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SCOTUS to Weigh California Abortion Challenge Case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear NIFLA v. Becerra, a First Amendment challenge to California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT), that forces pro-life pregnancy resource centers to instruct women on how to access abortion via the state’s Medi-Cal program. Centers are subject to $500 fines for the first offense and $1,000 for subsequent offenses.

According to Thomas Glessnor, founder and president of NIFLA, the issue is “Can the government impose and compel a faith-based ministry to proclaim a message that they are fundamentally opposed to with the risk of being fined or shut down?”

A hearing on the case has not yet be set.

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FACT Files Brief With SCOTUS Supporting Christian Baker

FACT was proud to join with 32 other pro-family policy organizations in an amicus or “friend-of-the-court” brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the First Amendment rights of baker Jack Phillips. Phillips is challenging the lower court’s decision that would compel him to use his artistic expressions to celebrate an event that violates his religious beliefs.

Both the Department of Justice and at least 86 members of Congress have also filed their own amicus briefs in support of Phillips, along with many other concerned individuals and organizations, for a total of 45 such briefs so far.

Alliance Defending Freedom will be arguing on Phillips’ behalf before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

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Marine’s Religious Liberty Stripped for Bible Verse Display

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Marine Monifa Sterling, who was court-martialed for disobeying her superior when asked to take down the Isaiah 54:17 Bible verse from her workstation, although evidence showed that others were allowed to display personal items. The verse in question? “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

By rejecting the case, the decision by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces stands, and Sterling’s religious liberty has been severely hampered. “The military court’s outrageous decision means federal judges and military officials can strip our service members of their constitutional rights just because they don’t think someone’s religious beliefs are important enough to be protected. Our service members deserve better,” says Kelly Shackelford, CEO and chief counsel for First Liberty.

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Gorsuch Confirmed as Majority Prevails

Senate Republicans exercised the so-called “nuclear option” on Thursday, clearing the path to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday. The change in the cloture process means that all future Supreme Court nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority. Cloture is the parliamentary procedure by which Senators vote to end debate on a particular subject and take a vote on the merits of that subject.

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FACT President Discusses Supreme Court’s Responsibility to the States After Today’s Oral Arguments

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 28, 2015) —The following statement can be attributed to David Fowler, the President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT):

The oral arguments today on marriage and the decision that will ultimately flow from them will have the potential to forever change the way we understand the Constitution and the principle of federalism and states’ rights.

Since our nation’s founding, states have defined marriage as a man and a woman, and if the Supreme Court is going to alter this understanding of states’ rights, then they owe it to the millions of Americans who have voted to define marriage as one man and one woman to tell us what that new definition of marriage is. And they owe it to the judges and the state legislative bodies, because they will be left to grapple with the arguments for polygamous and polyandrous marriages that are sure to come.

For the Court to only tell the states that they can no longer define marriage as a man and a woman without telling them what the new definition is will be a dereliction of their duty.

Mr. Fowler, when a state senator, sponsored the amendment to Tennessee’s constitution that defined marriage as one man and one woman, and the Family Action Council of Tennessee organized the RealMarriage.org campaign that led to the passage of the Amendment by 81% of the vote.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org

Watch David’s related video statement: