Attorney General

Judge Hudson’s Right Wing Ties

Today a federal judge in Virginia, responding to a suit filed by the state’s far-right Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, ruled that a key part of health care reform was unconstitutional. The judge, Henry E. Hudson, said that the Constitution’s “interstate commerce clause” does not provide the federal government the right to implement a mandate to make sure that everyone has health insurance coverage. A different federal judge in Virginia dismissed a similar suit brought by Liberty University against the reform law only two weeks ago.

Judge Hudson was first appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 to be US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and in 2002, George W. Bush appointed him to serve as district court judge for Virginia’s Eastern District.

According to disclosure forms, Judge Hudson reported collecting “dividends” totaling anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 from Campaign Solutions over a five year period of 2003 to 2008. Campaign Solutions later acknowledged that Hudson has owned stock in the firm since it was founded.

Campaign Solutions has a long record of working with conservative organizations and Republican candidates, including none other than Ken Cuccinelli. As the Alliance for Justice points out, “Campaign Solutions, has done work for a host of prominent Republican clients and health care reform critics, including the RNC and NRCC (both of which have called, to varying degrees, for health care reform’s repeal).”

Along with Cuccinnelli, who was elected Attorney General in 2009, Campaign Solutions worked for John McCain and Bush’s presidential campaigns, the notorious Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the Judicial Confirmation Network (since renamed the Judicial Crisis Network). In fact, Campaign Solutions was behind the establishment of the JCN, which was founded to support George W. Bush’s conservative judicial nominees and coordinate activities right-wing organizations, especially with Religious Right groups, although the JCN has since changed its name and works to oppose the confirmation of Obama’s nominees.

In 2008, The New Republic found that the JCN “publicly consists of two employees, a post box, and a website” and was “originally created in November 2004 by Becki Donatelli, a Republican PR doyenne who chairs Campaign Solutions (the firm used by Bush-Cheney ‘04, McCain 2008, the RNC, the NRCC, and even the 527 Vets For Freedom).”

As reported earlier today, according to legal expert Tim Jost, who has been following the many health care reform decisions being issues, “This decision is very defective and will be reversed by the appellate court or the Supreme Court."

Religious Right Tries to Marginalize SPLC

The Religious Right continues to react to the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and it is becoming clear that we've gotten to the point where people are speaking out against it without even having read it, which is why we have Ed Meese calling the list "despicable" and insisting that he knows the groups well, so they could not possibly be considered hate groups:

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese says it is “despicable” for the Southern Poverty Law Center to classify the Family Research Council and a dozen other top conservative organizations as “hate groups” similar to the Ku Klux Klan.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Meese told CNSNews.com about the list published by the SPLC. “I know about seven or eight of those groups. I know the people very well. I know the groups very well, I’ve worked with them over the years, and I think it actually undermines the credibility of the Southern Poverty Law Center to make such a statement.”

Last week, the Southern Policy Law Center announced that it was going to classify the Family Research Council and 12 other organizations as “hate groups” because of their positions on homosexuality.

Among the groups being designated by the SPLC are the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Institute, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, MassResistance, National Organization for Marriage and the Traditional Values Coalition.

The SPLC said these organizations will be named to its "hate group" watch list.

But Meese said the Southern Poverty Law Center had cited no evidence whatsoever to show that the FRC or the other major pro-family conservative organizations were hate groups.

First of all, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage were not designated hate groups - they were simply listed among active anti-gay groups.

Secondly, the SPLC laid out the statements and agenda of all the groups included on the list in its report, so the only way Meese could claim they "cited no evidence whatsoever" is if he hadn't bothered to read it.

And then, in one final bit of irony, Maggie Gallagher complained that the goal of the SPLC was to marginalize conservative groups so that no elected or government officials would associate with them ... while Messe demanded that the government have nothing to do with the SPLC:

The liberal law firm informs the media and law enforcement of its “surveillance,” and has close ties to both the media and the Justice Department.

“The question is, can they get away with it? Is it going to become the case that a politician can’t have anything to do with the Family Research Council or they’ll be associating with a ‘hate’ group. Will the media now say ‘We can’t talk to the Family Research Council because they are an extremist hate group?’” Gallagher asked.

...

Meese, meanwhile, called on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize and remove the FRC and the other groups from the list. He also said no one in law enforcement should take these latest deisgnations seriously.

“What should happen is, they should rescind their statement and apologize,” Meese said. “If in fact, in any way, they are in collusion with the Justice Department or any other department of the federal government on this, I think it is a serious problem for the government."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/23/10

Newt Gingrich

Government: Claims that Attorney General Eric Holder “endangered national security” and should resign (NewsMax, 11/21).

Media: Says he will refuse to attend a debate hosted by “hostile” and “left-wing” Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann (Mediaite, 11/21).

Mike Huckabee

2012: Warns that GOP takeover of the House will help Obama in 2012 (The Note, 11/22).

Religious Right: Iowa Independent looks at Huckabee’s ties to Vander Plaats, IFPC (Iowa Independent, 11/22).

Iowa: Congratulates voters for ousting judges who backed same-sex marriage rights (AP, 11/21).

Sarah Palin

Obama: In new book says that the President betrays “a stark lack of faith in the American people” (USA Today, 11/23).

Media: Tells Sean Hannity she will only speak to non-biased reporters and shun Katie Couric (CBS News, 11/22).

2012: Conservatives4Palin lists the five top reasons she is qualified to be President, includes PTA volunteering and “Pro-Life Advocacy” (C4P, 11/19).

Tim Pawlenty

Government: Calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign (Iowa Independent, 11/22).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed on how states can stop health care reform (San Diego Union Tribune, 11/18).

Mitt Romney

Poll: New poll has Romney as most competitive Republican, in statistical dead heat with Obama (Quinnipiac, 11/22).

Fundraising: NYT explores Romney’s web of state leadership PACS (NYT, 11/20).

Rick Santorum

2012: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting in February (Sunshine State News, 11/22).

New Hampshire: Plans on seventh appearance in the Granite State later this month (CNN, 11/17).

Tea Party: After claiming to be only Tea Party presidential hopeful, says that Angle, Miller, and O’Donnell don’t represent movement either (GOP 12, 11/16).

