VIDEO: Will Congressman Vern Buchanan put his morals where his mouth it?

Congressman Vern Buchanan represents Florida’s 16th District. Buchanan is also co-chair of the 27 member Florida congressional delegation. He also sits on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means including being the Chairman of its Subcommittee on Oversight.

Congressman Buchanan, along with Senator Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, recently called for Judge Roy Moore to step down as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama after unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations appeared in a Washington Post article.

Now it has been revealed that the U.S. Congress has a “secret slush fund” to pay off those who have accused members of Congress of sexual misconduct.  To date according to multiple sources over $15 million of taxpayer dollars have been used to hush up this scandal. Congressman Buchanan because of his Ways and Means position has to know about this “slush fund.”

QUESTION: Will Congressman Buchanan put his morals where his mouth is by exposing his predator colleagues in Congress and call for them to step down?

Laura Ingraham has this report by a former staffer speaking out about Congress’ sexual misconduct:

In a Breitbart column titled “Women on Capitol Hill Tell of ‘Sex Trade,’ ‘Creep List’ of Lawmakers” Kristina Wong reports:

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are so predatory that female staffers are advised not to ride in elevators alone with them, according to accounts compiled by CNN.

Females are also admonished to be careful of male lawmakers who sleep in their offices — another “unwritten” rule that women on Capitol Hill live by, according to the outlet.

The outlet spoke to more than 50 lawmakers, current and former staffers, and other political veterans, who revealed a culture so rife with sexual harassment that there is an informal “creep list” of lawmakers to avoid.

[ … ]

The “creep list” of male lawmakers — mostly in the House of Representatives but also in the Senate — are “notorious for inappropriate or predatory behavior,” according to the story. A female congresswoman said “half are harassers,” of her male counterparts, before quickly adding, only “some are harassers.”

In a June, 2016 Politico column titled “House Ethics Committee finds no wrongdoing by Rep. Buchanan” John Bresnahan reported:

The House Ethics Committee has ended its years-long probe into Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan, finding no wrongdoing by the lawmaker, the secretive panel announced Friday.

The Justice Department and Federal Election Commission long ago stopped looking into Buchanan, the Ethics Committee noted in its report on the case.

Friday’s announcement is a highly unusual one for Ethics as it was not publicly known that Buchanan was still under investigation by the panel, and there was no requirement that a report or statement clearing him be issued.

“I’m very pleased the committee conducted a thorough review of the facts and reached a unanimous and bipartisan conclusion that I did nothing wrong,” Buchanan said in a statement.

Buchanan has been under scrutiny for the last several years after a former business partner alleged that the Florida Republican used straw donors to funnel tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to his 2006 and 2008 campaigns via employees at his car dealerships.

Read more.

When a woman accused of adultery was sentenced to death by stoning, Jesus’ in John 8:7, said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

There is a proverb which states, “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” Perhaps no members of the House of Representatives should cast stones?

Congressional Office of Compliance just released a year-by-year breakdown of harassment settlements and awards:

NOTE: Congressman Buchanan was elected to the Congress in 2006 and sworn in in 2007. In 2007 according to the Congressional Office of Compliance over $4 million was awarded to 25 individuals. Every year since Mr. Buchanan has been in office more and more settlements have been made.

EDITORS NOTE: We have contacted Congressman Buchanan’s offices in Washington, D.C. and Sarasota, FL for comment but have not received a reply at the time of publication of this column. In an email to Congressman Buchanan we asked the following questions:

  1. Will you release the names of every member and demand that they step down?
  2. Will you disclose the names of those abused.
  3. Will you disclose the amount of money allocated to each victim?
  4. Will you disclose the process under which these cases are handled.

If we we receive a statement from Mr. Buchanan we will publish it.

UPDATE 11/17/2017: After repeated calls to Congressman Buchanan’s office we have yet to receive any response.

The Verdict Is in on Trump’s Judges

If Republicans don’t appreciate Donald Trump now, they will later. That’s when his biggest accomplishment — the courts — will reap the most rewards. For the last 10 months, the White House has been working at a frantic pace to confirm originalist judges, a quest that’s not only making history — but securing it.

Not since Richard Nixon has any president moved faster or more strategically on judicial nominees than Donald Trump. And while the Supreme Court is what captures most people’s attention, the real work is being done a step below — on the appellate level. That’s where, experts say, the real genius comes in.

In a fascinating article, even the New York Times can’t help but notice (with reluctant admiration) how the Trump team has intentionally gone about balancing the courts from the Obama years. “There has never been anything like what we’ve been able to do together with judges,” the president said recently. He’s right. By filling the appellate courts with constitutionalists, Trump’s team is making sure that Americans get a fair shake from the judges who hand down the majority of the country’s rulings. As the Times points out, “The 12 regional appeals courts wield profound influence over Americans’ lives, getting the final word on about 60,000 cases a year that are not among the roughly 80 the Supreme Court hears.”

While most of the country only tunes in to the SCOTUS fights, the reality is that most of these hot-button issues are being decided in the circuit courts below. That makes the president’s focus all the more important. In its interesting article, “Trump is rapidly reshaping the judiciary. Here’s how,” the Times explains that this plan dates back to last year, when legal experts huddled to talk about a “secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges.” With the help of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Republicans have delivered plenty of victories on that front, confirming eight — with more on the horizon. Thanks to Grassley, the Senate has kept up with the White House’s frantic pace, despite the Democrats’ stalling tactics.

And while the GOP is used to obstruction from Democrats, it was surprised to see some from its own party. For reasons few understand, Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) is standing in the way of Trump’s ninth federal court win — Kyle Duncan, the White House’s pick for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a rare move, the senator from my home state refuses to endorse Duncan, a man many call a “conservative superstar.” As a solicitor general and law firm partner, he expertly tackled some of the most difficult issues, including marriage, the HHS mandate, bathroom bills, and gender identity. The Judicial Crisis Network calls him “one of the best lawyers of his generation.” I would hope that Senator Kennedy would join his fellow Republicans in moving on Duncan’s confirmation — and send another stellar judge to the bench.

