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David Ripley: Historic Day of American Renewal

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Senate confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court is truly an important accomplishment for President Trump and the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. While the military action in Syria has deflected some of the attention which should properly be focused on this monumental victory, we predict the fruit of Gorsuch’s tenure on the Court will long outlast the day’s headlines.

Given the impact the Supreme Court has on modern American life, this appointment and confirmation will likely justify and commend the entire Trump presidency.

By every measure, Gorsuch is a very smart and qualified jurist. But the world is full of clever people. What makes his position on the court so important is that he is, apparently, a righteous person. Everything we have read about his previous work on the federal courts indicates that he has a profound respect for the traditional values which gave rise to the greatest nation in history – particularly the principle of religious liberty.

Trump and Gorsuch 2 A momentary reflection on the alternative reality of a Hillary pick joining the other leftists on the Court should be enough to bring every reasonable American to his or her knees in gratitude for God’s mercy.

We think it is also important to publicly commend the leadership and work of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He has not always been able to provide the kind of conservative leadership many of us have desired – but in this matter, he has performed magnificently. He protected the Court from Obama’s last minute attempt to pack the bench, and he quietly and courageously led his Caucus into a gun fight with the mindless Democrat minority. Unlike many such fights – the Republicans won and the nation won big.

It was McConnell’s finest hour. In fact, it may not be too much to say that he and President Trump helped save the Republic yesterday. At a minimum, the placement of Gorsuch on the Court has given us all the chance to continue our fight to keep it.

The pro-Life movement has suffered several set-backs since the death of Justice Scalia. So we are very hopeful that the years ahead will see a spring-like renewal of opportunities for the states to defend preborn children and their mothers from the evil seductions of Planned Parenthood.

May the Lord bless Justice Gorsuch and the United States of America.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Charlie Daniels asks – How About Sanctuary Cities for the Preborn?

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Legendary country music artist Charlie Daniels posed a daring question: If cities, counties and even states are able to ignore federal law by harboring illegal aliens – perhaps we can use the same logic to provide sanctuary for the most vulnerable humans in America: preborn babies.

Daniels posted a conscience-provoking challenge to his Twitter account:

“How about some cities declaring themselves a sanctuary for the unborn and refuse to abide by the federal laws allowing abortion?”

Of course, such a challenge to the various edicts coming from the nation’s federal courts would be met with violent protests from the anarchist Left which has sought to bully society in recent years. One can hope that their Democrat allies in Congress might see the contradiction exposed by Daniels, or feel compassion for the babies being terrorized while they rest in the womb. But reason and reasonableness seem to be in very short supply among Democrats these days.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 27 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As we came to this session, I thought it was interesting that House and Senate Leadership set a target date for getting our work completed and calling it a day. It is easy to do that given how long it takes for the budget committee (JFAC) to go through their processes and then allowing for the normal time to get those bills through both bodies and to the governor. That calculation would have ended the session on March 24th. Also a reality in most sessions is that there is always a potential for a train wreck or two that could gum up the works.

As is also normal for us, the volume of bills in the last few days of the session dramatically increases and are jammed through. In spite of our best efforts to avoid the end of session “bubble” this year, it happened anyway. So, at this writing it looks like there will be another few days needed to wrap it up. In addition to a few budget bills, there are two that we need to address, taxes and transportation.

One day this week we voted on the appropriations for Public Schools. Although there are several parts to that budget, the total exceeds two billion dollars. Those half dozen or so bills passed the full House quite handily in about thirty minutes, without debate. There has to be a record of some kind in that. The following day was Higher Education Day. One of those bills that spent about forty million dollars took an hour and a half of vigorous debate but passed easily as well. The day after that was Health and Welfare appropriations that exceeded two billion dollars passed in a short period of time, again with little debate. At any rate it was a lot of your money that was spent those three days. So, most of the money is gone as our good friends on JFAC would say.

And speaking of train wrecks, we finally got around to having one. As a result we slowed down enough to get us back to town for at least another few days next week. During the weekend it is hoped that the members of the body will get some rest, and more importantly study up on the remaining legislation and be ready to complete our work. There are some appropriations that need to be completed and some other things that are a must do.

It goes without saying that everyone here wants to get this session concluded. Someone told that it felt a little like a trip to the dentist when the anesthetic is beginning to wear off. I don’t know about that but because the things we have been going through this last week are a bit normal in most respects.

