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Posts tagged ‘Liberty Counsel’

Obama Moves to Weaponize IRS.


Matt Barber
Matt Barber

In 2010 millions of American Tea Party constitutionalists, to include the GOP’s Christianbase, united in a remarkable grassroots effort to rein in our unbridled federal government and return it to its expressly limited constitutional confines. As a result, an unprecedented number of counter-constitutionalist lawmakers (read: liberal Democrats) were swept from office.

The Obama administration wasn’t going to take this lying down. Whether it was by tacit approval or via direct order remains largely immaterial. The president quickly and unlawfully politicized the Internal Revenue Service, using it as a weapon against his political enemies. In an explosive scandal that continues to grow, the Obama IRS was caught – smoking gun in hand – intentionally targeting conservative and Christian organizations and individuals for harassment, intimidation and, ultimately, for political destruction.

Not only has Obama faced zero accountability for these arguably impeachable offenses, he has since doubled down. With jaw-dropping gall, his administration has now moved to officially weaponize the IRS against conservatives once and for all.

Despite the furor over the IRS assault on conservative groups leading up to the 2012 elections, this man – a despotic radical who’s turned our constitutional republic into one of the banana variety – has quietly released a proposed set of new IRS regulations that, if implemented, will immediately, unlawfully and permanently muzzle conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations and their individual employees. (The 501(c)(4) designation refers to the IRS code section under which social welfare organizations are regulated).

The new regulations would unconstitutionally compel a 90-day blackout period during election years in which conservative 501(c)(4) organizations – such as Tea Party, pro-life and pro-family groups – would be banned from mentioning the name of any candidate for office, or even the name of any political party.

Here’s the kicker: As you may have guessed, liberal lobbying groups like labor unions and trade associations are deliberately exempted. And based on its partisan track record, don’t expect this president’s IRS to lift a finger to scrutinize liberal 501(c)(4)s. Over at a Obama’s “Organizing for America,” the left-wing political propaganda will, no doubt, flow unabated.

These Orwellian regulations will prohibit conservative 501(c)(4) organizations from using words like “oppose,” “vote,” or “defeat.” Their timing, prior to a pivotal election, is no coincidence and provides yet another example of Obama’s using the IRS for “progressive” political gain.

Although these restrictions only apply to 501(c)(4) organizations for now, under a straightforward reading, they will also clearly apply to 501(c)(3) organizations in the near future.

Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action – one of the many conservative organizations to be silenced – commented on the breaking scandal: “One of the core liberties in our constitutional republic is the right to dissent,” he said. “But desperate to force his radical agenda on the American people, Barack Obama and his chosen political tool, the IRS, are now trying to selectively abridge this right, effectively silencing their political adversaries.”

Specifically, here’s what the proposed regulations would do to conservative groups and their leaders:

  • Prohibit using words like “oppose,” “vote,” “support,” “defeat,” and “reject.”
  • Prohibit mentioning, on its website or on any communication (email, letter, etc.) that would reach 500 people or more, the name of a candidate for office, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election.
  • Prohibit mentioning the name of a political party, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election, if that party has a candidate running for office.
  • Prohibit voter registration drives or conducting a non-partisan “get-out-the-vote drive.”
  • Prohibit creating or distributing voter guides outlining how incumbents voted on particular bills.
  • Prohibit hosting candidates for office at any event, including debates and charitable fundraisers, 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before the general election, if the candidate is part of the event’s program.
  • Restrict employees of such organizations from volunteering for campaigns.
  • Prohibit distributing any materials prepared on behalf a candidate for office.
  • Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to publicly speak about incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records.
  • Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to make public statements regarding the nomination of judges.
  • Create a 90-day blackout period, on an election year, that restricts the speech of 501(c)(4) organizations.
  • Declare political activity as contrary to the promotion of social welfare.
  • Protect labor unions and trade associations by exempting them from the proposed regulations.

Continued Staver: “We would be restricted in promoting conservative values, such as protecting our constitutional rights against these very kind of Executive Branch infringements.

“We would even be prohibited from criticizing the federal bureaucracy. If this new set of regulations goes into effect, Liberty Counsel Action – all conservative 501(c)(4)s for that matter – will be forbidden to ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ anything in the political arena and we’ll be prohibited from conducting our ‘get-out-the vote’ campaigns or issuing our popular voter guides.

