Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Federalist: The unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus is an important victory for free speech. The court held that SBA List could bring a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that prohibits making “false statements” in an election campaign—a law that Rep. Steve Driehaus used to prevent SBA List from speaking out against his vote for Obamacare as authorizing taxpayer funds for abortion.
Nancy Pelosi cites Pope Francis to dissuade San Francisco Archbishop from joining March for Marriage event
The Christian Post: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and pro-gay groups have urged San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone not to attend the pro-traditional marriage “March for Marriage” event on Thursday in Washington, D.C, citing inclusive quotes by Pope Francis. The Vatican leader has repeatedly said, however, that he is not changing the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The First Amendment forbids government from acting as a ‘truth commission’ on matters of public debate. The U.S. Supreme Court has rightfully upheld the freedom of Americans to speak in accordance with their views by allowing them to challenge laws that silence them.
The Federalist: “Yesterday NPR’s Terry Gross won accolades from the political and media establishments for her interview of Hillary Clinton. And Hillary Clinton was disparaged by the same people for how she handled this interview. And as much as it kind of makes me die inside to say it, Hillary Clinton handled this interview really well — if you’re assuming she wants to run for president of an America that does not uniformly march in lock-step with the folks inhabiting most newsrooms.”
The Washington Times: A panel of delegates at the Indiana Republican convention defeated an effort Friday to strip a definition of marriage from the party platform, setting up a potential showdown over a divisive clause similar to one that was removed from the document two years ago.
The Christian Institute: One in three voters believes that David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country and 50 per cent think that marriage should be defined as an “exclusive commitment” between a man and a woman, a new poll has shown.
The Hill: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who are both facing primaries in the next month, on Tuesday called for legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks.
NRB: Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List’s lawyer, Michael Carvin, declared, “Our constitutional claim here is the ministry of truth has no ability to judge our political speech as falsity.”
Washington Times: “Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Mr. Paul’s recent remarks on abortion during an appearance with former White House adviser David Axelrod at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics ‘certainly set off alarm bells for social conservatives.’ ‘Sen. Paul surprised a lot …
USA Today: “Congress and the White House failed to include the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts amendment in the Affordable Care Act as it passed in 2009. Because of that failure, the law, known as the ACA, is full of loopholes that allow both the …
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.
Pro-marriage Illinois politicians replaced after opposing Pat Brady’s support for the redefinition of marriage
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.”
Citizen Link: “[The Susan B. Anthony List] is petitioning the high court to allow its First Amendment challenge to Ohio’s “false statement” law to go forward. In Ohio, a “false statement” law puts election officials in charge of deciding what is “true” in campaign ads and what is “false.”
Fox News: “In a letter to President Obama Tuesday, Rubio, R-Fla., said he finds it troubling that no new ambassador-at-large has been appointed for the Office of International Religious Freedom since Suzan Johnson Cook’s resignation six months ago.”
Associated Press: “Ohio officials must immediately recognize the same-sex marriages of four couples who sued over the state’s gay marriage ban, a federal judge said Wednesday, while staying the broader effects of his ruling to avoid ‘premature celebration and confusion’ in case it’s overturned on appeal.” | Order is here.
Jo Becker at the New York Times Magazine: “‘Mr. President, we just filed a case challenging the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage,’ he recalled saying. ‘We certainly hope you will be with us on this.’ It had taken four years and a profound shift in public opinion, but the president was, at last, with them.”
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog: “The four couples, who originally sought only to have both parents’ names entered on birth certificates for children (already born or on the way), later asked the judge to widen his ruling and strike down as written — that is, for all circumstances — the ban against recognizing existing marriages. Turning to that wider issue, Judge Black declared: ‘There can be no circumstance under which this discriminatory classification is constitutional, as it was intended to, and on its face does, stigmatize and disadvantage same-sex couples and their families, denying only to them protected rights to recognition of their marriages and violating the [Constitution's] guarantee of equal protection.’”
WSJ Law Blog: “A federal judge in Ohio on Monday ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other parts of the country where gays are allowed to wed. ‘Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances,’ wrote U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black in Cincinnati.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Amid raucous debate, Nevada Republican Party conventioneers on Saturday stripped opposition to gay marriage and abortion from the party platform and endorsed Gov. Brian Sandoval for governor in the June 10 primary despite misgivings by conservatives, his criticism of the process and his absence from the meeting.”
