Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The College Fix: “Courts upheld chaplain programs in a variety of contexts where citizens are removed from their congregations due to their government services,” alliance legal counsel Travis Barham told The College Fix in a phone interview.
One News Now: “This is simply a way for these public universities to accommodate the needs of their religious student athletes,” Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom says. “And public universities have tremendous leeway under the First Amendment to accommodate the needs of their students, including the religious needs of their students.”
The Global Dispatch: Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to six public universities after they received complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation wrongly stating that having basketball team chaplains is unconstitutional.
The College Fix: The Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting back against a campaign by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to get public universities to drop their basketball chaplains, who also serve as “character coaches,” calling them unconstitutional.
Atheists’ latest move to strike God from public universities has one legal firm hitting back against ‘shameful’ ‘distortion’ of the First Amendment
The Blaze: The Alliance Defending Freedom is pushing back after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, sent complaints to six public universities last month, claiming that the presence of team chaplains is unconstitutional.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to six public universities after they received complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation wrongly stating that having basketball team chaplains is unconstitutional.
Baptist Joint Committee: Article VI of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” It is one of the few direct references to religion in our founding documents, outside the First Amendment.
The Daily Signal: The right-to-die debate is ramping up across the nation as a number of states consider passing legislation that would allow terminally ill adults to take their own life.
Religion Clause: Another federal district court has weighed in on whether retirement plans created and maintained by religiously-affiliated hospitals qualify for the “Church Plan” exemption from ERISA.
Baltimore Sun: The legal fight over land playing out between the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and a tiny Middle River church is one of the rare lawsuits filed against the denomination in the state. But it’s one of dozens of such cases across the nation over 30 years that have turned on Constitutional questions that the Supreme Court has attempted to answer more than once.
Fox News: After 10 years, the Maryland School for the Blind suspended a Bible study for blind teenagers, telling a local church leader it was because of “church-state” issues.
Breitbart: Also galling to Montgomery County officials is the fact that by following NARAL’s advice, they had to pay Centro Tepeyac $375,000 in legal fees. Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom said, “NARAL’s response to that is to give more bad advice. Even one of NARAL’s best friends on the county council says that his colleagues probably would not adopt NARAL’s proposed ‘truth-in-advertising’ law after NARAL had caused this court debacle.”
Gvmt official confirms authenticity of e-mails showing collaboration with NARAL to shut down pregnancy centers
Life Site News: After LifeSiteNews published e-mails Tuesday showing Montgomery County officials collaborating with NARAL’s Maryland chapter in an effort to shut down pro-life pregnancy centers, the county council’s current president has admitted they are authentic.
American Thinker: A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals it: officials in Montgomery County (Mo Co), Maryland collaborated with activists from rabidly pro-abortion NARAL to shut down a pro-life pregnancy resource center in the county.
Christian News Wire: Responding to a report from LifeSiteNews.com uncovering an ongoing plan between the Maryland chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the public officials in Montgomery County, Md., to impede or eliminate pregnancy help organizations, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., pointed to the success of pregnancy centers in her companion article at LifeSiteNews.com.
Life Site News: Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, Centro fought the ordinance, which did not apply to abortion clinics. On April 30, 2014, Montgomery County dropped its defense of the law after a third decision against it on March 7, in which U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow, a Clinton appointee, noted that the people who accused the centers of spreading “misinformation” were “universally volunteers from a pro-choice organization sent to investigate practices” at the centers.
Christian News Network: A number of atheist organizations are seeking to remove long-standing language from seven state Constitutions that bans secularists from holding public office.
Daily Caller: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made national news last year when he fought to pass and signed a tax bill that levied a tax on Marylanders, businesses and churches for the amount of “impervious surface” they have on their property.
Fox News: For some students in the suburbs of Washington, Christmas — or at least recognition of it on their school calendars — has been canceled.
Christian father banned from daughter’s school after confrontation over 3-page essay on the Five Pillars of Islam
The Christian Post: A Maryland public high school has banned the father of one of its Christian students from the premises, alleging that he threatened to disrupt the school environment after the vice principal did not give into his complaints about the school’s history curriculum, which includes teaching components of Islam.