“Further,” continue Staver, “individual employees of conservative groups will be banned from speaking or messaging on incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records – or speaking on the nominations of judges or political nominees being considered by the Senate. This also includes taking on state and local politicians.”

“These are the same tactics used by the Obama administration to illegally target conservative 501(c)(4) organizations during the last two election cycles, only now the strategy has been greatly intensified and formalized.

“You may recall that former President Richard Nixon was famously forced to resign for improperly using Executive Branch assets for political purposes.

“Rather than preparing a solid defense to confront these serious allegations, a brazen Barack Obama has chosen instead to reconfigure his illegal tactics into a set of ‘regulations’ on nonprofits, opening the door for an IRS crackdown on select organizations,” Staver concluded.

Indeed, once caught abusing his executive authority to target the very U.S. citizens he’s sworn to serve, even a nominally honorable man would immediately reverse course, resign and accept the consequences of his illegal actions.

But we’re not talking about an honorable man.

We’re talking about Barack Hussein Obama.

Freedom-loving Americans are asked to file a public comment in opposition to this proposed IRS regulation at Regulations.gov. All comments are due by Feb. 27, 2014.

Also, please sign this petition to the Senate Committee on Finance, Taxation and IRS Oversight to ensure that all 501(c)(4) organizations formed to promote conservative values will be treated fairly by the IRS.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war.

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Gov. Chris Christie’s Ban on Change Therapy Heads to Appeals Court.


 

Gov. Chris Christie
Liberty Counsel is challenging a ban on change therapy, signed by Gov. Chris Christie. (Facebook)

Liberty Counsel filed its opening brief at the federal court of appeals against the New Jersey ban on change therapy. A3371, signed by Gov. Chris Christie, prohibits licensed counselors from providing any counsel to change or reduce unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors or identity to minors.

“A3371 is far more scandalous than the George Washington Bridge lane closure,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Gov. Christie signed a bill that blocks licensed counselors from providing and young people from receiving any counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, mannerisms or identity. This law is causing immediate harm to young people and to licensed counselors.”

“A3371 invades the sacrosanct relationship between counselor and client by prohibiting therapeutic conversations that assist a minor to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity while permitting conversations that affirm or approve them,” Staver told the court in the brief.

The district court found that the counseling of licensed New Jersey counselors is not entitled to anyFirst Amendment protection whatsoever, a notion that ignores long-established precedent of the Supreme Court.

“Far from being a First Amendment orphan, professional speech may be entitled to the strongest protection our Constitution has to offer,” said Staver.

“A3371 is a textbook example of viewpoint discrimination. The legislation explicitly prohibits licensed counselors from providing, and clients from receiving, any counsel to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior or identity,” Staver told the court.

“Counselors can only affirm same-sex attractions even though the clients insist that such attractions are unwanted and they want to change. Depriving these young people of beneficial counsel of their choice is dangerous and is causing immediate harm to our clients,” concluded Staver.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JACOB STEVENS

Christian Lawyers Rise Up Against ‘Duck Dynasty’ Bullying.


Phil Robertson
A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from its No. 1 hit show ‘Duck Dynasty‘ after he made controversial statements about homosexuality. (Courtesy of A&E and Howard Books)

A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from its No. 1 hit show Duck Dynasty after he made controversial statements about homosexuality. Influential Christian lawyers are unanimously supporting the Robertson family patriarch.

Robertson was indefinitely suspended from A&E’s Duck Dynasty after he told GQ magazine that he doesn’t understand how two men could enjoy making love to one another. Using anatomically correct language, the Duck Dynasty dad said that in his opinion, a woman has more to offer a man sexually than another man.

America was a country founded upon Christian values,” Robertson told GQ, and “the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted those founding principles.” Using the removal of Ten Commandment monuments outside of courthouses as an example, Robertson said, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine.”

When the reporter asked what is sinful, Robertson listed homosexuality and promiscuity and quoted from 1 Corinthians.

“Whether or not A&E violated the legal rights of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, they most surely violated a fundamental principle of American society: that people have the right to express their religious viewpoints without being punished,” Liberty Institute said Thursday in a statement.

“Liberty strongly condemns A&E’s intolerant and inflexible bullying of Phil Robertson and its insensitivity to its viewers, most of whom agree with Robertson’s religious viewpoint,” the statement continues.