Associated Press: “Judge Timothy Black indicated in court on April 4 that he expects to rule on Monday, ordering Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages because the state’s ban violates constitutional rights and denies a fundamental right for people to marry the person of their choosing.”
New York Times: “Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.” | Heritage | WSJ | USA Today | CNN | ABC
The Federalist interviews Ken Cuccinelli: “On our side I would say that a lot of people, including many on our side meaning conservative/liberations, forget we’re a natural law country. That that is the foundation on which we built the greatest country in the history of the world and that that foundation comes from God. And a lot of people have a real problem with that. And people on our side, many are embarrassed of it. The other side I will tell you, when I use those kinds of arguments I have never had the other side do anything other than sort of sit there dumb and mute. And they don’t have a retort to it because it’s so rather obvious in the founding history that there’s really no denying it, that it was a critical element on building the foundation we’ve got.”
The Hill: “Internal Revenue Service employees encouraged taxpayers to vote for President Obama during his 2012 reelection campaign and disparaged Republicans, a federal ethics watchdog said Wednesday. One IRS customer representative urged people calling into the agency to vote for Obama by ‘repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name,’ the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said in its announcement.”
Politico: “Republican billionaires Paul Singer and Seth Klarman are supporting gay rights activists in a $2.2 million campaign to get the Republican-controlled House to extend workplace protections to the LGBT community.”
The Columbus Dispatch: “Following an economic-development announcement at AmerisourceBergen in Lockbourne, Kasich said he supports Attorney General Mike DeWine’s appeal of an upcoming ruling by a federal judge that will require the state of Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and areas where it’s legal.”
Cleveland.com: “Rep. John Becker, a Republican from Union Township, is calling once again for the impeachment of federal Judge Timothy Black, who said last week he intends to strike down part of Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban.”
Andrew Sullivan at The Dish [subscription required]: “Brendan Eich was regarded as someone whose political beliefs and activities rendered him unsuitable for his job. In California, if an employer had fired an employee for these reasons, he would be breaking the law.”
Politico: “Problems getting judges confirmed by the Senate have been a constant complaint for this White House — but this week, President Barack Obama’s aides are celebrating a confirmation count that outpaces President George W. Bush’s.”
Christian Schneider at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “It should be a surprise to no one that much of the Wisconsin Democrats’ legislative agenda mirrors efforts being pushed by liberal groups. A large chunk of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s student loan amelioration plan has been supported in the past by ‘dark money’ groups such as One Wisconsin Now. Much of the left’s argument against voter ID originates from the Soros-funded Brennan Center for Justice.”
Jim Geraghty at National Review: “What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people? The evidence before us suggests progressives’ ideal society would be one where they enjoy great power to regulate the lives of others and impose restrictions and limitations they themselves would never accept in their own lives. Very few people object to an aristocracy with special rights and privileges as long as they’re in it.”
AP: “The Clark County Republican Party has removed a definition of marriage and statements opposing abortion from its official party platform.”
Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post: “But if you dig deeper in the report, you see that only 14 percent use birth control pills just for non-contraceptive reasons. The 58 percent figure includes people who have added other reasons on top of family planning. Chalif said that Wasserman Schultz did not mean to imply that 60 percent of women used birth control only for non-contraceptive reasons, but it certainly sounded that way when The Fact Checker first noticed her remarks.”
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.”
Wall Street Journal: “With polls showing strong support for gay marriage among young voters, even those who lean Republican, a shift on the subject might build support among a constituency that has resisted the GOP. At the same time, straying from a position that is central to social conservatives risks alienating the party’s most loyal supporters.”
Byron York at The Washington Examiner: “Russell Moore, the 42-year-old president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, is a star in cultural conservative circles. Speaking at a conference of journalists organized by the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Moore, a strong supporter of traditional marriage, was asked what his ideal presidential candidate would say about the issue.”
Associated Press: “Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina have submitted letters in recent days to congressional leaders stating that gambling in the virtual world compromises the ability of states to control gambling within their borders. Weeks earlier, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana wrote that he would do everything he could to stop Internet gambling from spreading in his state.”
Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary: “This is nothing less than a scare campaign aimed at intimidating the conservative members of the high court—or perhaps just Chief Justice John Roberts, whose worries about exposing his institution to political criticism allowed ObamaCare to survive a justified challenge to its constitutionality in 2012—to back away from a rigorous interpretation of the law that would obligate them to strike down the mandate.”
