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Washington Post: The effort reflects a new White House effort to tilt in its favor the conservative-dominated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is one notch below the Supreme Court and considers many challenges to executive actions.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama is pressing Republicans to stop obstructing federal judicial nominees, protesting the delays in private conversations with senators and in public declarations by administration officials
LifeNews: Planned Parenthood has been condemned for what many see as promoting infanticide — but its position is very similar to the one President Barack Obama had when he was an Illinois state senator.
White House: As Christians, my family and I remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us – how He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following His example here on Earth. To loving our Lord and Savior. To loving our neighbors. And to seeing in everyone, especially “the least of these,” as a child of God.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign — a political powerhouse with 20 million e-mail addresses and 4 million volunteers — is setting its sights on state-level battles such as gay marriage legislation in Illinois.
Politico: Halligan had been nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, but Senate Republicans blocked her confirmation for the second time earlier this month despite lamentations from the White House that she was enormously qualified and had waited more than 700 days since being nominated the first time in 2011.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s appointment of labor board members last year while most senators were out of town met skepticism from appeals court judges weighing whether he overstepped his constitutional powers.
Washington Blade: A total of 110 U.S. House members have signed a letter calling on President Obama to take action to protect LGBT workers from discrimination — although the letter has the notable absence of members of Democratic leadership and Republican lawmakers.
LifeSiteNews: I can’t imagine President Bush’s Council on Bioethics ever countenancing this, but President Obama’s bioethics advisory commission has given conditional approval to test anthrax vaccine on children! From the Reuters story . . .
Talking Points Memo: In a closed door lunch meeting with Senate Democrats on Tuesday, President Obama expressed his frustration with Republican slow-walking and filibustering of key nominees, and urged them to address the issue, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide.
Can This Non-Marriage Be Saved? The Obama administration tries to abolish civil unions. | James Taranto at WSJ
James Taranto at Wall Street Journal: “President Barack Obama said he could not imagine a circumstance in which a state banning gay marriage was legal,” the Puffington Host reports. The comment came during an interview with Clinton aide turned ABC Newsman George Stephanopoulos, who asked Obama, in the Puffington paraphrase, “whether gay marriage was a right under the Constitution.”
Chicago Tribune: The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.
SCOTUS Blog: The National Labor Relations Board will seek to go on to the Supreme Court in a major constitutional test of the President’s power to make appointments to government offices when the Senate is out of town, the Board announced Tuesday.
Human Events: The wife of an American pastor held captive in an Iranian prison for nearly a year tells me the Obama Administration has not done anything to help free her husband – and the law firm representing the family believes it’s because the pastor is a Christian who converted from Islam.
Jonathan Adler at Volokh Conspiracy: Over the weekend, the NYT published a highly misleading story about Republican filibusters of President Obama’s judicial nominees. Consider the very first sentence of the article: “A fresh feud over federal judgeships has again begun to agitate the Senate, with Republicans so far blocking President Obama from filling any of the four vacancies on the nation’s most prestigious and important appeals court.
Wall Street Journal (via Google News): Senate Republicans used a filibuster last week to block the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Democrats are in full boil. President Obama denounced “the Republican pattern of obstruction,” but Republicans are merely following the filibuster precedent that Democrats set when George W. Bush was President. Turnabout is unfair play.
NPR: It’s not solely Senate Republicans who are to blame for the headless government. Obama has failed to put forward nominees for some posts, and Light says the president is “moving at a snail’s pace” to make other nominations. Light says the administration also has “the longest questionnaire in the presidential history for vetting people who might become nominees. It’s brutal.” That serves to discourage some people from wanting to become nominees in the first place.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Placing women in combat is touted today by the Obama administration as its primary accomplishment on International Women Day. Inserting women into the most violent situations in the world turns a War on Women into a War With Women. US [Ambassador to the United Nations] . . . of State Susan Rice released this statement today.