In the meantime, conservatives who said the courts were the deciding factor in the 2016 elections have to be happy with the results. Even the New York Times can’t help but notice: “Mr. Trump is poised to bring the conservative legal movement… to a new peak of influence over American law and society.”

For more on the president’s judicial accomplishments (and otherwise), cut through the fake news with this Daily Wire’s column, “Trump’s First Year in Office Has Been Wildly Successful.”


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Also in the November 13 Washington Update:

A Colonel of Truth in the USAF

The Maine Character in Prayer Suit Wins!

Trump Nominees Languish in GOP-Controlled Senate

Fewer than half of President Donald Trump’s executive branch and judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate—the lowest number of confirmations in the past four administrations at comparable points in their presidencies.

The dismal numbers—a total of 223 confirmations of 519 nominees—were circulated by the White House amid complaints of unprecedented Democratic obstruction and the Senate’s lax schedule.

Nominations Bush 1989 Clinton 1993 Bush 2001 Obama 2009 Trump 2017
Received in Senate 463 545 783 581 519
Confirmed 341 406 451 394 223
% Confirmed 74% 74% 58% 68% 43%
Cloture Votes 0 6 0 5 51
Voice Votes 321 398 413 366 146
Roll Call Votes 20 8 38 28 77

Source: Congress.gov, via White House

Trump has 175 pending nominees awaiting action from Senate committees and another 101 on the Senate calendar awaiting a confirmation vote, according to the White House.

“Personnel is policy. In delaying the confirmation of President Trump’s appointees, the Senate is directly limiting the president’s effectiveness,” the Conservative Action Project argued in an Oct. 10 letter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has used delaying tactics, such as the maximum of 30 hours of debate on nominees, to slow down the confirmation process of Trump picks. That glacial pace means as few as two to five nominees are getting roll call votes each week.

“If this continues, it will take us more than 11 years to confirm the remaining presidential appointment[s],” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said earlier this year.

Democrats forced more than eight times as many cloture votes in the Senate at this point in the first year of a presidency than any other Senate minority going back to President George H.W. Bush’s tenure in 1989. Further, the 51 cloture votes for Trump nominees is more than all of the past four predecessors combined through their entire administrations.

Senate Democrats have even used procedures to block noncontroversial nominees. Six of the cloture votes were required to get votes on nominees who passed on the Senate floor with more than 90 votes, two with more than 85 votes, and one with 79 votes.

While those tactics have slowed the confirmation process, Democrats alone aren’t the problem, according to the Conservative Action Project, which released a letter last month imploring the Senate to move more quickly.

“The slow pace of Senate confirmations is exacerbated by the Senate’s continued insistence on working no more than 2 ½ days a week—arriving on Monday evening for a handful of votes, and departing, on average, by 2:30 p.m. each Thursday afternoon,” wrote the 133 conservative leaders who signed the letter. “Previous Senates worked harder.”

The short Senate workweeks and Schumer’s delaying tactics have resulted in 118 fewer conformations for Trump than the next closest administration, dating back to 1989. Three of Trump’s four predecessors had more than 65 percent of their nominees confirmed by this point in their presidency, while Trump has just 43 percent confirmed.

Dating to 1989, only President George H.W. Bush saw the Senate receive fewer nominations by this point in the first year of an administration. However, the first Bush had a much higher confirmation rate.

The Senate has received 519 nominations from Trump and confirmed 223.

By this point in 2009, the Senate received 581 nominees from President Barack Obama and confirmed 394, or 68 percent. President George W. Bush made 783 nominations by this point in 2001 and had 451 confirmations, or 58 percent. President Bill Clinton sent 545 nominees to the Senate by November 1993, with a 74 percent success rate of 406 confirmations.

George H.W. Bush got the same 74 percent confirmation rate by November 1989, getting 341 confirmations out of 463 nominations through the Senate.

For the entire single four-year term of George H.W. Bush, the Senate had only one cloture vote for a nomination. George W. Bush saw only four cloture votes during his eight years in office.

The Senate cast 10 clotures votes for Clinton nominees and 17 on Obama nominees, both two-term presidents, according to White House statistics.

Just 146 of Trump’s nominees were confirmed by the Senate with a voice vote. George H.W. Bush’s nominees passed by a voice vote 321 times; 398 for Clinton; 413 for George W. Bush; and 366 for Obama.

The signers of the Conservative Action Project letter urged McConnell to challenge the Democrats’ tactics by staying in session longer.

“[I]f Democrats are going to insist on all post-cloture time to be run, Majority Leader McConnell can easily make this painful for them by forcing continuous session overnight and through the weekend,” they wrote. “If the Senate stayed in session continuously for a week (including the weekend), they could confirm up to five nominees every week even if Democrats made them run the full post-cloture time on each nomination.”

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

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Florida Education Practices Commission Snakebit by ‘Orgasmic Teacher’

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” – Randall Terry, American Celebrity

Christine Jane Kirchner

It appears that the Florida Education Practice Commission (EPC) was apparently snakebit and fooled by Christine Jane Kirchner, a teacher that was the subject of a story published in 2014.

After she was given a slap on the wrist by the EPC over three years ago, Mrs. Kirchner proceeded to step her egregious actions up a notch six months later after she was initially sanctioned.

Ms. Kirchner was a language arts teacher and union steward at Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Ms. Kirchner in 2008 was appointed by the Miami-Dade School Board to the Lesson Plan Development Task Group. Kirchner was elected Vice President At-Large and sat on the Executive Board of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD).

So what’s so special about Christine Jane Kirchner?