Meet Tim Griffin: Karl Rove’s Man in Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our fifth candidate profile is on Tim Griffin of Arkansas:

Running in an open Democratic district, Tim Griffin defeated progressive champion Joyce Elliott to win the election to represent Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District.

Tim Griffin worked in the two Bush presidential campaigns and McCain’s 2008 campaign as the Republicans’ chief opposition researcher. In 2000, he said with regards to his opposition research department: “We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war…. We make the bullets.” Conservative columnist Robert Novak called Griffin “a protégé of Karl Rove, who is a leading practitioner of opposition research — the digging up of derogatory information about political opponents.”

He received notoriety in 2004 for his work to advance the false smears propagated by the discredited group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Griffin next came to light when President Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney as part of his ongoing efforts to politicize the Department of Justice. “In December 2006, US Attorney Bud Cummings was fired from his district in Northeast Arkansas and replaced with Tim Griffin,” writes investigative journalist Shannyn Moore, as the Bush Administration used a little known provision of the USA Patriot Act to avoid confirmation hearings and votes by the US Senate. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNaulty later testified that “Cummings was fired to make a place for Griffin at the urging of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers,” the former White House Counsel. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Chief of Staff, wrote in an email that “getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.”

Paul Charlton, who was also ousted in the Bush Administration’s Purge of US Attorneys, said that Griffin “spread the rumors around the White House that Bud Cummins was not a good U.S. attorney” in order to get him fired. Another U.S. Attorney who was pushed out during the purge, David Iglesias, maintains that Tim Griffin “never should have been U.S. Attorney, he was fundamentally unqualified.”

When defending Griffin’s nomination, the Bush Administration used “misleading talking points” which significantly exaggerated his experience as a prosecutor.

Griffin continued his deeply political work while serving as a U.S. Attorney, but was forced to resign in 2007 when he was caught in a “vote caging” operation to prevent minorities from voting. The BBC uncovered emails sent by Griffin during the 2004 campaign which included ‘caging lists’ to bar typically marginalized groups voting, and Griffin’s “caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.”

According to Iglesias, his management of the vote caging maneuvers represents “reprehensible conduct and it may be illegal.” As a result of his disreputable background, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) rated him one of the “most corrupt” candidates for Congress.

When he was not working in the Bush Administration or for GOP campaigns, Griffin was a high-paid consultant and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars while working for “lobbying and consulting firms on shadowy causes,” including the corporate astro-turf campaign that was fighting Alaska’s Clean Water Initiative.

Throughout his congressional campaign, Griffin has closely followed the Karl Rove-playbook of appealing to both corporate interests and the Religious Right. Griffin wants to repeal health care reform and once supported the elimination of corporate taxes in favor of a national sales tax. At a candidate forum, he even went out of his way to laud the state’s relatively low wages for workers and anti-union laws.

An opponent of equal rights and a woman’s right to choose, Griffin supports a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, believes that employers should be allowed to fire their employees due to their sexual orientation, and has pledged to protect the discriminatory Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The fervently anti-choice group Americans United for Life Action ran ads boosting Griffin and criticizing his opponent, saying that she does not care about “the life of an innocent child.”

After a long career of dirty tricks, corporate astro-turfing, and Rovian politics, Griffin is a darling of the Republican leadership and set to become a star member of the GOP’s freshman class.

Watch this segment from the Bill Moyers Journal on Tim Griffin:

 

 

 

Meet Congressman-Elect Raul Labrador: Bryan Fischer’s Favorite Tea Partier

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our second candidate profile is on a hero to Idaho's Religious Right and Tea Party movements, Raul Labrador:

In the Republican primary to see who would face off against Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, Raul Labrador ran to the right of his very conservative opponent who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and the NRCC. Labrador rallied support from Religious Right and Tea Party groups in order to upset Republican Vaughn Ward, whose campaign imploded, and he went on to defeat Rep. Minnick.

Labrador made his right-wing views clear when he announced his campaign in an email “to a former Idaho blogger known for his extreme conservative views.” He supports withdrawing the US from the United Nations, returning to the Gold Standard, and eliminating the Department of Education. Labrador even wants to repeal the 17th Amendment and end the right of voters to elect their Senators, bizarrely saying that it is “the constitutional position to take” and the only way to make sure “that US Senators are actually beholden to the people.”

In the State House, Labrador said he will work “tirelessly to defund and repeal Obamacare” and spearheaded the passage of a bill which compels the Attorney General to challenge the health care reform law in federal court and bars the government from mandating coverage. When speaking to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Labrador maintained that the law was “historic, but remember, Benedict Arnold was also historic, he betrayed our nation. And I think the Democratic Party betrayed our nation yesterday as well.”

An anti-government zealot, he backed bills which seek to reaffirm Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government, to limit “Congress’ power under the commerce clause,” and to stop the federal government from enforcing gun laws.

He won support from the Religious Right community and the American Family Association’s director of public policy and talk show host Bryan Fischer, who compared gays to terrorists and believes that Muslims should be prohibited from building mosques in the US, called Labrador his “good friend” and the two hosted Tea Party rallies together. Labrador voted to make the federal government “provide for the presence of God in the public domain,” supports the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military, and opposes same-sex marriage rights.

The Family Research Council Action PAC ran radio ads endorsing Labrador, who supported him as a result of his 100% anti-choice record: he voted to allow medical professionals to refuse contraceptives, voted in favor of increasing burdens on women seeking to terminate their pregnancy, and lauds his opposition to abortion in all cases. Penny Nance of the far-right Concerned Women for America showered praise on Labrador, the National Right to Life Committee extolled his “exemplary pro-life record,” and he was a principal legislative ally of Idaho Chooses Life.

A proponent of corporate interests, Labrador wants to scrap the progressive income tax in favor of a national sales tax, supports the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Even though he opposes the Stimulus, as a State Representative he repeatedly voted in favor of spending federal money provided by the Stimulus. On immigration, Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Labrador, who has said that illegal immigrants are “going to have to self-deport.”

