Tag

liberty Archives – Concerned Women for America

Payback: Abortion Radicals to the Court

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

President Joe Biden is doing everything in his power to pay back his pro-abortion supporters who are enraged following the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, which finally overturned Roe v. Wade, sending the issue back to the states.

 

He recently signed an executive order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to facilitate travel for women who want to have an abortion, in clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter of federal law, as expressed through the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money being used to cover the cost of abortions.

 

But the Left long ago figured out that taking such illegal actions requires judges willing to manipulate the law to make sure the policy choices they cannot get through the legislative process are imposed by judicial fiat, exactly what they did through Roe for so many years.

 

Enter Julie Rikelman, President Biden’s nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit based in Massachusetts. Rikelman is none other than the abortion rights activist who represented the abortion clinic in Dobbs. It doesn’t get more brazen than that.

 

Rikelman has dedicated her life to promoting abortion. She is the senior director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the nation’s most active pro-abortion organization challenging pro-life laws in the states. She was appointed to that position after returning to the organization where she first served as a “Blackmun Fellow.” Justice Blackmun was the author of the Roe v. Wade decision.

 

Needless to say, Rikelman is not an impartial jurist. She is an abortion activist and has been tapped for this position for that very reason. This White House has shown complete contempt for law and justice and the proper role of a judge.

 

President Biden nominated Rikelman after word got out that he might have a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that would have allowed, Chad Meredith, a nominee some considered conservative to be nominated. Radical groups immediately jumped on the White House to get in line. And so they did, nominating Rikelman to appease the mob and showing little regard for the proper role of a judge.

 

This fits with the increasing abortion radicalism of this White House. Recently, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Justices took “an unconstitutional action” in Dobbs. That was right on the heels of calling Justice Clarence Thomas “Justice Thompson,” showing complete disdain for Justice Thomas simply because of his judicial philosophy.

 

Senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee must stand against the Rikelman nomination while raising awareness of the dangers of the continued political weaponization of the processes of justice.

 

We have seen it, not only in the nominations process, but in the Department of Justices’ targeting of parents, in the FBI’s mishandling of critical information about those they favor politically, and more.

 

Senators should use every tool at their disposal to protect the ideas that guard our liberties. The corruption and politicization of justice should be right at the top that list.

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… 

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Rebuking Jesus—Liberal Elites Know Best

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

Our sensory-overloaded society has a hard time focusing. We go from scandal to scandal, emergency to emergency, outrage to outrage. There is no time for serious reflection and introspection—no time for mourning and repentance. It is no wonder we have become so easily deceived and manipulated.

 

The swindle of the radical gender ideology is a perfect example. This week, UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Khiara Bridges testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing titled, “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision.” Of course, everyone expected the radical abortion position that refuses to acknowledge the humanity of babies in the womb at any point. That sort of callous disregard for human life, even after birth, has become a hallmark of the liberal elites that permeate our institutions of higher learning. What is new is this attempt to present a fact-free, fantastical account of reality as an uncontroverted fact that everyone must pretend to accept or else.

 

Thanks for reading Mario’s Musings! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

 

In speaking about the killing of a baby in the womb, Prof. Bridges repeatedly said things like, “I think that the person with the capacity for pregnancy has value, and they should have the ability to control what happens.”

 

To speak of mothers as “the person with the capacity of pregnancy” is deranged. But this is what is being demanded of all of us. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) clashed with the new gender ideology golden statue as he tried to probe Prof. Bridges on the matter.

 

HAWLEY: “You’ve referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy. Would that be women?”

 

BRIDGES: “Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

 

Click here to watch the clip and read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

No Freedom Without Prayer

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

We are a nation born of the radical idea that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That is why liberty and freedom flourished in our nation against all odds. That fundamental appeal to the authority of our Creator, above and beyond earthly governments, levels the playing field among selfish human interests.

 

It is a plea to a higher authority above raw human power, and it necessarily affirms every person’s intrinsic, equal value. It stands squarely against the inevitable attempts of our broken nature to establish one class of individuals above another. These attempts have existed throughout time. They were undoubtedly palpable at the nation’s founding. We still have them today. And they will continue.

 

Eternal vigilance is a prerequisite for sustained freedom in this world.

 

The recent religious liberty win in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is an excellent example of the efforts needed to preserve liberty in America in the coming years. Increased hostility toward Christ and His teachings is leading our culture to some bizarre conclusions that will devastate our future if they are allowed to take root.

 

At the same time that our culture insists on promoting the early sexualization of our children in schools, with drag queens promoted as the best role models, here, in this case, a Christian coach had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to defend his unalienable right to pray silently after school football games. He is apparently not the type of role model our kids need.

 

Drag queens, fantastic role models; humble, praying, Christian coaches, horrible-no-good-intolerable role models, according to today’s woke school officials.

 

Like Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority to uphold Coach Kennedy’s First Amendment rights, pointed out, in the system’s view, “the only acceptable government role models for students are those who eschew any visible religious expression.”

