All Posts By

Mario Diaz, Esq.

Fulton v. Philadelphia Argument Recap

By | Briefs, Case Vault, LBB, News and Events | No Comments

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important religious liberty case this week, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. Sharonell Fulton and other foster parents who work with Catholic Social Services (whose work goes back 200 years in the city) brought suit after the City of Philadelphia tried to kick them out of the foster care and adoption arena because of their faith.

The city wants to force them to violate their faith and place children with same-sex couples. Concerned Women for America submitted a brief in support of the foster parent’s religious liberty.

This should be a simple case. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. That is exactly what the city is doing here in trying to prevent Catholic Social Services from serving the poor and needy in the way they have done for centuries.

Lori Windham, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who represented the foster parents put it succinctly for the justices. “The City has no compelling reason for excluding Catholic Social Services, which has exercised its faith by serving at-risk children in Philadelphia for two centuries,” she said in her opening presentation.

The real motivation behind this law, a blatant attack on Christians, was exposed in Court as Justice Samuel Alito asked a simple question: “How many same-sex couples in Philadelphia have been denied the opportunity to be foster parents as a result of Catholic Social Services’ policy?”

To which Ms. Windham responded, “Zero. In fact, Justice Alito, none have even approached Catholic Social Services asking for this approval and endorsement.”

Still, the liberal justices wanted to see a big problem here, suggesting, as they always do, that the situation is akin to Catholic Social Services discriminating against African Americans. But both, Ms. Windham for the foster parents and the federal government who also presented arguments in their support were careful to bring back the issue to what was really before them. “What the City’s trying to do here is tell religious groups who have been doing this prior to when the City got involved, ‘We’re going to exclude you; you can no longer carry out this work unless you take actions that are contrary to your faith.’”

Ms. Windham concluded saying, “In our pluralistic society, a properly functioning Free Exercise Clause is supposed to prevent this kind of unnecessary and harmful conflict. There are children in need of loving homes waiting for them. Neither Philadelphia nor [precedent] should stand in the way.”

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hashim Mooppan also presented in support of religious liberty on behalf of the United States. He took the argument from where Ms. Windham left off. “Philadelphia has not afforded Catholic Social Services the tolerance of religious practice that is required by the Free Exercise Clause and vital to our pluralistic nation,” he said.

He was strong also in responding to the liberal justices’ contention that this requirement was neutral and did not target faith specifically. He highlighted that the city indeed made many exceptions to their supposed rule, including in law. “[U]nder 55 Pennsylvania Code 3700.64,” he highlighted, “the City requires agencies to consider both familial status and disability in certifying foster children — foster parents. The City has tolerated racial and ethnic-based outreach to — for foster parents. And then the City itself considers race and disability when placing children.”

But now, when it comes to taking into account faith, they want to bully Christian agencies to violate their deeply held beliefs to accommodate the city’s desired preferences.

Radical liberal attorney Neal Katyal represented the City of Philadelphia and tried to persuade the Court that they extended those exemptions at a different stage and so that made it different. It was not persuasive. Justice Alito, again, got to the heart of the matter: “[I]f we are honest about what’s really going on here, it’s not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents. It’s the fact that the City can’t stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the Archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old-fashioned view about marriage. Isn’t that the case?”

Katyal, of course, denied it and tried to deflect to another matter.

The new member of the Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, also asked important questions about the ramifications of the government’s actions in this case. She asked Mr. Katyal:

[L]et’s imagine that the state takes over all hospitals and says from now on, you know, we are going to be responsible for hospitals, but we will contract with private entities to actually run them. And so there’s a Catholic hospital and gets a contract with the City to run it. In fact, it’s a Catholic hospital that’s in existence before the state adopts this policy. And its contract with the state provides that there are — in the contract the state gives everyone is that you can get some exceptions for some medical procedures, but every hospital has to perform abortions.

The deflection continued. Justice Barret made an important point because as the size of government continues to grow, this sort of anti-religious bullying will only expand to more and more areas. Justice Alito, later on talked about homeless shelters, and one could think of any number of other spaces.

The city’s position is not only that people of faith cannot get government funding to serve the poor in those cases, but that they couldn’t operate at all.

Thankfully, the oral arguments show their position is likely to be rejected by a majority of the Court.

Justice Barrett Win Should Remind You of the Importance of Your Vote

By | Barrett, News and Events, RBG, SCOTUS | No Comments

Now that Amy Coney Barrett has been sworn in as the 115th justice of the United States Supreme Court, I hope you realize the importance of your vote this coming November 3. There was a time when the U.S. Senate would have confirmed Justice Barrett unanimously. That was the way Justice Antonin Scalia, her mentor, was confirmed, 98–0. By contrast, Justice Barrett was confirmed 52-48. She would have never been confirmed if just a few seats were turned. 

This must become a matter of prayer for us as we focus our attention these last few days. Let us pray, not only for the outcome but also that those who are elected would choose justice over partisan bickering.   

Republicans control the Senate right now 53-47. Democrats would need to pick up four seats to become the majority. There are 34 Senate seats up for a vote. Of those 34 seats, 22 are Republican, and only 12 Democrats. 

Right now, Real Clear Politics has nine races as toss-ups— seven Republicans and just two Democrats. It further has five leaning to remain Republican and three leaning Democrat, with one of them being a pickup from a Republican seat. 

