The American Atheists group is appealing against a federal district court's decision to keep a cross fashioned by two steep beams recovered from the Twin Towers' collapse at the 9/11 memorial museum, while the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief in support of the decision, criticizing the attempt to "literally rewrite history."
"As the district court correctly held, it is entirely appropriate and lawful for the curators of a museum to acknowledge the Cross's actual, historic role by placing it in the September 11 Memorial Museum," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
"A museum has the freedom to display religiously-themed artifacts of historical or artistic significance without running afoul of the Constitution. We urge the appeals court to affirm the decision of the district court which rejected this bizarre legal challenge." more >>
This week the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal case over an Oklahoma abortion law that requires women to have an ultrasound and hear a medical description of their fetus before proceeding with an abortion. This is the second blow to pro-life legislation in the state in the past few weeks, as earlier this month the Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling that blocked higher standards being imposed on medicine-induced abortions.
The Supreme Court justices decided on Tuesday, without comment, that they would not be hearing the state's appeal of the case known as Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems. The lawsuit questions the constitutionality of the state law that requires women to have an ultrasound and hear a verbal medical description of their fetus one hour before having an abortion procedure. Although the woman would not be required to look at the ultrasound images, she would still have to go through with the abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound and hear a verbal description of the fetus that included details on the "the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, if present and viewable, and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable."
The Oklahoma Supreme Court previously ruled that the ultrasound law was unconstitutional because it placed an undue burden on an Oklahoma woman's choice to abort her baby. Those supporting the law argued, however, that the ultrasound requirement ensured women were making a fully informed decision about terminating their pregnancy. more >>
If you've been pro-life for any length of time, you know it's easy to develop battle fatigue. Last week's election saw a strongly pro-abortion rights candidate beat the pro-life candidate for the governorship of Virginia. However, clearly, there were many other factors at work.
Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is pro-life and won a landslide. But again there were many other factors at work. The politicians aren't the ones to look to for salvation in this realm. But nor should the political process be abandoned.
Recently I had the privilege of talking to Bishop Robert Smith, Sr. of Arkansas, president of Total Outreach for Christ Ministries. In reference to voting and this issue, he said: "We're living in a constitutional republic ruled by law, and it's a representative government. So whoever you vote for, you're empowering to make decisions on your behalf." more >>
Ohio inmate Ronald Phillips has been granted a stay of execution so that medical experts can determine whether his organs can be donated to those in need. Phillips was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, Nov. 14, for raping and murdering his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in 1993.
"Ronald Phillips committed a heinous crime for which he will face the death penalty," Ohio Governor John Kasich told the press. "I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio, but if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate his organs and tissues, then we should allow for that to happen."
Phillips wrote to the governor, requesting that his heart be given to his sister, who has a heart condition, and that his kidneys go to his mother, who suffers "from kidney disease" and is on dialysis. "But, even if his specific suggestions as to recipients cannot be honored, he is nonetheless willing to do whatever is necessary to enable as many people as possible to benefit from his death." more >>
As the U.S. Supreme Court begins to consider whether to take up the Texas abortion ban case, legal experts say it might end up turning on a decision by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
On Nov. 4, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other pro-abortion groups appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate a district court's injunction that blocked a portion of the state's abortion law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, citing that it would close a majority of abortion clinics in the state and block women's access to abortion.
The appeal was filed with Justice Antonin Scalia, who gave the state until Tuesday to file a response. Scalia could rule on the injunction himself, or refer the issue to the nine-member Court. more >>
The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago have opted to file a lawsuit against a small breakaway Illinois diocese over its property and assets.
Filed last week in Peoria County at the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial Circuit, the suit is part of the ongoing legal efforts by the national denomination against what was once its smallest diocese in the United States.
The suit calls for the Court to declare the church properties of the Anglican Diocese of Quincy as belonging to The Episcopal Church. more >>