Oklahoma 10 Commandments Monument Lawsuit Dismissed

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenges a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron handed down an order Tuesday that dismissed the lawsuit filed by a New Jersey-based nonprofit group, American Atheists Inc., and two of its members in January 2014. Cauthron ruled that the group lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit.

An attorney for the group, Eric O Husby of Tampa, Florida, says he disagrees with the ruling but that no decision has been made to appeal it.

From Associated Press – NewsOk.com –

Police officers sue, say they were forced to meet ticket quotas

Six Whittier [California] police officers are suing the city, saying they faced retaliation when they complained and refused to meet alleged ticket and arrest quotas.

City Manager Jim Collier and Whittier police spokesman Officer John Scoggins declined to comment and said they had not seen the lawsuit.

“The lawsuit is unfortunate and the city will determine the best course of action once an analysis of the lawsuit is completed,” Collier said.

The officers say the alleged ticket and arrest quotas continue to this day.

The alleged retaliation started after the officers said they complained to their supervisors and the police department’s Internal Affairs Division, the suit claims.

After complaining about quotas, the officers faced a series of disciplinary actions including counseling sessions, unwarranted transfers, increased scrutiny and disparaging comments, the lawsuit said….

The officers said they “spoke out not only for the rights of themselves and their fellow officers, but also for the rights of the public by speaking out against what they believed to be an unlawful citation and arrest quota.”

Imposing arrest and ticket quotas on police officers violates California Vehicle Codes section 41600. The codes makes it illegal for any state or local agency to force officers to meet a certain number of citations or arrests for promotion or disciplinary purposes….

By Veronica Rocha – LA Times –

Judicial Watch Sues Clinton: Emails With Muslim Brotherhood

After ignoring a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in August 2014, government watchdog Judicial Watch has issued a lawsuit against the State Department for all emails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her top aide Huma Abedin and wife of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, Nagla Mahmoud, from January 2009 to January 2013. It was discovered earlier this week that both Clinton and Abedin used personal email accounts to conduct government business, potentially violating federal records laws….

“Now we know why the State Department didn’t want to respond to our specific request for Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s communications,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The State Department violated FOIA law rather than admit that it couldn’t and wouldn’t search the secret accounts that the agency has known about for years. This lawsuit shows how the latest Obama administration cover-up isn’t just about domestic politics but has significant foreign policy implications.”

By Katie Pavlich – Townhall.com –

Christian Florist Defies State Attorney General

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has offered florist Barronelle Stutzman a deal: She can cater to same-sex weddings or she can stop doing weddings altogether.

Of course, there’s always a third option: She can go out of business.

Ms. Stutzman, the 70-year-old owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, is opting for none of the above.

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” Ms. Stutzman said in a letter to Mr. Ferguson. “It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”

Ms. Stutzman rejected Friday a settlement agreement offered by Mr. Ferguson that would have required her to pay $2,001 in damages and legal fees after a judge ruled last week that she violated state law by declining to provide services for a same-sex wedding.

“My primary goal has always been to bring about an end to the Defendants’ unlawful conduct and to make clear that I will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Mr. Ferguson said in a statement….

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer representing Ms. Stutzman, said the settlement offer was unacceptable because it would require the florist either to “surrender her freedoms or violate her conscience.”

“Barronelle has always had the option to just stop doing weddings,” Ms. Waggoner said in an email. “The settlement offer offers nothing she hasn’t had the right to do from the beginning. The point is that she must forgo all weddings, the part of her craft that she loves, or violate her conscience.”

Ms. Stutzman has said she has hired gay employees and served any number of gay customers over the years, but her Christian beliefs prevent her from participating in a same-sex wedding. Such services would include “custom design work to decorate the ceremony, delivery to the forum, staying at the ceremony to touch up arrangements, and assisting the wedding party,” the Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement.

One of the men who sued her, Robert Ingersoll, had been a client for nearly a decade, she said….

