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justice Archives – Concerned Women for America

The Myth of the Neutral State in Matters of Religion

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

Now-retired Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinions in Carson v. Makin, one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest cases clarifying America’s robust religious liberty protections, reveals one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the First Amendment which impairs many people’s judgment in such cases. It is the myth of the neutral state.

 

In comparing religiously affiliated private schools to public schools, Justice Breyer writes that “public schools are religiously neutral.” I was glad I was not taking a sip of my coffee at that moment, or it would have been all over my desk. Can anyone who is aware of what is being taught in our schools seriously argue that schools are “neutral” regarding religious matters?

 

The radical left’s dogma is being imposed much more forcefully than any other religious tenet taught in most American religious institutions. And it’s not even close.

 

In Carson, the state of Maine had enacted a tuition assistance program for children in school districts that do not have a state secondary school. The program allows parents to choose the public or private school their children will attend, and the government would pay the school to help defray the cost. Before 1981, parents could choose any school if they met some basic requirements. But in 1980, the state excluded religious schools with a condition that the schools be “nonsectarian.”

 

The state “considers a sectarian school to be one that is associated with a particular faith or belief system and which, in addition to teaching academic subjects, promotes the faith or belief system with which it is associated and/or presents the material taught through the lens of this faith.”

 

Are not our public schools overwhelmingly associated with a particular “belief system”? In addition to teaching academic subjects, don’t they promote that belief system in any way they can? Have you seen the modern classroom decor? Have you seen the resources they are spending money to bring into the school… 

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You Can’t Undo the Supreme Court Leak

By | LBB, Legal | No Comments

The United States Supreme Court has stayed relatively quiet following the shameful news of the leaked Dobbs draft opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement condemning the leak and calling for an investigation, but we have heard nothing else since.

 

As you know, Concerned Women for America (CWA), though encouraged by the content of the opinion, refuse to engage in any public analysis of its content, believing the ethical breach by someone at the Court, presumably a liberal clerk, worthy of the utmost contempt.

 

In a recent interview, Justice Clarence Thomas tried to put words to the magnitude of the breach, and I think you must be aware of his wise words. He was interviewed by his former law clerk John Yoo at an event in Dallas. He said:

 

“[T]he institution that I’m a part of if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone in you would say that, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.’ There was such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, a belief in what we were doing, that that was verboten. It was beyond anyone’s understanding, or at least anyone’s imagination that someone would do that. And look where we are, where now that trust or that belief is gone forever. When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”

 

The Supreme Court will never be the same. We must reckon with that reality. We don’t even know the extent of this breach yet. Help me pray that the person responsible is exposed convincingly so that they can be severely punished. That would help tremendously. We expected this would be quickly resolved, given how tight things are kept within the Court, but nothing has been announced.

 

The warning is broader than the Court. Justice Thomas said:

 

“I think we are in danger of destroying the institutions that are required for a free society. You can’t have a civil society, a free society, without a stable legal system. You can’t have one without stability and things like property or interpretation and impartial judiciary. And I’ve been in this business long enough to know just how fragile it is.”

 

Most Americans can see that. Both the Court and the Country are in a fragile state. We must proceed with caution and urgency. We need courage. Justice Thomas spoke about that too. “I think a lot of people lack courage,” he said, “like they know what is right, and they’re scared to death of doing it.” He is right, of course. We need help from above, no doubt.

High Court Term Closes with Momentous First Amendment Defense, A CWA Win

By | California, Case Vault, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments

This week, on the last day of the Court’s 2020 term, the United States Supreme Court gave us a significant First Amendment victory in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, and Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta. In a 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and remanded the cases, concluding, “California’s disclosure requirement is facially invalid because it burdens donors’ First Amendment rights and is not narrowly tailored to an important government interest.”

The decision is a major victory for the First Amendment, for us at Concerned Women for America (CWA), since we submitted a brief supporting the Petitioners, but more importantly, it is a victory for freedom.

California’s requirement for charities to file major donor lists was a blatant attempt at political intimidation, which would have been exploited maliciously in today’s cancel culture environment. Thankfully, the Supreme Court recognized it for what it was and declared it unconstitutional.

There was some disagreement among the justices about the standard of review to be applied in this case. The Chief Justice argued for an “exacting” scrutiny standard, which would be lower than the traditional “strict” scrutiny, which is the highest the Court applies. In the case of an exacting scrutiny standard, the law does not have to be the “least restrictive” means for the government to accomplish its purposes, but it does mean that it has to be “narrowly tailored.”

