Casey Mattox discusses Houston subpoenas and the SCOTUS same-sex marriage issue with Matthew Hawkins and Andrew Walker (audio)alliancealert.org
Life News: Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWCRA) reopened their doors last week after closing down due to Alabama’s Women’s Health and Safety Act. The Act required abortion facilities to meet the same building standards as Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
AL.com: The percentage of Alabamians not affiliated with a specific religion surpasses the percentage of white mainline Protestants, ranking it third among “religious” groups, according to new research.
The Christian Post: ADF states that “legislative prayers serve the legitimate secular purposes of solemnizing public occasions, expressing confidence in the future, and encouraging the recognition of what is worthy of appreciation in society, and have never been understood as conveying government approval of particular religious beliefs.”
The Christian Post: David Hacker, senior legal counsel with ADF, told The Christian Post that a response from the university was expected within the next couple of weeks.
The College Fix: The “marketplace of ideas” on campus “depends on free debate between students—debate that is spontaneous, ubiquitous, and often anonymous—and is carried out through spoken word, flyers, signs, and displays,” David Hacker, director of the Alliance Defending Freedom’s university project,said in a press release.
Kevin Theriot discusses free speech at the University of South Alabama with Todd Sylvester and David Renshaw (audio)
The Cardinal Newman Society: ADF senior legal counsel David Hacker stated: Free speech should not be censored or limited to a ridiculously small area on campus, nor should students need permission to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects speech for all students in the outdoor areas of campus, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.
The Daily Caller: The students teamed up with the Alliance Defending Freedom to sue the University of Michigan, resulting in a $14,000 settlement and an improved speech policy.
One News Now: The problem is that pro-life groups are being treated differently than others on the campus because of the viewpoint they express – so says David Hacker, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.
Personal Liberty Digest: Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint Friday in a pro-life student organization’s lawsuit against the University of South Alabama.
Life News: “Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” added ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “We hope that the University of South Alabama will revise its policy so that its students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”
Federal judge says Alabama abortion law is unconstitutional; claims it would close 3 out of 5 clinics
The Christian Post: A federal judge has ruled that an Alabama law that requires abortion providers to attain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional.
Three states file brief on behalf of Catholic TV station seeking exemption from HHS’ contraception mandate
The Christian Post: Three states have filed an amicus brief on behalf of an Alabama-based Catholic television station founded by nuns that is seeking an exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services’ “preventive services” mandate.
The Washington Times: A new Alabama law restricting doctors who perform abortions would force several women’s clinics to shut down, placing unconstitutional restrictions on a woman’s right to obtain one, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Daily Caller: For the second time in as many weeks, back-to-back rulings in the South have declared laws that require abortionists to obtain admitting privileges to nearby hospitals unconstitutional and halted enforcement. Both the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and a U.S. District Court Judge handed down similar rulings that have people scratching their heads.
The Washington Times: A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics, saying he needs more time to review an appeals court ruling earlier in the week blocking a similar measure in Mississippi.
Life News: A Huntsville, Alabama, abortion business that has failed to meet new licensing regulations, will shut down today. Meanwhile, efforts to move the facility to a location near a middle school have been placed on hold.
Religion Clause: In Eternal Word Television Network v. Burwell, (SD AL, June 17, 2014), an Alabama federal district court granted summary judgment to Department of Health and Human Services, rejecting a Catholic media network’s challenges to the rules accommodating religious non-profits’ objections to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.
Live Action News: Alabama pro-life activists are involved in ongoing protests against a Huntsville abortion facility’s proposed move into a minority neighborhood next to a middle school.
ABC News: The operators of three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics testified Monday they use out-of-town doctors who wouldn’t be able to admit patients to local hospitals as required under a new state law and would have to end abortion services if a federal judge allows the measure to take effect.
The Washington Times: Two Alabama women filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriage so they can both be legal parents to their 8-year-old son.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint and records request with Roper about his involvement with Prayer Force United. Prayer Force United, started in 2009, is a joint effort between Roper and area churches and neighborhood residents. They carry out monthly prayer walks and prayer meetings in the city’s neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by crime.
Sarah Janie Hicks petitioned this Court for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Criminal Appeals’ judgment affirming her conviction, following a guilty plea, for chemical endangerment of a child for exposing her unborn child to a controlled substance, in violation of Alabama’s chemical endangerment statute, § 26-15-3.2(a)(1), Ala. Code 1975.
Christian Post: “But now a city regulation requiring food trucks to get a permit, which can cost as much as $500, is threatening to put an end to Wood’s homeless ministry. Last month, he was stopped by police for handing out food without a permit. Still, he vows to continue his work.”