LifeNews: Almost half of the entire budget was allocated to HIV/AIDS – $93 million. Out of the remaining $95 million, $25 million is designated for Family Planning to “improve and expand the use of family planning methods in developing countries” and to “introduce and develop new family planning methods.”
Peter Sprigg at Washington Times: The number of flip-flops President Obama has now performed on the issue of marriage would be impressive for an Olympic gymnast. He was for homosexual marriage (in a 1996 Illinois state Senate campaign), then against it (in his 2008 presidential run), then for it again (in a widely publicized interview last May)
The Hill: In a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, two legal scholars said that the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would be held constitutional despite arguments it would infringe upon the power of the Executive Branch.
Washington Times: Facing the stiffest Republican opposition to a judicial nominee in two years, the White House is pushing for a confirmation vote this week on Caitlin Halligan’s appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
CNSNews: The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers.
Washington Times: Designated terrorist group Hamas has warned President Obama against visiting the holy Temple Mount site in Jerusalem when he visits Israel next month, saying the action would be “a diplomatic catastrophe.”
Blog of the Legal Times: Although stopping short of urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that gay couples have a fundamental right to marriage, the Obama Administration brief in the California same-sex marriage case charts a legal path towards the eventual undoing of all state gay marriage bans, said a lawyer for the challengers to that state’s ban.
SCOTUS Blog: Here was the government’s key argument why the Golden State’s ban on same-sex marriage fails the constitutional test the administration suggested: ”California’s extension of all of the substantive rights and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian domestic partners particularly undermines the justifications for Proposition 8.”
Pete Williams at NBC: Obama administration to express support for gay marriage before Supreme Court
Administration officials say the Justice Department will urge the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California, wading into the protracted legal battle over Proposition 8 and giving gay-rights advocates a new court ally.
Business Insider: “[A]dministration lawyers worry that taking such an expansive view in legal briefs could unnerve some justices in the Supreme Court’s conservative wing, the people familiar with the matter said,” the Journal reported.
Heritage Foundation: President Obama has so many flip-flops in his policy positions that it’s hard to keep track. After running for President supporting traditional marriage, he “evolved” to support same-sex marriage—and now his Justice Department has officially urged the Supreme Court to overthrow the law of the land.
Star Herald (AP): “There’s a critical mass of states that have spoken out and believe states should continue to have the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman,” said Jim Campbell, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents supporters of Proposition 8. [This AP report is widely distributed]
Pink News: “There’s a critical mass of states that have spoken out and believe states should continue to have the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman,” said Jim Campbell of the anti-equal marriage Alliance Defending Freedom.
Washington Post: “There’s a critical mass of states that have spoken out and believe states should continue to have the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman,” said Jim Campbell, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents supporters of Proposition 8.
The Daily Caller: The pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America hired a consulting firm linked to President Barack Obama to conduct extensive video interviews with young pro-life activists in their homes more than a year ago, without informing the pro-life activists that the videos were intended for NARAL’s use.
AP: President Barack Obama is trying to change the face of a federal judiciary that has a long tradition of white men passing judgment on parties from all walks of life – if he can get his nominees past the Senate.
American Federation For Children Executive Counsel Kevin P. Chavous Responds To President Obama’s Decatur, Georgia Speech
American Federation for Children:For the past four years, supporters of educational choice have wondered why the Obama Administration has so vigorously opposed providing children in low-income families with access to more educational options. Right here in Washington, D.C., the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) has given thousands of children hope for a better future and yet the Obama Administration has consistently opposed it. In fact, despite signing the FY 2011 budget agreement which included a five-year reauthorization of the program, the President’s subsequent budget proposals zeroed out funding for the program.
LifeSiteNews: If the U.S. Catholic bishops cannot rely on the president to protect religious liberty, they will instead lobby Congress. That’s the message of a letter written to Congress by Archbishop William E. Lori lobbying for two legal provisions on behalf of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Daily Mail: The incoming head of the CIA converted to Islam while working as a station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, a former FBI agent has claimed. John Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008, said in a radio interview that John Brennan – who has been nominated by Barack Obama as the new director of the CIA – visited the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina accompanied by Saudi officials who may have persuaded him to convert.
