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California Tried to Force Pro-life Centers to Promote Abortion. Now, the Supreme Court Is Weighing In.

The Daily Signal

November 29, 2017

"On Nov. 13, the Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments in a case with serious implications for free speech nationwide. In NIFLA vs. Becerra, the court will decide whether pro-life advocates must refer clients to abortion clinics or face fines, penalties, and possible closure. The basic question the court must decide is whether the government can force pregnancy resource centers to speak a message that they fundamentally disagree with. California says yes. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates—also known as NIFLA—says no. The implications are stark for Americans across the board, Americans as diverse pro-life advocates, anti-war flag burners, and NFL anthem kneelers. None should be forced to follow government speech. The government may as well be able to force Alcoholics Anonymous to advertise for beer, or to force Hindus to advertise the sale of hamburger meat."

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Filed under: CourtsAbortionReligious freedomConscience freedom

Supreme Court Throws Shade On ACLU's Illegal Immigrant Abortion Shenanigans

The Federalist commentary by Margot Cleveland

November 28, 2017

"When the U.S. Department of Justice filed a petition with the Supreme Court on November 3, seeking to vacate the D.C. Circuit’s decision that a minor illegal alien (Jane Doe) had a constitutional right to an abortion, there were two responses: the pro-life perspective and the abortion-rights counter. Pro-life conservatives, myself included, condemned Doe’s American Civil Liberties Union attorneys for misleading the government on the timing of the procedure then spiriting Doe away a day early at 4 a.m. to obtain an abortion. The ACLU reacted with smug satisfaction, portraying government attorneys as inept and the filing a mere attempt to scapegoat the ACLU and placate pro-lifers."

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Filed under: Religious freedomConscience freedomAdoption

New HHS Mandate Cases: States Sue to Take Away the Little Sisters' Religious Exemptions

Becket

November 21, 2017

"On October 6, 2017, Health & Human Services issued a new rule with an updated, broad religious exemption that finally protected religious non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor. In its new rule, the government admitted that it broke the law by trying to force the Little Sisters and others to provide services like the week-after pill in their health plans that violated their religious beliefs. That result should mean that the end is near for the Little Sisters’ lawsuit. However, following the new mandate announcement, several states, including the States of California and Pennsylvania sued the federal government to take away the Little Sisters’ religious exemption. "

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomContraceptionBecket LawConscience freedom

Podcast: What's Going On With The Current Religious Liberty Court Cases

The Federalist

November 20, 2017

"Jeremy Dys is deputy general counsel at the First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated to protecting religious liberty. Dys joins Federalist Radio to discuss some of the upcoming religious liberty cases at both the Supreme Court and the appellate courts. First Liberty Institute filed an amnicus brief with the Masterpiece Cake Shop case going before the Supreme Court. “The government is trying to coerce people, not only into saying specific things, but to believe certain things…and that’s not the position of the government,” Dys said. 'The government should be encouraging a diversity of thought and beliefs in the public square.' "

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomFirst Liberty

2 Gay Men Explain Why They Support Baker's Refusal to Make Same-Sex Wedding Cakes

The Daily Signal

November 20, 2017

" 'T.J.' and Matt are gay, but they support the Colorado bakery owner fighting a legal battle for his right, on religious grounds, to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Standing outside the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, the bakery at the center of the court case that goes before the Supreme Court on Dec. 5, they explained why they support its owner, Jack Phillips. “We’re here to buy stuff from him,” Matt said, in a video he and T.J. made for Alliance Defending Freedom, 'and support him, because we don’t think any artist should be forced to create for something that violates their beliefs.'  ...  A second video, posted Tuesday, features Kristen Waggoner, the ADF lawyer who will represent Phillips at the Supreme Court next month. Waggoner says in her video that defending Phillips’ case represents defending not just his but everyone else’s right to free expression and free exercise of their religious faith. "

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Filed under: Religious freedomAlliance Defending FreedomFree speech

What Happened to Colonel Who Didn't Want to Praise an Airman's Same-Sex Marriage

The Daily Signal commentary by Tony Perkins

November 16, 2017

"“His career is likely over,” First Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry told Fox News’ Todd Starnes, “and he will likely have to retire as a colonel instead of a general.” Berry, who’s representing Bohannon in the case, could only shake his head. “This sends a clear message—if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military. The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage.” ... 

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Filed under: Religious freedomFamily Research CouncilConscience freedomMilitaryFirst Liberty

SCOTUS to Hear Case of CA Pregnancy Centers Forced to Promote Abortion

November 13, 2017

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a major free speech case Monday that will address a 2015 California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to "disseminate to clients" a message promoting public programs with "free or low-cost access" to abortion and contraceptive services. "It's unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry. This is especially true of pregnancy care centers, which exist to care for women who want to have their babies," commented Kevin Theriot, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal group representing the pregnancy centers. "The state shouldn't have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life," he added. "Instead, it should protect freedom of speech and freedom from coerced speech."

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Filed under: AbortionAlliance Defending FreedomFree speech

Michigan college changes speech policy after being sued by campus conservatives who praised fossil fuels

The Washington Post

November 10, 2017

"A Michigan college said it would change its speech policy Wednesday after a conservative campus group sued, saying it was silenced after praising fossil fuels. Macomb Community College (MCC) is a school of about 23,000 students in Warren, Mich., about 15 miles north of Detroit. In April, members of a campus chapter of Turning Point USA — a conservative organization whose website says it promotes “the principles of freedom, free markets and limited government” — wanted to tell students about the importance of fossil fuels ... Turning Point was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian legal organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It routinely advocates for conservative students in free-speech cases, working with campus Republicans in Illinois who claimed free speech was limited to “0.0013 percent” of the campus in a federal lawsuit last month, and representing two teenage antiabortion protesters who were confronted by an assistant principal outside Philadelphia earlier this year. In a pending Supreme Court case, the group also represents a baker in Denver who refused to sell a cake to a gay couple. The settlement came days after the Trump administration released a dire report linking human activity to climate change, and as appearances by conservatives and white nationalists such as Richard Spencer inflame college campuses. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Caleb Dalton said the Southern Poverty Law Center was “long discredited,” and that free speech on campus benefits everyone, no matter their politics. "

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Filed under: Religious freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

Believers from different faiths rally around Colorado cake-baker before Supreme Court case

The Washington Times

November 10, 2017

"Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips may be an evangelical Christian, but he has a host of supporters from other faiths behind him as he takes his religious-freedom case next month to the Supreme Court. Leaders from the Catholic, Jewish and Mormon communities — as well as other evangelical small-business owners — came together Wednesday to offer their encouragement at a rally Wednesday at Colorado Christian University. Oral argument is scheduled Dec. 5 before the Supreme Court in the Masterpiece case, the first to be considered by the high court involving whether bakers, florists, filmmakers and other creative professionals who cater to weddings must serve same-sex ceremonies."

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedom

Bill Would Protect Pro-Life Nurses Like These 3 Women

The Daily Signal

November 9, 2017

"Pro-life members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect health care providers from being compelled to provide abortions under threat of losing their jobs. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., held a press conference on the House Triangle outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to promote the Conscience Protection Act. The bill is designed to “end discrimination against people, [insurance] plans and providers for choosing not to be involved in abortion,” according to a statement from Smith. “Health care, my friends, is about saving lives,” Smith said. 'It is about eradicating disease. It’s about mitigating disabilities, not taking the lives of unborn children. At the very least, health care providers should have the right not to be coerced into facilitating abortion.' "

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Filed under: Religious freedomConscience freedom

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