Raul Labrador’s fanatical mission to rewrite the Constitution and dismantle the federal government has generated massive support from the Tea Party, and Religious Right figures like Bryan Fischer and Peggy Nance have given Labrador their blessing as a result of his rigid anti-choice and anti-equality views. As a result of the election, Labrador is set to bring his extremist views and rightwing platform from the Idaho State House to the US Congress.

 

 

 

David Barton's Incoherent Election Analysis: The Biggest Loser Was George Soros

Yesterday, Peter wrote a post on the post-election conference call hosted by Jim Garlow, Newt Gingrich, and David Barton that covered most of the main points that were made, but I just wanted to highlight this one section in which Barton tried to make the case that the biggest loser in the election was George Soros:

George Soros was the biggest loser in the nation - not President Obama, George Soros.

Soros has spent $46 million trying to get states to shift to get rid of elected judges and go to retention elections because then you can do what you do in Iowa.

The average return rate in a retention election is 98%, 98% of all judges facing retention get returned, it becomes a lifetime appointment. Iowa went against the trend, showed it can be done. Soros hated that because he had those judges in there for that very reason.

Soros has also, for the last two election cycles, put millions of dollars into getting Secretaries of State and getting Attorney Generals because in the case of Colorado, that's the only state where we had a pro-life issue on the ballot, that was the Personhood Amendment in Colorado. But the Attorney General, one of Soros' guys there, came in and added a line to the initiative that said, oh by the way, this is a thing that is going to absolutely destroy the right of people to choose all sorts of things. And it's not part of the initiative but that Attorney General added it and I think that helped cause that thing to go down. So having Attorney Generals, they interpret these initiatives and put little tag lines on them to, quote, help people understand them.

And the Secretary of State, this is where recounts are done. He had the Secretary of State in Minnesota keep recounting until finally Al Franken wins it and then he says no more recounts, we've had enough recounts.

The same with Dino Rossi over in Washington state where he ran earlier for governor. They recounted until the Democrat got ahead and said, okay no more recounts.

Well guess what, Soros lost a ton of Secretary of States last night. They were taken away from him. Same with state Attorney Generals. Last night was a terrible night for Soros.

Keep in mind that Barton is Glenn Beck's favorite "historian" ... and if Barton's interpretation of recent history is this absurd, what does that suggest about his interpretations of early America history?

Right Wing Leftovers

MassResistance's Scott Lively Write-In Campaign Falls Flat

Last month we noted that MassResistance was unhappy with Charlie Baker, the candidate expected to win the Republican primary for Governor in Massachusetts, so they launched a write-in campaign for Scott Lively, creating a situation where one SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group was trying to get the head of another SPLC-certified anti-gay hate elected governor.

So how did that effort turn out?  According to an email update from MassResistance, they did not have much success:

It was a spirited try, but unfortunately never got the necessary momentum or publicity.

Although Jim McKenna was an overwhelming success as a write-in candidate to get on the ballot for Attorney General in the Sept. 14 Massachusetts Republican Primary, the other pro-family candidates fell seriously short ...

Republican Primary Totals - Statewide

CHARLIE BAKER 215,008
SCOTT LIVELY (write-in) 1,021
TIMOTHY CAHILL (write-in) 448

MassResistance goes on to allege that Lively received more votes than listed on the official totals, but that local election officials refused to count them:  

For example, in Newton the election officials have declared that Scott Lively received no write-in votes. However, we contacted seven Newton voters who said they definitely wrote-in Scott Lively on the ballot. (We're going to investigate this some more.) It's not a huge amount, but it really makes you wonder about the accuracy of the whole system. In addition, the Newton officials were pretty condescending about the our concerns.

If these seven votes had been counted, Lively's percentage of the overall vote total would have increased from .471% to .474%, so I can't imagine why election officials in Newton could have been so condescending about MassResistance's concerns.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC rejoices over the defeat of the effort to repeal Don't ask Don't Tell.
  • Over the weekend, Sharron Angle spoke at Utah’s Freedom Conference, an event co-sponsored by the John Birch Society.
  • Tim Scott tells CBN's David Brody that there is no racism in the Tea Party movement.
  • Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will all speak at Virginia's first annual Tea Party Convention next month.
  • You can now add Rep. Paul Ryan to the list of conservatives saying there might be a need to call a "truce" in the culture wars.
  • Jerry Falwell, Jr. supports efforts by VA Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan to privatize the state's liquor monopoly.
  • Finally, I find it hilarious that FRC is outraged that Republicans would speak to the Log Cabin Republicans just days after FRC gave a prime speaking slot to notorious bigot Bryan Fischer.

Judge Dismisses Religious Right Lawsuit Challenging Hate Crimes Legislation

In February, four Religious Right activists in Michigan - Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette, James Combs, and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan - represented by the Thomas More Law Center filed suit against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, claiming that protection for gays "creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior."

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington dismissed the suit:

In a 43-page motion to dismiss, Holder called Glenn’s arguments hypothetical.

Citing 68 cases, he said Glenn and the ministers had no right to file a civil suit based on “conjectural” or hypothetical injuries or infringements.

“Plaintiffs do not allege that they have been prosecuted under the Act, that they have been threatened with such prosecution or that they intend to engage in any conduct prohibited by the Act,” Holder argued.

“The Act does not proscribe speech. It prohibits only violent conduct and includes specific provisions ensuring that it may not be applied to infringe any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Ludington agreed.

“... it is entirely speculative that Plaintiff’s conduct would be prosecuted under the Act,” Ludington wrote.

Case law requires that a plaintiff’s claim must be more than a “generalized grievance,” the judge noted.

Gingrich Wants Ground Zero Declared a National Battlefield Memorial to Stop Park 51

David Barton and Newt Gingrich have been working together for years now, but today was the first time Gingrich had ever appeared on Barton's "Wallbuilders Live" radio program.

Gingrich came on to discuss his recent column opposing the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" and did so did so with typical Gingrichian belligerence, but eventually the topic turned toward how to actually prevent it from being built and Gingrich's preferred solution is for Congress to declare Ground Zero to be a national battlefield memorial:

Well, there are a lot of places. I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war.

The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to.

I am surprised that Mayor Bloomberg said it was okay and I think that if he reconsiders it, he'll decide its not.

