Category archives: The Courts

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.

Does R. Kelly believe he can fly?

by Ken Blackwell

May 12, 2008

Jury selection in the high-profile child pornography trial of rapper R. Kelly begins today in Cook County, Illinois. Mr. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to having videotaped himself having sex with a minor. Cook County prosecutors have doggedly pursued this case in order to protect children, arrest the degradation of women and establish community values of decency.

We can only hope and pray that the old comedic line “don’t believe your lying eyes” does not prevail.

Southwick Confirmed!

by Jared Bridges

October 24, 2007

After what seems like a battle without end, Judge Leslie Southwick has now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 59-38 vote.

Here is FRC’s press release on Judge Southwick’s nomination:

FRC Praises Confirmation of Judge Southwick

October 24, 2007 - Wednesday

Washington, D.C.- Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, made the following comments following Senate confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:

We are pleased that Judge Leslie Southwick, a veteran of the Iraq war with 11 years of judicial experience, can finally move forward after struggling for a simple up-or-down vote. However, the unconstitutional use of judicial filibusters continues as other well-qualified judicial nominees are vilified and blocked by Senate leadership and their liberal allies. I urge the Senate to end the backlog of judicial nominations and allow a fair up-or-down vote for each nominee.

I thank President Bush and Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Trent Lott (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Arlen Specter (R-PA) for their hard work to overcome stalling tactics and confirm this highly-qualified nominee to the bench.”

Straw Poll on the Issues

by Jared Bridges

October 23, 2007

The FRC Action Values Voter Straw Poll has been making lots of news, but one of the poll questions that hasn’t yet gained as much attention was question #3, which asked participants to rank the order of importance among a set of issues. Here are the results:

Please indicate which issue is the most important in determining your opinion of the candidate that you will most likely vote for?

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Abortion 2398 41.52%
Same-sex “Marriage” 1141 19.76%
Tax Cuts 626 10.84%
Permanent tax relief for families 563 9.75%
Federal “hate crimes” legislation 331 5.73%
No vote on this question 181 3.13%
Taxpayer funding for abortions 151 2.61%
Prayer in schools 93 1.61%
Reinstatement of the “Fairness Doctrine” 88 1.52%
Public display of the Ten Commandments 57 0.99%
Enforced obscenity laws 54 0.94%
Embryonic stem cell experiments 48 0.83%
Voluntary, student-led prayer in schools 44 0.76%
Total 5,775 100%

Now that you’ve got the numbers, feel free to crunch away.

Man who sues God gets a response

by Jared Bridges

September 21, 2007

America’s courts keep getting curiouser and curiouser:

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) — A legislator who filed a lawsuit against God has gotten something he might not have expected: a response.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said he sued God last week to make a point about frivolous lawsuits.

One of two court filings from “God” came Wednesday under otherworldly circumstances, according to John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha.

This one miraculously appeared on the counter. It just all of a sudden was here — poof!” Friend said.

Frankly, I don’t see how The Onion can compete with the “real” news these days…

Judge Blocks Opening of New Ill. Planned Parenthood Clinic

by Jared Bridges

September 18, 2007

Back in July, FRC’s Washington Update took notice of an Aurora, Illinois Planned Parenthood Clinic which surreptitiously began construction disguised as the “Gemini Health Center,” only to let community residents (and construction workers) know that it was really a new location of America’s largest abortion provider.

CNS News is now reporting that the clinic’s opening (for now, at least) has been blocked:

( - A federal judge has at least temporarily prevented the nation’s biggest abortion provider from opening a new $7.5 million clinic in Aurora, Ill., while the city government investigates charges that Planned Parenthood used secrecy and fraud to obtain permission to build the 22,000-square-foot facility.

U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle, Sr., on Monday gave Aurora officials 24 hours to file a response to a request from Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area (PPCA) for an injunction that would have forced the city to allow the new building to open on Tuesday as planned.

A hearing is set for Thursday that awaits Planned Parenthood’s response.

If you can’t beat ‘em, sue ‘em

by Jared Bridges

September 18, 2007

From Wired News:

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed suit against God Friday, asking a court to order the Almighty and his followers to stop making terrorist threats.

The suit (.pdf), filed in a Nebraska district court, contends that God, along with his followers of all persuasions, “has made and continues to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons.” Those threats are credible given God’s history, Chambers’ complaint says.

Believe it or not, this is from the AP, not The Onion. The senator is even taking pro-active steps to serve papers:

The lawsuit indicates that Chambers attempted to make God appear in order to serve him by saying “Come out, come out, wherever you are,” but the Almight declined, like many defendants, to make it easy for a plaintiff to serve him with court papers.

Something tells me that this won’t turn out so well for Sen. Chambers…

Swearing Off Decency? Court Strikes Down FCC Policy On Profanity

by Tony Perkins

June 12, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

After a new ruling, it looks like broadcast television will be airing on the vulgar side. Just a year after the FCC cracked down on indecency, a three-judge panel decided the policy on fleeting expletives was too vague. According to the court, profanity thats live and unscripted shouldnt be bannedor even punished. Although the court said the FCCs rules are arbitrary, the reality is that the policy was finally helping to clean up network television by holding broadcasters responsible. Its ironic. Courts are defending the right to curse on primetime television but want to censor words like traditional values. Not too long ago, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled words like natural family should be banned in the workplace. The court sided with a supervisor who ordered employees to take down a flier that advertised a forum on faith and current issues. Why? Because it contained words like traditional marriage that the court considered hate speech. Americans had better start seriously questioning the direction of our country if the only controversial word that begins with f is family.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. For an e-mail subscription to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Courting Victory

by Tony Perkins

April 23, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

After some very dark days for America, the people in this country who value life are celebrating the news that the Supreme Court finally upheld the partial-birth abortion ban by a vote of 5-4. It took 73 pages for the courts majority to come to the same conclusion that most Americans already hadthat U.S. law shouldnt support the senseless killing of innocent, partially-born babies. After years of debate in Congress and the courts, this decision to end the bloodshed of this horrific procedure is a welcome one for millions of Americans. The truth is, this issue shouldnt have been in the hands of the Court in the first placebecause its not in the Constitution that was written by our Founding Fathers. At least with this decision, the justices are finally beginning to grant the peoplethrough their elected representativesa say in important public policy matters. This rare gleam of sanity in the abortion debate is a long-awaited triumph for FRC, marked by years of hard work on Capitol Hill. We can hope and pray that this Supreme Court majority will continue to recognize the interest of the people in protecting mothers and their children in the womb.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

FRC Responds to Supreme Court Decision

by Jared Bridges

April 18, 2007

Here’s FRC’s press release:

FRC Praises Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

April 18, 2007

Washington D.C.- Today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement welcoming the Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-birth Abortion Ban.

This is a victory for a commonsense measure that is overwhelmingly favored by over 70 percent of the American people who increasingly support protections for unborn children. This brings the nation’s abortion policy one step closer to the views of the American people. Americans are against unlimited abortion and the partial-abortion ban is the first meaningful limitation on abortion in over thirty years.

We applaud the Court for recognizing the legitimate interest that Congress has ‘in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.’ The Court rejected the idea that a group of partial-birth abortion doctors should hold veto power over the abortion policy of the entire country. The Majority is to be commended for respecting the intent of Congress who represent the American people. This is a violent and inhumane act that is never medically necessary according to the American Medical Association.

I want to thank President Bush, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), and former Senator Rick Santorum for all their hard work over the years to pass this legislation.”