Fair and Just Courts

Roy Moore Accepts Award From Radical Anti-Choice Group That Blamed 9/11 On Legal Abortion

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has not been hiding his displeasure about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down gay marriage bans, telling Alabama church audiences that the ruling will result in Christians being “persecuted” and has, at the behest of Satan, “destroyed the institution of God.”

Moore also brought his message on Saturday to a long-planned rally in Montgomery hosted by the radical anti-choice group Operation Save America, which descended on Alabama specifically to support the “poet, warrior, statesman” Moore’s fight against LGBT equality, abortion rights and the separation of church and state.

OSA, which was previously led by the Benham brothers’ father, Flip, is now under the direction of Rusty Lee Thomas, who memorably took to the streets of New York on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks to announce that the terrorist attacks were divine retribution for legal abortion. According to the group, Moore’s chief of staff, Ben DuPre, is an important local contact, and DuPre introduced Moore at the Saturday event.

Moore told the audience that “America is under attack” as it moves away from God. "I'm sorry but this country was not founded on Muhammad. It was not founded on Buddha. It was not founded on secular humanism. It was founded on God,” he said.

AL.com reports that Moore addressed complaints about OSA’s radicalism, saying "You know, some told me 'you know they're a radical group.' I said yeah. They are radical for God.”

Thomas opened up the event by telling activists that in order to bring Heaven to Earth, they must end legal abortion and gay marriage, because there are “no babies being murdered in Heaven” and “in Heaven they’re not parading their sin like Sodom and trying to redefine marriage.”

Thomas then brought Moore up to the stage to accept a “Godly Statesman Award," after which he gathered the audience around the chief justice to pray that God would use him to “set an example for lesser magistrates throughout the United States of America that it’s time to say no to the federal beast!”

Scott Walker Says His Presidential Bid Is 'God's Plan'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his presidential bid on Twitter this morning and will have a launch event later today in Waukesha, has sent an email to activists declaring that his presidential run “is God’s plan for me.”

“My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life,” starts the note, which is clearly designed to appeal to Religious Right voters who make up a major part of the GOP base vote, particularly in the early primary states Iowa and South Carolina.

The letter goes on to talk about Walker’s faith as “the guiding force of my life in both politics and in private” and promotes opposition to reproductive choice and marriage equality. “A lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement, my work defending the unborn goes back to my college days where I was a leader of Marquette Students for Life,” he writes, bragging about signing into law new restrictions on access to abortion and pledging to do the same as president. He calls the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision a “grave mistake” and calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn it. And he pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices who share his approach to the Constitution.

“Our country is at a crossroads and we need a proven conservative leader who is not afraid to fight for what is right -- even when it’s not politically expedient,” Walker says. “My decisions are guided by my relationship with God -- not by what might win me a few votes.”

Among those decisions are Walker’s moves to savage public education in his new budget.

The full letter follows:

 

Peter,

My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life. Each day I pray and then take time to read from the Bible and from a devotional named Jesus Calling.

As you can imagine, the months leading up to my announcement that I would run for President of the United States were filled with a lot of prayer and soul searching.

Here’s why: I needed to be certain that running was God’s calling -- not just man’s calling. I am certain: This is God’s plan for me and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.

Now, it is up to the voters to decide who will win the election. If you support my conservative campaign, please join my team right now with $10, $35, $50, $100, or even $250 today.

As the son of a Baptist preacher, my faith comes first. It is the guiding force of my life both in politics and in private. For example, I believe in the sanctity of life. I believe in the covenant of marriage. I believe in strong families. I believe in protecting religious liberties. And I believe these things are worth fighting for -- and I have.

A lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement, my work defending the unborn goes back to my college days where I was a leader of Marquette Students for Life. As a state lawmaker, I helped write and pass legislation banning the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. As Governor of Wisconsin, I prohibited abortion from being covered by Wisconsin health plans in a health insurance exchange, signed an ultrasound bill into law, and defunded Planned Parenthood while maintaining health services for women throughout Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, I called for legislation to protect unborn children once they can feel pain at five months. The members of the State Legislature just passed the bill and I will sign it into law next week. Yet another pro-life victory here in Wisconsin!

