Casey Mattox discusses Houston subpoenas and the SCOTUS same-sex marriage issue with Matthew Hawkins and Andrew Walker (audio)alliancealert.org
Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal: “The sharply conflicting perspectives—a kind of constitutional Rorschach test—capture a debate that has erupted in federal courtrooms across America about whether crosses displayed in memorials on public land violate the First Amendment’s ban on the establishment of religion. The Mount Soledad statue is one of at least four war-memorial crosses under legal fire by civil-liberty groups who want them off government land. The cross is a globally recognized symbol of Christian faith. But many veterans and others who have lost loved ones to battles or tragedy value the memorial crosses as monuments of remembrance, invested with historical weight.”
Associated Press: “Attorney General Mark Herring is backing two same-sex couples who filed a lawsuit challenging state laws and a constitutional provision barring gay marriage in Virginia and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states. U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk struck down the laws in February but put the ruling on hold while it is appealed.”
The brief is here.
SCOTUSblog: “The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Monday that it objects strongly to a federal judge’s order that would require the government to take down a Christian cross that stands on a hill above San Diego, but said the Court should not get involved in the controversy until there is a final ruling in lower courts.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Prince William County clerk of court have filed their opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to defend Virginia’s laws affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A federal district judge struck down the marriage laws on Feb. 13, though her decision is on hold until all appeals have been exhausted.
Kirk Mitchell at The Denver Post: “In hundreds of pages of filings in a federal appeals court, Utah, Oklahoma and their allies are arguing that children belong in homes with a father and mother. They also express concerns that same-sex marriages could result in a declining birth rate.”
Newman Society, Catholic colleges challenge federal labor board in possible landmark case | Newman Society
Newman Society: “The amicus brief was authored by expert attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom: Gregory Baylor, Heather Gebelin Hacker and Kevin Theriot, whose extensive work on religious freedom issues has included valuable assistance to The Cardinal Newman Society and religious schools and colleges. The full brief is posted online by the Newman Society’s Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Attorneys defending Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage say a federal judge who struck down the law last month has usurped authority that the U.S. Supreme Court has reserved for states. . . . [Austin] Nimocks and Byron J. Babione, lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom, echoed Oakley’s arguments in a brief also filed Friday on behalf of their client, Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele B. McQuigg, a co-defendant in the case.” | The brief is here.
The Salt Lake Tribune: “That wrecking ball would impose ‘novel’ and ‘corrosive’ principles about marriage and parenting and would undermine state sovereignty, according to the 120-page reply brief the state submitted to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just minutes before its midnight deadline Friday.” | The brief is here.
Providence Journal: “Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a court brief Thursday in support of a married gay couple who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester for allegedly refusing to sell them a Northbridge mansion because church officials were concerned they would host gay weddings at the site.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “Attorneys representing three couples say in a new brief that Utah laws prohibiting same-sex marriage have ‘cemented discrimination against same-sex couples and their children into the state’s most basic charter,’ denying those families not only the protections that flow from civil marriage but also the ‘common vocabulary of family life and belonging’ that other Utahns may take for granted.” The brief is here.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief with the European Court of Human Rights Friday in defense of Italy’s sovereign right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The court’s Second Section agreed last week to allow Alliance Defending Freedom to intervene as a third party in defense of the country’s marriage laws.
Sonoran News: “‘Every American has a right to fully and freely participate in every area of public life,’ added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. ‘We trust that the Supreme Court will uphold that principle.’”
Fifty-seven briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this week encourage the high court to declare the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate illegal in two major legal challenges the court agreed it will hear on March 25. The briefs outnumber the ones filed in favor of the mandate by nearly three to one. Alliance Defending Freedom and allied attorneys represent a Pennsylvania Mennonite family and its woodworking business in one of those cases, Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius.
Phoenix Business Journal: “ADL attorney Matt Bowman said the Supreme Court will hear arguments for both cases on March 25 with a decision due by the end of June. ‘We are lead counsel,’ said Bowman. ADL is not counsel in the Hobby Lobby cases.”
SCOTUSblog: “Arguing that Congress has gone too far to push aside the Supreme Court’s constitutional role in religion cases, a loose coalition of child welfare organizations, survivors of clergy child sexual abuse, and non-believers has urged the Justices to strike down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it rules on a new dispute over the federal health care law.” | The brief is here.