As you can see, there is a lot still up in the air as far as the United States Senate’s makeup which will have significant implications for the confirmation of judges. 

President Donald J. Trump has had historic victories in appointing constitutionalists to federal courts. Still, the gains would not have been possible without a Senate committed to the swift confirmation of qualified nominees. 

The number of cloture votes, which used to be rare in judicial confirmations, and which are practically meant merely to slow down nominees, have surged under today’s hyper-political climate. Seventy-seven percent of President Trump’s judicial nominees were forced to go through a cloture vote. Compare that to just 2.9 percent for President Barack Obama. 

Every way you look at it indicates to us that U.S. Senate races are crucial to justice. The media’s focus on the presidential race is, of course, warranted. The two candidates have very different and contrasting plans for our country.  

But we must not forget that even in some of the areas where they are promising to do this or that, they will need Congress to act before they can do anything.  In the case of judicial nominations, they will need the Senate to exercise its “advise and consent” role. 

One troubling idea that is being pushed by the radical left, namely to pack the Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices, would require the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass legislation for the president to sign. 

Packing the Court would be damaging to an institution that relies on its institutional legitimacy for its role in our form of government. This is why most elected officials, including Democrats, have opposed the idea for decades. Even Vice President Biden has said we would “live to rue the day” if the Supreme Court was expanded. 

Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt actually tried to pack the Court in 1937, but he failed when many in his own party opposed him, saying he would turn it into a political weapon. 

The American people also reject court-packing. This is why today, Vice President Biden has been reluctant to speak of the plan publicly. He has famously said he will answer the question “when the election is over” which is troubling in its own right.   

Many have taken that to mean he will do it. If that is the case, he would need the support of a willing Senate to go along with the plan.  

The bottom line is, we must keep the U.S. Senate in focus as we head into Election Day. 

Confirmed and Sworn In!

By | Barrett, Legal, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

Friends,

Congratulations! Your support and engagement have now helped confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. She was just confirmed by a vote of 52-48 and sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas. What a picture of hope for our country to see her raise her hand and take her oath from another constitutionalist at the Court.

Our Women for Amy Bus Tour is rejoicing! I want to thank those of you who took the time to come out to rally in support of Justice Barrett. We have a few more stops still, and they are bound to be the most joyous ones yet, as we celebrate this amazing victory.

Your engagement in this nomination will bear fruits for generations to come. Justice Barrett is not only a woman of great faith, integrity, and commitment to the Constitution, she is also now the youngest member of the Supreme Court.

This is a historic day for conservative women. Justice Barrett is an inspiration to millions of young conservative women who are witnessing a prime example of someone who reached the highest pinnacles of her profession without compromising her values.

But the task ahead will not be easy for Justice Barrett. The pressures will only increase as she takes her new position at the Court. So, let me encourage you to continue to keep her and her family in your prayers.

And remember to stay connected with us here at ConcernedWomen.org as we continue to stand together for freedom and justice in our land.

Sincerely,
Penny Nance
CEO and President

Women for Amy Bus Tour Celebrates Committee Vote

By | Barrett, CEO, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2020

Contact:
Stephanie Rivera
954.243.6301, 
[email protected]

 Women for Amy Bus Tour Celebrates Committee Vote

Washington, D.C. – This morning, after Democrats opted to boycott the vote, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee voted favorably to send Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to be an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court to the full Senate.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), had this to say, as she continues to lead the Women for Amy Bus Tour, currently traveling from McAlester, Oklahoma, to Fort Worth, Texas:

 “Conservative Women all over this country are energized by the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court; we are seeing it first-hand. They are celebrating her with every step she takes, against the tide, to trace her own path to the highest court in the land. What an inspiration she is to millions of young girls watching today. She gives us hope!

 

“We applaud Senate Republicans for treating her with respect and moving ahead with her confirmation, despite the Democrats’ temper tantrums. They should be ashamed of disrespecting this highly qualified nominee by not even showing up for blatant partisan political reasons. She deserves better.

 

“But they prove, once again, that they are not the party that promotes and respects women’s rights. They only support women who agree with their political ideology. All others are free to be treated with contempt, as they have done to Judge Barrett today.

 

“The good news is that, at the end of this process, they too will have to address her Justice Barrett, no matter the theatrics they employ today.” 

###

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America. Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

Hearing Recap and Next Steps for Amy Coney Barrett

By | Barrett, Judicial Nominations, LBB, Legal, News and Events, RBG | No Comments

To quote Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Amy Coney Barrett is “going to the Court.” The hearings are over, and she simply shined through it all. The most memorable moments included ACB schooling senators trying to challenge her on precedent and originalism and severability and textualism. She was the smartest person in the room. The moment when Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked her to show her notes went viral because it illustrated how exceptional she was as a nominee. Here is the clip:

But the most powerful testimony, showing us the type of person we are supporting for the Supreme Court was heard on the last day. It was the testimony of Laura Wolk, one of Judge Barrett’s law students and current Supreme Court clerk, who is blind. She explained the extraordinary help she received from ACB that made it possible for her to break down barriers in the legal profession.  Please watch:

These hearings were historic. The voices of conservative women were heard like never before, both inside and outside the hearing room.  Sen. Graham highlighted this with his remarks on day two. He said, “This hearing to me is an opportunity to not punch through a glass ceiling, but a reinforced concrete barrier around conservative women. You’re going to shatter that barrier. I’ve never been prouder of a nominee than I am of you.” Here is the expanded clip of his remarks:

Outside, as most of you know, the “Women for Amy” army made its mark, outshining the opposition.

