Though it isn’t being reported this way, last Friday President Trump actually rescinded the ban he previously implemented on transgenders in the military last August. The new memorandum (PDF) explicitly withdrew his prior policy:
I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals,” and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals.
The new memo did not institute a new presidential directive. Rather, the President deferred to the Department of Defense — that is, the “independent judgment” of the DoD — with regard to its policies. He said [emphasis added]:
These [DoD-produced] documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense.
It’s a clever move. Lawsuits and Read more
Some astute writing from Stephanie Barclay of the Becket Fund, as published at The Witherspoon Institute [emphasis added]:
The Supreme Court has consistently held that a government’s desire to protect people from emotional harm…does not constitute a compelling government interest…The Court has protected speech deeply hurtful to the dignity of others, including protesters at the funeral of a Marine killed in action with signs that say things like “God Hates Fags”…
The Court has correctly explained that any other result would “effectively empower a majority to silence dissidents simply as a matter of personal predilections.”…
These are not simply hypothetical thought experiments. After 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
Disgraced former Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling’s appeal to the US Supreme Court has been denied.
After being court-martialed on an array of specifications, Sterling had teamed with the First Liberty Institute to appeal a charge related to her posting of Bible verses at her desk. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces had denied her appeal — with a dissent. Her appeal to the Supreme Court was the final step.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was giddy, awkwardly managing to claim this constituted a win for “religious freedom.”
Even more awkwardly, Weinstein was taken to task by his own supporters for announcing that the denial of cert by the Supreme Court had been “unanimous.” The truth is that no one knows how the individual justices decided on that request for cert. Weinstein was 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
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently spoke at a Catholic legal group sponsored by Advocati Christi, noting the hostility of some Americans to religious liberty and the need to “evangelize…religious freedom”:
Alito used his own words from his dissent in the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage case, telling the gathering he had predicted opposition to the decision would be used to “vilify those who disagree, and treat them as bigots.”
“We are seeing this is coming to pass,” he said, then mentioned Bob Dylan’s famous song lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
“A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral beliefs,” Alito said.
Incidentally, Justice Alito is a former US Army Captain.
The culture has long been in Read more
First Liberty Institute, one of the leading religious liberty legal groups in the country, recently said in an interview that they’re very hopeful about the opportunities for freedom under the Trump administration. Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the First Liberty Institute, said
that President Donald Trump “made a lot of promises as a candidate about religious freedom. He’s very committed to making sure that things changed. And so now it’s just going to be a matter of whether those promises are followed through.
“So far, he’s been fulfilling his promises. Read more