Montgomery Advertiser: “The Alabama House of Representatives Wednesday approved a resolution calling for a convention to put a same-sex marriage ban in the U.S. Constitution.”
AL.com: “The Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery has announced that it is now representing the mother of a gay man who is fighting for her son’s property rights – against his husband.”
Associated Press: “The Senate voted 24-10 Wednesday evening to give final approval to a bill extending the waiting period from 24 hours to 48 hours after a woman receives information from an abortion clinic about the risks of abortion, gestational development, and abortion alternatives. The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Ed Henry of Decatur cleared the House 76-34 in March and now goes to the governor for review.”
AL.com: “Three bills that would add new restrictions on abortion moved closer to becoming law today. The Senate Health Committee approved the three bills, which now move to the Senate. They have already passed the House.”
Montgomery Advertiser: “U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson Monday morning ordered a lawsuit over an Alabama abortion regulation to go to trial, saying there were significant points of dispute over how new admitting privileges requirements for physicians would affect the state’s five abortion clinics.”
ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM COMMENT March 31, 2014 – 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 Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden regarding multiple new legal setbacks …
OneNewsNow: “ADF Attorney David Hacker says Central Alabama fired Lane because they considered his testimony at trial part of his ‘job duties,’ not part of his First Amendment right. ‘No one should be fired or suffer other forms of retaliation for speech outside the workplace, especially when they’re testifying truthfully in court,’ Hacker tells OneNewsNow.”
Montgomery Advertiser: “A federal judge has extended a temporary restraining order against an Alabama abortion law, saying the court needed more time to consider how to move forward in a lawsuit brought against it.”
AL.com: “Huntsville attorney Patrick Hill said he sent a certified letter to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange today notifying the AG’s office that he intends to challenge the dismissal of the divorce petition. Hill said his efforts are aimed at making sure his client can exercise her rights to petition the circuit court for a divorce.”
“Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that asks the court to make clear that a public employee has a First Amendment right to speak freely outside the workplace, especially when he is legally required to testify truthfully in a court proceeding. Alliance Defending Freedom filed the brief to ensure broader free speech protections for employees of public universities and colleges that often suppress their employees’ speech simply because the schools disagree with their views.”
Associated Press: “Circuit Judge Karen Hall of Huntsville issued a two-sentence order throwing out the uncontested divorce of Shrie Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond.”
AL.com: “A same-sex couple who married in Iowa in 2012 has filed for divorce in Alabama, creating a potentially complex court challenge in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.”
The Clanton Advertiser: “The Alabama House of Representatives passed four bills on Tuesday placing restrictions on abortions throughout the state.”
The Christian Institute: “Bama Students for Life were supported by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty organisation in America. ADF’s Matt Sharp said: ‘Censorship is inconsistent with “the marketplace of ideas” that a public university is supposed to be.’”
Montgomery Advertiser: House legislators discussed four controversial bills relating to religion in committee meetings this week, including one that would require public school teachers to read Christian prayers daily. Experts say two of the other bills, one that would allow teachers to display images related to “traditional winter celebrations” in schools and one that would give students religious freedoms, are already allowed.
A pro-life student group’s display will return to a hallway at the University of Alabama Thursday. The university apologized Monday to Bama Students for Life, represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, for an official’s decision to remove the display on Feb. 6 because some people said they found it “offensive.”
The Crimson White (University of Alabama): “Following the incident, Bama Students for Life retained legal counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a faith-based legal group out of Phoenix, Ariz. While no legal actions were taken, Matt Sharp, the ADF lawyer representing BSFL, said Sunday that he and the group’s leaders would plan their next steps if the requests in the letter were not met.”
Times Daily: “House Bill 490 is the ‘Fetal Heartbeat Act’ and makes it unlawful for a physician to perform an abortion if a heartbeat has been detected. Medical experts say a heartbeat can be detected around eight weeks.” | HB 490
Students fight back after University of Alabama crushes free speech of pro-lifers | Students for Life
Students for Life of America Press Release: “Bama Students for Life have retained Alliance Defending Freedom as legal counsel and plan 2 days of public events to address this troubling loss of First Amendment rights and discrimination.”
Tuscaloosa News: “Chretien said the groups would wait for the response before deciding on any further action. The student group has retained legal counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal defense group that advocates for religious freedom. The group has also been in contact with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.”
Associated Press: “A gay man whose partner was killed in a car accident has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama laws that bar the recognition of his marriage, which took place in Massachusetts.”
University of Alabama students “offended” by pro-life display, school promptly removes it | Townhall
Cortney O’Brien at Townhall: “Bama Students for Life are working with Alliance Defending Freedom to challenge their school’s intolerant decision. Here’s hoping justice wins out and Bama Students for Life are not denied the chance to courageously defend the lives of precious unborn children.”