Christian News Network: A community college in Maryland has been leveled with a second lawsuit for allegedly rejecting a student because of his Christian faith.
Religion Clause: An applicant to Community College of Baltimore filed suit in a Maryland federal district court yesterday claiming that he was rejected from the radiation therapy program because he discussed his religious belief during his admissions interview.
Live Action News: “Courts around the country have been striking these types of laws down, and these decisions join the growing list,” says ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real help and real hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of the abortion industry.
Gazette.net: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom and co-counsel in the case, said the recent settlement covers what it cost for attorneys to defend “against the unconstitutional law and to restore freedom.” The settlement also include $1 in damages paid to Centro Tepeyac.
The Baltimore Sun: This prompted Alliance Defending Freedom to come to the defense of pro-life groups Care Net, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and the Vitae Foundation. All four groups contend that that city is wrong to subpoena organizations that are not parties to their lawsuit, have no offices in the city, and are located across the country.
Life News: A Maryland county paid $375,000 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and nominal damages this week after a court battle won by a pro-life center represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys.
Life Site News: After four years and three court decisions, a D.C.-area crisis pregnancy center has finally received justice. Montgomery County, Maryland, has paid $375,000 in attorney’s fees, court costs, and damages to Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center and its legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Telegraph: Montgomery County has paid just under $375,000 in attorneys’ fees and court costs to a group that brought a lawsuit challenging a county ordinance that affected anti-abortion pregnancy counseling centers.
Alliance Defending Freedom: A Maryland county paid $375,000 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and nominal damages this week after a court battle won by a pro-life center represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys. In March, a federal court issued a ruling striking down the entirety of a Montgomery County law that forced pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services.
The Washington Times: Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a measure to stop discrimination against transgender people at his last bill-signing ceremony as governor, but opponents say they will try to have the new law rescinded at the ballot box in November.
The Washington Post: Montgomery County school officials could take a major step Tuesday toward updating the district’s teaching of sexual orientation, with proposals calling for introduction of the topic a year earlier in middle school and an end to scripted lessons with required phrasing.
One News Now: A Maryland county has decided it won’t pursue legal efforts to stifle free speech for pro-life pregnancy centers.
WND: Officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, have decided not to appeal an adverse court ruling that swamped their plans to silence pregnancy centers.
ADF Media: A Maryland county has decided not to appeal a March federal court ruling that struck down the entirety of a law that forced pro-life pregnancy care centers to advise women against using their services.
Life Site News: A Maryland county has dropped its lawsuit against a crisis pregnancy center near the nation’s capital, which would have forced the institution to meet signage standards abortion facilities were exempted from.
Christian News: A Maryland district court has ruled in favor of a Washington, D.C.-based evangelist who filed a lawsuit against a Maryland county and its police department after being cited with criminal trespass for engaging in free speech activity on a public sidewalk.
No legal recourse for Gallaudet University official demoted because she signed anti-same-sex-marriage petition
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: “In late 2012, Gallaudet University suspended Angela McCaskill, the university’s Chief Diversity Officer, for signing an anti-same-sex marriage petition. The university later reinstated her, but at a lower position. She sued, and on Monday she lost (McCaskill v. Gallaudet Univ. (D.D.C. Apr. 14, 2014)).”
Baltimore Sun: “A divided Carroll County board of commissioners voted Tuesday to no longer invoke Jesus Christ in prayers before government sessions, a measure one commissioner said ‘binds me to an act of disobedience against my Christian faith.’”
Washington Post: “A group of Carroll County residents has asked a federal judge to find county commissioners in contempt and to fine them $30,000 for allowing explicit prayers to be said at government meetings. The residents and the American Humanist Association filed the request with a U.S. District Court in Maryland on Tuesday, a week after a judge from that court ordered the five-member commission to halt sectarian prayers while a case over the issue proceeds.” | AHA press release.
