Christian Coalition: Supreme Court Vacancies Top Concern for 2005

Christian Coalition of America’s top concern for the 109th congress is getting votes to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees to the Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, the group said Tuesday.

Its agenda for the next legislative year also includes passing the "Child Custody Protection Act," which gives parents the right to be notified before their child receives an abortion and the “Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act", which allows the clergy to address political issues from the pulpit without jeopardizing the church’s tax exemption, a big issue during the 2004 November elections when some liberal groups charged evangelical churches with endorsing President George Bush by rallying support for a traditional view on marriage.

The President of Christian Coalition of America Roberta Combs said while “there are so many issues which need to be addressed during the 109th Congress, …the most important will be filling any Supreme Court vacancies which occur, since that will determine the course of American culture for at least a generation.”

“The 2004 election has shown that America has become more conservative and concerned about the deterioration of the culture and Americans want a change,” Combs said Tuesday, referring to the exit polls indicating over 20% of voters cited “moral issues” as their primary motivation to vote.

In November, all eleven states with ballots on constitutional amendments defining marriage passed the measures, thereby banning same-sex marriage and also same-sex civil unions in some of the states. Some reports credited evangelical Christians for the re-election of President Bush.

The cumulative impression the election results gave to conservatives was that Americans wanted a “moral mandate” and in light of Supreme Court Chief Justice’s diagnosis of thyroid cancer, there has been speculation that at least one seat, if not more, on the bench of the nation’s High Court will be available in the next four years. Conservatives have said they hope to help elect pro-life Supreme Court judges to overturn Roe v. Wade although judicial filibusters remains a concern.

“Christian Coalition will devote whatever resources are necessary to confirm President Bush's Supreme Court nominees and his other nominees to the Circuit Court of Appeals. We are confident that he will nominate justices who -- as he said -- are in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas,” said Combs.

Issues Christian Coalition plans to focus on in 2005 are:

1. Getting votes to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominations to the Circuit Court of Appeals and confirm any of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.

2. Making permanent the 2001 federal tax cuts including the marriage penalty tax cut and increase in the child tax credit.

3. Passing "Child Custody Protection Act" H.R. 1755 / S. 851, in the House and Senate—protecting parental notification rights for abortions on minors.

4. Passing "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act", H.R. 235—to liberate clergy from the muzzle imposed by the absolute ban on all speech regarded as "political" without threat by the IRS.

5. Passing "First Amendment Restoration Act," H.R. 3801—to restore First Amendment rights in the 30-60 day period before elections.

6. Passing "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act."
H.R. 4420 / S. 2466 –requiring those who perform abortions on unborn babies after 20 weeks to inform the mothers that their babies feel pain and offer the option of anesthesia.

7. Passing reform of the Social Security program including optional private accounts.

The Christian Coalition of America is America's largest Christian grassroots organization with more than 2 million supporters. The organization's website may be referenced at: