American Center for Law and Justice

Romney Successfully Wooing the Religious Right with Promises of Right Wing Judges

Last week, we unveiled a campaign featuring a website, web ad, and report exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts, as demonstrated by the fact that Robert Bork has been tapped to lead Romney's constitutional and judicial advisory team.

As the report noted, Romney's choice of judicial advisors "spells serious trouble for the American people" ...  and it is no surprise that it is also music to the ear of the Religious Right.

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green invited Jordan Sekulow, who worked for Romney back in 2008, to make the case as to why the Religious Right can and should support Romney.  While Green was skeptical at first, Barton needed no convincing because Jay Sekulow (Jordan's father) was going to be involved in picking Romney's judges and that was all he needed to hear:

This has not been a hard thing for evangelicals to get over and support Romney and it shouldn't be a hard thing. When Romney ran four years ago, he wasn't my first choice but the reason I never got really worried about Romney was Jay Sekulow. And I tell you he has been very intimately involved in helping get folks like Alito and Roberts on the court. And four years ago, I heard that Sekulow is the guy that Romney has tapped to choose his judges and I said "that's it." I don't have any trouble with Romney because Isaiah 1:26 tells me the righteousness of nation is determined, not by the legislature, but by its judges. And if Romney's got folks like Sekulow picking his judges, I can live with that in a heartbeat.

When Jordan Sekulow joined the program, he made the case that conservatives should support Romney because he has pledged to nominate judges like Samuel Alito and John Roberts and has filled his campaign with people who are going to keep his feet to the fire:

Green: How important is it for us to recognize that if Romney is president, who has his ear? Who are the people that will consider those judges versus another four years of Obama if he gets another quarter of the judiciary appointed?

Sekulow: You've already got people who are long-time Romney supporters like my dad, who has argued thirteen cases before the Supreme Court and was very involved with President Bush - he was one of four people that were involved in the nomination process in the Bush White House - and so if you like Alito and Roberts, these are the kind of people. You have Judge Bork, who was filibustered by the Senate, voted down by the Senate actually, and he is on the Romney committee.

...

You want Kagan and Sotomayor, and I was at the Supreme Court during the 'Obamacare' oral arguments, you probably don't want more of that, or do you want more Alito and Roberts? And he's made those pledges; I think we need to come to the campaign say "alright, you made these pledges, we're going to keep you honest to them and keep your feet to the fire."

Sekulow Feigns Outrage at Challenge to Conservative Justices

PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin went on Fox News last night to discuss the Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act with Sean Hannity and the American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow. Unsurprisingly, Sen. Raskin didn’t get much time to make his case before he was hit with a wave of faux outrage from Sekulow and Hannity.

The subject of the outrage? Sen. Raskin had called some of the conservative justices’ questions “weak” – which somehow for Sekulow turned into “attacking the integrity of justices of the United States.”

The conversation starts about five minutes into this clip:

Sekulow’s attempt at outrage is rather stunning, since his organization, the ACLJ, exists in a large part to rail against the motivations – or, if you will, the “integrity” -- of judges and justices with whom he disagrees. When the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of marriage equality, he slammed it as “another example of an activist judiciary that overreached.” When the Senate was considering then-appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor for her seat on the Supreme Court, Sekulow said, "To call her a judicial activist is an insult to judicial activists."

Sekulow has every right to criticize justices and judges with whom he disagrees. But he doesn’t exactly have the high ground for slamming those who offer mild criticism of questions conservative justices ask in oral arguments.

For more on Jamie Raskin’s analysis of the health care case, read his piece in the Huffington Post yesterday.

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PFAW

Religious Right Prays for the Supreme Court to Overturn Health Care Reform

With the Supreme Court hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the health care reform law this week, conservative groups are reviving the apocalyptic rhetoric they developed when the law was passed.

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the case on today’s Faith & Freedom, where Staver said that if the court did not overturn the law it would set “an incredibly bad precedent that allows huge power grabs, not just in this medical insurance issue but in every place else.”

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice emailed members that the law is an “atrocity”:

Over the next three days, the ObamaCare oral arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court.

