Supreme Court to Hear Gay Marriage Cases

The United States Supreme Court announced earlier today that it will hear two cases concerning gay marriage.

Whenever a case makes its way to the Supreme Court, the court decides whether or not it will hear the case or let the lower court ruling stand. In these two cases concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, which was a ban on gay marriage that passed in California a few years ago, the Supreme Court has decided that it will hold hearings on the cases and issue a ruling of its own.

While many people are already second-guessing what the Court might do regarding these two laws, I don’t think that’s particularly useful. The Court has always been unpredictable and could be this time, as well. We will have to wait and see what ruling they hand down later this year.

A Yahoo News article concerning today’s announcement reads in part:

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will decide two major gay marriage cases next year that could have a sweeping impact on the rights of same-sex couples to wed. The cases, which likely won’t be decided until June, mark the first time the justices will consider arguments for and against same-sex marriage.

The court will review California’s gay marriage ban, which passed in a 2008 ballot initiative months after the California’s high court had legalized same sex unions and thousands of gay Californians had already tied the knot. Two federal courts have struck down Prop. 8 as discriminatory, leaving the Supreme Court to render a final judgment.

The justices will also hear a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed under President Bill Clinton that prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. Windsor v. United States was brought by Edith Windsor, a resident of New York who paid $363,000 in estate taxes after her wife died because the federal government did not recognize their marriage. New York is one of nine states (and the District of Columbia) where gay marriage is legal, so Windsor argues that the federal government is discriminating against her by not recognizing her state-sanctioned marriage.

The Obama administration decided last year to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, so Congress has hired outside counsel to argue on behalf of the law. Recently, two federal appeals courts had struck down the law as unconstitutional, virtually requiring the Supreme Court to take the case to settle the dispute between the courts and Congress. (Read more here.)

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Hear Gay Marriage Cases Tomorrow

WASHINGTON (BP) — The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will meet behind closed doors Friday to decide whether to take up several cases that could lead to the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states.

The public won’t find out what they decided for several days — as early as Monday — but Friday’s meeting is significant enough that both sides in the cultural debate are guessing what will happen. If the court takes up the cases, it could end up being the “Roe v. Wade” of gay marriage.

At issue are two laws: a federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and a California constitutional amendment known as Proposition 8.

Technically, only one section of DOMA is before the court — the section that defines marriage in federal law as being between one man and one woman. But the legal arguments the Obama administration’s Justice Department attorneys are using to oppose that section could be used to overturn the entire law, conservative attorneys say. That other section gives states the option of not recognizing gay marriage laws from other states. Courts have been split on DOMA, although the cases before the high court overturned the federal section at issue. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is defending DOMA in court.

California Prop 8 was approved by voters in 2008 and defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that struck it down. If the Supreme Court takes the Prop 8 case, it could do a number of things, including upholding Prop 8 or — in what would be a nightmare for Christian legal groups and evangelicals — reversing laws in any state that define marriage as between a man and a woman. The court also could choose not to take the Prop 8 case, a decision which would legalize gay marriage in California. (Read more here.)

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

After Long Battle and Theft, Veterans’ Cross Goes Up Again


This Associated Press story by Julie Watson highlights the sacrifices of our veterans and the fact that the freedoms they fight for are endangered here at home as well as abroad.

By JULIE WATSON Associated Press Writer
November 12, 2012 (AP)
A war memorial cross that once stood on a rocky hilltop in a national park before being deemed unconstitutional and ordered removed was resurrected on Veterans Day at the stunningly stark Mojave desert site, capping a landmark case for veterans fighting similar battles on public lands.

Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original 1930s cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, rededicated a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop before more than 100 people. The site is now in private hands as part of a land swap with the National Park Service that ended the longstanding legal dispute, which had become entangled in the thorny issues of patriotism and religion.

“Judges and lawyers may have played their roles, but it was the veterans who earned this memorial, and it is for them it rises once more,” said attorney Hiram Sasser of the Texas-based Liberty Institute, which represented veterans in the legal fight.

