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Steve King: 'If Everybody Had A Gun' At Orlando Club, 'I Don't Think Anybody Would Have Gotten Shot'

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told Iowa radio host Simon Conway last week that guns were not to blame for the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub this month because if every person at the club had been carrying a gun, nobody would have been shot.

King and Conway discussed the Orlando attack on Wednesday at the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row.

The club was protected by an armed police officer who exchanged fire with the assailant, but state law prohibits people from carrying guns in establishments like nightclubs that dispense alcoholic beverages. King, however, said that the alcohol-drinking club-goers should have all been armed.

“I look at this and I think, we have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the problem in Orlando at the Pulse was not a problem of the gun laws,” King said, criticizing efforts in Congress to bolster gun regulations after the shooting. “I mean, he followed all of them, the FBI interrogated him at least three times, they decided that he wasn’t enough of a risk. He wouldn’t have been on a list anyway. So anything that they might propose to do would not have prevented the tragedy, the horrific, gruesome tragedy in Orlando, and yet they would trample on the very rights that are needed for people to protect themselves.”

He continued, “If everybody in that nightclub, at the Pulse, had been armed, if everybody had a gun, I would say this: I don’t think anybody would have gotten shot. [In the] first place, I don’t think the perpetrator walks in there. If he does walk in there, then we may have, but there would’ve been a lot fewer than the 102.”

GOP Committeewoman: Evangelical Trump Critics Aren't Being Forgiving Christians

Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right activist and member of the Republican National Committee, joined radio host Jeff Angelo today to discuss why she opposes a possible delegate revolt against Donald Trump at next month’s convention and explain why evangelicals who have been critical of Trump just aren’t practicing Christian forgiveness.

“Here’s what I hate to see from my friends, my Iowa friends and my fellow believers,” she said. “Let’s not be judgmental ourselves. Maybe God’s called someone to a camp for various reasons. Daniel was in Darius’ camp, and because of it Darius saw the hand of God in Darius’ life. Who knows why people are being drawn to various candidates, but it could be a purpose beyond an election. God sees eternity.”

When Angelo asked if she was “comfortable with Trump,” Scott replied that she was because he has promised that “he’ll end the war on Christianity” while Hillary Clinton “created the war on Christianity.”

“So shouldn’t I, as a Christian, if I really think — you know, some of them think the end of the world’s coming because we don’t like this candidate,” she said. “If that’s the case, all the more reason I should have someone who’s going to allow someone to share my gospel. And that’s Trump, not Hillary, if you want to take it just to a spiritual level.”

She went on to criticize Christian critics of Trump for being judgmental and “not very loving” when “only God” knows the candidate’s heart “and God has allowed what has taken place this far.”

“So he may not know the scripture references, he may not speak Christianese. He may not be where we want him spiritually,” she said. “But politically, we’ve got to save a nation. We’ve got to save borders and save a country before we can save a culture.”

Later in the program, a listener called in to berate Scott for backing Trump despite his “racist comments” and making “fun of the disabled.”

Scott asked the caller if she was a Christian. “Have you ever done anything that you wish you wouldn’t have done?” she asked.

“I know in this situation,” Scott said, “he offers us the best opportunity as Christians to speak our faith, to live our faith and to continue to spread the gospel. So if that’s where you’re coming from, you’ve either got Hillary, who’s going to silence you, or him, who says he’ll end the war on Christianity.”

Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Transgender Student Athlete Is Possessed By A 'Demonic Spirit Of Cowardice'

On a recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Religious Right activist and Colorado state lawmaker Gordon Klingenschmitt weighed in on the controversy surrounding Nattaphon Wangyot, a transgender student in Alaska who recently competed in the girls' track and field state finals.

Klingenschmitt accused the high school senior of being possessed by "a demonic spirit of cowardice" and a "demonic spirit of lying" for competing against female athletes.

"Not only is it cheating and lying," he said, "but it's perversion and it's confusion. And I don't think it is even in this boy's best interest. There is also a spirit of cowardice here. Why do I say cowardice? Because he's afraid to compete with the other boys. If he were really a man and he were able to run so fast, he wouldn't have to beat up on these girls."

