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Entries in US Supreme Court (6)

Sunday
Dec022012

Freedom From Religious Foundation Sues IRS Over Election Evangelicalism | Gay Marriage & Supreme Court Cases

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Experts don’t agree on last week’s Supreme Court decision in which it ordered the 4th U.S Circuit of Appeals to rehear a case filed by Liberty University that argues the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom by legislating that the Christian University must provide health insurance for its employees. Note that the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in June.

“On one level, it’s routine,” said Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “This is not an unusual way for them to handle a case that’s in front of them that they want to take, because it hasn’t been fully developed yet.”

But Mathew Staver, the lawyer in the case and vice president of Liberty University is encouraged that the court is willing to look again at the employer mandate, certainly as it applies to religoius institutions.

Mark Graber, law and government professor at the University of Maryland disagrees, saying: “Based on the Supreme Court’s past decisions, Liberty University has no case because this is a neutral law that doesn’t single out religions.” via Southern Maryland Headline News.

Freedom of Religion

Lawsuit Challenges Tax-Exempt Status for Pulpit Electioneering

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the US Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to publicly endorse political candidates.

At the conclusion of an election season in which numerous religious figures including Catholic bishops told congregations how they should vote, the lawsuit argues that organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman is named in the lawsuit, which also asks that the IRS initiative legal action against churches and religious organizations that engage in electioneering.

The lawsuit cites full-page ads run this fall in the New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Renowned evangelist Billy Graham urged Americans to vote along biblical principles after pledging to do “all I can” to elect Mitt Romney. Also mentioned in the lawsuit are Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenkins of Peroria, Ill, requiring all the priests in his diocese to read an order that Catholics only vote for a pro-life candidate. The lawsuit refers to ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ in which more than 1.500 pastors challenged the IRS ruling directly, seeking a court challenge.

US Abortion Politics

The Family Values Congressman and His Mistresses

Abortion politics in America hit a new low when details of the private life of recently re-elected, pro-life Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) became public. The Congressman says that God has forgiven him for his scandalous past, including pressuring a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.

Court papers revealed that DesJarlais’ former wife had two abortion by a “mutual” decision. The first abortion was because his wife was taking an experimental drug that carried risks during pregnancy; the second abortion came as the couple suffered from problems in their marriage.

The same divorce papers relating to the 2001 divorce of the family values Congressman DesJarlais revealed affairs with four women who were patients.

US Supreme Court & Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court has released a list of cases it will hear this term, and same-sex marriage is currently not on the docket.

On Friday the Supreme Court met behind closed doors with 10 appeals related to same-sex marriage on the agenda. It’s possible that the Court will announce this week plans to hear at least one of the cases. If the Court allows the federal appeals rulings to stand, it’s not the end of the gay marriage debate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has predicted that the court will hear a gay marriage case this term.

Tuesday
Oct162012

Women As Beans | Republicans Romney & Ryan Make Chili of American Women

I Am Not A Bean

This is an election about choice; surely you have no doubt in your mind about that. Do you choose to believe that the Republican War on Women is real? Or do you just vote for the stud muffins because they make you feel like Cinderella and you have a closet desire to be taken care of?

Don’t be seduced American women. Paul Ryan may have great abs, but he told you at the vice presidential debate that your rights are no more important than those of a bean — a baby bean that is.

You are not anti-life because you believe you are not a bean, and that as a grown woman with or without children, you have a brain — one that hopefully comes with backbone.

Absolutely no one is suggesting that you should use birth control if it causes you a religious conflict. But to support the right of any employer — ANY employer to deny you birth control as part of your insurance package because he finds it morally objectionable is an assault on ALL American women.

Romney & Ryan Believe Women Have NO Rights Under the US Constitution

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — and the entire Republican party wants to return women to the 1950s, stripping away every right women have won in the workplace and in our rights to control our own reproduction.

Mitt Romney’s adviser on future Supreme Court appointments is Robert Bork. When Ronald Reagan appointed the defeated Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court in 1987, it was widely known that Bork not only opposed Roe v. Wade, but Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision by a Republican Court that granted women access to birth control as a right under the 14th amendment.

Paul Ryan flatly stated at last week’s debate that he doesn’t support 14th amendment Supreme Court decisions that given women expanded rights under the Constitution. His views are the same as Bork’s:

Throughout his career Bork was highly critical of the judicial activism practiced by the Supreme Court in milestone cases involving abortion, affirmative action and civil rights. Bork claimed he was a strict constructionist who would exercise “judicial restraint.” In his view, too many judges (and Supreme Court justices) had been interpreting the intent of the Constitution much too broadly. He opposed the 1965 Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a broad right of privacy that was not stated in the Constitution.  Bork was also a foe of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to have an abortion, calling the decision “a serious and wholly unjustifiable usurpation of state legislative authority.” The courts, he felt, should not thwart the will of the popularly-elected lawmakers, and judges ought not to substitute their values for the “original intent” of the Constitution’s framers. What made Bork dangerous from the liberal perspective was the undeniable fact that he was one of the most astute legal scholars in the country; the American Bar Association (ABA) had given him its highest rating: “exceptionally well-qualified.”

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Tuesday
May012012

Republican Women Donors Support New Planned Parenthood Merger in Texas | Evangelicals on Abstinence 

Liquid-Plumr added a bit of handsome beefcake and housewifery imagination to this spring’s ad campaign, produced DDB, San Francisco and directed by Biscuit Filmworks’ Clay Weiner.

