public marks

PUBLIC MARKS from jasontromm with tag court

December 2006

Border agents plead for 'Christmas pardon'

A Border Patrol agent sentenced to prison along with his partner for shooting and wounding a man smuggling drugs into the U.S. will appear with a congressman tomorrow at a rally asking President Bush to offer a pardon. Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years, respectively, in October by U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas.

Students keep free speech -- even in school talent show

A federal court has issued an order that will prevent a New Jersey school from censoring students' Christian musical selections in future talent shows. The Alliance Defense Fund said the order comes down in favor of an elementary school student who, when she was a second-grader in May 2005, had been chosen to participate in the competition, and then picked "Awesome God," made famous by the late singer-songwriter Rich Mullins, to perform. Officials at Frenchtown Elementary School denied her permission, a decision endorsed by the board of education, citing not only the song's religious content but its "proselytizing" nature.

Court rules against ACLU, atheist on San Diego cross

n a major victory for backers of San Diego's Mt. Soledad cross, an appeals court ruled today in favor of a voter measure that authorized transfer of the land beneath the memorial to the federal government. A panel of justices from the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled 3-0 that Proposition A was constitutional, overturning a decision by Superior Court Judge Patricia Yim Cowett that invalidated the measure. The court also reversed a $275,000 attorney fee award received by an ACLU-backed lawyer for plaintiff Phillip Paulsen, an atheist who died last month.

October 2006

Jersey same-sex ruling may energize conservatives

Republican prospects in November's elections are decidedly brighter today as result of the ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. The court ruled that same sex partners must be granted the same rights and benefits afforded opposite-sex couples under New Jersey's civil marriage statues, but deferred to the state legislature the decision on whether the same sex arrangement should be called marriage. So the court essentially said that same sex partnership walks like a duck, looks like a duck and should be granted all the rights and benefits of a duck, but concluded it didn't have the authority to call it a duck.

School Officials Threaten Seventh Grader for Reading Bible

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Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a civil rights lawsuit in defense of the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of a seventh grader who was ordered by Maryland middle school officials to stop reading her Bible during free time at school or face disciplinary action. Institute attorneys have asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to declare that prohibiting students from reading Bibles or other religious texts during their free time is unconstitutional.

August 2006

Court favors Christian literature on campus

A federal court of appeals unanimously struck down a Florida school board policy barring students from distributing religious literature on campus. Represented by the public-interest group Liberty Counsel, student Michelle Heinkel of Cypress Lake Middle School in Fort Myers had sought permission to distribute religious and pro-life literature about the "Day of Remembrance," set aside to remember unborn children killed by abortion.

Judge's Ultimate Punishment: Teens Ride The Bus

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An Indiana judge fed up with teenage traffic violators is kicking them in the seat -- the driver's seat. Porter Superior Judge Julia Jent is sentencing the ticketed teens to the embarrassment of riding the school bus, if they are found guilty in her courtroom. The judge, said she knew she had reached the teen when the girl started crying outside her courtroom. With that, she figured she found the right punishment. "Oh my God, you would have thought I gave her and her mother the death penalty," Jent told the paper.

Lawyers in Murder Appeal Use Cigarette-Break Defense

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Lawyers for a man convicted of beating a former girlfriend to death with a lead pipe argued before the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday that their client should be spared the death penalty, partly because jurors were not allowed to smoke while deliberating. ()() Talk about a broken judicial system. This should be titled "Defense Lawyers Gone Wild!"

The Myth of Mass Back-Alley Abortion Deaths

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Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, admits his group lied about the number of women who died from legal abortions when testifying before the Supreme Court in 1972. "We spoke of 5,000 - 10,000 deaths a year ... I confess that I knew the figures were totally false ... it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"

July 2006

Liberals: Born to run

I knew the events in the Middle East were big when the New York Times devoted nearly as much space to them as it did to a New York court ruling last week rejecting gay marriage. Some have argued that Israel's response is disproportionate, which is actually correct: It wasn't nearly strong enough. I know this because there are parts of South Lebanon still standing. Most Americans have been glued to their TV sets, transfixed by Israel's show of power, wondering, "Gee, why can't we do that?"