According to the April 4, 2014 FLDOE Education Practices Commission of the State of Florida report:

  1. During the 2012-2013 school year, Respondent [Kirchner] discussed inappropriate topics, such as sex, virginity and masturbation, with her language arts class. The conversations made several students feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
  2. During the 2012-2013 school year, during a lesson with her language arts class, Respondent [Kirchner] simulated having an orgasm. The simulation made several students feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
  3. During the 2012-2013 school year, Respondent [Kirchner] gave massages to students of her language arts class. The massages made several students feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Kirchner was found guilty of “gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude” and that she violated “the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession.” Kirchner was found to have violated Florida State Statute 1012.795, paragraphs (1)(d) and (1)(j), respectively.

What was the punishment given Kirchner?

The Florida Department of Education accepted a “Settlement Agreement”. The settlement agreement consisted of a letter of reprimand and placing Kirchner on two years probation. Kirchner accepted the Settlement Agreement.

Kirchner returned to her classroom at Coral Reef High School and retained her position on the Executive Board of the UTD.  She retired last June and did not seek reelection to the UTD Executive Board.

However, six months after she was initially sanctioned by the EPC, she engaged in other acts that seem to be more outrageous according to a finalized EPC report issued last month.

According to the October 27, 2017, EPC Report:

  1. On November 7, 2013, the Commissioner of Education issued an Administrative Complaint seeking to sanction the Respondent’s Florida Educator’s Certificate after she discussed topics such as sex, virginity and masturbation, simulated an orgasm in class and gave several massages to students in her class.
  2. On April 4, 2014, the Educational Practices Commission issued a Final Order incorporating the parties Settlement Agreement which included a two (2) year probation period with specific conditions.
  3. During the 2014-2015 school year, Respondent made several racially and sexually inappropriate comments to her students on school grounds and during school These comments include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) In or around November 2014, Respondent called – a student in her classroom, an “asshole” and ‘jackass” or words to that effect;

(b) In or around November 2014, Respondent referred to —————-  work, as “shit” or words to that effect;

(c) In or around November 2014, Respondent called – a student in her classroom, a “jackass” or words to that effect;

(d) In or around November 2014, Respondent told an African-American student in her class, to not steal from her classroom because he would be blamed for said theft on the basis of his race;

(e) In or around November 2014, Respondent inappropriately discussed the similarities and differences between the female nipple and clitoris with a female student in her class; and

(f) In or around November 2014, Respondent referred to students as “retarded” or “retards” or words to that effect.

  1. That, as a result of Respondent’s actions described herein, Respondent violated one or more of the conditions of her probation.

What was the punishment for these new offenses?

For the second time, The Florida Department of Education accepted a “Settlement Agreement.” This recent settlement agreement consists of a letter of reprimand and placing Kirchner on a six month suspension, three years probation, taking an ethics course, and a $750 fine. Kirchner accepted the Settlement Agreement.

Though she retired from Miami-Dade County Public schools last month, at the completion of her six month suspension, she will be eligible to teach anywhere in the State of Florida.

Should she be allowed to?

We report, you decide.

Here’s Why an Unborn Baby Was Counted as a Person in the Texas Massacre

The sheriff deputies who assessed the fatalities at the bloody crime scene at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, counted the death toll as 26 because one of the victims was a mother carrying an unborn child inside of her.

The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 recognizes unborn children as separate victims for federal and military crimes. Texas law also defines a human being to include “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth,” and recognizes an unborn baby as a potential crime victim.

dcnf-logo

“This has been a longstanding priority for us, and something we were instrumental in pushing,” said Jennifer Popik, a director for the National Right to Life, according to The New York Times. “The principle here is that there’s two victims. For a family already invested in the child, for the grandparents, this is a loss.”

Abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America defends harsher penalties for perpetrators who commit crimes against pregnant women, however, the group strongly opposes crime victim laws and “personhood” laws that give unborn babies separate legal status from the mother. These laws are an attempt to prevent women from getting abortions, according to NARAL.

“We need tougher laws on the books that increase criminal penalties for individuals who target pregnant women, and we stand with our allies in support of meaningful legislation to prevent future acts of gun violence,” said NARAL spokesperson Kaylie Long.

President Donald Trump’s administration has also defined life at conception. The Department of Health and Human Services “accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception,” according to a draft plan from the agency.

Even New York’s World Trade Center memorial includes the words “and her unborn child” after the names of the pregnant women who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Thirty-eight states currently have fetal homicide laws.

Grace Carr

Grace Carr is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @gbcarr24

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

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EDITORS NOTE: Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Colonel Leland Bohannon Needs Your Help!

Dear Fellow American,

Leland Bohannon

Leland Bohannon is a decorated colonel who has devoted decades of his life to serving our Air Force, including flying missions in the B-2 stealth bomber. He’s been ranked first on his performance reports, has been bestowed numerous honors, and trusted with oversight of nuclear weapons. In other words, he’s the model Air Force officer.

Yet Colonel Bohannon’s life and service are about to be completely derailed because he could not in good conscience sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for a service member in a same-sex marriage. Despite the certificate obtaining a signature from an officer of even higher rank, when the service member saw that Colonel Bohannon had not personally signed it, he filed an Equal Opportunity complaint against him.

The Equal Opportunity investigator claimed that Colonel Bohannon violated Air Force regulations by supposedly discriminating against the service member based on sexual orientation. The investigator acknowledged that Colonel Bohannon had asked for a religious accommodation, but claimed—unbelievably—that even had the accommodation been granted, Colonel Bohannon would nonetheless be guilty of unlawful discrimination.

As a result, his superior suspended Colonel Bohannon, withheld his decoration, and submitted a poor performance appraisal to the Air Force Brigadier General promotion board—the rank for which Colonel Bohannon is eligible—recommending that he not be promoted.

Not only is all of this a big waste of time for everyone involved, it is clearly unlawful and unconstitutional. The Equal Opportunity investigator completely failed to understand the nature of how religious accommodations work. Moreover, religious freedom law and military policy demand that he be granted an accommodation in an instance like this—where the objective is easily fulfilled with another signature on the certificate.

