Yesterday, the Federal District Court in New Hampshire allowed the lawsuit against the VA Medical Center POW/MIA display to proceed, and it also permitted the Northwest POW/MIA Network, which erected the display, to intervene. (The POW/MIA Network is represented by First Liberty.) In one of the more interesting arguments, the presiding judge questioned whether the plaintiff had standing because he’s a Christian. Judge Paul Barbadoro [emphasis added]
acknowledged no shortage of case law and legal precedent regarding religious symbols on public property…
But Barrington resident James Chamberlain, the plaintiff in the challenge, is a Christian who attends a Congregational church, and therein lies the rub, according to the judge.
Barbadoro said he knows of no prior case stemming from a Christian challenging a symbol of Christianity.
“If he were an atheist, he would have standing and that would be clear,” the judge said.
There are certainly legal reasons to require “standing” in a judicial proceeding — but Read more
A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion. Militantly secular regimes have carried out such projects in the past…
– Justice Samuel Alito
Yesterday the US Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision that the Bladensburg Peace Cross could continue to stand and be maintained by the state — even though it was “undoubtedly a Christian symbol.” (Of note, the case was reversed and remanded “for further proceedings,” not simply dismissed.)
Some reports focused on the multiple opinions published by the justices, though these reports largely seemed to come from critics who believed that emphasizing the “splintered” nature of the ruling would Read more
The Supreme Court ruled (5-4) yesterday that injunctions preventing the Department of Defense from implementing a change to President Obama’s transgender policy were stayed while the case worked its way through the courts. This allows the DoD Policy proposed by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis to take effect.
Previously, lower courts had ruled in both directions on the policy.
While the policy is about medical and mental conditions, critics of the ruling blamed it on religion — that is, Christianity.
Tris Mamone, a member of the awkwardly named LGBTQ Humanist Alliance, is quoted saying [emphasis added]
Today’s ruling is another example of bigotry and Christian nationalism overriding legal protections for all Americans.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein similarly called it a product of the [emphasis added] Read more
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal regarding the Bladensburg Peace Cross, which was declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals despite widespread support.
Though Justice Kavanaugh has yet to make his mark on the bench, even critics of religious liberty seem pessimistic, thinking religious liberty will prevail of their offense.
The case could be historic, given the amount of hostility toward religious displays in public and how many anti-cross cases there have been: Read more
In 2010 the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit dismissed a lawsuit by Michael Newdow (the infamous atheist who has filed repeated lawsuits over So help me God/In God we Trust/etc.) seeking to prohibit “so help me God” and prayer from President Obama’s inauguration. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, as the administrator of the Presidential oath, was named as defendant.
The 3-judge panel of the Appeals Court dismissed the case, saying Newdow did not have standing. One of the judges disagreed, saying Newdow did have standing, but he said the case failed on its merits.
That was Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
As noted at the time, Judge Kavanaugh’s explanation Read more
I think we’re getting quite comfortable in our society limiting ideas and exposure to ideas. And maybe that’s a symptom of it. I don’t know.
But I don’t think its good for the next generation…I learned a tremendous amount in the Carnegie Library simply being exposed to a range of ideas.
– Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as Read more
Activists for military homosexual groups have filed amicus briefs opposing the Masterpiece Cakeshop in its appeal to the US Supreme Court. The bakery was accused of violating state law when it declined to create a cake for a same-sex “wedding” (see records of the case).
Apparently fearing a victory for Masterpiece Cakeshop would inhibit homosexuals’ rights within the military, Ashley Broadway — a self-described homosexual “devout Christian” — of the American Military Partner Association said (with authority):
A business that is open to the public should be open to public — period. LGBT service members and their families sacrifice so much around the world for our country, and the last thing they deserve is to be denied service here at home simply because of who they are.
That’s great. It also has nothing to do with Read more
When the newest Justice of the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch took his oath today, he promised to be a “faithful servant to the Constitution.” That wasn’t his only biblical reference:
I will never forget to whom much is given to much will be expected, and I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.
That’s a reference to Luke 12:48, for those who assumed it was from Benjamin Franklin or just a historical quote.
Many have faith that Justice Gorsuch — who also spoke directly to military religious freedom during his confirmation, in a little-noted exchange — will be an advocate for religious liberty in the face of what one of his fellow justices has called hostility toward traditional moral beliefs.
Dr. James Dobson praised the seating of Justice Gorsuch — and intimated that President Trump may soon have another vacancy to fill: Read more