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New York Law Journal: Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued for the foundation, said in a statement Thursday his legal team is “evaluating the [Walker] opinion and its impact on the Children First Foundation case” and would not be commenting further at this time.
Los Angeles Times: The Supreme Court has freed states to control what appears on their specialty license plates, ruling Thursday that Texas authorities were justified in refusing to issue a plate bearing a Confederate battle flag.
The National Law Journal: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Texas can keep the Confederate flag off the specialty license plates it issues to drivers.
SCOTUS Blog: The license plate case — Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans — and the municipal sign case — Reed v. Town of Gilbert — came out separately on Thursday, and their release on the same day was only a coincidence, not a planned effort to compare or contrast their results.
The Hill: The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Texas can ban a special license plate with the Confederate flag, in a decision that saw conservative Justice Clarence Thomas surprisingly side with his liberal colleagues.
Time: The Texas DMV was within its rights to reject a proposed license plate design that included the Confederate flag.
Religion Clause: Today in Walker v. Texas Division. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., (Sup. Ct., June 18, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision upheld a decision by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board to reject an application by Sons of Confederate Veterans for the issuance of a specialty license plate design featuring a Confederate battle flag.
National Right to Life: On Friday, Texas Governor Abbott signed House Bill 3074 into law. HB 3074 serves as the first step in reforming the thoroughly anti-life provisions of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), which affects patients in hospitals and hospices across the state.
Life News: A federal appeals court issued a ruling today upholding a Texas pro-life law credited with closing multiple abortion clinics and cutting abortions 13 percent, saving an estimated 9,900 babies from abortion.
National Law Journal: Texas abortion clinics have asked a federal appellate court to delay the effect of its June 9 decision upholding restrictions on the clinics while their attorneys appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas Lawyer: When a panel of three judges issued the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s most controversial decision of the year by upholding a Texas law that regulates—and potentially shuts down—seven abortion clinics on June 9, lawyers naturally wondered who wrote the decision.
The Daily Signal: A federal appeals court yesterday upheld a strict abortion law in Texas that critics call “devastating,” and say would shut down the majority of clinics in the state.
Associated Press: A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld Texas’ strict abortion restrictions that could soon leave only seven abortion clinics open in a state of 27 million people.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld most provisions of a Texas law that imposes restrictions on abortion clinics that could shutter all but seven facilities throughout the state.
Houston Chronicle: A federal appeals court gave its long-expected stamp of approval Tuesday to the Texas Legislature’s sweeping 2013 anti-abortion law, leaving the U.S. Supreme Court as the last option for opponents of some of the nation’s tightest restrictions on the procedure.
WND: “Texans should have full freedom to prioritize women’s health and safety over the bottom line of abortionists,” said ADF Legal Counsel Natalie Decker. “The 5th Circuit was on firm ground to uphold this law. Its requirements are common-sense protections that ensure the maximum amount of safety for women. Abortionists should not be exempt from medical requirements that other doctors are required to follow.”
Townhall: The Texas Legislature has recently passed, and the governor is expected to sign, abudget proposal which will give priority in funding of the Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings program to health care providers that provide comprehensive health care services. Funding will first go to state, county, and local community health clinics and federally qualified health centers, and then to non-public entities which provide breast and cervical cancer screenings as part of comprehensive primary and preventative health care.
NBC News (Reuters): A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld the main provisions of a restrictive Texas abortion law including one requiring clinics to have certain hospital-grade facilities, a regulatory hurdle critics said was designed to shut down abortion providers.
The New York Times: A federal appellate court upheld some of the toughest provisions of a Texas abortion law on Tuesday, putting 13 of the state’s abortion clinics at risk of permanently shutting their doors, which would leave the nation’s second-most populous state with eight abortion providers.
ADF Media: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Tuesday upheld the Texas women’s safety law known as House Bill 2. Specifically, the court upheld a provision that requires abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and again upheld a provision that protects women against cut-and-run abortionists by requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event a woman must seek hospital care due to post-abortion complications.
BP News: Passage of the only surviving religious liberty bill in the 84th session of the Texas Legislature gives pastors some legal protection against litigation should they refuse to preside over a same-sex marriage. Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection bill, passed overwhelmingly May 21.
Texas Values Action: Today, the Texas House passed the Pastor Protection Bill, SB 2065, with bipartisan support, 141-2, with two Democrats voting against the bill. The bill protects pastors, ministers, clergy and churches from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The Daily Signal: Legislation that would tighten regulations on how minors go about receiving court-ordered abortions cleared the Texas House of Representatives last week.
Religion Clause: The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct last week issued a Public Admonition (full text) against Texas state trial court judge Carter Tinsley Schildknecht, finding in part that she: “manifested a religious and/or cultural bias by describing District Attorney Munk as a “New York Jew” and by criticizing a prosecutor’s beard because it made him look like a “Muslim.””
Religion Clause: The American Humanist Association announced yesterday that it has filed a lawsuit against a Texas school district on behalf of a former student challenging the school board’s invocation policy.
