Category Archives: First Amendment

With One Year To Spare, Trump Breaks Record for Judges Appointed in First Term

President Donald Trump has so remade the face of the judiciary that, with a year to spare, he’s already broken the record for judges appointed in his first term. Surprisingly, the president is taking a victory lap in celebration of the event. (OK … maybe it’s not so surprising.) Earlier this week, Trump took to…

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Nuns Will Return to Supreme Court to Fight Obamacare Mandate

The Little Sisters of the Poor are once again asking the Supreme Court to defend their religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, et al. The nuns welcomed the hearing, which could bring their five-year legal fight to a close.

“It is disappointing to think that as we enter a new decade we must still defend our ministry in court,” Mother Loraine Marie Maguire said in a statement. “We are grateful the Supreme Court has decided to weigh in, and hopeful that the Justices will reinforce their previous decision and allow us to focus on our lifelong work of serving the elderly poor once and for all.”

 The nuns, who care for the elderly poor, previously took the Obama administration to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate violated their religious liberty. Justices urged the two sides to reach a compromise, and the Catholic religious order appeared to have won the battle after the Trump White House expanded an existing exemption to include organizations like the Sisters in 2018. Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania and California, however, sued to block the new rules from taking effect.

“The Trump Administration’s rule allows employers to deny contraceptive services to any employee for any reason—including the belief that women don’t belong in the workforce,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in an email to the Washington Free Beacon. “Two federal courts have blocked this rule and we are confident the Supreme Court of the United States will do the same. I look forward to making our case before the Justices.”

Pro-life organizations and religious liberty activists called on the Supreme Court, which previously returned the sisters’ case to lower courts, to take decisive action to end their legal struggle.

“The Supreme Court of the United States needs to protect once and for all the Little Sisters of the Poor and people of all faiths from government-forced violations of their religious beliefs,” Stephanie Taub, senior counsel to the First Liberty Institute, said in a statement. “We are confident the Justices will again respect the religious liberty of all religious non-profits and reverse the Third Circuit’s dangerous decision.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the exemption should stand to safeguard religious freedom.

“President Trump took strong steps to put this nonsense to an end and his administration’s rule should be upheld. No one—not Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor, and not moral objectors like Susan B. Anthony List—should ever be forced by the government to provide abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans,” she said. “Conscience rights and religious freedom are important parts of American history and tradition, and the government, state-level or federal, doesn’t need nuns to deliver abortion inducing drugs to women.”

The Supreme Court has yet to set a date for a hearing, but has allotted one hour for oral arguments.

The post Nuns Will Return to Supreme Court to Fight Obamacare Mandate appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Mark Levin Warns of Democratic Overreach in Virginia

Conservative radio host Mark Levin said Democratic legislative overreach could drive residents out of Virginia.

“What’s going to happen is the productive people in Virginia will begin to leave. A lot of people who believe in liberty will leave,” Levin said during his radio show Friday night. “So you’ll see depopulation, voluntary depopulation, like you see in New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, on and on, where people are looking for liberty.”

Virginia Democrats won a majority in the both houses of the state’s legislature, and are aiming to address priorities such as increased gun control measures. State Democrats withdrew a senate bill that would have effectively confiscated firearms like AR-15s.

Such measures have sparked public backlash and demonstrations from gun rights activists. More protests are expected early next week.

“These issues of the Second Amendment, the First Amendment, property rights.” Levin said. “It’s not about being a ‘right-winger.’ It’s about liberty… People will look for freedom. It’s like water finding cracks. But this is how it works, and this is the problem.”

Levin also warned about a decline in civic knowledge.

“The principles upon which this nation was founded are not taught, they’re not promoted, they’re not embraced,” he said. “A country cannot survive on its founding principles if its founding principles are not indoctrinated into one generation after the next.”

The post Mark Levin Warns of Democratic Overreach in Virginia appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Trump Administration Proposes Rules to Ensure Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Groups

HHS and DHS proposed rules that would implement Trump’s executive order that protects the religious freedom of faith-based organizations.

N.C. Dem Appointee Threatens to Call Cops Over Pledge of Allegiance

A North Carolina board of elections chairwoman threatened to call the police Tuesday if anyone were to attempt to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the next board meeting.

The threat came at the end of a contentious Bladen County Board of Elections meeting in which audience members voiced their displeasure with the board’s defeat of a measure adding the Pledge of Allegiance to its official agenda. Two of the board members and a significant portion of the audience rose to recite the pledge in defiance of the board’s vote, which Chairwoman Louella Thompson described as “out of order.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, Thompson threatened to call the police if attendees attempted to recite the pledge again at the next meeting.

“The next meeting, if that happens again, law enforcement will be called because it is against the law to disrupt a meeting that is going on, and that is what happened today with the reciting of the pledge, so be prepared for that,” she said.

Board member Emory White introduced the measure that would have added the Pledge of Allegiance to the agenda, according to a report from Bladen Online. Three board members voted against the measure, two voted for it.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D.), who appointed Thomas, voiced disagreement with the decision not to recite the pledge.

“The Governor leads the Pledge of Allegiance before every Council of State meeting. He doesn’t agree with the action taken and he thinks it’s a good practice to say it before a Board of Elections meeting,” a spokeswoman for the governor told the Bladen Journal.

At Tuesday’s meeting, audience members pushed back on the board’s decision.

