Our friends at the Committee for Justice provide an interesting and exciting account of the recent showdown in the Senate Judiciary Committee over the sorry lack of progress on giving hearings or fair up-or-down votes to President Bush’s judicial nominees.
We applaud the committee members who spoke up on the issue and encourage them to keep up the pressure until all of the President’s pending appellate court nominations have had hearings and floor votes. Appointing well-qualified, originalist judges to the federal bench (especially when many courts are experiencing vacancy crises) is too important an issue to do anything less.
Please call Chairman Leahy and both your state’s senators and urge them to do their constitutional duty and hold hearing for and vote on the Presidents judicial nominees.
House of Representatives has approved
a version of PEPFAR anti-AIDS funding that is much improved from the original
version which would have mandated abortion funding, drastically cut back
abstinence and faithfulness education, and weakened anti-prostitution
provisions. Though significant
improvements have been made to the bill, not all conservatives support the
measure because of fiscal concerns over massive spending increases and concerns
that there is insufficient accountability over how funds are spent. The bill will now go to the U.S. Senate.
Republic reports. Despite being held
up in the legislature, Arizona marriage proponents are examining their options
and planning to move ahead with a constitutional amendment to protect the
traditional definition of marriage.
April 1 Senator Specter addressed the need to make progress on President Bush’s
judicial nominations. We applaud Sen.
Specter for his speech, and urge the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty
to provide “advice and consent” to the President on the important matter of
judicial nominations. Excerpt of Sen.
We have a situation where there has not
been one confirmation of a Federal judge this year. Since September 25th of
last year, there has only been one hearing for a circuit judge, and that was on
February 21, in the midst of a recess. There have only been two hearings that
included district court judges, the one on February 12 and one other. Six
nominees have been heard; four are on the agenda for this week's executive
The comparison between what has happened
with President Bush and President Clinton shows a decisive imbalance which
requires prompt action by the Senate on the confirmation of President Bush's
see a graphic illustrating the historical imbalance Sen. Specter referred to click here.
is disturbing news coming out of Britain as the Telegraph
(UK) reports. Using a process
similar to SCNT, scientists put human DNA into unfertilized cow eggs in order
to obtain mostly-human embryos for stem cell research. Tampering with human life in this way is
degrading, and the scientists’ assurances that the hybrid embryos will be destroyed
(killed) within 14 days does not provide any comfort to pro-lifers.
developments highlight why the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act should be
passed in the United States Senate as soon as possible.
LifeNews and Times
Online (UK) also report.
Graphic source: Telegraph
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) is planning to lead a strategy to shut down the Senate unless President Bush’s many appellate court nominations are given hearings and fair up-or-down votes (which is the Senate’s constitutional duty). In light of the extreme importance of appointing well-qualified, originalist judges to the federal bench, we applaud his leadership in forcing the Senate to do its job when it comes to judges. Excerpt from WSJ article:
The Democratic Senate has confirmed a mere six nominees with no plans in sight to move the remaining 11 forward. Judicial nominees rarely are confirmed in the final months of a President's second term, so the clock is running out. Democrats figure they'll retake the White House in November, and they don't mind leaving the courts short-handed for another year or two as they stall for liberal nominees.
Mr. Specter says he has recommended that Republicans "go full steam ahead" until Democrats agree to hold confirmation votes.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) recently gave a speech in the Senate on the importance of making progress on judges. He also published an opinion piece in the National Review on the same topic. Excerpt:
The Constitution gives to the president authority to nominate and appoint federal judges. The Senate provides advice about whether the president should appoint his judicial nominees by giving or withholding consent through up or down votes. That is what the Constitution assigns us to do. That is what Americans expect the Senate to do. That is what the Senate is failing to do.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also urged action on judges.
It’s time our friends on the other side stop blaming others for their own failures to act on judicial nominations. If they don’t, Republicans will be forced to consider other options.
Improving the makeup of the federal bench and making sure there are enough judges to promote justice in America is one of the most important issues in our country. We applaud the efforts by Senators McConnell, Specter, and Hatch to make progress on this front.
Contact Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and urge him to get to work on judicial nominations. Also, contact both your senators and urge them to push for progress on judicial nominations.
LifeNews reports. Excerpt:
A leading pro-life member of Congress plans
an amendment to a bill on health care for Native Americans that's similar to
the language of an amendment the Senate approved last month. Rep. Joe Pitts
wants to make sure the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1328) isn't
used to fund abortions with public money.
thanks Congressman Pitts for proposing this important pro-life amendment, and
urges the rest of the Energy and Commerce Committee to support it. CitizenLink also
can look up members of the committee here, and
find your representative’s contact
information here (look them up by name or zip code).
Graphic source: CitizenkLink
on this troubling development.
AdvanceUSA has also been informed of likely moves to undermine marriage
by offering special rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and will be watching
federal legislation that relates to this issue closely.
broadcasters be allowed to air patently indecent or obscene content at any time
of day (including when children are likely to be in the audience)? Kristen Fyfe gives a helpful explanation of
the case and provides examples of current and future abuses by broadcasters.
