Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Pacific Justice Institute: A school district in Southern California has added legal muscle to its defense against a lawsuit that was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Pacific Justice Institute Press Release: A Northern California school under fire for religious discrimination has agreed to change its policies and settle a student’s First Amendment lawsuit.
Fox News: Teenagers at a California high school were publicly shamed for disagreeing with speakers allowed to push an LGBT agenda during an English class, according to several upset parents.
Fox News: It’s hard to imagine that any school would have a problem with a book about a Christian family that helped Jews escape the Holocaust.
Christian News Network: A Christian legal organization in California is denouncing officials at a charter school in the state for removing books from its library simply because they were deemed to be Christian.
One News Now: In 2009, California instructed San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center to have staff escort a Jehovah’s Witness patient to services, but two Catholic employees objected and sued on the grounds that their faith requires they only attend Catholic services.
Christian News Network: A legal defense organization filed a lawsuit this week against California State University, alleging that the school fired a biologist for discovering scientific evidence that contradicted evolutionary theory.
WorldNetDaily: “The Alliance Defending Freedom also blasted the ‘hate-crimes’ bill, calling it ‘another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.’ ‘All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice,’ ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. ‘This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe.’”
WorldNetDaily: “Every Californian regardless of ideology should be encouraged by this ruling that strongly supports the fundamental right to have referendum signatures counted when they are delivered to county clerks ahead of the referendum deadline. These rights are too important for the secretary of state, or a county clerk, to play politics when they don’t like a particular referendum,” said Brad Dacus, the president of PJI.
David L. Hudson at ABA Journal: By contrast, Brad Dacus, president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute in Sacramento, disagrees. “The fallacy of the 9th Circuit decision is that the speech is the conduct,” says Dacus, whose organization represented the plaintiffs in one case that was consolidated into Pickup. “The legislation is so overreaching and the 9th Circuit’s decision sets a dangerous precedent.”
WorldNetDaily: A Stockton, Calif., hospital has suspended a 10-year employee because he included “God Bless America” in the signature line of his emails, even though he obeyed an order to remove the offending phrase.
LifeSiteNews: “This is a nightmare scenario for the teenage girls—some of them freshmen—and their parents at this school,” PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds said in a statement. “This is exactly the kind of horror story we have been warning would accompany the push for radical transgender rights in schools, and it is the type of situation that LGBT activists have been insisting would not happen.”
Jim Wilson Blog at Redding.com: The October veteran’s march on Washington is an example: veterans peacefully dismantled and neatly stacked barriers; while others cleaned parks and memorials. There are the largely successful legal challenges to restrictions on faith mounted by outfits like Pacific Justice Institute, Pacific Legal Foundation, the Justice Foundation, and Alliance Defending Freedom.
California Family Alliance: Instead, the big news has centered on a transgendered student who, born male but perceiving himself as female, has been using the girls’ bathroom. The situation prompted a parental complaint to administrators, who responded that the boy’s rights as a transgendered student trump the privacy concerns of his peers. “This is a nightmare scenario for the teenage girls—some of them freshmen—and their parents at this school,” said Matthew McReynolds, a staff attorney with Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).
MPR: Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.
Caffeinated Thoughts: Alliance Defending Freedom and thePacific Justice Institute have filed abrief with the U.S. Supreme Court that asks the court to review the case of aUniversity of Toledo employee fired simply because she wrote an opinion column in her own personal name with a viewpoint that university officials didn’t like.
Calif. Tax Bill Seeks To Punish Boy Scouts’ For Gay Ban, Targets Group’s ‘unfortunate Discriminatory And Outdated Practices’ | The Blaze
The Blaze: “SB 323′s primary purpose is to penalize BSA based on its constitutionally protected membership policy and the values that underlie it,” lawyers for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom wrote in a letter to lawmakers last week. “This type of targeted punishment of a group based on how it exercises its associational and free speech rights violates the First Amendment.”