The nomination will be held one week, as is customary, with some written questions and answers for the record submitted. Then a final committee vote is scheduled for October 22 at 1:00 p.m. It is expected to be 12-10, along party lines.

The nomination then will be sent to the full Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said, “We’ll go to the floor with her on Friday, the 23rd, and stay on it until we finish this… We have the votes.”

Action Item: Stand Up For All Christian Conservative Women

By | Barrett, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

God’s timing is perfect. He’s never early or late but comes at the precise time. So, even though no one could have foreseen the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court at this crucial time in our nation’s history, we are thankful for the opportunity to see the first conservative, constitutionalist woman on the nation’s highest court.

Judge Barrett is exceptional. Her academic and professional credentials are second to none. She graduated at the top of her law school class, clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, went on to private practice, became a law professor, and then an appellate court judge.

That is why the attacks we have seen against her center, not on her credentials, but on her faith and her family.

She has been attacked for being too Christian. As Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California) shamefully said to her, “The dogma lives loudly within you.”

And she has been attacked for adopting two beautiful children from Haiti, with some calling her a “White colonizer.”

These despicable, unjust attacks on her, are an attack on all people of faith!

Stand up to this bigotry by strongly urging your senators to vote for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Click here to visit our “Women for Amy” action center, where you can call, email, and even tweet to your senators.
 
Take action today and urge your families and friends to do the same.  Click here to support the work CWALAC is doing.

Meet Amy Coney Barrett

By | Barrett, Judicial Nominations, Legal, News and Events, RBG, SCOTUS | No Comments

If you have been a friend of Concerned Women for America (CWA) over the years, you only need to refamiliarize yourself with Judge Amy Barrett. CWA activists supported her nomination to the lower court, and we spoke loudly about the anti-religious, anti-Christian bigotry that characterized her opposition. We won that battle. And we will stand strong against such unconstitutional attacks on people of faith this time around.

But we want you to get to know future Justice Amy Coney Berrett now that the President is set to nominate her to the United States Supreme Court.

Personal Life

Amy Coney Barrett was born in Louisiana; she is 48 years old. She and her husband Jesse Barrett live in Indiana with their seven children. Two of the children were adopted from Haiti. One has special needs. It has been reported that the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome during a prenatal screening. She is a devout, pro-life, Catholic.

Academic Credentials

Judge Barrett graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans (1990). She studied English literature at Rhodes College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude (1994). She was Phi Beta Kappa and earned Most Outstanding English Major and Most Outstanding Senior Thesis.

She earned a full tuition scholarship to go to the Notre Dame Law School where she graduated with a juris doctor, summa cum laude (1997). She was the Executive Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. She was also the recipient of the Hoynes Prize (for the best record in scholarship, deportment, and achievement), the Dean’s Award (for the best exam in Administrative Law, Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, First Amendment, Torts II, and Legal Research and Writing).

Legal Career

Upon graduation, Amy Coney Barret earned some prestigious judicial clerkships. First, under Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1997-1998), and later under the late, great Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (1998-1999).

Judge Barret then moved to private practice as an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin (1999-2000), and later at Baker Bots, LLP (2000-2001), two highly regarded law firms in Washington, D.C.

She later became visiting associate professor and John M. Olin Fellow in Law at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. (2001-2002). Then a Professor of Law, and the Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Chair in Law at the Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana (2002-2017), where she won the “Distinguished Professor of the Year” award multiple times.

In 2017, she was nominated by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit where she continues to serve with distinction.

Judicial Philosophy

Judge Barrett is a constitutionalist who believes the text of the Constitution means what it says and says what it means when looking at the original meaning as it was written at the time of its enactment. She has shown through her career that she is willing to show the judicial restraint necessary to refrain from imposing personal policy views under the guise of law. A student of Justice Scalia, she is similarly committed to originalism and stare decisis (settled law) and grappling with these legal doctrines in a way that preserves the most important principles of our founding.

She will be an outstanding addition to the United States Supreme Court.

Here is the List of Added Names to President Trump’s List of Possible Supreme Court Nominees

By | LBB, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments

President Donald J. Trump added 20 more names to his list of possible Supreme Court nominees. Here is who he added, saying they are in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito:

  1. Judge Bridget Bade, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  2. Daniel Cameron, Attorney General of Kentucky
  3. Paul Clement, former U.S. Solicitor General
  4. Tom Cotton, R- Arkansas
  5. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
  6. Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  7. Steven Engel, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice.
  8. Noel Francisco, former Solicitor General of the United States
  9. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri
  10. Judge James Ho, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  11. Judge Gregory Katsas, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  12. Judge Barbara Lagoa, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  13. Christopher Landau, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
  14. Justice Carlos Muñiz, Supreme Court of Florida
  15. Judge Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  16. Judge Peter Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  17. Judge Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  18. Judge Allison Jones Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  19. Kate Todd, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President
  20. Judge Lawrence Van Dyke, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Click here to read Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) CEO and President Penny Nance’s statement on the news.