“I don’t care that other boards throughout the state, the county, wherever, don’t do this. There’s nothing wrong with setting an example, and it’s in fact a good example,” one audience member said. “I support it, and I believe there’s a lot of other Republicans on board … probably Democrats as well that support the idea of expressing our loyalty to our constitutional republic and to the flag for which all of that stands.”

Charlotte Smith, the reporter for Bladen Online filming the meeting, asked Thompson why she voted against the measure to add the pledge.

“That’s my right, and I exercise it,” Thompson responded.

After the audience members voiced their disagreement, one rose and began reciting the pledge. He was joined by the two board members who voted for the measure and a significant portion of the crowd.

“I think that was quite out of order,” Thompson said after the pledge was recited. The board took a brief recess where they discussed the incident, according to the chairwoman’s statement at the end of the meeting.

Rep. Dan Bishop (R., N.C.) issued a press release in which he criticized the chairwoman for the threat to involve law enforcement.

“I was appalled that the Chairwoman of the Bladen County Board of Elections will prevent board members—on threat of arrest—from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance,” he said. “It shows a twisted moral code to oppress the right to honor a flag that stands for freedom from oppression. I stand with the board members who continue to revere and respect our flag and those who lost their lives defending it.”

The post N.C. Dem Appointee Threatens to Call Cops Over Pledge of Allegiance appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Marine Corps Bans Popular Faith-Based Dog Tags That Have Been in Use for Decades

A battle is brewing now that two branches of America’s armed forces are responding to an anti-religion group’s complaint by trying to stop a company from selling replica dog tags that bear a scripture verse as well as a military insignia. The Marine Corps has denied a trademark license to Shields of Strength, the company…

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Lesbian Sues Seminary That Refused to Compromise Biblical Values on Gay Marriage

Every liberal needs to be told something: Whether you like it or not, there’s plenty of evidence that the God of the Bible does not sanction same-sex relationships. You may not interpret the Good Book that way. Perhaps you’ve got reasonable theological reasons for it. Perhaps you just want to go with the cultural flow.…

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Arizona Woman Defies City Order, Continues To Fly ‘Trump 2020’ Flag

Tawney Baccellia of Prescott Valley, Arizona, wanted to show her support for President Donald Trump by flying a “Trump 2020 – Keep America Great” flag in her backyard, but some of her neighbors took offense and voiced their objection to the city, which is now threatening stiff fines. Baccellia began flying the banner in early…

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Woman Facing Hundreds of Dollars in Gov’t Fines for Flying Trump Flag in Her Own Yard

An Arizona woman was told last month that she must remove the Trump 2020 flag that currently flies above her property. According to Prescott Valley officials, homeowner Tawney Baccellia was in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits the flying of political flags any more than two months before, or one month after, an election.…

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University of Illinois Settles Free Speech Lawsuit with Student Journalist

The University of Illinois has settled a lawsuit with a student who alleged that the school violated his First Amendment rights when it applied a “no-contact order” against him, meaning that the student was told he could not film or report on a physical altercation that took place between him and an instructor at an anti-Trump protest on campus.

Betsy DeVos and DOJ Fire Off on Colleges Acting Like ‘Police States’

It’s no secret that colleges and universities in America are overwhelmingly leftist. Allegations of Soviet-like behavior are what landed one Mississippi college in the middle of a free speech lawsuit recently, and now Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Department of Justice are jumping into the fray against the institution of higher learning. Jones…

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Watchdog Group Claims ‘Jesus’-Themed Candies on Air Force Base Violate Religious Freedom

A watchdog group is claiming the sale of Jesus-themed candies on an Air Force base in Colorado is an inappropriate violation of armed service members’ First Amendment rights. Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder and president Mikey Weinstein is angrily calling out Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs for allowing the product to be sold…

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Former Fed Prosecutor Only Needs 2 Minutes To Destroy Peter Strzok’s 1st Amendment Claims

Even a disgraced former FBI agent should know when he has no case. But Peter Strzok, the one-time head of counterintelligence for the bureau, argued in a court filing Monday that the Justice Department violated his First Amendment right to free speech when he was fired last year for text messages he sent in 2016…

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Pollak: Media, Tech Self-Censorship over ‘Whistleblower’ Marks Death of Free Press in United States

The tech giants had imposed a code of censorship, and the mainstream media, supposedly so sensitive to any threat to press freedom, (mostly) willingly complied.

NRA: New Evidence Backs Claim Andrew Cuomo Violated Its Free Speech

The National Rifle Association (NRA) claims to have new evidence that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo violated its constitutional rights in an attempt to bar it from operating in the state.

LGBT Flags Get Handed Out at School, Kids Rebel and Raise Confederate Flag

A pro-LGBT stunt at a Missouri high school backfired recently when students responded by hoisting the rebel flag. A student at West Plains High School first handed out small pro-LGBT rainbow flags on Dec. 9, according to KY3. It didn’t take long for other students to rebel. The next day, a group of rebellious students…

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Chico State Professor: College Republicans’ First Amendment Rights ‘Intensely Hurtful’ to Students

An instructor at California State University, Chico (CSU, Chico) referred to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as “poison,” and suggested that she and other professors use the “immense privilege” they have as “tenured faculty” to protect students who are offended by their classmates exercising their First Amendment rights. The instructor told Breitbart News that the First Amendment allowing the school’s College Republicans to “voice their support for Trump and — the Republican Party” is “intensely hurtful” to many students on campus.

Pollak: House Democrats Violated the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments in Impeachment Inquiry

In pursuing a partisan case for impeachment, Democrats have also violated several cherished amendments in the Bill of Rights.