And down on the farm, Bruce called me and told me that he could use my help for some things there. Be patient son, I’ll soon be on my way.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Idaho Takes a Side-Step on Protecting Babies, Moms

March 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House State Affairs Committee on Monday (03.06.17) took the unprecedented step of approving a bill to repeal part of a law approved in 2015 regulating chemical abortions in Idaho.

HB250 was brought forward by Idaho Chooses Life as a tactical response to the disastrous lawsuit still pending before federal Judge Lynn Winmill. After telling the Legislature in 2015 that it did not perform telemed abortions – and had no intention of giving out RU-486 after a “doctor” talks with a woman over an internet connection – Planned Parenthood sued the state in December of 2015. It claimed a “constitutional crisis” and demanded that Winmill issue a temporary restraining order to protect their “constitutional right” to kill more babies with greater economic efficiency.

The Attorney General’s office decided not to fight Planned Parenthood. Instead, it signed an agreement in the spring of 2016 saying it would not enforce Idaho law against the abortion chain.

So, effectively, webcam abortions became legal in Idaho last year. Planned Parenthood has been using the dangerous procedure at its Twin Falls facility for almost a year now.

We protested the move, but were told that it was part of a “larger strategy” to ultimately win the lawsuit. The state needed more time to organize its defense. Not to worry.

Well, by last December, it became abundantly clear that there is plenty to be outraged about. The Attorney General’s office signed a document, largely prepared by Planned Parenthood, called a “Stipulation of Facts” in the lawsuit. It is a twenty page document outlining the evidence developed by the parties – and the basis for any ruling by Judge Winmill on whether Idaho’s ban on webcam abortions is constitutional.

Our attorneys reviewed the document, after it was signed and entered into the court record, and came to the painful conclusion that there was no way the state could win the lawsuit. There is not a single piece of evidence before the court defending the Legislature’s decision to outlaw webcam abortions.

The Attorney General’s office apparently ignored the committee records developed through lengthy hearings in the 2015 Session. None of the expert testimony we presented was used in federal court. None of the research papers and studies we presented to the Legislature were given to Judge Winmill.

In lobbying the 2015 bill, we showed the Legislature that webcam abortions are dangerous and a disservice to women and girls choosing to undergo a chemical abortion. Women using RU-486 have died as a result of hemorrhaging, or undetected ectopic pregnancies and infection.

But none of that information was presented to the federal district court.

So not only can the state now not win in Winmill’s court – there is no record by which an appeal could be successful.

Given this disgraceful state of the case, we are asking the Legislature to amend the law in order to moot the lawsuit. This reduces the amount of money that state will have to pay Planned Parenthood in attorneys’ fees. More importantly, it stops Winmill from issuing a final ruling declaring our law to be “unconstitutional”.

That means Planned Parenthood can’t take his ruling to attack pro-Life laws in other states. And it means that we will have an easier time coming back to the Legislature to get these protections restored. It also means that we have protected the rest of the chemical abortion regulations approved in 2015 from Judge Winmill’s lethal overreach.

Make no mistake: This turn of events is tragic. We spent some three years getting those protections into Idaho Code. A number of legislators did a lot of heavy lifting to restrict the use of RU-486 in the state. Much more importantly, the legalization of substandard medical care for women and girls undergoing chemical abortions is going to lead to higher abortion rates in Idaho and greater health problems for women.

But our only rational course at this point is to minimize the damage being wrecked by this lawsuit.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Keeping the (Liberal) Faith

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Have you noticed the increasing public presence of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

During the last presidential election, the Supreme Court Justice made numerous political statements, which raised eyebrows in some quarters. Since President Trump’s election, Ginsburg has become even more outspoken in her politics and public criticism of the president’s agenda.

This past week, she made a trip to George Washington University to encourage the liberal faithful. It seems the 83 year-old jurist has become more of a cheerleader for the Left than a Supreme Court Justice.

She made it clear that she has no intention of leaving the bench to make room for another Trump appointee.

Ginsburg also went out of her way to praise the liberal press, defending outlets like the New York Times as purveyors of truth.

And then she went into her admiration for the thousands of women who turned out in Washington to defend legalized abortion and protest the anticipated policies of a Trump Administration.

“I have never seen such a demonstration, both the numbers and rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best of times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day.”