There are a number of different steps that could be taken. There's no reason this has to occur and whether it's city, state, or federal there are plenty of ways for America to stop it.

Elsewhere, Barton gushes over Gingrich's amazing genius and notes that he has been utterly forgiven by the Religious Right for his previous multiple marital failings:

And finally, Rick Green asked Gingrich if he was planning on running for president in 2012, to which Gingrich replied that if he does decide to do so, Barton and Wallbuilders will be asked to play a key role in the campaign:

Green: Mr. Speaker, my wife and I were really wanting to be able to vote for you for president two years ago. Are we going to get to do that in 2012?

Gingrich: All I can tell you is that sometime in February or March, Calista and I and our family will be making this decision. As you know, I'm a great admirer of your work and of all you've done to teach Americans about their history and the roots of American freedom. And I can assure you that if we do decide to run next year, we're promptly going to call you and say "we need your help, and we need your advice, and we need your counsel." It's more than a voting matter. If we decide to run, David, we're going to need you.

Prop 8 Ruling Sets Off Religious Right Blame Game

Among the expected reactions of outrage from the Religious Right to the ruling striking down Proposition 8 yesterday was one very strange response from Liberty Counsel.

Instead of focusing its ire on the judge who wrote the decision, Liberty Counsel dedicated the bulk of its statement to attacking the Alliance Defense Fund for doing such a poor job of defending the constitutionality of Proposition 8: 

Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 initiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.

The California Supreme Court previously stated, “The right of initiative is precious to the people and is one which the courts are zealous to preserve to the fullest tenable measure of spirit as well as letter.” Moreover, the U.S. Constitution cannot be stretched to include a right to same-sex marriage.

Except for this case, since Liberty Counsel was excluded by ADF, Liberty Counsel has represented the Campaign for California Families to defend the state’s marriage laws since 2004 and has argued at the trial, appellate and state Supreme Court levels.

You may recall that shortly after the court case began, the ADF-associated attorneys representing the Yes on 8 side made a concerted effort to prevent Liberty Counsel from intervening in the case ... mainly because LC was just way too rabidly anti-gay, and that would just undermine the Prop 8 supporters' attempts to demonstrate that their side was not motivated by anti-gay bias:

It was a sunny summer morning, but inside a San Francisco federal courtroom the outlook for Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel was cloudy.

Charles Cooper, representing the official anti-gay marriage forces in a federal court challenge to Proposition 8, wasn't fighting hard enough, she insisted. He wouldn't try to prove, for instance, that homosexuality is an "illness or disorder."

"Individuals should be entitled to treatment to change your sexual orientation," Lindevaldsen argued.

Cooper's team quickly deflected Liberty Counsel's attempt to intervene, saying it just wanted to fight battles that "can't be won." That left Cooper -- a consummate Beltway insider who avoids the kind of language favored by Lindevaldsen -- and his firm the sole legal representatives for 7 million Californians that supported Prop 8.

...

The official Yes on 8 effort has tried to distance itself from "fringe" groups that are too "strident or combative," [Yes on 8 General Counsel Andrew] Pugno said.

"I think it's fitting that the demeanor and tone of our lead counsel would reflect the demeanor and civilized tone that we tried to maintain during the campaign," he said.

Liberty Counsel even took their case to the Ninth Circuit in an effort to force its way into the case, claiming that the Prop 8 attorneys were insufficiently hostile to gays and would therefore would be unable or unwilling to present the strongest defense.

Liberty Counsel's attempt to inject itself into this case was ultimately rejected by the court ... and now the group is blaming the Alliance Defense Fund for having blown the case. 

Right Wing Reactions to Prop 8 Decision

I'll be updating this post as more statements are released reacting to the decision to oveturn Prop 8, but Focus on the Family is out with the first statement blasting the ruling (if you don't count Harry Jackson, who Tweeted a statement hours ago):

“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.

“During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008.

“Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word.

“We fully expect the judge’s decision to be overturned upon appeal. The redeeming feature of our judicial system is that one judge who ignores the law and the evidence must ultimately endure the review and reversal of his actions from the appellate courts.

“We do want Americans to understand the seriousness of this decision, however. If this judge’s decision is not overturned, it will most likely force all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage. This would be a profound and fundamental change to the social and legal fabric of this country.

“Our Founders intended such radical changes to come from the people, not from activist judges. Alexander Hamilton, in advocating for the ratification of our Constitution in 1788, argued that the judiciary would be ‘the least dangerous’ branch of government. Today’s decision shows how far we have come from that original understanding.”

Randy Thomasson and Save California:

"Natural marriage, voter rights, the Constitution, and our republic called the United States of America have all been dealt a terrible blow. Judge Walker has ignored the written words of the Constitution, which he swore to support and defend and be impartially faithful to, and has instead imposed his own homosexual agenda upon the voters, the parents, and the children of California. This is a blatantly unconstitutional ruling because marriage isn't in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that state policies be by the people, not by the judges, and also supports states' rights, thus making marriage a state jurisdiction. It is high time for the oath of office to be updated to require judicial nominees to swear to judge only according to the written words of the Constitution and the original, documented intent of its framers. As a Californian and an American, I am angry that this biased homosexual judge, in step with other judicial activists, has trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority, and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow and which both the people of California and California state authorities should by no means respect."

Concerned Women for America:

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said:

“Judge Walker’s decision goes far beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ to strike at the heart of our representative democracy. Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves. The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately.

“Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement.

“Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.

“CWA stands in prayer for our nation as we continue to defend marriage as the holy union God created between one man and one woman.”

CWA of California State Director Phyllis Nemeth said:

“Today Judge Vaughn Walker has chosen to side with political activism over the will of the people. His ruling is slap in the face to the more than seven million Californians who voted to uphold the definition of marriage as it has been understood for millennia.

“While Judge Walker’s decision is disappointing it is not the end of this battle. Far from it. The broad coalition of support for Proposition 8 remains strong, and we will support the appeal by ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of Proposition 8.