“We stand ready to defend the rights of people of faith in the workplace—such as our client Craig James in his legal action against Fox Sports—when such religious discrimination violates the law, as it often does.

“In the spirit of American tolerance of religious diversity, A&E should reinstate Mr. Robertson and apologize for its religious bigotry.”

Alliance Defending Freedom has also shown support for Duck Commander’s Phil Robertson.

“America’s long tradition of free and open discussion about important cultural issues is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” says ADF Senior Vice President of Legal Doug Napier. “This move is more evidence of the one-sided censorship of the cultural and political elites outraged by such a basic teaching. A&E, as a media outlet, should understand better than most the free marketplace of ideas.”

“The self-appointed speech police rallying behind A&E don’t believe in the free marketplace of ideas and have no tolerance for any beliefs other than their own,” Napier adds. “Alliance Defending Freedom exists to preserve and protect free speech and to stand against these types of meritless attacks upon freedom.”

In addition, the attorneys at Liberty Counsel stand behind Robertson.

“To fire someone because of his religious beliefs is outrageous and anti-American,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “A&E has pandered to the wrong group. The television network should apologize for censoring Phil Robertson. I am sure other cable networks would love to carry Duck Dynasty.

“This is another example of the left clamoring for tolerance for everyone except Christians,” Staver adds. “Duck Dynasty’s unashamed displays of faith and traditional values are a breath of fresh air in this Miley Cyrus culture, where flagrant displays of sexuality permeate entertainment. In fact, I believe it is the show’s strong family values that make the reality comedy the most-watched nonfiction cable telecast in history.”

Staver adds, “Phil Robertson is correct. While every person is created in the image of God and deserves respect, sinful people do sinful acts that cannot be condoned. Homosexual behavior is abnormal and sinful. It is contrary to the natural created order and is physically harmful. A&E has made a big mistake. By censoring Phil Robertson, A&E has offended the bulk of its viewing audience.

Staver concludes by quoting Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

High Court Sidesteps Liberty University’s Challenge to Employer Mandate.


U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped an opportunity on Monday to take up Liberty University’s challenge to the entire employer mandate, declining to review the case without comment. (Chris Phan/Flickr/Creative Commons)

The United States Supreme Court sidestepped an opportunity Monday to take up Liberty University’s challenge to the entire employer mandate, declining to review the case without comment.

Denial of review does not result in an opinion on the merits. The court could take up a similar challenge if a federal court of appeals strikes down the entire employer mandate, although no such challenge is currently pending.

Liberty Counsel represents Liberty University and two private individuals in the case of Liberty University v. Lew (formerly Liberty University v. Geithner). This was the first private lawsuit against Obamacare filed on the day President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010.

The Liberty University case challenged (1) the entire employer mandate, (2) the forced funding of abortion drugs and devices under the law and as implemented by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and (3) the forced funding of abortion by individuals under the individual mandate.

The Liberty University case first reached the Supreme Court in 2011, and the issue raised by the case (the Anti-Injunction Act) became the subject of the first day of the three-day oral argument in 2012. In November 2012, the high court ordered the federal court of appeals to rehear the remaining unresolved issues, including the employer mandate.

After the three-judge panel (two of whom were appointed by President Obama) upheld the law, the case again went back to the Supreme Court. Last week, the high court accepted the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases, both of which are for-profit corporations challenging only the HHS contraception and abortifacient provision.

“The high court has decided to take up the HHS contraception and abortion drug mandate, but it is not ready yet to tackle the entire employer mandate. That challenge will wait for another day,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Liberty University case would make strong arguments that the employer mandate could not be upheld as a tax because the penalties are exorbitantly high and punitive.

“Deciding the case would have highlighted the absurdity of the Supreme Court’s convoluted decision upholding the individual mandate as a tax. Apparently the court was not willing right now to venture back into that morass.”

Staver concludes, “We will wait on the court’s ruling next year to decide whether to file a new challenge. It is possible the high court could sidestep the HHS abortion mandate issue by deciding that for-profit corporations do not have free exercise of religion rights. I hope the court will decide the issue and strike down this most egregious trampling of the free exercise of religion.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Study: Anti-Christian Faith Sentiment Growing at Breakneck Speed.