This law was blatantly not “narrowly tailored,” so it was declared unconstitutional.

Though we agree with Justice Thomas, who argued in his concurrence that in review of a law that so blatantly burdens First Amendment rights, the higher strict scrutiny standard should apply; Justices Alito and Gorsuch were right in writing that this law was so egregious it fails either standard.

Justices Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan dissented.

The Court recognized that the law “casts a dragnet for sensitive donor information from tens of thousands of charities each year, even though that information will become relevant in only a small number of cases.” Juxtapose that with the risks involved in today’s day and age, and the danger is hard to ignore.

“The petitioners here, for example, introduced evidence that they and their supporters have been subjected to bomb threats, protests, stalking, and physical violence,” the Chief Justice wrote. And continued, “Such risks are heightened in the 21st century and seem to grow with each passing year, as ‘anyone with access to a computer [can] compile a wealth of information about’ anyone else, including such sensitive details as a person’s home address or the school attended by his children.”

This recognition is significant. Cancel culture is a cancer that has overtaken our culture by storm, and the Court needs to recognize it here. California, of course, tried to downplay this issue at oral arguments, boasting of its intent to keep the information private, even when the evidence showed they had violated that privacy in multiple ways.

You are sure to hear this ruling reported as a “conservative Court” acting on behalf of conservatives. A New York Times tweet read, “Breaking News: The Supreme Court rejected California’s requirement that charities report the identities of major donors, siding with conservative groups who said the disclosures could lead to harassment.” This is fake news, as we’ve come to expect. They are manipulating this decision for political gain.

The reality is this was an unusual case where most charitable organizations from both the left and the right were in agreement, standing against California’s radicalism. As the Court noted, “The gravity of the privacy concerns in this context is further underscored by the filings of hundreds of organizations as amici curiae in support of the petitioners. Far from representing uniquely sensitive causes, these organizations span the ideological spectrum, and indeed the full range of human endeavors.”

Yes, this was the rare case where CWA stood alongside the American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations, conservative and liberal. Good to see the Court take notice and concluding, “the Attorney General’s disclosure requirement imposes a widespread burden on donors’ associational rights. And this burden cannot be justified on the ground that the regime is narrowly tailored to investigating charitable wrongdoing or that the State’s interest in administrative convenience is sufficiently important.”

Momentous Pro-Life Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

By | Case Vault, Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS | No Comments

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Explained

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a pro-life case out of Mississippi challenging a state law that places strict limits on abortions after 15-weeks. As with every single pro-life case that comes to the Supreme Court, you are about to hear news from the usual suspects in the liberal media that the world is about to end — again! Pay no attention to their hysterics. Here is what you need to know.

As the Supreme Court has said numerous times, states have a legitimate interest in limiting abortion and protecting innocent life. Relying on that premise, Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act,” enacted in 2018, limits abortions after 15 weeks to the cases of medical emergencies and several fetal abnormalities.

The law was immediately challenged as unconstitutional by abortionists at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A federal district court agreed with the abortion clinic, declaring that Supreme Court precedent does not allow states to restrict abortions in this way until a fetus becomes “viable.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision.

Mississippi is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court has fortunately granted the review.  Although you will hear the constant drumming of protecting Roe, the limited question before the Court is whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

The case will be heard in the fall when the justices return from the summer recess. It joins Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, another pro-life case that will deal with a more procedural question about the State’s authority to ensure that laws are fully defended in the courts. Dobbs, therefore, becomes the most crucial pro-life case the Court will hear, given that it will deal with the merits of the law, testing the limits of the Court’s dubious abortion jurisprudence.

The scientific advances made since the lies upon which Roe and Casey were built have exposed the lie of abortion. As women peer into the womb, the fact that we are not dealing with a blob of tissue has become apparent. And given that undeniable fact, pro-abortion proponents and sympathetic judges have struggled to come up with a clearly arbitrary, yet credible, artificial line at which to allow abortions.

Most Americans (up to 74%) want to ban second and third-trimester abortions.

Now you may be thinking, “What difference does that make? This is a legal case, and polls shouldn’t matter to the Court,” and you would be right. Traditionally, the Court would look at the law and the facts of the case and render a decision on the law, giving the legislature ample room to operate and make policy determinations within constitutional limits.