At best, this entire matter is a distraction for Colonel Bohannon. At worst, it could end his career.

Please sign the petition below. Colonel Bohannon needs your help!

God bless,

Image

 

 

Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin
Executive Vice President
Family Research Council

City’s Illegal Alien Defense Fund Gives $17,500 to Terrorist Front Group

Ohio’s capital city has launched a defense fund for illegal immigrants facing deportation and thousands of taxpayer dollars will go to the local chapter of a terrorist front group that promotes itself as a Muslim civil rights organization. The pot of cash is known as Columbus Families Together Fund and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national organization that serves as the U.S. front for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, will be among the recipients.

CAIR was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Top FBI counter terrorism chiefs have described CAIR as an entity that not only promotes terrorism, but also finances it. One group has dedicated itself to documenting CAIR’s extensive terrorist ties which include a top official sentenced to 20 years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists, another convicted of bank fraud for financing a major terrorist group, a board member who was a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a fundraiser identified by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al Qaeda.

Allocating public funds to assist illegal aliens with their legal problems is bad enough, but giving some of the cash to a group like CAIR is like pouring salt on the wound. The effort started when Donald Trump got elected president. Columbus City Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown vowed to help illegal immigrants fight deportation and posted this on her social media account on January 30: “In Columbus, we stand with immigrants! This morning I announced Council’s commitment to a legal defense fund to support our refugees and immigrants as they face an onslaught of new hurdles to keep their families together. I’m excited to get to work. Who wants to help?”

Last week the Columbus City Council made it official, establishing the new legal defense fund with a $185,000 infusion to help provide legal services to the area’s illegal aliens and their families. The money will go to various nonprofits that will also “educate detained immigrants on their rights under immigration law,” according to a local newspaper report. A nonprofit called Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. will get the largest chunk of city money, the article reveals, but other groups will also benefit. Priority will go to Columbus-area illegal aliens facing deportation in Cleveland Immigration Court and preference will be given to cases involving children. CAIR will receive $17,500 to provide “legal services that help keep families together in the central Ohio immigrant and refugee communities.” This includes “know your rights” education sessions in Columbus that will cover encounters with federal immigration agents. Brown, the councilwoman behind the effort said “we’re sending a signal here tonight. We value our immigrants. We welcome you. We know that the demonization of immigrants throws them into the shadows and makes a class of silent victims. We won’t allow it.”

City leaders feel an obligation to protect immigrant and refugee families in Central Ohio from the financial and emotional devastation that results from aggressive immigration enforcement, according to a document describing the Columbus Families Together Fund. “The wellbeing of our immigrant communities is intertwined with the city’s overall wellbeing,” the document states. “Ultimately, Columbus is a safer, more just, and more economically vibrant city for everyone when we address the needs of all our residents.” It also says that, because an intact family is one determining factor in economic self-sufficiency and long-term child success, the city will also pay for additional services that help keep immigrant and refugee families together.

Columbus is not alone in allocating public funds to help those in the country illegally after the Trump administration announced a harder line on immigration enforcement. Last year two major U.S. cities that have long offered illegal aliens sanctuary allocated millions of dollars to help them avoid deportation. A few days after the Chicago City Council approved a $1.3 million legal defense fund to assist illegal aliens facing deportation, official in Los Angeles unveiled a similar program with a $10 million infusion.

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may donate to Judicial Watch by clicking here.

Responding to Jihad: Going about our Business or Getting Down to Business?

Friends: Thanks to all of you who responded – and so generously – yesterday to the first day of our end-of-year fund drive. We heard from readers in almost every state, and in countries from New Zealand to the Slovak Republic. But we’ve still got a long way to go – and I need a lot more of you to help us in our work. I mean it when I say that, without you, The Catholic Thing simply will not continue to exist. All of us these days feel that someone, somewhere has to step up and do something about the many and growing threats to Catholic faith and morals – and to the human future. And to lay out the truth, goodness, and beauty of our tradition. We’re here every day, without fail, working at those tasks. If you’re a TCT reader, you already understand the importance of what we’re about. Many of you have heard me say this before: we publish 30 articles a month, 30,000 words, the size of a substantial magazine. Most magazines would ask subscribers for $35 a year – and if all our readers could give that much, we could get to our goal quickly. But many cannot, which is why we have to ask those of you with greater means to give, not only for yourself. Can you donate $70, $105, or some other multiple of the minimum on behalf of your fellow readers – and to make sure that TCT is fighting the good fight for a long time to come? – Robert Royal


In the wake of the jihad truck attack on a New York City bike path, politicians and the press responded with the usual reassurances that follow – like night follows day.

NYC Mayor de Blasio said, “The last thing we should do is start casting dispersions [sic] on whole races of people or whole religions.” NY State’s Governor Cuomo said, “We’re not going to let them win. We’ll go about our business. . . .Live your life. Don’t let them change us.”

We’ve heard all this before, and after every terror attack we’ve also heard that “this has nothing to do with Islam.” Even figures in the Church – from the Vatican on down – have taken up this mantra.

The latest variation on that theme was NYC Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller’s assurance: “This isn’t about Islam, this isn’t about the mosque he attends.” Meanwhile, members of the press robotically recited from their own playbook. NBC News ran with the now familiar headline, “Muslim American’s Again Brace for Backlash.”

All of which seems to be a rather anemic way to respond to what is essentially a guerilla attack in a world-wide war. “We’ll go about our business.” That’s all? Most people intuit that “going about our business” is not going to solve the problem. “Don’t let them change us.” Seriously? They already have changed us. New York City now deploys thousands of police for public events; in Paris, soldiers patrol the streets. And still the attacks go on.

Most people realize that there are more streets than soldiers and police can possibly guard. Moreover, they understand that the origin of the trouble is not to be found on West Side bike paths or in boulevards in Nice. If you’re going to deploy more police, why not deploy them to the places where the attacks are planned?

