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David Ripley: Supreme Court Rebukes 9th Circuit (Again)

June 27th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra, overturning a previous 9th Circuit ruling involving a California law that forced pro-Life pregnancy centers to refer women for abortion. Becerra is the Attorney General of California. NIFLA is the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. They were joined by numerous pro-Life pregnancy centers.

As we’ve written before, there has been a new attack line on the pro-Life movement in recent years. Draconian laws have been passed in (at least) California and Hawaii to hamper the efforts of the pro-Life community to save preborn children and their mothers. The 9th Circuit got its way around the First Amendment by arguing that California was only trying to regulate “professional” speech.

In his majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court has never recognized categories of free speech – based upon who was doing the speaking. There is just free speech. And the government is not free to compel speech.

One would have hoped that the learned people on the 9th Circuit might have known that already.

We fully expected to win this case. We have dealt with the issue of professional speech a number of times when we have sought to pass laws requiring doctors to provide information to women considering abortion (informed consent). Supreme Court precedent has made it clear that we cannot make a doctor say something he or she would not otherwise choose to tell a patient. (Requiring them to provide written material, prepared by the State of Idaho, is a different matter).

What is surprising, however, is the fact that four justices of the Supreme Court – Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan – had no problem overlooking the Court’s own precedent to advance their ideological agenda. More importantly – the First Amendment itself represents no substantial obstacle for these people, either. It is painfully obvious that, for these leftist activists, the Constitution means little except as it can be manipulated into providing the means to an end.

This is a radically different view than the one held by the Founders. Those ancients saw the Constitution as the end itself. Opinions, movements and problems change from time to time. The solutions reached by society from time to time can be flexible. But the Constitution enshrines eternal truths about man and his proper relationship to government; whimsical political solutions cannot be allowed to violate the fixed nature of man and the rights he has acquired as an expression of God himself.

Classical liberalism once defended such a view of the Constitution – and it fought hard for those ideals. It is very troubling to see that no such understanding exists today among the American Left. They have been seduced by their own self-righteousness into a kind of soft totalitarianism.

About all we can add is a prayer of gratitude: Thank the Lord Trump won. A Clinton justice would have vindicated the 9th Circuit. That outcome would have set the stage for government using its coercive powers to drive the pro-Life movement from the public square.

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

David Ripley: Will AG Wasden Win This Lawsuit?

June 12th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Death Lobby recently filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Idaho, arguing that Idaho’s law on “living wills” or “advance directives” is “unconstitutional”. They are joined by the Abortion Lobby in pressing for an expanded right to destroy preborn children under the rubric of “women’s rights”.

The key issue: Idaho’s 2005 updated law on living wills provides an exception if the woman is pregnant. The justification for this exception is simple – in that case, there is another life involved. And the State of Idaho and medical personnel have a moral and legal responsibility to defend the separate rights of that preborn child to life.

The whole debate around “living wills” involves very serious moral, legal and spiritual issues. These legal documents outline the treatment choices a competent adult would make in various cases. For example, if you were in an accident and descended into a coma – would you want extraordinary medical intervention to preserve your life? Would you choose to receive food and water – while foregoing treatment options like breathing machines? And at what point would you choose one or more options?

Often, these living wills come down to making predetermined choices about when and how one might choose to die. Those theoretical questions are difficult enough for a person to make, because so much is unknown at the time those documents are signed. Many can justify such a limitation on future medical treatment because they feel they are doing their family a favor by relieving them of the burden of making difficult choices for a loved one. But this is an area fraught with troubling moral and spiritual questions in the clearest of circumstances.

The moral problems expand exponentially when one considers that this lawsuit seeks to gain a ruling striking down Idaho’s protections for preborn children.

It is one thing for an adult woman to choose death for herself, under the present structure of Idaho’s Living Will law. But it is a whole different question when one considers that there is another life at stake.

Let’s look at just one implication of this lawsuit: What if a woman files a living will with the state, stating that she does not want food & water in certain circumstances. A couple of years later, she gets married. Then pregnant. But her legally-binding choices are not updated in light of her new circumstances. Suddenly, she is in the hospital after an accident. The doctors would be required to follow her previous wishes, regardless of the desires of her husband – even if he were certain that his wife would want to preserve their baby’s life by staying on life support. It is our understanding that the filed living will would overrule any other consideration. The hospital and courts would be bound to honor the wishes outlined in that old document. That is but one reason that the Idaho Legislature had the wisdom to provide for the pregnancy exception when updating this highly complex code section.

One of the participants in this lawsuit is “Compassion & Choices” – a leading advocate of assisted suicide in the nation. We previously battled them here in Idaho when they decided that the Gem State needed to widen its welcome mat for an evil philosophy built on the worship of death. (These are the people who have hoodwinked Washington and Oregon; they are at work in California as we speak).

They are back in Idaho to advance their dark agenda – this time, hiding behind the curtain of “women’s rights”.

So it is now up to Lawrence Wasden to defend the thoughtful work of the Idaho Legislature. Frankly, his record in the area of defending preborn children leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the time he loses quickly to the Abortion Lobby. So we are concerned, particularly because the case is already highly politicized: One of the pregnant women participating in the lawsuit is Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln, a Democrat running in Caldwell for the Idaho House against our good friend, Rep. Greg Chaney.

One interesting dynamic of this lawsuit is the fact that Ms. Lincoln’s baby is expected in July, which would seem to raise questions about her legal standing to bring this suit.

Ms. Lincoln’s spouse – Democrat Evangeline Beechler – is also running for the Legislature, and is the Democrat nominee against Sen. Jim Rice this fall. Both have been very active advocates for the LGBTQ agenda at the Legislature.

We need to be encouraging Mr. Wasden to stand tall and expend the resources necessary to win this important case.

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

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