FRC Blog

A new day is dawning in abortion litigation

by Bill Saunders

July 3, 2008

Remember Gonzales v. Carhart? That’s the Supreme Court decision from last year that upheld the Congressional ban on partial birth abortion. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion, and lawyers tied themselves up in knots trying to interpret it. Most agree it was a narrow victory for the pro-life cause, but it was a victory. That can be seen in last Friday’s decision by the 8th Circuit to allow a South Dakota abortion law to go into effect, a case in which FRC filed a friend of the court brief.

Prior to Gonzales v. Carhart, such laws were routinely struck down before they ever came into binding, legal force. Kennedy specifically noted, however, that this approach (another of the distortions abortion causes to the law) would no longer be followed. If someone wanted to challenge a law as it was applied to them, they could, and the court would decide whether specific provisions of that law, rather than the entire law, violated the Constitution. The 8th Circuit applied that logic to a challenge to South Dakota’s law, and allowed the law to go into effect.

The law merely provides that women seeking an abortion should be given complete information about the risks involved, etc, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry wanted to stop it at any cost, as usual, regardless of the fact women deserve to receive such information. However, the 8th Circuit rejected their old “business as ususal” approach to litigation concerning abortion and replaced it with some common sense.

A new day is dawning in abortion litigation.

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Crazy laws still on the books in some areas:

by Tom McClusky

July 3, 2008

In the state of Virginia, no animal may be hunted on Sundays with the exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2 a.m.

In Prince William County, VA: no person may keep a skunk as a pet, it is illegal to cuss about another, and it is illegal to park a car on railroad tracks. (Though Darwin’s theory on natural selection might take care of any scofflaws of that one.)

In North Carolina organizations may not hold their meetings while the members present are in costume. Which is why the McClusky family does not hold it’s reunions there.

In Dunn, NC no one may visit departed love ones after dark and in Zebulon, NC no one may stand outside the police station for any purpose after dark. That last law would also presumably include police officers so if you want to commit a crime in Zebulon, wait till sundown. Also in Zebulon no one may walk on top of the water tank of the city, presumably to discourage any cheap Jesus imitators.

As expected the state of California has some of the weirdest laws on the books. In the Golden State it’s illegal to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool, animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school or place of worship and it is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. Apparently after failing as a sea captain Ahab became a CA state legislator.

Lastly, in San Jose, CA, you can’t sleep in an outhouse without the owner’s permission. A word of advice, if the owner says yes, do not, under any circumstances, agree to sleep in the basement.

For more crazy laws still on the books go here.

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Re: Under the Banner of Kennedy

by Tom McClusky

July 3, 2008

Michael, one additional point on Kennedy’s decision and also a comment on castration of sex offenders if I may.

As a military blog first pointed out and major news sources picked up, Justice Kennedy got a number of things wrong in his decision. Justice Kennedy used as part of his justification that the federal government has gone out of its way to NOT include the death penalty for child rapists. However that simply is not true:

But just two years ago, Congress did enact a law permitting the death penalty for the rape of a child, which makes the number of authorizing jurisdictions seven (Louisiana, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and the military), not six.

Section 552(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, 119 Stat. 3136, 3264 (2006), provides that “[u]ntil the President otherwise provides pursuant to” UCMJ article 56, “the punishment which a court-martial may direct for an offense under” the amended UCMJ article 120 “may not exceed the following limits: … For an offense under subsection (a) (rape) or subsection (b) (rape of a child), death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.”

That is a congressional statute expressly authorizing the death penalty for the rape of a child. How come neither side in the Kennedy case even mentioned it?

Personally I am opposed to the death penalty - but at the same time do not believe there is a pit in Hell deep enough to put anyone who would harm a child in. I am also not convinced castration is an answer. Castration only reduces testosterone levels and

may control arousal and libido. However rape of any kind is never a sexual act but one of violence and control and castration would never be a surefire way to suppress that deviant and despicable behavior. Child rapists deserve a life in prison with no chance of parole in my opinion - their vile acts have little chance of rehabilitation.

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Under the Banner of Kennedy

by Michael Fragoso

July 3, 2008

On the same day that Justice Kennedy ruled that “the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law authorizing the castration of child rapists.  Certain sections of the comentariat-up to and including Fox News-have ridiculed the measure.