The settlement approved by a federal judge in April permitted the Park Service to turn over the acre of land known as Sunrise Rock to a Veteran of Foreign Wars post in Barstow and the Veterans Home of California-Barstow in exchange for five acres of donated property elsewhere in the 1.6 million acre preserve, about a four hour-drive east of Los Angeles.

The donated land was owned by Sandoz and his wife, Wanda, of Yucca Valley.

Sandoz, 73, has cared for the memorial as a promise to World War I veteran, Riley Bembry, who with other shell-shocked vets went to the desert to help heal and erected a wooden cross on Sunrise Rock in 1934. It was later replaced with a cross made of steel pipes.

Then Sunrise Rock became part of the Mojave National Preserve in 1994, putting the Christian symbol on public land.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2001 on behalf of a retired Park Service employee who argued the cross was unconstitutional on government property because of the separation of church and state, and federal courts ordered it removed.

Congress stepped in and ordered the land swap in 2003, but the courts rejected the transfer. The issue made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in April 2010 refused to order the cross removed. The high court directed a federal judge to review the congressional land transfer plan.

The decision was the latest on the issue by a Supreme Court that has signaled a greater willingness to allow religious symbols on public land amid a number of legal challenges in recent years by civil liberty activists and atheists.

Weeks after the 2010 court decision, the cross — which had been covered up to comply with court injunctions — was stolen. The stolen cross turned up earlier this month in the San Francisco Bay area tied to a fence post. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department plans to return the cross.

But veterans decided to start fresh and dedicate its replacement in Sunday’s ceremony, (Read more here.)

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Personhood Challenge to Roe v Wade

The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge of legalized abortion based on so-called Personhood statutes. 

I expected this. The Court basically ruled by refusing to rule on the question of personhood in Roe when it said that it need not consider the personhood of the unborn child. If they opened this up now, it would place the Court in the position of having to rule one way or the other on the question of whether or not an unborn child is a person under the law.

They didn’t want to do that 40 years ago, and it appears they don’t want to do it now.

So far as I’m concerned, this underscores my belief that the pro life strategy of packing the Supreme Court has been a failure.

 

Supreme Court Directs Response to Challenge on Abortion Funding in Obamacare

www.LC.org

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term and directed the federal government to respond to Liberty Counsel’s Petition for Rehearing within 30 days. Liberty Counsel filed the petition on behalf of Liberty University and two private individuals.

An appeals court in Richmond, VA, ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred the court from addressing the merits in Liberty Univ., Inc. v. Geithner, which challenged the individual mandate (Section 1501) and the employer insurance mandate (Section 1513) of ObamaCare. In addition to the constitutional arguments that Congress lacked authority to pass the law, the suit also raised the Free Exercise of Religion claim because of the forced abortion funding.

The first day of oral argument was dedicated to the AIA, the issue that Liberty University’s case placed before the High Court. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the AIA does not apply to ObamaCare.  Therefore, Liberty Counsel asked the Court to grant the Petition (because Liberty University prevailed on the AIA claim), vacate the ruling of the Court of Appeals, and remand (send back) the case to the Court of Appeals to consider the Free Exercise claim and the employer mandate, neither of which were decided by the High Court. (Read more here.)

Bishops Renew Plea To Congress And Administration To Repair Affordable Care Act

http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-119.cfm

As I said in a comment to a friend of mine, we are like Abraham Lincoln when he said “The war is forced on us.”

This mandate is a “choose this day whom you will serve” issue. Let every one of us answer, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Atheists Decry Stand Up for religious freedom rally

This is from the blog St Anne Center for Reproductive Health, a great blog by fellow advocates for the sanctity of human life.
Notice the MASSIVE re-interpretation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States these men use to justify their claims. It appears that they not only want to be their own gods, they want to be their own Supreme Court, as well. Hubris, thy name is atheist.


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