By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times –

Ex-Fire Chief Sues Atlanta Mayor: Fired ‘Solely’ for His Marriage Beliefs

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:

…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.

Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.

On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him….

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

Sheriff Arpaio Sues Obama’s Amnesty

In the first of what is believed to be many court battles over the lawlessness of Barack Obama’s Executive Amnesty, which he has yet to actually write, Sheriff Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio scored a victory. The judge in the case ruled in Arpaio’s favor and put case arguments and hearings on a fast track, in spite of Obama Justice Department attorneys asking until the end of January to submit their initial response.

According to the complaint filed by attorney Larry Klayman on behalf of Arpaio, “This unconstitutional act will have a serious detrimental impact. Specifically, it will severely strain our resources. Among the many negative [e]ffects of this executive order, will be the increased release of criminal aliens back onto streets of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the rest of the nation.”

U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell in Washington, D.C., granted a motion by Arpaio’s attorney, Larry Klayman of FreedomWatch, to move things along quickly.

Howell ordered Obama to respond to Arpaio’s motion for a preliminary injunction – to protect the U.S. while the court considers the constitutionality of Obama’s actions – by Dec. 15. A full preliminary injunction hearing is set for Dec. 22.

Arpaio was the first to file a complaint regarding the immigration actions Obama announced to the nation Nov. 20, which effectively granted amnesty to up to 5 million illegal aliens by delaying deportation.

“We are very pleased that Judge Howell has ordered an expedited hearing on our motion for preliminary injunction which asks to preserve the status quo and stop the implementation of President Obama’s executive order,” Klayman said. “The executive order violates the Constitution, as it seeks to circumvent the powers which the Framers delegated to Congress.”

Klayman argued Obama’s executive action “thwarts Sheriff Arpaio’s duties and responsibilities as the chief law enforcement officer of Maricopa County, Arizona.”

DOJ attorneys Adam Kirschner and Brad Cohen argued that they needed more time because of Christmas holidays approaching.

While Klayman acknowledged that Obama’s promised executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens had not been signed, he pointed to the fact that both federal programs and procedures were being altered in order to comply with his amnesty agenda.

Klayman wrote that Obama’s amnesty plan “orders direct DHS personnel including the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ICE to immediately suspend enforcement of immigration laws with regard to any who appear to be eligible for the new deferred action programs, even though such persons might not yet be able to apply for formal recognition.”

….Arpaio, who has been openly saying that Barack Obama is a threat to national security and is an aggressor who is attacking America, released a statement in which he said that his actions were to have the Obama administration and federal agencies obey the law.

“I am not seeking to myself enforce the immigration laws as this is the province of the federal government. Rather, I am seeking to have the president and the other defendants obey the U.S. Constitution, which prevents this executive order from having been issued in the first place. This unconstitutional act must be enjoined by a court of law on behalf of not just myself, but all of the American people.”

By Tim Brown – Freedom Outpost –

Obama DOJ forces city to pay Muslims $7.75 million

A proposed mega-mosque in the pretty little town of Bridgewater, New Jersey, was rejected by the town council last year, “citing an ordinance that limited houses of worship to major roads.” Reasonable enough. Municipal officials argued that the purpose of the ordinance was to “preserve the residential character of its various neighborhoods.”

But Islamic supremacists and Muslim Brotherhood organizations like CAIR called upon their lapdogs at the Department of Justice, who sued Bridgewater. The DoJ has become the de facto legal arm of terror-tied Muslim Brotherhood groups in this country. What small town can go up against the U.S. government’s vast resources and endless taxpayer-funded muscle?

It speaks volumes about the three pillars (more like clubs) of the Islamization of the West – “interfaith dialogue,” “mutual respect” and “mutual understanding” – that they are absent when it comes to Muslim demands. Kuffar and infidels get no such mutual respect, mutual understanding and dialogue when it comes to mega-mosques and free speech. Where is reciprocity? Reciprocity with non-Muslims is forbidden under Islamic law (Shariah).