Jindal’s law replacing execution with castration, however, is not without precedent.  When William of Normandy conquered Anglo-Saxon England in 1066 he abolished the death penalty at the urging of the Roman Catholic Church-under whose banner he had won the Battle of Hastings.  Nonetheless, a punishment was necessary for capital crimes, so in his Coronation Charter King William said, “I also forbid that anyone shall be slain or hanged for any fault, but let his eyes be put out and let him be castrated…” Justice Kennedy, having followed the inclinations of Bishop Odo, finds himself faced with Bobby Jindal deploying edicts suited to King William.  Plus ca change…

This is further evidence that when Kennedy references any sort of “evolving standards of decency” his referent is likely a fiction, and he is merely citing his own preferences and proclivities.

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Oh! Canada!

by Tom McClusky

July 3, 2008

I’m seriously not trying to pick on our friends to the north. I grew up right near the border in Upstate New York and have fond memories of trips across the border. However what are they thinking by giving the man responsible for bringing legalized abortion to their country twenty years ago the Nation’s highest honor, the Order of Canada.

His comments show he is a man who has no remorse and in fact credits himself for Canada’s low crime rate because his efforts have successfully killed off generations that might have committed crime.

He said that in the 20 years since the Supreme Court of Canada struck morgentaler.jpgdown the criminal law against abortion in the case that bears his name, abortion has become one of the safest surgical procedures. Women are no longer killed, injured or left infertile because of abortions, he said, and violent crime has become much rarer due to a decline in unwanted pregnancies.

There are people out there who would otherwise have been murdered. That makes me very happy indeed,” he said.

According to Canadian abortion groups over 110,000 abortions are performed in Canada every year a ratio of about 30 abortions to every 100 live births. There are no real conscience protections to speak of and pro-life counselors are not permitted by law to directly advise an individual to not obtain an abortion.

This man who is responsible for at least 2,200,000 deaths in Canada since 1988 does not see himself as the violent one but according to him the pro-life churches in Canada are the vicious ones

He said he is surprised that the negative reaction to his honour from religious groups “is not more violent that it already is. The negative opinions all come from the usual suspects: the Catholic Church, fundamentalists, women opposed to women’s rights.”

His opinion on the views of people of faith is eerily similar to those who are pro-abortion such as People for the American Way and Americans Untied for Seperation of Church and State in the U.S.:

He said opposition to abortion on religious grounds does not trouble him, “as long as they are not allowed to influence other people, by force or by any other means.

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Land of 13,843 Tears

by Tom McClusky

July 3, 2008

This week in Minnesota, the location of the Republican Party Convention this summer, new abortion statistics have been released:

Abortions in Minnesota declined 1.5 percent last year, after an increase in 2006. The 2006 numbers showed a 5 percent increase overall and a 16 percent increase among teens 17 and younger.

This year, the number of abortions among teens 17 and younger declined, but the number of abortions among 18- and 19-year olds increased. The net effect was just four fewer teen procedures in 2007.

While it is always good to see the number of children being killed go down, clearly even one is too many. The reasons listed for having an abortion included not wanting children at this time, already being a single parent, the economy and having unfulfilled educational goals.

The local abortuary, Planned Parenthood, notes that abortions actually increased in 2006, but conveniently cites that as an “anomaly.” There are others who have perhaps a better explanation for the numbers:

Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, said the 2006 increase was a problem - corrected in 2007 with $2.4 million in state funding for programs promoting abortion alternatives.

Considering the increase in economic concerns, he recommends more funding for alternatives, including programs that provide women with housing, education and adoption planning.

In so doing,” he said, “we believe that the mothers and their babies will flourish.”

Activist Alveda King points out another sad fact of the Minnesota numbers that is certainly no “anomaly.”

While African Americans comprise only 4.5 percent of Minnesota’s population, black received almost 25 percent of the abortions performed on Minnesotans,” stated Dr. King. “Nationally, black women are 4.8 times more likely to have an abortion than white women. It’s hard to believe, as the abortion lobby would have you believe, that this discrepancy is caused strictly by economics.”

Abortion has been a scourge on all Americans, but particularly African Americans,” added Dr. King. “The numbers speak for themselves. The abortion industry has targeted minority neighborhoods for years. It’s not only time that our leaders investigated why this is happening, it’s time they stopped indirectly subsidizing these killings by giving our money to businesses that do abortions.”

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Latest from the states on cloning and stem cells

by David Prentice

July 3, 2008

Michigan citizens will likely be considering a ballot initiative this fall on embryonic stem cell research. The proposal would promote more embryonic stem cell research by overturning Michigan’s long-standing prohibition on destruction of embryos for experiments.