KOAM: “U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) and U.S. Representative Randy Forbes (Va.) led an effort today to fight for Americans’ First Amendment rights by filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius.”
Mark Walsh at the School Law Blog: The National School Boards Association and its Pennsylvania affiliate, along with National Association of Secondary School Principals and AASA, the School Superintendents’ Association, filed a friend-of-the-court brief on the side of the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania in a major battle over student speech rights.
Nate Kellum at Christian Post: Should a clergy’s prayers be subject to censorship if given to solemnize a public meeting? A powerful atheist group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), thinks so, and has convinced a federal appellate court to enforce this sort of oversight. But the question is now squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court, having heard oral arguments earlier this month.
State Employee Appealing Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Asks 8th Circuit For Injunction Pending Appeal | Religion Clause Blog
Religion Clause Blog: in Wieland v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a Missouri . . . Yesterday, plaintiffs filed with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals a motion for a preliminary injunction pending appeal and a 20-page memorandum (full text) in support of their motion.
Mirror of Justice: We tried to be fairly complete in our discussion of the case, and I hope that this podcast might be particularly useful for students and others interested in an introduction to the issue of legislative prayer and in some fairly detailed analysis of and commentary about the oral argument.
Faith Radio with Bob Crittendon: Kevin Theriot, Vice-President of Religious Liberty for the Alliance Defending Freedom, analyzed oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Town of Greece v. Galloway case, which deals with prayer before public governmental meetings. The ADF website is www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org. | Alliance Alert Archived MP3 audio 18:41 mins
Rochester Business Journal: In your view, should prayer be a part of government meetings? Yes: 52% No: 48% In the town of Greece case, whose position do you support? Town of Greece: 51% The two residents who challenged the Town Board’s prayer practice: 42% Don’t know: 7% . . . . To quote Mike Johnson of the Alliance Defense Fund: “Our country’s Founding Fathers opened their meetings with prayer. Those who oppose Christian invocations are essentially arguing that the Founders were violating the Constitution as they were writing it.” It shouldn’t surprise us when men seek to ban the very practice that can help them. Since the 1960s, our country has been running headlong under the banner of calling good evil and evil good.
The World and Everything In It with Nick Eicher (audio): Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice-President-Legal Doug Napier discusses the details of a case facing the U.S. Supreme Court that deals with the question of whether it is unconstitutional for a town council to open meetings with prayer.
Supreme Court Argument: Public Prayer at Government Meetings | Brett Harvey on EWTN Nightly News – Video
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: The town is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and prevailed in the federal trial court. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed, using this endorsement test that the Supreme Court does not use for legislative prayer. At that point, ADF recruited Supreme Court heavyweight Thomas Hungar of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to become lead counsel and petitioned the Supreme Court for review (disclosure: I filed a brief for Members of Congress supporting this petition). The Court took the case. Hungar and ADF argue that this case could be resolved on Marsh
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.
Fox News Orlando (AP): The town is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based group that presses faith-based cases in courts nationwide. ADF senior counsel David Cortman said the framers of the Constitution prayed while drafting the Bill of Rights. “Americans today should be as free as the Founders were to pray,” Cortman said.
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.
Aleteia: The current Supreme Court term is set to address freedom of speech for pro-life demonstrations, prayer in legislative settings, and religious freedom.
Standard-Examiner: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah today submitted a “friend of the court” brief in support of a case challenging Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, Kitchen v. Herbert. | ACLU press release
Thomas More Society Argues In The North Dakota Supreme Court For The Catholic Conference: No State Constitutional Right To Abortion
Yesterday, on behalf of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, the Thomas More Society filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the North Dakota Supreme Court defending the State’s law regulating medical abortions. The case, MKB Management Corp. v. Burdick, is especially important because the critical issue in the appeal is whether the North Dakota Constitution recognizes a right to abortion.
APB: Official prayer at local government meetings violates the First Amendment and demeans genuine faith, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty says in a brief filed Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brett Harvey appeared on the Bishop’s Hour with Bob Dunning to discuss this: Atheist demands to end prayer at Calif. town’s meetings baseless. | MP3 audio 14:35 mins
SCOTUS Blog reports.