 

Thankfully, the United States Supreme Court has stopped the targeting of our Christian faith for now. However, the attitude that persisted in this injustice for almost seven years against Coach Kennedy still dominates our public educational institutions. And our federal courts, let’s not forget that. The targeting of Coach Kennedy was approved by both the district and the appellate courts.

 

We have so distorted the Constitution throughout the years that public officials actually believed, and again, the lower courts went right along, “not only that it may prohibit teachers from engaging in any demonstrative religious activity, but that it must do so in order to conform to the Constitution.”

 

This is, of course, absurd given our nation’s founding, but anti-Christian forces have used the so-called “separation of church and state” extra-constitutional mantra so often for so long that this misconception of the First Amendment in schools is widespread. Here the Court helps clarify that this misunderstanding of law cannot shield school officials from their intolerant practices. “[T]he only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech,” the Court wrote. “The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

 

Religious speech is speech. It should be afforded all the constitutional protections traditionally applied to any other speech. Instead, for years, it has been particularly targeted because it is religious. This boggles the mind when one considers that, if anything, religious expressions were singled out in the Constitution as perhaps worthy of heightened protection. As the Court wrote:

 

In the name of protecting religious liberty, the District would have us suppress it. Rather than respect the First Amendment’s double protection for religious expression, it would have us preference secular activity. Not only could schools fire teachers for praying quietly over their lunch, for wearing a yarmulke to school, or for offering a midday prayer during a break before practice. Under the District’s rule, a school would be required to do so.

 

That double protection the Court references was also a crucial part of the opinion because, for years, some have tried to pit the free exercise and the establishment clause against each other, but instead, “the Clauses have ‘complimentary’ purposes, not warring ones where one Clause is always sure to prevail over the others.”

 

The school district here thought it needed to choose between the two. The Court explained: “[T]the District effectively created its own ‘vise between the Establishment Clause on one side and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses on the other,’ placed itself in the middle, and then chose its preferred way out of its self-imposed trap.”

 

The school officials were simply mistaken, as they are so often. “And in no world may a government entity’s concerns about phantom constitutional violations justify actual violations of an individual’s First Amendment rights.” This should have been apparent, especially for the judges reviewing the cases. “We are aware of no historically sound understanding of the Establishment Clause that begins to ‘mak[e] it necessary for government to be hostile to religion’ in this way,” the Court wrote. There is none. The courts below did not cite one either.

 

Instead, they relied on the infamous Lemon test, which “called for an examination of a law’s purposes, effects, and potential for entanglement with religion.” The test has long been criticized for fundamentally distorting the original meaning of the First Amendment.

 

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has long joined that chorus of criticism, asking the Court to abandon it. As the Court held, “the ‘shortcomings’ associated with this ‘ambitiou[s],’ abstract, and ahistorical approach to the Establishment Clause became so ‘apparent’ that this Court long ago abandoned Lemon and its endorsement test offshoot.”

 

Lemon is dead. Justice Gorsuch’s straightforward treatment leaves no doubt for lower courts. “In place of Lemon and the endorsement test, this Court has instructed that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted by ‘reference to historical practices and understandings.'”

 

Under that standard, it is clear that “in this case Mr. Kennedy’s private religious exercise did not come close to crossing any line one might imagine separating protected private expression from impermissible government coercion.”

 

Of course, some will still find offense at any public expression of faith—especially the Christian faith. But “[o]ffense. . . does not equate to coercion,” and the Court puts that “hecklers veto” to rest masterfully.

 

Naturally, Mr. Kennedy’s proposal to pray quietly by himself on the field would have meant some people would have seen his religious exercise. Those close at hand might have heard him too. But learning how to tolerate speech or prayer of all kinds is “part of learning how to live in a pluralistic society,” a trait of character essential to “a tolerant citizenry.”

 

Ordinarily, the Court would spend some time describing the different standards of review, but this case was so clear that the Court said, “it does not matter which standard we apply. The District cannot sustain its burden under any of them.”

 

This is a strong opinion that we hope can help lower courts and even school officials better understand the constitutional burdens they bear when dealing with sincere religious exercises going forward. They would be wise to train their instincts towards accommodation.

 

As the Court concluded, “Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head.” Well said.

SCOTUS

Super-Duper Supreme Court Term

By | Case Vault, Legal, SCOTUS | No Comments

Remember when some tried to sell Roe as “super-duper” precedent? Well, it didn’t work. Roe is gone (all praise be to God!), but we have been indeed left with something “super-duper”—this Supreme Court term. It was just superb.

 

It all starts with Dobbs, of course (and that would be more than enough to celebrate), but it went beyond that, and I wanted to take a moment and celebrate with you each victory by presenting to you a short summary of the term’s most amazing top 5 wins!

 

  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization— The Court declared unequivocally that the United States Constitution does not and has never conferred a right to abortion. Therefore, the Court spent much time discussing the grave errors in the Roe and Casey framework before formally overruling them and returning the authority to states to be free to protect unborn life in the best way they see fit.