In Missouri, a judge has denied a temporary restraining order on disbursement of life sciences funds. The lawsuit will still be heard; it attempts to clarify clashing guidelines between prohibitions in the funding of life sciences projects (prohibiting use of the funds for any human cloning) and the new provisions in the Missouri constitution, from the 2006 Amendment 2, that preclude funding prohibitions. This is the first legal test of the new constitutional provisions that allow human embryo cloning in Missouri.

Louisiana Governor Jindal signed into law a prohibition on use of state funds for human cloning, while Ohio Gov. Strickland used his line-item veto to remove a similar prohibition in a funding bill, keeping human cloning and its funding legal in Ohio.

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No eggs or cloning, latest California grants favor iPS cells

by David Prentice

July 3, 2008

An analysis in Nature’s stem cell blog, The Niche, notes that no proposals for nuclear transfer cloning were approved in the latest round of grants awarded by California’s stem cell agency, CIRM. In fact, no proposals were funded that called for use of human eggs.

Instead, the focus was on embryonic-like iPS cells and comparisons between iPS and “traditional” ESC.

No proposals were funded regarding adult stem cells either though, except for one that proposed creating stem cells using spermatogonial stem cells, iPS cells, and ESC for comparison.

For a good discussion of this issue regarding using human eggs for cloning, see this recent commentary by Jesse Reynolds.

For more about the grant applications, see this press release from CIRM and their Summaries of Review for Applications.

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Yes, We Have Gone Bananas

by Tom McClusky

July 2, 2008

Hey I love monkeys in suits as much as the next guy and was a big fan of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, however it seems we as a society have truly gone over the edge when we start adopting primates and treating them as children (even going as far as calling them “monkids.”)

Empty nesters looking to relive all the fun of raising children without reliving Planet of the Apes.jpgthe turbulent teens are adopting some of our closest relatives: monkeys.

Families are dressing up capuchins, feeding them at the family dinner table and treating them like any other member of the family. They’re called monkids.”

Apparently these “monkids” once they are older are not unlike some ungrateful real children in that they turn on their “parents”

I walked into the room and he just, he bit me everywhere he could bite me. He ripped my elbow open, right across my wrist, on my hand, the back of my knee,” Sampey said. “And it all happened within, like, three seconds. I got out of the room as fast as I could. But I got out of the room bleeding all over the place.”

If you combine this with Spain’s parliament recently voicing its support for the rights of apes to life and freedom in what was the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans then I think we all know where this is headed.

Do you think it is coincidence this is all happening after Charlton Heston died?

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He Is Welcome In the United States - But Do We Really Want Him Back?

by Tom McClusky

July 2, 2008

During the Vietnam War deserters would flee to Canada where they were welcome as “conscientious objectors,” since there was a draft going on and, supposedly, those fleeing were morally opposed to war. Things are very different now that the U.S. has voluntary military service - yet we still tend to get the best and the brightest who sign up and stay in. Unfortunately some in the military are unwilling to fill obligations that they freely signed up for and are still fleeing to Canada. However Canada realizes these soldiers are deserters and not some sort of peace heroes. Unfortunately (or amusingly) it appears that the Canadian Left is just as desperate and clueless as their American counterparts (i.e. Cindy Sheehan) in picking those they stand up for.

Since deserting his unit in Iraq and fleeing to Canada two years ago, Corey Glass has become the poster boy of the war resisters movement. Thursday in Toronto, supporters are planning to protest his scheduled deportation back to the United States.

But it turns out Glass has had little reason to be on the lam, ABCNews has learned.

Unknown to him and his legion of supporters, Glass, 25, was actually discharged from the U.S. Army shortly after he went AWOL in 2006 . . .

I had absolutely no idea that I had been discharged,” said Glass when ABC News informed him of his status. “This is insane. This is so weird. There are no warrants? NoThumbnail image for Canadian Flag.jpg one is looking for me?”

According to U.S. Army documents and officials, Glass was discharged from the California National Guard Dec. 1, 2006, four months after he arrived in Canada.

He is not considered absent without leave. He is not considered a deserter,” said Maj. Nathan Banks, an Army spokesman. “He is running for no reason. He is fully welcome in the United States.”

Hold on their Major Banks - can we put it to a vote to see if we want him back?

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