"There is also a sprit of theft," Klingenschmitt continued, declaring that Wangyot is "depriving these other girls of their college scholarships" because they lost "to this boy who pretends to be a girl."

Klingenschmitt closed out his commentary by praying that school officials would take a stand against "these liars and cheaters who would want to steal from the other athletes."

Rick Wiles: Buy Survival Food Before 'Demon-Possessed' Muslims Drive Us Underground

On Friday, radio host Rick Wiles appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” to plug Bakker’s buckets of survival food by warning viewers that “demon-possessed” Muslims will soon target churches and that “a chemical gas attack” could kill tens of thousands this summer, leaving people to “stampede to buy this food” before the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA seize it.

“Muslims are not normal people, they’re demon-possessed,” Wiles said. “There’s no such thing as a moderate Muslim. There’s only backslidden Muslims. There are backslidden Muslims who aren’t reading the Quran. Once they get back into reading the Quran and becoming a practicing, devout Muslim, they become violent because Islam is a violent religion. So I don’t talk about moderate Muslims and radical Muslims, no. There’s just Muslims, and Islam has a history of blood. Everywhere it’s ever gone, bloodshed. They conquer with the sword. Name one country you would like to move to that’s dominated by Muslims. Every one of them is hell on earth. That’s what they want to bring here. They wanna conquer by the sword, they want to kill nonbelievers.”

“The churches are a target,” Wiles continued. “It’s very soon. Very soon. And, Jim, the remnant church is gonna go underground. We’re gonna meet in our homes, we’re gonna meet in secret places. You’re gonna have to discern who comes in because you’re bringing them into your home.”

Wiles, promoting Bakker’s products, told the audience that they “have very little time to buy food and supplies. Very little time. The window is going to close soon. We are one disaster from martial law. There are only four corporations in this country that produce this kind of food.”

“If there is an event this summer like a chemical gas attack where a vast amount of people are killed in the tens of thousands, the smart people will stampede to buy this food,” Wiles claimed. “The wealthy, the smart people, the people that know, ‘This is serious, I’ve gotta get all the supplies I can get.’ These four companies that produce this food will be sold out within days. The second thing you have to consider is that Homeland Security and FEMA either purchase all of it or seize it.”

Robert Jeffress: Trump-Clinton Race Is 'A Battle Between Good And Evil'

Yesterday, Donald Trump ally Robert Jeffress, an extremist Southern Baptist pastor who has joined the Trump campaign’s evangelical advisory board, appeared on “Trunews” to chat with radio host Rick Wiles about the upcoming election.

Jeffress took issue with evangelical leaders who refuse to support the presumptive GOP nominee, boasting that Trump will shift the courts to the right and work to overturn abortion rights.

“This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats,” Jeffress said. “It’s a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, and I think it is time for people who say they are conservative Christians to get off the fence and go to the polls and vote their convictions.”

A fiery Jeffress dismissed those who have moral objections to supporting Trump, saying that these “weak and namby-pamby” holdouts are too “proud” and “can’t get over the fact that their candidate didn’t win” in the Republican primary.

Jeffress said that unlike President Obama, who he said “hates” conservative Christians, Trump will be a “true friend in the White House” and “appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court.”

“This isn’t about partisan politics,” he said. “This is about good and evil.”

According to Jeffress, Trump told a group of Religious Right leaders that America is in decline “because of people like you all around this table, you’re the ones who have allowed the country to get into the shape that it’s in.” “And he was absolutely right about it,” Jeffress added.

Both Jeffress and Wiles were among the 1,000 Religious Right leaders who met with Trump in New York last week.

Donald Trump Sounds Like 'Alex Jones Or Joseph Farah'

Donald Trump not only has close ties to far-right activists, he also reflects their rhetorical style and penchant for conspiracy theories.

Yesterday, Joseph Farah of the fringe outlet WorldNetDaily spoke with Alex Jones, whose radio broadcast is a haven for right-wing paranoia, about their shared love of Trump, whom Farah claims is energizing people across the political spectrum thanks to “his outspokenness” and “forthrightness.”