Roe v. Wade made it a "right" to end the life of an unborn child; ObamaCare forces every taxpayer to help pay to end the life of an unborn child.

We are fighting this atrocity, and we need your voice now.



As we have said since the beginning, ObamaCare uses taxpayer dollars to dramatically grow the abortion business. Now we know that President Obama is also forcing citizens to directly pay an abortion surcharge with health insurance plans.

Forcing us to pay for abortion is not only a moral outrage, it is a violation of our constitutional rights.

The Christian Defense Coalition plans to “encircle” the Supreme Court to pray “that the President's Health Care legislation is declared unconstitutional”:

The groups will also lay 3,300 flowers around the court as a "prophetic witness" to the Justices, reminding them of the 3,300 children who die every day from abortion and the 3,300 women who are diminished through abortion.



Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition and one of the organizers of "Encircle the Court in Prayer", states;

"We are calling people from all America to come to Supreme Court and 'encircle it with prayer' from March 25 as we cry out to God for justice, human rights and religious freedom.

"Sadly, the President's Health Care legislation crushes religious freedom and liberty with unjust mandates on faith institutions and forces taxpayers to subsidize abortions.

"We will be praying that the President's Health Care legislation is declared unconstitutional so Congress can put forward health care legislation that will respect religious freedom, protect human life and honor the principles of our Constitution.

"When Roe v. Wade was decided, the Christian community was detached and uninvolved. We want to make sure that is not the case this time as we challenge people of faith to publicly pray and speak out with boldness and passion."

David French: Evangelicals Should not Support an Arrogant, Bullying Serial Adulterer

David French is a Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, home of both Jay and Jordan Sekulow, two of Mitt Romney's most high-profile Religious Right supporters.  French too is also a Romney supporter, having launched Evangelicals for Mitt with his wife Nancy.

Today, French penned an op-ed for CNN calling on his fellow evangelicals to drop their support for Newt Gingrich and, in making his case, he certainly didn't pull any punches, calling Gingrich an arrogant, bullying serial adulterer:

If character counts, then so do values like fidelity, honesty, humility and charity. Sadly, Gingrich fails on all these counts ... Churchgoing evangelicals have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Gingrich is a thrice-married, serial admitted adulterer.

While the former House speaker tries to change the subject, biblically literate Christians understand that his conduct is a real and present issue. Simply put, a man doesn’t cleanse the moral stain of adultery by marrying his mistress.

Matthew 19:9 is crystal clear: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Gingrich has divorced his wife and married his mistress twice.

...

[I]s there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich? His self-regard is legendary. He’s compared himself to world historical figures from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher to Abraham Lincoln to Pericles.

He has said that people like him stand between America and Auschwitz. His self-congratulatory statements fill press releases, and former colleagues tell tales of his erratic and bullying behavior. Is that the right witness for evangelicals?

David Barton, Who Sues His Critics, Says Like The Prophet Jeremiah He Doesn't Care About Criticism

Today on WallBuilders Live, Barton reflected on the alleged persecution of same-sex marriage opponents like himself. Barton compared himself to Jeremiah, which is actually modest for Barton who previously likened himself to Jesus Christ. He claimed that like Jeremiah, he doesn’t care what people have to say about him and doesn’t listen to his critics “as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say.” Of course, this is the same David Barton who is currently suing three of his critics for libel and defamation and whose cohost Rick Green is suing several people for libel over his unsuccessful campaign to serve on the Texas Supreme Court:

Barton: Anybody who goes out and looks for me up on Google or anything else is going to be appalled at how terrible I am, I mean there’s stuff I didn’t even know I did until I read about it on these articles, but if that matters to you, you lose your voice. One of the things the Lord really dealt to me early on was Jeremiah 1:17, because Jeremiah was going to deliver a message that was extremely unpopular to people, he said, ‘listen guys we are going into bondage but God’s going to bring us out,’ nobody wants to hear that, so Jeremiah’s been commissioned to give a message that nobody is gonna like. That’s why they threw him down in the miry pit and he was gonna die down there and they finally brought him out. So Jeremiah, a doom-and-gloom kind of guy in some ways, and God told him in Jeremiah 1:17 ‘do not look at their faces when you deliver the message I told you, if you do, if you pay attention to the way they respond, I will break you to pieces in front of them,’ and that’s one of the things I learned early on.

