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9th Circuit: Wild Order of Federal Marital Benefits for Unmarried Same-Sex Domestic Partners | Ed Whelan at NRO
Ed Whelan at National Review: In an adventuresome administrative ruling, the three-judge Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Executive Committee has concluded that an unmarried court employee with a same-sex domestic partner was entitled to federal marital benefits. This, alas, is not the first time that Ninth Circuit chief judge Alex Kozinski has exercised his non-judicial administrative authority to carry out a sneak attack on marriage.
San Francisco Chronicle: Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June overturning a federal law that denied equal benefits to same-sex spouses, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered federal courts in Oregon to reimburse Margaret Fonberg $6,190 plus interest, the amount she spent on health coverage for her domestic partner since 2009. | In the Matter of Fonberg
Speak Up Movement Church: Cities, towns, villages, and hamlets across the country often permit a wide array of signs—especially political signs—to be placed within their borders. Yet all too often these local governments apply different, and far more restrictive, rules to signs placed by churches. In legal terms this is called “content-based discrimination,” and it is forbidden by the First Amendment.
USA Today: Justices won’t reconsider decisions striking down Oklahoma laws on mandatory ultrasound and abortion-inducing drugs, but more states are seeking to defend their laws.
Abortions that cause babies pain: AZ law at the Supreme Court | Casey Mattox on The Source with Paul Anderson
This week, Life Legal Defense Foundation joined the Bioethics Defense Fund in submitting an amicus (friend of the court) brief urging the United States Supreme Court to grant review in the case Horne v. Isaacson.
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 . . .
The Hill: The news was circulated by the Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys are co-counsel in the case.
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.
SCOTUS asked to stop city’s discrimination against church signs | Jeremy Tedesco on the Heidi Harris Show
Boston Globe: The state of Vermont is joining Massachusetts and a number of other states and the District of Columbia in urging a federal appeals court to strike down bans on same-sex marriage in Nevada and Hawaii.
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”).
ABA Journal: In a case that pits First Amendment rights of young Americans to display pride in their country against the power of high school administrators to take reasonable measures to promote student safety, a federal appellate panel heard oral arguments Thursday about whether to revive a lawsuit brought by former students who wanted to wear T-shirts featuring the U.S. flag.
Scottsdale group wants US Supreme Court to rule on Gilbert sign restrictions | Phoenix Business Journal
Phoenix Business Journal: The Town of Gilbert’s sign code severely restricts church invitation signs, purportedly in the name of safety and aesthetics,” said ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco. “Yet the code broadly permits the proliferation of political, ideological, and several other types of temporary signs that impact Gilbert’s interests in exactly the same way.”
USA Today: The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly known as Alliance Defense Fund, is a conservative advocacy organization launched by Christian leaders in 1994 that litigates cases related to religion, abortion and gay marriage. The group claims 38 Supreme Court “victories.” Alliance lawyer Jeremy Tedesco said he expects the Supreme Court to announce its decision on whether to hear the case within the next three months. “I think the odds are very good, better than most cases,” Tedesco said. “In this case, there is an issue of very important First Amendment law.”
One News Now: Even so, Heather Gebelin of Alliance Defending Freedom says the school appealed the decision. “They were concerned because the 9th Circuit ruling was that – based on what happened in the case – a university president could be personally liable for violating the student’s constitutional rights,” she says.
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.
9th Circuit Public Information Office: Prepared by experienced practitioners, the Appellate Lawyer Representatives’ Ninth Circuit Practice Guide provides an outline of the appellate process and detailed information about many of the court’s procedures
Lambda Legal PR:Today Lambda Legal filed its opening brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case on behalf of eight same-sex couples challenging the amendment to Nevada’s constitution and other state laws banning marriage for same-sex couples.
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.
Religion Clause Blog: On Friday, the U.S.9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8 v. Bowen . . .
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: That’s the issue in Frudden v. Pilling, a case I’ve blogged about before; I argued it before a Ninth Circuit panel . . .
AZ Central: In a ruling today, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift an injunction against a piece of SB 1070, Arizona’s immigration law, that makes it a crime to transport or harbor illegal immigrants. | Valle Del Sol Incorporated v. State of Arizona
World Magazine: Arizona appeals abortion law to high court. After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in May to throw out Arizona’s ban on non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks, Attorney General Tom Horne and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) haven’t given up the fight. They are now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.
One News Now: Steven H. Aden, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, explains the argument for keeping the law in place.”Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Not only does this law protect children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion, it also protects mothers from the dangers and tremendous psychological consequences of late-term abortions. Arizona’s law is entirely reasonable and constitutional, and we hope the Supreme Court takes this invitation to revisit the extreme constraints Roe v. Wade imposed on state safeguards for women’s health.”
Claremont Institute: In their effort to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, the state of Arizona has enlisted John Eastman and the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence to serve as lead counsel on the case. We are joined by Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery and his office, Edwin Meese III of the Heritage Foundation, Arizona Solicitor General Robert Ellman, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Americans United for Life. The petition for writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to review the case was filed on Friday, September 27, 2013. You can view the full petition here.