Newseum Institute: Legal battles over when and where to draw the church-state line on school endorsement of religion can be a nightmare for administrators, a headache for judges and a payday for lawyers.
Religion Clause: Religion News Service reported yesterday that as the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage nears, legislation has been introduced in several states to block the effect of a ruling in favor of marriage equality.
Religion News Service: The U.S. Supreme Court is now weighing arguments in the same-sex marriage case it heard on April 28 that could lead to a landmark decision requiring all states to acknowledge the unions.
The Washington Post: Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to bar local officials from granting same-sex couples licenses to marry, launching a preemptive strike against a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling next month that could declare gay marriage legal.
National Right to Life: On Wednesday, the State Senate overwhelmingly approved on third reading Senate Bill 575 by Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) that reforms insurance coverage of abortion.
Chron: A Democratic senator on Thursday successfully delayed debate on a controversial “religious freedom” bill that was fast-tracked through the upper chamber earlier this week without the knowledge of many lawmakers.
Religion Clause: San Antonio, Texas chef Joan Cheever was cited by police earlier this month for feeding the homeless in the city’s Maverick Park. According to a report last week by My San Antonio, Cheever has been serving restaurant quality food to the city’s homeless for the last ten years. She has a food permit for her non-profit mobile food truck known as Chow Train, but police cited her for transporting and serving the food from another vehicle. The ticket carries a potential fine of $2000. At her June 23 court hearing, Cheever will argue that her activity is protected by the 1999 Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Breitbart: Pastors from all over Texas are descending upon the Texas Capitol today to support a Texas House Bill that protects the rights of certain religious organizations and individuals when refusing to perform or to recognize a gay marriage.
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty: Joan Cheever uses a food truck to cook nice meals for the homeless in San Antonio. Her practice is driven by her religious beliefs, she says. It is her ministry. The City of San Antonio, however, argues that her practice violates food transportation ordinances, and ticketed her.
TribTalk: Based on the furor and hysteria that followed the recent passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, you’d think this is a radical concept that spells the end of civilization as we know it.
Houston Public Media: The plaintiffs in Texas include religious universities and a seminary, and some Catholic dioceses. The suit is one of several across the country that involve the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that if employers provide health insurance, they have to include coverage of contraception for women.
AP: Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1999 allows a Texas resident to sue state and local governments if he or she feels that a government entity is burdening their religious beliefs or practices. Lauded as “carefully crafted” by gay rights advocates, the act explicitly states it cannot be used to undermine federal or state civil rights or take precedence over local ordinances.
The Becket Fund: Moments ago, two Texas Baptist universities were heard in court over their religious objection to the HHS Mandate. The universities won a victoryat the district court in December 2013 from which the government now appeals.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco says ADF is now asking the full court to hear why a faith-based business should not be allowed to place their ad on a Texas public school district’s Jumbotron during football games.
First Things: Texas is a big place, and as Robert Wuthnow has recently reminded us in Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, it has an oversized role in matters of religion and politics. That is one reason why the recent Texas Monthly cover story of falling head over heels for gay marriage struck me as significant. Now, a month later, the reviews are in. The April “Roar of the Crowd” letters section describes a “voluminous inrush of response,” often including the magazine itself, returned in protest. The staff seems likely, however, to take the rebuke as a badge of honor.
Star-Telegram: A group of Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, filed more than a dozen amendments to reduce or eliminate funding for the program, which provides “pregnancy and parenting information” to low-income women.
Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster: “American tax dollars should be used responsibly and for the common good, not wasted on Planned Parenthood’s irresponsibility and self-interest. No responsible economic policy includes bailouts for Planned Parenthood. Just last week, the GAO reported that our government sent $1.5 billion to Planned Parenthood over a three-year period. Through audits like this and reports like the one ADF has provided to Congress, Americans are learning more about the folly of funding Big Abortion.”
Charisma News: “Public school districts should not be in the business of picking and choosing which messages will get ad space based on the views the district prefers,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “No district can legally say that some groups can advertise while this one can’t simply because the ad is too religious—especially when the district has already allowed the religious messages of other groups. The First Amendment does not allow the government to engage in that kind of censorship.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Friday to hear the case of a faith-based business prohibited from advertising on a Texas school district’s Jumbotron during football games because the ad is too religious in nature.
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.
Religion Clause: In a brief opinion in Little Pencil, L.L.C. v. Lubbock Independent School District, (5th Cir., March 13, 2015), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Texas federal district court’s dismissal (see prior posting) of free speech and free exercise claims by an organization that unsuccessfully sought to display a religious ad on a high school football field jumbotron. The ad depicted a tattooed Jesus and a website URL, and was part of a marketing concept using a new way to share the Bible’s teachings. KAMC News reports on the decision.
Education Week: A federal appeals court has upheld a Texas school district’s refusal to air a “Jesus Tattoo” ad on the video scoreboard of its large, high school football stadium.