“We are confident that Judge Walker’s decision will ultimately be reversed. No combination of judicial gymnastics can negate the basic truth that marriage unites the complementary physical and emotional characteristics of a man and a woman to create a oneness that forms the basis for the family unit allowing a child to be raised by his or her father and mother. Any other combination is a counterfeit that fails to provide the best environment for healthy child rearing and a secure foundation for the family. It is this foundation upon which society is – and must be – built for a healthy and sustained existence.”

Family Research Council:

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. It's time for the far Left to stop insisting that judges redefine our most fundamental social institution and using liberal courts to obtain a political goal they cannot obtain at the ballot box.

"Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a 'marriage' is.

"Marriage as the union between one man and one woman has been the universally-recognized understanding of marriage not only since America's founding but for millennia. To hold that the Founders created a constitutional right that none of them could even have conceived of is, quite simply, wrong.

"FRC has always fought to protect marriage in America and will continue to do so by working with our allies to appeal this dangerous decision. Even if this decision is upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals-the most liberal appeals court in America-Family Research Council is confident that we can help win this case before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Liberty Counsel:

Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 initiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.

The California Supreme Court previously stated, “The right of initiative is precious to the people and is one which the courts are zealous to preserve to the fullest tenable measure of spirit as well as letter.” Moreover, the U.S. Constitution cannot be stretched to include a right to same-sex marriage.

Except for this case, since Liberty Counsel was excluded by ADF, Liberty Counsel has represented the Campaign for California Families to defend the state’s marriage laws since 2004 and has argued at the trial, appellate and state Supreme Court levels.

Mary McAlister, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “This is a classic case of judicial activism. The Constitution is unrecognizable in this opinion. This is simply the whim of one judge. It does not reflect the Constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. I am confident this decision will be overturned.”

Alliance Defense Fund:

“In America, we should respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process--especially ones that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the foundation of the country and beyond,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.

“We will certainly appeal this disappointing decision. Its impact could be devastating to marriage and the democratic process,” Raum said. “It’s not radical for more than 7 million Californians to protect marriage as they’ve always known it. What would be radical would be to allow a handful of activists to gut the core of the American democratic system and, in addition, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve.”

...

“The majority of California voters simply wished to preserve the historic definition of marriage. The other side’s attack upon their good will and motives is lamentable and preposterous,” Raum said. “Imagine what would happen if every state constitutional amendment could be eliminated by small groups of wealthy activists who malign the intent of the people. It would no longer be America, but a tyranny of elitists.”

“What’s at stake here is bigger than California,” Pugno added. “Americans in numerous states have affirmed--and should be allowed to continue to affirm--a natural and historic public policy position like this. We are prepared to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Capitol Resource Institute:

"Today's ruling is indicative of an out-of-control judiciary willing to circumvent California's direct democracy by imposing their point of view," said Karen England Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI). "Family values are under constant assault now more then ever. CRI was instrumental in passing proposition 22 in 2000 and we fought to get proposition 8 on the ballot and subsequently in California's Constitution. We will continue to battle interest groups who wish to redefine one of our oldest institutions; the institution of marriage. We will continue to represent the 7 million Californians who took to the polls in favor of marriage."

American Family Association:

“This is a tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional display of judicial arrogance. Judge Walker has turned ‘We the People’ into ‘I the Judge.’

“It’s inexcusable for him to deprive the citizens of California of their right to govern themselves, and cavalierly trash the will of over seven million voters. This case never should even have entered his courtroom. The federal constitution nowhere establishes marriage policy, which means under the 10th Amendment that issue is reserved for the states.

“It’s also extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a practicing homosexual himself. He should have recused himself from this case, because his judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual proclivity. The fundamental issue here is whether homosexual conduct, with all its physical and psychological risks, should be promoted and endorsed by society. That’s why the people and elected officials accountable to the people should be setting marriage policy, not a black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to believe he could be impartial.

“His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute. He’d have to recuse himself on conflict of interest grounds, and Judge Walker should have done that.

“The Constitution says judges hold office ‘during good Behavior.’ Well, this ruling is bad behavior - in fact, it’s very, very bad behavior - and we call on all members of the House of Representatives who respect the Constitution to launch impeachment proceedings against this judge.”

Traditional Values Coalition:

"It is an outrage that one arrogant and rogue federal judge can take it upon himself to overturn a centuries old definition of marriage and family," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). "On November 4, 2008, 7 million voters of California cemented into the state constitution a definition of marriage for one man and one woman only. Now with US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling today he has completely undermined the expressed will of voters at the ballot box. Direct Democracy has been blatantly attacked today."

"First it was the California Supreme Court's decision in 2008 to overturn Prop 22 and force the people of California to accept homosexual marriages. Well, the people adamantly rejected their ruling and homosexual marriages and they passed Prop 8, which was designed to forever tie the hands of judges from redefining marriage. Now one judge has yet again slapped the people in the face, even though the state constitution now clearly tells them what marriage means; we spelled it out for them in black and white," Sheldon added. "This is a blatant sign of judicial activism and lack of judicial restraint."

Sheldon added: "There is more at stake than just traditional marriage and the centuries long definition of the family. This ruling seriously undermines the expressed vote and will of the people on initiatives and proposed amendments they approve at the ballot box. This judge's ruling says that any vote of the people will have no weight, credence, sovereignty, value or worth at all. On appeal, the courts will either realize their limits and not undermine the constitutional power of the vote, or they will continue to demonstrate the most blatant arrogance and impose judicial tyranny by declaring that they alone, and not the people, have the ultimate final say on all matters of the state. Democracy, the constitution and the people would be beneath them."

TVC state lobbyist Benjamin Lopez, who was publicly credited by homosexual State Senator Mark Leno for the defeat of his proposed homosexual marriage bill in 2005, echoed Sheldon's statements:

"The issue at hand now is whether the will of 7 million voters outweighs that of either 7 Supreme Court justices or any one judge anywhere in the state. Homosexual marriage advocates may kick and scream the loudest demanding that Prop 8 be struck down, but they should be drowned out by the deafening voice of 7 million Californians who settled this issue not once, but twice already. We are hear because homosexual radicals continue to act like immature children who throw tantrums when they do not get their way."