 

  • Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson— Just before the Dobbs case was argued, the Court heard a challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act. The state law prohibits most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected through an ultrasound, but it has no state law enforcement mechanism, only private enforcement action. The pro-abortion side wanted the Supreme Court to intervene to stop the law, but the Court correctly refused to intervene. The practical result was that almost 8,000 babies were saved in the first three months after the law went into effect.

 

  • Shurtleff v. City of Boston— A unanimous Court here agreed that the First Amendment rights of Harold Shurtleff, the director of Camp Constitution, were violated by the city of Boston when it refused to allow him to fly the Christian flag at a public pole that the city had made available for private groups to fly different kind of flags indiscriminately.

 

  • Carson v. Makin— The Court held Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for generally available tuition assistance payments to parents who lived in a district that did not operate a secondary school of their own violated the parent’s First Amendment free speech rights. Parents are free then to use the money to send their kids to any school they want, treating all schools, secular or religious, equally, instead of targeting religious schools for discrimination.

  • Finally, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District— the Coach Kennedy case, as most of you know it. Coach Kennedy was unjustly fired for silently praying at midfield after football games. The Supreme Court has now made official the fact that he was fired, not only unjustly but unconstitutionally. What a sweet victory for this man and his family, who have fought for almost seven years to protect our religious liberty rights. The Court held that both the free exercise and free speech clauses of the First Amendment protect an individual’s right to engage in a personal religious observance. The Court said, “The Constitution neither mandates nor permits the government to suppress such religious expression.”

 

Can we stop and thank God for His goodness, mercy, and grace? All of these are part of just one Supreme Court term. We can expect more! The Constitutional imbalance we have been living (and suffering) under is slowly being straightened back to a more faithful and impartial application of justice. We are sure to reap the blessings of these actions for decades to come.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving that Roe is No More

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

As the deer pants for the water,

So we have longed to see

Your righteousness restored, oh Lord

With the demise of abortion on demand in our land.

 

This was a seemingly impossible task,

The world told us.

“Abortion is our right,”

They screamed, as millions of babies died.

 

For fifty years Roe hung

Like an evil dark cloud of judgment

While many mocked You and Your Word

As approving of such barbarity.

 

But we, the remnant, had faith in You,

In justice and truth.

We drank the tears of repentance for our nation

And prayed diligently, without ceasing.

 

We hoped in God alone,

Therefore, we know our redemption

Was secured. Those who trust in You

Are never disappointed!

 

Thank You, Father!

Thank You, Jesus, the Son!

Thank You Holy Spirit, for guiding us!

All glory to You.

 

As hard as we have worked,

To see this day of joyful deliverance,

We know it was not our efforts,

But the Lord’s grace. Amen!

 

Grace, grace!

God’s grace!

That grace that pardons and cleanses within,

Grace that is greater than all our sins.

 

Even the great sin of abortion

Melts away— as far as the East is from the West

Your grace removes our transgression

And gives us hope for the future.

 

Now, we pray peace in our land, Lord.

Calm the hearts not set on you,

Let not the Enemy use and abuse

Any more women in the cause of death.

 

Help us to care for all mothers

And their children, born and unborn.

Help us to trust and pray, even more,

Until the day of Your return.

 

Amen.

Justice Restored—Roe Overturned

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

“Down goes Roe.” You could almost hear it from inside the U.S. Supreme Court (in that iconic Howard Cosell voice). And just as Cosell said of George Forman, the pro-life movement “is as poised as can be.” Justice demanded an end to Roe. Justice, we got.

 

In a stunning 6-3 masterclass opinion delivered by Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Barrett, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring in judgment (but saying he would not go so far as to overturn Roe and Casey), the Court simply holds: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

 

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

 

“The critical question is whether the Constitution, properly understood, confers a right to obtain an abortion,” the Court wrote. First, the Court acknowledges the obvious, “The Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion,” and turns at once to the many theories that have been offered throughout the years to manipulate the constitutional text and read a right to abortion into the Constitution. “Roe held that the abortion right is part of a right to privacy that springs from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments,” the Court explains. Casey shifted that and “grounded its decision solely on the theory that the right to obtain an abortion is part of the ‘liberty’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.”  Still, others tried the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

It is refreshing to see the Court refuse to play the usual pro-abortion games in law and instead conclude, “regulations and prohibitions of abortion are governed by the same standard of review as other health and safety measures.” …

 

Please, click here to read the rest of this column as featured on American Thinker.

Female Athletes Are Being Victimized to Pander to the Personal Fantasies of a Few

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

Women athletes are in danger of losing their rights to the desires of men who feel they are women.

 

The anti-science effort to erase the physical differences between men and women is regressive and dangerous. Women are being victimized in the name of an AstroTurf diversity that discriminates against all who do not conform to the personal fantasies of a few.