If elected President, I would be honored to sign similar legislation at the federal level. I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.

Please stand with me today to help elect a pro-life President.

Our conservative values were handed a big blow with the recent Supreme Court ruling. Let me be very clear: this decision was a grave mistake. Five unelected judges took it upon themselves to take that responsibility away from the states and redefine the institution of marriage.

In 2006, I voted to amend my state constitution to protect the institution of marriage because I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.

I believe that the states have the right to define marriage.

To protect this right, I support an amendment to the United States Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.

Going forward, we need to focus our attention on protecting the religious rights of Americans. Our U.S. Constitution calls for freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The founders of this exceptional country took religious freedom very seriously and we must redouble our efforts to protect these freedoms today.

Peter, I have been a tireless advocate for religious liberty. And my state’s families and children are better off because of our pro-life, pro-family agenda that promotes life, freedom, and opportunity.

As President, I will stand up for these same values. And I will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully uphold the Constitution -- without injecting their own political agendas into legal matters.

Our country is at a crossroads and we need a proven conservative leader who is not afraid to fight for what is right -- even when it’s not politically expedient. My decisions are guided by my relationship with God -- not by what might win me a few votes.

I am proud to have earned the early support of conservative and religious activists across the country and hope to earn your support today. Visit here to become a leader of our conservative team with a contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $250, or whatever amount is right for you.

Every day I pray that our best days of peace, prosperity, and freedom are ahead of us. As President, I will uphold the traditional values that have made our country great, but I need your help to win.

Your enthusiastic support will help us build much-needed momentum in these early weeks as we take our conservative message to voters across the country.

God bless you and God bless America,

Scott Walker

 

With Toomey's Help, Senate Could Confirm Restrepo Quickly

In 2007, the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed Bush's 3rd Circuit nominee from Pennsylvania just one week after his committee vote.
PFAW

On Judicial Confirmations, 4 ≠ 21

No amount of talking points can obscure the fact that Republicans are slow-walking President Obama's judicial nominees.
PFAW

Eagle Forum President: Impeach Kennedy For Trying To Be 'King Of America'

Just a few hours after the Supreme Court struck down bans on gay marriage last month, former Missouri GOP chairman and current Eagle Forum president Ed Martin joined Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace to discuss the decision, which he said should lead to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s impeachment for acting like the “king of America.”

Martin compared marriage equality opponents to David fighting Goliath, who “taunted Israel like the Supreme Court taunted us with this ruling.”

Saying that merely electing a new president or pressuring Congress won’t be enough to respond to the marriage equality ruling, he said, “David didn’t fight Goliath in the way that Goliath wanted. He fought in a different set of terms. And I will tell you, one thing that has not been invoked in a meaningful way is the doctrine of, is how to limit the judiciary with impeachment.”

“I think we’re to that point” of impeachment, he said, explaining that while the four more liberal justices are “corrupt in terms of their worldview,” Kennedy “has really put himself up as the king of America in a way that the founders would have recognized as a discussion point for an impeachable offense.”

Claiming that evangelical churches are full of “posers” on cultural issues, Deace suggested that the Christian Right should emulate the Southern Baptist Convention’s crackdown on moderates in the 1960s, when, he said, “they exposed and purged all posers.”

Martin responded that he couldn’t speak for churches, but that if the GOP tries to “water down marriage,” that will be “the end of the Republican Party.”

Martin then, bizarrely, compared the emergence of the Republican Party in the 1860s to fight back efforts to extend slavery to the current Republican Party’s “retreat” on the issue of the Confederate flag.