It is unseemly for a sitting justice to publicly advocate for such a blatantly partisan agenda. There can be no serious debate that such political organizing confirms our worst fears of a badly compromised federal judiciary. So we can’t feign surprise that judges like Ginsburg are partisan hacks; but it is nevertheless sad that she is so brazen about leading the liberal social revolution. And even sadder that her behavior has largely gone without criticism.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Norma McCorvey Goes to Her Reward

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Pro-Life advocate Norma McCorvey passed away in Texas this past week, after spending almost two decades defending preborn children. She was 69.

McCorvey’s life is a prime example of God’s love and mercy. She was brought into a relationship with Christ after spending about half of her adulthood advocating for abortion rights. In fact, Norma is the woman around whom the Supreme Court concocted its infamous “Roe v. Wade” edict in 1973.

Norma revealed to the world in the 1980s that she was “Jane Roe” and that the factual basis for the lawsuit out of Texas was, in fact, not factual at all. Though she was still “pro-choice” at the time – Norma told the public that she lied about being raped, which was a key ingredient in a public relations campaign to seduce people into accepting the crime of abortion as the new normal in America.

McCorvey even went to work for Planned Parenthood for a time.

But in 1995, the Lord rescued her and she became a Christian.

By 1998, she was prepared to proclaim that she had become pro-Life:

“I am 100 percent pro-Life. I don’t believe in abortion even in an extreme situation. If the woman is impregnated by a rapist, it’s still a child. You’re not to act as your own God.”

We were honored to have Norma McCorvey as our guest speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner in December of 2010.

I don’t believe Norma ever underwent an abortion, but the horror of abortion largely defined her life. She became the poster child for abortion rights at just 22, and spent her remaining time here struggling with the moral and emotional consequences of being sucked up into that evil vortex. It was clear from our time together that she still carried wounds and many scars. There was a sadness about her, as well as a powerful strength.

It is good that she has now received her complete healing and is at peace with the Lord who always loved her.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 20, 2017

February 21st, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

I was looking through some old stuff in my desk the other day mostly in an effort to clean it out a bit to have a place to put more current things away. As Linda can attest my filing system is of the “I’m sure it’s here somewhere” variety. It really is not a bad system, it just doesn’t look very good. But the worst part is finding things that are four to five years old that should have been chucked long ago.

Today was a good example. I had someone asking me about a proposal they thought I had received from Legislative Services (bill drafters). I knew I had seen the thing but no matter how hard I looked, it was nowhere to be found, and then I remembered I had seen it in my email.

We have had a number of items this last week that have seemed like they got lost in the filing system somewhere. I can’t remember a time when we have seen so many re-drafts of bills because of unforeseen problems the bills would create. In these cases at this stage of the session we have been able to start over. We are at the traditional mid-point of our time here and corrections will be more difficult.

In the found and lost column this week is the discussion about the coming of the total eclipse on August 21st. A member of JFAC told the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce that there likely would be no funds coming from the state for the event. On a website I saw, I found an ad to sell eclipse viewing glasses for a mere $23.40 for ten sets. And I recall that we have been told repeatedly that there is no safe way to look directly at an eclipse. But then these are certified which begs the question by whom? A friend in good humor asked me, “What would happen if we had an eclipse and no one showed up? Or, what would happen if everyone showed up and the eclipse didn’t? Or, what would happen if the eclipse came and stayed?” Ah, what food for thought!

Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of things we are discussing that are far more serious that we are spending a lot of time working through the process. Those in the State Affairs Committee are immigration, special elections, Tribal gaming, abortion, desert wine, codifiers corrections, lottery, personal delivery devices, and guns just to name a few.

And then there is the budget, which is the main reason for the session. I have suggested that we could just adopt last year’s budget and go home. After all just how many new laws do you think we need? I think I know what you would say about that. As to the numbers found in the wish lists and what the governor wants the budget to look like, I have this piece of paper that I laid on my desk the other day and it is here somewhere. I’ll have to look through my filing system to find it.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Feb. 13, 2017

February 21st, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

One day this last week I had a member of the press corps stop by to visit with me about a matter or two. He had his handy little digital recorder in his hand. That is a signal around here that they are looking for the “quote of the week.” His final question was, “Why does this session feel so much different than past ones? It seems like a more sluggish start than usual.”The real answer is that every session of the legislature has its own “feel.” It hasn’t seemed to me that it has been bogged down much around here.

