Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Fernanda Santos at NY Times: The decisive defeat of a municipal ballot measure here that sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy left anti-abortion forces conceding that some of their tactics had backfired and that they had less support among Catholic Hispanic voters than they had expected.
CNA: “Despite being outspent four to one, pro-life grassroots activists were able to educate thousands of citizens about fetal pain and the reality of late abortion,” she continued. “This was no small feat in a deep blue city that chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a 15-point margin.”
Reuters: The measure, which would have barred doctors within city limits from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless a mother’s life was in danger, was rejected 55 percent to 45 percent.
Betsy Woodruff at National Review: Albuquerque is pulling a Texas. A coalition of pro-life activists has managed the improbable: They’ve gotten a ballot measure set for a vote on Tuesday that would ban abortions in the city after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
AP: Voters in left-leaning Seattle, where police recently handed out snacks at a large marijuana festival and politicians often try to out-liberal each other, are close to electing a Socialist candidate to the City Council.
Politico: Albuquerque could become the first city in the country to pass a ban on abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy after a vote next Tuesday.
ABQ Journal: “Albuquerque is one of three in cities in the nation that has late-term abortions. One website says they will provide abortions at 28 weeks or later, with cause,” Farnsworth said. “You have citizens right here in Valencia County born at 25 weeks. That is viability . . . Assuming the Albuquerque ban will pass, Farnsworth said that “huge business” will be looking to relocate to the next closest place to the airport — Valencia County, to the south.
Care2.com (Nov. 8): “Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” said Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “This ordinance will protect children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion. It also protects mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and potentially devastating psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions.” . . . The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains, “Whether one views an unborn child as a ‘life or potential life…,’ allowing abortions to unnecessarily impose substantial pain on an unborn child ‘is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society.’” . . . “Numerous states have decided to limit non-emergency abortions beyond 20 weeks to protect the health of mothers and ensure that their babies are free from excruciating pain,” added Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Albuquerque voters can be confident that this proposed ordinance is both medically and legally sound.”
One News Now: In answer to legal concerns, ADF attorney Steven H. Aden has written a letter to the Susan B. Anthony List. “Numerous states limit non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks to protect the health of mothers and insure that their babies are free from excruciating pain,” he says. “Albuquerque voters can be confident that this proposed ordinance is both medically and legally sound.”
ADF: Albuquerque law protecting unborn babies from pain is legally, medically sound | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom released a letter Wednesday prepared for the Susan B. Anthony List that supports the constitutionality of Albuquerque’s proposed Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance.
CNN: According to the exit poll published by CNN, Cuccinelli defeated McAuliffe among married women 51 percent to 42 percent, with Sarvis taking 7 percent.
NY Times: An amendment to the New York State Constitution raising the mandatory retirement age to 80 for judges on the Supreme Court and on the Court of Appeals went down in defeat in a referendum on Tuesday, handing Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman a stinging rebuke.
The Republic: The Republican party won the biggest political plum on Pennsylvania’s 2013 election ballot — an open seat on the Superior Court — but Democrats won more of the major local offices up for grabs.
NY Times: New York voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment to expand casino gambling, authorizing as many as seven full-scale casinos as part of a plan meant to bring jobs to economically distressed upstate regions.
Breitbart: A campaign strategist for Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said that the national GOP abandoned the campaign in its final days.
Catholic Culture: The Irish government plans a nationwide referendum on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The vote will be scheduled early in 2015.
Pensylvania Independent: Even though Pennsylvania voters get a chance to vote against sitting Supreme Court justices once each decade, the races are rarely close and justices are usually retained by wide margins. But this year, Chief Justice Ron Castille and Justice Max Baer could be in for a close call.
CBS Las Vegas: The Roman Catholic archbishop of Santa Fe is urging Albuquerque parishioners to vote for a proposed ban on late-term abortions.
USA Today: It will be up to Tennessee voters to decide whether the state’s constitution will, for the first time, specifically address abortion. The referendum would add this language: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
George F. Will at Washington Post: “The First Amendment does not permit laws that force speakers to retain a campaign finance attorney, conduct demographic marketing research, or seek declaratory rulings before discussing the most salient political issues of our day.”
Brennan Center for Justice: “The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2011-12” analyzes the prominent role of special interest money in state Supreme Court elections. In 2011-12, many of these races “seemed alarmingly indistinguishable from ordinary political campaigns—featuring everything from Super PACs and mudslinging attack ads to millions of dollars of candidate fundraising and independent spending.” The report documents how the “boundaries that keep money and political pressure from interfering with the rule of law have become increasingly blurred.”