“California bill would eliminate tax breaks to punish Boy Scouts for excluding gays” | Washington Post (AP)
Washington Post (AP): “SB 323’s primary purpose is to penalize BSA based on its constitutionally protected membership policy and the values that underlie it,” lawyers for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom wrote in a letter to lawmakers last week. “This type of targeted punishment of a group based on how it exercises its associational and free speech rights violates the First Amendment.” | also at NBC
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel David Cortman says nonprofits serving youths have constitutional protection to promote their beliefs and values. “America’s youth organizations that have benefitted our country for generations should be free from harassment by politicians who don’t agree with the very values that have made these groups successful,” says Cortman. “The Constitution protects the freedom of youth organizations like the Boy Scouts to promote the values that have defined them as an organization for well over 100 years.” . . . . ADF senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco explains further. “The First Amendment protects the freedom of youth organizations to associate with members and leaders who share their values,” he explains. “Our youth deserve to continue to benefit from these groups, and bills like SB 323 severely threaten their ability to do so.”
Religion Clause Blog: The Pacific Justice Institute announced last week that it had filed suit in a Tulare County, California state court on behalf of John Vadnais, an elder at a local church, who wants to share his Christian belief with other shoppers at Visala Mall.
Sacramento Bee: On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled that the law prohibiting licensed mental health providers from steering patients under 18 away from gay and lesbian lifestyles does not infringe on the suing providers’ constitutional guarantee …
AP: A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked California from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed psychotherapists from working to change the sexual orientations of gay minors, but he limited the scope of his order to just the three providers who have appealed to him to overturn the measure. | Order: Welch v. Brown | Pacific Justice Institute press release: Federal Judge Rules that CA SB1172 Violates Free Speech
Yahoo News: A college student who claims he once had same-sex attractions but became heterosexual after conversion therapy has filed a lawsuit against California, which has enacted a law that bans so-called “gay cures” for minors.
AP: The Pacific Justice Institute challenged the law signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown. The lawsuit was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
Lisa Shaw Roy, The Evangelical Footprint, 2011 Michigan State Law Review 1235-1291.
Funding for evangelical advocacy received a boost with the formation of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) in 1994. Prominent movement leaders, such as James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, formed ADF to fund litigation and to coordinate the efforts of Christian litigation firms.
ADF has been responsible for providing funding in several high profile cases, including Rosenberger, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. ADF also sponsors litigation firms with overlapping interests, such as the Christian Law Association, Pacific Justice Institute, the Home School Legal Defense Fund, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, to name a few. While ADF began solely as an umbrella organization to provide funds to individual lawyers and law firms, ADF now also takes its own cases.
Though its success as a funding organization seems apparent given, for example, the number of Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs that disclose ADF support, some opine that its success in coordinating evangelical litigation efforts has been mixed.
Pacific Justice Institute: The California Senate today voted in favor of a groundbreaking bill designed to prohibit counselors and therapists from telling young people it is possible to change same-sex attractions.
LifeSiteNews: “The State should respect the choices that parents make for their children and avoid attempts at ideological indoctrination,” the permanent observer mission of the Holy See to the United Nations wrote in a statement released last Tuesday.
Pacific Justice Institute: AB 2109 by Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), seeks to rein in parents who object to mandatory vaccines for students. Current law allows parents to opt out by sending a letter to the school, expressing the beliefs that prompted their decision. Assemblyman Pan’s bill would require the creation of a new government form for those parents to complete, and would also require them to get a signature and information from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant about vaccines and communicable diseases.
One News Now: California attorney expects opponents of traditional marriage to lose in The Golden State if the Proposition 8 case is heard by the full panel of judges on a federal appeals court.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey at :WSJ.com: What counts as a church? Chuck and Stephanie Fromm recently found out. After hosting several periodic Bible studies for up to 50 people in their home in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Fromms were fined $300 for violating a city ordinance that prohibits groups of three or more people from gathering without a permit.
Ventura County Star: Port Hueneme will be the first city in Ventura County to post the words “In God We Trust” in City Hall after a 4-1 vote by the City Council on Monday.