Audrey Jarvis
College student Audrey Jarvis was asked twice to remove her cross, or at least hide it, at a student orientation. (CBN)

Hostility against Christian Americans is growing at an alarming rate, according to a new survey from the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute.

The Liberty Institute’s Jeff Mateer noted that while last year’s survey was based on 600 cases, “this survey that we’re releasing right now is almost 1,200. So we’ve almost doubled in just one year.”

One such case involved college student named Audrey Jarvis, who was asked twice to remove her cross, or at least hide it, at a student orientation.

“My supervisor came up to me out of nowhere and asked me to remove my cross necklace because he thought it would be offensive to incoming freshmen,” she recalled.

Jarvis received an apology from her college, but couldn’t forget how hurtful the man was who found her cross so objectionable.

“I think he was just kind of ignorant to the fact that his words could offend me in attempting to not offend somebody else,” she said.

In another case, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk got in trouble with his lesbian commanding officer when she ordered him to answer how he felt about gay marriage.

“This is about religious freedom because I expressly stated that I had a religious conviction that wouldn’t allow me to answer the question the way it was posed to me,” Monk said.

Former NFL running back Craig James found himself a victim of growing anti-faith sentiment when just one hour into a new job as a FOX Sports analyst, he was booted off the air.

James and the Liberty Institute insist it was because a top network manager disapproved of a statement James made about gay marriage 15 months before in a political debate.

“They knew who I was, what I stood for,” James told CBN News. “And I’m being punished—I was fired—for my religious beliefs.”

FOX says James just wasn’t a good fit, but Liberty Institute is fighting to get James his job back.

“This is not about Craig James,” the former NFL running back said. “This is about an American who had a job and someone came back—a big corporation—and said, ‘Hey, we can’t allow you on our network because of your belief and definition of what marriage is.'”

With some 1,200 cases like these documented in the new Religious Hostility Survey, Mateer says he’s frightened for his country.

“The threats are increasing at a dramatic rate, and this survey demonstrates that,” Mateer said.

Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel also fights for the rights of people of faith.

“What we’re seeing is instead of religious liberty being protected as it is affirmed by the First Amendment, people of religious faith, particularly Christians, are finding themselves the targets of discrimination,” Staver said.

Monk says now when Christians facing hostility must hold steady, mostly for other believers.

“They need to see us stand firm in our faith,” he told CBN News. “And when they see that, I think we’ll see a turn of events.”

Mateer noted that when believers fight back, they almost always win. So only by meekly accepting defeat will they let the enemies of religion triumph.

“They’ve stated their objective is to remove God from our public life. Well, if we remain silent, that’s going to happen,” Mateer warned.

Public Schools ‘Celebrating’ LGBT History Month.


 

school classroom
Public schools from California to Florida are celebrating LGBT History Month. (For illustration purposes only.)

What are your kids studying in school today? Public schools from California to Florida are celebrating LGBT History Month, where they highlight a homosexual or lesbian each day. Thursday, America’s schoolchildren learned about Edward-turned-Gwen Araujo, who was intimate with men who allegedly beat him when they discovered he was not a woman.

“If parents think our schoolchildren should be focused on science and math, not sex and murder, they need to talk to teachers, principals and school boards to ensure that this program is stopped,” cautions Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The sexual assault on our children is mind-boggling,” Staver adds.

Earlier this week, Staver was in federal court in New Jersey challenging the new law that bans minors in the Garden State from receiving counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior or identity. Liberty Counsel has already challenged a similar law in California. Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have introduced like measures that insert the government between the client and the counselor.

“Parents and concerned citizens must stand up to protect our children,” says Staver. “Enough is enough! The innocence of our children is under assault in the public schools. Parents and concerned citizens must stand up and demand that public schools focus on the essentials of learning and not become vehicles of a sexualized agenda.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Ted Cruz, Liberty Counsel’s Got Your Flank.


Matt Barber
Matt Barber

With his inspirational and unprecedented show of leadership on the floor of the U.S. Senate this past week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made hundreds of enemies in Washington.

But more importantly, he made millions of friends across America.