WorldNetDaily: The numbers haven’t been tabulated – largely because petitions are arriving so fast and they aren’t due for a couple of weeks yet – but organizers of an effort to overturn California’s infamous school-bathroom law say the opposition to the plan is surging.
Does the original meaning of the First Amendment protect a right of privacy in campaign contributions?
David Kopel at The Volokh Conspiracy: His analysis is summarized in this blog post on his website. In brief: political contributions are best analyzed as a form of Freedom of the Press. The Freedom of the Press includes the right to anonymous authorship.
Washington Times: A Florida group has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a challenge to the state’s campaign finance restrictions that force groups looking to spend even tiny amounts of money on political radio advertising to form a political action committee.
KMBZ.com: The Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese is speaking out against Question One. The proposal, on next month’s ballot in Jackson County, would raise sales taxes half a cent for 20 years.
The Hill: Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the New Jersey Senate special election on Wednesday night in an unsurprising finale to a surprisingly contentious race. With nearly all precincts reporting, Booker had 55 percent of the vote to Lonegan’s 44 percent, The Associated Press reported.
AP: Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that anti-abortion backers turned in signatures to put the ballot measure to voters next year. The question would direct state lawmakers to add “unborn human beings” to state criminal code.
Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois Treasurer candidate state Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) is calling on his Republican challenger to support same-sex marriage.
Religion Clause Blog: On Friday, the U.S.9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8 v. Bowen . . .
Christian Institute: It said: “We are concerned that this Bill does not adequately safeguard the activities of religious organisations and that there is a very real risk that non-biased political activity will be captured by the resultant Act.”
The Chief Justice looks for a compromise on contribution caps? This morning’s argument in Plain English
Amy Howe at SCOTUS Blog: When the argument ended, there was no clear sign of consensus on the Court: although it seems likely that at least five of the nine Justices will strike down one of the aggregate limits, there was a chance that another would survive. Let’s talk about the oral argument in Plain English.
NJ.com: “Listen: Lots of different people have different views on this,” Christie responded. “I think marriage should be between a man and a woman. “My view is: If you want to change it, put it on the ballot,” he continued. “Let everybody decide. It shouldn’t be decided by courts, it shouldn’t be decided by politicians in Trenton. It should be decided by everybody. If the majority of the people of New Jersey want same-sex marriage, I’ll enforce the law.”
Reuters: Taking on campaign finance law for the first time since its 2010 ruling that rolled back limits on contributions by corporations and unions, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday signaled an unwillingness to issue another broad ruling on how much people can donate in federal elections. | Transcript of the Arguments
SCOTUS Blog: The first of those “sequels” comes tomorrow, when the Justices hear oral arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court will return to the question of what restrictions the Constitution allows the government to put on the role of money in elections.
Idaho Statesman: My experience working for the Alliance Defending Freedom for over 12 years has made me aware of how an overreaching local government can trample individual liberties and restrict a free market environment.
George F. Will at Washington Post: The Supreme Court must feel as though it is plowing an ocean as it repeatedly reminds Congress that the anodyne label “campaign finance reform” can encompass a multitude of sins. Come Tuesday, the court will have another occasion to consider that not all regulations of the indispensable means of disseminating political speech — money — are constitutional just because they are presented as means of preventing corruption or its “appearance.”
David G. Savage at LA Times: The Supreme Court term that opens Monday gives the court’s conservative bloc a clear opportunity to shift the law to the right on touchstone social issues such as abortion, contraception and religion, as well as the political controversy over campaign funding.
Buzz Feed: At 10 a.m. Monday, in the midst of a government shutdown, Chief Justice John Roberts will begin his eighth term at the Supreme Court — beginning a session in which the justices are slated to hear cases affecting the future of legislative prayers, presidential power in making appointments, and whether a meth addict can have a court-ordered mental evaluation used against him in fighting murder charges.
CBS: Opponents of gay marriage in New Jersey are banding together in hopes of reviving an idea to put the question to voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.
AP: Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh said Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, giving Democrats the high-profile candidate they’ve been scrambling for in a bid to keep the seat they’ve held for decades.
Tory Councillors believe redefining marriage will cost votes, conservative association memberships down
Christian Institute: Close to two thirds of Tory councillors believe redefining marriage will be a vote loser at the next election, a new poll shows. And reports from local Conservative associations show a rapid decline in membership, with gay marriage seen as one of the reasons.
AP: North Carolina’s Republican governor is vowing to fight a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department challenging the state’s tough new elections law on the grounds it disproportionately excludes minority voters.
Blog of the Legal Times: The plaintiffs in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the next major Supreme Court case attacking campaign finance regulation, have hired Erin Murphy, a protege of former solicitor general Paul Clement, to argue before the court on October 8.