This New Jersey town was forced to pay Muslims $7.75 million to keep them from building a mega-mosque there.

It’s $7.75 million in Islamic blackmail. Jizya. But they beat the mosquestrosity. Cheap at the price. NJ Advance Media reported that “the Al Falah Center has agreed not to build a mosque on Mountaintop Road – and will instead build one on a $2.75 million 15-acre lot the township will buy for it under the terms of a settlement. … The township’s insurance carrier will also pay the center $5 million for alleged damages, costs and attorney fees to end the years-long lawsuit.”

In a striking violation of the establishment clause, Obama’s lawless administration is imposing the Shariah nationwide, allowing the rampant construction of rabats and jihad recruitment centers at a time when we should be monitoring the mosques and restricting construction of Muslim Brotherhood beachheads and Islamic State madrassas.

Many churches and synagogues and Walmarts and what have you have been unable to build because of zoning laws. So why is Muslim supremacism enshrined in Justice Department policy? And why are they given special rights? The United States of America is based on individual rights – no special rights for special classes.

By Pamela Gellar – Atlas Shrugs –

IRS SUED FOR MONITORING U.S. CHURCHES

In a lawsuit settlement with the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Internal Revenue Service admitted it had monitored churches for allegedly illegal political activity, but the details never were released because the group withdrew its complaint.

Now, Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS seeking any records relevant to IRS monitoring of churches and other tax exempt organizations regarding alleged political activity.

The suit requests access to the communications that went on between the IRS and FFRF about the issue.

The atheist organization filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging the IRS ignored its complaints about the speech of churches that cite the Bible regarding issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

FFRF said the statements violate the law, because the moral issues were being addressed in a political arena.

The atheists also complained of what they called “blatantly political” newspaper ads on the religious and moral issues.

Then, in June, an agreement was reached in which the IRS admitted it had been monitoring churches and other houses of worship for “electioneering and other political activity.”

By Bob Unruh – WND.com –

House Republicans Sue Obama Administration Over Health Law

WASHINGTON — House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law that they say are abuses of the president’s executive authority.

The lawsuit — filed against the secretaries of the Health and Human Services and Treasury Departments — focuses on two crucial aspects of the way the administration has put the Affordable Care Act into effect.

The suit accuses the Obama administration of unlawfully postponing a requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. (Larger companies are defined as those with 50 or more employees.)

In July 2013, the administration deferred that requirement until 2015. Seven months later, the administration announced a further delay, until 2016, for employers with 50 to 99 employees.

The suit also challenges what it says is President Obama’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies under the law. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration will pay that amount to the companies over the next 10 years, though the funds have not been appropriated by Congress. The lawsuit argues that it is an unlawful transfer of funds….

“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and rewrite federal law on his own without a vote of Congress,” Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”

By Ashley Parker – New York Times –

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education

DETROIT — In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

Highland Park parent Michelle Johnson, a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the state of Michigan, says students deserve a fair education. Johnson says students deserve a fair education.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling that there is a “broad compelling state interest in the provision of an education to all children.” The appellate court said the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading — but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality. Waving off decades of historic judicial impact on educational reform, the majority opinion also contends that “judges are not equipped to decide educational policy.”

“This ruling should outrage anyone who cares about our public education system,” said Kary L. Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of Michigan. “The court washes its hands and absolves the state of any responsibility in a district that has failed and continues to fail its children.”

The decision dismisses an unprecedented “right-to-read” lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan in July 2012 on behalf of eight students of nearly 1,000 children attending K-12 public schools in Highland Park, Mich. The suit, which named as defendants the State of Michigan, its agencies charged with overseeing public education and the Highland Park School District, maintained that the state failed to take effective steps to ensure that students are reading at grade level.

