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Federal Court Forces University of Notre Dame to Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate


waving flagReported by Steven Ertelt, May 20, 2015, Washington, DC

Leftist determonation to destroy freedom of religion

A federal appeals court has denied a request by the University of Notre Dame to get out of having to comply with the pro-abortion HHS mandate that is a part of Obamacare and requires businesses and church groups to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees. Notre Dame won a victory at the Supreme Court earlier this year. After a lower court dismissed the lawsuit, in March the Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reconsider its ruling that denied a Catholic university the freedom to follow its faith. But, today, a panel of a federal appeals court ruled that Notre Dame must comply with the mandate.Complete Message

SCOTUS blog has more on the decision the appeals court issued:Tyranney Alert

In a two-to-one ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit cleared the way for a trial of the university’s challenge but denied any immediate religious exemption.

This marked the first time that a federal appeals court had rejected a claim that the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores should shield a non-profit religious organization from any role whatsoever in carrying out the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The issue seems certain to return to the Justices, probably next Term, although Notre Dame could try to get some temporary relief by returning quickly to the Supreme Court.

The university’s case has yet to go to trial in a federal district court, so the appeals court ruling was limited to denying preliminary protection for the university in the meantime.  Still, it was a strong signal that the Roman Catholic institution may have a hard time, at least in lower courts, getting an exemption.burke

Although the government has made clear that non-profit groups need to take only a minimal step to take advantage of a religious exemption, Notre Dame — like some other non-profits — has been arguing that even taking such a step would mean that it had helped to implement the mandate in a way that violates its religious opposition to birth control.

Although the Supreme Court has now issued four temporary orders in non-profit cases, it has made clear that none of those was a decision on whether such institutions will ultimately be spared any role at all under the ACA mandate.  This Term, the Court has sent two of those cases — Notre Dame’s was one of them — back to appeals courts to examine the impact, if any, that the Hobby Lobby ruling would have on the non-profit sector.

Circuit Judge Joel M. Flaum dissented, saying that Notre Dame had already made a case for an exemption, and so enforcement of the mandate should have been blocked.

The university has the legal option of asking for further review by the en banc Seventh Circuit or instead returning to the Supreme Court.   The Justices have only about six more weeks remaining in the current Term, so it would be too late to get a formal appeal decided before the summer recess.CP 01

After the ruling, pro-life Indiana Senator Dan Coats criticized the decision.

“Requiring faith-based institutions to betray the fundamental tenets of their beliefs is unconstitutional and contrary to the cherished American tradition of religious liberty. Whether it is Notre Dame or many other faith-based institutions of higher learning, the thread of faith that runs through these schools is essential to their religious beliefs and successful administration of a faith in learning education. This same thread of faith is vital to food banks, homeless shelters and many important organizations addressing social needs in Indiana and across the country,” he said.

Coats continued: “Under our Constitution, all people of all faiths have the right to exercise their faith within the bounds of our justice system, even if their beliefs seem to some as misguided, flawed or flat out wrong. Faith-based institutions should not have to facilitate insurance coverage for products that are counter to their religious or moral beliefs.”Worship manditory

compliancePreviously, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. dismissed the suit, claiming that Notre Dame is sufficiently protected by a very narrowly-drawn religious exemption in the mandate — that pro-life legal groups say does not apply to every religious entity. Then, a three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision on a 2-1 vote.

In appealing that decision, the University of Notre Dame brought its request to the Supreme Court — saying the lower court decision made it the only nonprofit religious ministry in the nation without protection from the HHS mandate. The Supreme Court’s ruling today vacates the entire lower court decision forcing Notre Dame to comply and the 7th Circuit must now review its decision taking into consideration the entire Hobby Lobby case I want your religious libertyupholding that company’s right to not be forced into compliance.

The Obama administration has relied heavily on that lower court decision in other courts around the country, arguing that it should be able to impose similar burdens on religious ministries like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

After the Supreme Court ruling in the Notre Dame case, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case, commented on the decision.

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“This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS.” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty. The government fought hard to prevent this GVR, but the Supreme Court rejected their arguments.”

tyrantsHe said University of Notre Dame’s pursuit of higher education is defined by its religious convictions. Its mission statement reads: “A Catholic university draws its basic inspiration from Jesus Christ as the source of wisdom and from the conviction that in him all things can be brought to their completion.” Its fight to stay true to its beliefs has brought it all the way to the Supreme Court – and back to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to Rienzi, over 750 plaintiffs in the other nonprofit cases have been granted protection from the unconstitutional mandate, which forces religious ministries to either violate their faith or pay massive IRS penalties.