Pacific Justice Institute: The Southern California city that issued citations against homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, for holding Bible studies in their home, has reversed course after attorneys for Pacific Justice Institute took the case to court. The city recently dropped its action against the couple and refunded the fines they had paid. However, the city has not yet changed its laws that led to the controversy.
Pacific Justice Institute: Opening legal briefs have been filed in the California Court of Appeal, arguing that San José school officials broke the law by refusing to even consider a parent’s request to change a controversial pro-gay celebration at her child’s middle school.
CBN.com: “It’s very difficult without paid signature gatherers. But the ground swell is so great, it’s actually possible that we just might make it,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, one group supporting the effort.
OneNewsNow.com: Equality California has filed a complaint against the Stop SB 48 campaign, alleging that the Pacific Justice Institute and the Capitol Resource Institute are engaged in an “unlawful scheme” to qualify the referendum for the 2012 ballot.
Pacific Justice Institute: A parent of two young girls was caught off guard recently when her daughters came home from school with questions about a man dressed like a woman on duty in the school cafeteria. The parent was further chagrined when officials in the Sierra Sands Unified School District confirmed the story but insisted their hands were tied.
World Net Daily: Chuck and Stephanie Fromm already have been fined $300 for holding Bible studies for their friends at their home, and they face the potential for additional fines of $500 for each study held, according to a legal team taking their case to court.
Pacific Justice Institute: The ACLU spearheaded a campaign so the College would censure Dr. Lopez for comments they characterized as anti-homosexual and promoting a Christian belief system.
Pacific Justice Institute: Church Raises Alarm Over City’s Push for More Control of Private Property
Pacific Justice Institute: A California case being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court raises nationwide concerns that cities are trying to seize unprecedented authority over private property, according to attorneys involved in the case.
Pacific Justice Institute: An appeal has been filed with the California Court of Appeal in a lawsuit challenging a refusal by the superintendent and school board president of San Jose Unified School District to allow a parent to formally request changes to a controversial program at her child’s middle school.
OneNewsNow.com: Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute says, “The city of San Leandro is attempting to have the U.S. Supreme Court water down the federal civil rights statute by getting it to come to a finding that a substantial burden for churches must be something real extreme in order for this federal civil rights statute to kick in to protect churches who are wishing to build or grow or expand to a new location.”
After SB 48 was signed into law last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, Pacific Justice Institute worked quickly behind the scenes, with several other pro-family organizations to launch the referendum. Papers have been filed with the California Attorney General’s Office.
Redding.com Jim Wilson’s blog: It is likewise conservatives – like Pacific Justice Institute and the Alliance Defense Fund – who fight in the courts for just rulings and procedures today. But the shoe remains on the other foot for only a moment. Scripture says we need the Law and the Prophets to remain straight and God uses both camps in due season. Speaking as a conservative, we needed each other then and we need each other now.
Pacific Justice Institute: The PJI suit challenges the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the new law, which requires that nearly all Americans to buy health insurance, whether they want it or not. The Ninth Circuit is currently weighing whether to allow the suit to go forward.
Rev. Austin Miles at Examiner.com: That is only a few of the cases this year. Other Christian law firms who are funded by Christinas and can represent defendants free of charge, include Thomas More Law Center, Alliance Defense Fund headed by Alan Sears, and American Center of Law and Justice (ACLJ) headed by Jay Sekulow . . .
One News Now: California-based attorney Michael Newdow and the Freedom From Religion Foundation agreed to drop a case that challenged the constitutionality of the pastoral housing allowance exemption.
Pacific Justice Institute: On May 23-24 Redwood Heights Elementary School will be teaching children in grades kindergarten through fifth that there are more than two genders. The two days calendared for this are entitled “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training.” In documents released by the school, students will be taught that “gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy.”