When you have both liberal Democrats and mealy-mouthed establishment RINOs (“Republicans in name only“) allying against you, you know you’ve got the bead over the beltway “good ol’ boys’” center-mass. Mr. Cruz emasculated, delightfully, Obama’s political yes-bots on both sides of the aisle.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., was both a sponsor of—and cheerleader for—Obamacare. That was, of course, because he evidently followed Nancy Pelosi’s obtuse advice to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Once he read this 2,400-page regulatory monstrosity, Sen. Baucus came to the same conclusion as did anyone else with two synapses to rub together. He called it “a huge train wreck” and announced that Obama’s pet government health care albatross would sink him into retirement.

Unfortunately, it’ll sink millions of American families right along with him.

Even liberal supporters are waking up to this nightmarish reality. Politico laments, “The Obamacarethat consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation.

“Millions of low-income Americans won’t receive coverage. Many workers at small businesses won’t get a choice of insurance plans right away. Large employers won’t need to provide insurance for another year. Far more states than expected won’t run their own insurance marketplaces. And a growing number of workers won’t get to keep their employer-provided coverage.”

The moxie Sen. Cruz showed during his marathon 21-hour Obamacare-funding speech had the dual effect of both shining the spotlight of truth on the inherent lie that is the Affordable Care Act, as well as launching this no-nonsense lawmaker’s Reaganesque bona fides into the stratosphere.

2016, anyone?

Still, while economy and freedom-saving congressional efforts to delay, defund and, ultimately, defeat Obamacare will continue with men like Ted Cruz leading the charge, it remains critical that a judicial cavalry cover his flank.

To that end, earlier this month Liberty Counsel filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the civil rights firm’s Obamacare case, Liberty University v. Lew(formerly called Liberty University v. Geithner). Liberty Counsel’s challenge to Obamacare is the most comprehensive case pending, arguing that 1) the entire employer mandate is unconstitutional because Congress lacks authority to force employers to buy or provide government-mandated health insurance, 2) the contraception-abortifacient mandate forcing employers to provide free abortion-inducing drugs or devices violates the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Clause, and 3) the individual mandate forcing individuals to fund abortion violates the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Clause.

“Under the employer mandate, employers are compelled to purchase an unwanted government-defined insurance product at a government-defined price,” the petition says. “If they fail to do so, then they face fines that can be as high as $15,000 per employer per day and penalties of $2,000 per employee per year, even if they provide health insurance which does not include abortion-inducing drugs or devices.”

“The Supreme Court has already found that the government cannot force individuals to purchase an unwanted product under the individual mandate,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is only logical that government also lacks authority to force employers to purchase an unwanted product.”

“The insurance mandates also require that insurance policies provide coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of the fact that providing such coverage violates religious beliefs of individuals and employers,” the petition explains. “If individuals and employers refuse to provide the free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, then they will be saddled with government penalties. In essence, it is akin to the old adage ‘your money or your life,’ only it is ‘your money or your religious beliefs.’”

“The Fourth Circuit’s ruling contradicts this Court’s precedents and creates an inter-circuit conflict with the 10th, 7th and 8th circuits,” the petition concludes. “This Court should accept plenary review to resolve the conflicts presented by this case, including whether the employer mandate is supported by the Taxing and Spending Clause or the Commerce Clause, and whether the individual and employer mandates violate religious free exercise.”

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, often said, “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” President Obama’s ministry of propaganda has, until now, gotten away with this whopper: “Obamacare does not force taxpayers to fund abortion.”

The jig’s up. It does, and everyone knows it.

That includes Congress.

CNS News reports that on Friday, “72 congressmen sent a letter to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, urging him to insert language ending abortion funding and religious discrimination inObamacare.

“The Obama administration has committed unprecedented attacks against the unborn and the religious freedom guaranteed in the Constitution, all under the guise of ‘access to health care,’ the letter tells Boehner.

“The letter implores Boehner to ‘incorporate H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, along with a cessation of federal dollars for abortions into the continuing resolution or on legislation addressing the debt ceiling.’”

The Washington Examiner further notes, “Obamacare is a masterpiece in its achievement of leaving no corner of our personal freedoms unviolated. It hijacks our pocketbook, our autonomy of action, and our conscience. The result is to leave us economically and morally impoverished.”

While Sen. Cruz and a growing number of lawmakers from both parties work to bring down Obamacare from the U.S. Capitol building, Liberty Counsel will continue launching shells from the Supreme Court down the street.

It’s a united front because, one way or another, this Obamacare albatross must go.

It’s drowning America.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

MATT BARBER

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.

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