 

The effort has consequences that go well beyond women’s athletics. In April, a male Rikers inmate claiming to be a woman was sentenced to seven years for raping a female prisoner in the women’s section of the jail. Concerned Women for America, the organization I represent — a Christian, conservative organization — is supporting a lawsuit by the liberal feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front to fight for women’s rights on this front.

 

We are also witnessing the pernicious promotion of transgender ideology in public schools, which ignores the sadpractical reality of the harmful long-term effects of life-altering surgical procedures on all young people, but on young women in particular.

 

But legally speaking, the women’s sports aspect of this battle, which has the backing of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, should be preventing the injustices we are witnessing…

 

Read the rest of this op-ed as featured exclusively on The Western Journal.

Concerned Women to Biden Administration: Stop the Assault on Women’s Rights; Protect Title IX

By | Erasing Women, News and Events, Social / Cultural Issues, Women's Sports | No Comments

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing the Department of Education’s (ED) plans to unilaterally amend Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) to follow along with the Biden Administration’s radical push for an elevation of the concerns of men who identify as women, over those of women in all areas of federal law. It will effectively be the destruction of Title IX.

 

President Joe Biden has ignored the concerns of millions of women as he moved swiftly on an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, and another one on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Women lose under the proposed extreme implementations of these orders, and that is why Concerned Women for America (CWA) is standing in strong opposition.

 

Recently, CWA’s Doreen Denny, one of the nation’s leading experts on the protection of women’s rights against the gender identity push that seeks to erase women’s unique makeup as women, Annabelle Rutledge, National Director of CWA’s Young Women for America program, and Mario Diaz, CWA’s General Counsel met with high-level officials from OMB and ED to express the concerns of the hundreds of thousands of concerned women members from around the country.

 

Denny’s statement set the tone for CWA’s clear stance for women and scientific truth in policymaking. She said in part:

 

Forcing a new interpretation of sex under Title IX is a direct threat to every woman and girl in America. What this proposed rule does in practice is nothing less than erase our status and protections as females. There is an inherent conflict in these policies already playing out across the country today:  female students are being assaulted in school restrooms; female athletes are losing their rightful opportunities in WOMEN’s sports. Have you quantified those costs?

 

Let’s be clear: “gender identity” does not equal sex. Therefore, it should not be used to undermine Title IX protections for women. “On the basis of sex” as stated in Title IX, should be based solely on the immutable genetic fact of being male or female – not on gender perceptions.

 

A person’s subjective claim to being the opposite sex does not, and will never, make that person the opposite sex. Gender dysphoria is a real condition, and its treatment deserves compassion – but the answer is not to affirm a lie and require everyone else to comply.

 

Biology is not bigotry. As women, we expect that the sex discrimination protections of Title IX passed into law 50 years ago will continue to protect our safety, privacy, and opportunities based on our objective female status – as intended.   Whatever objective you have for “inclusion” must not be accomplished on the backs of women and girls.    

 

Ms. Rutledge followed up with a passionate plea representing the young female athletes who feel entirely ignored and under threat because of these ill-conceived, radical policies. Her statement said in part:

 

Young Women for America is made up of these brave women in high school, college, and young professionals. Each group is directly impacted by a refusal to uphold Title IX.

 

Our Young Women for America leaders have stepped up to the plate to do their part to protect women’s sports and are begging that you respect reality and basic biology by rejecting any proposed rule which would include gender identity. Gender identity is not sex.

 

We are in an unfortunate situation when high school and college-age females are having to uphold reality while government entities seem bent on undermining Title IX at every turn. Our leaders have asked for excused absences, covered their work shifts, and taken tests early so they can show up and fight for their rights by testifying in committee hearings and press conferences. They understand it is not just their rights, but the rights of all women who are coming behind us.

 

You may not be hearing these tragic stories – but sadly I  hear them too often.

 

You can check out some of the testimonies below:

 

 

Finally, CWA’s General Counsel spoke about the illegality of trying to amend the clear text and protections under Title IX’s legal classification of “sex” by unilaterally changing the meaning to include “gender identity.” Diaz cautioned of the unintended consequences for women and of clear Supreme Court precedent that has ruled against such manipulation of federal law through administrative rules and procedures.

 

The Biden Administration officials were respectful and welcoming of CWA’s comments and expertise in this area. We can only pray that they actually take our counsel and slow down the left’s radical push in this area so that they may stop trampling on hard-fought, historical women’s rights victories in pursuit of a counterfeit diversity policy.

Steady as the Enemy Panics on Abortion

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

Let darkness squelch and screech at the loss of the sacrifices they value. The violent among them will stir up the multitudes to fulfill their vision and protest that the innocent are no longer as expendable. The undiscerning mob is sure to follow whichever way the wind blows, tossed to and fro — used, abused, and ultimately discarded.

 

They shall fail. The end of Roe is yet to be at the appointed time.

 

Remember how we have gotten to this point. Our almost 50 years of struggle against the evil of abortion centered not on legislation or legal battles but on prayer.