“Look at that speech he gave about Hillary last week,” Farah said. “That was amazing.”

“You could have been listening to Alex Jones or Joseph Farah give that speech!” he added.

Pat Robertson: Polygamy Is Biblical, But…

Marriage equality opponents like Pat Robertson often argue that same-sex couples shouldn’t have a right to get married because the U.S. government should follow the “biblical” rule that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.

However, in response to a question today on “The 700 Club” about whether Jews in the Old Testament who were in polygamous marriages were committing adultery by having more than one spouse, Robertson said that such marriages weren’t “considered adultery” according to the Ten Commandments.

Robertson, nonetheless, said that now polygamy will become legal “because the only reason they have laws against polygamy is because it is said it is unbiblical and unchristian and therefore you shouldn’t do it."

"If you can have all the other things the Supreme Court has ruled on, believe me they are going to rule it’s unconstitutional to forbid polygamy," he said."

He clarified that while the New Testament forbids polygamy, men in the Old Testament who had multiple wives still had “covenant relationships with all of them — that’s in the book.”

Watch:

Voters In Swing States Don't Want Donald Trump To Appoint The Next Supreme Court Justices

Rather than hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Republicans have instead said that the seat should be held open for a potential President Trump to fill.

Trump, who has pledged to outsource the role of appointing justices to right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, said that he will only nominate those who will “unpass” the abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade and oppose Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality decision.

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey of swing states that also have close U.S. Senate races, the GOP’s maneuver appears to be a bust, as voters don’t trust Trump, who doesn’t seem to understand how the judicial system works, to fill the vacancy.

The poll, conducted in Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republican incumbents are facing tight re-election races, found wide support for the Senate to move on Garland’s nomination:

Because voters trust President Obama to make a Supreme Court choice and don’t trust Trump to, there’s overwhelming support for the Senate to move forward with confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than 60% of voters in each of these states supports hearings for Garland, by margins ranging from 38 to 46 points. That includes overwhelming support from critical independent voters, and even plurality support from Republicans in 4 of the 6 states

In Iowa, home of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a clear majority — 64 percent — of voters want the Senate to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, as do a plurality of Republicans.

Voters across the board “say that they’re less likely to vote for [Republican incumbents] because of their opposition to hearings for Merrick Garland.”

Rather than act to fill the vacancy on the court, it appears that Republicans would rather take their unprecedented obstructionism to the next level.

Mat Staver Criticizes Orlando Memorials For Turning Into 'Homosexual Love Fests'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver called on churches and Christian organizations to pass resolutions supporting "traditional marriage" and vowing never to accept the legitimacy of gay marriage, saying that doing so will put them on "the right side of history."

Staver cited a resolution that he helped to write that was recently passed by the Southern Baptist Convention as the sort of thing that other denominations should emulate.

"I encourage other denominations and churches to pass resolutions," he said, "and we're certainly willing and able to draft them ... I encourage your people in your churches to step on the right side of history and step on the side of marriage and the natural created order of man and woman."

Staver went on to lament that some churches turned memorial gatherings following the terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando into a "homosexual love fest."

"Even in the situation following what happened in Orlando," he said, "churches got involved and they led in some cases and in other cases they followed and they ultimately allowed that situation, instead of an opportunity to pray, some of them allowed it to be a homosexual love fest. That's not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans."

Co-host Matt Barber then joined in to fault gay-friendly Christians because they are "disobeying Christ, are actually running afoul of God and Jesus in the context of the marriage debate and are siding with the Prince of the World who is trying to redefine marriage."

"Believe me, this idea of gay marriage didn't come from God, it didn't come from Christ," Barber said, "so who did it come from?"

Tancredo: Trump Will Help Win Environmentalists To The Anti-Immigrant Movement

On Wednesday, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., joined conservative radio host John DePetro at anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, where Tancredo claimed immigrants degrade the environment and expressed his hope that Donald Trump might help the anti-immigrant movement achieve its long-held goal of winning over the environmentalist movement.

