Washington Weekly Review

March 28, 2008

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback Applauds 2nd District Court of Appeal's Decision to Rehear Case Involving the Rights of Parents Who Choose to Homeschool Their Children - Court's Decision Negates its Outrageous Decision Last Month Saying Parents Had NO Right to Homeschool Their Children Because They were Not Credentialed as Teachers by the State of California

After facing fierce backlash by the overwhelming majority of the American people, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles, California backed down and decided this week to reconsider its outrageous decision last month and to rehear a case involving the rights of parents who want to homeschool their children. On February 28th, three judicial tyrants on this court's panel -- who ruled unanimously -- said that the parents of some 170,000 homeschooled children needed to be certified by the state of California as teachers before they could homeschool their children.

Senator Sam Brownback applauded the court's decision: "I firmly believe that parents have the right and responsibility to oversee the education of their children. Homeschooling is a proven method of education, and has been for generations. Governmental bodies should not try to sweep away the options of parents to teach their children. It is important for parents to feel confident in the education of their children and I am proud to be a supporter of homeschooling."

Justice H. Walter Croskey in his original decision -- saying uncredentialed parents could not teach their own children -- referred to a similar 1953 appellate court decision. Even the California public school superintendent, Jack O'Connell, denounced the original 3-0 decision by the court's panel saying that traditional public schools might not be the best fit for every student. Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar was similarly outraged over the decision. A homeschool supporter who edits "Homefires," Diane Flynn Keith from Redwood, City, California said: "I think the judge recognized that he hadn't done his homework."

It will probably be another few months before the 2nd Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments and another period of time before making its final decision. Hopefully, these judges will educate themselves in the meantime. Michael Farris, co-founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (Michael Smith is president,) said that California courts tend to have an effect on courts around the United States. About 20 percent of the nation's homeschoolers live in California, Mr. Farris said.

The "Wall Street Journal" weighed in on this latest example of judicial tyranny in its March 22, 2008 editorial: "In the annals of judicial imperialism, we have arrived at a strange new chapter. A California court ruled this month that parents cannot "home school" their children without government certification. No teaching credential, no teaching. Parents "do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote California appellate Justice Walter Croskey....".

"The Wall Street Journal" went on to say: "...The 166,000 families in the state that now choose to educate their children at home must be stunned. But at least one political lobby likes the ruling. "We're happy," the California Teachers Association's Lloyd Porter told the San Francisco Chronicle. He says the union believes all students should be taught only by "credentialed" teachers, who will in due course belong to unions....".

"... In 1994, a federal attempt to require certification of parent-teachers went down in flames as hundreds of thousands of calls lit up phone banks on Capitol Hill. The movement has since only grown larger and better organized, now conservatively estimated at well over a million nationwide. But what they can't accomplish legislatively, unions are now trying to achieve by diktat from the courts."

It concluded by saying: "If John McCain wants an issue to endear him to cultural conservatives, this would be it. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama rarely stray from the preferences of the teachers unions, but we'd like to know whether they really favor the certification of parents who dare to believe they know best how to teach their children."

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!

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Chairman of the House Values Action Team, Congressman Joseph Pitts, Will be Introducing Amendment to Indian Health Bill, Similar to Senator Vitter's Amendment Which Passed 52-42 in U.S. Senate, Which Will Not Allow Funding for Abortion

Congressman Joseph Pitts, R-PA, the Chairman of the House Values Action Team will be introducing an amendment to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, H.R. 1328, being debated and voted on in the House Energy and Commerce Committee as early as next week, which will prevent taxpayer funding of the Indian Health Service (IHS) from being used for abortions. This provision would codify the Hyde Amendment and offer increased protection to unborn babies served by the Indian Health Service. Senator David Vitter, R-LA, introduced a similar amendment which passed the full Senate by a margin of 52-42 last month.

As Congressman Pitts has pointed out his prolife amendment (and Senator Vitter's Amendment) will be written into permanent authorization language if the Pitts Amendment passes the House of Representatives. Federal IHS funds would not be used for abortions (except life of mother, rape and incest) no matter what happens with the annual appropriations language.

Congressman Pitts, said by way of precedent, that this goal was accomplished with respect to the Department of Defense, by enactment of a permanent Hyde Amendment as part of the Defenses Authorization Bill in 1996. The Hyde Amendment was passed by Congress in 1976, and it forbids federal funding for abortion. The only exceptions are in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the woman.

ACTION: Please call your Congressman-- at 202-225-3121 or you can go to http://www.cc.org/contactcongress.cfm and email them and urge them to co-sponsor Congressman Joseph Pitts' Amendment to the "Indian Health Care Improvement Act, H.R. 1328" preventing funding for abortion in the Indian Health Service.

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Liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Actually Rules in Favor of the 10 Commandments Yesterday - 50-year-old Ten Commandments Monument Sitting Alone on Public Grounds in Everett, Washington is Ruled Constitutional

The left-wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which rarely issues decent major decisions -- in fact it is by far the most overruled appeals court in the United States by the U.S. Supreme Court -- actually ruled that a 10 Commandment Monument on public grounds in Everett, Washington is constitutional.

According to a Reuters news account, "A nearly 50-year-old monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments does not violate the Constitution just because it sits nearly alone on public grounds in a Washington city, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday....The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited precedent rulings in this latest case, which involves a 6-foot-tall granite monument near the Old City Hall in Everett, Washington, about 25 miles north of Seattle.

"The court found that the monument did not have a solely religious purpose. 'Nothing about the setting is conducive to genuflection,' Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for a three-judge panel....The monument was donated in 1959 by a national civic organization that distributed more than 150 such monuments to cities across the country.

"Another stands on the grounds of the Texas Capitol and was the subject of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court found that the Texas statue did not violate the separation of church and state partly because it is one of more than three dozen statues that collectively tell a largely secular history of Texas.

