Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
LifeNews: President Barack Obama has been invited to attend the annual Al Smith Catholic Charities dinner this October in New York and the participation of the pro-abortion president at the dinner is drawing nationwide condemnation. Obama accepted the invitation of Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S Conference of Catholic bishops.
NYT: A federal appeals court ruling has affirmed a lower court decision upholding the arrest of two protesters who refused to leave a no-demonstration zone across from Madison Square Garden during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. | Courthouse News Service: Anti-Abortion Activists Lose RNC Protest Suit – The anti-abortion activists were represented by the D.C.-based Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group. They have no affiliation with the NYCLU or its pending class action. | Marcavage v. NYC
Reuters: A law school graduate seeking to join the California bar despite his status as an illegal immigrant may soon become a test case for other young and undocumented professionals as the state’s highest court weighs whether he can be admitted to practice law.
Metro.us: And NYU head spokesman John Beckman hinted yesterday for the first time that the fast-food shop may not be on the NYU campus for much longer. Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy’s comments “are out of step with NYU’s views on this matter,” Beckman said, according to the Daily News. The school’s University Senate will “reexamine” this fall whether to keep the chain on campus.
Religion Clause Blog: In Hickey v. State University of New York at Stony Brook Hospital, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105182 (ED NY, July 27, 2012), a New York federal district court denied cross-motions for summary judgment in a Title VII religious discrimination and retaliation lawsuit by a painter in the hospital’s Physical Plant Department whose employment was terminated for insisting on wearing a lanyard around his neck printed with the phrase “I ♥ Jesus.”
Religion Clause Blog: According to today’s New York Times, in Rockland County (NY)’s East Ramapo Central School District, 14 Black and Hispanic parents of public school students have petitioned the State Education Department seeking removal of 5 Orthodox Jewish members of the school board.
Reuters: New York City filed a brief Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of an 83-year-old woman challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
TimesUnion.com: For the last decade, the City Council has let languish a zoning law that would have limited where adult entertainment or retail businesses can operate.
LegislativeGazette.com: While legalizing gay marriage was a landmark event, the Pride Agenda believes that true equality has not been achieved. In a statement, they said that discrimination against transgender New Yorkers needs to be put to an end.
Sacramento Bee: An anti-Islam activist has won a preliminary round in her First Amendment fight to place New York City bus ads calling enemies of Israel “savages.” || The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the case.
Religion Clause Blog: In Majdeh M. v. Jamshid A., (Kings Co. NY Sup. Ct., July 4, 2012), a New York trial court applied New York’s “Get” Law, Domestic Relations Law Sec. 236 [B]  [h] (originally enacted to deal with Jewish divorce issues), to an action involving maintenance and equitable distribution awards in a Muslim divorce.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Albany Update: The Alliance Defending Freedom has been fighting this raging battle for seventeen years and it isn’t over yet. While the churches will likely remain in the schools through the summer, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms expects Mayor Bloomberg’s Administration to appeal this decision come September. Win or lose, it looks like this religious freedom case will end up back in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: : Bronx Household of Faith Wins Permanent Injunction Against NYC School Policy Banning Worship Services
Sarah Torre at the Heritage Foundation: “Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,” explained Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Jordan Lorence, who has been litigating the case. “The court’s order allows churches and other religious groups to meet for worship services in empty school buildings on weekend on the same terms as other groups.”
Reuters: A New York man imprisoned for possessing and receiving child pornography cannot argue that he was wrongly convicted because he never stored the images on his computer, a federal appeals court has ruled. In an opinion on Monday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York considered for the first time whether viewing forbidden images on the Internet constitutes knowingly receiving and possessing them. | U.S. v. Ramos, No. 10-4802-cr
Becket Fund: The Becket Fund’s co-counsel on the brief is Michael McConnell, director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and one of the leading constitutional law scholars in the country. The Bronx Household of Faith is represented by Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund.
