Jeb Bush Endorses Ted Cruz for President

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

CNN reported this morning that Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination, saying, “Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.”

In a statement provided to CNN, Bush said: “Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.”

Bush’s endorsement emphasizes the belief that a Donald Trump nomination would ultimately be a win for Hillary Clinton. Last month, before he dropped his own bid for president, Bush characterized Trump as a “bully” and “not a conservative.”

While Bush and Cruz might differ on immigration policy, the former Florida governor’s endorsement is in keeping with wider, shared values.

In a statement to CNN, Cruz said: “I’m truly honored to earn Governor Jeb Bush’s support. . . . Governor Bush was an extraordinary governor of Florida, and his record of job creation and education innovation left a lasting legacy for millions of Floridians. His endorsement today is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, take back the White House, and ensure a freer and more prosperous America for future generations.”

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

Trump Promises to Name His List of SCOTUS Picks

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Washington Post reports: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday that he plans to soon release a list of seven to 10 people whom he would nominate for the U.S. Supreme Court if he becomes president, pledging to only pick from those names.”

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia left a vacancy and made the Supreme Court an important issue in the presidential campaign. President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, while Senate Republicans said they would block the nomination.

The Washington Post notes: “Trump said there will be some litmus tests to get a spot on his list — for example, he only wants justices who are ‘pro-life’ — but he was vague on the details. ‘We’re going to look at intellect, very important, like we want very, very smart people,’ Trump said. ‘We want conservatives on the Supreme Court.'”

According to The Post, Trump, “received help in compiling the list from the Heritage Foundation.”

Trump said, “We’re going to have a conservative, very good group of judges,” adding that, “I’m going to submit a list of justices, potential justices of the United States Supreme Court that I will appoint, from the list — I won’t go beyond that list.”

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

John Kasich Is No Moderate on Religious Liberty

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Christian Post‘s Napp Nazworth notes: “For all the talk about the Republican presidential candidate and Ohio governor being a ‘moderate,’ Kasich is an extremist, more akin to President Barack Obama, on religious freedom.”

Nazworth then goes on to present a couple instances of Kasich’s extremism. Back on February 13 in a debate, Kasich said: “I think frankly, our churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them. But if you’re a cupcake maker and somebody wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake. Let’s not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff — move on. The next thing, you know, they might be saying, if you’re divorced you shouldn’t get a cupcake.”

And then again on March 3rd, Kasich said, “we need to learn to respect each other, and learn to be a little bit more tolerant for one another, and at the end of the day, don’t go to court. … If somebody’s being pressured to participate in something that is against their deeply held religious beliefs, then we’re gonna have to think about dealing with a law. … I’d rather people figure this out without having more laws on the books.”

At the time he was asked, Christian business owners such as Arlene’s Flowers, Elane Photography, Liberty Ridge Farm, and Masterpiece Cakeshop were already in court, and Sweet Cakes by Melissa had already been heavily fined for declining to serve same-sex weddings based on their religious convictions. Continue Reading

Federal Judge Rules Obergefell Does Not Apply to Puerto Rico

The flags of the United States and Puerto Rico (photo credit: Arturo de la Barrera via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A federal judge has upheld Puerto Rico’s definition of marriage as between one man and one women. While the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Obergefell v. Hodges extended marriage to same-sex couples, U.S. District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez asserted that the ruling does not apply to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S territory.

Judge Pérez-Giménez said of Obergefell ruling: “One might be tempted to assume that the constant reference made to the ‘States’ in Obergefell includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. . . . Yet, it is not the role of this court to venture into such an interpretation.”

He based his ruling on Puerto Rico’s status as an “unincorporated territory” that “is not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment,” reasoning that the U.S. Constitution applies only partially to a territory like Puerto Rico. “Under this doctrine,” he wrote, “‘the Constitution applies in full in incorporated Territories surely destined for statehood but only in part in unincorporated Territories.'”

As general background, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has one non-voting member of Congress. In addition Breitbart explains: “The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has its own Civil Code, which enshrines traditional man-woman marriage in the recognized definition of the institution. It states that marriage is ‘a civil institution, originating in a civil contract whereby a man and a woman mutually agree to become husband and wife and to discharge toward each other the duties imposed by law.’”

Breitbart is clear to show the legal precedent:

In his decision, Perez-Gimenez cites Murphy v.

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Federal Reserve Official Donates to Clinton Campaign

Photo credit: Kurtis Garbutt via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, contributed $750 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign earlier this cycle.

Bloomberg Politics reports:

While Fed officials sometimes identify with either major political party, donations to a presidential candidate by a senior policy maker are unusual, particularly at a time when the central bank is trying to guard its independence from politics. The Fed’s authority has been criticized during the campaign, and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have questioned decisions about regulation and monetary policy.