Nevertheless, in the case of Roe—in the abortion context—the Court has so overstepped its role that all it has and will ever have (until it corrects itself) are questions of policy. Now they are legislating about viability and weighing and reweighing the state’s interests in protecting life and protecting women and children. It is embarrassing. Can there be any more compelling interest than these?

But when it comes to abortion, the Supreme Court has had to employ all kinds of gimmicks and smokescreens in order to ignore its traditional role and interpretative procedures to preserve the abortion fiction. Justice Anthony Kennedy admitted as much in the Carhart decision writing:

“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.’”

What has the other side so bent out of shape this time around is that they are not sure they have enough liberal legal wizards to perform their abortion alchemy to save their all-encompassing pro-abortion standard, where even the most reasonable restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional.

There is indeed much hope for most Americans who support such restrictions, given the gains we have made at the U.S. Supreme Court. But far from a turn to the extreme right as you are sure to read about in the papers, all we will hopefully witness (God willing) is a return to the basic tenant of truth in law. A return to scientific reasonableness. A return to biological reality.

And that will be a monumental step indeed.

The Insidious, Anti-Freedom, Unbiblical, Leftist Racism Drives Push to Pass S.1, and Every Other Radical Policy

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

You can understand why they do it. The Left has figured out that everyone wants to stand against racism. They know it first-hand. Many of the most racist policies in American History came to us, in fact, through the Left. So now, they figure that calling their opponents racists on every issue gives them the high moral ground.

It’s a silly, fake, and politically motivated charge that bears no semblance of truth, but sadly, it works.

It works because most of the media today is also radically left, so the argument will always be treated as accurate, no matter how preposterous. You dare vote against their chosen nominee? Racist. You dare say that men do not menstruate? Transphobe!

But it is not only that they will make that charge. The Left’s stand has gotten so radical that they now support racism in the name of diversity. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) blew me away with a radically racist statement this week, saying, “I am a no vote on the floor, on all non-diversity nominees. You know, I will vote for racial minorities, and I will vote for LGBTQ. But anybody else I’m not voting for.”

The new “woke theology” promoted by the Left says that it is not racist, you see because it’s directed against their hated target: “white men.” But it is. It is breathtakingly racist, and we, as Christians, must speak against it just as we speak against any other type of racism.

We must fight it as vigorously as we fought against slavery – as courageously as Fredrick Douglas, as boldly as Dr. King, as persistently as Wilberforce. We must continue to dream with Dr. King of “a nation where [people] will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The Left has turned Dr. King’s dream into the exact opposite. It is a nightmare. Character is nothing to them. Your race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and political affiliation are everything.

That is why this week’s hearing on S.1, the so-called “For the People’s Act,” was so predictable. Election integrity is a big issue around the nation after the extraordinary events of the last election. Millions are not entirely confident in the results of elections from both political parties.

So, it is understandable that many states are considering bolstering their election procedures to ensure our votes’ integrity is preserved and increase American’s confidence in the system.

But according to the Left, any effort by conservatives on this front is, as you can probably guess, (drum roll, please) racist.

Once again, though the Left has consistently complained about foul play on elections, they won the last one, so it is racist to claim so now. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the last election was “one of the safest in recent history.”

At the hearing, he went straight for the jugular, “Our country has come a long way, supposedly, since African Americans in the south were forced to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to vote,” he predictably said, “But some of these voter suppression laws in Georgia and other Republican States smack of Jim Crow rearing its ugly head once again.”

Republican racists!

No shame in looking at his colleagues as he does this. They want power, and the ends justify the means. The press is in agreement, so he’ll get glowing reviews for his bold stance against those “white, old men.” Other Democrats followed the same script.

But anyone thinking about this for more than two minutes can see that asking someone to have a photo I.D. to vote is most reasonable. You need a photo I.D. to buy some medicine at the grocery store. Is that an effort to keep medicine away from minorities?

It’s preposterous – not to mention insulting for those of us who are minorities.

That is the truth. Every state needs to have a voting photo I.D. law on the books. It is common sense.

That is one of the many reasons that we must oppose S.1 – the Left’s attempt to make every photo I.D. law in the nation illegal. And in the process, we can emphatically reject the race baiting and outright racism that has become so common in the Left’s political discourse.

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.”