Politico: Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis and her advisers have begun informing influential Democrats that she intends to run for governor in 2014, according to multiple sources familiar with Davis’s conversations.
Rasmussen: Democrat Terry McAuliffe still holds a six-point lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race to be Virginia’s next governor.
David G. Savage at LA Times: The Supreme Court, in a new campaign funding case, may lift a lid on the total the wealthy can give to all candidates and parties.
Middle East Forum: In what seems to be a pattern in many Muslim nations of finding new pretexts to justify anti-Christian—and “anti-Other”—behavior, Egypt’s Christians and their churches are under attack, ostensibly because Christians joined the June 30 Revolution, which led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Breitbart: While all of the media is consumed with an internal GOP debate on this issue, the true target of such a move has escaped notice. If the House proceeds with its vote, several vulnerable Democrat Senators face a series of bad choices.
Denver Post: Opponents of an effort to recall two Democratic state senators for supporting stricter gun laws borrowed a page from an earlier playbook, arguing reproductive rights were in peril if the lawmakers were kicked out of office.
Washington Post: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) was instrumental in ensuring that new regulations will result in the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics. Two of the busiest, in Northern Virginia and Norfolk, already have closed. If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.
USA Today: Limits on federal election campaign contributions that have stood for nearly 40 years appear ready to fall unless Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rescues them, as he did President Obama’s health care law.
Denver Post: The National Rifle Association, which donated about $360,000 to support the recalls, hailed Morse’s loss, telling The Denver Post it “is proud to have stood with the men and women in Colorado who sent a clear message that their Second Amendment rights are not for sale.” But it wasn’t just the NRA that warned Democrats about messing with gun rights.
Columbus Dispatch: But there is a schism in the gay and transgender community about when the Ohio campaign should begin: next year, 2016 or beyond?
Wall Street Journal (via Google): After all, Mr. Abbott is skeptical about alarmist claims of man-made global warming. He is a former Catholic seminarian who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. His gaffes—he recently said a female parliamentary candidate had “sex appeal”—have provided fodder for left-leaning satirists. He is an Anglophile, a former Oxford boxing blue, and an unashamed constitutional monarchist who sides with America in the world.
Christian Institute: The Bill sets strict limits on campaigning in the year preceding an election, and gives sweeping new powers to the Electoral Commission.
NewsObserver.com: State appeals court Judge Sam Ervin IV – who fought an extremely expensive but unsuccessful campaign against incumbent N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby last year – announced Tuesday his candidacy for another seat on the Supreme Court.
Washington Post: The Justice Department sued Texas on Thursday over the state’s voter ID law and will seek to intervene in a lawsuit over its redistricting laws that minority groups complain are discriminatory, but Texas Republicans insist are designed to protect the state’s elections from fraud.
AL.com: A feud within the Alabama Republican Party over gay marriage is spilling over into the 1st District congressional race, where GOP candidate Dean Young is challenging his opponents to take a stand for traditional marriage.
TPM: Arizona and Kansas have taken Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion and sued the Obama administration in a continuing effort by both states to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.
Dallas News: Democratic Dallas County commissioners narrowly agreed this afternoon to join a lawsuit against Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry over state efforts to enforce a controversial voter identification law.
NewsObserver: Kansas and Arizona officials have filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to force a federal elections agency to change its voter registration forms to compel proof of citizenship.
The Hill: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and campaign finance advocates announced Wednesday that they were suing the IRS, saying the agency has been using the wrong standards to judge tax-exempt applicants for more than a half century.
WRAL.com (AP): Lawmakers in the Czech Republic voted Tuesday to dissolve Parliament’s lower house and hold an early election, following June’s collapse of the center-right coalition government of Prime Minister Petr Necas in a whirlwind of corruption allegations and marital infidelity.
ABQ Journal: The proposed ordinance would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with narrow exceptions for cases in which the woman’s life is in danger. Supporters say they submitted about 27,000 signatures in favor of the proposal.
Burnt Orange Report: Mary E. Gonzalez, who is the only openly LGBT legislature currently in office, is seeking re-election in her hometown of Clint. The other three LGBT candidates are Celia Israel and Michael Cargill who are running for the seat left by State Representative Mark Strama, (D-Austin), and George Clayton who is running for the seat left by State Representative Stefani Carter, (R-Dallas).
The Hill: “We don’t have time for the media’s games,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote at the RNC summer meeting in Boston. “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets.”
Election Law Blog: A national pro-life advocacy group would answer yes, and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clear the way for a constitutional challenge to an Ohio law criminalizing false statements in political campaigns.”
AP: North Carolina’s governor on Monday quietly signed a measure into law that overhauls the state’s election laws to require government-issued photo IDs at the polls and to shorten early voting . . .