I stay about nine miles from the capital and morning traffic is not my idea of a great time. For that reason I arrive at the House quite early every morning to avoid the big rush coming in from Canyon County and West Ada. All is quiet at that time and I get a about an hour or so to read up and do preparation for the day.

During the night calls come in from all over the state, some are interesting, some are rude and some border on threatening. One caller said he knew that I had a problem with how a certain bill was worded but the people of the state didn’t care about the words that are in the proposal they just want it passed. In other words we won’t know what’s in the bill until we pass it. Sound familiar? I think it’s better to know about what’s in it up front rather to have regrets later.

The counties were in town this past week with all six counties in our district being present. They have a lot of questions about what is going on that might affect our part of the state. One current issue that has been brewing for a while is the funding formula for the heath districts. It seems that the two largest districts want a bigger slice of the pie and have introduced legislation to make the change…after they had agreed to work it out by negotiation. In the Treasure Valley there is very little understanding of how things work in our rural counties. We have to remind them on a continuing basis. They have agreed to attempt negotiating the formula without legislative action. We hope it sticks.

Last week I wrote about the tax bill that passed the House. Since that time the weather has changed and the results of a more severe than normal winter are beginning to show up on our streets and highways. In some areas the potholes in the roads are as big as the cars causing tire failures and road closures. In addition, we have several roads closed because of avalanches and avalanche danger. And then there is the washout in the Raft River area and the closure of I 86. The tax bill is being re-thought.

Does it sound like things have been sluggish around this place? Probably not, at least from this vantage point. And at this writing, and to the great relief of the folks in Boise, today’s high temperature was in the sixties. However, it is still only February.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Congress Slow Walks De-funding

February 12th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We have previously expressed concern about Congress fulfilling its commitment to defund Planned Parenthood. The much anticipated vote on a Reconciliation bill to both defund the Abortion Giant and Repeal ObamaCare seems to be on hold. Rather than cap the pipeline of federal funding, the Congress appears to be shifting responsibility back to the states for action.

This last week, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced a measure to repeal rules Obama punched through at the end of his presidency to protect Planned Parenthood’s tax subsidies. The House Rules Committee will meet next week to consider HJRes 43, which would restore the ability of states receiving Title X monies to direct those funds away from Planned Parenthood.

While this is a positive trend, it suggests that Congress is far from ready to strip monies from the abortion provider. It seems odd, for example, to go after an underlying rule – which will take weeks to successfully repeal – rather than the whole program.

It also suggests that Congressional leaders may be trying to shift the battle with Planned Parenthood from Washington, D.C. to the various states.

Hopefully, we are misreading the dynamic at work.

The simple fact is, Congress has created the behemoth which is Planned Parenthood through its decades-long steady subsidy of millions in tax dollars. Particularly in light of the corrupted federal court system now oppressing America – containing Planned Parenthood’s toxic effect on American culture will require genuine, courageous leadership from the U.S. Congress.

Let us pray they find the will to act.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: President Prepares to Restore Religious Liberty

February 8th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Various media outlets have obtained a draft of a proposed Executive Order being prepared for President Trump’s signature. Liberals in the media, Abortion Industry and homosexual agitators are, predictably, “outraged”. They claim he is on some dangerous, radical mission to persecute them. But the simple truth, as with so much of the Trump agenda, is to restore a respect for fundamental American principles, law and culture.

Reportedly, the draft EO insists that the federal government and its agencies adhere to Supreme Court decisions and statutes which safeguard the religious liberties of American citizens. The only thing radical about this action is the focus it puts on the Obama government, which waged all-out war on the First Amendment and the religious beliefs of many millions.

For example, it was the Obama Administration which repeatedly forced Little Sisters of the Poor to mortgage its very existence by waging expensive lawsuits to defend its right not to pay for, or otherwise subsidize, abortion through bizarre ObamaCare regulations. And, in fact, Trump’s Executive Order specifically instructs the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health & Human Services to provide proper relief to this order of Christian nuns.

The Order would further order all federal agencies to protect the religious liberties of federal employees, and would stop the government from discriminating against private Christian charities because they uphold traditional beliefs in the sanctity of Life and Marriage.

News reports suggest that Trump’s action will provide comprehensive protections to religious practice and restore much of what Obama tried to destroy. It is a moment to be celebrated, not only because of it marks a recovery of religious freedom, but a recovery of Constitutional government.

But be prepared for more protests, car burnings and frivolous lawsuits.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

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