From The Michigan Citizen –

4 Institutions Claim Obama Using Federal Law to Wage War on Christians

The Obamacare law has been battled in court numerous times and many victories have been won against the unconstitutional law. In a recent lawsuit filed by four Christian institutions represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, the plaintiffs have alleged that the employer mandate’s purpose in forcing them to pay for abortion and abortion-causing contraception “is to discriminate against religious organizations.”

ADF represents the Association of Christian Schools International, Samaritan Ministries International, Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University against Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and others named in the lawsuit filed on October 31, 2014.

One would think this issue would have already been settled after the ruling by the Supreme Court on the same issue concerning Hobby Lobby. They previously ruled that the federal government cannot force business owners to violate their conscience (faith) in order to provide abortion inducing drugs or abortions.

However, the Obama administration wasn’t going to give up. They have put forth another option that would provide abortifacients and abortion services without paperwork that would connect those transactions to the employer. This is the reason for the lawsuit because the employers are still being put into a situation where it’s nothing more than a shell game to get them to sell out to being involved in some form of abortion, only this time it’s “minus the paperwork.”

According to the lawsuit, “They believe that God has condemned the intentional destruction of innocent human life. They hold, as a matter of religious conviction that it would be sinful and immoral for them intentionally to participate in, pay for, facilitate, enable, or otherwise support access to abortion, which destroys human life.”

“They hold that one of the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments (‘thou shalt not murder’) precludes them from facilitating, assisting in, serving as the conduct for, or enabling the use of drugs and devices that can and do destroy very young human beings in the womb,” the lawsuit continues. “The health benefits they provide to their employees reflect these convictions.”

The lawsuit lists each of the plaintiffs in the case and their various roles in the communities and their moral principles they hold to under the teachings of the Bible. Additionally, it recounts the history of the Obamacare law, as well as the many defeats it has faced in the courtroom, despite the unlawful ruling of the Supreme Court that declared it to be constitutional.

Though this has all been done and though the federal government has claimed that the mandate does not have any “compelling interest,” one must question why the federal government continues to pursue Christian groups in the manner they are concerning the mandate….

By Tim Brown – FreedomOutpost.com –

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Sent Tough Letter to Houston Mayor Regarding Sermon Subpoena

By Billy Hallowell – TheBlaze.com –

The battle over subpoenas issued by the city of Houston for pastors’ speeches and other communications has taken yet another turn, with a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights penning a letter to Mayor Annise Parker, lambasting the information request.

Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, who opened his letter by noting that he was writing on his own accord and not on behalf of the entire commission, warned that the city’s pastoral requests “threaten to have a chilling effect on religious and political speech that is protected by the First Amendment.”

“Although non-parties to a lawsuit can be required to provide information that is reasonably likely to be relevant and admissible, these subpoenas are plainly overbroad,” Kirsanow wrote.

He continued, “A subpoena that requires a pastor to turn over an e-mail to his neighbor about the details of the Equal Rights Ordinance, or a draft book chapter on the Bible and homosexuality that discusses the Equal Rights Ordinance, is clearly overbroad. “

Kirsanow continued by claiming that no government institution should require private citizens to turn over personal communications that relate to important issues of the day, noting that pastors are private citizens with free-speech like anyone else.

The commissioner also noted that the subject matter — mainly homosexuality — is tricky, as the pastors’ views on the issue and the equal rights ordnance at the center of the debate are likely shaped by their religious perspective.

“Given that the recipients of these subpoenas are pastors, it is almost inevitable that their views on homosexuality and gender identity are informed by their faith, if not almost entirely rooted in their faith,” he continued. “Indeed, the views of many people on homosexuality and gender identity are rooted in their ultimate commitments.”

He also charged that the “discovery request impermissibly probes the religious beliefs of private citizens simply because they supported a political effort.”

Kirsanow concluded that the request is an “abuse of government power” and that it appears to punish pastors for sharing political views that are predicated upon their faith.

