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Posts tagged ‘Idaho’

Judge stops Idaho university from punishing Christian students for opposing gay marriage


Reported By Michael Gryboski, Mainline Church Editor | July 5, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/judge-stops-idaho-university-from-punishing-christian-students.html/

The University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. | University of Idaho Photo Services

A judge issued a temporary block to a university policy that censored three Christian students who had expressed opposition to same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Students Peter Perlot, Mark Miller and Ryan Alexander sued the University of Idaho over a policy in which they were barred from talking with a student about their views on same-sex marriage. The three belong to the University of Idaho chapter of the Christian Legal Society, which holds traditional views on the definition of marriage and sexual ethics.

In an order released last week, Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye issued a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the university’s policies against the plaintiffs. Nye noted that university officials targeted the plaintiffs over their specific religious views, namely their opposition to same-sex marriage.

“Defendants’ orders targeted the viewpoint of Plaintiffs’ speech. Both students and professors expressed opposing viewpoints to the views expressed by Plaintiffs without any type of intervention, let alone punishment,” wrote Nye.

“The disparity in Defendants’ approach is what bothers the Court most about this case and leans towards a finding that Defendants’ actions were designed to repress specific speech.”

Nye added that “the Court agrees Plaintiffs have a high likelihood of showing Defendants violated the First Amendment by issuing the no-contact orders based on the content and viewpoint of their speech.”

“Some may disagree with Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs. Such is each person’s prerogative and right. But none should disagree that Plaintiffs have a right to express their religious beliefs without fear of retribution. The Constitution makes that clear,” he added.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm helping to represent the three plaintiffs, released a press release Friday celebrating the injunction order.

“Peter, Mark, and Ryan are guaranteed the freedom under the First Amendment to discuss their faith on campus, just like every other student and faculty member,” said ADF Legal Counsel Mathew Hoffmann, as quoted in the press release.

“We’re pleased they are again free to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms without fear of punishment, and we look forward to a final resolution of this case in their favor and, ultimately, in favor of free speech for everyone.”

In late April, the three students sued university officials after they were given “no-contact orders” from the school’s Office of Civil Rights & Investigations. According to the lawsuit, the students attended an LGBT event on campus with the intention of representing a biblical perspective on marriage and sexual ethics. When a student asked them about their views, they offered their perspectives and gave the unnamed student a note expressing an interest in continuing the dialogue. Instead of the conversation continuing, the three students were given “no-contact orders,” which barred them from further communication with the student that they had dialogued with.

“The CLS members did not receive notice that anyone had complained about them and were not given an opportunity to review the allegations against them or defend themselves,” stated the suit.

“Instead of allowing the students to disagree civilly and respectfully with one another and to discuss these important issues, the University chose instead to censor Plaintiffs.”

In an earlier statemen to The Christian Post, university spokesperson Jodi Walker explained that the no-contact order was “a supportive measure available to a student under Title IX” and that “these supportive measures must be enacted” when a student requests them.

“When a complaint is made that qualifies under Title IX, the university must make the student aware of the supportive measures available,” said Walker at the time.   

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Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Idaho conservatives poised to remake legislature like never before


OP-ED | DANIEL HOROWITZ | May 19, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-idaho-legislature-conservatives/

Idaho has long suffered a paradox, in that it is so dominated by Republicans that it is not so Republican at all. Because it is a de facto one-party state, many liberals who are well connected to the woke industries and lobbyists choose to run as Republicans and use their superior campaign cash to campaign as conservatives, the exact opposite of what they plan to do in office. This is why, despite a 58-12 majority in the House and a 28-7 majority in the Senate, conservatives rarely enjoy legislative wins that other red states are able to easily secure. Last night’s elections might have changed that in a big way.

Establishment Republican elites are crowing about their apparent victories in both the Pennsylvania Senate race and the Idaho gubernatorial race on Tuesday. Idaho Gov. Brad Little warded off a challenge from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin. However, when you get past the statewide elections, which require tremendous money and organization to make competitive – money true conservatives don’t have – we find a different story.