That would mean sending more police into predominantly Muslim neighborhoods – not necessarily to patrol the streets, but to gather information, cultivate informants, and to pay visits to mosques and Islamic centers.

That, however, is exactly what the “Muslims-brace-for-backlash” headlines are intended to prevent. It’s what CAIR’s “Islamophobia” campaign is designed to forestall. And it’s why officials like Mayor de Blasio keep harping on the theme that the worst thing we can do is to cast aspersions on “whole races” or “whole religions.”

In fact, the NYPD did have a very effective program for monitoring the Muslim community until de Blasio shut it down in order to appease various Islamic pressure groups. That program included surveillance of the mosque in New Jersey that the attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, attended.

This is the mosque the Deputy Police Commissioner referred to when he said, “this isn’t about the mosque he attends.” But according to Bill McGroarty, a NYPD detective who worked on the investigation, more than twenty men at Saipov’s mosque have been radicalized.

To ordinary people, the NYPD’s canceled monitoring program makes perfect sense: if you want to catch terrorists before they strike, you go to the places where terrorists and potential terrorists live, and you start asking questions.

In an interview with Tucker Carlson, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino pointed out that this is how the authorities broke up the Mafia. Police and FBI cultivated informants in the – gasp! – Italian-American community. They managed to infiltrate Mafia organizations and were not reluctant to shake some trees.

Bongino? Isn’t that an Italian name? Shouldn’t he have been incensed at this attempt to smear a whole nationality? Shouldn’t he have joined the “anti-Italiphobia” campaign instead?

Fortunately, Italian-Americans didn’t look at it that way. Most of them didn’t take the surveillance of the mob as a sign that America was anti-Italian. Most were happy to get out from under the thumb of the Mafia.

Bongino recommends a similar approach for flushing out the extremists in Muslim communities. Of course, we already know how some will respond. Those who fear being thought “Islamophobic” more than they fear Islamic terror will recoil at the thought. And they will claim that increased monitoring will offend moderate Muslims and maybe even drive them into the radical camp.

But if the vast majority of Muslims are moderate, as is so often claimed, won’t they be glad to cooperate with the police in exposing the handful of extremists who give the community a bad name? If Muslim-Americans are as patriotic as Italian-Americans, won’t they be happy to do their part in clearing the good name of Islam?

And if some are not quite sure of their loyalties, shouldn’t the police and the district attorneys apply some pressure – as police and attorneys undoubtedly had to do on occasion in the Italian-American community?

It’s not as though members of the Muslim communities aren’t already under pressure. Many are under pressure from imams and other religious leaders to put loyalty to the ummahfirst. Many are under similar pressure from their own families. Groups such as CAIR, ISNA, and the Muslim American Society also exert pressure to put Islam above every other loyalty. Some CAIR chapters have even advised Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI.

If the pressures and incentives only come from one side, the result is predictable. If no counter pressure is applied, the moderate influence will weaken, and Muslim communities will fall deeper and deeper under the influence of the more radical sort of Muslim. Eventually, their communities will end up like some areas in France and Belgium – places where the police fear to go, and where the Islamic version of the code of omertà keeps everyone in line.

Truly moderate Muslims will want to avoid that fate. They deserve all the help they can get in resisting it – even if that means putting some of their self-appointed representatives under closer scrutiny.

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Law Center Asks Supreme Court To Prevent Maine’s Persecution Of Pro-Life Pastor

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday (11/06/17) to review a U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s decision that allows government officials to use a noise provision to prevent peaceful sidewalk counseling in front of abortion facilities. The petition for review is the latest step in TMLC’s legal battle to prevent the State of Maine from silencing peaceful, pro-life sidewalk counselors.

Kate Oliveri, the TMLC attorney who drafted the petition, commented:

“The First Circuit’s dangerous opinion would allow all levels of government to restrict any speaker with whom they disagree by creative legislation that targets the reason the speaker engages in speech rather than the actual words spoken. This, however, is a distinction without difference that affords governments the right to silence all speech they find disagreeable.”

In 2015, TMLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pastor Andrew March against the Maine Attorney General and several police officers challenging the constitutionality of a noise provision in the Maine Civil Rights Act (“MCRA”). That provision prohibits noise outside healthcare buildings made with the intent to interfere with health services. Under Maine law, the term “health services” includes abortions.

Accordingly, this seemingly innocuous statute gives law enforcement officials the power to stop pro-life counselors from speaking on the public sidewalk in front of abortion facilities because they equate an intent to discourage a woman from having an abortion as an intent to interfere with a medical procedure.

The federal district court agreed with TMLC’s legal position and barred the State from using the noise provision because it was a content-based restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment. However, the Maine Attorney General appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which reversed the lower court and created the false dichotomy that the content of speech can somehow be separated from the purpose of the speaker.

Click here to read TMLC’s entire petition asking for Supreme Court review.

TMLC’s lawsuit on behalf of Pastor March is the third case in three years in which the Law Center has defended pro-life speakers on the public sidewalks of Portland, Maine.  The first federal case, which was filed in 2014 on behalf of several sidewalk counselors, successfully challenged the constitutionality of Portland’s ordinance that established a 39-foot buffer zone around abortion facilities.

However, only two weeks after conceding that the buffer zone was unconstitutional, the Maine Attorney General filed a state lawsuit against Pastor Brian Ingalls under the noise provision of MCRA. TMLC is still defending Pastor Ingalls in the ongoing litigation.

The third case occurred less than a month after charges were filed against Pastor Ingalls. Police, citing the same noise provision in MCRA, issued an official warning to Pastor March, who had taken up Pastor Ingalls’ mantle preaching outside the abortion facility. TMLC filed the federal lawsuit that the petition asks the Supreme Court to review.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

President Trump: Your Sworn Duty Includes Investigating Hillary Clinton

Dear President Trump,

With all respect and humility, I would like to remind you that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice work under you in the executive branch. Of course, any investigation involving you deserves the utmost respect and distance on your part. Morality and decency demands that. It is unfortunate that this same morality and decency is all but an extinct trait within the entire federal judicial system, to include the DOJ and the Supreme Court.