Bringing a big smile to the face of many viewers, One Million Moms — who protested JC Penney’s hiring of Ellen Degeneres at their spokesperson— swung into action, driving lots of visibility for the campaign and over one million video views in a week.

One Million Moms wrote:

Liquid-Plumr presents two sexy plumbers in their new commercial. The Clorox Company introduces the Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System in this ad which is full of sexual innuendos as well. They are attempting to use sex to sell a product to unclog drains.

The commercial starts off with a woman in a supermarket daydreaming about what this new Liquid-Plumr product has to offer. She says, “Double impact,” twice as she reads the bottle. In her dream she is at home and answers the door to find a sexy plumber. The plumber is nice looking with huge biceps and a tight shirt. He says, “I’m here to snake your drain.” She says come on in and he walks upstairs. The doorbell rings again and it is a second sexy plumber. He says, “I’m here to flush your pipe.” She answers with an okay and while he walks on upstairs she lets out a squeal and moan while letting down her hair. Then she wakes up to reality to find the two men in the supermarket. She flirts by giving sexy eyes to the one man in the deli slicing meat and the other in produce holding two melons. These two men are the same as in her dream. It may be coincidence, but the man in produce is standing beside cucumbers with a price sign behind him reading 69 cents.

The new Liquid-Plumr ad is offensive and completely inappropriate for television.

We side with Libby Copeland, writing Bring On the Sexy Plumbers for Slate, who argues that this ad isn’t at all your typical stereotypical commercial because we have a nerdy female protagonist with a very playful delivery.

One again, the social conservatives doth scream too loudly. Smart people like AOC readers know that 1) social conservatives buy more pornography than any other group — and Sunday is the biggest day of the week for sales; 2) the classic good girl, stay-at-home mom is the most likely subscriber to Ashley Madison’s marital affair website and 3) what women say and what we do aren’t frequently not in alignment. A 2005 Internet search survey of 75 million users put to rest the truth of women’s online behavior, almost reinforcing point 2 made by Ashley Madison. Read on: Sexy Doublespeak | American Women & Sexual Honesty.

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Mary Green, Peg Armstrong and Jan Perrault hold up signs during Women’s Health Express, a bus event held in San Antonio to protest the attempt to cut Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program. A federal judge in Austin issued an injunction Monday that stopped the state from banning the organization from receiving state funds, but that injunction was stayed by a federal appeals judge Tuesday. (Helen L. Montoya/San Antonio Express-News / May 1, 2012) Planned Parenthood of Texas won a brief victory yesterday when a federal judge in Austin issued an injunction that prevented the state of Texas from withdrawing all Medicare funding from 49 clinics serviced by the organization.

Today, Judge Jerry Smit of the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans stayed the injunction, giving Planned Parenthood until 5pm today to file an opposition brief pending the appeal filed by the state of Texas yesterday.

In a new development, Planned Parenthoods in Texas quietly completed a merger of three regional branches (North Texas, Austin and Waco) into one $29 million-per-year, 26-clinic mega-organization. This is not the first Planned Parenthood merger in Texas. “In 2006, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas teamed with Planned Parenthood Louisiana to form Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which operates 13 health centers across two states,” writes the NY Times.

Tactically, the merger makes the new Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas monolithic in both geography and scope. In 2012 the group will have 26 clinics, with four providing abortions and an expected 180,000 annal patient visits. 

Perhaps most important, Planned Parenthood will directly connect wealthy donors in Dallas to poor women at the other end of the state. Key to the Texas plan to save Planned Parenthood are wealthy Republican women, the original sponsors and funders of the organization.

The merged organization has budgeted roughly $24.5 million in private donations, fund-raising events and client fees in 2013, is already rolling out the latest in electronic health records technology. “And it absorbs the fruits of the North Texas branch’s recent five-year capital campaign, including an Addison health center that tripled in size with a recent relocation and a new $6.5 million health care clinic, administrative facility and abortion clinic under construction in Fort Worth” writes the NYT.

DFR Women & Religion

New Admissions on Abstinence Education

On rare occasions a truly honest article about sex and abstinence hits the digital airwaves. When the National Association of Evangelicals admits in a video that eighty percent of young evangelicals have engaged in premarital sex and almost one-third of evangelicals’ unplanned pregnancies end in abortion, such an article as Huff Po’s With High Premarital Sex And Abortion Rates, Evangelicals Say It’s Time to Talk About Sex gets our attention.

At this month’s Q conference in Washington, as part of a session on ‘reducing abortion’, respondents were asked if churches should support the use of contraception among unmarried singles. 64 percent said ‘yes’.

At an April 2012 ‘Sexuality and Covenant’ conference, co-sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the agenda contained the statement that ‘marital sexual relationships’ are not available for many Christians.

If evangelicals are finally recognizing that comprehensive sex education and access to contraception has the most positive effect on reducing America’s abortion rate, there exists an opportunity for dialogue between currently opposed forces. There is absolutely no evidence that abstinence-only education works and it seems that the National Association of Evangelicals finally agrees.

Trendline

The XX Factor reports that a survey of 3,000 Gen Xers finds that men are making two-thirds of the meals that married women do, and 80% the meals of single women.

Pew Research shares a new survey that Supreme Court favorability ratings have reached a new low. Only 52% have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, down from 58% in 2010 and the previous low of 57% in 2005 and 2007.

Also from Pew Research, young women now surpass young men on the importance of career in their lives. Two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities, against 59% of young men. In 1997, 56% of young women and 58% of rated career as a top priority.