A total of 20 incumbent Republicans – 11 running for the Senate and nine running for the House – were defeated or poised to lose as of Tuesday night. A big part of these results is thanks to the work of the Idaho Freedom PAC, which actively recruited candidates against incumbents.

It’s truly hard to overstate the significance of this development. Thirteen of the 28 Republican senators didn’t stand for re-election. Out of the 15 remaining, nine were defeated, and several RINO House members seeking a Senate seat lost to conservatives. There is almost no parallel to that in recent history. While some of the races involved other quirks or were due to redistricting, and a few others were conservatives who were defeated by more ideologically ambiguous candidates, for the most part, conservatives downed many liberal Republicans and made gains in open seats.

Among the highlights were conservative Rep. Codi Galloway beating Sen. Fred Martin, the five-term Senate Health and Welfare Committee chair from Boise. Sen. Jim Patrick, who served five terms in the Senate and three in the House, was defeated by a conservative as well. He was chairman of the Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee. Also, Rep. Greg Chaney, the outgoing chair of Judiciary, Rules & Administration in the House, lost his bid for a Senate seat, and Sen. Carl Crabtree, vice chair of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, lost his seat.

Additionally, two conservatives who moved from California to seek freedom in the Gem State defeated prominent incumbents. Retired California firefighter Carl Bjerke took out Senate Health and Welfare Committee vice chair Sen. Peter Riggs. Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee co-chair Sen. Jeff Agenbroad was defeated by Brian Lenney, who moved his family from California to Nampa in 2010.

Even in a number of instances where the incumbent survived, the challengers came much closer than we usually see in statewide elections. Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder only won his race by about 640 votes. Now he will face a brand-new caucus that can possibly vote him out of leadership. Conservatives would have enjoyed an even better night if not for the fact that leadership drew several of them into the same district and forced them to compete with each other. This dynamic made the House results more of a wash, but the House was already fairly conservative. So, the fact that the Senate has caught up to it will give the legislature a lot of clout over Gov. Brad Little.

What this success at the legislative level demonstrates is that for lower offices, where the bar to entry is much lower in terms of financial needs, conservatives are on a much more level playing field.

Even in the statewide elections, there are signs that in the future, conservatives can sweep the state. Former Congressman Raul Labrador defeated a 22-year incumbent for attorney general. Conservatives also came within a hair of winning the office of secretary of state and only lost because of vote-splitting. Even for governor, Brad Little only secured 53% of the total vote. Had there been a runoff option, the race might have picked up more momentum and could have become contested. With less vote-splitting and slightly stronger candidates, conservatives can truly take over the state next time.

In other states, mainly in the South, where there are runoffs, conservatives have a stronger chance to compete statewide. Next week, conservatives have an opportunity to draw Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey into a runoff. One recent poll showed Ivey only garnering 40% of the vote, with socially conservative businessman Tim James in second place for a potential runoff. Vote-splitting has plagued conservatives for decades, and the institution of runoffs in more states would allow them to compete against the establishment without fear of dividing the vote of thinking voters.

The Idaho media cheer for liberal Republicans because they don’t really have Democrat horses to ride, but even they recognize the significance of the Idaho Freedom PAC’s work in changing the state’s politics. A bigger focus on state legislatures will pay great dividends in the future, and other states can mimic the work of the Idaho Freedom PAC.

Indeed, the trend of RINO chairmen losing their seats played out in other states on Tuesday night. Three RINO Kentucky House chairs lost their seats in northern Kentucky. Eight-term incumbent Adam Koenig, chairman of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, was defeated by Steven Doan, a liberty candidate supported by Congressman Thomas Massie and state Rep. Savannah Maddox, a rising conservative star who might run for governor next year. Rep. Ed Massey, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from Hebron, and Rep. Sal Santoro, an eight-term incumbent and chairman of the Transportation Budget Committee, were also defeated.