Washington Post: “The Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation to expand protections for transgender individuals, barring employers, landlords and others from discriminating against people based on gender identity.”
Baltimore Sun: “A day after a federal judge barred Carroll County commissioners from invoking Jesus Christ in their pre-meeting prayers, Commissioner Robin B. Frazier did just that — twice — saying she was willing to go to jail for her beliefs.”
Religion Clause: “In Hake v. Carroll County Maryland, (D MD, March 26, 2014), a Maryland federal district court granted a preliminary injunction barring Carroll County, Maryland commissioners opening their commission sessions with sectarian prayer.”
Maryland Reporter: “Legislation titled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, SB 34, sponsored by Sen. Ed Reilly dictates that after 20 weeks into a pregnancy, a physician would not be permitted to induce an abortion, except in cases of medical emergency. The 20-week cut off was determined by the bill’s proponents, who provided data that says the fetus develops pain receptors by that date.”
Mario Diaz at American Thinker: “Bad news for pro-abortion advocates: the United States District Court for the District of Maryland just issued a ruling on an important First Amendment pro-life case (Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County), exposing, yet again, the radicalism and lack of care for women of the pro-’choice’ movement. . . . Centro Tepeyac, a CPC, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, challenged the law as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
LifeSiteNews: “ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox told LifeSiteNews, ‘This law, and others like it, are NARAL-driven attacks on non-profit pregnancy centers because they cut into abortion’s bottom line. NARAL, PP, and their allies recognize this growing threat of pro-life pregnancy centers that provide health and hope to women for free, without taking taxpayer money.’”
WorldNetDaily: “‘Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of abortion sellers,’ said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, co-counsel in the case.”
A federal court issued a ruling Friday that strikes down the entirety of a Maryland county’s law that forced pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services. The court’s permanent injunction prohibits the Montgomery County law from being enforced effective immediately.
Washington Times: “Transgender-rights supporters in Maryland are hoping that this will be the year they get a nondiscrimination law enacted to safeguard their rights in society. But a provision involving ‘public accommodations’ — including rest rooms, showers, lockers and dressing rooms — has drawn an outcry.”
Religion Clause: “A humanist organization and three individuals yesterday filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a 40-foot tall cross erected nearly 90 years ago as a memorial to those killed in World War I. The cross is located on a median between roadways in Bladensburg, Maryland.”
Washington Post: “The note — which came well after deliberations were underway and after three days of testimony — said that the juror was a Jehovah’s Witness and that her religious beliefs did not allow her to “sit in judgment of another human being,’ Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.”
ABC2: “Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said he believes that recent same-sex marriages legally performed in Utah should be recognized in this state.”
Anna Higgins at Townhall: Congress must act to protect the religious liberty and conscience rights of Americans by passing the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), which would require insurance companies to clearly state whether their plans cover elective abortion before a consumer signs up for the plan and how much of their premium contributes to abortion coverage.
LifeSiteNews: Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education against the Montgomery County, Maryland, Board of Education and its School Superintendent, Joshua Starr.
Examiner: The ordinance was approved unanimously by the Hyattsville City Council with a 9-0 margin. The passing of the new ordinance will now make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, along with other factors as well.
Fox Baltimore: Officials in the western Maryland town of Hancock are disassociating themselves from a Nativity scene in a public park that has raised concerns from a First Amendment group.
Washington Times: Pro-life groups, which are eager to end research that destroys human embryos, are taking heart that funding decisions in two of the nation’s most socially liberal states are going their way.
Herald Mail Media: A Nativity scene in a public park in Hancock has drawn a letter of concern from a national organization promoting separation of church and state, and town officials plan to post a sign at the site later this week disavowing any affiliation with the display.
LifeNews: The Maryland Board of Physicians has decided not to take action against late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart for the death of Jennifer Morbelli, a 29-year old woman who suffered fatal complications from a very late 33-week abortion.
