Supreme Court Orders Review Of Liberty University's ObamaCare Challenge
This week the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a Federal Appeals Court to reconsider Liberty University’s legal argument that the ObamaCare law violates the school’s religious freedom.
The case will be returned to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
"Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which filed the suit on behalf of the school. "Our fight against ObamaCare is far from over."
A federal judge in 2010 rejected Liberty’s claim, and the Appeals Court later ruled the lawsuit was premature and failed to address the substance of the school's arguments.
The Supreme Court upheld Obama's health care law in June 2012.
In the high court’s 5-4 decision, the justices used lawsuits filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to uphold the health care law, then rejected all other pending appeals, including Liberty's.
The school is challenging the constitutionality of the part of the law that mandates employers provide insurance and whether forcing insurers to pay for birth control is unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause.
The appeals court ruled last year the Anti-Injunction Act barred it from addressing the merits in the case.
The act blocks any challenge to a "tax" before a taxpayer pays it - in this case referring to the penalties associated with failing to obtain health insurance.
However, the Supreme Court’s ruling stated the act did not serve as a barrier to lawsuits challenging the health care law. On that basis, Liberty University immediately petitioned the court to allow it to renew its original case.
Monday's Supreme Court order for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to study the constitutionality of Obamacare’s employer requirements for health care as well its mandatory coverage of contraceptives is a chance that the program will be ruled unconstitutional.
Atheist Practice Religious Persecution Of Christians
Near to this small place we call Glencoe, I know that Christmas and Christians are doing well.
I know that the American Legion Calaveras Post 376 will be having a Christmas Celebration for kids and families in this rural area on December 21st at 6pm. There will be snacks and even Santa will show up for the kids.
Columbia State Historic Park is decorated for the Christmas season with traditional boughs and wreaths, and docents will be decked out in their old-time finery. If you're there, I hope you have a camera for a picture with Father Christmas at the Tibbits House.
Children and others will be singing Christmas carols. Free carriage rides will be offered on Main Street and gingerbread houses will be on display at the Columbia House Restaurant.
The Merry Merchants event is hosted by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and is fun for all ages.
Friends of Rail Road Flat will host a holiday benefit concert from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Mokelumne Hill Town Hall on Main Street.
All proceeds will go to Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat and West Point Elementary schools.
Valley Springs Craft Faire and Parade begins at 10 a.m. at California and Chestnut streets. Santa Claus will be present.
Angels Camp Holiday Festival and Christmas Parade – the Festival goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
There will be live music, hay rides, children’s art and food will be available. Tree lighting will occur at 5 p.m. A variety of events will be held downtown throughout the day.
Hospice of Calaveras and Amador Tree of Lights – Tree lighting at 5 p.m. at the Hospice Calaveras Thrift Store, 570 N. Main St. Santa, music, candle lighting and refreshments will be available.
So while other places are being invaded by leftist and Atheist who are on a mission to destroy Christmas and have it repealed as a Federal Holiday, we here in this part of Calaveras County and the Gold Country can Thank God that we don't live in places where cities are bending to the demands a few inherently cold hearted individuals.
And yes, Atheist are extremely evil people. Evil because they practice something that goes to the heart of America's founding. Atheist fervently practice religious persecution.
Atheist in America today endorse and participate in the systematic mistreatment of Christians as a response to their lack of religious beliefs. Its as if they don't want others to have beliefs and morality if they don't.
Yes, Americans understand that there is a separation between church and state. The reason that this was established was so that the state doesn't establish a national religion. Americans understand this because they are smart enough to know that that would have lead to the persecution of others who wanted to worship in their own ways.
But, Americans also know that there is nothing in the United States Constitution that says the government, or agents of the government can attack or impede Americans from practicing their religions. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.
A report by two U.S.-based religious freedom groups says anti-Christian persecution is on the rise in America.
The joint report by Texas-based Liberty Institute and Washington-based Family Research Council says groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and other Atheist groups aren’t the only culprits. The report says government agencies around the U.S. are trying to push Christian expression out the door.
Liberty Institute Founder Kelly Shackleford, of the recent hike in reported incidents of persecution. “I have been doing these types of cases for almost 25 years now. I have never seen the levels of attacks like these and how quickly they are now proliferating.”
Shackleford says government, from schools to social programs, is the ringleader.
"There are children being prohibited from writing Merry Christmas to the soldiers, senior citizens being banned from praying over their meals in the Senior Center, the VA banning the mention of God in military funerals, numerous attempts to have veterans memorials torn down if they have any religious symbols such as a cross, and I could go on and on," Shackleford said.
In August 2011, the Houston, Texas, veterans’ cemetery director issued an order banning the word "God" from being said at military or veteran funerals at the facility.
A pastor and family members of deceased veterans had to eventually file a Federal lawsuit alleging that the Houston National VA Cemetery is discriminating against their religious freedoms.
The suit alleged that cemetery administrator Arleen Ocasio required pastor Scott Rainey to edit a Memorial Day prayer so that the prayer was "general, and its fundamental purpose [was] nondenominational in nature."
Christian civil rights organization ACLJ senior counsel David French says the exact rate of increase is hard to determine, but many of the new cases come from colleges.
"Our knowledge of incidents is only as good as the reporting," French says. "However, it’s clear that – particularly on college and university campuses – we have seen a significant rise in attempts to silence Christian organizations by the misapplication of nondiscrimination laws."
Mr French adds that many public facilities are also covering over Christianity.
"One of the most strident examples: the misuse of the Establishment Clause to attempt to ban any mention of God from historical markers, monuments or even museum exhibits. This represents an effort to whitewash God from American history and change our national identity."
It was reported in February of this year that the City of New York was attempting to cancel the leases of all church and religious groups renting city facilities.