"Same-sex marriage supporters repeatedly beat the drum of civil rights to equate their cause to the legitimate struggles of minority groups and say the public is on their side. Yet not even in 'liberal' California have they won over the people so they must resort to sympathetic, liberal black-robed activists who sit on the bench to force same-sex marriage on the people.

"If folks think that the Tea Party movement is a force to be reckoned with now, wait until the silent majority of pro-family voters flex their political muscle once again. Judges beware, you will go the way of Rose Bird, stripped of their robes and kicked off the bench," Lopez added.

The battle of same-sex marriage began in March 2000 when California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22. It stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Homosexual marriage advocates challenged Prop 22 in court and in March 2005, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer struck it down ruling it in violation of the equal protection clause. Kramer's ruling was then challenged all the way to the California Supreme Court. In early 2008 the high court upheld Kramer's ruling allowing homosexual marriages to take place. Voters passed Prop 8 in November 2008 cementing Prop 22's language into the state constitution. After challenges to Prop 8 reached the state supreme court, the justices upheld Prop 8 and allowed for some 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand. The current ruling by Judge Walker was the result of a challenge to the California Supreme Court's ruling.

Richard Land:

 “This is a grievously serious crisis in how the American people will choose to be governed. The people of our most populous state—a state broadly indicative of the nation at large demographically—voted to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, thus excluding same-sex and polygamous relationships from being defined as marriage. 

“Now, an unelected federal judge has chosen to override the will of the people of California and to redefine an institution the federal government did not create and that predates the founding of America. Indeed, ‘marriage’ goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God defined His institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“This case will clearly make its way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of the United States, where unfortunately, the outcome is far from certain. There are clearly four votes who will disagree with this judge—Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. The supreme question is: Will there be a fifth? Having surveyed Justice Kennedy’s record on this issue, I have no confidence that he will uphold the will of the people of California.

“If and when the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court, then the American people will have to decide whether they will insist on continuing to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or whether they’re going to live under the serfdom of government by the judges, of the judges and for the judges. Our forefathers have given us a method to express our ultimate will. It’s called an amendment to the Constitution. If the Supreme Court fails to uphold the will of the people of California—if we are going to have our form of government altered by judicial fiat—then the only alternative left to us is to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Many senators who voted against the federal marriage amendment the last time it came up said publicly if a federal court interfered with a state’s right to determine this issue, they would then be willing to vote for a federal marriage amendment. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to vote.

“Despite egregious court rulings like this one, there is nonetheless an unprecedented effort going on across the nation of Christians uniting for sustained prayer, for revival, awakening and deliverance. I encourage everyone to join me in this effort and go to 4040prayer.com for more information.” 

National Organization for Marriage:

"Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

"Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple - there isn't!" added Brown.

"The 'trial' in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people's right to vote for marriage," stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.

"Gay marriage groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and Equality California will, no doubt, be congratulating themselves over this "victory" today in San Francisco. However, even they know that Judge Walker's decision is only temporary. For the past 20 years, gay marriage groups have fought to avoid cases filed in federal court for one good reason - they will eventually lose. But these groups do not have control of the Schwarzenegger v. Perry case, which is being litigated by two egomaniacal lawyers (Ted Olson and David Boies). So while they congratulate themselves over their victory before their home-town judge today, let's not lose sight of the fact that this case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where the right of states to define marriage as being between one man and one woman will be affirmed--and if the Supreme Court fails, Congress has the final say. The rights of millions of voters in states from Wisconsin to Florida, from Maine to California, are at stake in this ruling; NOM is confident that the Supreme Court will affirm the basic civil rights of millions of American voters to define marriage as one man and one woman," noted Gallagher.

Robert George - American Principles Project:

“Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Robert P. George, Founder of the American Principles Project. “In striking down California’s conjugal marriage law, Judge Walker has arrogated to himself a decision of profound social importance—the definition and meaning of marriage itself—that is left by the Constitution to the people and their elected representatives.”

“As a decision lacking any warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, it abuses and dishonors the very charter in whose name Judge Walker declares to be acting. This usurpation of democratic authority must not be permitted to stand.”

Judge Walker’s decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to invalidate California Proposition 8, which by vote of the people of California restored the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife after California courts had re-defined marriage to include same-sex partnerships.

“The claim that this case is about equal protection or discrimination is simply false,” George said. “It is about the nature of marriage as an institution that serves the interests of children—and society as a whole—by uniting men and women in a relationship whose meaning is shaped by its wonderful and, indeed, unique aptness for the begetting and rearing of children.

“We are talking about the right to define what marriage is, not about who can or cannot take part. Under our Constitution the definition and meaning of marriage is a decision left in the hands of the people, not given to that small fraction of the population who happen to be judges.”

“Judge Walker has abandoned his role as an impartial umpire and jumped into the competition between those who believe in marriage as the union of husband and wife and those who seek to advance still further the ideology of the sexual revolution. Were his decision to stand, it would ensure additional decades of social dissension and polarization. Pro-marriage Americans are not going to yield to sexual revolutionary ideology or to judges who abandon their impartiality to advance it. We will work as hard as we can for as long as it takes to defend the institution of marriage and to restore the principle of democratic self-government,” concluded Dr. George.

Newt Gingrich:

"Judge Walker's ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they've affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy. Today’s notorious decision also underscores the importance of the Senate vote tomorrow on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because judges who oppose the American people are a growing threat to our society.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has been forced to issue a statement trying to explain why his office paid George Rekers $120,000 for his anti-gay testimony.
  • Marco Rubio sits down for an interview with Human Events.
  • Frank Pavone says his "pro-life freedom rides" are just like the civil rights movement: "In that case, it was skin color. Today, it's the age of the child -- the fact that the child is still in the womb. But it's the same fundamental mistake that we think that we can exclude some human beings."
  • I'm starting to think that the GOP is being run by Bartleby, the Scrivener.
  • You know, if the National Day of Prayer is going to go on again next year even with government recognition, then why is the Right so miffed? Nobody is trying to stop them from holding events.
  • Finally, don't let the United Nations destroy Mother's Day.

Note To WSJ: Alito Had a Record on Abortion Too

Today the Wall Street Journal ran the groundbreaking scoop that possible Supreme Court nominee Diane Wood has a record when it comes to the issue of abortion. Apparently, the WSJ finds this most remarkable and almost unheard of:  

Recent Supreme Court nominees have come before the Senate with such slim records on abortion that their views were anybody's guess.