Obama administration, in court brief, supports prayer at public meetings | Baptist Press at Townhall
Baptist Press at Townhall: The latest settlement brings to at least $12.5 million the amount of “waste, abuse and ‘fraudulent overbilling’ of taxpayers” by Planned Parenthood affiliates in publicly revealed audits, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ADF has charged Planned Parenthood with misusing millions of dollars in government funds in a report to Congress . . . ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox responded by saying, “If you believe Planned Parenthood would voluntarily pay $4.3 million if it thought the claims were truly ‘baseless’ then I have appreciating property to sell you in Detroit.”
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: Now the first briefs have been filed. Tom Hungar of Gibson Dunn is lead counsel in thisAlliance Defending Freedom (ADF) case; his excellent brief is what you would expect from someone as accomplished as Hungar, as he prepares to argue for his 26th time before the Supreme Court. A total of 25 amicus briefs (“friend of the court” briefs) were filed supporting ADF and the town of Greece. Among them is a brief by Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher on behalf of 23 states nationwide, a brief by Steffen Johnson representing 34 U.S. Senators, and the brief that I authored on behalf of 85 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Evansville Crosses, Freedom to pray and the Supreme Court | David Cortman and Chris Wischer on The World and Everything In It
Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney David Cortman appeared on The World and Everything In It (8/7) to discuss the importance of the Galloway legislative prayer case in the segment that begins about 7 mins into the broadcast. Allied Attorney Chris Wischer also appeared on the program briefly to discuss the Evansville cross situation. He appears about 4 mins. into the broadcast. The audio program runs 27:35 mins.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: The Obama administration, entering a major new test case on government-religion ties, has urged the Supreme Court to allow prayers at the beginning of government meetings, even if most if not all of the recitals are from one religion, such as Christianity. But, in a newly filed brief, it has also asked the Court not to allow citizens to join in such sessions with their own private prayers.
Dallas Voice: State Rep. Dan Branch is asking the Texas Supreme Court to block same-sex couples legally married in other states from obtaining divorces in the Lone State State. Meanwhile, attorneys for two same-sex couples seeking divorces in Texas are arguing that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage are also unconstitutional.
McAlesterNews.com: “I believe our founding fathers would be dismayed by our current culture’s attempt to dictate where the freedom of religion can and cannot be expressed,” said Inhofe. “Our fathers wrote the First Amendment not to protect government from religion, but quite the opposite. I applaud Sen. Rubio for filing this amicus brief that fights to preserve our nation’s heritage of welcoming those of any religion to practice openly, freely and peacefully.”
ABPNews: The first legal brief filed since Russell Moore took over as the new chief of Southern Baptists’ moral- and religious-liberty concerns agency weighs in on The Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court’s first major case testing the constitutionality of legislative prayers in 30 years.
AL.com: Attorney General Luther Strange has joined other attorneys general in filing a brief in a New York case asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court rulingthat a city’s practice of having prayers before board meetings violates the Establishment Clause.
Texas Attorney General Abbott leads multi-state effort to protect the right of governmental bodies to begin meetings with prayer
YourHoustonNews.com: The Texas Attorney General’s Office on Friday filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court’s ruling that struck down the town of Greece, New York’s practice of allowing citizens to offer a prayer to begin monthly town board meetings. Attorney General Abbott and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed the “friend of the court” brief on behalf of the 23-state coalition
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization dedicated to protecting the right of service members to live out their faith as they protect the liberties of all Americans, has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the right of Americans to pray before public meetings.
Argus Leader: South Dakota’s attorney general has thrown the state’s support behind a legal defense of prayer at government meetings.
Christian Post: Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit group, then filed the appeal to the Supreme Court. David Cortman, senior counsel of the ADF, said in a press release on Monday that the number of amicus briefs filed in this case in support of public prayer shows that Americans are still very committed to their religious liberty. “Americans today should be as free as the Founders were to pray,” Cortman said. “The Founders prayed while drafting our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court has ruled that public prayer is part of the ‘history and tradition of this country.’ The numerous and significant parties that have filed briefs in this case support the continuation of this cherished practice.”
Democrat and Chronicle: The town’s petition on the case’s merits was filed with the Supreme Court late last month. The town is represented pro bono by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-rights organization, while the two residents who originally brought the suit are represented pro bono by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
MO. Family Policy Council: Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the nation’s leading Christian legal interest organization, welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Galloway v. Town of Greece case. “Since this nation’s founding, public meetings have been opened with prayers offered according to the conscience of the speaker,” says ADF attorney David Cortman. “There is no legal reason why a town can’t do this today with people from within its own community.” “A few people should not be able to extinguish the traditions of our nation merely because they heard something they didn’t like,” says Brett Harvey, ADF Senior Counsel. “It’s perfectly constitutional to allow community members to ask for God’s blessing according to their conscience.” Noted legal observer Eugene Volokh says . . .