Letters to the Church – Number Two

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Dear Church,

As you well know, humanity has a sin problem. We all do. This is the nature and essence of all the issues we face as a Church and as a country. Anyone talking about racism and justice must begin there. Be wary of those, whether inside or outside the Church, purporting to be fighting for “justice” while disregarding and even advocating sin.

It is impossible to address these problems efficiently while brushing aside the eternal principles of nature, as given to us by the Creator. We would be missing the problem entirely, and in fact, aggravating it further.

This is not just within the confines of the Church. We are talking about reality here. Social change must be sought in this manner. It is the way Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished so much in such a short life. Remember his Letter from a Birmingham Jail? In it, Rev. King explained how we could determine whether a law is just or unjust. He wrote:

“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

Justice demands a standard. And aside from God’s standard, there are only personal preferences— human preferences, to be precise. The same humanity plagued with the sin problem.

That is why so many today are committing such heinous, unjust acts of racial violence against their neighbors. They are committing such actions because they believe similar acts were committed against them or their communities. They are acting according to their evil nature and imposing their sinful preferences over another’s. Sin for sin – an atrocious exchange.

Warning: Graphic Content

Unjust, racist violence is wrong no matter who the victims and the perpetrators are; you can swap them around, and the same crime would persist. As Christians, we must fight against it in all cases.

We, as the Church of Jesus Christ, simply cannot support those whose whole strategy is to commit sinful acts against another in the name of “justice.” We do not repay evil with evil (1 Peter 3:9). We are not frustrated when some are “getting away” with this or that. This is not what we believe.

No one gets away with anything. We trust in the Lord Almighty (Romans 12:19), so we do not lose hope and fall into despair as the unbeliever does. And we reject the worldly, devilish dichotomy by the scornful telling us that not to join them in their wicked ways is to allow injustice to flourish.

No. There is a better way.  The way. It was the way of Dr. King and most abolitionists throughout history. They fought injustice, even as they remember the admonitions of Proverbs 3:29, “Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.” There were plenty of instigators among their ranks, too, with promises of quicker resolutions. Evildoers claim victory at every chance they get.

Do not fall for their lies. Continue to heed the Proverbs (3:31, 32), “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.”

Standing in the confidence of God, we can speak truth that is more powerful than an entire army. We extend the hands of grace and help, empathy, and longsuffering that bring healing and reconciliation. We stand up to tyrants and, yes, perhaps even give our lives for freedom.

It is “[f]or freedom Christ has set us free,” and we, therefore, “stand firm … and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” That was our previous life. We were slaves to sin. But now, we do not walk in our former ways. We do not join the sinful mob for whatever reason. We walk in the light.

We will fight injustice. You can rest assured of that. We will just not fight it the world’s way (Romans 12:21).

May the God of all hope and peace fill you with the courage and love you need for this moment, that the power of the Holy Spirit may shine in your community now as never before.

In Christ,
M


Letter: one, two.


Letters to the Church – Number One

By | Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Dear Church,

We are at war. Everyone paying attention knows it. Some may be uncertain of the battle lines, and even of their position in relation to them, but they can certainly feel our current situation is not good. Despair has settled in on the hearts of many, even within the Church, and the streets are flooded with the consequences of our reality.

Convinced that the only way out of this state is for us, the Church, to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), I set out to write a series of letters to my beloved brethren to try to bring some clarity to this moment.

The conflict you are witnessing is a struggle for truth. Not the watered down, infantile caricature of truth that is fed to us by the Pulitzer Prize-winning puppeteers producing the tragicomedies we see on our screens daily. Nor is it the naive wishes of attention-seeking freshmen dreaming of “world peace.” The warfare we are called to engage in is a battle to protect the basic arithmetic of life.

The spirit of this age tells us all numbers are equal. Sure, two plus two equals four. But it could also equal five and six or eight. That way, more people are right, and no one feels judged for not giving you the answer you want to hear.

“To each his own,” a young Christian told me recently as we discussed biological males breaking women’s track records in college athletics. And so, it is. The man kicking another man unconscious in a recent protest is fighting for justice. The violent protests are peaceful.

Warning: Graphic Content

In some ways, we are witnessing the same deception the serpent has perpetrated on us since the beginning. “Did God really say,” he still whispers (Genesis 3:1). “You will not die … you will be like God” (Genesis 3:4-5).

The serpent was lying, as was his nature (John 8:44). There is no truth in him. Remember then, the snake is still at work in our world today, presenting himself as a benevolent figure. “[W]e wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Should it be surprising then to discover that behind the forces at work today flows a steady stream of anti-Christian sentiment? Should we find it strange that a movement supposedly crying out for justice acts most unjustly? No. Nor should we find it odd that it considers the Christian faith repugnant. The puzzling thing is how many Christian leaders are unable to discern the spirit of the moment.

According to one of the founding voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, rioters should tear down statues of Jesus as they are a “gross form of white supremacy.” The “Black Lives Matter” organization, for its part, says on its website that they are working to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and to free themselves “from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking.”

I know this is difficult to confront. We, as the Church, will always fight injustice wherever we find it. In those instances where police abuse their power, we will speak out against it. We will cry out for justice.