Although your separation in any matter described above is absolutely necessary, separation in other matters of the DOJ would equate to a travesty of justice and a failing of responsibility and duty bestowed upon the executive branch by the States and the people. I speak specifically in regards to the criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

The DOJ has a constitutional and, I will say, a moral obligation to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton for her innumerable criminal acts. As the head of the executive branch, you must ensure this happens so justice is found for all Americans, and specifically the many victims of Hillary Clinton.

Sir, you met the Haitian people in Florida and across America. You have been informed of the crimes Hillary Clinton has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate upon the Haitian people. I can tell you it is likely the same offenses are being perpetrated on other peoples and their countries, i.e. the Congo. Her actions not only create national security problems, they present a perception of the American people to foreign countries that is completely unacceptable.

Hillary Clinton must finally be brought to justice for her role in the murder of Americans in Benghazi. She must be held accountable for her role in the murder of Americans as a result of the Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scheme to Mexican cartels. She must be investigated for her collusion in the theft of land belonging to the American people to be sold to foreign governments for her profit. Her well established cooperation and associations with the Muslim Brotherhood must be brought to light. And, sir, if you begin in these investigations, I am confident a floodgate of evidence of other criminality will open.

I also realize that these investigations will be difficult and you will meet with many obstacles.  First and foremost, the obstacles will come from many political accomplices that will be exposed in this light. You, sir, did promise to “drain the swamp.” These investigations will not only drain the swamp, but will dry it out completely. This will fulfill your promise to the American people.

Another difficulty you may encounter will be the overwhelming taxing of the federal witness protection program. You will have to go to great measures to ensure the safety and lives of any witnesses willing to testify. After all, there is some indication, through past experience, that those who speak against the Clintons come to mysterious ends.

I suspect there are many trying to tell you that any investigation of Hillary Clinton would be politically motivated and therefore inappropriate. Morality and decency say the opposite. To not investigate Hillary Clinton because of her political affiliations is absolutely inappropriate, as we can allow no one can be above investigation and still maintain a just society. Hillary Clinton can no longer be permitted to hide her guilt through her political aspirations. A just society demands your attention to these matters.

President Trump, you may be the only person who is willing to bring justice back to America.  The American people are losing faith in their government and they need to know that people like Hillary Clinton can be brought to justice.

Thank you for your time. I pray you will take this solemn obligation with great sincerity. Many are looking for you to prove that American government can, once again, be dedicated to Liberty, Justice, and Morality.

May God, in his divine providence, give you strength and boldness in these troubling times.

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall, JD
Founder of Liberty First University

ABOUT KRISANNE HALL, JD

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.

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EDITORS NOTE: For further reading on Hillary Clinton’s actions, click here and here. This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Learn How to Find Illegal Votes

Co-Authors Jackie and Bruce Nutting have been eliminating illegal votes for the past 15 years. (PRNewsfoto/Jackie and Bruce Nutting)

UPLAND, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — “How to Find and Eliminate Illegal Votes” is a newly published election handbook aimed at teaching others how to find illegal voter registrations.  It was authored by Jackie and Bruce Nutting and released in October 2016.

In the book they present examples of actual audits and teach the reader how to examine their own voter registration lists and which laws to site when addressing any problems with election officials. There are clear directions as to how to request public records as well as court administrative records. Templates for presenting findings to county registrars, district attorneys and superior court judges are also highlighted.

This book is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

One chapter addresses the flaws in the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act as regards a lack of critical information that should be given to non-citizens in order to protect their eligibility to be a US citizen.  Under the Immigrant Responsibility Act, a person who votes prior to becoming a citizen is no longer eligible to apply. This includes D.A.C.A. recipients and those seeking asylum.

Jackie and her husband Bruce Nutting have audited hundreds of voter registration lists through the non-profit organization they helped found, the Institute for Fair Elections.  They work with county registrars and district attorneys in California and other states to find and eliminate illegal registrations and subsequent illegal votes. In 2016 they eliminated over 1 million illegal registrations in Californiaalone.

Mrs. Nutting welcomes the opportunity to speak with members of the press and organizations who are interested in learning more about eliminating illegal registrations.

This is a handbook for those who wish to truly affect the election process. It has been reviewed by experts in the field of election law and found to be a breakthrough in grass roots effectiveness. The methods outlined are easy to follow and the laws … Co-Authors Jackie and Bruce Nutting have been eliminating illegal votes for the past 15 years.

Christian center fires man for helping stage ‘Exposing Sharia’ event

On October 21, Jihad Watch brought you the news of an event in Minnesota called “Exposing Sharia and the Deception of Islam,” that had been canceled by the venue where it was supposed to be held. I just received this email from one of the organizers, explaining what happened next. Please contact the Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch and politely and courteously register disapproval of their Sharia compliance and persecution of Gary Froiland for calling attention to unwelcome and unpopular truths.

I wrote to Bob Bardwell and Tracy Bashore and asked them these questions:

  1. Can you confirm that Gary Froiland was a Board member of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch?
  2. Can you confirm that he was fired for his role in the “Exposing Sharia” event?
  3. Do you believe that criticism of jihad terror and the oppression that is justified under Islamic law (Sharia) ought to be off-limits? If so, do you believe the same thing about criticism of Christianity? If not, why did you consider it necessary to fire Mr. Froiland?

Bardwell did not answer. Bashore confirmed that Gary Froiland had been on the Ironwood Springs Board but declined comment on anything else.

Thank you for your article sharing the dilemma about our event in Rochester, Minnesota to have Usama Dakdok speak. I am Gary Froiland, one of the guys helping with this event, and I am the one who designed the poster.