 

He who is able to give life and give it more abundantly told us that, as He reminded us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John. 10:10). Darkness has its nature. It will act according to it. The desperation and hopelessness they feel will make them do irrational things.

 

But the people of God shall stand firm and take action (Daniel 11:32). Prayer is action.

 

Therefore, pray.

 

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is making our Dobbs prayer guide available to you through this link.

 

Scripture tells us that we are “able to stand against the schemes of the devil” by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We stand:

 

    1. Having fastened on the belt of truth,
    2. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 
    3. As shoes for our feet, we put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace,
    4. We take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one,
    5. We put on the helmet of salvation,
    6. And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The promised result is that we will “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Steady, then. We know where our hope is laid.

 

The leaked opinion is indeed promising—inspiring even. It states simple truths as it lays out Roe’s unethical, unconstitutional foundations. But we cannot reward the malicious tactics that have been used to release it to the public. So, we will wait until the official word from the Court, and then we will celebrate with thanksgiving to God, shining a light that darkness may flee.

 

The statement from CWA CEO and President Penny Nance, following the breaking news, laid out this righteous vision:

 

“The betrayal of trust we have witnessed today at the United States Supreme Court by what is reportedly the malicious leak of a private draft of the Court’s Dobbs opinion is outrageous.  

“This appears to be another attempt by the Left to intimidate the justices to uphold a law that is clearly unconstitutional. On the contrary, these tactics should only embolden the Court to stand firm on law and principle. Chief Justice John Roberts must take charge of his court and issue this decision as soon as possible, sending a clear message that the Court will never be intimidated.

 

“The hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America remain prayerful and cautiously optimistic as we work to provide loving alternatives to the violent ending of a human life through abortion.”

Amen.

Boston Violates First Amendment by Targeting Christian Flag

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

All nine justices of the United States Supreme Court agree in Shurtleff v. City of Boston. The city violated the First Amendment rights of Harold Shurtleff, the director of Camp Constitution, by refusing to allow him to fly the Christian Flag at a public pole where the city allowed private groups to fly their flags indiscriminately.

 

“The most salient feature of this case is that Boston neither actively controlled these flag raisings nor shaped the messages the flags sent,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his majority opinion as the Court concluded what Boston was engaging in was not government speech. “Boston told the public that it sought ‘to accommodate all applicants’ who wished to hold events at Boston’s ‘public forums.’” Except for those pesky Christians.

 

Thankfully, the Court 9-0 (though using different rationales) declared, “Boston’s refusal to let petitioners fly their flag violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” The Court correctly stated, “When the government does not speak for itself, it may not exclude private speech based on “‘religious viewpoint’; doing so ‘constitutes impermissible viewpoint discrimination.’”

 

Breyer’s majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. They were also three concurring opinions. One by Justice Kavanaugh, a second by Justice Alito joined by Thomas and Gorsuch, and a third by Justice Gorsuch joined by Justice Thomas.

 

Justice Kavanaugh, concurring, made clear this case only got to the Supreme Court “because of a government official’s mistaken understanding of the Establishment Clause.” We should also add that many judges share the mistaken view, also. But as Kavanaugh writes, “Under the Constitution, a government may not treat religious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class.”

 

Justice Alito’s concurrence agrees with the Court’s ultimate conclusion but disagrees with the majority’s analysis. And with good reason. Justice Alito rightly points out that some of the “tests” the majority uses to answer the question here, like “the extent to which the government has actively shaped or controlled expression,” can actually be used by bad actors to discriminate against those with whom it disagrees. But that, too, would be an impermissible violation of the First Amendment.

 

Justice Alito smartly advocates for a more precise and robust definition of government speech, which, after all, is the only organism restricted by the First Amendment. “Government speech,” he writes, “is thus the purposeful communication of a governmentally determined message by a person exercising a power to speak for a government.” Furthermore, after establishing that government speech is at issue, “the government must establish it did not rely on a means that abridges the speech of persons acting in a private capacity.” This is the type of clear definitional guidelines that will help judges around the country administer justice in a much fairer way. Let us hope Justice Alito’s test finds wide acceptance in the years to come.

 

Finally, Justice Gorsuch writes a concurring masterpiece on what is known as the Lemon test. This is an approach that Concerned Women for America  has asked the Court to overturn on many occasions. As he wrote, “Lemon ignored the original meaning of the Establishment Clause, it disregarded mountains of precedent, and it substituted a serious constitutional inquiry with a guessing game.”

 

The historical discussion especially is worthwhile in Gorsuch’s concurrence; I commend it to you. Here is a taste (citations omitted):

 

As a close look at these hallmarks and our history reveals, “[n]o one at the time of the founding is recorded as arguing that the use of religious symbols in public contexts was a form of religious establishment.” For most of its existence, this country had an “unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life.” In fact and as we have seen, it appears that, until Lemon, this Court had never held the display of a religious symbol to constitute an establishment of religion. The simple truth is that no historically sensitive understanding of the Establishment Clause can be reconciled with a rule requiring governments to “roa[m] the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine.” Our Constitution was not designed to erase religion from American life; it was designed to ensure “respect and tolerance.”