People don’t like the fact about the Christian heritage of the nation but I gotta speak whether they like it or not because if I watch the reaction, if I watch their faces, if I gage what I do by the criticism I get, I’ll soften my approach and he’ll break me to pieces in front of them. For people who are enemies, I don’t care! I don’t care whether they like me or not, as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say!

Green: You don’t want to be a man-pleaser.

Earlier in the show, David French of the American Center for Law and Justice told Barton and Green that gay rights advocates who claim that marriage equality has no victims are wrong as “the victim is our culture.” French claimed that marriage equality would devalue the institution of marriage by taking God out of the equation, but his only evidence that the legalization of same-sex marriage undercuts the institution of marriage is the existence of no-fault divorce policies:

French: Unless there are radical developments that I can’t foresee there’s going to be that challenge of dealing with that assertion that somehow same-sex marriage is a victimless phenomenon, but you know the reality is that when you’re talking about the conversion of marriage from a God-given and God-created institution into a contract between consenting adults, the victim is our culture. Because what you’ve done is you have taken one of the most fundamental building blocks of all society and you’ve converted it into an arrangement of convenience, even loving convenience, between adults that ultimately exists for the fulfillment of adults. That was never its intention. The consequences of turning marriage into that, as we’ve seen through the explosive fault of no-fault divorce, have been catastrophic.

PFAW Calls on Romney to Apply Religious Bigotry Standard to his Own Endorsers

At a news conference, Mitt Romney urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to disavow the remarks of his endorser Robert Jeffress, a Religious Right leader who has called Mormonism a "cult." People For the American Way today echoed Romney’s appeal to Perry, but also urged both candidates to disavow endorsers who have perpetuated misinformation about and fear of American Muslims.

Themes from the Right -- Day 2

The second day of right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor continued many of the themes of the first day’s attacks, mostly distortions of her judicial record and public remarks and distortions of President Obama’s desire for judges who exhibit empathy. National Review published a wave of anti-Sotomayor commentary on its website.

Right Wing Follows Deceptive Script On Supreme Court

A day after news of Justice Souter's planned resignation broke in the news, "dozens" of right-wing leaders representing more than 60 groups got together for a strategy call organized in part by the Judicial Confirmation Network to get everyone fired up and on message. All you need to know about the credibility of this campaign's leaders, and the credibility of their evaluations of potential nominees, is contained in this one sentence from the Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long: "The current Supreme Court is a liberal, judicial activist court."

The Right Re-Tools as a 'Resistance Movement'

Now that the Religious Right and the Republican Party are regrouping from significant electoral defeats, many progressives as well as pundits are tempted once again to dismiss the movement or the continued threat it poses to the constitutional principles of equality, privacy, and separation of church and state. But the legal, political, grassroots, and media infrastructure that has been built steadily over recent decades is still largely in place. It maintains a powerful ability to shape public debate and mobilize millions of Americans. And it is finding a renewed focus in opposing the Obama administration and obstructing progressive change.

The 'Big Lie' Strategy: Religious Right Stokes False Fears of Religious Persecution

On February 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate took up an amendment introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to strip church-state protections from the stimulus bill. The amendment failed 43 to 54 after DeMint repeated the inflammatory claims he had been making all week and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) swiftly and effectively refuted them. The creation of a phony crisis that DeMint's amendment was supposed to solve is a case study of Religious Right leaders' strategic use of false alarms about threats to religious liberty &emdash; and of the willingness of right-wing media and elected officials to play along. Watch now, in the wake of the amendment’s defeat, for Religious Right leaders to use the vote as "evidence" that Democrats are hostile to people of faith and to try to undermine support from religious Americans for the new administration.

"Parental Rights"

"Parental Rights" is a phrase often used to mask a right-wing agenda to undermine the rights of children.

Sabotaging Science: Creationist Strategies in the '90's

This report examines the increasingly sophisticated strategies that creationists use in an effort to inject their ideas into public school science curricula

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