 
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Pastors to Lesbian Houston Mayor: Don’t Mess with Texas Preachers

By Bradley Dean – Sons Of Liberty Media –

As I reported on earlier, Houston’s lesbian mayor Annise Parker and her city council have failed to uphold the law. The first failed by allowing her homosexual activities, second in the proposition of a “bathroom bill” that would allow men to use women’s bathrooms, and third by ignoring the law concerning a citizen’s initiative to turn her warped bill on its head. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed and a discovery process has begun as a subpoena has been issued to receive the sermons and communications of many pastors in the area. Now the pastors are speaking out and they have a warning for Parker and her gang: Don’t mess with Texas preachers.

Executive Director of the Texas Pastor Council Dave Welch, one of five pastors who received the subpoena, said he would not be intimidated by Parker nor comply with the city’s demands.

“My answer to that is – bring it on,” he said.

Not one of the five pastors is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed after the citizens’ initiative drew more than three times the required signatures, was certified by the city secretary and then rejected by Parker and the city’s attorney.

Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Starnes, “The government has absolutely no reason to bully congregations who are speaking out about what they believe. It’s none of the government’s business.”

….Mayor Parker pulled a Barack Obama when it came to the subpoena of the pastor’s communications and sermons. According to Attorney Feldman, Parker had nothing to do with the subpoenas and that she was never informed. However, when Starnes pressed him on when she became informed, Feldman said, “When you guys broke the story.” Doesn’t that sound just like Barack Obama’s statement, “I learned about it in the news”?

Moore said he couldn’t imagine anyone in City Hall that thought any of this was a good idea and called it “buffoonish” in its strategy.

Moore took time to write a blog post titled Houston, We have a Constitution on Tuesday stating:

“The churches, and pastors, of Houston ought to respond to this sort of government order with the same kind of defiance the Apostle Paul showed the magistrates in Philippi. After an earthquake, sent by God, upturned the prison where Paul and Silas were held, Luke tells us that the officials sent the police to tell Paul and Silas they could go. Paul replied. “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned men who are Roman citizens and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly. No! Let them come themselves and take us out” (Acts 16:37).

A government has no business using subpoena power to intimidate or bully the preaching and instruction of any church, any synagogue, any mosque, or any other place of worship. The pastors of Houston should tell the government that they will not trample over consciences, over the First Amendment and over God-given natural rights.

…the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.”

 
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Obamanized schools: Illegals take precedence over U.S. students

English competency tests in Spanish, waiver of health & immunization requirements for illegal students

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, comes this report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, detailing the gutless response to the Obama administration depositing over 1,200 illegal Central American minors in Louisiana. The state has authorized the federally imposed Common Core test for English Language Arts and Literacy to be administered in….Spanish.

State schools Superintendent John White ordered the controversial test —- called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to be given in Spanish to newly arrived illegal foreign nationals.

To his credit, Gov. Bobby Jindal tried to block White and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from purchasing the PARCC test for Louisiana schools this summer, but was unsuccessful.

Judge Todd Hernandez ruled against the governor, saying Jindal had acted inappropriately in blocking the test purchase. Jindal is appealing the ruling…

Apparently, it’s unfair that people who illegally invade our country should be subject to the same rules as ordinary American citizens. And, if your children come down with a mysterious Central American virus, there’s always the fallback of Obamacare.

Since October, approximately 63,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally entered the United States through our southern border. The vast majority are from Central America.

 
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Huge Lawsuit Launched That Could Take Down Common Core

From ConservativeTribune.com –

Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel, anti-Common Core activists from the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core have joined together with Fred N.Saur, a former Republican candidate to file a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Nixon to stop taxpayer dollars from being used to fund the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

The SBAC is one of two organizations responsible for creating tests that are aligned with the standards set forth in Common Core. This lawsuit could take it down, and “Common Core” with it, for good.

In the lawsuit, the group alleges that the SBAC is “an unconstitutional interstate compact that was not approved by Congress, in violation of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 10.” Logue and Gassel also accuse Gov. Nixon’s support and conduct in committing the state of Missouri to the adoption of Common Core standards of violating many state and federal statutes.

 
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