But darkness cannot stamp out darkness. Only light can do that. It gains us no advantage to swap out one oppressor for another—to fight injustice with injustice. The serpent has no loyalty. He will grab you and use you for evil in your quest for justice. Indeed, he’ll grab you and use you in your pursuit of God if you allow him. Isn’t this what the Pharisees did?

Both the secularist social justice warrior and the hypocritical religious zealot fall for the enemy’s lies and stand against God’s purposes. They fall for different kinds of lies, but they are lies, nonetheless. They both believe it is their actions that can save the world. They have supplanted God with a new idol, namely themselves.

Truth, on the other hand, has a way of sitting you up straight, humbling you. It brings clarity. Wakes you up from your worthless, self-aggrandizing dreams and demands to be confronted. It puts you face to face with your own sin. It is light. We, as children of light (1 John 1:7), must walk in it. Those who live in darkness hate it.

We cannot be surprised that the spirit of this age hates us (1 John 3:13). Christian leader, for the love of God, stop trying to get the world to like you! Stand for truth. Be faithful to God and His Word. Trust in Him. Consider it an honor to suffer for His name (Philippians 1:29).

Be salt. For if we lose our saltiness, what are we good for anyway?

In Christ,

M


Letter: one, two.


CWA Still Committed to the Principles of our Founding

By | Briefs, Defense of Family, Feminist / Women's Issues, LBB, News and Events | No Comments

Precisely forty-two years ago, in 1978, Beverly LaHaye held the first Concerned Women for America (CWA) meeting in San Diego, California, to educate women about the threats presented by the so-called Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). More than 1,200 attended. It was the beginning of what would become the largest public policy organization for women in the nation.

CWA went on to have a resounding victory against the ERA both in the culture and the courtroom. But, believe it or not, some radical feminists never got over that resounding loss. They are still trying to revive the old, putrefied ERA corpse to this day.

CWA continues to stand in their way.

Just last week, we filed a brief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia standing against illegal efforts to bypass precedent and keep the effort to pass the ERA alive. The brief, filed by Michael Farris, who was legal counsel for CWA back when we defeated the ERA the first time, and who is now the CEO and General Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, explains to the court why the efforts to revive this effort violates the constitutional process.

Simply put, the ERA’s ratification deadline has come and gone. The effort is legally dead. The U.S. Congress gave the states seven years to ratify it, and they failed in that effort decades ago. To pass the ERA, they would need to start the process all over again.

Even the radically liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has acknowledged as much, saying at a Georgetown Law School event that the effort to revive it comes “long after the deadline passed” and needs to start over. “I would like to see a new beginning,” she told the moderator Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge M. Margaret McKeown, “I’d like it to start over.”

In our brief, we argue ERA activists themselves have acknowledged that their time has expired in numerous public statements. But now they seek to circumvent the constitutional process and revive the effort. Even their efforts to “remove the deadline,” acknowledge as much:

The Alice Paul Institute admits that “the ERA did not succeed in getting [sufficient] ratifications before the deadline.” The Feminist Majority Foundation explains that Congress must either “rescind the arbitrary timeline on ERA ratification … [or] pass the ERA again.” Likewise, the League of Women Voters of the United States currently urges its followers to “Tell Congress to remove the deadline so the ERA can cross the finish line!” … On its website, Equality Now tells supporters they “now must urge Senators to pass S.J. Res. 6, another joint resolution to eliminate the deadline. It is more important than ever to urge Senators to eliminate the original deadline!”

The ERA was bad policy then and is still bad policy today. It is why the American people rejected it. Feminists seek to use it to force their radical pro-abortion policies on the country, like finally getting our tax dollars to pay for abortions up to the moment of birth. Big abortion businesses like NARAL and Planned Parenthood have long argued that ERAs at the state level guarantee a right to taxpayer-funded abortions.

The president of the National Organization for Women argued, “The ERA would codify reproductive rights in the Constitution and greatly support low-income women who are the first to lose access to affordable birth control when family planning services are reduced.”

And today we know the ERA would be even worse for women, given the monumental fight in which we are engaged in an effort to protect women sports. Proponents of the ERA want to redefined the word “sex” in federal law opening the door for men who identify as women to hijack women’s rights, safety, and protections.

CWA is currently fighting in courts and legislatures around the country for the right of women in women’s shelter to prevent males from coming into their spaces, a development that could further aggravate the emotional and psychological pain of women who have suffered domestic abuse, rape, and even trafficking in some cases.

The bottom line is that the ERA continues to be a disaster for women and CWA is, once again, leading the fight against it to preserve the intrinsic and unique value of every woman. We won back then. And we will do so again.

Huge Win for CWA: Planned Parenthood Affiliate Finally Admits its Racists Roots

By | LBB, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has been fighting for years to expose Planned Parenthood’s (PP) legacy of death which has its roots in the racist eugenics movement. As PP celebrated 100 years a few years back, CWA launched a campaign called “100 No More,” exposing the organization’s racists founding through eugenicist Margaret Sanger. CWA also noted the disparate impact of PP’s policies on minority communities to this day.