Christian Post: Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,” expressed ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence in a statement. “The court’s order allows churches and other religious groups to meet for worship services in empty school buildings on weekends on the same terms as other groups. ADF will continue to defend this constitutionally protected right if the city chooses to continue using taxpayer money to evict the very groups that are selflessly helping the city’s communities, including the public schools themselves.”
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys won a permanent injunction Friday that allows churches and other faith groups to continue to meet in New York City public school buildings for worship services after hours.
Reuters: A lawyer for the Bronx Household of Faith praised the decision.
CBN (includes video): “The court’s order allows churches and other religious groups to meet for worship services in empty school buildings on weekends on the same terms as other groups,” ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence said in a statement. “Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,” he added.
Timothy Dalrymple at Patheos: The good news, which just reached us here at the Alliance Defense Fund conference in Naples, Florida, is that the district court judge has just issued a permanent injunction against the city, which will allow churches meeting in schools to continue to do so indefinitely — or at least until the Second Circuit has an opportunity to reverse that decision.
Human Events: But on Friday, the Alliance Defense Fund won a permanent injunction against the city’s ban, allowing religious groups to once again meet in public schools after hours. ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence hailed the decision, saying “Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t. The court’s order allows churches and other religious groups to meet for worship services in empty school buildings on weekends on the same terms as other groups.” The long legal tug-of-war over those empty public school classrooms probably isn’t over, as Lorence understands: “ADF will continue to defend this constitutionally protected right if the city chooses to continue using taxpayer money to evict the very groups that are selflessly helping the city’s communities, including the public schools themselves.” [more]
The Examiner: On Friday, the Alliance Defense Fund won a permanent injunction in a 17 year legal battle involving the Bronx Household of Faith and the NYC Board of Education. Religious groups will now be allowed to hold religious services and meet freely for worship in public school facilities as any other group can . . . DF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence made the following statements in regards to the case. “Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,.. I think that there are school officials and also Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg that unfortunately are clinging to a very absolute view of the Establishment Clause. They do not understand that the government should accommodate freedom of speech for religions. They view religions as something evil or bad that needs to be driven from the public schools. All we are asking is that we are treated the same as everybody else.”
Gay City News: Sean Patrick Maloney, an out gay attorney, has captured the Democratic nomination for the 18th District US House in seat in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley.
The Hill: Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was marred by an ethics scandal and slowed down by a bad back, survived a stiff primary challenge on Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination in his bid for a 22nd House term.
NY Daily News: State law requires that marriages be broken down for at least six months before a divorce filing, meaning only those that hit the skids soon after the law was passed are winding up in the courts.
AP: Loud sirens, flashing lights and countless rainbow flags and banners accompanied uniformed police officers, cheerleaders and politicians who marched in San Francisco’s gay pride parade Sunday, the 42nd year the city has celebrated . . .
PostStarNews: For this reason, the New York State Bar Association urges the Assembly and the Senate to pass legislation to allow the disposition of certain cases in Youth Court, where youths are held accountable for their actions by their peers.
NY Times: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Christine C. Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, announced on Wednesday that they intended to file a legal brief arguing that the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional
LoHud.com: “A woman who works at St. Vincent’s Westchester is suing the Harrison hospital and its insurance carrier for refusing to provide health benefits to her wife.”
AP: The lawsuit’s plaintiffs remained anonymous. Defendants included Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and St. Joseph’s Medical Center . . . The women’s attorney, Randolph McLaughlin, said the lawsuit was unique because it challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act to obtain health care benefits.
Reuters: In response to a recent ruling by the state’s high court, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers have agreed to pass legislation that would outlaw the viewing of child pornography.
Wall Street Journal: The New York State Division of Human Rights lacks jurisdiction to investigate students’ civil rights complaints against their public school districts, the state’s top court ruled Tuesday. | Lambda Legal press release and background information
The city of Buffalo has consented to a court order issued Tuesday that prevents officials from kicking out a Christian man from this year’s Italian Festival as they did last year because he was speaking with attendees about his faith.
