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Alliance Defending Freedom: Perhaps, like me, you find it hard not to marvel at the determined effort by so many authorities throughout the U.S. to impose silence on any speech that might disagree with their policies, raise thoughtful questions, or simply provide information useful to voters, students, and other fellow citizens.
The Washington Times (CNA): “Five years into Obamacare, it is now evident that SBA List’s warnings were true. This law is forcing Americans to pay for abortions in numerous ways, and SBA List had a right to say so,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. The legal group had filed a friend-of-the-court brief with Susan B. Anthony List.
The Global Dispatch: “Five years into Obamacare, it is now evident that SBA List’s warnings were true. This law is forcing Americans to pay for abortions in numerous ways, and SBA List had a right to say so,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “If the exposure of that fact was part of what cost Rep. Driehaus hisjob, that’s because his constituents, like most Americans, reject taxpayer-funded abortion.”
Life News: “Five years into Obamacare, it is now evident that SBA List’s warnings were true. This law is forcing Americans to pay for abortions in numerous ways, and SBA List had a right to say so,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “If the exposure of that fact was part of what cost Rep. Driehaus his job, that’s because his constituents, like most Americans, reject taxpayer-funded abortion.”
ADF Media: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Friday upheld a district court ruling that threw out a former congressman’s defamation lawsuit against the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus filed the defamation case against SBA List after it publicized that his vote for Obamacare was a vote for taxpayer-funded abortion.
The Washington Post: According to pundits, the Democratic Party overplayed the “war on women” narrative in the 2014 midterm election, and this helped the GOP win key Senate and gubernatorial races, including in states carried easily by Obama in 2012. In that election, the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act — a crucial aspect of the war on women rhetoric — was hotly debated.
The Washington Times: A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election.
National Right to Life: They spent millions of dollars on the election. They claimed to have knocked on more than two million doors, made more than a million phone calls, deployed more than 2,500 canvassers who worked with thousands of volunteers to get out the vote.
Aleteia: But the spirit of political activism endures in the form of a study that NARAL and Planned Parenthood released Wednesday. The paper concluded that opposing abortion rights hurt more than it helped candidates on Nov. 4.
Life News: After Wendy Davis rose to near stardom when she staged an 11-hour filibuster to block a pro-life bill in the Texas Senate, the Texas Democratic Party tried to use her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial election to rebuild party infrastructure that had dissipated during their nearly-two-decades-long absence from statewide office. She was subsequently held up as a new paradigm of a supposed abortion consensus though it was apparent that she stood in direct opposition to the actual consensus of the people of Texas.
First Things: I’m never more of a partisan than on election night. All my misgivings about the Republican Party dissolve and I become like a sports fan tabulating my team’s essential statistics. Then Wednesday arrives, and the spasm of partisan enthusiasm fades into a renewed realism.
Family Studies: If the 2014 election tells us anything, it tells us that demography is not destiny when it comes to American politics.
Pro-life Democrats to Democratic leadership: You cannot win when you alienate 21 million people in your base
Democrats for Life: Democrats For Life of America is urging the Democratic National Committee, once again, to relax its pro-abortion position and open its doors to welcome and support pro-life Democrats. In addition to election results, Democrats For Life of America points to polls that consistently show that Democratic Party insiders are out of touch with the rank-and-file Democratic voter across America.
Reformedish: Republican or Democrat, whoever did or didn’t win in your district, whatever idiotic ballot proposals did or didn’t pass, you as a Christian have at least one clear command about how to respond to the midterm elections: pray for whoever’s coming in.
Life News: Over the last few months, pro-life candidates have been accused of many ridiculous things. But, hands down, the most outrageous accusation has been that they want to take away everyone’s birth control.
Breakpoint: Last night’s election saw plenty of victories for the pro-life movement. Not only were there significant pro-life gains in both houses of Congress, but candidates who ran on heavily pro-abortion platforms, like Wendy Davis and Mark Udall, were soundly defeated.
