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.
A federal appeals court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for a Delaware school district to include prayer as part of its regular school board meetings. Prayer has been a part of Indian River board meetings since the school district was founded in 1969, and in 2004 the district formalized a policy in which board members rotate in leading a prayer or moment of silence to “solemnify” the meetings. The policy stipulates that the prayers may be either sectarian or non-sectarian, and may be “in the name of a Supreme Being, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah” — or some other religious entity.
For over 10 years Ohio judge James DeWeese (left) has fought for his constitutionally guaranteed right to display the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. And during that entire time he has been thwarted by a series of federal court rulings fueled by manipulative arguments of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Now, with the help of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Judge DeWeese will try to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A conservative legal advocacy group has come to the rescue of a New Jersey man who was told by authorities in his community that he could not display a cross in his yard. In early July the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to officials in the township of Livingston (picture, left) asking them to cease from employing an ordinance prohibiting homeowner Patrick Racaniello from displaying crosses in various areas of his front yard. Local police had used the ordinance as justification for ordering Racaniello to remove a cross he was displaying on a tree in his front yard in celebration of Lent, after one of his neighbors had complained.
Several veterans groups in Houston, Texas, are joining an area pastor in suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for religious discrimination, charging that at least one VA official banned prayers and certain religious terms during funerals for veterans at the Houston National Cemetery (pictured). The latest charges follow a Memorial Day controversy in which the cemetery’s director, Arleen Ocasio, censored a prayer that the Rev. Scott Rainey had planned to deliver during a service at the cemetery, removing the name of Jesus from the prayer. As reported by The New American, Rainey filed suit, and a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the VA, ruling that Rainey’s prayer qualified as free speech protected under the First Amendment, and allowing him to proceed with his original prayer.
The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed the latest legal challenge of noted atheist Michael Newdow (left) to religious wording in government business, “refusing to hear a complaint about President Barack Obama adding ‘so help me God’ to his inaugural oath of office,” reported the Associated Press. On May 16 the High Court opted not to consider an appeal from Newdow, “who argued that government references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs,” added the AP writer.
When you’re locked up in jail and the days are dragging on, sometimes you just want something good to read. A novel, a newspaper, or maybe a magazine — just about anything will do. But up until recently, at least, if you were doing time in South Carolina’s Berkeley County Detention Center, about the only thing you would be reading is letters from home— or the Bible.
An appeals court has overturned a federal judge’s decision that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional and has ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the President’s right to proclaim the annual observance. As reported by the Associated Press, “A three-judge panel of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation did not have standing to sue because while they disagree with the president’s proclamation, it has not caused them any harm.”
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on April 6 that a professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington can sue the school for not promoting him to full professor status because of the conservative Christian views he expressed in speeches and writing.