Though African Americans are only 12.6% of the U.S. population, they make up 35.4% of all abortions, over 1 in 3. And census data shows that 79% of PP’s surgical abortion facilities are within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. Here is a shocking clip of Margaret Sanger in her own words]:

But PP and liberals have stood by Margaret Sanger’s side for decades. They defended her. They would even give out the infamous Margaret Sanger Award, which they called their “highest honor.” Proud recipients included Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

 

The same liberals who prop themselves up as champions of minorities would fight us every time we would shed light on PP’s racist roots. They were proud when the Smithsonian put a bust of Margaret Sanger in the National Portrait Gallery. CWA fought them hard on it and called on them to remove it, yet they emphatically refused and were elated to have the pro-abortion display, ignoring the explicit racism attached to it.

But time has caught up to their lying, hypocritical schemes, and now they’ve been forced to acknowledge their racist legacy. The news just broke this week that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) is being forced to remove the Margaret Sanger name from its abortion clinic as “a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color.”

The change does not come out of self-reflection, but out of pressure from its base. As The Washington Times reported, in a June 18 open letter, 350 current and former staff members and about 800 members wrote, “We know that Planned Parenthood has a history and a present steeped in white supremacy, and we, the staff, are motivated to do the difficult work needed to improve.”

In today’s climate, PP’s racism is no longer able to hide behind their friends in the media and the politicians they support. So, PPGNY has announced the removal of Sanger’s name, and perhaps we are seeing the beginning of the truth coming out. It is definitely an excellent development for truth and life.

The fact that it is the New York Planned Parenthood facility is significant. CWA has also talked about the deep abortion extremism in NYC, where more African American babies were killed by abortion (31,328) than born (24,758) in 2012. We can only hope that the city wakes up to this racial genocide and turns against the inherent racism within the pro-abortion movement.

To be sure, PP is only changing a name, while changing none of its racist policies, like opposing bills that have tried to ban abortions based on race. They have announced no willingness to change their shameful policy on taking money for abortions based on race.

CWA will continue to fight for justice for women. There is much work to be done to protect the inherent value of every human life. But perhaps this development shows us that Americans are starting to wake up to the abortion con and will demand change.

It is definitely something CWA had been hoping to see, and we give thanks to God for this small crack in Big Abortion’s stranglehold on our nation.

SCOTUS

Political Justice Strikes Again—June Medical v. Russo

By | Blog, Briefs, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS | No Comments

If there was any doubt about what the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ era at the Supreme Court was all about, they were erased this week as the Court delivered its opinion in June Medical L.L.C v. Russo. Chief Justice Roberts represents the era of political justice, and it is as ugly as it sounds. Constitutional principles and law are not paramount. The Court’s perception before the radical left is what matters.

In June Medical, the Chief Justice declared a law unconstitutional, not because he thought it was unconstitutional, but because he believes to be consistent is more important than being right. He wrote, “I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”

To be consistently wrong is a virtue in the Roberts’ era of political justice since it appeases the mob if only for a moment. Remember, this is a case dealing with abortion, a politically charged topic, and, as the Chief demonstrated in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) cases, he will consider much more than the law to save the Court’s reputation.

In the context of abortion, the liberals in the Court, along with the Chief Justice, will abandon impartiality and twist the law to fit the outcome they want. Justice Anthony Kennedy (the former justice who “wrote the book” on political justice) actually admitted as much in Gonzales v. Carhart, the Partial Birth Abortion case, where he confessed:

It is true this longstanding maxim of statutory interpretation has, in the past, fallen by the wayside when the Court confronted a statute regulating abortion. The Court at times employed an antagonistic ‘canon of construction under which in cases involving abortion, a permissible reading of a statute [was] to be avoided at all costs.’

Roberts perpetuates the shameful legacy with this decision, upholding an erroneous precedent for the sake of appeasing the insatiable abortion mob.

The left has his number. They know he is susceptible to the slightest criticism of the Court. So you cannot blame them for making sure the threats are forceful and consistent. Just recently, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse submitted a reprehensible brief making all kinds of threats of “restructuring” the Court if they do not do as the left wants in controversial cases—gun control in that instance. He wrote, “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’”

Guess what happened in that case and in several others involving gun laws? You guessed it; the Court shied away from delving into the topic. “Don’t want to appear political,” you see? So goes the political justice chorus on every controversial case where they face the mob.

Need another recent example? See the Bostock/Harris Debacle.

Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal bloc of the Court to say this case was just like the one they heard four years ago “Whole Woman’s Health.” But as the dissenters pointed out, this is merely a copout. The Court did not even give proper consideration to the third-party standing issue, where the Court’s unusual approval of abortionist asserting a constitutional right they do not have has been allowed to go forth. The conclusory claim of stare decisis (precedent) solves all in the plurality’s view.

As Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out, ultimately, “those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text.” Precedent didn’t really matter then.

Justice Thomas concluded, “The Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion. This Court created the right to abortion based on an amorphous, unwritten right to privacy, which it grounded in the ‘legal fiction’ of substantive due process … As the origins of this jurisprudence readily demonstrate, the putative right to abortion is a creation that should be undone.”

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh also wrote to highlight the plurality’s distortion of the facts and the law to reach their preferred policy position. “Today’s decision doesn’t just overlook one of these rules. It overlooks one after another,” wrote Justice Gorsuch in dissent. “To arrive at today’s result, rules must be brushed aside and shortcuts taken.”

Political justice strikes again, leaving many victims on its way. Not the least of which is true justice itself.

SCOTUS Rally

The Bostock/Harris Debacle

By | Blog, Briefs, Case Vault, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

One of the most disappointing things about the recent Supreme Court decision on the definition of “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the majority’s poor reasoning. The majority included Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, along with the four liberal justices (Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan).