After a pastor who promised us his church backed out the night before the event to have Usama Dakdok speak this past spring in Rochester, we planned to attempt it again in the fall with the American Legion. That should be a patriotic place to have an educational speaker explain why Sharia is not compatible with our constitution. But they too backed out of the contract and gave us our money back after they received pressure from the Sheriff’s department. So we tried the Stewartville Sportsman’s Club.

That’s where your article picked up. We had just covered the town of Stewartville putting door hanging sleeves on nearly every house in town, containing the brochure “Islam in a Nutshell, Peaceful or Violent?” which includes the “Growth of Islam” chart by Bill Warner (Center for the Study of Political Islam). That’s when the Rochester Post Bulletin discovered the door hangings, and the Stewartville Sportsman Club backed out of their contract. Our team met with their board, but without convincing them to let us use their facility.

But we were not about to give up. Next I took my turn to rent a facility. The Cascade Town Hall just north of Rochester was suggested. I rented it as a “Pre-Halloween Family Event”, and added that I would be playing music. (you can type in Gary Froiland in YouTube and see some of my One-Man-Band videos). So we were able to rent the facility. We emailed people three hours before the event to give them the location, hoping that would keep protesters away. About 80 people came!

Late afternoon before the event, after Usama had arrived, he called the Rochester Post Bulletin and invited them to interview him. They jumped at that opportunity for a good story, but didn’t stay long enough to hear the heart of the message, but interviewed him, took some pictures and left. That was Sunday night, October 29th.

The next day the article came out with the front page news. Overall, it was a quite honest article. My name, Gary Froiland, is mentioned in the article, since I was the one who had rented the hall. They made it sound like I deceived them when renting, because I never mentioned we’d have a speaker, but that it was a “Pre-Halloween Family Event (the paper called it a “party”). The event was to start at 6 pm, and those invited were told that I would play music at 5:30 pm for those who came early. That I did, and then closed my half hour by leading everyone in the pledge of allegiance, and had a prayer. Then Usama did his nearly 3-hour presentation.

Now the story continues: Monday the article came out in the Post Bulletin, and my boss read it. My name was in the article, and when I got to work the next morning (at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, www.ironwoodsprings.com), the boss (Tracy Bashore) met me first thing and fired me for my involvement in an exposing Islam event. So I was out of a job because of our attempt at Freedom of Speech.

I was on the board of that Christian Ranch for 20 years, and the last four years have been a full-time employee. A job opening came up at Ironwood and they hired me for that position in June of 2013. As an employee, I cannot be a board member, so I went off the board at that time. So since June of 2013 I have worked full time at Ironwood.

Bob Bardwell (bob@ironwoodsprings.com) had founded the Ranch in 1976, and even though he’s very involved every day there, he gave the job of Director to Tracy Bashore (tracy@ironwoodsprings.com). It was Tracy and other liberal employees at the Ranch who had a problem with my involvement with exposing Islam, and now that I was more public with it, he made sure it cost me my job. So I guess I don’t have any freedom of speech either.

A week before that, it was my turn to lead in devotions at the Ironwood Staff meeting (we have one on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings). I had my devotions on Ephesians 6:12 and focused my talk and PowerPoint on Islam and how many of our brothers and sisters are being beheaded for their faith, and some of them praying “Oh Lord, let us be shot”, because they are awaiting execution by beheading, and are praying to die by gunshot instead. The devotions exposed Islam for those on staff who were ignorant. However, there are several liberals working there, and they were very vocal after my devotions about my “Hate” speech.

Tracy related how the Ranch has a good reputation in the community and some Muslims visit the Ranch from time to time, and he doesn’t want to insult them. So with my controversial devotions, and then a week later, my name in the paper having helped make the Usama Dakdok event happen, that was the last straw and cost me my job.

I thought you might be interested in hearing “The Rest of the Story”, so there you have it. I certainly lost my freedom of speech besides losing my job, but I would do it again. My desire is to be a patriot, and cleanse the path that our children will take from evil that lurks. If you want to talk personally to Bob Bardwell or Tracy Bashore, I included their emails above, and the main office phone number of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch is 507-533-4315.

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Trans Ruling Booed by Legal Experts

It may be Halloween, but Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly didn’t bother disguising her activist agenda. In a stunning ruling on Trump’s military policy, Kollar-Kotelly thrilled liberals by putting the brakes on the president’s July order that stopped people who identify as transgender from serving. Although it’s the same policy Barack Obama held for seven years, it’s apparently unconstitutional now that Donald Trump is president.

Most Americans will probably never get used to judges substituting their own opinion for the law, but it was especially jarring yesterday when this one declared herself the final authority on U.S. military policy, despite never being elected for the job. As any credible legal expert would tell you, Kollar-Kotelly’s opinion was amazingly presumptuous for an unelected district judge, who — without the benefit of internal intelligence, the service chiefs’ counsel, and Defense Department data — is quite content telling the White House how to defend America.

It was a jaw-dropping move, suggesting that she knows better than the commander-in-chief, but that’s the unfortunate climate of America’s courts. Liberal judges have gone from rewriting the law to second-guessing our president in areas like national security, where the courts almost always defer to the executive branch. And this court doesn’t tiptoe — it leaps over the White House’s authority on military issues. To try to justify her overreach, Kollar-Kotelly argues:

“The Court by no means suggests that it was not within the president’s authority to order that additional studies be undertaken and that this policy be reevaluated. If the president had done so and then decided that banning all transgender individuals from serving in the military was beneficial to the various military objectives cited, this would be a different case.”