"Our view is that public school buildings, which are funded by taxpayers’ dollars, should not be used as houses of worship," said Marge Feinberg, spokeswoman for New York City’s Department of Education. "Public school space cannot and should not be used for worship services, especially because school space is not equally available to all faiths."
When I first read this, I was amazed that they were trying to do this considering that a church renting a city building is no different than any other private citizen or organization renting the building.
What are they going to do, ask everyone who wants to rent a hall from the City of New York their religious preference - and only allow those who have no religion to rent from the city? It's stupidity like that that makes me wonder where is the sanity!
Shackleford says the attacks are becoming violent, too.
“The recent attacks on the faith-based Family Research Council and the attack on the Sikhs are recent examples alone,” Shackleford says.
He also cites an example of a city trying to push out its Jewish residents.
"In one case I was involved in, a city literally tried to zone out Orthodox Jews from the city. An official city meeting perpetrated this. Some said, ‘Hitler should have finished the job.’”
Among the violations listed in the joint report:
•A federal judge threatened “incarceration” to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.
•City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.
•A public school official physically lifted an elementary school student from his seat and reprimanded him in front of his classmates for praying over his lunch.
•Following U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ policies, a federal government official sought to censor a pastor’s prayer, eliminating references to Jesus, during a Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans at a national cemetery.
•Public school officials prohibited students from handing out gifts because they contained religious messages.
•A public school official prevented a student from handing out fliers inviting her classmates to an event at her church.
•A public university’s law school banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that the university disagreed with.
•The U.S. Department of Justice argued before the Supreme Court that the federal government can tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.
•The State of Texas sought to approve and regulate what religious seminaries can teach.
•Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, the federal government is forcing religious organizations to provide insurance for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs in direct violation of their religious beliefs.
•The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned the mention of God from veterans’ funerals, overriding the wishes of the deceased’s families.
•A federal judge held that prayers before a state House of Representatives could be to Allah but not to Jesus.
Where a person's religion often determines to a significant extent his or her morality and personal identity, Atheist believe in nothing and subsequently have no basis for standards of morality. Yes, that is the reason that Atheist persecute Christians at every turn. They attack without guilt or reason just like those who persecuted the Jews in Germany during the 1930s and 40s.
Like Hitler's Nazi persecution of Jews and Catholics, Atheists are the new Nazis with a zeal to kill off any trace of Christianity in America.
Religious persecution is religious bigotry. It is the denigration of the Christian practitioner because he or she does not believe as the hate filled Atheist activist does.
Atheist view Christians as a threat to their interests in the very same way that Nazis under Hitler viewed Jews as a threat to Germany. Their constant attacks on anything representative of the Christian belief in America is religious persecution.
Just as other forms of racism and bigotry should not be tolerated and are cconsidered human rights issues, so should the Atheist well funded attacks on Christians - and any symbol of Christianity like Christmas
Arizona Declines to Set up State-based Health Insurance Exchange
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, an ardent critic of President Barack Obama's push to overhaul the U.S. health care system, said on Wednesday she was rejecting a new federal mandate to set up a state-based health insurance exchange under the U.S. Affordable Care Act - aka ObamaCare.
Citing lingering unanswered questions about the exchanges and concerns about high costs she said would be passed on to Arizona families and small businesses, Brewer, a Republican, said her state would opt instead for a federally run exchange.
Such networks are designed to function as online insurance markets where consumers can shop for private coverage at federally subsidized rates, and are an integral provision of the act, a centerpiece of Obama's first term in office.
Under a newly extended deadline, states have until December 14th to notify the U.S. Health and Human Services Department whether they intend to comply with the insurance exchange mandate or leave it to the federal government to set up and operate exchanges for them.
About 17 states have told the Obama administration they plan to move ahead on their own exchanges, while at least nine Republican governors in recent days have rejected the plan outright, as Brewer has, or opted to cooperate with Washington in setting up a hybrid federal-state network.
"My opposition to the Affordable Care Act is unwavering, as is my belief that it should be repealed and replaced," Brewer said in a statement announcing her decision.
No it wasn't Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder as many people hope, but two people have been sentenced to a few years behind bars for their roles in the Federal gun smuggling ring that was part of the Obama administration's failed Operation Fast and Furious.
The U.S. Justice Department says Jacob Anthony Montelongo was sentenced Monday in Phoenix to nearly 3 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and dealing guns without a license. Sean Christopher Steward received a nine-year sentence for conspiracy and lying.
During the Fast and Furious operation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents hoped to track illegally obtained weapons to high-level arms traffickers, but authorities lost track of more than 2,700 guns.
Many are right now being used to kill innocent civilians on both sides of the border. Just something else that Obama doesn't seem to care about.
So far, the operation led to congressional inquiries and little else.
It was exposed after two of the illegally obtained weapons were found at the scene of the 2010 fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Western Senators ask Justice Department to Oil Companies
Six Pacific state senators are asking the Justice Department to investigate whether oil refineries manipulated the price of gasoline when it hit near-record prices in the region from May through October.
The price was more than $4 a gallon during that period and broke the $5 mark last month in California, even though the price of crude oil has been declining.
Analysts have said the near-record prices were the result of refinery problems. But the senators point to a review of California refinery emissions data showing inconsistencies between the time refineries were producing petroleum products and when maintenance shutdowns were publicly reported.
The politicians said misleading reports of shutdowns could have created a perceived shortage of gasoline.
I wonder if those liberal senators will acknowledge out of control federal and state taxation on a gallon is the reason that gas is so high and not some sort of oil refinery manipulation of the price of gasoline?
Probably not. Remember, as far as liberals are concerned - oil companies are an easy scapegoat for Democrats who want to get the focus off the increased taxes put on the public at the pumps.
Story by Tom Correa