AP: “It has turned into a childish spectacle. I don’t want to be there to lend dignity to it,” Scalia said, with a certain amount of mischief.
Washington Times: Supreme CourtJustice Antonin Scalia is skipping President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night and will be giving his own speech at an event hosted by National Public Radio at George Washington University.
Washington Post: The White House is also reviewing whether the president should issue an executive order offering protections to gays and lesbians who work for government contractors. Obama decided against issuing such an order during the presidential campaign last year, disappointing many gay-rights activists.
Nina Totenberg at NPR: The Obama administration faces tricky political and legal questions on the subject of gay marriage. By the end of this month, the federal government is expected to file not just one but two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.
LifeSiteNews: One of the country’s leading legal experts and political commentators says that pro-life activists may have a personal reason to be concerned about a new Justice Department white paper outlining some of the criteria the Obama administration use to select Americans it can assassinate without a trial — because the administration has repeatedly labeled the pro-life movement as one of the primary sources of domestic terrorism. Some are asking specifically whether the policy could one day apply to the pro-life movement, gun enthusiasts, preppers, or small government conservatives.
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal: If you can’t force people to do what you want, force them to buy insurance: That seems to be the strategy of the liberal left in the Obama era. We refer not only to the ObamaCare health-insurance mandate but to the latest bright idea under consideration in mostly Democrat-dominated state capitals.
The Hill: Since then, he has offered an immigration proposal that would give the same benefits to heterosexual and same-sex couples, called on the Boy Scouts to open its membership to gays, and seen the Pentagon announce it would offer certain benefits to same-sex couples.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: As John Kerry replaces Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, the White House made clear that Hillary’s priority of women’s rights will carry on. What, some wonder, will happen with another top priority – a totalitarian insistence on LGBT rights, to the point of threatening aid to developing countries?
Consider Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.’s most prominent client, President Obama. In May, in announcing his support for same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama said the issue should be decided state by state. In his Inaugural Address last month, Mr. Obama seemed to …
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: The application Health Bridge Management v. Kreisberg, docket 12A769) thus put before the Court for the first time the high-profile constitutional controversy over the President’s authority to make temporary appointments of government officials — a power sharply restricted by the D.C. Circuit Court last month.
The HIll: Obama said that female troops had shown that they could handle the rigors of military life. The president said there were already “extraordinary women in uniform who can do everything a man can.”
The HIll: Senate Republicans are demanding the administration hand over all documents related to Jack Lew’s failure, when he was head of the Office of Management and Budget, to comply with a law aimed at ensuring Medicare’s solvency.
Washington Post: Obama gave a one-word answer: “Yes.” Pressed to elaborate, Obama said, “I think that my attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life.”
Heritage Foundation: As the Alliance Defending Freedom rightly noted last summer, the Administration’s idea of accommodation “creates a federally imposed religious caste system.” The same holds true for today’s announcement. Again, only the precious few who are deemed religious enough by the Administration would be afforded true protection of their religious freedom and ability to live and act in accordance with their beliefs.
LA Times: But a religious-rights group that represents employers said the new proposal does not go far enough. “All Americans, not just those in church organizations, are guaranteed freedom of conscience in their daily lives and work,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has filed lawsuits on behalf of family-based companies.
USA Today: Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that advocates prayers at public meetings and crosses on public land, called the rule an “abortion pill mandate.” “The administration’s narrow gesture does nothing to protect many faith-based employers or religious families from the unconstitutional abortion pill mandate,” said senior legal counsel Matt Bowman. “The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith.” Bowman refers to the “morning-after pill,” or Plan B, available as an over-the-counter pill for adult women that prevents pregnancy up to three days after unprotected sex, or Ella, a prescription-only pill that prevents pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex.