FRC’s Travis Weber was just one of the people stunned by Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling. “This type of judicial activism gives the court a self-conferred ‘veto’ of any presidential decision concerning the military the court simply thinks is unlawful. That’s not the way our constitutional order works.” Not to mention, he goes on, “This kind of judicial presumption is doubly harmful when done in the military context. The court acted as if all the objective facts supported its conclusion, but then naively relied on the legal filings of ideologically-driven interest groups to come to this conclusion:

“Contrary to Defendants’ assertion, this does not appear to be a case where the Court is required to pick sides in a ‘battle of experts.’ …To the contrary, the record at this stage of the case shows that the reasons offered for categorically excluding transgender individuals were not supported and were in fact contradicted by the only military judgment available at the time. Accordingly, unlike the district court in Rostker, the Court’s analysis in this opinion has not been based on an independent evaluation of evidence or faulting of the president for choosing between two alternatives based on competing evidence.”

At one point, the court actually suggests that people confused about their gender lack “the sort of political power other groups might harness to protect themselves from discrimination.” One look at the amicus briefs in this case — or corporate America’s fierce lobbying on the issue — shows how out of touch her argument is.

In one of the more astonishing parts of her 76-page liberal manifesto, Kollar-Kotelly single-handedly invents a new protected class for people who identify as transgender, despite admitting she “is aware of no binding precedent on this issue.” “Transgender individuals have immutable and distinguishing characteristics that make them a discernable class,” she insists. The “defining characteristic of a transgender individual is that their inward identity, behavior, and possibly their physical characteristics, do not conform to stereotypes of how an individual of their assigned sex should feel, act and look.” There’s just one problem: An unelected U.S. district court judge has absolutely no authority to create a special legal category for anyone! So while the Left is busy celebrating, rest assured. This case is just beginning.

Here’s another important point, FRC’s Peter Sprigg explains. “The judge fails to acknowledge that there is no ‘right’ to serve in the military. Almost all the precedents she cites are outside the military context, where there should be much greater deference to the chain of command, beginning with the president.” Just as importantly, Peter goes on, “she completely ignores the fact that the pre-2016 policy was based on physical and mental health issues. She approaches the whole issue of people who identify as transgender as being a ‘class’ that is being discriminated against, without even addressing the relevance of their health condition to their fitness for service.”

Kollar-Kotelly seems to think the military is just your run-of-the-mill office environment — when in fact, it’s a physically-demanding, life-threatening battleground. The goal isn’t to advance “tolerance” or help people on the path to self-actualization. It’s to fight and win wars. And that mission is severely compromised when activist courts try to force the military into accepting unstable recruits in the name of “fairness.” I’ve got news for liberals: the military isn’t fair! If you don’t believe me, try to enlist with a mouthful of cavities or flat feet. In the end, it’s not our leaders’ responsibility to turn Americans into people fit to serve. It’s the military’s job to find people who already qualified to do so.

That’s not discrimination. That’s war.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Also in the October 31 Washington Update:

Inspectors Stumble on Ghoulish Scene at Abortion Chain

Columnist: ‘If you want to understand why people like Trump, watch VVS’

VIDEO: Understanding the Manafort Indictment

Below, is a special edition of “Inside Judicial Watch,” with Carter Clews, JW director of communications, and Carter sat down with Judicial Watch Director of Public Affairs Jill Farrell to discuss the recent indictment of Trump associate Paul Manafort in the ongoing Trump/Russia investigation. Then, Jill provides some background on the Uranium One scandal involving Hillary Clinton and the Russians as well as the infamous Trump dossier.

RELATED VIDEO: Rep. Trent Franks Delivers Speech On House Floor on Mueller/Uranium One

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Duke University Sued Over Religious Discrimination Against Pro-Life Nurse

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit last Friday on behalf of Sara T. Pedro, a Catholic nurse in the Emergency Department of Duke University Hospital, who was discriminated and retaliated against after her employer learned of her pro-life religious beliefs.  Named as defendants in the lawsuit are both Duke University and Duke University Health System, Inc. (“Duke”).

Tyler Brooks, the TMLC attorney handling the case, commented: “This case illustrates the unfortunate dangers faced today by individuals who seek to remain faithful to their religious beliefs in the workplace.”

“With this lawsuit, however, we intend to show that even very large employers must respect the civil rights of their Christian employees,” said Mr. Brooks.

The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, describes how Ms. Pedro compiled an unblemished record during her eight years of work as a nurse prior to being hired by Duke.

During a classroom orientation, a group of newly-hired nurses that included Ms. Pedro was told by a nursing supervisor that Duke categorically refuses to grant religious accommodations for Emergency Department employees who object to assisting in abortions. Learning about Duke’s pro-abortion policy for the first time, Ms. Pedro made written requests for religious accommodation because of her opposition to abortion. Her requests motivated acts of discrimination and retaliation by Duke in violation of federal and state laws.

Duke’s policy and actions violate several federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act, North Carolina’s Wage and Hour Act, and North Carolina common law.

The federal lawsuit details several specific acts of retaliation as a result of Ms. Pedro’s requests for religious accommodation. For example, Duke refused to advance Ms. Pedro from training status to regular duty, issued her a written warning for vague and unsubstantiated reasons, and then placed her on administrative leave when she attempted to formally dispute the warning.

To this day, nearly a year after it was first made, Duke has not issued a final decision on Ms. Pedro’s request to be excused from assisting in abortions.  In her complaint, Ms. Pedro alleges that Duke sought to force her out of her job rather than accommodate her religious beliefs as required by Title VII.

The first two paragraphs of TMLC’s complaint describe the essence of the lawsuit:

“At its heart, this case presents a simple yet important question: Must a devout Catholic abandon fundamental tenets of her faith if she wishes to be employed as a nurse at Duke University Hospital?  Despite the fact that Defendant Duke has answered ‘yes’ to this question, federal and state civil rights laws say otherwise. Therefore, Plaintiff Sara Theresa Pedro brings this action to vindicate her rights under the law.

An employee does not forfeit her right to practice her religion and abide by the tenets of her faith when she enters the workplace.”

Read TMLCs entire Federal Complaint here.

ABOUT THE THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values.  It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America.  The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.