CWA Files Brief in Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

Great News on this Religious Freedom Day

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January 16 is Religious Freedom Day. It marks the anniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the precursor language of our First Amendment guarantee of…

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The Abortion Industry Does Not Speak for Women

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This month, Concerned Women for America (CWA) filed an important amicus (friend of the court) brief in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee at the United States Supreme Court standing…

Penny Nance with Attorney General Barr

2019, The Year of Judges

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As we continue to pray and fight against the unjust, politically motivated, unconstitutional impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, I want to take a moment and look back at the…

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Great News on this Religious Freedom Day

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

January 16 is Religious Freedom Day. It marks the anniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the precursor language of our First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom. This American ideal was born on Biblical soil. Freedom is impossible without faith. This is as true today as in the times of our founding. John Adams, the principal author of our Bill of Rights said:

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, were … the general principles of Christianity … Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system …

Questions of faith are the questions of life. That is why religious freedom is known as our first freedom, listed first as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If we lose our religious freedom, we lose our freedoms.

President Donald J. Trump understands this, and he has been a champion of religious freedom since his first day in office. Just today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing rules to further implement President Trump’s 2018 Executive Order removing regulatory burdens on religious organizations and ensuring they are treated equally under the law within the agency’s programs.

This is important work that will never get much attention in the mainstream media, but which protects people of faith from being forced to do the government’s bidding when it comes to things that violate their conscience, like abortion — a favorite area where the left wants to force pro-life people to actively engage in supporting.

Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo aimed at protecting religious freedom in government grants at all levels. OMB Acting Director Russ Vought (himself a victim of religious discrimination) said, “No longer will faith-based organizations be bullied by the government, which has not done enough to ensure that religious groups are not discriminated against when receiving federal resources.”

The Department of Education is also taking serious steps to protect religious freedom and clarify the First Amendment’s protection of prayer in public schools. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement:

Our actions today will protect the constitutional rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions. The Department’s efforts will level the playing field between religious and non-religious organizations competing for federal grants, as well as protect First Amendment freedoms on campus and the religious liberty of faith-based institutions. I proudly share President Trump’s commitment to religious freedom and the First Amendment.

And that is just what the president has done recently. The president has also stood strong against the Johnson Amendment which has been used for decades to try to silence pastors’ political and cultural engagement. He has stood strong against anti-Semitism. He has also promoted religious freedom abroad.

The president issued a proclamation today saying:

[W]e reaffirm our commitment to protecting the precious and fundamental right of religious freedom, both at home and abroad.  Our Founders entrusted the American people with a responsibility to protect religious liberty so that our Nation may stand as a bright beacon for the rest of the world.  Today, we remain committed to that sacred endeavor and strive to support those around the world who still struggle under oppressive regimes that impose restrictions on freedom of religion.

Let us continue to pray for the President as he stands for religious freedom and let us support these efforts that are to the benefit of all freedom-loving peoples around the world, not just Christian or religious people.

 

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The Abortion Industry Does Not Speak for Women

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

This month, Concerned Women for America (CWA) filed an important amicus (friend of the court) brief in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee at the United States Supreme Court standing up for the millions of pro-life women around the country who want to make sure the Justices know that the abortion industry does not speak for them.

Believe it or not, that is often what the abortion industry claims to do, with the blessing of the Court. Big Abortion has created a whole legal industry out of challenging any and all laws that seek to protect women by regulating the abortion procedure to make it safer for women. As predicted by Justice Powell in Singleton v. Wulff (428 U.S. 106, 119 (1976)), in abortion cases, the Court has “invit[ed] litigation by those who perhaps have the least legitimate ground for seeking to assert the rights of third parties”— in this case, women.

The same abortionists who spend millions of dollars fighting against a simple requirement to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals so they can properly follow up with patients that experience complications during an abortion, claim before the courts to have a relationship with patients close enough to justify them representing women in court.

CWA’s brief highlights the research of Prof. Teresa Collett, J.D., the Director of the University of Saint Thomas Pro-Life Center, which surveys all cases since Roe involving federal challenges to abortion laws. The research reveals that “women have consistently challenged abortion-related laws related to public funding and laws requiring parental, spousal, or judicial consent prior to performance of an abortion while showing little or no appetite for attacking laws aimed at providing women with more information on abortion and its alternatives; safer, cleaner abortion facilities; and ethical, competent providers.”

“In the three years between 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, and 1976, when Singleton v. Wulff was decided, women were more likely than doctors, hospitals, or clinics to file challenges to abortion-related laws… Since 1976, [when the Court opened the door for abortionists to represent women’s interests,] there have been sixteen years in which there were no cases filed by women alone, and thirteen years in which they have brought only one” (citations omitted).

“From 1973 to 2019, women or girls have filed an annual average of 2.1 cases per year. In contrast, providers have filed an average of 9.1 cases per year; women and providers have joined in the same lawsuit in only 1.6 cases per year.”

“[T]here are almost no cases filed by women alone challenging conscience rights, informed consent requirements, fetal disposition laws, and provider regulations generally. This pattern suggests that women either generally support or at least do not oppose laws like the one before this Court today that are aimed at providing them with more information, safer, cleaner facilities, and more skilled providers” (citation omitted).

Given this research, the Court should reexamine its “third party standing” standards when it comes to abortion cases. It is just another area where, as Justice Anthony Kennedy candidly acknowledged, the “longstanding maxim[s] of statutory interpretation ha[ve], in the past, fallen by the wayside when the Court confronted a statute regulating abortion.” Third party standing should be presumptively denied in such cases, requiring abortion providers to prove their close relationship with the women they seek to represent in order to stand before the Court asserting women’s interests.

Oral arguments for the case have been set for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4. Stay tuned for more information on our activities surrounding the arguments. As always, I will be at the Court to bring you an up-to-date report.