Robby Soave at The Daily Caller: “Administrators at the University of Alabama secretly removed an anti-abortion display because some students found it offensive . . . The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Bama Students for Life. The group has asked the university to apologize for censoring the poster and allow Chretien to display it again.”
Alec Torres at National Review: ‘We’re not seeking for anyone else’s display to be taken down at all,’ Matt Sharp, an attorney from The Alliance to Defending Freedom defending the pro-life students tells me. ‘What Bama students For Life seek is the same rights everyone else has.’”
LifeNews: “‘Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not arenas for censoring particular viewpoints just because someone feels offended,’ said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. ‘We support Bama Students for Life and look forward to continuing to working with them to ensure that their constitutional freedoms are protected.’”
Dr. Susan Berry at WORLD: “‘Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not arenas for censoring particular viewpoints just because someone feels offended,’ said Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Matt Sharp.”
“A University of Alabama official removed a pro-life student group’s hallway display last week without any notification to the group after she claimed that some students found the display offensive. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent the student group, Bama Students for Life, which provided a letter to the university Tuesday to register a formal complaint about the incident.”
Kim Chandler at Associated Press: “Opponents of Alabama’s new abortion clinic law told a federal judge Friday that three of the state’s five clinics will close and poor women will have significantly curtailed access to abortion if the law goes into effect.” | ACLU Press Release
AP: “‘The moral foundation of our country is under attack,’ Chief Justice Roy Moore said in an interview with The Associated Press. He mailed letters Wednesday to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislatures to call for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying the only union recognized by state and federal governments is ‘the union of one man and one woman.’ He also is setting up a website to rally public support.”
Associated Press: “Alabama’s school board voted 5-2 on Friday to recommended 11 social studies textbooks, effectively dismissing complaints from critics who said the texts favored Islam over other religions.”
Associated Press: “Alabama lawmakers and social conservatives want to allow most health care workers to opt out of participating in abortions and other procedures to which they have a personal objection.”
Montgomery Advertiser: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that a new Texas law requiring physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals could go into effect, overruling a lower court’s decision. If that law sounds familiar, it’s because the Alabama Legislature approved a bill last spring creating that same requirement for this state’s five abortion clinics.
AL.com: The Freedom from Religion Foundation has threatened a lawsuit against the Madison County Commission for organized prayer at its meetings. The group also challenged prayer walks at Cullman County Schools.
NC Register: Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the state would join EWTN as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, which asks the court both to halt the government from imposing the HHS mandate and to find that the law is unconstitutional. | Becket Fund press release
AL.com: American Atheists Inc. is preparing to file a lawsuit against the city of Montgomery in the next few days if the city doesn’t disband its program that dispatches clergy to violent crime scenes or make it more inclusive.
Gerard Bradley at Public Discourse: Faith-based dorms at secular universities offer a positive alternative to the indoctrination and debasement present on many campuses.
AL.com: Across the nation – and in countries around the world – anti-abortion protestors this month are demonstrating outside of abortions clinics to bring awareness to their view that abortion is wrong and should be illegal.
Montgomery Advertiser: An atheist organization is threatening to sue the city of Montgomery if it doesn’t put an end to Operation Good Shepherd, a police program that uses city funding to train pastors to go to crime scenes.
Religion Clause Blog covers three recent religious accomodation cases involving work on the Sabbath and employee clothing.
The New Civil Rights Movement: “I have a very deep faith in God. I am a Christian and my God believes it’s all about love,” said Patricia who was raised a Catholic and still identifies as a Christian. “Now we are legally recognized as a unit and made a commitment before God and our friends to take care of each other,” she said.
Ala. Residents Won’t Get Any Details About ‘Obamacare’ Plans Before Insurance Options Go Online Oct. 1
CBS: Alabamians hoping to find health insurance through a new federally developed insurance marketplace won’t get any details before October, when the insurance options are scheduled to go online.
Christian Coalition Director James Henderson among five Alabama anti-abortion ‘bullies’ tracked by Voice of Choice
AL.com: A Huntsville anti-abortion leader today called for Crestwood Medical Center to sever ties with two abortion doctors with the intent to derail the abortion industry in Huntsville.
AL.com: The chairman of the Madison County Commission is expecting a lawsuit challenging the new practice of having organized prayer before commission meetings.
Jimmy Sandlin at Al.com: The Alabama Supreme Court recently decided that children have very few individual rights relating to their associations. The Court’s decision in Ex Parte E.R.C., 73 So. 3d 640, 2011, grants that power almost exclusively to the parent or parents, and the trial court is forbidden from considering whether the decision is in the “best interests of the child.”