Wall Street Journal: A West Virginia University freshman who did most of her campaigning out of her dorm room became the youngest state lawmaker in the nation Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal (Access via Google): President Obama is famous for proclaiming a “pivot” to a new issue—to the economy, to jobs, to Asia. By my count he has announced more than 20 pivots during his presidency, invariably to matters that bring political benefits and away from those that don’t.
The Tennessean: Tennessee voters by a solid margin backed Amendment 1, a measure that gives state lawmakers more power to restrict and regulate abortions.
Aleteia: Republican candidates gained the six seats necessary to recapture control of the United States Senate Tuesday, raising pro-lifers’ hopes of passing legislation but dealing a blow to supporters of immigration reform.
The World and Everything In It discusses the political atmosphere as we approach the 2016 race to the White House. Excepts from a speech Marco Rubio gave at the 2014 ADF Academy. Audio is 11 mins 30 seconds.
On pro-life case involving Obamcare abortion funding, Supreme Court has free speech concerns | Christian Post
Napp Nazworth at the Christian Post: “While Supreme Court decisions are difficult to predict based upon the justices questions during oral arguments, all nine justices ‘seemed very concerned’ about the freedom of speech implications in the case, Casey Mattox, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Christian Post Tuesday. Mattox was in the court audience.”
Cato: Laws that criminalize “false speech” don’t replace “truthiness and snark” with “just the facts”
Doesn’t the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech protect one man’s truth even if it happens to be another man’s lie? And who’s to judge—and on what scale—when a statement slides ‘too far’ into the realm of falsehood? However well intentioned Ohio legislators may have been, laws that criminalize ‘false’ speech don’t replace truthiness and snark with high-minded ideas and ‘just the facts.’
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox regarding oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday in a case involving the right of a pro-life organization to challenge an Ohio law that silenced the group’s ability to speak out about an elected official’s position on Obamacare:
Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post: “The opposition to gay marriage is crumbling on the right, as it is everywhere. The true sign of progress is the deafening silence on the topic in the run-up to the 2014 elections.”
Religion Clause: “As reported by CTV News, this loss for PQ derails much of its push for a Charter of Quebec Values that, among other things, would have barred public employees from wearing overtly religious symbols in the workplace.”
Washington Post: “Their strength in numbers, however, cannot be ignored. Initially a reaction to a same-sex-marriage law passed last year, the movement has morphed into the most sustained mobilization of social conservatives here in more than a generation. A reinvigorated right delivered a devastating blow to Hollande in Sunday’s local elections across the country, prompting a humbled Hollande to reshuffle the French government on Monday. He replaced Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault with Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a politician considered more palatable by some on the right.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, Bioethics Defense Fund, and Life Legal Defense Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that argues a defamation lawsuit against Susan B. Anthony List is baseless because the pro-life group only told the truth.
Brandon McGinley at The Federalist: “Now, in 2014, almost one year to the day of Gosnell’s perverse not-guilty plea, Planned Parenthood announced it is actively working to remove Margo Davidson from office. They have endorsed one of her primary opponents—opponents who have emerged because Rep. Davidson’s witness to the suffering of her family has unsettled certain factions in the Democratic Party.”
Washington Post: “When the Illinois state House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last fall, just three out of 47 Republicans voted for it. On Tuesday, none of them lost.”
Arizona Republic: “Here’s how candidates running for the No. 2 spot in state leadership view Senate Bill 1062. The bill, which Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last week, would have provided a legal defense against lawsuits if service was denied based on the service provider’s sincerely held religious belief. Brewer, who was secretary of state, became governor in January 2009 after then-Gov. Janet Napolitano was tapped to join President Barack Obama’s administration.”
CNN: “Republican Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona announced Wednesday she will not run for reelection. ‘There does come a time to pass the torch of leadership,’ she said at a school in Glendale. ‘After completing this term in office, I will be doing just that.’”
The Oregonian: “The attorney general issued a ballot title for the initiative that basically adopts the wording sought by opponents. Friends of Religious Freedom, the group sponsoring the proposed ballot measure, complained that the attorney general adopted unfair wording that stigmatized the measure.”