A December 2013 Rasmussen Reports poll shows Americans disagree with forcing companies like Hobby Lobby to obey the mandate.

“Half of voters now oppose a government requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees,” Rasmussen reports.

The poll found: “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient.’

“Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree and say employers should not be required to provide health insurance with this type of coverage. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.”

Another recent poll found 59 percent of Americans disagree with the mandate.Welcome to the Obama Change Obey OARLogo Picture6

UN and Feds Plan to Fight Ebola With Tyranny


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http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/18859-un-and-feds-plan-to-fight-ebola-with-tyranny

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UN and Feds Plan to Fight Ebola With Tyranny With estimates suggesting more than 800 people have died from the ongoing Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, concerns are spreading in the United States about how federal and state authorities would react if — or when — a life-threatening virus such as Ebola begins spreading domestically. Global responses to the outbreak are also stirring fears. Considering the militarization of swine flu preparations five years ago, there is plenty of cause for alarm, experts say. Some analysts and commentators have even warned that the stage is being set for medical tyranny as illegal immigrants flood across the border and an American infected with Ebola comes to the U.S. for treatment.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is also making waves with its controversial global preparations. Already, the planetary outfit claims to be “coordinating” a $100 million planetary response with its member governments. “The situation in West Africa is of international concern and must receive urgent priority for decisive action at national and international levels,” argued WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, telling African governments that the outbreak had outstripped their capacity to respond and that self-styled “global health authorities” would need to be involved.

The director general, who was just in West Africa meeting with officials in the affected countries, praised them for their “commitment” to tackling the virus — which the Wall Street Journal reported was “demonstrated this week with new measures such as deploying soldiers to quarantine stricken neighborhoods in Sierra Leone.” “This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response,” Chan was quoted as telling the assembled African presidents, warning of “a security threat to response teams when fear and misunderstanding turn to anger, hostility, or violence.” security threat

In the United States, draconian-sounding preparations are being made, too, and many have been in place for years. In an amendment to “Executive Order” 13295 signed last week, Obama, expanding on a previous order, has already purported to grant his administration vast powers to detain Americans suspected of harboring a “respiratory illness.” At the state level, a “model” law created by the feds and the WHO on “Emergency Health Powers,” which provides officials with purported powers blasted as “draconian” by critics, has been adopted in whole or in part by some four in five state governments.

While the Ebola outbreak has been largely centered in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, fears are growing about a potential global epidemic as the virus spreads. With illegal immigrants flooding across the U.S. border, it is hardly far-fetched to suppose that the disease will eventually reach American shores, too. Already, dozens of illegal immigrants from the three African countries suffering the most severe Ebola outbreaks have been apprehended crossing the U.S. border with Mexico. So what would — or could — American authorities do? The answers have more than a few analysts warning of potential government abuse.

On July 31, responding to news about the spread of Ebola, Obama modified a George W. Bush-era “executive order” signed in 2003. That unconstitutional decree was supposedly aimed at “providing for the apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.” Under that scheme, the federal government would be allowed to detain people suspected of harboring a broad list of diseases including cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, Ebola, and more.

The order signed by Obama last week modified one subsection of Bush’s original executive order. In essence, it drastically widens the net in terms of Americans who could be detained. Under Bush, subsection B dealt only with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Obama’s amendment allows the feds to detain anyone who displays signs of “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness” that might cause a pandemic or lead to “mortality or serious morbidity mortalityif not properly controlled.” Only the flu is exempt.

Obama’s executive order references section 361 of the Public Health Service Act. On its website, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that statute, originally passed in 1944, “clearly established the federal government’s quarantine authority for the first time.” The Constitution never established it. Indeed, critics say the statute represents a blatantly unconstitutional power grab that is totalitarian in scope. For instance, the scheme purports to allow the federal government to “apprehend” and “detain” individuals suspected of infection for “such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary.”