 

It is a critical discussion that accentuates his clear thinking on religious liberty issues.

 

This is a great win that envisions even greater protections for religious freedom for decades to come—a great development for all Americans regardless of religious belief.

 

Reason Demands an End to Roe

By | Dobbs, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, Substack | No Comments

A young wife and her husband were enthusiastically awaiting the birth of their first baby. It was a girl. They had already done a big baby shower with family and friends; they had bought all the furniture and decorated the room— a beautiful retreat of yellow and pink. They had faithfully kept every doctor’s appointment and attended all the classes, learning everything about what to expect when you’re expecting. They had even named her: Mary Beth.

But at 28 weeks (7 months), mom confesses she was not ready. She is just too young and not mentally and emotionally prepared to be responsible for another human being. So instead, she wants to have an abortion.

Dad earnestly pleads with her to no avail. “It’s my body,” came the answer.

“Is an abortion even legal so far along in a pregnancy,” he thought? Yes, one quick Google search informed him that there are no limits even for late-term abortions in their home state of New Jersey. He quickly found a clinic’s website offering the service and explaining a third-trimester abortion procedure, but he could not bear to finish reading the short description. He even explored legal options but has no recourse.

So, on a day they were supposed to go to another doctor’s visit and see their baby girl on the latest sonogram, mom will instead drive to an abortion clinic to “terminate her pregnancy.”

Such is the state of abortion policy in our nation. It is part of the wretched legacy of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that invented a constitutional right to abortion…

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Catastrophic Day 2 for Ketanji Brown Jackson

By | Breyer, Judicial Nominations, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Early in the second day, the focus of the hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson’s (KBJ) nomination to the United States Supreme Court was on a concerning pattern that has emerged where KBJ has given low sentences to defendants in possession of child pornography. Having given ample room for KBJ to explain her thought processes in these cases, we can say the explanations we heard were simply unsatisfactory.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who had given KBJ the specific cases he was interested in, drilled down on one particular case that illustrates the problem. The clip is long, but it is eye-opening, I commend it to you in its entirety:

It is troubling, no doubt. Again, she was given time to prepare to answer questions about those specific cases, so to try to obfuscate the issue with a lack of record is not reasonable. The concern is compounded by the fact that Democrats have denied the Republicans’ requests to release the records from KBJ’s time in the Sentencing Commission.

Even Judiciary Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) seemed to agree with Sen. Hawley that the case was unacceptable and suggests it is Congress fault. He suggests that they need to pass a law to prevent judges like KBJ from enacting sentences like she did in that case. Watch:

Her performance devolved from there. She could not answer Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) when he asked her when does life begin, even though her advocacy for pro-abortion groups is well established. How can someone who doesn’t know when life begins fairly decide when life can be terminated?

The issue was explored further by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) who got some incredible confessions out of KBJ as she tried to distance herself from the language she approved of in a brief she cowrote calling pro-life advocates a “hostile, noisy crowd of ‘in-your-face’ protesters.” She apparently didn’t really mean it. She was just “lawyering,” you know. Take a look at this troubling exchange. Take special note of her admission that the Constitution says nothing about abortion, even as she apparently supports the Court in making up such rights by judicial fiat.

But the lowest point of the evening came when Sen. Blackburn tried to address the issue of gender with KBJ. The nominee could not even provide a definition of what is a woman. Apparently, one needs to be a biologist to define the term. Take a look for yourself:

How is a justice supposed to stand up for women’s rights if she cannot even tell you what a woman is? Her non-answer is revealing.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has been at the hearings, monitoring closely every second. We have given her a fair hearing. But the bottom line after day two is that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson simply cannot be trusted. Therefore, how could she be entrusted with a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court in the land? There are still a couple more days of hearings, but the damage she has done today seems too much for anyone to overcome.

Stay tuned.

Ketanji Brown Jackson – Judge or Policy Maker?

By | Breyer, Judicial Nominations, LBB, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

The first day of the hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s (KBJ) nomination to the United States Supreme Court is over. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee got an opportunity to make opening remarks, and then we heard the opening statement from KBJ.

In his opening remarks, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) set up the hearings well by addressing why nomination hearings have become so controversial. Judicial activists taking on the role of legislators has much to do with it. Here is the clip:

This is the central question to assess in looking at this nomination. Will she be the type of justice that sees her role as one who brings “progress” to the law, pushing legal interpretation beyond the text of the law and the Constitution in order to implement policies that they personally believe are important.

Roe v. Wade is the classic example of the justices reaching beyond the text of the Constitution in order to implement changes they personally deem important. KBJ’s support for abortion “rights” is alarming, and it is one area that we hope we can hear more about during the hearings. Note the difference. The support of the policy is not the issue. The use of legal interpretation as a way to promote social or cultural change is the crux of the matter.

