A month after a law restricting abortion clinic protests was struck down by the U. S. Supreme Court, Massachusetts passed a new law meant to replace it.
Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill into law Wednesday that will allow police to disperse any pro-life protests seen as impeding access to an abortion clinic, with said person or persons being barred from being within 25 feet of a clinic for a period of eight hours.
This contrasts from the old law that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional, which had a constant 35-foot buffer zone for abortion clinics that included public areas like side walks. more >>
Calling it an "undue burden" on a woman's right to abortion, a federal court on Tuesday, blocked a Mississippi law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The requirement would have effectively shut down the state's only abortion clinic — the Jackson Women's Health Organization — as only one of the three doctors there had been able to meet the basic requirement.
A report in The New York Times said a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans ruled 2-1 that the law illegally shifts its constitutional obligation to neighboring states by effectively ending abortion in Mississippi with the law.
"A state cannot lean on its sovereign neighbors to provide protection of its citizens' federal constitutional rights," wrote Judge E. Grady Jolly, according to the Times. more >>
Obamacare has proven again to be the biggest legislative failure in history, with last week's ruling that its subsidies are illegal. These subsidies induced some 5 million Americans to sign up for Obamacare but are prohibited by law as held by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Burwell.
This humiliation to the Obama administration was a devastating setback to legislation already disfavored by a 59-40 percent margin among the public, according to the latest CNN poll. Twice as many Americans say they are being hurt rather than helped by Obamacare.
Officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare is neither affordable nor protective of patients. It promised subsidies for millions of Americans to buy new health insurance and to pay costly premiums that have driven insurance company stock values to record highs. more >>
Debate about religion in American public life existed well before America's independence. Many talk about religious freedom, the First Amendment, and mistakenly argue that the U.S. Constitution delineates a "separation of church and state." Yet, the highest court of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court has never formally defined what actually constitutes "religion." Nor has the Court ever defined "God." In fact, its standards for referring to "religion" evolve, change, and remain inconsistent.
For example, in 1890, the Court referred to religion in traditional theistic terms, referring to a "Creator."
By the 1960s, when interpreting the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Court referred to religion as it relates to both a person's belief in the existence of a particular God and another's disbelief in a particular God or belief in no God at all. When ruling on conscientious objector status, the Court expanded the concept of religion from believing in a "supreme being" to include "deeply held moral and ethical beliefs." more >>
Pastor Kong Hee's City Harvest Church, one of the biggest megachurches in Singapore, has celebrated its 25th year anniversary despite the ongoing high-profile trial of Kong and five other church officials accused of misusing millions in church funds.
"Thank God for His faithfulness the past 25 years. Happy Birthday, CHC," Kong wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of himself and other CHC members, including his popstar wife, Sun Ho, blowing out candles on a large birthday cake on stage.
The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that the 2 ½ hour celebration was held at Suntec City Convention Hall, and the two services, themed "Because Of You" in honor of the church's members, attracted 18,360 people in total. more >>
An Illinois appeals court granted a man custody of his two daughters whose mother was involved in church rituals where members would engage in naked prayer therapy sessions with their pastor.
The mother, who is unidentified, appealed the ruling in Cook County last week claiming that the decision was unfair and that her religious freedom was violated, but a three-judge panel disagreed.
"When a parent puts his/her children in a social setting with naked adults, and encourages his (or her) daughter to receive therapy from a man who sometimes, in the course of therapy, digitally penetrates the vaginas of the recipients of his therapy, the evidence sufficiently supports a finding that the parent exposed his/her children to an injurious environment," stated the court ruling published by the First District Appellate Court, reports the Chicago Tribune. more >>