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, does not dispute that the word “sex” in federal law means male and female. He indeed says, “The parties concede that the term ‘sex’ in 1964 referred to the biological distinctions between male and female.” Still, the majority argues that because homosexuality and transgenderism relate to “sex,” employment discrimination based on transgenderism or homosexuality is prohibited under the law.

The Court ignored the fact that Congress has considered and rejected protections explicitly based on those categories.

Simply put, the majority did what it wanted to do, not what the law demanded. Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, filed a forceful dissent making the point. “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation,” he wrote. Indeed.

This is extremely disappointing, especially in the case of Justice Gorsuch, because he had been up until now, a strong proponent of originalism or textualism, a legal philosophy that emphasizes sticking to the text of a statute. Unfortunately, he has shown now that he will deviate from that philosophy depending on the topic.

Justice Alito calls him out on it:

The Court attempts to pass off its decision as the inevitable product of the textualist school of statutory interpretation championed by our late colleague Justice Scalia, but no one should be fooled. The Court’s opinion is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated––the theory that courts should “update” old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh also saw the fallacy, writing in his own dissenting opinion, “Our role is not to make or amend the law. As written, Title VII does not prohibit employment discrimination because of sexual orientation.” It was a simple interpretive exercise unless a judge brings personal emotions into the mix.

One of the signs of the weakness of the majority’s argument was its dismissive attitude towards the opponents’ arguments. Despite the glaring problems with its interpretation, the majority simply declared that it was obvious that sexual orientation and gender identity were included. It was easy to see.  Justice Kavanaugh, again, showed how unserious the argument was: “Because judges interpret the law as written, not as they might wish it were written, the first 10 U. S. Courts of Appeals to consider whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination all said no. Some 30 federal judges considered the question. All 30 judges said no, based on the text of the statute. 30 out of 30.”

They were all merely stupid, according to the majority. Same for Congress. No one intended to include sexual orientation or gender identity in the law. They debated whether to include it or not and rejected it. But the majority says they were just too naïve to know they were actually including it in the language.

File this decision among the worse in our history, right along with Obergefell v. Hodges, Roe v. Wade, and Dred Scott v. Sandford. The consequences will be devastating for our country. It will most certainly be used as a weapon against Christian conservatives. But this does not mean we allow it to be used in this way.

We must fight to limit its impact. The Court, indeed, as it always does when it knows it is doing wrong, tells us its impact is limited. Justice Gorsuch swears it will not affect religious liberty and that it does not involve other statues (like Title IX, in the women’s sports context). We must fight to make sure that is the case.

Right now, Concerned Women for America is in the middle of a big fight in regards to Title IX. We have two complaints with the Department of Education and are working on legislative fixes that could help mitigate the damage.

This case is thrusting us into a much bigger fight that is just beginning. A battle for reality. A struggle for truth. And as you know, Truth is on our side. Do not be discouraged. In the end, we will win.

This is not a time for timidity. It is time to redouble our efforts. Strengthen our resolve and stand on the Word of God. Join us in prayer for this fight and be part of the remnant of God in our country. There is power in the unity of the body of Christ (John 17:20-23).

Religious Bigotry Law Rejected by Supreme Court, Despite Liberal Justices Objections

By | Blog, Education, LBB, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Washington, D.C.— In a 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a Montana law that targeted religious institutions for discrimination. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, had this to say:

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s majority today for recognizing that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from the state scholarship program violates the U.S. Constitution. Tax dollars should not be used in such a blatant discriminatory way. The First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause is clear, no law should aim to punish Americans for the free exercise of their faith.

“What is concerning is that all four of the liberal justices of the Court are fully on board with that type of religious discrimination. Shame on them. This should have been a unanimous decision. It is as simple as they come.

“Americans should beware of how close we are to losing our religious liberties in our country. Come election time, CWA member from around the country will make sure people know what is at stake when it comes to the courts.

“We have made progress, but there is much more work to be done.”

Penny Nance at Protect Women Protect Life rally at Supreme Court

Conservative Women Decry Chief Justice Roberts’ Politically Correct Jurisprudence

By | Blog, Legal, News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Washington, D.C.— Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in June Medical Services v. Russo, invalidating a law meant to protect women by raising the standard of care to an acceptable level in cases of abortion. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America had this to say:

“What a disappointment Chief Justice John Roberts has turned out to be. June Medical Services v. Russo is about whether the abortion industry in Louisiana should receive special exemption from state regulators or should be held to the same standard of medical care that other outpatient procedures require.  Doctors must have hospital admitting privileges for a colonoscopy, why not for abortion?  Do women deserve the same standard of care for emergencies or not?  The state of Louisiana wants to require that abortion doctors have admitting privileges, but the left sees this as a threat to their unregulated abortion agenda.

“It’s unconscionable that abortion clinics have been given a special carve out shielding them from the responsibility for providing a standard of care that a woman deserves under any circumstance.  CWA does not believe abortion is health care.  But the left is hypocritical when it claims that abortion is health care and then opposes requiring doctors to have the full responsibility of a medical provider as an ‘unconstitutional burden.’

“Conservatives must face the fact that we still face a liberal majority in the most important cases at the Supreme Court. When it matters most, some conservative justices have unfortunately shown themselves to be susceptible to the politically correct mob’s demands.

