly 60 years ago can remain. KAJ18.com: Judge rules Big Mountain Jesus statue will stay A federal judge has …
SCOTUS Blog case information page in Shelby County v. Holder is here. The 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice Roberts is here. SCOTUS Live Blog: The Court makes clear that: “Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on …
Supreme Court: Indian Child Welfare Act does not bar adoptions initiated by non-Indian biological parents with sole custody
NBCDFW: A sweeping bill that would effectively shut down most abortion clinics across the nation’s second most-populous state has stalled in the Texas Senate — and a Democratic filibuster that will only need to last a seemingly manageable 13 hours Tuesday looks like it will be enough to talk the hotly contested measure to death.
US Supreme Court to weigh in on buffer zone case in ‘Cradle of Liberty’ | Alliance Defending Freedom
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to review the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities.
SCOTUS to decide whether Pro-Lifers have free speech at abortion clinics: Media Coverage and Case Information
The court has agreed to hear McCullen v. Coakley. The SCOTUS Blog case information page for that case with a statement of the issue is here.
Colo. Civil Rights Division rules school district discriminated against “transgender” first grader over bathroom use
A Colorado school district discriminated against a transgender first grader when it refused to let her use the girl’s bathroom, the state’s civil rights division has determined, a decision gay and transgender advocates say will have an indelible impact on how such cases are handled in the future.
Tim Wildmon at Charisma News: On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide two cases that ask it to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples . . . The American Family Association (AFA) says we are at a crisis point similar to the weekend before the Roe v. Wade decision was announced, which declared abortion a constitutional right. It is a horrible time to face but a good time to pray.
9th Circuit: MT ban on endorsements and expenditures for judicial candidates is unconstitutional, contributions ban still undecided
The panel therefore remanded to the district court with instructions to revise the permanent injunction so that it enjoined only the statute’s ban on endorsements and expenditures, and not the statute’s ban on contributions.
Laurie Shrage at NY Times (June 12, 2013): We need to respect men’s reproductive autonomy, as Brake suggests, by providing them more options in the case of an accidental pregnancy. And we need to protect children and stabilize family relationships, as Murphy suggests, by broadening our definition of “father” to include men who willingly perform fatherlike roles in a child’s life, and who, with informed consent, have accepted the responsibilities of fatherhood. | Hat tip: IMAPP
MI: Removing High School Student from Class for Saying “I Don’t Accept Gays” Violates First Amendment
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: So holds yesterday’s decision in Glowacki v. Howell Public School Dist. (E.D. Mich. June 19, 2013) . . . The court goes on to conclude that McDowell’s action was based on Daniel’s viewpoint, and thus violated the First Amendment; it also concludes that “because the undisputed material facts establish that McDowell should have understood that his conduct was unlawful, he is not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to Plaintiffs’ request for nominal damages.”
Politico: The group’s more than 750 health centers across the country will be promoting the health law and helping women find out about new coverage options for themselves and their families before — and after — enrollment begins Oct. 1.
Alliance Defending Freedom asked the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday to resolve the sharp difference between federal appeals courts on whether public schools must respect First Amendment freedoms when regulating student speech at graduation ceremonies.
Redefining marriage — above the Supreme Court’s pay grade: Ruling for homosexual ‘marriage’ would unleash endless national division
Chuck Donovan at Washington Times: The truth is that it does not lie within the power of the Supreme Court to “resolve” the marriage issue any more than the court could resolve controversy over the value of human life. Debate and democracy may be messy, but they are the tools of a free people. This summer, the court takes those tools from our hands at risk of further grave damage to its influence and prestige.
SCOTUS Live Blog reports: “The Court holds that the policy violates the First Amendment by compelling affirmation of a belief outside the scope of the program.” | Opinion: Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.
Baltimore Sun: The Social Security Administration was one of the last agencies to hold onto an outdated, one-size-fits-all standard for gender change. Transgender people will now be able to change all their federal documents with a simple letter from their doctor recognizing that they have undergone the appropriate treatment for them.”
HUD: he U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released the nation’s first-ever national study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples in the private rental market. The study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples,measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated.
SCOTUS Blog: Following Monday’s decisions, there are fourteen merits cases from October Term 2012 that have not yet been decided. Although we do not know which decisions the Court will issue on which days, we expect the Court to issue all of these remaining decisions between tomorrow, Thursday, June 20, 2013, and the end of June, when the Court traditionally breaks for its summer recess.