WWNTRadio: Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) from Gallant announced that he and the Foundation for Moral Law legal organization in Montgomery, Alabama, have filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
Weekly Standard: New York City councilman Charles Barron may be on his way to winning the Democratic nomination for Congress in New York’s Eighth District, despite a history of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel rhetoric. Barron, who has earned the support of retiring congressman Edolphus Towns, would be representing a district with a sizable Jewish population.
Religion Clause Blog: Time Magazine reports that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report yesterday on Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Following Jewish Ritual Circumcisions that Included Direct Orogenital Suction — New York City, 2000–2011.
Wall Street Journal (AP): The judge said the law fails because it tries to re-examine states’ decisions concerning same-sex marriage. She said such a sweeping review interferes with a system of government that places matters at the core of the domestic relations law exclusively within the province of the states. | Windsor v. U.S. (E.D. NY)
Family Research Council: ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence disputed the other side’s claim that the city has an obligation to “keep worship out of school.” “It is discriminatory to punish churches,” he explained, especially since religious student groups are allowed to hold meetings in the same space. “I think [the city officials]… do not understand that the government should accommodate freedom of speech for religion. They view religions as something evil or bad that needs to be driven from the public schools. All we are asking is that we are treated the same as everybody else,” Lorence said.
Mirror of Justice: Bronx Household of Faith obtained a preliminary injunction and is now seeking a permanent injunction against New York City, which would stop the City from excluding Bronx Household and any other religious organization from equal access to public school facilities. [ADF not mentioned]
Christian Post: “I think that Judge [Loretta] Preska is with us,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, in an interview with The Christian Post after the hearing.
Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Bronx Household of Faith has filed a motion asking the District Court to grant a permanent injunction against the New York City Department of Education’s policy barring religious groups from conducting worship services in the public schools during nonschool hours. New York City is asking the Court to uphold the policy.
Alan Sears at TellADF: Few cases illustrate so clearly the lengths to which many in today’s legal culture will go to undermine your Christian heritage and religious liberties as one Alliance Defense Fund attorneys are currently appealing in Greece, New York.
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument in federal court Friday in favor of an order that would allow churches to continue meeting in New York City public school buildings on weekends.
Catholic World Report: If New York City is the abortion capital of America, it is also the contraceptive capital of America. Free or low-cost birth control is available through dozens of publicly-funded programs at more than 200 places throughout New York state, most of them in New York City and its suburbs.
CNSNews: New York State accounted for the biggest migration exodus of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010, with 3.4 million residents leaving over that period, according to the Tax Foundation.
NY Post: A record 67,500 families have applied for the 14,600 seats available in the fall, according to estimates released yesterday by the New York City Charter School Center. The huge surge in demand means barely 1 in 5 students who applied was admitted.
Fred Mogul at NY Times (includes audio): Jordan Lorence, a lawyer who represents the churches, has argued that accommodating religious expression is very different from endorsing it. He said if the city was concerned about confusing students because their schools host worship services on Sundays — which the city has argued in court — then it should really worry about children who go to unmistakably Christian and Jewish buildings every school day. “Under their own criteria, those seem to be much more serious than what’s happening on the weekends,” said Mr. Lorence, a lawyer at the Alliance Defense Fund. “The school district is in the weird and strange and contradictory situation of: schools meeting in former church schools, O.K.; churches meeting in schools, not O.K. And I just don’t see a whole lot of difference there.”
Carl E. Olson at Catholic World Report: A “New York progressive” gives four reasons for opposing “gay marriage”
Fox News: The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based group that presses faith-based cases in courts nationwide, represented the town in court. It said it will appeal the ruling.
Findlaw: “The court wants the town to be prayer monitors, to determine how many prayers in Jesus’ name are too many,” which would violate the Establishment Clause, the Alliance Defense Fund’s Joel Oster told Thomson Reuters News & Insight.