“People have been trying to do that, what they did for years, and our people retreated and surrendered within like two days,” he said of the flag issue. “I’ve never seen the speed with which the culture put our people into rapid retreat. They didn’t even make meaningful arguments about the loss of life and the brother against brother and what the Confederacy meant. They just retreated to the space they were pointed to.”

“It’s an extraordinary moment, but the tide can shift, as you say, if we get back to first principles,” he added.

Cliff Kincaid: Impeach Ginsburg & 'Known Lesbian' Kagan Because Of Marriage Ruling

In his latest column, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy In Media calls on Congress to impeach Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying they were biased in the case because they had both officiated weddings for gay couples and because Kagan is a “known lesbian.”

“Members of Congress taking up this cause will not get sympathetic headlines in the media,” he writes. “But it is something that has to be done if Independence Day is going to have any meaning left at all.”

He adds that a spokesman for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law had told him that “the failure by Kagan and Ginsburg to withdraw from the case leaves them open to impeachment and removal from the bench.”

Whatever the reason for the putsch, our form of government has been overthrown and another put in its place—a judicial dictatorship that is devoted to elevating to protected status a sexual minority seeking the abolition of traditional values. Left unchecked in its drive for power over others, this cabal threatens not only our heritage but America’s standing in the world as a superpower. It appears the Obama administration wants to spend more money on Pentagon gay pride events and climate change than actual weapons systems to defend America.

As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, however, we can rest assured that the American people remember enough about the founding of their country that they cannot and will not accept a judicial tyranny. That would make a complete mockery of what July 4th is all about and what millions of Americans have sacrificed for.

Our media didn’t treat it as a big deal, but Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg had both officiated at gay weddings. Groups such as the National Organization for Marriage, the American Family Association, the Coalition of African American Pastors, and the Foundation for Moral Law had called for Kagan and Ginsburg to withdraw from the case.

Matthew Kidd, executive director of the Foundation for Moral Law, told Accuracy in Media that the failure by Kagan and Ginsburg to withdraw from the case leaves them open to impeachment and removal from the bench.

In the case of Kagan, an Obama appointee, she may have had a personal conflict-of-interest. This is a sensitive matter, but various reports indicated that Kagan was a known lesbian before she was nominated to the Court by President Obama. For example, the gay blog QueerTY had identified her as a lesbian. That would mean she was compromised on homosexual issues prior to her ascension to the bench and after she was confirmed. This is a conflict of interest that cannot be tolerated.

Whether the reports of her lesbianism are true or not, we know that Kagan had an extremely radical record as Dean of Harvard Law School (2003 to 2009) where she promoted homosexuality and transgenderism. Nevertheless, she was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 63 to 37 vote.

We now see the evidence of what happens when the media and Congress fail to do their jobs.

Congress, however, can try to undo some of the damage by holding hearings into the possible impeachment of Justices Kagan and Ginsburg. This would be one way of getting to the bottom of Scalia’s sensational charge that America’s democratic system has been subverted and stolen from the American people.

We are bound to hear that impeachment would be difficult and conviction impossible. There’s always an excuse for not taking bold action in Washington, D.C. But a congressional failure to act, in the wake of Scalia’s extraordinary charge of a judicial Putsch, would suggest that celebrating July 4th means fireworks and nothing more.

I think enough Americans are sufficiently concerned about this matter that they want to see some real fireworks, in the form of Congress exposing the lies, corruption and conflicts of interest that went into the sick and tyrannical gay marriage ruling.

Members of Congress taking up this cause will not get sympathetic headlines in the media. But it is something that has to be done if Independence Day is going to have any meaning left at all.

Steve King: Impeach Ginsburg & Kagan Over Gay Marriage Decision

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said yesterday that he would support impeaching Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan over their participation in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case whenever “the public is ready” for such proceedings.

King, a guest on Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson’s program, took a call from a listener who said of the justices who voted to strike down same-sex marriage bans, “I submit that these are rogue justices and they can be impeached and removed by Congress.”