“There’s another area in which we and Donald Trump, I think, has the ability to begin to communicate with another group that we’ve had a difficult time with over the years, and that’s the environmentalists, because if you concentrate on this issue, if you think about it for any length of time, you will recognize that massive immigration, both legal and illegal, has a significant impact on the environment,” Tancredo said.

The anti-immigrant movement has long tried to “greenwash” itself in a so far unsuccessful effort to build alliances with major environmentalist groups.

Tancredo claimed that “everybody coming to Colorado will soon have to actually make reservations to get into the national park. All of the park systems throughout the country are being eroded and degraded by the massive numbers of people, the water supply, you name it.”

“I mean, even Colorado, there’s no way that we can possibly keep up with the infrastructural needs of the state because of the massive number of people coming there from all over, not just from other states but, of course, all over the world,” Tancredo said. “And so there is a degradation of the environment with massive numbers, and a lot of people in that movement understand that.”

Americans, Tancredo said, “can find common ground” on immigration restriction and environmental protection.

“A person like Trump, I think, can actually begin to make inroads where we hadn’t before, and this is one area,” he said.

Steve Crampton Mocks The Idea That Having To Travel Hundreds Of Miles To Obtain An Abortion Is An 'Undue Burden'

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer interviewed right-wing activist and attorney Steve Crampton about the Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law aimed at limiting access to legal abortion under the guise of protecting the health of women.

Fischer and Crampton, who is currently running for a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court, mocked the idea that having to travel hundreds of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to obtain an abortion because unnecessary requirements had shut down dozens of women's health clinics in Texas created an "undue burden" upon women, saying that nobody is entitled to have medical care located nearby.

Fischer absurdly likened this situation to people with cancer who incur significant expenses and travel requirements in order to obtain treatment at renowned hospitals like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota or the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"Nobody says that is an undue burden and therefore we are going to require every community to have a MD Anderson clinic," Fischer said, "and we're going to require every state to have a Mayo Clinic."

"I think you're exactly right," Crampton replied. "Where it is written that we have a right to access a hospital or, in this case, a specialty kind of thing, within X number of miles of our home? I don't think that's in my version of the Constitution."

Bryan Fischer 'Honors' Anniversary Of Obergefell Ruling By Likening It To 9/11

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic marriage equality decision and American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer "honored" it on his radio show today by repeating his assertion that the ruling was the moral equivalent of 9/11.

"That day, June 26, 2015, is a date that will live in infamy," Fischer declared. "Just as the Pearl Harbor date is a date that will live in infamy, so this day in which same-sex marriage was imposed on the United States against the will of the citizens is a date that will live in moral infamy."

"What moral jihadists did on June 26, 2015," he continued, "what they did to the twin pillars of truth and righteousness [is] the same thing that the Muslim jihadists did to the World Trade Center on 9/11. So moral jihadists took down the twin pillars of truth and righteousness just like Muslim jihadists took down the twin towers on 9/11."

Glenn Beck Says Senate Republicans Should Give Merrick Garland An Up Or Down Vote

Glenn Beck was live on the radio today when the news broke that the Supreme Court had struck down a Texas law designed to limit access to legal abortion under the guise of protecting women's health. In response to the ruling, Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere lamented that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are the only two reliably conservative votes on the court at the moment and noted that Donald Trump is hoping to use this issue to win over conservative voters in November.

Beck, who doesn't think that Trump really has any chance of winning in November, said that it is a mistake for the Republicans who control the Senate to keep blocking President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the seat left by the late Antonin Scalia.

"I personally think that it is a mistake for them not to give him an up or down vote," Beck said of Garland. "I think it is a mistake. And I also think that they did this for a reason, that they put somebody in who is somewhat acceptable and they did it because they could say, 'See, they're absolutely unreasonable.' And if Hillary gets in and there is a Democratic congress or Senate? Done! You think that they're going to get more reasonable than this guy?"

"I would pull the trigger," Beck stated, "because the Constitution says give them an up or down vote. That doesn't mean you accept them; it does mean give them an up or down vote. And just take that issue away from them."

Pat Robertson: Revolt Against Obama's Muslim Brotherhood Government

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson accused President Obama of coddling the Muslim Brotherhood and bringing the group into “the inner circles of the government of the United States.”