Americans United for Life: “Horne v. Isaacson may well be the landmark case that leads the Supreme Court to acknowledge the health risks of abortion for women and girls,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Maricopa County Attorney General Bill Montgomery asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to reverse a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision against an Arizona law restricting non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks.
Life News: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are co-counsel in the case as well. “Every innocent life deserves to be protected. Not only does this law protect children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion, it also protects mothers from the dangers and tremendous psychological consequences of late-term abortions,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Arizona’s law is entirely reasonable and constitutional, and we hope the Supreme Court takes this invitation to revisit the extreme constraints Roe v. Wade imposed on state safeguards for women’s health.”
Mercury News: With the legal war over same-sex marriage continuing to unfold in courts around the country, a San Francisco federal appeals court is about to tackle another simmering gay rights issue — whether gays and lesbians can be excluded from juries simply because of their sexual orientation.
Liberty Counsel: Today, Liberty Counsel filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, asking the court to rehear Pickup v. Brown, Liberty Counsel’s case against California’s change therapy ban. Recently a three-judge panel of the court upheld California’s ban on change therapy.
Education Week: A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld school administrators in Nevada who expelled a student who sent violent and threatening off-campus instant messages to his friends about his desire to shoot up his high school . . . A federal district court granted summary judgment to the school defendants. In its Aug. 29 decision in Wynar v. Douglas County School District, the 9th Circuit court panel affirmed the lower court.
Bloomberg: The law “does not violate the free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in an opinion published today. | Pickup v. Brown
National Review Bench Memos: Away on the National Review cruise to Norway, I noted with interest that President Obama nominated to the Ninth Circuit two lawyers from the Munger, Tolles & Olson law firm, Michelle T. Friedland and John B. Owens. As this article notes, a previous Obama appointee to the Ninth Circuit, Paul J. Watford, was also at Munger, Tolles & Olson when he was nominated.
Trial Insider: Idaho’s Republican Senator Mike Crapo “was not consulted on the decision and is not happy with the nomination,” said Judd Deere, Crapo’s spokesman. [update] Deere says both he and Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, are “evaluating” how to proceed.
NY Times: Here’s one: May gays be excluded from juries on account of their sexual orientation? The federal appeals court in California will soon decide the issue, which turns out to be surprisingly knotty.
Trial Insider: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered that one of its own staff attorneys, Karen Golinski, be allowed to enroll her same-sex spouse in the federal employee family health insurance plan in an order published Thursday. | Golinksi v. OPM
Liberty Counsel: On June 26 the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion that invoked “equal protection” when reviewing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but not once did the Court engage in an equal protection analysis. The Court then dismissed the Prop 8 case on standing grounds. Friday afternoon California time, in a surprise move, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay of Prop 8, and the California Attorney General rushed to perform a “marriage” ceremony for the two plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case. The blatant lawlessness of these decisions and acts undermines the rule of law and the confidence of the people in the Judicial Branch.
Religion Clause Blog: In its widely reported decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that petitioners lacked standing to challenge California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. SCOTUS remanded the case and ordered the 9th Circuit to dismiss the appeal from the district court.
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.
Champion Newspapers: In Chino Valley, the fire and school boards and Chino city council have such invocations. Chino Hills dropped them on advice of its attorney and satisfied its faith by conducting meetings under the large motto above the council dais, “In God We Trust.”
LifeNews: After Judge Wake’s ruling overturning the law, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeNews she was disappointed. “Judge Wake’s ruling thwarts the will of Arizona taxpayers to stop funding big abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood. As a result, funds will be reduced for agencies that provide whole women’s health care. According to Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, its government subsidies have reached an all-time high, even as the number of cancer screenings and other prevention and contraceptive services they offer has dropped dramatically,” she said. “Planned Parenthood’s growing abortion toll, meanwhile, is evidence of their continued failure to show true concern for vulnerable women and girls.” . . . Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, which co-authored the legislation with the SBA List, have helped state Solicitor General David Cole defend the law to date.
Las Vegas Sun: David Cooper sued Clark County in U.S. District Court in 2010 after he was denied a license to run a “high-end” swingers club, dubbed Sextasy, at the Commercial Center shopping mall on Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway. | Cooper v. Clark County Nevada, No. 11-16900 (9th Cir. May 21, 2013)
Mailee Smith at National Review: This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Arizona’s law prohibiting abortion at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy – a law that was based on uncontroverted medical evidence that abortion’s risks to maternal health increase dramatically at 20 weeks gestation.
Liberty Counsel: “What we ultimately need is a Supreme Court that will understand the rule of law, and abortion has no place in this jurisprudence. It’s not a right under the Constitution. It is simply an invention of justices back in 1973,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Washington Post: These Republicans want to move ahead despite recent court decisions that have struck down similar state laws. The GOP lawmakers also are taking on their own leadership, which has shown little desire to hold votes on contentious social issues.