King told the caller that he agreed with him, but “impeachment itself,, we have learned throughout history, is a political decision” and the timing is “up to the will of the people.”

“That provision does exist, and let’s hear what the public has to say,” he added. “If that were put up before me today, and I think I mentioned Ginsburg and Kagan as being two that had been conducting same-sex marriages on their spare time and did not recuse themselves, I would put up the vote to remove them from office. And I’d like to see that case heard again and it would come down four-to-three and it in the end it would come back to the states for that decision, where it should be. But I don’t know if the public is ready for that.”

Mickelson then asked King about Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea of establishing retention elections for Supreme Court justices — similar to those in Iowa in 2010 that resulted in three state supreme court justices losing their jobs in retribution for marriage equality votes — which King said he thought was “a pretty good idea.”

But in the near term, King said, the nation must turn to “nationwide civil disobedience” in defiance of the marriage decision. He also repeated his plan for states to “abolish civil marriage” in order to deny the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

“By doing so we can avoid the litigation that’s coming at every one of our churches,” he said, claiming that gay rights advocates “will not stop until they can force a priest to conduct a same-sex marriage at the altar of a Catholic church.”

Earlier in the program, King went on a long tangent linking the U.S. Constitution not only to the Magna Carta and to Greek and Roman law, but also to the New Testament.

“You can go piece by piece of this all the way through the history of the foundation of western civilization to get to the underpinnings of the pillars of American exceptionalism,” he said. “And we seem to have forgotten about those underpinnings and now we’re at this place where there is no right and wrong and the rule of tyranny of whoever can get leverage in whatever form and five justices in the Supreme Court setting a policy that turns over thousands of years of human experience.”

“This Constitution is rendered an artifact of history if we let this stand,” he warned.

A Liberal Supreme Court Term? Hardly.

Progressives breathed a sigh of relief after several Supreme Court cases this term, but it was hardly a liberal term.
PFAW Foundation

Alabama Official: Courts That Recognize Gay Rights 'A Bigger Threat To The United States Than ISIS'

UPDATE: We've posted some video clips of the press conference's highlights.

The mood was apparently apoplectic at a press conference held by gay-rights opponents in front of the Alabama state judicial building yesterday, as one Republican state official called the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision “an assault on God, on Christian heritage and on our culture” and warned that the “runaway judiciary is a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS” and “liberal judges have done [more] harm to our country and our Constitution than Al Qaeda.”

Public Service Commissioner Chip Beeker, who made the ISIS remarks, was joined by Joe Godfrey of the Alabama Citizens Action Project, who warned that Christians will soon be fired from their jobs just for attending church and by John Eidsmoe, the influential Christian Reconstructionist thinker and Michele Bachmann mentor, who said that the Supreme Court’s decision is moot because two justices who had performed legal same-sex weddings should have recused themselves.

Eidsmoe is the senior counsel at the Foundation for Moral Law, the organization started by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been clashing with the federal courts over marriage equality. The group, which is now led by Moore’s wife, Kayla, has questioned the “validity” of the decision and vowed to keep on fighting it.

The Montgomery Advertiser was on the scene of the press conference:

Public Service Commissioner Chip Beeker told the crowd that "five unelected and unaccountable justices imposed their will on the people of Alabama and the United States."

"This was not an interpretation of the Constitution. It was an assault on God, on Christian heritage and on our culture," Beeker said.

"The runaway judiciary is a bigger threat to the United States than Isis. Liberal judges have done harm to our country and our constitution than Al Qaeda."

Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, which lobbies the Legislature on behalf of churches, said people who attend churches that oppose same-sex marriage could be threatened with losing their jobs.

"I predict it's going to happen when big corporations, CEOs, tell people that work as their employees, ''You know, if you keep going to that church that teaches against homosexuality, teaches what the Bible says, we're going to have to let you go.'

"So they're going to be forced to make a choice between a church that they attend and have been attending for years, and their job."