Congresswoman holds back tears in debate: “may we mourn what abortion reveals about the conscience of our nation”
LifeNews (includes video): Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican, told her colleagues: “May we, in love, defend the unborn. May we, in humility, confront this national sin, and may we mourn what abortion reveals about the conscience of our nation.”
Washington Post: In a Gallup poll released earlier this month, only three out of 16 institutions — the military, small business and the police — attracted majority support when people were asked whether they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in them . . . How do you get people to vote for you who simply don’t believe you know or want to do the right thing for the country? How do you get people to read you if they think you are pushing an agenda? How do you get the public to follow your legal decisions if they are skeptical of why you made it?
USA Today: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has endorsed same-sex marriage, becoming the third Republican senator to do so. In a statement posted Wednesday on her website, Murkowski said supporting same-sex marriage is consistent with her values as a “lifelong Republican” who believes in “promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government.”
Sarah Brown at Washington Post: It may be even more surprising for adults to ponder the role that faith and individual morals and values have played. Among those teens who haven’t had sex, the primary reason they give for…well…not doing it is that having sex at this point in their lives is against their religion or morals, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse: Should the truth about marriage—that it unites men and women so that children will have fathers and mothers—be defied by the laws of the land, we cannot expect the religious freedom of those who believe in that ancient truth to be respected under the new dominion of falsehood. After all, if redefining marriage to include same-sex couples accords with justice and moral truth, there is no good reason for the new legal order to make room for “conscientious” religious dissenters, for clearly their consciences are malformed and unworthy of respect. Thus the fate of religious freedom, for scores of millions of Americans, stands or falls with the fate of conjugal marriage itse
“All Americans should be free to live according to their faith rather than be forced to violate their own consciences. That’s no different for Geneva College, a Christian college that simply wants to abide by the very faith it espouses and teaches. The court has done the right thing in allowing Geneva College to offer a student health plan that does not cover abortion pills. The government should not punish people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.”
College assignment flunks First Amendment by forcing students to promote professor’s views | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Monday on behalf of several Columbia State Community College students whose professor forced them to wear rainbow ribbons publicly supporting homosexual behavior in order to complete a class assignment.
USA Today: The marriage rate is at its lowest point in more than a century, and the number of marriages across the USA fell more than 5% during the recession. But a new analysis projects that pent-up demand and the large population of marriage-eligible Millennials, ages 18-34, means more will be headed to the altar over the next two years.
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: One of the biggest problems facing our culture has nothing to do with the actual biology and sexual orientation of people. As we all know, biology is formed before we are born, and sexual orientation is intricately linked to it. Rather, a major problem is the perceived biology and sexual orientation of people. As our society continues to run headlong toward some androgynous utopia it seems the number of people perceiving their sexual orientation to be frequently changing climbs.
“Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. New Hampshire’s program allows businesses to help make that happen, and nothing about that violates the state constitution, as the state’s legal history clearly demonstrates. The arguments the ACLU is making against this program do not at all reflect the reality of what the state constitution clearly allows. The people who stand to suffer the most if the ACLU succeeds are New Hampshire’s students.”
“We commend the attorney general for being more concerned about the safety of women than the bottom line of abortionists. What Dr. Stephens and Women’s Health Center did to Itai Gravely cannot be swept under the rug. They exposed her to extraordinary cruelty and put her life in danger. We urge the governor to take immediate action to implement sensible abortion facility regulations in West Virginia.”
Obama admin. seeks to take unconstitutional college speech codes nationwide | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom sent the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education a letterThursday explaining the constitutional problems with an administration “sexual harassment” policy agreement that will serve as a “blueprint” for colleges and universities throughout the country.
WI Family Action: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the full meaning of Wisconsin’s marriage amendment and whether it authorizes the creation of other marriage-like unions.
George F. Will at Washington Post: Today, Congress exercises police powers never granted by the Constitution. Conservatives who favor federal “wars” on drugs, gambling and other behaviors should understand the damage they have done to the constitutional underpinnings of limited government.
Pelosi: Abortion is sacred ground not political, touts her own ‘Catholicism’ and motherhood | Weekly Standard
John McCormack at Weekly Standard (includes video): Asked what the moral difference is between what Dr. Kermit Gosnell did to babies born alive and aborting those same infants moments before birth, Pelosi refused to answer. “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this,” Pelosi said. “I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”
High Stakes As The Supreme Court Prepares To Rule On Same-sex Marriage Cases | Ryan Anderson at the Blaze
Ryan Anderson at the Blaze: At stake in the two cases expected to be decided by the Supreme Court later this month is whether citizens and their elected officials have the constitutional authority to make laws that reflect the truth about marriage.
