Defending the Judeo-Christian Heritage, limited government, and the American Constitution
Friday July 31st 2015

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S.E.M., Vol. 1, No. 7
Federalist 69 - by Alexander Hamilton. 1. What are the chief characters in regards to the President as outlined in the proposed Constitution? 2. Why does Hamilton believe the term of office for a President should be longer than three years? 3. What was the term of office for the king of England and what, in your opinion, is the potential for abuse in such a term? Would the term of office of the king of England present any advantages - in the Founders experience and in your opinion - over over the new American system? Read all of the questions and post your response at our new resource Self-Educated Man

‘Geoffrey Surtees’

Celebrating the National Day of Prayer

Celebrating the National Day of Prayer

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ It is not often that a Supreme Court Justice uses a personal anecdote to illustrate a point in a written opinion.  Almost ten years ago, in McCreary County v. ACLU (a 5-4 decision holding that a public Ten Commandments display violated the Establishment Clause), that’s exactly how Justice Antonin Scalia opened his [...]

ACLJ Opposes New HHS Mandate Regulations

ACLJ Opposes New HHS Mandate Regulations

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Today, the American Center for Law & Justice filed formal comments in objection to the administration’s latest efforts to see to it that both non-profit and for-profit groups continue to kowtow to the HHS Mandate.  (The HHS Mandate, adopted pursuant to Obamacare, is that collection of rules and regulations that [...]

Let the Banner Fly! Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Churches

Let the Banner Fly! Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Churches

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Last month, we were contacted by a pastor in New York who wished to display a church’s banner over a city’s main street announcing a religious, community event to be held in a public park.  The event, cosponsored with nine other local churches and ministries, and now in its third year, will include worship music, [...]

Protecting Religious Freedom: Obama Admin. v. The Founders

Protecting Religious Freedom: Obama Admin. v. The Founders

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ While Justice Sotomayor considers the emergency motion filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, which would allow them to adhere to their religious beliefs while their case goes up on appeal, we should stop to consider a few remarks from our Founders on the importance of religious freedom. In 1789, one year after the [...]

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear HHS Mandate Challenges

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear HHS Mandate Challenges

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ On June 28, 2012, in one of its most consequential and controversial decisions ever, NFIB v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s “Individual Mandate.”  In her partial concurrence and dissent in that decision, Justice Ginsburg observed: A mandate to purchase [...]

Taking the Abortion-Pill Mandate to the Supreme Court

Taking the Abortion-Pill Mandate to the Supreme Court

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Today, as announced here, the ACLJ has taken a challenge to the HHS Mandate directly to the United States Supreme Court.  Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, often referred to as the second most powerful court in the land, ruled in our Mandate case brought on behalf of Frank and Phil Gilardi and the two [...]

Pulverizing the HHS Mandate

Pulverizing the HHS Mandate

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Yesterday, Judge Richard E. Dorr, a federal judge in Springfield, Missouri, struck a blow against the federal government and its enforcement of the HHS Mandate -- the governmental edict that employers include abortion-inducing drugs in employee health plans or face ruinous penalties and fines. While the administration has [...]

ACLJ Asks Court to Block HHS Mandate

ACLJ Asks Court to Block HHS Mandate

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Today, as reported here, we asked the federal court in St. Louis, Missouri to block enforcement of the HHS Mandate against our clients, Frank O’Brien and O’Brien Industrial Holdings (“OIH”), until the court issues a final ruling on our legal claims. If the court grants our motion, this will be a significant step [...]

Challenging the Mandate: Not Just for Catholics

Challenging the Mandate: Not Just for Catholics

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Last week, twelve lawsuits involving forty-three Catholic schools, dioceses, and charities were filed in federal courts across the country. These suits challenge the HHS abortifacient-sterilization-contraception mandate and its unconstitutional coercion of conscience. One might be tempted to think the pending [...]

HHS Mandate Lawsuit Tidal Wave

HHS Mandate Lawsuit Tidal Wave

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Today, twelve lawsuits were filed in federal courts around the country challenging the HHS mandate requiring health insurance plans to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.  Bringing the lawsuits are forty-three dioceses, hospitals, schools, and other Catholic charities. To [...]

Secretary Sebelius Ignorant of the Constitution?

Secretary Sebelius Ignorant of the Constitution?

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Last Thursday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, appeared at a full committee hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee. Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina asked Sebelius to explain her statement earlier this year that requiring religious employers to include [...]

U.S. Department of Planned Parenthood

U.S. Department of Planned Parenthood

Geoffrey Surtees, ACLJ Anyone who doubts that the current administration is in the back pocket of Planned Parenthood need only consider the latest personnel shift at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). Effective last Friday, Tait Sye, once media director for Planned Parenthood, is now deputy assistant secretary for [...]

Narrow Defeat of Religious Liberty Amendment in the U.S. Senate

Narrow Defeat of Religious Liberty Amendment in the U.S. Senate

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Thursday, the United States Senate voted to defeat the Blunt Amendment, disregarding the First Amendment and the best of our country’s traditions, not to mention its foundational principles. The vote was narrow, 51-48, but a defeat nonetheless. As explained here, the amendment would have provided comprehensive [...]

Accommodation? Not.

Accommodation? Not.

GEOFFREY SURTEES, ACLJ Last Friday, reacting to the overwhelming groundswell in opposition to a federal regulation mandating religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations, the President announced the administration would now accommodate these groups. How so?  In the [...]