Robertson hinted that the president may be a secret Muslim, falsely claiming that Obama attended an Islamic madrassa while living in Indonesia. He also falsely claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hezbollah, secular and Shiite rivals of the group, respectively.

After declaring that “the government doesn’t want us” to fight terrorist groups, Robertson said that extremists are the ones who truly follow Islam: “The people who are distorting Islam are not these radical groups, they are following right down the line what the Quran says. The ones who are distorting it are the so-called moderates who refuse to go along with it.”

“It’s shocking, it should be horrifying and it’s time the American people stand up against it,” Robertson said. “We’re being taken over, it’s a very subtle thing. Europe is being overrun and taken over and country after country after country are facing Islamic extremists and it is very hurtful.”

“We have got to do something in this country,” he added. “We’re looking at a revolution in England and maybe looking for a revolution in this country. We’ve had enough.”

Anti-Choice Groups React To Whole Woman’s Health Decision: Protect 'Vulnerable' Women, Elect Trump

The reactions from anti-abortion groups to the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt have started pouring in. Most repeat the claim that the Texas law in question, which was meant to regulate the majority of the state’s abortion providers out of existence, was in fact an honest attempt to protect women’s health and stand up to unscrupulous providers. A few linked the decision to the upcoming presidential election, urging voters to elect a president who will nominate justices hostile to Roe v. Wade, as Donald Trump has promised he will do.

Americans United For Life, the legal architect of many TRAP laws, including the one in Texas, said that the law was meant to “protect women from a dangerous and greedy abortion industry” and repeated the increasingly common anti-choice talking point that legal abortion providers are the true “back alley”:

“Women lost today as the Supreme Court sides with the abortion industry, putting profits over women’s health and safety by opposing life-saving regulations and medically endorsed standards of patient care. Sadly, the commonsense laws that protect women in real, full service healthcare centers won’t be in effect in Texas abortion clinics, but Americans United for Life will continue to fight – in legislatures and in the courts – to protect women from a dangerous and greedy abortion industry,” said AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe. …

“In striking down these commonsense requirements, the Supreme Court has essentially accepted the abortion industry’s argument that it should be allowed to keep its profits high and patient care standards low,” said Forsythe. “It inexplicably turned a blind eye to what it has repeatedly held since Roe v. Wade: states may regulate the provision of abortion to protect maternal health. This ruling endangers women nationwide as health and safety standards are at risk.”

“Today’s abortion clinics are the true ‘back alleys’ of abortion mythology,” noted Denise Burke, Vice President of Legal Affairs at AUL. “They consistently operate in the ‘red light district’ of American medicine where the problem of substandard abortion providers is longstanding and pervasive. The fight against this public health crisis will continue, despite today’s ruling.”

Stephen Aden of the Religious Right legal group Alliance Defending Freedom linked the law to Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion provider who was found guilty of a number of crimes related to a squalid clinic he ran, claiming that Texas’ law was “clearly designed to protect the health and safety of women in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell Scandal”:

“Abortionists shouldn’t be given a free pass to elude medical requirements that everyone else is required to follow. We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has ruled against a law so clearly designed to protect the health and safety of women in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell scandal. The law’s requirements were commonsense protections that ensured the maximum amount of protection for women, who deserve to have their well-being treated by government as a higher priority than the bottom line of abortionists. Any abortion facilities that don’t meet basic health and safety standards are not facilities that anyone should want to remain open.”

The Family Research Council similarly claimed that the Supreme Court decision “gives the abortion industry a free pass,” ridiculously claiming that abortion providers face less stringent regulation than hair salons and restaurants:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down H.B. 2 undermines the health and safety of vulnerable women. This decision is a loss for women and gives the abortion industry a free pass. The need to regulate abortion facilities is necessary to protect women against cut-and-run abortionists at shoddy abortion facilities. Mandating basic and necessary health and safety standards such as trained staff, corridors that could accommodate a stretcher in case of emergency, admitting privileges to a hospital, and up-to-date fire, sanitation, and safety codes should be beyond the politics of abortion. When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women’s lives are endangered. In 2011 alone, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications, and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. Hair and nail salons, public pools, restaurants, and tanning centers must meet basic health and safety standards—shouldn’t abortion facilities? Abortion facilities cannot be exempt from following basic health standards.