FRC, 85 Members of Congress File Brief in Biggest Religious Liberty Supreme Court Case In Last Half Century | PR Newswire
PR Newswire: Ken Klukowski, J.D., director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council (FRC), has filed an amicus brief on behalf of 85 Members of Congress in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a religious liberty case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Indianasnewscenter.com: Friday an amicus brief co-authored by Indiana and Texas and joined by 21 other states was filed in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway.
Even If Your Prayers Aren’t Brief, This Brief Could Help Your Prayers | FRC Washington Update at Patriot Post
FRC Washington Update at the Patriot Post: Friday Ken Klukowski, FRC’s Director of the Center for Religious Liberty and also a constitutional lawyer, filed a brief at the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 85 Members of Congress in what is likely to be a historic religious-liberty case the Court will hear late this year, Town of Greece v. Galloway . . . The Town of Greece, New York, has been defended for years in this case by our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom against militant secularists. It will be argued on our side by Tom Hungar, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who is one of the most accomplished Supreme Court litigators in America.
Journal Gazette: Today an amicus brief co-authored by Indiana and Texas and joined by 21 other states was filed in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway. This friend-of-the-court brief asks the Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had prohibited legislative prayer at the start of a government assembly.
Liberty Counsel: Today, Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Town of Greece, in upstate New York, which was sued for opening its town meetings in prayer. In our brief, Liberty Counsel asks the Supreme Court to overturn the “Lemon” test and adopt a new test, which provides that if a religious observance comports with history and ubiquity, and does not objectively coerce participation in a religious exercise or activity, then it would be deemed a permissible acknowledgment of religion, not a violation of the Establishment Clause.
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.
Piero Tozzi at LifeNews: In sum, a majority of justices ruled as judges should, upholding the law and respecting the principles of legislative deference and federalism. The activists were thwarted in their effort to impose their will on the entire nation. Alliance Defending Freedom submitted an amicus brief in favor of the state amendments.
Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday in support of an Oklahoma law that requires doctors prescribing the abortion drug RU-486 to use only the FDA required protocol for the drug.
SCOTUS Blog: The State of California itself has today filed this amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which it argues not only that California’s own Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment, but also that the petitioners–four of the Proposition 8 sponsors–do not have article III standing to represent California’s interests in federal court, notwithstanding the ruling of the California Supreme Court that California law assigns such a function to those sponsors to represent California’s interests as a matter of state law . . . In addition, 13 states and the District of Columbia have filed this brief urging the Court to affirm the judgment of the court of appeals declaring that Proposition 8 is invalid. – See more at: http://www.scotusblog.com/#sthash.SB3z2dOx.dpuf
Heritage Foundation: President Obama has so many flip-flops in his policy positions that it’s hard to keep track. After running for President supporting traditional marriage, he “evolved” to support same-sex marriage—and now his Justice Department has officially urged the Supreme Court to overthrow the law of the land.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization of chaplain endorsers, has submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of upholding the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The brief emphasizes the importance of DOMA in assuring the continuing freedom of chaplains to speak about the good of marriage between one man and one woman, as clearly taught in Scripture.
USCCB: Urging the Court to uphold DOMA http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/united-states-v-windsor.pdf the USCCB brief in United States v. Windsor says that “there is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.” The brief also states that “as defined by courts ‘sexual orientation’ is not a classification that should trigger heightened scrutiny,” such as race or ethnicity would . . . In a separate brief filed in Hollingsworth v Perry urging the Court to uphold Proposition 8 http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/hollingsworth-v-perry.pdf, the USCCB states that there are many reasons why the state may reasonably support and encourage marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, as distinguished from other relationships.
The case landing page with document links: Perry v. Hollinsgworth U.S. v. Windsor
U.S. Supreme Court Warned of Consequences for Families and Society if DOMA is Overturned | Manhattan Declaration Brief
Christian Newswire: Male-female marriage received a vigorous defense Monday in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Manhattan Declaration, Inc., the voice of more than 500,000 Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief. The foundational document of this organization, which has gained over half-a-million signatures, addresses religious liberty, sanctity of life, and traditional marriage. (links to brief)