As it stands the
Supreme Court is due to consider broadcast indecency in the 2008-2009
term. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled last year in Fox v. FCC that “fleeting” expletives should not be fined by
the FCC. The FCC appealed the ruling to
the Supreme Court, which has not examined the indecency issue since it ruled in
the Pacifica case in 1973. For more on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the
fleeting expletives case, click
Until the Supreme
Court acts to clarify broadcast decency issues, it appears the networks are
going to do everything in their power to thumb their collective noses at the
FCC and in effect, the American public.
All in the name of “entertainment.”
Isn’t that hilarious?
Connor has a thought provoking piece on the need
to protect disabled children from abortion by making sure mothers have
accurate information about disabilities.
Most parents receive the news that they are
"expecting" with joy and excitement. For some, however, the good news
turns sour when they learn that their unborn or newly born child has Down
syndrome or is afflicted with some other disability like cystic fibrosis. What
parents are told about their child's future and how they are told it often
influences whether that child is born at all. That's why Senators Sam Brownback
and Ted Kennedy have co-sponsored the "Prenatally and Postnatally
Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act".
Obama referred to being “punished with a baby” when confronted with a pro-life
Democrat in Pennsylvania recently. Obama
also disparaged abstinence education at the event. Politico
has the details.
I first read recent
media reports about research which seemed to indicate mice with Parkinson’s
disease were successfully treated using a form of cloning called somatic cell
nuclear transfer (SCNT), I was skeptical.
But even if the media reports of success were correct, it still would
not make SCNT ethical for use in humans because it would amount to cloning and
killing human beings (embryos). I wanted
get an expert opinion on the actual science behind the reports so I contacted
Dr. David Prentice whom I’ve had the privilege to hear speak and meet on
my concerns with the unethical nature of the research if it were ever tried in
humans, Dr. Prentice told me…
…the whole idea of
so-called "therapeutic cloning" is unethical on several levels. It requires creating and destroying an
embryo, a young life. It also requires a
tremendous number of eggs to make just one dish of cells, so it risks women's
health, making them factories for raw parts for the experiments.
Prentice also mentioned three crucial points the reports neglected to point
- 1 out of every 6 mice showed
"graft overgrowth". In
other words, the implanted embryonic stem cells grew too well.
- They only let the animals go for 11
weeks, so we don't know if they would have gone on to form tumors, or if
the treatment has any lasting effect.
- The technique is also already
outdated. The paper was originally
submitted in Feb 2007, long before most of the results with iPS cells
[induced pluripotent stem cells].
So the science has already passed this by, with easier, ethical,
and successful procedures.
you Dr. Prentice for sharing your expertise with us. Find out more about Dr. Prentice’s work at FRC.org and at DoNoHarm.
Dr. David Prentice
Graphic source: FRC
Click here for more
information on human cloning, and click here for more
information on embryonic stem cell research.
Parenthood has released its annual
report for 2008. The following
points are a few important and outrageous facts AdvanceUSA has been alerted to:
- An increase in the number of
provided abortions from 264,943 in 2005 to 289,650 in 2006.
- A doubling of “excess of
revenue over expenses” funds from $55.7 million in 2005 to $112 million in
- Acknowledge receipt of over
$336 million in [local, state, and federal] government grants and
all the recent controversies regarding potential illegal activity by Planned
Parenthood centers across the country, why is Planned Parenthood getting our
sign the Family Research Council’s petition to withhold federal Title X funding
from Planned Parenthood click
Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., has a helpful column today about the
importance and effectiveness of abstinence education and explains why
radical leftist organizations and politicians are so determined to eliminate it
completely. Congress should increase
abstinence education funding, not cut it.
article for more details. Excerpts:
It is incomprehensible that leaders of
organizations working with teens would oppose abstinence. The increase in abstinence programs has been
effective in reversing trends that some believed were irreversible. It is clear from my analysis of official data
that abstinence education is behind the current decreases in teen births, teen
abortion and the number of teens engaged in sexual activity.
While the left claims that abstinence
education is a too-simplistic “just say no” campaign, the programs teach teens
how to say “no” and give them the skills and character development needed for
them to be able to say “no” effectively.
And many teens need to learn that sexually active girls regret their
early sexual activity — nearly two-thirds (63 percent) state that they wish
they had waited to have sex.
Many teens don’t know the facts, and the
comprehensive sex education programs do not inform them. A Maryland teenager, Stephen, was part of a
conversation with friends who claimed that “everyone is doing it.” Stephen told them that, statistically, teens
today are less sexually active. They
were surprised; they had not heard that important fact in their so-called
“full-coverage” sex education program.
Stephen summed up our view when he asked,
“Don’t you think our sex ed programs should tell us that more and more teens
are choosing to stay abstinent and how they are doing it?”