Conservative Trial Lawyers Use Lawsuits to Protect Free Speech, Religious Freedom, & Property Rights
Injury Board Blog Network: There are scores of other cases like these every year, filed by these groups and others, such as the Alliance Defense Fund, the Rutherford Institute, and many others… just as the Founders intended. The “tort reform” movement will eventually reach harm cases, through restrictions on the filing of any lawsuit, Americans don’t recognize the universality of the rights protected in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Pacific Justice Institute: Ironically, the conflict arose after library officials frowned on the Tea Party’s distribution of the U.S. Constitution and similarly-themed information in the library’s breezeway during Constitution Week last September. Over the next few months, a library committee drafted a new policy designed to limit such activities.
Pacific Justice Institute: Attorneys for Pacific Justice Institute, who represented plaintiff and youth pastor Matthew Snatchko, noted, however, that the settlement is consistent with a California Court of Appeal decision last August that criticized the mall’s rules that attempted to limit consensual conversations between mall patrons. The court held in favor of Snatchko.
Pacific Justice Institute: A public high school that reportedly suppressed student speech on last year’s “Day of Silence” opted to change its approach after facing the threat of legal action from Pacific Justice Institute.
Christian Post: ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Matt Sharp also agrees that Christian students should express their opinions. In a blog he wrote, “Christians who oppose the blatant promotion of the homosexual agenda are often labeled as bullies. But respectfully speaking the truth is never an act of bullying. In fact, speaking the truth is the greatest act of love we can show to others.”
Pacific Justice Institute: Pacific Justice Institute is sending a legal demand letter to a high school in Oregon that reportedly used last year’s pro-LGBT “Day of Silence” to suppress student speech that supported heterosexuality. The next “Day of Silence” is scheduled for this Friday, April 15.
Pacific Justice: “A former student at Gateway East High School of the Grossmont Union High School District has filed suit against GUHSD, saying he was disciplined and suspended for sharing his faith with fellow students and for bringing his Bible to school. The student is represented by Pacific Justice Institute.”
Pacific Justice Institute: In a move that some parents and educators see as further proof that state legislators have lost touch with economic realities, the California Senate Education Committee on Wednesday will consider a bill that would require schools to spend scarce resources to become more gay-friendly. SB 48 . . .
Pacific Justice Institute: “In light of the recent protests by public employee unions in Wisconsin and several other states, the Pacific Justice Institute is renewing its pledge to represent employees who seek to disassociate from their unions for religious reasons.”
“The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that the city of San Leandro illegally discriminated against a church by not allowing it to use its own property for worship services. The church, Faith Fellowship Foursquare Church, is represented by staff attorneys with Pacific Justice Institute.”
Pacific Justice Institute: “The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is heading to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. In two separate cases, one brought by same-sex couples married in Massachusetts and the other by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a judge struck down a challenged section of the law which defines marriage for the purpose of interpreting federal statutes, regulations and administrative bureaus whenever the word ‘marriage’ or ‘spouse’ is used.”
Pacific Justice Institute: “Prominent atheist Michael Newdow is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that the national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ is unconstitutional. Pacific Justice Institute is a co-defendant in the lawsuit, alongside U.S. government officials.”
One News Now: “Callers can dial into the conference call and hear speakers from organizations like the Pacific Justice Institute, Eagle Forum, and the Alliance Defense Fund. The PreserveLiberty.com consultant encourages believers to continue to labor in prayer and remember God’s faithfulness towards America, but he says they must also be prepared to engage their culture.”
Pacific Justice Institute: “Due to the personal involvement of Judge Reinhardt’s wife in the Prop. 8 case and his own inability to be impartial based on his prior rulings against protection of traditional marriage, the Pacific Justice Institute is taking the extraordinary step of calling for his recusal from the case. PJI filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit, detailing support for traditional marriage in ancient civilizations that otherwise tolerated homosexual behavior.”
Pacific Justice Institute: “A heated controversy in this Bay Area city over mandatory pro-gay curricula for all students has taken an unexpected twist that is leaving gay activists and the ACLU scrambling to explain why a film shown to elementary students portrays African-American families in a negative light.”