The Court is primed to hear some crucial cases in the coming years in which this type of judicial philosophy will be crucial to the protection of our liberties. We were grateful for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) for bringing up some the issues of parental rights and women’s rights during her opening remarks. Here’s that important clip:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) also raised some important questions regarding KBJ’s work as a trial judge deeply involved with sentencing matters. He listed several concerning cases related to the very sensitive issue of child pornography. As Sen. Hawley ended his opening remarks, we look forward to hearing the nominee’s explanation in the next few days.

Finally, we were glad Sen. Cruz heard our request for some accountability on the incredible injustice done to Justice Kavanaugh and the numerous blatant violations of Senate procedures committed for purely partisan reasons. This fact should never escape conservative senators’ minds going forward until some accountability is implemented.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is at the hearings right now meticulously monitoring this nomination and will have updates for you throughout the week as we get into the question and answers portion of the hearings which we hope will help to shed more light on the concerns about the type of justice KBJ would be.

Leftists viciously malign Clarence Thomas

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

Justice Clarence Thomas has done well for himself.  He is in no need of defense by anybody.  His life and work are inspiring by any measure.  But the despicable, racially motivated, coordinated media attacks against him and his family are so unfair that even a slight appreciation of justice would compel a reasonable person to speak.

His professionalism and honor play a part, too, so that reasonable observers can appreciate that in shining a light on the praiseworthy work of the good justice and the nefarious motives of his critics, one speaks for him who “cannot speak for himself,” given the seriousness with which he takes the oath he took.

What pushed me over the edge to add my voice to those decrying the media smear machine against Justice Thomas and his family was a loathsome sentence written by a Washington Post “reporter” that described Justice Thomas as “the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives.”  It’s been a week, and I cannot shake it.

Can you imagine the deep prejudice that’s required among not one, but a group of writers and editors to publish a sentence like that in a “respectable” newspaper?  They can try to correct it all they want, but the animus that produced such a vile sentiment is alive and well at the Post.

Click here to read Mario’s op-ed as exclusively featured on American Thinker.

CWA Joins Call on Congress to Stop Medicaid Funding of Faulty Prenatal Tests

By | News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Concerned Women for America (CWA), joined a broad coalition of pro-life leaders calling on Congress to stop any Medicaid funding of prenatal genetic testing that has been shown to give a disturbing amount of false positives, causing many women to terminate their pregnancies based on wrong information.

The letter, addressed to Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Steve Daines (R-MT), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health, and Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health, explains in part:

These tests, which are marketed to expectant families as a way to determine whether their unborn child suffers from a rare genetic condition, are wrong a remarkable 85% of the time according to one recent report Considering the fact that these unreliable tests are now used by more than a third of pregnant women in America and that many families have tragically opted for an abortion when a potentially false positive is rendered instead of seeking another test to confirm the result, the lives of millions of unborn children are at risk.

Click here to read the letter.

 

Indefensible Roe –The Spiritual Track

By | Indefensible Roe, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Publications, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Thank you for reading. Throughout the Indefensible Roe series, we have explored how the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that opened the door to the more than 62 million babies killed in abortion in the U.S. since 1973 has no basis to stand on today as the Supreme Court reexamines its validity in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Supreme Court’s meddling in abortion policy has been a complete failure—a betrayal of the most fundamental principles of liberty. We have discussed how Roe and its supporting cases are indefensible legally, as a matter of policyscientifically, and today we explore perhaps its most tragic failure: the spiritual one.

Though some may be tempted to dismiss this aspect of the discussion as somehow outside the bounds of the legal/policy discussion, I submit to you that the injustice of abortion strikes at the heart of the legal case. As Aquinas put it, an unjust law is no law at all, but a sort of violence:

Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence. (Summa Theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.)

Further, the social consequences of the spiritual atrophy our country has suffered in the last 50 years, following the selfish, deathly path of abortion, have brought our country to the brink of self-destruction.

Look around. We are not a healthy nation.

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Shining a Light on Education

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

I believe it was Voltaire who said, “Common sense is not so common.” Such is the case for the educational bureaucracy suffocating our children’s future with their sociological experiments in public schools. Parental involvement and transparency seem like common sense requirements to any successful public-school program, but not according to the radicals who so often have taken over education in our cities and states. They are hurting our kids, putting on them unnecessary burdens to satisfy their personal cravings while actively shielding themselves from accountability by keeping parents in the dark.

The age of Tik Tok has exposed how a disturbing number of teachers use their classrooms for self-affirmation, with many planning their “coming out” as LGBTQ+ as teaching exercises, or tricking students into pledging to the LGBTQ+ flag, or incentivizing them to attend Antifa rallies for classroom credit, or promoting Critical Race Theory (CRT) themes to shame white students about their “privilege.” The list is endless.