"While the need to protect the health and safety of women failed to remain at the forefront of the Supreme Court's decision, we will continue our work to protect women and children from the predatory abortion industry,” Perkins concluded.

FRC’s Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, released the following statement:

“One cannot be pro-woman and stand for the substandard facilities that many abortion centers operate which risk women’s lives. Striking down abortion facility regulations leaves the door open for continued and rampant disregard for women’s health and safety. Status-quo is not good enough," concluded Grossu.

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver also claimed that the Supreme Court was siding with abortion clinics’ bottom lines over the health of women:

“How foolish a decision by the Supreme Court to strike down common sense regulations regarding health and safety,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “They expect us to believe their opinion is based on the Constitution? It certainly is not. This is a sad day and another dark chapter in the history of America. Women should not be relegated to substandard facilities in order to save abortion providers a few dollars.”

The Susan B. Anthony List, which acts as the political arm of the anti-choice movement, turned the conversation to the election, while never quite mentioning Trump by name:

“Today’s tragic decision by the Court means that Texas women will not be protected from the unsanitary conditions and even Gosnell-like horrors that permeate the abortion industry,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, referencing the 2013 trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, currently serving a life sentence for murdering babies after botched, late-term abortions, and for the negligent death of one mother, Karnamaya Mongar.

“The abortion industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself and they know it. That’s why they fought tooth and nail against common-sense health and safety standards and requirements for abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. We have documented page after page of incidents of abuse, negligence, and brutality since 2008. This decision means the filth and exploitation will continue unchecked.

“The stakes for the 2016 election could not be higher. The next president will be tasked with selecting Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement and up to three others. We must elect a pro-life president and safeguard today’s pro-life majorities in the House and Senate. Only with a pro-life Congress and White House can we begin to address the havoc wrought by the Supreme Court on America’s unborn children and their mothers.”

Frank Pavone of Priests for Life also linked the decision to the election:

The Supreme Court is now the Supreme Medical Board, setting its own standards for patient care in the United States. This decision is an outrageous usurpation of legislative power and it only underscores the critical importance of electing a President who will nominate -- and Senators who will confirm -- justices to the Supreme Court who will adjudicate, not write the law.

As did Tim Head, the executive director of Ralph Reed’s group, the Faith and Freedom Coalition:

“The U.S. Supreme Court once again failed to protect the rights, health and safety of women and unborn children today in its Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision. Texas and many other states have enacted common sense laws that protect the rights of the unborn and the health and safety of thousands of women subjected to the horrific conditions of abortion clinics across the country, and its shameful that the Supreme Court overturned these safeguards. The Court’s failure today is another example of the urgency to elect a pro-life President in November who will be responsible for filling the enormous vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s passing and possibly fill other seats on the Court. The pro-life community must also unite to elect legislators across the country who will work to protect women and unborn children.”

Fox commentator Todd Starnes referenced the need for the anti-choice movement to ensure ideological purity among judges, even those nominated by Republican presidents:

Russell Moore, the policy head of the Southern Baptist Convention, meanwhile, filmed a video outside the Supreme Court in which he claimed that the “sad and pathetic ruling that essentially leaves the abortion industry unregulated in a kind of wild west, laissez faire sort of situation in the state of Texas that we wouldn’t allow for any other industry.”

Christians, he said, “need to be standing up for our vulnerable unborn neighbors and their vulnerable mothers.”

 

 

Supreme Court Turns Back Texas Attempt To Undermine Roe

A 5-3 majority of the Supreme Court today struck down parts of a sweeping anti-choice law passed in Texas in 2013. The case dealt with the law’s targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) provisions that created burdensome and unnecessary regulations on clinics that would have forced the vast majority of the state’s providers to close. The law not only threatened Texas women’s access to safe and legal abortion, but was a calculated assault on Roe v. Wade and was the product of decades of anti-choice efforts to undermine the decision without overturning it.