Washington Times: The Alliance Defending Freedom, a self-described “legal ministry” that is litigating several of the corporate cases, said Mr. Obama’s gesture on Friday fell short. “All Americans, not just those in church organizations, are guaranteed freedom of conscience in their daily lives and work,” ADF senior counsel Matt Bowman said. “The administration’s narrow gesture does nothing to protect many faith-based employers or religious families from the unconstitutional abortion pill mandate.”
RNS: Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented a range of religious institutions and business owners in court challenges to the mandate, called the proposed changes “radically inadequate” and “extremely disappointing.” Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said: “The administration’s narrow gesture does nothing to protect many faith-based employers or religious families from the unconstitutional abortion pill mandate. The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith.”
World Magazine: Alliance Defending Freedom’s Matt Bowman, a lawyer handling a number of the cases against the mandate, described the proposed “accommodation” as an “accounting gimmick.” He said it was “insulting to the intelligence—and the freedom that religious employers receive under the law.”
Christianity Today: “The government has taken the first step to reveal its plan, and its plan is to pick and choose who’s allowed to exercise faith and to limit full religious freedom,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.
Salon: The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative religious liberty group which is representing several for-profit businesses in lawsuits over the regulation, said it would continue to press for exemptions for business owners in court. So far, about 10 businesses have obtained temporary injunctions against the regulation while their cases move through the courts.
White House backs down and offers religious groups a way to avoid directly providing employees with contraceptives | Daily Mail
Daily Mail: One of the dissenting organizations, the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement that the administration’s offer was ‘narrow’ and failed ‘to protect many faith-based employers or religious families from the unconstitutional abortion pill mandate.’ Matt Bowman, the senior legal counsel for the alliance, which identifies itself as a ‘legal ministry’ that has filed multiple lawsuits against the requirement, stated that the government had no right ‘picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith.’ ‘The mandate is losing in court,’ Bowman stated. ‘The only acceptable solution is for the administration to obey the Constitution and its legal duty to protect religious freedom.’
WorldNetDaily: The Boy Scouts of America’s apparent decision to reverse a century-old policy to bar homosexuals from its ranks coincides with a sudden drop in major corporate funding that began last summer after a gay-rights blogger for the Huffington Post published a collaborative report that named the donors and chastised them for violating their own policy of not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. At the same time, two prominent board members – including an adviser to the Obama White House – were carrying out a vow to change the policy from within.
The Hill: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Wednesday said he and freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are putting forward legislation that would cut the salaries of the two National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members who were recess-appointed last year.
USA Today: In his first interview since the Pentagon opened ground combat jobs to women, the commandant of the Marine Corps said some occupations may ultimately remain closed if only a small number qualify.
Gatestone Institute: These reactions are indicative of the contempt the political elites have for the concept of democratic accountability.
Jeana McGregor, Washington Post, 8/10/2012: Why President Obama shouldn’t step down from the Boy Scouts On Wednesday, the White House said President Obama is against the Boy Scouts of America’s recently reaffirmed policy of excluding gays from its organization. He will …
Rasmussen: Most voters think women in the military should be able to fight in combat just like men do. But they still believe overwhelmingly that women need to pass the same physical tests as men if they’re in special forces like the Green Berets and Navy SEALs.
Front Page Magazine: Obama Inc. is consolidating control over the economy which puts its minions in the position of being able to make policy through economic pressure and policy. Under Socialism, you don’t have to pass a law, you just have to use your economic control to make the companies enforce the law.
Gen. Dempsey: If Women Can’t Meet Military Standard, Pentagon Will Ask ‘Does It Really Have to Be That High?’
CNSNews (includes video): Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: “Does it really have to be that high?”
NBC17.com: An Army wife, denied full membership at a Fort Bragg spouses club because she’s married to a female Army officer, was named Fort Bragg’s 2013 “spouse of the year” Friday after an annual, national vote that spanned nominees from all military branches, NBC News has learned.