Daily Caller: “New York Times reporter James Risen called the Obama administration ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation’ on Friday, explaining that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those that refuse to play along ‘will be punished.’”
Philadelphia Inquirer: “Rabner’s seven-year term ends in June, and Christie has not announced plans to renominate him. While the Republican governor hasn’t said he will remove Rabner, a Democrat, he has spoken of a need to reshape the state’s high court, which he decries as ‘out of control’ and unaccountable to the public. Last summer, he publicly criticized one of Rabner’s decisions.”
The Globe and Mail: “The Conservative government is refusing to close the door to reappointing Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada, a move that would pit the government against the country’s top judges.”
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.”
John Hayward at The Federalist: “If there’s a call to disarm in the culture wars, it’s entirely one-sided. Newt Gingrich ran into trouble, early in his 2012 presidential run, by remarking that he wanted to avoid ‘right-wing social engineering.’ The left wing loudly and proudly engages in social engineering every single day. . . . There’s a much deeper understanding on the Left about the way government power changes society. . . . When the government grows to its current size, everything is a social issue.”
Huffington Post: “Conway sat down with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, explaining that when the Kentucky and U.S. constitutions ‘were in conflict,’ he had to act in favor of the U.S. Constitution as ‘the ultimate law of the land.’ ‘I felt like that from a fiscal responsibility standpoint, I didn’t need to be wasting taxpayer resources in a lawsuit that we weren’t going to win or in an appeal that we weren’t going to win,’ Conway said. ‘For the sake of my daughter’s view on my public service in the future, I wanted to be on the right side of history.’”
Freedom From Religion Foundation: “The Freedom from Religion Foundation is calling on Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to delete a Sunday-afternoon tweet of a Bible verse, calling it an improper promotion of religion by a government official.”
Telegraph: “Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has said that the traditional Christian wedding ceremony should be stripped of its legal status. Mr Farage suggested that couples who want to wed in church should have to undertake two ceremonies, one recognised by the state and one a religious ceremony.”
Rachel Lu at The Federalist: “We are reaching the point in the liberal narrative when dissipating bigotry is supposed to usher naturally in a gloriously transformed social order. Instead we’re bickering over whether Christian bakers should have to cater same-sex weddings, with a large number of Americans expressing sympathy to their cause. Progressives are beginning to sense that their narrative is based on a heavily strained analogy between racism (which really does attach exaggerated importance to minor and morally insignificant differences) and heteronormativity (which recognizes truly that men and women are not the same, and that their differences are very much consequential to romance).”
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal: “What would happen in the Senate if Ginsburg, Breyer or both retired this spring, as Bernstein advises? Unlike in 1968, the number of conservative Senate Democrats is somewhere between zero and very few, so an Obama nominee ought to be able to command a majority in a 55-45 Democratic Senate. But it could be an uncomfortable vote for those who represent heavily Republican states, especially the five of them who will face the voters in November. That’s especially true if Ginsburg and Breyer retire simultaneously, raising the appearance of concerted politicization of the court.”
Denny Burk: “I have said it before, and I will say it again. 2012 was the last time the GOP will ever run a presidential candidate who opposes gay marriage at the level of public policy. Those days are behind us. It is only a matter of time—perhaps a very short time—before a majority of the GOP finds itself in full support of the right of gay people to wed.”
Jeremy Lott at Rare: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Huckabee and many others spoke at the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List’s ‘Campaign for Life’ event on Wednesday. . . . The only ‘social issues’ all the speakers agreed on was abortion. In addition to the usual social conservative stalwarts, the event included more eclectic, libertarian-leaning speakers, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and political commentator S.E. Cupp.”
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.’”
Associated Press: “The vote was 233-181 in the Republican-led House as GOP lawmakers excoriated Obama for multiple changes to his 4-year-old health care law, steps he’s taken to allow young immigrants to remain in the United States and the administration’s resistance to defend the federal law banning gay marriage.”
Knoxville News Sentinel: “Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero called on local clergy Tuesday to talk about Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment from a position of power: the pulpit.”
W. James Antle at Rare: “The Republican Party’s libertarian moment has arrived—and so has the backlash. Rand Paul once again took the nation’s largest gathering of conservative activists by storm. Perhaps more surprisingly, so did marijuana legalization.”