From the beginning, the law’s proponents claimed that these regulations were simply meant to protect women’s health, though they often did a pretty bad job of staying on message. During oral arguments in the case, for instance, the state’s solicitor general argued that women burdened by Texas’ law could simply drive over the border to New Mexico, which does not have the same regulations, undermining the whole argument that the idea was to protect women’s health.

And already, the law is proving to be actually detrimental women’s health: One study found that since the law’s passage, hundreds of thousands of women in Texas “have tried to self-induce their abortions without medical assistance, making it more common in Texas than in other parts of the U.S.”

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her concurrence to the decision, “it is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.”

It’s hardly been a secret within the anti-abortion movement that the Texas law was meant to cut off access to abortion rather than to shut down unsafe clinics.

At a Pro-Life Women’s Conference in Dallas this weekend, many speakers alluded to the spate of TRAP laws across the country, including the one in Texas, as a sign that their movement was winning. In one revealing exchange during a panel about anti-abortion politics, Texas anti-abortion activist Carolyn Cline held up a brick that she said she had gotten from a pastor friend who told her it was “the last brick in the lot” of a facility that had been closed by HB2, prompting enthusiastic applause.

Moments later, Arina Grossu, who works on anti-abortion issues for the Family Research Council, argued that pro-choicers should support laws like HB2 because they are meant to protect “women’s health and safety” while at the same time portraying it as a sign that the movement to end legal abortion is winning.

Right-Wing Anti-Islam Activist Says America Must 'Close Every Single Mosque'

On the "Stand in the Gap" radio program last week, Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull of the American Pastors Network interviewed an anti-Islam activist named IQ al Rassooli about the terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month, which al Rassooli asserted occurred because the shooter, Omar Mateen, was gay (a claim which the FBI disputes) and was seeking to appease Allah in hopes that Allah would make him straight in the afterlife so he could enjoy his 72 virgins.

Every Muslim, al Rassooli proclaimed, supports violent jihad and those who claim that they do not — like President Obama — are simply lying.  Anyone who cannot see that, al Rassooli said, belongs in a "mental asylum."

"You know what you have to do?" al Rassooli asked. "You have to close every single mosque. You have to remove every single imam. You must not allow sharia. You must not allow hijab ... This is exactly what needs to be done."

Polls purporting to show that many Muslims do not support the imposition of Sharia are false, he asserted, because those who insist they don't are simply engaging in taqiyya.

"Every Muslim wants Sharia," al Rassooli declared. "The 49 percent [who say they don't] didn't want to tell whoever is asking the question that they support Sharia. It's a deception, it's called taqiyya. Taqiyya is Islamic sanctified religious deception. What do you think Obama is? Obama is all about taqiyya. He lies to protect Islam. Eight years he has been lying to protect Islam. Eight years. This is called taqiyya."

PFAW Statement on ‘Whole Woman’s Health’ Decision

WASHINGTON – In response to the Supreme Court’s decision today in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirmed women’s constitutional right to reproductive freedom. This ruling makes clear that that right isn’t abstract; it includes the ability to actually access a safe, legal abortion.

“In Texas and across the country, Republican elected officials have attempted to enact unnecessary, burdensome regulations that effectively prevented far too many women from being able to get an abortion. The Court’s decision to strike down Texas’s sham laws attacking abortion access is a proud moment for anyone who cares about our Constitution.

“We turn to the Supreme Court to protect constitutional rights that affect all of our lives, including the critical and deeply personal issue of access to safe abortion care. Given that the next president will likely appoint multiple Supreme Court justices, today’s decision reminds us of how dangerous a Donald Trump presidency would be to women across the country. We cannot let Trump, who has said that women should be punished for having an abortion and who supports the full defunding of Planned Parenthood, appoint Supreme Court justices who attack and undermine women’s constitutional rights.”

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Joe Arpaio Wants To Add American Flags To Inmate Uniforms

On Wednesday, Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio joined conservative radio host Howie Carr for the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row to discuss Arpaio’s self-styled “concentration camp” and his endorsement of Donald Trump.

