The “birther” movement was dealt another blow to its efforts to unseat President Obama on December 22 when a federal appeals court dismissed a legal challenge from a group, including former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, ruling that none of them had sufficient standing to sue the President. Those in the birther movement claim that Obama was not born in the United States and thus is constitutionally unqualified to be President.
For the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR), Christmas is not the season to be jolly or liberal in a giving sort of way. Instead, it’s the perfect time to ratchet up its well-worn intimidation strategy against Americans who are exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious expression by displaying traditional nativity scenes in the public square.
The community of San Juan Capistrano, California, has backed down from ticketing a couple for holding Bible studies in their home after the couple’s attorneys filed a religious-freedom lawsuit against the city. Back in September, city officials had fined Chuck and Stephanie Fromm $300 after determining that the couple was in violation of a municipal code that prohibited “religious, fraternal, or non-profit” groups to meet in residential neighborhoods without a permit.
The California Supreme Court issued a ruling November 17 clearing the way for champions of traditional marriage to continue defending Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2008 that stipulates that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that it is permissible for the state to acknowledge its dependence upon God. The decision overturns a 2009 lower court ruling that a state law requiring the acknowledgement of God “created an official government position on God.”
The ACLU is targeting a Virginia school district for displaying the Ten Commandments in one of its high schools. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed the lawsuit [September 13th] against Giles County School Board in U.S. District Court in Roanoke on behalf of an unidentified Narrows High School student and the student’s parent,” reported the Washington Post. “The lawsuit says the display unconstitutionally promotes a specific religious faith and serves no secular purpose.”
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled September 13th that a California teacher’s First Amendment guarantees were not violated when the principal at the school where he worked ordered him to remove classroom banners that connected America’s heritage of freedom to faith in God. The decision overturned a lower court’s ruling that the Poway Unified School District had violated the free speech rights of Bradley Johnson, a mathematics teacher in the district.
An Illinois appeals court has ruled against a woman who sued a Planned Parenthood clinic because it did not inform her that the abortion she requested would take a human life. As reported by LifeSiteNews.com, “The plaintiff, identified only as Mary Doe, had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago in 2004, before which she says she had specifically asked a clinic counselor if her unborn child was a human being. Two years later, she filed a malpractice action against the clinic based upon the fact that the counselor had erroneously told her no.”
A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a law, passed by the Texas legislature in May, that requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure so she can see the baby’s features and hear its heartbeat. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks (left) of Austin ruled that the law, set to go into effect on September 1st, “compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.”
The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a state pro-life law, blocked two years ago by a lower court, that requires, among other provisions, that a woman seeking an abortion be informed by a physician about the risks and alternatives to the deadly procedure.