FRC Blog

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

June 2, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

June 1, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Research on “Sexting” from the Medical Institute

by Moira Gaul

May 30, 2009

The May 2009 newsletter from the Medical Institute contains valuable information for parents about “Sexting” - meaning the posting or sending of sexually suggestive electronic images and messages:

A recent survey of a nationally representative sample of 653 teens, aged 13 to 19, and 627 young adults, aged 20 to 26, compiles information on ‘sexting.’ The survey reported that one in five teens and one in three young adults have sent or posted semi-nude or nude images of themselves in cyberspace. Half of the teens and young adults have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages. This trend is surprising since nearly 3/4 of teens and young adults acknowledged that sending such images and messages “can have serious negative consequences.” The most commonly listed negative consequences were regret (79%), potential embarrassment (73%), bad reputation (69%), and disappointing family (57%).

This edition of the Medical Institute’s newsletter also discusses new research underscoring previous research findings that sexual activity in adolescents is influenced by what they watch on TV. Read the whole thing.

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David Souter: Unsung and Unhung

by Robert Morrison

May 29, 2009

Nineteen years on the U.S. Supreme Court and David Souter retires like Rodney Dangerfield: He gets no respect. When the liberal press does praise him, it’s for his logic. Really? Let’s parse the premier sample of his logic. He’s credited with the co-authorship of what has been termed the “Mystery of Life” passage in the 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Justice Scalia has made wicked sport of this passage. “Ah, the sweet mystery of life passage…” he says—and then he pounces: “…the passage that ate the rule of law.” Ate it, the co-authors-Souter, O’Connor, and Kennedy—did indeed.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 28, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Same-Sex Marriage is Not Like Interracial Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

May 27, 2009

On May 27, prominent attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies (best known as one another’s opponents in Bush v. Gore, the court case regarding the disputed 2000 presidential election) announced that on May 22 they had filed a federal lawsuit seeking to establish a right to same-sex “marriage” nationwide under the U. S. Constitution.

In a press release and press conference, they cited as precedent the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling in the case of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S., 12; online ). They claimed that because of this precedent, homosexuals must be “guaranteed the right to marry the person they love.”

However, the U. S. Supreme Court in Loving never described the issue in that case as an unrestricted “right to marry the person they love.” Instead, it said that “the freedom of choice to marry [cannot] be restricted by invidious racial discrimination.”

The comparison between interracial marriage and same-sex “marriage” was concisely refuted in a 2003 Indiana court decision rejecting the claim of a right to homosexual “marriage.” As the judge noted,

Unlike anti-miscegenation laws, restrictions against same-sex marriage reinforce, rather than disrupt, the traditional understanding of marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man. Marriage traditionally and definitionally has had to do with the sex of each participant… . Anti-miscegenation laws, because they interfered with the traditional marriage relationships in pursuit of opprobrious racial segregation policies, had no legitimate connection to the institution of marriage itself. Loving in no way held that the right to marry means the right to marry whomever one wishes. Its import is far more focused: that whatever else marriage is about, it is not about racial segregation. (Morrison v. Sadler, Marion County, Indiana Superior Court, May 7, 2003; online)

The strong legal basis for the distinction was described by another court that rejected a homosexual challenge to marriage laws, this one in New Jersey:

Plaintiffs’ reliance on decisions striking down statutes that prohibit interracial marriage is misplaced. These decisions derive from Constitutional amendments prohibiting racial discrimination and subjecting laws that classify individuals based on race to the highest level of scrutiny. No similar Constitutional provisions outlaw statutory classifications based on sexual orientation … . Comparing the State’s marriage statutes to laws perpetuating racial prejudice, therefore, is inapposite.

Individuals challenging bans on interracial marriage had a powerful weapon: Federal Constitutional provisions, passed by Congress and adopted by State Legislatures, that expressly prohibited States from denying recognized rights based on race. It was entirely appropriate for the courts to enforce those duly enacted Constitutional provisions by striking down statutes that made race a qualifying condition for access to a recognized right to marry. Plaintiffs, on the other hand, assert their claims in the absence of express Constitutional provisions supporting their position, and ask the court to circumvent the Legislative process by creating a right that has never before been recognized in this country.

The mandate for racial equality is firmly enshrined in both the Federal and State Constitutions. Importantly, two amendments to the United States Constitution expressly address racial equality [the 13th and 14th]… .

The Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia is predicated entirely on the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibition of racial classifications… .

No similar Constitutional provision accords heightened protection to individuals who claim that statutes discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation… .

… [P]laintiffs … lack the significant legal foundation that was available to the plaintiffs in Loving to demand judicial recognition of the rights they seek.

(Lewis v. Harris, Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County, November 5, 2003; online )

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The Associate Justice from Cardinal Spellman?

by Michael Fragoso

May 27, 2009

Say what you will about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, her personal story is a compelling one. From the sickly daughter of a widow in the South Bronx projects to the Pyne Prize at Princeton, the Yale Law School, and almost two decades as a federal judge is a remarkable journey. Yet, one should ask how much of Judge Sotomayor’s success “against-the-odds” came from her high-quality preparation at in the Catholic school system. Would her story have turned out differently had she attended a soon-to-be-blighted South Bronx public high school rather than the rigorous Cardinal Spellman?

That said, how many future Sonia Sotomayors are among the 1,715 DC students currently enrolled in private and parochial schools through the DC Opportunity Scholarship voucher program? How many will still be given the same chance to excel once the program is terminated in 2010? If President Obama is serious about the importance of Judge Sotomayor’s biography, he should work even harder to make sure that DC children from similar backgrounds can have the same opportunities.

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Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 27, 2009

Here’s some of the buzz from the blogosphere today.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 27, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Two Parents = Fewer Calls Home from School about Children’s Behavior Problems

by Michael Leaser

May 26, 2009

In the latest Mapping America, the National Survey of Children’s Health shows that children who live with both biological parents or two adoptive parents are less likely to have their school report behavior problems to their parents than are children who live in households that do not include both parents.

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