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Supreme Court of Ohio on Wednesday Reverses itself and Will Consider a Case Regarding a Teen-Ager's Secret Abortion at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Chamber

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed itself and decided to take a case having to do with a secret abortion which a teen-ager in Ohio had at a Planned Parenthood abortuary. The teen-ager's parents filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood's facility in Cincinnati for violating Ohio's parental notification on abortion law. The abortion chamber unlawfully did not inform the parents of the teen-ager about her abortion, which may have been forced on her.

A judge issued an order that Planned Parenhood turn over the abortion records of all women under age 18 to the parents' lawyer. Then last August, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that Planned Parenthood did not have to give these records on other teen-agers' abortions to the parents' attorney. The Ohio Supreme Court in January made the decision to not hear the parents' appeal by a margin of 4-3. Then two days ago, the state's highest court reversed itself and now will review the case.

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Congressman Lamar Smith Seeks More Co-sponsors for his "The Internet SAFETY Act of 2007," H.R. 837 Which Gives Law Enforcement New Tools to Shut Down Child Pornography Websites and to Apprehend Pedophiles Who Traffic in Child Pornography

Congressman Lamar Smith has introduced during the 110th Congress his "The Internet SAFETY Act of 2007," H.R. 837 and is seeking more co-sponsors. His bill will give law enforcement officers more tools in their fight against child pornography and against pedophiles who traffic in child pornography.

Congressman Smith's "Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth Act (SAFETY) of 2007" specifically amends the federal criminal code to prohibit: (1) financial transactions in interstate or foreign commerce that facilitate access to, or the possession of, child pornography; and (2) Internet content hosting providers or email service providers from facilitating access to, or the possession of, child pornography.

The Smith bill also amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to: (1) increase monetary penalties for willful failure of electronic communication service providers to report child pornography; and (2) impose new penalties for negligent failure to report. The bill also requires the Attorney General to issue regulations governing the retention of certain records by Internet Service Provider.

The bill increases criminal penalties for the sexual exploitation of children and for activities involving the sexual exploitation of children and child pornograph and it requires commercial website operators to place warning marks prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission on web pages that contain sexually explicit materials.

ACTION: Please call your Congressman-- at 202-225-3121 or you can go to http://www.cc.org/contactcongress.cfm and email them and urge them to co-sponsor Congressman Lamar Smith's "The Internet SAFETY Act of 2007," H.R. 837.

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Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, Congressman Jeb Hensarling is Introducing the "Blogger Protection Act of 2008" to Protect Bloggers from Being Hampered by Certain Campaign Finance Laws

This week, the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, announced that he will be introducing the "Blogger Protection Act of 2008" to put the Federal Election Commission's regulatory protections of the freedom of bloggers into law.

Congressman Hensarling said that "Two years ago, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued regulations that protected bloggers from being hampered by certain campaign finance laws. Under these regulations, bloggers cannot be considered to have made a contribution or expenditure on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate simply because they link to campaign websites or write about the positions of federal candidates. Additionally, blogs are treated as any other publication under the general media exemption from most campaign finance restrictions. Without such protections, bloggers could be subject to various limitations and reporting requirements under campaign finance law.

However, Congressman Hensarling said about his "Blogger Protection Act of 2008": "These blogger protections are just regulatory—they are not in statute. As you know, regulations can be changed without congressional action, and there’s no telling what a future FEC might decide to do. Furthermore, the FEC is currently defunct because of vacancies and a lack of quorum. Therefore, we shouldn’t put the freedom of bloggers in the regulatory hands of the FEC. Congress should protect them in law.

Finally, Congressman Hensarling said, "This bill would not exempt monetary contributions to candidates from current campaign finance limitations merely because the contributions are made online. Rather, the bill would codify existing regulations protecting such things as linking in blogs to campaign websites and editorializing about candidates from being regarded as contributions to those candidates."

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Christian Coalition Activists Need to Encourage 110th Congress to Pass Both "Net Neutrality" and "Multicast/Equal Access" Legislation to Prevent Discrimination Against Religious Broadcasters - Democrat-controlled Congress Expected to Pass "Net Neutrality"

"Multicast/Equal Access" (formerly called "Multicast/Must-carry") will go a long way to preventing discrimination against religious broadcasters. Without a "Multicast/Equal Access" law, the cable and satellite companies would probably not add new Christian channels and the influence of current Christian channels will be diluted.

ACTION ITEM: Please all your Congressman at 202-225-3121 or you can go to http://www.cc.org/contactcongress.cfm and email them and urge them to co-sponsor the Net Neutrality legislation introduced by Republican Congressman Charles "Chip" Pickering and Democrat Congressman Edward Markey called the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008," H.R. 5353.

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Join the Christian Coalition’s Judicial Task Force, which is dedicated to ending the obstruction of the President's judicial nominees and ensuring that they ALL receive a fair "up or down" vote by the full Senate

Please sign our petition and join the Judicial Task Force at: http://www.cc.org/taskforce.cfm

Encourage your family, friends and church friends to also sign the petition at our website and to join the Christian Coalition’s Judicial Task Force, which is dedicated to ending the obstruction of the President's judicial nominees and ensuring that they ALL receive a fair "up or down" vote by the full Senate.

There are a number of President Bush's Circuit Court of Appeals' nominees who have not yet received a Senate floor vote. The challenge to confirm President Bush's nominees in a Democrat-controlled Senate will be very difficult and we need your help in doing just that. You will become part of a team of individuals who are committed to being ready on a moment’s notice to take action when obstruction occurs.

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Please keep the above issues in prayer.

Through prayer and action great and mighty things can be accomplished!

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”

Please be sure to forward this message on to as many people as possible!