Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute

Justice Roberts will forever wear mantle of judicial activist Obamacare ruling

Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute
By Brad Mattes Executive Director Life Issues Institute

July 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – I don’t have to tell you the US Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was a disaster. What makes it doubly tragic is that Chief Justice John Roberts, perceived as “one of our own,” threw every American under the bus, because we’ll all be impacted in some way by this federal legislation.

While writing the majority opinion, Roberts said that Congress could force Obamacare on the American people—complete with its mandatory participation in abortion, healthcare rationing and euthanasia. The mandate was declared constitutional with a legal sleight of hand—provided the price for disobeying the mandate is called a “tax” and not a “penalty”.

Some pundits complimented Roberts’ intellect, saying he was “playing chess” to ensure that the Supreme Court wasn’t viewed as being political under his leadership as chief justice. But the tragic reality is that while Roberts fiddles with the court’s image, Rome burns. During his “chess match” with the Obama administration, our religious rights and basic freedoms were discarded like yesterday’s trash.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” At first glance, that has a ring of truth to it, but only until one considers that every law the US Supreme Court considers is the consequence of those the voters have elected. If Roberts is abdicating his court’s responsibility, why do we even need them?

All of this, Roberts claims, was done in the name of judicial restraint—that the Court only interpret the constitution, not legislate from the bench. But that becomes an impossible sell when in the Obamacare decision Roberts first said the mandate wasn’t a tax. This enabled Obamacare to get past the Anti-Injunction Act which would’ve required a citizen be actually taxed and claim damages before it could be brought before the Court. But paragraphs later, the Chief Justice did a complete about-face and declared the mandate could be considered a tax, making it within the powers of congress and thus constitutional.

Roberts’ judicial activism is especially egregious because from the very beginning Congress went out of its way to avoid calling it a tax so they could garner enough votes to pass it. A version of the bill calling it a tax was actually voted down. If Roberts’ judicial version of the bill would’ve been known earlier, Obamacare would have never seen the light of day.

The dissenting opinion, co-written by justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy, shows they know judicial activism when they see it. “To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling.”

The Court ruling has thrown us to the wolves of a vast government bureaucracy. This is a government entity that has at times demonstrated an outright hatred of Christianity, morality and the right to life.

An encouraging piece of this judicial disaster was that Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the dissenting opinion denouncing all of Obamacare as unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy’s stand against the legislation underscores what my colleague, Dr. Willke, has been saying about the chances of him siding with us against Roe v. Wade. This gives credibility to his theory.

President George W. Bush must be grieving the Court’s ruling more than anyone. One of his greatest legacies was his impact on the Supreme Court. That legacy is now in tatters—much like our constitution.

Just as Justice Harry Blackmun is notorious for Roe v. Wade, Chief Justice John Roberts will forever wear the mantle of Obamacare, going down in history for imposing anti-life bureaucratic mandates on our nation.

The redeeming news is that the end of this story has yet to be written. We can undo Obamacare if pro-life voters become educated on where every candidate stands on this legislation. This is not the time to sit out the election because a candidate on your ballot is “less than perfect.” This philosophy is partially responsible for the dire straight we’re in now.

If Americans stand in unison and say no to Obamacare and all of its embedded anti-life measures this November, newly elected officials can repeal this tragic behemoth. Electing candidates who will say no to Obamacare should be job one of all pro-life citizens.

It’s not too early to start. Tell everyone you know to support candidates who value innocent human life from fertilization to natural death, and who will walk the talk by repealing Obamacare.

This article has been re-published with permission from the Life Issues Institute.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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