Federal News Radio: The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based group that presses faith-based cases in courts nationwide, represented the town in court. It said it will appeal the ruling. Joel Oster, senior counsel for ADF who argued the town’s case, called the ruling “highly inconsistent” with what the Supreme Court has said on the issue and said it means towns will have to “complete an obstacle course” before they can qualify to say a prayer before a meeting. “The town has no obligation to go outside of its borders as if it’s an affirmative action program,” he said.
Reuters: Joel Oster of the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents Greece, said the town was prepared to appeal the case as far as the Supreme Court. “The court wants the town to be prayer monitors, to determine how many prayers in Jesus’ name are too many,” he said. That outcome violates the Establishment Clause, he said. Oster pointed to a 2008 ruling by the 11th Circuit in Pelphrey v. Cobb County, Georgia, upholding a county commission’s opening prayer policy.| Galloway v. Town of Greece, No. 10-3635-cv
StarGazette.com: A state appeals court Tuesday heard arguments on whether the state’s open meetings laws were violated during negotiations last year to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.
Reuters: The New York State Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to make it a crime to view child pornography on the Internet, as lawmakers rushed to close a loophole opened by a state appeals court just a week earlier.
One News Now: ADF attorney Nate Kellum says people of faith should not be threatened with arrest for peacefully expressing their beliefs. “The Constitution and court precedent in these types of cases is clear,” says Kellum. “Officials cannot toss someone out of a public event just because they don’t like the views he’s expressing . . . Exercising your constitutionally protected free-speech rights is not a crime,” says ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs. “Threatening to arrest Christians simply because they choose to exercise those rights in a public place is a clear violation of the First Amendment.”
WGRZ.com (includes video): Watch Buffalo attorneys Michael Risman of Hodgson Russ and Steven Cohen of Hogan Willig debate the merits of this lawsuit in the video player above The Alliance Defense Fund is filing the suit on behalf of Gregory Owen. The ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys that defend the right of people to freely live out their faith.
Findlaw: The State Assembly passed the legislation with overwhelming support, but it is currently sitting in the Senate Rules Committee. Supporters are trying to mobilize a floor vote before the end of the current legislative session.
Washington Times: In the wake of a New York court ruling that says it’s not illegal to “merely” view online child pornography, child advocates are urging Internet-savvy federal prosecutors to take over these kinds of cases as two state lawmakers rush to fix the law.
BuffaloNews.com (includes video): “People of faith shouldn’t be threatened with arrest for peacefully expressing their beliefs,” attorney Nate Kellum said in a written statement. “The Constitution and court precedent in these types of cases is clear: Officials cannot toss someone out of a public event simply because they don’t like the views he’s expressing. This is a classic example of free speech that the First Amendment protects.”
Reliigon Clause Blog: According to a press release from Alliance Defense Fund, a suit was filed in a New York federal district court last week on behalf of a Christian evangelist who wants to distribute Gospel tracts during the Buffalo (NY) annual Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival.
Wall Street Journal: Sen. James Alesi (ah-LEE’-see) of Monroe County said on cable television’s YNN Wednesday night that he expects a tough, costly primary and decided to step aside for the good of the Senate’s 32-30 majority.
Morality in Media: In response to the ruling of the New York Court of Appeals yesterday decriminalizing the purposeful viewing of child pornography on the Internet, Patrick Trueman, President of Morality in Media issued the following statement . . .
Reuters: Viewing child pornography on the Internet without taking further action such as printing or saving files does not necessarily constitute possession, NewYork’s top court ruled on Tuesday. | People v. Kent
Post Bulletin: Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede’s second attempt to install a period for prayer at the start of city council meetings was stopped short in the face of a higher power — a 6-1 council vote against it.
LoHud.com: In a party-line vote Monday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a bill creating a 25-foot buffer zone outside clinics that provide abortions to tighten penalties against protesters who harass patients.
UticaOD.com: Keeling’s fight appears to be a rare example of a young man seeking to take advantage of Title IX, a 40-year-old law enacted to provide women equal access to athletic opportunities. There are no boys’ high school field hockey teams anywhere on Long Island, or, for that matter, in most of the country.