Columbia Missourian reports. Let’s
hope the Appeals Court upholds Judge Joyce’s
ruling allowing Missourians to see an
accurate summary of the proposed human cloning ban on their 2008 ballot.
Without Cloning is waiting until the court makes its decision before beginning its
signature gathering campaign to get the cloning ban amendment on the
ballot. If you live in Missouri click here to find out how you
can be a trained signature gatherer.
more information on human cloning click here or visit MO Cures Without Cloning.
hopeful news is
coming out of California for advocates of parental rights, specifically the
right to homeschool. The California
appeals court which recently ruled that parents do not have a right to
homeschool their children has decided to reconsider its decision. Our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund played
a pivotal role in this decision by filing a petition
to reconsider the case, which was accepted.
Justice Institute also reports on the decision. Excerpt:
This means the Rachel L. decision, which has sparked a nationwide uproar, will not
go into effect as it is currently written. The Second District Court of Appeal
has instead decided to re-hear the case, with a new round of briefings due in
late April. It would likely take the court several additional months to
schedule oral argument and issue another decision.
Today's announcement by the court that it will re-hear the case reinforces
PJI's position that homeschooling families should continue their current
programs without fear of governmental interference.
Home School Legal Defense fund also issued a statement. Excerpt:
Home School Legal Defense Association will
seek permission to file such an amicus brief and will coordinate efforts with a
number of organizations interesting in filing briefs to support the right of
parents to homeschool their children in California.
"This is a great first step,"
said Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA. "We are very glad that this case will
be reheard and that this opinion has been vacated, but there is no guarantee as
to what the ultimate outcome will be.
This case remains our top priority," he added.
are privileged to have John Stemberger, the State Chairman of Florida4Marriage.org,
answer some of our questions about the crucial campaign going on in Florida. Here is Daniel Herbster’s interview with John. For more information check Florida4Marriage.org.
DH: Thanks for taking the time
to share about your work with our readers.
Let me start off with a softball.
Why is protecting the traditional definition of marriage so important?
this something I could discuss for hours.
I guess the most compelling reason and yet simple reason is that kids
need a mom and a dad. Same sex marriages deprive children of the best
arrangement for human socialization.
Same sex marriages also provide the legal rationale for the creation of
polygamous marriages and group marriage arrangements. Our opponents really are trying to redefine
the human experience and radically change basic human institutions that have
served us since the beginning of time.
DH: What are you and the
Florida4Marriage.org committee hoping to accomplish in Florida and why do you
think it would be effective?
Scientists in the U.S. believe they have been able to treat mice that have Parkinson’s disease using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) which was the same process used to create Dolly the sheep. (Some like to euphemistically call this procedure “therapeutic cloning” but they’re only right about the “cloning” part because there is nothing “therapeutic” in the procedure for the cloned embryo.) The scientists took the nucleus from a mouse cell and inserted it into a mouse egg cell. When the resulting mouse embryo developed to a certain stage it was destroyed so its stem cells could be harvested and injected into the original mouse.
As the media breathlessly reports, some scientists are hoping this type of treatment could one day be used on humans. They neglect to point out that if this research were to be done in humans it would, in effect, amount to creating a twin of the patient (a clone) only to destroy that twin at an early stage of development (embryo) for its stem cells. Cloning humans is unethical because it would violate the rights of the cloned embryo and because it cheapens human life to the level of a commodity. We should not be wasting our time and resources pursuing research we know to be unethical.
These limited results seen in mice pale in comparison to the many exciting results coming from ethical forms of adult stem cell research. Furthermore, with the new research being done in induced pluripotent stem cells (embryonic like stem cells obtained without creating or destroying embryos) we can ethically obtain pluripotent stem cells that do not appear to risk rejection from the bodies of patients.
For more information on human cloning click here.
Calgary Herald reports on Leah
Telder’s success in overcoming the ravages of MS with ethical adult stem
cell transplants. Excerpts:
There she was, the Telders' youngest child,
Leah, walking towards them in the airport lobby late Monday amidst the
disembarking passengers, grinning and waving a greeting.
"That was amazing. She walked off . .
. I mean, there she was, actually walking," said Jacky of the moment.
"I haven't felt this good since before
I was diagnosed," she said.
She can walk on her own again and talk
without difficulty. She can make a cup of coffee -- something she hasn't been
able to do since she was 21.
And the majority of her vision has been
Graphic Source: canada.com
3 million teen girls infected with STIs, safer sex in adolescents does not
exist,” said Linda Klepacki, sexual health analyst for Focus on the Family
Action. “For the current and future health of teens, we must teach them how to
have strong relationships not based on sex.”
American Journal of Health
Behavior published a study in January showing that students who
receive abstinence education are 50 percent less likely to initiate sex.
year’s report by the federal Department of Health and Human Services showed
that some comprehensive sex-education curricula taught in the nation's schools
essentially have no impact on behavior.
Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association,
said it is important to look at the growing body of research showing abstinence
education as the only curriculum that successfully addresses teen pregnancies,
STIs and the emotional consequences of teen sex.