“The hundreds of thousands of women I represent will not let up. We will redouble our efforts to make sure more courageous justices are appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“What this case ultimately demonstrates is that the fight for life is the fight for women’s rights. We are not discouraged. We are not deterred. We will fight, and we will win. For life. For Women.”

Laura Huber, State Director, Concerned Women for America of Louisiana, had this to say:

“The Supreme Court today failed the women of Louisiana. It was we who demanded these protections from our elected officials. But the Supreme Court, once again, imposes itself over the will of the people and enacts their preferred liberal policies by judicial fiat. Women are not free to decide for themselves in the case of abortion. The Supreme Court will dictate what we can and cannot do with our laws. Shame on these five justices who stood against women today. We are especially disappointed to see the Chief Justice, who acknowledges the decision upon which they decided this case was wrongly decided, still let himself be bullied into the politically correct position. But we are not deterred. We will continue to fight for women. We will continue to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. We will continue to fight for life.”

Bostock – Harris Supreme Court Update

By | Blog, Briefs, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

The United States Supreme Court has released its decision in the Title VII cases Harris v. EEOC, Bostock v. Clayton County, and Altitude Express v. Zarda rewriting federal law in a raw act of judicial overreach.

We have seen this movie before. The Supreme Court rewriting federal law to appease political correctness is one of the most destructive developments in American jurisprudence. It always disappoints and brings more, not less, pain to our country. We can expect a similar type of legacy for today’s decision.

As Justice Alito plainly puts it in dissent: “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.” Which of course is a fundamental violation of the separation of powers set by our Constitution.

The majority betrays the Constitution and, Justice Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts betray the textualism they purport to support with this nonsensical decision that hurts women most of all. The protections based on “sex” in federal law were specifically enacted to protect women and strengthen justice, not threaten it because of the beautiful differences between males and females. But today, the Court erases that and envisions a world where fundamental truths can be twisted to mean whatever the “woke” culture of the times dictates.

CWA General Counsel Mario Diaz, Esq. and Doreen Denny, VP of Government Relations, have more on the potential dangers of this disastrous decision.

A Privilege to Support Judge Walker for the D.C. Circuit

By | Blog, Judicial Nominations, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

President Donald Trump has given us great judicial nominees throughout his presidency. It has indeed been the best group we have ever seen. The vast majority have a proven track record of being Constitutionalists who are committed to upholding the Constitution and laws as written.

But every once in a while, an exceptional talent comes along that stands out as someone with an extraordinary intellect and understanding of our history and ideals. Judge Justin Walker is such a jurist. He is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where Justice Kavanaugh used to serve. He currently serves as a federal district judge in the Western District of Kentucky.

As the nation wrestles with the constitutional limits of the power grab many mayors around the country are enjoying as the result of the coronavirus, Judge Walker stands out as a judge who understands the importance of our religious liberties as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Going into Easter weekend, many mayors, including Kentucky’s Greg Fischer, wanted to prohibit Easter services, under threat of law.

On Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, the matter came before Judge Walker. A Church called “On Fire Christian Center” sued to enjoin Mayor Fischer from enforcing an executive order that prohibited them from gathering, even if they observe social distancing and also if they stayed in their cars and did a “drive-in church” service.

Judge Walker saw that for what it was, a great offense to the Constitution. He then proceeded to enter a temporary restraining order enjoining Mayor Fischer and the City of Louisville from enforcing compliance with their prohibition on “drive-in churches.” In doing so, he wrote a magnificent memorandum that showed complete command of the issue and highlighted its importance on our constitutional structure. I commend to you the entire document. Judge Walker did not hold back:

On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion. But two days ago, citing the need for social distancing during the current pandemic, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer ordered Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their cars to worship – and even though it’s Easter. The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, “beyond all reason,” unconstitutional.

Judge Walker traced the history of religious discrimination that made us the great nation that we are. He wrote, “The Pilgrims were heirs to a long line of persecuted Christians, including some punished with prison or worse for the crime of celebrating Easter – and an even longer line of persecuted peoples of more ancient faiths.”

He explained the importance of religious freedom and the importance of Easter for Christians. He even showed great sensibility by noting that churches owed no explanation of their beliefs to the government.

The Christians of On Fire, however, owe no one an explanation for why they will gather together this Easter Sunday to celebrate what they believe to be a miracle and a mystery. True, they can attempt to explain it. True, they can try to teach. But to the nonbeliever, the Passion of Jesus – the betrayals, the torture, the state-sponsored murder of God’s only Son, and the empty tomb on the third day – makes no sense at all. And even to the believer, or at least to some of them, it can be incomprehensible as well. But for the men and women of On Fire, Christ’s sacrifice isn’t about the logic of this world. Nor is their Easter Sunday celebration. The reason they will be there for each other and their Lord is the reason they believe He was and is there for us. For them, for all believers, “it isn’t a matter of reason; finally, it’s a matter of love.”

Writing this way, Judge Walker displays great respect not only for the Constitution but also for religious communities (for Christians), which is unfortunately so rare with so many today.

That is why we should be ecstatic to see Judge Walker elevated to the D.C. Circuit. Let us pray for him and the attacks he will surely get for speaking boldly in favor of religious liberty.