[John] Eidsmoe also said the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision was illegitimate because two of the justices who supported it -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan -- had performed same-sex marriages.

The foundation had filed a motion for Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves from the case.

"They were incapable of considering this question objectively," Eidsmore said. "And therefore, they had every duty to recuse."

Three Final 5-4 Rulings Show Importance of Supreme Court in 2016 Elections

With so many vital issues decided by a tightly divided Supreme Court, the Court is a major issue in 2016.
PFAW

A Historic Day for Liberty, Equality, and America

Today's victory for marriage equality is a profoundly American story.
PFAW Foundation

Obamacare Comes Out Stronger Than Before

A strong majority rejects conservative activists' attack on Obamacare, but this case should never have made it this far.
PFAW Foundation

PFAW Foundation Statement on Fair Housing and Obamacare Wins at the Supreme Court

In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court upheld the use of disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act, which allows fair housing and Civil Rights advocates to show that government actions disproportionately harm affected communities instead of being required to find a “smoking gun” proving that intentional discrimination occurred. The Court also upheld the clear intent of Congress in allocating subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, dismissing a partisan attempt to undermine the law.

“Today’s ruling in the Fair Housing Act case is an important win for fair housing and for equality under the law,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “The Fair Housing Act was passed into law just days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and it stands as a tribute to his work and legacy. As last week’s murders in Charleston make perfectly clear, our nation’s long struggle with racism is far from over. But not all racism is so easily identified. Today’s decision means we still have a powerful tool to advocate for justice in one of the most critical areas of our nation’s public policy.

“The Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell is unquestionably the correct one, but in a sane court system, there’s no way this case would have made it to the Court, let alone received the support of three Justices. This decision should be a reminder of how much is at stake in our nation’s highest Court, and how critical it is that Americans consider the Supreme Court as we choose our next president.”

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No One is Tying Pat Toomey's Hands Except Himself

Pat Toomey has a really lame excuse for not asking Chuck Grassley to hold a committee vote this week for Phil Restrepo.
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If Judiciary Committee Delays Restrepo Vote, Blame Pat Toomey

Pat Toomey can stop Republicans from needlessly delaying a committee vote on Phil Restrepo by two weeks. Will he even try?
PFAW

Fifth Circuit Upholds Extreme Abortion Restrictions in Texas

On Tuesday the Fifth Circuit federal appeals court upheld most of Texas’ stringent anti-abortion law, which could leave as few as seven clinics open in the nation’s second largest state. The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked these restrictions in October; however, the Fifth Circuit’s ruling allows the law to stand, ushering in a likely wave of clinic closings for the Lone Star State.

The Associated Press explains how the law works:

 The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows Texas to enforce Republican-backed restrictions that require abortion clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards, a checklist that includes rules on minimum room sizes, staffing levels and air ventilation systems.

This decision represents an endorsement of a long series of right-wing initiatives to chip away at the rights protected by Roe v. Wade. By pushing unnecessary laws targeting abortion facilities, the Right can mandate costly renovations that create a needless economic strain on clinics. For example, the Texas law requires abortion clinics to abide by the same standards as hospital surgical centers, despite the fact that many clinics solely provide medical abortions, which do not involve surgery. The Supreme Court has said that states may not pass laws with the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion. But the court yesterday turned a blind eye to the obvious in order to further the Right’s anti-choice agenda.

A panel of three judges, all appointed by George W. Bush, delivered the decision, which will force facilities across the state to shut their doors and leave women hundreds of miles away from a licensed abortion provider. Verdicts from the ultra-conservative Fifth Circuit bench, like the decision in October letting Texas enforce strict voter ID laws, highlight the importance of who sits on our nation’s courts.  Although Fifth Circuit has two longstanding vacancies, Republican obstruction has prevented the filling of these seats. Tuesday’s decision further exemplifies the critical need for fair and just courts, particularly as right-wing legislators continue their relentless attack on the rights established by Roe.

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