The curriculum and books assigned are often chosen to support these same radical ideas. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (Republican) recently brought attention to one book being used. In a recent interview, she quoted from the “memoir-manifesto” called “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by the self-identified “non-binary” author George Johnson. The scene she mentioned describes a graphic and disturbing sexual act between two cousins, both male. I will not quote the passage as it is too graphic, but, just so you get a taste, it starts with, “You told me to take my pajamas, my pajama pants … You then took off your shorts, followed by your boxers.”

There are hundreds of books like this in our K-12 school libraries all over the country. Some may be in your child’s school. But you are kept in the dark by design.

The answer to the works of darkness is always light. This is the invitation that Paul gives us in Ephesians 5:11 to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

In that spirit, I want to highlight for you one effort that every state should take up. These are efforts to require school curriculum, resources, and training materials to be posted and easily searchable to the public online. If your state does not have this law, I encourage you to approach your elected state representative or senator with the idea. Christopher Rufo at the Manhattan Institute, who has been an important voice exposing the CRT tentacles in our society, has a model bill called “A Model for Transparency in School Training and Curriculum,” which can be a useful starting point.

But a number of states have similar legislation in the works — Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, among others.

Transparency is the key. No longer should school bureaucracies be able to shield bad actors within our education system, as they have done for years.

But rest assured that school bureaucracies will not give up that power easily. It must be demanded. By you and me.

Breyer Retires

By | Breyer, LBB, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

I was done writing my newsletter piece to you when the news broke. Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. That changes things a bit.

No official word from the Supreme Court, though, which is interesting and suggests someone talked without authorization. It immediately brought memories of these radical groups in Washington, D.C., driving trucks saying “Breyer Retire” all over town, trying to bully him into submission. The Left is so eager to see him gone that they even messed up his announcement. Usually, the justice who is retiring gets to announce it himself. He must not be happy.

Whatever the case, the radicals got their wish. Breyer is retiring, they have the majority in the U.S. Senate, and President Joe Biden gets to appoint whomever he wants.

Except, that is not entirely true. President Biden made a pledge. During the 2020 presidential debate in South Carolina, when his campaign was struggling to get off the ground, then-presidential candidate Biden promised that, if elected, he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court. “Not a joke,” he emphasized with his usual common-man style.

As told through different reports, the story of the pledge behind the scenes is not about sincere, ordinary person concerns for the country but about raw politics, as you might have guessed.

The story goes that candidate Biden desperately needed the endorsement of one of the most influential figures in South Carolina, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who had also been the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Without his endorsement, the whole campaign could tank. Clyburn asked him not only to commit to appointing the first African American woman but also to pledge it publicly during the debate.

According to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who wrote the book “Lucky,” Clyburn was so frustrated when he didn’t hear candidate Biden say the pledge publicly that he went backstage during one of the breaks to put pressure on him. “Don’t you leave this stage without doing it,” he is reported saying.

And so, he did. Now, President Biden is locked into a very narrow pool of candidates, not based on professional qualifications and merit, but on identity politics. Sad to see the judicial nominations process reduced to these sorts of calculations.

Given that, some names are already floating around. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was recently elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is said to be the second-highest court on the land, is the first name you will hear. She is a former clerk of Justice Breyer.

California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger has also been mentioned, as well as South

Carolina U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs and NAACP attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.

For our part, we must add this nomination to our prayers as we continue to lift up the Court on the upcoming Dobbs decision. As CWA President Penny Nance said in her statement on Justice Breyer’s resignation, let us pray for President Biden that he may use this opportunity to unite the country, instead of further alienating half, to appease the most extreme elements of his party.

“The president has a chance to finally unify the country with a consensus nominee, breaking away from the shameful and vile tactics we have experienced in recent Supreme Court nominations,” Penny said.

Let us pray as one for that as we await an official announcement. And stand by, ready to lift our voices for justice.

Indefensible Roe – The Cultural Track

By | Indefensible Roe, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Publications | No Comments

The detrimental effects of Roe on American culture are too numerous to catalog. But the denial of the humanity of the unborn sits at the root of it all.

Today, as we commemorate the 49th March for Life, protesting the harrowing Roe v. Wade 1973 decision that invented a constitutional right to abortion, let us consider why culturally speaking, Roe is indefensible.

Few would deny the fact that we are living in contentious times. We are a divided nation. Many are shouting, but few are listening. It is not mere disagreement. We are way past that. The people who stand opposite you, in many circles, are not even worthy of consideration. They are a sort of sub-human.

If this seems shocking to you, just consider the way we are treating each other on the topic of the COVID vaccines. Radio shock jock Howard Stern recently said on his popular radio show, “If it was up to me, anyone unvaccinated would not be admitted to a hospital.” And he is, unfortunately, not alone. But, again, I’m really not talking about the vaccine issue here, but about the warped mentality that would say to his neighbor, if I had my way, “all hospitals would be closed to you. You’re going to go home and die,” over a health policy disagreement.

Facts have nothing to do with it. Your side or my side is all that matters. Facts will be accommodated accordingly. Take a look at this example…

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!