Taunton Gazette: For experts on the United States Constitution, the addition of a 7-foot Christian cross to Middleboro’s town meeting agenda Monday night means one thing – more division. The town, deciding the fate of a cross that has stood for a half-century on a Route 28 traffic island, voted overwhelmingly to try and protect the brick structure. Voters did so by moving the land into private hands, thereby avoiding the constitutional mandate that church and state be separate.
CNSNews: Angela McCaskill, the first deaf black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet University, is suing her alma mater for placing her on paid administrative leave last fall after she was allegedly challenged by two lesbian professors for signing an online petition to put Maryland’s gay marriage law on the state ballot.
LifeNews: Abortionist Iris Dominy, whose Maryland medical license was summarily suspended in May after it was discovered that she was involved in the abortion-related death of Maria Santiago, has had her suspension lifted by the Maryland Board of Physicians (MDBP). She is free to continue practicing medicine, but has been barred from conducting any procedures that require sedation.
Washington Post: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on Monday pressed for the Internal Revenue Service to clarify whether it will allow legally married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns, calling for action in letters to the heads of the IRS and Treasury Department.
Victoria Stilwell, Jeanna Smialek & Meera Louis at Bloomberg: Hans Bernhard and Mitch Null say they may leave North Carolina — taking their daughter, their jobs as a veterinarian and an information technology business operations manager at Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and the tax revenue from their properties.
Ed Whelan at NRO: Justice Kennedy’s gaseous and gauzy rhetoric in Windsor is surely sufficiently indeterminate to permit Black’s reading. But I don’t think that the question in the case is nearly as simply as Black maintains. And, unless and until the Supreme Court clearly says otherwise, basic principles of federalism arguably ought to compel the lower federal courts to adopt the reading of Windsor that is most respectful of state authority.
Will Baude at the Volokh Conspiracy: One of the big unanswered questions after Windsor was what would happen to Section 2 of DOMA, and more generally the question of whether states must start recognizing same-sex marriages that were performed elsewhere. Chris Geidner reports that today a federal district court in Ohio answered “yes,” issuing a preliminary injunction forcing the state to recognize a Maryland same-sex marriage.
Townhall: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said of the appeals court’s decision in the Montgomery County case, “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of abortion sellers. The court of appeals affirmed that a hostile government cannot force pro-life centers to speak a message contrary to their interests without the highest form of justification for doing so.”
One News Now: And the local government’s orders to abortion facilities? “They don’t apply the government disclaimers to pro-abortion centers,” says attorney Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom. Bowman is serving as co-counsel representing the Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center in the lawsuit. Bowman, Matt (ADF)“They only make pro-life centers say things,” the attorney continues, “because mandated speech is designed to scare women away so that they will not actually be able to choose the life-affirming help that pro-life centers offer.”
4th Circuit rules on whether gov’t can force speech of pro-life centers | Alliance Defending Freedom
Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City of Council of Baltimore, Nos. 11–1111, 11–1185. (4th Cir. July 3, 2013)
Invoking the First Amendment, the district court fully and permanently enjoined enforcement of a City of Baltimore Ordinance requiring limited-service pregnancy centers to post disclaimers that they do not provide or make referrals for abortions or certain birth-control services. The injunction emanated from the court’s award of summary judgment to plaintiff Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Incorporated, on its claim that the Ordinance is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause. See O’Brien v. Mayor of Balt., 768 F.Supp.2d 804, 812–17 (D.Md.2011). Crucially, however, the summary judgment decision was laden with error, in that the court denied the defendants essential discovery and otherwise disregarded basic rules of civil procedure. We therefore vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings, without comment on how this matter ultimately should be resolved.1
LIfeNews: Michael Angelo Basco was summarily suspended from practicing medicine in Maryland on May 29, 2013, the same day two of his associates, Iris E. Dominy and Mansuor G. Panah, were also issued suspensions.
LifeNews: The medical licenses of abortionist Iris E. Dominy and Mansour G. Panah summarily suspended on May 29, 2013, after Dominy was involved in the death of 38-year old Maria Santiago, who stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest while she was left unmonitored and unattended immediately after her abortion on February 13, 2013.