Isaacson v. Horne, No. No. 12-16670 (9th Circuit)
Before: Mary M. Schroeder, Andrew J. Kleinfeld, and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Berzon; Concurrence by Judge Kleinfeld
Kent Harper at Mesquite Local News: Search the U.S. Constitution until both eyes are sore and you’ll find no reference to “the separation of church and state.” What you will find is the beginning portion of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Oregonian: You might have thought John E. Brennan’s troubles were history after a judge last year acquitted him of wrongdoing for stripping at Portland International Airport to protest what he saw as ridiculously invasive security measures.
Star Gazette: David Cortman, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said using prayer to open public meetings is a long-standing American tradition that has been upheld by the Supreme Court. “Nonetheless, new legal attacks by people and activist groups claiming to be ‘offended’ by the way private citizens voluntarily pray have created significant confusion in the lower courts,” he said. In the Greece case, the Court of Appeals “suggested the current legal complexity may cause local and state governments to abandon the practice, which predates the founding of America.”
Democrat and Chronicle: David Cortman, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said using prayer to open public meetings is a long-standing American tradition that has previously been upheld by the Supreme Court. “Nonetheless, new legal attacks by people and activist groups claiming to be ‘offended’ by the way private citizens voluntarily pray have created significant confusion in the lower courts,” he said. In the Greece case, the Court of Appeals “suggested the current legal complexity may cause local and state governments to abandon the practice, which predates the founding of America.”
Robert McNamara and Paul Sherman at the National Law Journal: As if the facts of these cases weren’t provocative enough, the challenges to California’s law are complicated by the fact that the plaintiffs, practicing psychologists who are licensed in California, simply engage in “talk therapy” with their patients. As a result, these cases raise an important, unresolved constitutional question: Is the kind of one-on-one counseling and advice at issue in talk therapy “free speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Christian Post: The openly gay son of a conservative Republican Congressman has stated that he benefitted from undergoing the controversial practice of reparative therapy as a teenager.
How Appealing links to the audio and several reports.
AP: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering two legal challenges to the ban on “sexual orientation change efforts” that was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last fall. | Liberty Counsel Press Release
In Gilbert, Arizona, Churches Ride On The Back Of The Free Speech Bus | Jeremy Tedesco at Speak Up Movement
Jeremy Tedesco at Speak Up Movement: Rarely can the essence of a lawsuit be captured through pictures. But in Alliance Defending Freedom’s case involving a tiny Church’s First Amendment challenge to the Town of Gilbert’s discriminatory treatment of signs advertising its religious services, a picture truly speaks a thousand words.
One News Now: The two recent appeals court rulings were in favor of prayer before town council meetings in Lancaster, California and Lakeland, Florida. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Brett Harvey tells American Family News the lawsuits were filed by atheists. “They’ve got two complaints: Their first complaint is that there’s any prayer at all. But they know that that’s a tall order in light of clear Supreme Court precedent that says you can have a prayer, so they’ve modified their complaint to say, Well, you can pray, but you can’t pray in the name of Jesus,” Harvey reports.
Sacramento Bee: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that the Lancaster City Council’s invocation policy is constitutional because it allows for the opening prayer to be said by any faith or religion. | Rubin v. City of Lancaster
Alan Sears at Alliance Defending Freedom: The dangers posed more and more across America to the First Amendment protections of Christians like you – and your children – often show themselves in subtle ways. A small legal bias here, an evasion of religious freedom there, and those who would sideline people of faith gain one more crucial foothold of legal ground they can use to block the spread of the Gospel.
ULaw Today: Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Amy and Vicky, two child pornography victims, in an appeal brought by the Utah Appellate Clinic. | In re: Amy & Vicky
The Recorder: Next month, five SOCE counselors will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeking to enjoin the law as an unconstitutional intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship. Although associated with conservative Christian causes, their attorneys come armed with a powerful liberal precedent: a 2002 Ninth Circuit ruling that forbade the government from cracking down on doctors for recommending medical marijuana.
NPR: A panel of the the San Francisco-based U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stood with a lower court, ruling that a ban on drivers soliciting day laborers violates the constitution’s free speech guarantee.
Ariz. town: Church signs tightly regulated, political signs…well, not so much | Alliance Defending Freedom
San Francisco Chronicle: A state prison inmate and former inmate who practice the Wiccan religion can proceed with a lawsuit accusing California of discriminating by refusing to hire a Wiccan chaplain while paying for chaplains from more mainstream faiths, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. | Hartman v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation | Hat tip: How Appealing
Cronkite News: The church’s attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, said they have 14 days to appeal for rehearing by the full circuit court, “so you’ll know in 14 days what we plan to do.” “To us it’s a very simple case of content-based discrimination,” said Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Of course we’re disappointed the court did not see it this way.”
Religion Clause Blog: 9th Circuit In 2-1 Decision Rejects Church’s Challenge To Town’s Sign Restrictions
How Appealing: And in news coverage, XBIZ.com reports that “Ira Isaacs Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison, Fined $10K.” According to the article, “Isaacs attorney Roger Jon Diamond indicated that his client will appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”
LA Times: The dispute is before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to decide within the next several days whether to put the law on hold before it takes effect Jan. 1.