KETK NBC: An East Texas principal has come under fire anti-religion groups after a student recorded the school leader reportedly quoting Bible verses over the intercom during the morning announcements.
One News Now: Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom says the Lubbock Independent School District will not accept an ad from JesusTatoo.org, which shows a picture of a tattooed Jesus symbolizing the sins and the struggles He bore on the cross for sinners.
The Dallas Morning News: The city of Dallas says an Orthodox Jewish house of worship in a Far North Dallas residential neighborhood isn’t kosher.
New Mexico Political Report: Brandt presented alongside his two selected expert witnesses, Tara Shaver, spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Protest ABQ, and Melanie Hathorne, an attorney affiliated with the Christian legal organizationAlliance Defending Freedom.
‘Jesus Tattoo’ claims discrimination in Texas school district court case over rejection of Christian ad
The Christian Post: Matt Sharp, legal counsel with the ADF, told The Daily Caller in an interview Monday that this was a matter of stopping the censorship of religion in public schools. “All of these are part of a larger effort to make sure that religious speech can’t be targeted and censored simply because a government official finds it offensive,” said Sharp.
The Daily Caller: “All of these are part of a larger effort to make sure that religious speech can’t be targeted and censored simply because a government official finds it offensive,” ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp told TheDCNF. ”The courts have consistently held that even local principals are required to follow the first amendment in every regard.”
The College Fix: The Alliance Defending Freedom will try to convince the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at a hearing tomorrow that a Texas school district can’t pick and choose which religious messages it will allow in commercial settings.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral arguments in a federal appeals court Tuesday on behalf of a faith-based organization prohibited from advertising on a Texas school district’s Jumbotron during football games.
US Daily Review: Today, Collin County District Court Judge Jill Willis ruled that members of a small Orthodox Jewish community have a right to continue meeting in a Plano home for private worship. After the Jewish families were sued by the then president of the Homeowner’s Association (“HOA”) and the HOA, Liberty Institute successfully defended the Jewish community’s right to freely exercise their religious beliefs.
Texas county issues its first marriage license to same-sex couple; Texas Supreme Court issues stay halting other marriages
The Washington Post: In response, the state’s attorney general asked the Texas Supreme Court to halt any same-sex marriage activity, and the court issued an emergency stay on Thursday afternoon. The Texas attorney general also declared the historic marriage license void on Thursday.
CBS News (AP): The marriage license given to two Austin women – who succeeded by seizing on a ruling this week in an unrelated estate squabble – thrust Texas back into the national spotlight over gay marriage but didn’t send same-sex couples rushing to courthouses.
CNN: The state high court ruling did not invalidate the marriage of the two women in Austin, but Paxton said his office will seek to void their marriage license “due to the erroneous judicial order.”
Time: Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman made the ruling as part of an estate dispute, in which a woman sought to have her eight-year relationship with her late partner accepted as common-law marriage, the Austin Statesman reports.
Statesman: Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ruled Tuesday that the Texas marriage law was unconstitutional, raising questions about whether same-sex couples can begin marrying in the county.
Christian News Network: A Texas lawmaker is working to craft a bill that would protect the rights of unborn children in cases where the mother is declared brain dead.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty commended Air Force officials Tuesday for declining to succumb to activist demands that they remove from a military website an article about Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo of the 433rd Airlift Wing, who spends his Christmas holidays doing medical mission work in Guatemala and Mexico.
Life News: Since the passage of the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill (HB 2) in 2013, anti-Life advocates have sought to make abortion more accessible in Texas. Cicada Collective is one such group, describing itself as “a queer and trans* people of color centered organization” with the mission of “providing practical abortion support.”
One News Now: A jury is considering whether voters in Houston, Texas, can have a chance to overturn a special-rights ordinance for homosexuals – and an attorney says those trying to defend the ordinance are getting desperate.
12 Year old ‘brain dead’ boy breathing on his own after Texas hospital tried to end life support against parent’s wishes
The Gospel Herald: Refusing to give up, the Cronins approached the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal defense group, in an attempt to force the hospital to keep Joey alive until he could be transferred safely to another hospital, where he could undergo life-saving treatment.
Religion Clause: A state court judge in Collin County, Texas yesterday ruled that the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act trump Home Owners’ Association rules.
Life News: Now, the pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom has gotten involve and taken the case on behalf of Joey’s parents.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): A 12-year-old Texas boy is breathing on his own just days after doctors tried to declare him “brain dead” and turn off his life support, according to LifeSiteNews.
One News Now: The Texas Center for Defense of Life worked with Alliance Defending Freedom with the sole goal of keeping the 12-year-old alive until that transfer takes place.
Texas boy breathing on his own after hospital tried to have him declared ‘brain dead’ against parents’ wishes
Life Site News: A 12-year-old Texas boy who slipped into a coma after suffering a severe asthma attack has begun breathing on his own – just hours after hospital officials fought to take him off life support because they believed he was legally “brain dead.” Now, his family has obtained a court order requiring the hospital to provide nourishment to the boy via a feeding tube, and hope to have him transferred to another facility within the week.