“You know, the usual suspects and the lawyers are coming into court and saying that the inmates are suffering terribly in your jails with the extreme weather in Arizona, you know,” Carr said. “Yeah, that always brings a smile to my face when I read these stories.”

Arpaio defended his methods. “I know, I was just in the tents two days ago, it was 136 degrees and I drank the Gatorade that I gave all the inmates, so you know what my answer is? Our men and women are fighting for our country, uh, live in tents, so shut your mouth,” Arpaio said, reminding Carr that “all these other guys are convicted.”

Arpaio, who notoriously makes inmates wear pink underwear and socks, said he is planning to add U.S. flags to their uniforms.

“I’ll give you a scoop: I’m going to put American flags — I was going to do it on my birthday but I didn’t want to get involved because of what happened in Florida — but on Fourth of July, every inmate is going to wear an American flag on their uniform.”

“So it was 136 degrees in those tents the last time you were in there, huh?” Carr asked.

“Two days ago,” Arpaio responded.

“Oh, my heart’s breaking,” Carr joked. “I wish we could cue some violin music here, it’s so terrible. This is cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of their Eighth Amendment rights, you know, come on, Sheriff.” 

After laughing, Arpaio said, “Well, that’s the way it is.” 

Arpaio also praised Donald Trump, claiming that while he has fallen behind Hillary Clinton in recent polling, his numbers have been “pretty good with all the heat he’s been taking. So he’ll come back strong, he’s a winner, and I like the guy, he’s the only candidate that I’ve endorsed that I really, really – I like ‘em all, but I really, this is something special that I noticed in him. He’s a great guy and a fighter and he’s gonna win.”

Arpaio boasted to Carr that he had "chewed out some Republicans at a Trump rally" he spoke at in Arizona on Saturday, criticizing them for offering only tepid endorsements of the presumptive GOP nominee.

“They always say they’re gonna endorse the nominee,” Arpaio said. “I guess when you endorse someone, should you not mention the name of the guy you’re endorsing, at least build up his name ID? Why wouldn’t they say, ‘I’m endorsing Donald Trump for president?' Why is it always ‘the nominee’ without using his name? You know why and I know why.”

Arpaio continued, “Let’s knock off the personal feelings, let’s knock off the jealousy. Let’s, you know, forget that you have losers out there. He’s a winner, and let’s get with him.”

Conservative Legal Leader: Thank McConnell And Grassley's Obstruction For DAPA Ruling

The Supreme Court issued a 4-4 tied ruling yesterday that by default upheld a lower court decision that had halted President Obama’s effort to provide temporary deportation relief to about five million undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens or greencard holders.

“Seldom have the hopes of so many been crushed by so few words,” attorney Walter Dellinger told The New York Times, referring to the nine-word decision upholding the lower court’s ruling.

The tie — which, while devastating for millions, does not set a national precedent, but does leave in place a nationwide injunction against the executive actions — was the result of a court that has been operating with only eight justices since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. This is thanks to an unprecedented campaign of obstruction by Senate Republicans, who have refused to so much as hold a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill the seat.

Yesterday’s ruling was exactly what those pushing for Republicans to hold a Supreme Court seat open for the next president — who they hope will be the fiercely anti-immigrant Donald Trump — were hoping for. In a blog post for the National Review today, Carrie Severino, whose Judicial Crisis Network has been the primary outside group pressuring Republicans to block Garland’s nomination, writes that it is thanks to Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and their allies in obstruction that millions of immigrants are now faced with more legal uncertainty:

Leader McConnell, Senator Grassley, and all the GOP Senators who have stood firm on this nomination should get much of the credit for today’s decision. They have upheld their own oaths to support and defend the Constitution, and deserve our thanks.​

Keep in mind that just a few months ago Severino’s group was arguing that their effort to keep the Supreme Court seat open had nothing to do with politics but was instead a high-minded effort to let “the people decide” who the next justice would be in the next presidential election. (Never mind that the people had already decided to reelect President Obama.)

Trump hit on a similar message in his response to the ruling, saying, “The election, and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country.”

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