In other words, a bureaucrat could deprive a U.S. citizen of his unalienable rights — for as long as said bureaucrat considers necessary — on the mere suspicion that the person being detained has been in contact with some disease. Contrast the purported federal authorities under the statute with the plain language in the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which outright prohibits the deprivation of liberty without due process of law — a timeless and essential principle enshrined in the Magna Carta almost 800 years ago. State constitutions across America recognize those fundamental rights as well.

The federal government, though, apparently does not. Among other schemes, the CDC operates a vast network of “quarantine centers” stretching from Anchorage in Alaska to Miami in South Florida that could someday hold massive numbers of Americans against their will — merely on orders from the president. The federal agency even purports to possess the authority to quarantine “well persons” who “do not show symptoms” if it claims they “may have been exposed” to a communicable disease such as Ebola. (It also owns a “patent” on one strain of the virus, a fact that has perplexed analysts in recent days.)  

Even the military could become involved. In fact, in 2009 amid the wildly overblown swine-flu hysteria, the Obama administration was even preparing for potentially deploying the military on U.S. soil. “When directed by the President, DoD [the Department of Defense] will provide support to civil authorities in the event of a civil disturbance,” noted a document entitled “Department of Defense Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza” by the assistant secretary of defense. “DoD will augment civilian law enforcement efforts to restore and maintain order.”Comming Soon 02

At the state level, thanks to plenty of federal bribes, the situation could be even more draconian. Consider, for instance, the so-called “Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.” Developed by the CDC in collaboration with partners such as the UN WHO, the widely criticized emergency medical regime has been implemented to varying degrees in the vast majority of states.

Among other schemes, the law purports to give public health officials the authority to mandate vaccines and enforce involuntary quarantines in the event of an emergency declaration. It would also force people to submit to medical exams and treatment decreed by authorities against their will, violate patient privacy, attack private-property rights, threaten medical professionals, mobilize troops to enforce government decrees, ration everything from food privacyand gasoline to firearms, and much more.    

“I believe — and believe it should be evident to you — that this model plan, if enacted throughout the states, would … eliminate our freedom to choose our medical care and health treatment and potentially eliminate a broader range of our basic civil liberties,” observed Sue Blevins, the president of the Institute for Health Freedom, in an analysis for the Heritage Foundation when the scheme was being foisted on states after the September 11 attacks. “It is our duty in the public policy community to help educate, inform, and alert both our state officials and state-based think tank leaders to the challenge to our freedoms and liberties this extreme model legislation will have.”

The widely respected Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, meanwhile, warned that the legislation “could turn governors into dictators.”

Americans hoping that the courts might step in to protect their rights in the event of medical tyranny will likely be disappointed, according to experts. “Judges will not stand in the way of emergency actions taken to protect the public from a clear and present danger, and if they do, the state appeals court will overturn their rulings in a matter of hours,” explained Louisiana State University director of the program in law, science, and public health, Edward Richards, and Dr. Katherine Rathbun. “The history of judicial restraint on emergency powers is one of blind obedience to civil and military authority.”

ObamaKingGeorgePIX-300x128CDC boss Thomas Frieden claimed recently that a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States was “not in the cards.” One of the reasons for that, he suggested, is that the federal agency has amassed broad powers in case disease does strike. “We have quarantine stations at all the major ports of entry,” Frieden told reporters. Another reason why the CDC and various medical experts have argued that Ebola may not represent a major threat to America is that it is supposedly only transferred through direct contact with bodily fluids. However, at least one study cited by analysts and published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that it can actually be transmitted through airborne droplets as well.

Critics of the administration’s actions have also suggested that the U.S. government was taking dangerous steps in terms of potentially importing the virus — especially by bringing infected patients into the United States for treatment when they could have been treated in Africa. “The madness of Ebola is only matched by the madness of America,” wrote talk-radio titan Michael Savage, who also has a Ph.D. in epidemiology, in a piece for WND, suggesting that calls for vaccinating whole nations with an untested Ebola vaccine may be coming soon.

“Common sense would dictate you isolate and avoid contact with patients, because in this case the disease is often fatal,” continued Savage. “And yet, the morons who are running America are bringing infected patients to America, allegedly to treat them, but we all know it is an untreatable disease. It can only be managed. The entire story of bringing these Ebola patients from West Africa to America stinks to high Heaven.”