LA Times: “Anxious about last summer’s ruling on Proposition 8, sponsors of California ballot measures are going to considerable lengths to ensure they will be able to defend them if the state doesn’t. Nearly 1 in 4 proposed initiatives include language intended to skirt the ruling and avoid having a measure overturned because of antipathy by state officials, a review of the measures showed.”
Washington Times: “Sen. Rand Paul demolished his competition in the 2014 Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll on Saturday, winning 31 percent of the vote — nearly three times the total of second-place Sen. Ted Cruz.”
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday that supports a pro-life organization’s right to challenge an Ohio law that silenced the group’s ability to speak out about an elected official’s position on Obamacare. In January, the high court agreed to hear the case.
Associated Press: “Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule as unconstitutional a state election law that bars people from making recklessly false statements about political candidates, saying it restricts free speech. The legal filing made this week at the Supreme Court is unusual because DeWine is opposing a law that he is charged with defending.”
AG Mike DeWine’s brief is here.
New York Times: “The quiet revolt signals a broader shift in the world of big money. Clubs of elite donors in both parties are taking a more central role in shaping policy and campaigns . . . ‘The devolution of the two-party system has begun,’ Mr. Stein said.”
New York Times: “The decision by members of the Republican establishment to join gay activists in opposing the bill reflected the alarm the Arizona battle stirred among party leaders, who worried about identifying their party with polarizing social issues at a time when Republicans see the prospect of big gains in Congressional elections on economic issues.”
New York Times: “Yet one prize has remained elusive: a reversal by voters in one of the 29 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, with constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Activists in Ohio want to see those dominoes start to fall here, and they say they have gathered the signatures for a ballot measure to repeal an amendment adopted by 62 percent of voters in 2004.”
Associated Press: “Several Republican candidates for Arizona governor are weighing in on a bill allowing business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs.”
Asia News: “The Supreme Court of India has decided to review a judgment of 1995 , which had established that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a form of corruption. The highest court of the country has decided to revise the judgment – strongly criticized 18 years ago – in view of the general elections to be held next May, in light of an already hard-fought election campaign”
Albert Lea Tribue (AP): “House members whose 2013 votes went against most in their party took in as much as quadruple the cash they raised in 2011. The influx of cash could be helpful if these lawmakers face strong challengers or backlash for their votes.”
The Tico Times: “The four highest polling candidates in Costa Rica’s presidential race have all stated they would expand benefits to gay couples, including property rights, though none have openly supported same-sex marriages.”
Christian Post: “Although citizens and groups are guaranteed freedom of speech, the IRS does not extend that right to churches, says the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) an organization which seeks to protect Christians’ ‘right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.’”
Fox News: “Egyptians began voting Tuesday on a draft for their country’s next constitution, a vision for the nation’s future and a milestone in a military-backed roadmap put in place after Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in a coup last July.”
Christian Post: “‘Americans deserve to know and speak the truth about their elected officials. The Ohio law unconstitutionally places a muzzle on citizens in complete contrast to the First Amendment’s free speech protections,’ said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Brett Harvey in a statement Friday.”
Politico: “The high court announced Friday afternoon that it will take up a lawsuit filed by Susan B. Anthony List, a national anti-abortion advocacy group that sought to run political ads against then-Rep. Steven Driehaus (D-Ohio).”
“Americans deserve to know and speak the truth about their elected officials. The Ohio law unconstitutionally places a muzzle on citizens in complete contrast to the First Amendment’s free speech protections. Alliance Defending Freedom has been privileged to provide support for Susan B. Anthony List’s important case. We now trust that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the constitutionally protected freedom of all Americans to engage freely in public dialogue about our elected officials and their positions.”
Signature Count Begins in Effort to Overturn Calif. Law That Lets Boys Use Girls’ Bathrooms, Play on Girls’ Sports Teams
CNSNews: The California Secretary of State’s press office confirmed on Wednesday that Secretary Debra Bowen has given all 58 counties in the state until Feb. 24 to count and verify every signature in a petition campaign to let voters decide whether a law that gives students the right to use facilities and take part in sports and other activities based on their “gender identity” and not their biological sex stands.