In Pennsylvania, Rep. Stan Saylor of York County and Sen. Pat Browne of Lehigh County, both the House and Senate appropriations committee chairs respectively, were defeated by conservative challengers. Saylor had been in the House for 30 years. Republicans already have strong majorities in both houses, and if they can pick up the governorship with Doug Mastriano, a more conservative legislature can dramatically alter the political trajectory of the state.

So, what gives when it comes to 63% of the Pennsylvania Republicans voting for Mehmet Oz or Dave McCormick over the conservative favorite, Kathy Barnette? Very simple. They each raised close to $16 million and ran as solid conservatives, so the other challengers, including Kathy Barnette, were outgunned. On the other hand, Doug Mastriano, likely the most conservative in the gubernatorial field, won his primary in a landslide. In that case, there was no unified establishment candidate with endless sums of money to fool the voters.

Overall, conservatives would be wise to focus more on state and local races rather than federal races. Making red states red again and state legislatures great again will go a long way in divorcing ourselves from the morass of Washington. The RINOs can have the irremediably broken federal system, while we focus on rebuilding liberty in some of the states.

26 state school board associations distance themselves from national group calling parents ‘terrorists’


Reported By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor| Monday, November 15, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/26-school-board-groups-object-to-nsba-calling-parents-terrorists.html/

High school, classroom, California
IT Support Technician Michael Hakopian (R) distributes computer devices to students at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020, in Hollywood, California. With over 734,000 enrolled students, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

At least 26 state school board associations have distanced themselves from the National School Board Association after it urged the Biden administration to use federal law enforcement agencies against parents who oppose the teaching of controversial curriculum in public schools by labeling them as potential “domestic terrorists.”

The national grassroots organization Parents Defending Education says the states that have distanced themselves from the NSBA’s letter include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

Out of these, 12 states — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin — have taken further action to withdraw membership, participation or dues from the NSBA.

PDE wrote to NSBA member states for their comment on the Sept. 29 letter sent to them by NSBA Interim Executive Director Chip Slaven, which critics believe likened activism of concerned parents to “domestic terrorism.”

The letter said the NSBA had asked the U.S. Department of Justice to mobilize law enforcement agencies to respond to “threats and acts of violence against public schoolchildren, public school board members, and other public school district officials and educators” as actions of “domestic terrorism.”

While some school board members across the nation have publicly shared incidents of threats they’ve purportedly received from angry residents, critics believe the request to get federal law enforcement involved is unwarranted and an attempt to silence parents. Specific examples of concerning actions included the disruption of school board meetings “because of local directives for mask coverings to protect students and educators from COVID-19,” the incitement of “chaos” at school board meetings by “anti-mask proponents,” and the confrontation of school boards by “angry mobs” that have led boards to “end meetings abruptly.”

John Halkias, the director of the NSBA’s Central Region, wrote to Slaven the same day, on Sept. 29, sharing his belief that “the Board of Directors should have been consulted before a letter like this was sent out publicly, and no less to the President of the United States and the National Press.”

“I also agree that the letter took a stance that went beyond what many of us would consider to be reasonable and used terms that were extreme, and asked for action by the Federal Government that many of us would not request,” he added. “In fact in a recent press conference, the White House Press Secretary stated that when these incidents occur, it is a matter for local law enforcement and local authorities, and NOT the federal government.”

In an Oct. 2 email, NSBA President Viola Garcia told the organization’s board of directors that “NSBA has been engaged with the White House and the Department of Education on these and other issues related to the pandemic for several weeks now.”

Five days later, the Department of Justice published a memorandum directing “the Federal Bureau of Investigations, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders within 30 days” to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”

Republican members of Congress also criticized the memo.

“As someone who was born in the Soviet Union, I am … disturbed, very disturbed, by the use of the Department of Justice as a political tool, and its power as the police state to suppress lawful public discourse,” Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said in a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. “The FBI is starting to resemble old KGB with secret warrantless … surveillance, wiretapping and intimidation of citizens.”

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