Imperial President ObamaRep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), meanwhile, has been expressing concerns about the ongoing flood of potentially infected illegal immigrants pouring across the Southern border. “The influx of families and unaccompanied children at the border poses many risks, including grave public health threats,” Gingrey told the CDC in a letter last month. “As a physician for over 30 years, I am well aware of the dangers infectious diseases pose…. Reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning.” Dozens of illegal immigrants from the three affected countries have already been apprehended.

There can be no doubt that Ebola is a dangerous and frightening disease — it kills an estimated 90 percent of its victims, and there is currently no cure. However, unconstitutional government scheming allegedly designed to deal with the virus and other communicable diseases ought to be at least as alarming to Americans. Indeed, the potential for abuse, tyranny, and wanton constitutional violations under a declared “emergency” is hard to emphasize strongly enough. police_stateMachinations by the dictator-dominated UN could be even worse.

Unrestrained governments, which murdered hundreds of millions of innocent people in the last century alone, as well as epidemics, have both proven to be among the deadliest threats to humanity. For the sake of life and liberty, though, Americans must ensure that their officials do not trample on the Constitution under the guise of a real, manufactured, or imagined emergency — whether it be an Ebola outbreak or anything else. There are plenty of ways to protect public health without resorting to tyranny. Securing the Southern border would be a good first step.      

Photo of ambulance carrying one of the American Ebola victims to a hospital in Atlanta: AP Images

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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Another Example of President Obama’s Police State at Work


North Texas Drivers Stopped at Roadblock Asked for Saliva, Blood

Fort Worth police apologize for its role in federal survey

Some drivers in North Fort Worth on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.  The request was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

**UPDATE TO THE VIDEO ABOVE** Fort Worth police initially said they could not immediately find any record of their officers being involved in the roadblock, but on Tuesday police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Peel said that the department’s Traffic Division coordinated with the NHTSA on the use of off-duty officers after the agency asked for help with the survey.

“We are reviewing the actions of all police personnel involved to ensure that FWPD policies and procedures were followed,” he said. “We apologize if any of our drivers and citizens were offended or inconvenienced by the NHTSA National Roadside Survey.”

 Some drivers along a busy Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.

It was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

“It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” said Kim Cope, who said she was on her lunch break when she was forced to pull over at the roadblock on Beach Street in North Fort Worth.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is spending $7.9 million on the survey over three years, said participation was “100 percent voluntary” and anonymous.

But Cope said it didn’t feel voluntary to her — despite signs saying it was.

“I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn’t let me and forced me into a parking spot,” she said.

Once parked, she couldn’t believe what she was asked next.

“They were asking for cheek swabs,” she said. “They would give $10 for that. Also, if you let them take your blood, they would pay you $50 for that.”

At the very least, she said, they wanted to test her breath for alcohol.

She said she felt trapped.

“I finally did the Breathalyzer test just because I thought that would be the easiest way to leave,” she said, adding she received no money.

Fort Worth police earlier said they could not immediately find any record of officer involvement but police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Peel said Tuesday that the department’s Traffic Division coordinated with the NHTSA on the use of off-duty officers after the agency asked for help with the survey.

“We are reviewing the actions of all police personnel involved to ensure that FWPD policies and procedures were followed,” he said. “We apologize if any of our drivers and citizens were offended or inconvenienced by the NHTSA National Roadside Survey.”

NBC DFW confirmed that the survey was done by a government contractor, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which is based in Calverton, Md.

A company spokeswoman referred questions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

An agency spokeswoman sent an email confirming the government is conducting the surveys in 30 cities across the country in an effort to reduce impaired-driving accidents.

She did not respond to another email from NBC DFW asking specific questions about the program.

But a Fort Worth attorney who is an expert in civil liberties law questioned whether such stops are constitutional.

“You can’t just be pulled over randomly or for no reason,” said attorney Frank Colosi.

He also noted the fine print on a form given to drivers informs them their breath was tested by “passive alcohol sensor readings before the consent process has been completed.”

“They’re essentially lying to you when they say it’s completely voluntary, because they’re testing you at that moment,” Colosi said.

He also questioned the results of the “voluntary” survey — speculating that drivers who had been drinking or using drugs would be more inclined to simply decline to participate.

Cope said she is troubled by what happened.

“It just doesn’t seem right that they should be able to do any of it,” she said. “If it’s voluntary, it’s voluntary, and none of it felt voluntary.”

Asked Tuesday if she accepted the police department’s apology, Cope said she would wait to see what the review showed.

“They need to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

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