May 2006

God - No, Allah - Yes

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Compare and contrast... In Dallas, a school district strikes the words "In God We Trust" from the photo of an enlarged nickel on a yearbook cover for fear of offending students of differing religions. In California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (the one that outlawed the Pledge of Allegiance for its reference to God) approved putting public school students through Muslim role-playing exercises.

Tape Shows Democrat Lawmaker Taking Money

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A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer. At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa. ()() But if you believe the MSM the Democrats are pure as the driven snow. Only Republicans are supposed to be acting like this.

San Diego sued for discrimination against churches

A federal court denied San Diego's request to dismiss a lawsuit by a church accusing the city of discrimination for charging churches higher rental fees than similar community groups. Canyon Ridge Baptist Church, represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, rents a city-owned facility, the Kearny Mesa Recreation Center, for its Sunday worship services. "A landlord – especially when it's the government – shouldn't treat Christian tenants any differently than other tenants," said ADF attorney Tim Chandler.

March 2006

N.H. Town Votes on Justice Souter's House

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In a largely symbolic gesture, voters in Supreme Court Justice David Souter's hometown weighed in Tuesday on a proposal to seize his 200-year-old farmhouse as payback for a ruling that expanded government's authority to take property.

Planned Parenthood Condemns Abortion Ban, Undecided on Legal Challenge

They may opt to use a statewide referendum to repeal the law, denying those who supported the ban the opportunity to take it all to the way to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Should Planned Parenthood lost the ballot vote, it could still file a lawsuit against the ban. ()() I'm pretty sure they would have trouble even getting a referendum on the ballot. Who's going to sign a petitition in favor of killing babies?

Court upholds campus military recruiting law

Back in December the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to rule that it is unconstitutional for Congress to force law schools that object to discrimination against gay people to give the military access to their recruitment programs.

Supreme Court Upholds College Military Recruiting Law

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The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

Ohio Court Allows Parents' Lawsuits

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Parents are allowed to sue a doctor if a genetic screening misses a severe or fatal condition that would have caused them to seek an abortion, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Friday. The 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and the birth of the child, saying such parents could not sue for pain-and-suffering damages or repayment of the costs of raising a disabled child.

Mo. Court Upholds 24-Hour Abortion Wait

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the state's 24-hour waiting period for abortions, a decision that turns the focus of the legal battle to federal court. The unanimous ruling Tuesday by Missouri's highest court focused on whether the 2003 law ran contrary to the state constitution. The judges rejected arguments that it was overly vague and deprived people of liberty and privacy rights.

February 2006

Is the Supreme Court Really Supreme?

One hundred fifty years ago, a Constitutional crisis took place similar to one that we have been threatened with over Roe v. Wade -- one in which no moral consensus could be achieved between the three branches of government. The first constitutional crisis was over the hot-button issue of that day: slavery. The Supreme Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, and the president, Abraham Lincoln -- to his everlasting credit -- refused to recognize the Court’s decision.

Bogus rights

Do people have a right to medical treatment whether or not they can pay? What about a right to food or decent housing? Would a U.S. Supreme Court justice hold that these are rights just like those enumerated in our Bill of Rights? In order to have any hope of coherently answering these questions, we have to decide what is a right.

U.S. Supreme Court depicts Muhammad

Protesters of cartoons insist Islam forbids any image of prophet Frieze depicts Muhammad among 18 "lawgivers" on wall above Supreme Court justices' bench While Muslims engaged in violent protests worldwide over caricatures of Muhammad have insisted any image of their prophet is considered blasphemous, a prominent frieze in the U.S. Supreme Court portrays the Islamic leader wielding a sword.

January 2006

Federalizing Social Policy

Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but not because the Supreme Court presumed to legalize abortion rather than ban it. Roe was wrongly decided because abortion simply is not a constitutional issue. There is not a word in the text of that document, nor in any of its amendments, that conceivably addresses abortion. There is no serious argument based on the text of the Constitution itself that a federal "right to abortion" exists. The federalization of abortion law is based not on constitutional principles, but rather on a social and political construct created out of thin air by the Roe court.

New England Liberals Lead Charge Against Alito

Liberal Democrats waged an eleventh-hour attempt Monday to block Samuel Alito's Supreme Court confirmation, arguing that he would tilt the high court further to the right.

Supreme Court Upholds Parental Notification Law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a lower court was wrong to strike down New Hampshire's parental notification law. In a unanimous decision written by retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the justices let the abortion restriction stand.

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