EarnedMedia: “The controversy centers around three films, ‘That’s a Family,’ ‘Let’s Get Real,’ and ‘Straightlaced,’ that promote the idea that gay relationships are just as normal as any other family structure. The films are being mandated as part of a legal settlement between the ACLU and VCUSD. A parent questioned the District’s refusal to allow objecting families to opt out of the instruction, which has been mandated for all students in the District – including first-graders. The Vallejo City Unified School District governing board will hear from the community and discuss the issue Wednesday night beginning at 5 p.m.”
Pacific Justice Institute: “A federal judge has ruled that an unusual belief system called Anthroposophy is not a religion, so public schools can continue to utilize its methodology . . . Kevin Snider, Chief Counsel of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, ‘This ruling illustrates the double standard that many people see in public education: widely-held beliefs like Christianity and Judaism are excluded, while unusual beliefs like Anthroposophy are promoted. We believe this dichotomy is legally untenable, and we look forward to appellate review.’”
Pacific Justice Institute: “Teachers, African-Americans and others who voted for Prop. 8 might be surprised to learn that groups claiming to represent them filed legal briefs this week urging that Prop. 8 be struck down. Amicus or friend-of-the-court briefs were filed over the last two days by a number of groups supporting court-mandated gay marriage. Those groups include the California Teachers Association and the NAACP. ” | Perry Filings Here
Lyle Denniston writing at SCOTUSblog: “The Court is now scheduled to consider, at its private Conference on Nov. 5, a case filed by a California-based conservative legal advocacy group, the Pacific Justice Institute, and by a former California state legislator, Steve Baldwin, who is a devotee of limited government and now objects to the idea that the government could compel him to buy health insurance. The Institute also objects to parts of the new law that will affect it as an employer. Each has several other complaints about the law, too.”
Christian Post: “In an effort to breathe new life into legislation to protect marriage nationwide, the ranking Republican in the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith of Texas, and his legal team have filed two motions in defense of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act . . . ADF asserted, ‘The DOJ’s practical abdication of its own proven legal arguments, plus its ambivalence on whether it will even appeal, warrants intervention to ensure that widely-supported Congressional legislation like DOMA receives a fair and vigorous defense.’”
Pacific Justice Institute: ” . . . The question must be asked, what happens if the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court determine that Prop 8 proponents and Imperial County lack sufficient injury under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to have standing? The answer is that an amendment to the California Constitution will be erased without a meaningful review by the courts. The voters will have been disenfranchised . . . Under Article V of the Constitution, the Governor and Attorney General are a part of the executive branch and both have a duty to support and defend the State Constitution. Their oath of office requires them to do so “without mental reservation.” Unfortunately for the citizens of California, they are having second thoughts.”
WorldNetDaily: “The Supreme Court in California, which in 2008 ordered the creation of ‘same-sex marriage’ and was rebuffed within months by voters, now has refused to require that state officials follow the law and defend the constitutional mandate that marriage is only between one man and one woman . . . According to Staff Counsel [Jim Campbell] of the Alliance Defense Fund, one of the organizations arguing on behalf of traditional marriage advocate ProtectMarriage.com, the case really has just begun with Walker’s ruling.”
WorldNetDaily: “With a court deadline looming in just days, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have filed court documents to fight demands from the Pacific Justice Institute that the state defend a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman – only . . . According to Staff Counsel [Jim Campbell] of the Alliance Defense Fund, one of the organizations arguing on behalf of traditional marriage advocates ProtectMarriage.com, the case really has just begun with Walker’s ruling.”
Law.com: “A new legal effort to force California’s governor and attorney general to defend Proposition 8 in court may have some political potency, but is unlikely to win in court, legal observers say . . . There’s a high standard to win a writ of mandamus. And in this case, the Pacific Justice Institute, which filed the petition, is up against issues of executive branch discretion, the separation of powers doctrine and an ambiguous state statute regarding the attorney general’s obligation — or discretion — to defend the state in lawsuits, said UC Hastings College of the Law professor and appellate expert Rory Little.”