Jim Geraghty at National Review: “So at what point can we declare that there’s a civil war within the Democratic Party over abortion? Because West Virginia Democrats in the state legislature just voted to ban abortion after twenty weeks. Are the Democrats elsewhere just going to avert their eyes? Will NARAL give them a pass because there’s a D after their name?”
Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review: “The anti-discrimination regime . . . takes the reshaping of opinion, through the marginalization and stigmatization of views it considers bigoted, as one of its main goals. A same-sex couple with a psychology shaped by classical liberalism might have seen the baker who refused to make them a wedding cake as sadly misguided, or a jerk. The new regime encourages them to see him as a civil-rights violator. This mindset, far from being confined to a left-wing fringe, is now the dominant one in America.”
Michael Hanby at The Federalist: “There is a pious myth . . . that the free press . . . is a bulwark against absolutism and thus the indispensable guardian of a free society. . . . And yet the global media echo chamber routinely exhibits just the sort of systematic thoughtlessness that Arendt thought characteristic of absolutism. The examples are legion, from the routine exaltation of the trivial, to the hysterical and lopsided coverage of the Komen/Planned Parenthood fiasco, to the lionization of Sandra Fluke and Wendy Davis, to the ceaseless celebration of all things gay, to the dismissive treatment of the threat to religious freedom, to the media blackout of the Gosnell trial.”
Ross Douthat at The New York Times: “One faction is centrist (think John McCain’s 2000 supporters, or Jon Huntsman’s rather smaller 2012 support), one is moderately conservative (think the typical Mitt Romney or Bob Dole voter), one is socially conservative (think Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum backers), and one is very conservative but more secular (think Gingrich voters last time, or Steve Forbes voters much further back). . . . But let me conclude with one that seems a little more likely: a rerun of Bush’s 2000 path, in which Marco Rubio wins by uniting religious and moderate conservatives.”
The Arizona Republic: “U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake publicly urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto Senate Bill 1062, the state’s controversial right-to-refuse-service legislation, but they reiterated Friday that they remain opposed to same-sex marriage.”
Breitbart: “Pro-life leaders have noticed that not a single panel or specific speaker on life issues has been scheduled for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is supposed to be the preeminent annual gathering of conservatives in America.”
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.”
Leah Libresco at The American Conservative: “Throughout the panel, the social conservatives seemed to be soliciting the help of the libertarians, trying to speak their language, while the libertarians seemed indifferent to the idea of converting social conservatives. The libertarians answered the questions that were posed to them but made no parallel attempts to appeal to socially conservative tenets in order to attract their fellow panelists to libertarian positions.”
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.”
The Weekly Standard: “The Tax Policy Center, a project of the liberal-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, released a new analysis this week of Senator Mike Lee’s family-friendly tax reform plan. According to TPC, the Utah Republican’s plan would reduce federal revenues by $2.4 trillion over 10 years, a much larger reduction than suggested by initial estimates.”
Patrick Brennan at National Review: “In addition to being told they ‘have to win,’ Santorum said, conservatives are told they ‘have to lose’ — lose ‘those currently unfashionable stances on cultural and limited-government issues.’ That message seemed to win over CPAC’s crowd, winning a standing ovation at the end from a packed auditorium.”
Patrick Brennan at National Review: “Former senator Rick Santorum sat down with NRO for an interview today at CPAC. He explained why he thinks religious liberty needs to be a key issue for conservatives — he’d gladly vote for the recent Arizona bill clarifying the religious liberty protections offered by that state.”
National Review: “RNC Chair Reince Priebus sat down with a group of conservative journalists and bloggers this afternoon at CPAC, and he had some interesting things to say about the RNC’s experience with March for Life. The march coincided with the RNC’s annual winter meeting, so Priebus had buses carry attendees who wanted to participate to the march.”
The Independent: “Donna Edmunds, an MEP candidate for the South East and a Lewes district councillor, posted the comments on an internet forum . . . She said: ‘I believe that all business owners, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, should be allowed to withhold their services from whomever they choose whenever they choose. It’s their business. Why should they be forced to serve or sell to anyone?’”
Reason: “After Heyburn’s order was issued Reason asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to comment on the order. Paul’s response below: ‘I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. I also believe this power belongs to the states and the people, not the federal government. It is illegitimate for the federal courts to intrude here.’”