Not so with Diane Wood, a Chicago federal appellate judge who is on the White House's short list of candidates for the latest high-court vacancy.

The WSJ claims that recent nominees have had "records virtually devoid of substantive statements on the matter" ... apparently having completely forgotten about, say, the substantive statements made by Samuel Alito on the matter: 

In a memo disclosed Wednesday that he wrote in 1985 as an assistant to the solicitor general, Alito recommended that the administration submit a brief to the Supreme Court, asking it to uphold a Pennsylvania law that imposed a variety of abortion restrictions and "make clear that we disagree with Roe v. Wade."

Alito argued that stepping into the case, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, would be a more effective strategy for President Reagan than a "frontal assault" on the landmark case and would not "even tacitly concede Roe's legitimacy." Disagreeing with the administration's position, the court struck down the law the following year.

...

Alito was 35 years old and a civil-service lawyer when he wrote the abortion memo in May 1985. It was just six months before he sent a letter to then-Attorney General Ed Meese as part of his successful application for a higher-ranking political appointment, saying that he was "particularly proud" of his contribution to cases in which the administration argued "that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

...

In the memo, Alito wrote: "What can be made of this opportunity to advance the goals of bringing about the eventual overruling of Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects?" He then urged the Justice Department to argue that provisions in the Pennsylvania law "are eminently reasonable and legitimate and would be upheld without a moment's hesitation in other contexts."

He referred to a doctor who performs the procedure as an "abortionist" and railed against a different court decision that had struck down an ordinance that he said was "designed to preclude the mindless dumping of aborted fetuses into garbage piles." He called the decision "almost incredible."

Sputtering Start to Religious Right's Rebranding

The Freedom Federation’s “Awakening” conference convened at Liberty University on April 15 and 16  with the ambitious goal of transforming America by touching off the greatest religious revival that America or the world has ever known.   Short of that, the gathering was all about rebranding the Religious Right political movement as a “multiracial, multi-ethnic, transgenerational” movement that cares about social justice (sorry, Glenn Beck). In short, the conference was meant to send a message to young and non-white evangelicals: this ain’t your father’s Religious Right.

Given the gathering’s audacious goals, and the number and firepower of participating Religious Right leaders (who it was claimed represented 40 million Americans), attendance was dismal. In fact there’s probably never been a conference with a higher ratio of featured speakers (52) to attendees (a couple of hundred at best, not counting the session that used a regularly scheduled student convocation to give speaker Sam Rodriguez a larger audience). 
 
Of course, there were plenty of signs that the old Religious Right and its focus on divisive fear-driven politics haven’t gone anywhere.  Speaker after speaker portrayed faith and freedom under relentless attack in America. In spite of repeated assertions that the movement was nonpartisan and would not be co-opted by any political party, it was clear that the top political priorities for these leaders are to help Republicans take back at least one house of Congress in 2010 and to defeat the tyrannical Barack Obama in 2012. Ending abortion and turning back progress toward equality for LGBT people are top policy priorities.
 
Despite the low turnout, the conference served as an opportunity for organizers to meet and strategize for the 2010 elections, and to try out some new messaging and public relations strategies. Here were the conference’s main themes:
  • Tyranny! Red Alert! America is in big trouble. Freedom is under attack by President Obama and his allies in Congress. And since Obama is no friend of Israel, we’re in trouble with God.
  • Fight! Big threats mean we have to be ready to fight, fight fight. The tea party movement was invoked favorably and, given the turnout, a bit wistfully.
  • Unify. A major theme of the event was the need to ignore major theological differences among speakers and focus on common values such as ending abortion and the Obama administration.
  • Diversify. The conference made a major effort to showcase the Freedom Federation’s claims to be a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational movement. 
  • Seek Social Justice. Watch out, Glenn Beck, these right-wingers are eager to portray themselves as a social justice movement.
  • Millennial Generation, saving America is your job.

Jacobs: "The Bible is the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People"

As Sarah Posner notes, last night's opening session of the Freedom Federation's "The Awakening" Conference was pretty much a bust:

The Freedom Federation Summit taking place April 15-16 at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia was billed as the next Great Awakening, the inaugural gathering of "a new movement [that] is forming in America comprised of people of all races, ethnicities and generations." With the mobilizing power of dozens of religious right organizations behind it, why was the first night attended by only a few hundred people?

I'm not sure what the organizers were thinking, but kicking off this thing on tax day, knowing that tea parties were mobilizing around the country, was obvious poor planning. Last night's activities took place inside Thomas Road Baptist Church, which seats several thousand, but only drew a few hundred spectators, and when I first arrived there were only a few dozen. This could not have made many of the first night's top speakers -- including the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli -- very happy. Some of today's activities are slated to take place in the University's basketball arena, which seats 10,000, and it would be remarkable if Liberty and/or Thomas Road aren't able to send out an ABP to get some more warm bodies in the place.

In fact, the only interesting speaker was Cindy Jacobs, who was part of a panel on "Politics and People of Faith" with Richard Land, Samuel Rodriguez, and Arnold Culbreath during which she declared that "the Bible is the government of the people, by the people, for the people" and got so excited about the coming national awakening that all Culbreath could say when she finished was "wow":

When we talk about God, politics, and people of faith, you have to say that politics is not neutral. Many times we think that it is a neutral thing, but it is not ideologically neutral ever. And if the people of faith don't engage, then someone will engage.

But the point is, we have to say this: does the Creator have a right to say how nations are governed? Of course he does. I think it's John Wycliffe, I know it is, in 1382 that said "the Bible is the government of the people, by the people, for the people." And many of us don't even understand that in the United States today our roots, everything we are, is based upon the Manufacturer's handbook. That we took our law from English common law and that what we have and who we are works because the Creator put it into a constitution and then put it into a people that would cause righteousness and justice to come to the land.

And so I believe this is why we are here. We're here for a great awakening to understand that politics are simply the ideological vessel that God has allowed to be in society today that will determine what happens in the soul of the nation. So we cannot be idle and we cannot be silent.