Philly.com: The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved two Pennsylvania nominees for federal judgeships, including a Philadelphia judge who will become the first openly lesbian Latina to serve on the federal bench.
Washington Post: Gay rights advocates are already pressing Obama to immediately broaden the federal government’s recognition of legally married same-sex couples if the court strikes down a ban on providing federal benefits to them.
The College Fix: Robert Anderson, an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, has uncovered that among the 47 attorneys at the U.S. Department of Education who donated money to a candidate in last year’s presidential election, 47 of them donated to Barack Obama – or all of them, basically.
“Service members shouldn’t be denied the very constitutional liberties they have volunteered to defend. It is clear that the Obama administration opposes constitutional religious freedom for service men and women, and this is the latest example of this administration’s hostility toward religious service members. Antagonism toward people of faith–namely Christians–in the military is real, and it is disappointing that the president is unwilling to support laws that protect and defend the basic liberty of religious freedom.”
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization of chaplain endorsers representing more than 2,000 current chaplains actively serving the armed forces, is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to firmly reject President Obama’s attempt to minimize the importance of religious conscience.
Todd Starnes at Fox News: The Obama Administration “strongly objects” to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers – including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
Baptist Press: Southern Baptists expressed their “opposition to and disappointment in” the membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America but affirmed the freedom of local churches to determine their own relationships with the national Scouting organization. | includes text of the resolution
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden will be available for media interviews following his oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Wednesday in defense of an Arizona law that seeks to end the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.
ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM COMMENT June 11, 2013 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or www.adfmedia.org/home/contact The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster regarding the Obama administration’s decision to drop its opposition to …
The Guardian: The Obama administration will stop trying to limit sales of emergency contraception pills, making the morning-after pill available to women of all ages without a prescription.
Data Wars: As GOP races to catch up with Dems before 2014, will social conservatives be left behind?
LifeSiteNews: In 2008, a private tech company was quietly formed in Washington. Its purpose was simple: collect and store data on U.S. voters from across the issue spectrum and from all walks of life, and sort it into easy-to-use files that any left-leaning candidate or issue group could use to reach individuals with a message specifically tailored to their interests and lifestyle. The company was called Catalist, and it has proven to be the most powerful and effective weapon the Left has ever wielded in the battle to win the ultimate prize in the American political cycle: Getting out the vote.
Sebelius orders health insurers to cover Planned Parenthood in Obamacare exchanges | Tony Perkins at LifeSiteNews
Tony Perkins at LifeSiteNews: In an April letter to insurers, Sebelius issued a regulation ordering companies to cover Planned Parenthood clinics in their state exchange packages. Planned Parenthood, which she deems as an “essential community provider,” is part of the long list of local organizations that insurers are required to partner with. (Others, Bedard says, include lesbian and gay centers, family planning clinics, and “holistic” centers.)
AP: Pope Francis lamented that a “gay lobby” was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group – a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.
Alliance Defending Freedom made public Monday audio of a phone conversation that the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations.
Alan Sears at NC Register: In the past, our cases at Alliance Defending Freedom were all about how the role of religion in America is defined. Sadly, today, they have become more about whether religion has a role at all. The lawsuits we have filed against Obamacare, for example, are in sharp contrast to legal cases of the past that dealt with differences of opinion on what the state may limit when it comes to religion. With Obamacare, on the other hand, the administration is now trying to expunge religious expression altogether by arguing that Christian entrepreneurs cannot exercise their religious convictions even in running their own businesses. The same applies in the marriage arena. Not too long ago, activists seeking to redefine marriage were content with branding Christians who believe in a biblical ethic regarding sexual behavior as “bigots.”
Attorneys with the Family Policy Council of West Virginia and Alliance Defending Freedom will announce the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Rodney Lee Stephens and Women’s Health Center of West Virginia.
Rep. Luke Messer at The Star Press: Today, in Madison, Ind., a Hoosier businessman is a profile in courage as he works to ensure the First Amendment’s protections endure. Bill Grote, the chairman and CEO of Grote Industries, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies requesting an exemption from Obamacare’s contraception mandates that violate his religious beliefs.
Mark Regnerus at Public Discourse: The sexual permissiveness of men will emerge a winner in the contest of ideas as same-sex marital norms begin to shape the larger institution of marriage.