San Jose Mercury News: Groups trying to overturn a new California law allowing transgender students to choose public school restrooms and sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders have filed a lawsuit claiming state officials are unfairly refusing to count signatures seeking a referendum. Sacramento-based Privacy For All Students, a coalition of conservative groups, filed the lawsuit Thursday against the secretary of state and two counties.
Petoskey News: The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Tribal Council voted down a motion to place a referendum to repeal its law allowing same-sex marriages Sunday in a one-sided vote.
AP: Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said Monday she is abandoning her effort to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
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.
George F. Will at the Washington Post: In “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter” (Stanford University Press),Ilya Somin of George Mason University law school argues that an individual’s ignorance of public affairs is rational because the likelihood of his or her vote being decisive in an election is vanishingly small. The small incentives to become informed include reducing one’s susceptibility to deceptions, misinformation and propaganda. And if remaining ignorant is rational individual behavior, it has likely destructive collective outcomes.
Las Vegas Review Journal: The strength of incumbency is enormous, but it seems to be the most powerful when it involves the Nevada Supreme Court. The two justices up for re-election are not expected to draw any opponents in 2014.
AP: The opposition All Progressives Congress swept every seat in peaceful local government elections in Nigeria’s northeast state of Yobe, officials said, defying Islamic extremists opposed to democracy and the ruling party’s insistence it was too insecure to campaign.
USA Today: Obenshain’s concession means Democrats in Virginia will now hold all statewide offices for the first time since 1970, in a sign that there is more blue being injected into the swing state’s purple tinge.
Timesfreepress.com: A conservative group seeking to overturn a new domestic partner benefits ordinance has already managed to effectively stop enrollment planned for the spring.
Jonathan Strong at National Review: As he was ascending to the pinnacle of power in the Senate Republican conference almost exactly seven years ago, Mitch McConnell planted the seeds of a feud that could conceivably end his career this May
Breitbart: Recent polling shows that an election wave of anti-ObamaCare sentiment is growing, and it is not only likely to hand the GOP control of the United States Senate, but might wipe out as many as 12 Democrat seats–many of which looked safe just a few months ago.
CBS: The Board of State Canvassers has ruled that the so-called “abortion rider” proposal has enough signatures to make the 2014 ballot.
Washington Post: In just the last year, Albuquerque voters have been asked to weigh in on the minimum wage, abortion rights and the city’s runoff elections. Now, the mayor and several council members say those initiatives are costing the city too much money.
Reuters: “Congress’s determination that all three kinds of advertising posed a significant threat to public programming is supported by substantial evidence,” Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the majority. | Opinion: Minority Television Project v. FCC
The Hill: A new administration proposal to limit the political activity of tax-exempt groups could fall short of forcing “dark money” out of campaigns, experts say. The new Treasury and IRS proposals, which are expected to spark extensive debate, would bar so-called 501(c)(4) organizations from counting certain political activity as part of their social welfare work.
Buzz Feed: “It is very unlikely that this ballot initiative is going to qualify,” John O’Connor, executive director of Equality California, told BuzzFeed. O’Connor points to the latest results in the state’s process of verifying signatures gathered in support of the repeal, saying the rate of valid signatures so far has been “poor.” But those backing the repeal effort say that with only 12 of the state’s 58 counties reporting valid signatures from random samples as of Friday, it’s “too early to call.”
Oregon initiative would allow businesses to refuse to serve same-sex weddings | Religion Clause Blog
Oregon Live: Critics of gay marriage in Oregon on Thursday announced that they have filed a proposed ballot measure that would allow businesses to refuse to serve gay weddings or similar ceremonies if it violated their religious beliefs . . . Their website says they now have over 115,000 signatures. [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]
Townhall: The Obama administration has announced a delay in next year’s Obamacare enrollment period (known as open enrollment in the private sector) until after the 2014 midterm elections are over.