I was thinking where would we be today without a [William] Wilberforce that had said people of faith have to do something when they see something is unjust. There would be slavery still today, or these things.

I want to tell you, and I believe, that we are on a verge of the greatest awakening, not only what we would say just in the church, but we are on the verge of the greatest awakening that we have ever seen in our history as a nation ... I want to say something radical: it's not the faith of our founders that is going to heal this nation; it is a people who will rise up and understand that the Bible is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And I believe there is an awakening that is not going to begin, but has already begun that will do just that.

Jacobs' panel was then immediately followed by a speech from Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's Attorney General.

AFA's Fischer Calls For An End to Muslim Immigration And The Deportation of All Muslims In the US

A few months ago, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer declared that the time had come to throw all Muslims out of the US military and prevent any others from every serving again.

So I guess it should not come as a surprise that Fisher is now calling for the deportation of all Muslims in the US along with a blanket ban on the immigration of Muslims into this country:

[T]he most compassionate thing we can do for Americans is to bring a halt to the immigration of Muslims into the U.S. This will protect our national security and preserve our national identity, culture, ideals and values. Muslims, by custom and religion, are simply unwilling to integrate into cultures with Western values and it is folly to pretend otherwise. In fact, they remain dedicated to subjecting all of America to sharia law and are working ceaselessly until that day of Islamic imposition comes.

The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values, a place where they can once again be at home, surrounded by people who cherish their deeply held ideals. Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?

In other words, simple Judeo-Christian compassion dictates a restriction and repatriation policy with regard to Muslim immigration into the U.S.

I guess that I should point out that Fischer is listed as a confirmed speaker [PDF] at next week's "Awakening 2010" Freedom Federation summit where VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will be delivering a keynote address.

Cuccinelli Confirmed For Freedom Federation's "Awakening" Conference

Today, Liberty Counsel put out a release confirming that "Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is scheduled to speak at 'The Awakening 2010' on Thursday evening, April 15 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA."

Cuccinelli will be joining a who's who of Religious Right leaders, including Andrea Lafferty, Wendy Wright, Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Kelly Shackelford, Ken Blackwell, Mat Staver, Rick Scarborough, Harry Jackson, Lou Engle, and even Cindy Jacobs.

Who is Cindy Jacobs, you ask?  This is Cindy Jacobs:

In fact, according to the schedule, Cuccinelli is scheduled to speak right after a panel featuring Jacobs and Rick Scarborough, and remarks by Tony Perkins.

On Friday, the summit will consist largely of breakout sessions on a range of topics - these in particular ought to be good:

LGBT Agenda

* Rena Lindevaldsen
* Matt Barber
* Andrea Lafferty

Pastors and Political Activity

* Tony Perkins
* Richard Land
* Rick Scarborough

Syndicate content

Attorney General Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/18/2011, 1:03pm
We have been writing about the growing overlap between the traditional Religious Right and the new brand of self-proclaimed prophets and apostles like Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Chuck Pierce, and Lou Engle, who have emerged out of the New Apostolic Reformation movement. In recent years, old-school Religious Right leaders like Tony Perkins and Janet Porter have eagerly embraced leaders like Joyner, Engle and Jacobs and welcomed them into movement, often placing them front and center in their events.  So imagine our surprise when we took at look at the American Family Association's... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 10:15am
The Religious Right’s favorite Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the “honorary host” of a Virginia fundraiser for Concerned Women for America. Cuccinelli won plaudits from right-wing activists for using his Virginia post to challenge anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, attack scientists who believe in climate change, undercut health care reform, and censor the official state seal over nudity. It makes sense that Cuccinelli is hosting a fundraiser for a group which believes that health care reform violates the Ten Commandments, gays are... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/14/2011, 4:29pm
PFAW: Anatomy of a Koch-a-Thon: Sham Budget Hearings Brought to You by the Koch Brothers. Good As You: Marinelli to Newsweek/Daily Beast: Brian Brown has threatened legal action. Andy Kopsa @ Washington Independent: Rep. Trent Franks prepares secretive hearing on Defense of Marriage Act. Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: NOM Won’t Back Notion That Homosexuality Is Health Risk, Claim No Concern Over Defecting Strategist. Joe.My.God: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli To Block Gay Adoption Regulation. Alan Colmes: Factcheck.Org Trumps Trump. Jillian Rayfield @ TPM... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/15/2011, 4:41pm
It seems like Tim Kaine is preparing to run for the Senate. Governor Haley Barbour's press secretary has resigned after sending out an email joking about the Japan earthquake and former Attorney General Janet Reno. On a similar note, the 91 year-old New Hampshire legislator who declared that "crazy people" should be sent to Siberia has also resigned. Rick Santorum attacked Mitt Romney over healthcare and John F. Kennedy for supporting the separation of church and state. Herman Cain says you never hear people talking about the fact that Planned Parenthood was... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/15/2011, 9:04am
Ken Cuccinelli was profiled on "The 700 Club" today where he suggested that God made him Attorney General of Virginia so that he could protect the Constitution from President Obama: Cuccinelli said he has a passionate interest in protecting the Constitution and that it's no coincidence he's serving as attorney general right now. "I do think there is a plan unfolding and I'm part of it. I'm happy to be part of it," he told CBN News. "One of my goals for myself is to try to be part of it. And not to deny His will as best I can discern it." His Catholic faith helps... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/14/2011, 10:03am
Following Focus on the Family’s staunch criticism of Lady Gaga over her new song ‘Born This Way,’ Chuck Colson is now attacking Gaga for claiming that sexual orientation is not a choice. The Religious Right leader also goes after Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently announced that the Justice Department will no longer defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and said that a person’s sexual orientation should be considered comparable to sex, religion, race, and national origin. Colson quotes conservative writer and Gaga-critic Frank Furedi in arguing... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/04/2011, 10:40am
When the Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will end its defense of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Religious Right groups were naturally apoplectic. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council likened President Obama to a Middle East dictator, the Traditional Values Coalition blasted the “unprecedented power grab,” and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said Obama “betrayed the American people.” However, the government will continue to enforce DOMA and the move by the Department of Justice was not without precedent,... MORE