[…]

Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican who heads the Senate Banking Committee, said Brainard’s contributions “validate” his concerns about allowing a single president to nominate every Fed board member.

“Governor Brainard’s contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign call into question the political independence of the board,” he said in an emailed statement from his press office.

There’s some history here. Brainard was an Obama administration appointee to the Treasury before joining the Fed, and her husband was a top adviser to Clinton in the State Department.

And political donations from Fed officials aren’t exactly unprecedented either. Bloomberg notes that Bill Clinton appointee Alice Rivlin “donated $500 in 1998 to the Democratic National Committee, FEC records show.”

Nevertheless, as Brookings Institution senior fellow Sarah Binder points out, the timing of this contribution could be seen as suspicious:

“If there is an issue here, it is one of optics,” Binder said. “It is a question of where governors want to draw their own lines and how they want to be perceived.”

House Republicans are trying to get the Fed to abide by policy rules.

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Trump Evades Question on Same-Sex Marriage Stance

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Daily Mail reports:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump refused to answer a question about same-sex marriage during a press conference Saturday night, following his electoral split of four primary and caucus states with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

DailyMail.com asked Trump to say whether or not he favors marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, and whether U.S. Supreme Court justices he might appoint would be expected to work toward overturning ‘Obergefell v. Hodges,’ the 2015 decision that legalized such unions nationwide.

‘We have policy on it. And I’ve said it very, very strongly,’ Trump replied, without saying what that policy is.

‘And I think you know it. And it’s all done and, you know, in a campaign how many times do I have to say it?’

Trump has addressed the question in the past, albeit ambiguously. The Daily Mail points out that in January he told Fox News “that he wished the high court had left the issue to the states to resolve, and concluded that he ‘would strongly consider’ appointing justices to overturn the ‘surprising’ Obergefell decision.” But in August, Trump told The Hollywood Reporter, “Some people have hopes of passing amendments, but it’s not going to happen. . . . Congress can’t pass simple things, let alone that. So anybody that’s making that an issue is doing it for political reasons. The Supreme Court ruled on it.”

When pressed by The Daily Mail for comment on the issue, Trump merely promised to talk more in depth on the subject at a later date:

As Trump worked his way through a crowd of well-wishers after the event, DailyMail.com asked him pointedly whether or not he agrees with the Obergefell ruling.

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Fox News Is Breaking Up with Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

It may not be Facebook official, but it would appear Marco Rubio’s relationship with Fox News is coming to an end. Several news sources reported this week that the former conservative media golden boy and “donor class darling” is off Fox News’ A-list, potentially making way for Donald Trump.

New York Magazine reports:

According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”

Ailes was already concerned about Rubio’s lackluster performance in GOP primaries and caucuses, winning only one contest among the 15 that have been held. But the more proximate cause for the flip was an embarrassing New York Times article revealing that Rubio and Ailes had a secret dinner meeting in 2013 during which the Florida senator successfully lobbied the Fox News chief to throw his support behind the “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration-reform bill. “Roger hates seeing his name in print,” a longtime Ailes associate told me. “He was appalled the dinner was reported,” the source said.

This development might explain why Rubio was the target of harsh criticism from Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, as Politico points out:

Hannity said Rubio’s onslaught is “turning into a suicide mission.” He speculated Rubio “is being fed this” and was “probably promised a lot of money” to go after Trump this way and slammed a pro-Rubio super PAC for running an ad on Trump’s refusal to disavow the Ku Klux Klan.

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Ron Paul: “There Is Absolutely No Difference” Between Hillary and Trump

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Earlier this week, former Rep. Ron Paul explained to CNN why a libertarian cannot endorse Donald Trump’s authoritarian approach:

My biggest beef is, from a libertarian viewpoint, there is absolutely no difference, meaningful difference, between Hillary and Trump. They both support the military industrial complex, the Federal Reserve, deficits, entitlements, invasion of our privacy. And it’s super nationalistic populism versus socialism. That is so removed from what we need to be doing. We need to remove ourselves from tyranny.

He went on to explain:

From a libertarian viewpoint of limited government there is nothing they are offering that reduces the size and scope of the intrusion of government. Who offers any cuts in spending? Who offers protection of our liberty? Some of the top candidates want to carpet-bomb the world.

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

Who Would Be the Most Biblical President? Group of Pastors Rate Remaining Candidates

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Last week, a group of Alabama clergy released a set of ratings measuring the remaining presidential candidates — both Republican and Democrat — on their adherence to biblical standards for contemporary social issues that challenge people of faith. The group, called the Gate Keepers Association of Alabama and consisting of 19 to 25 pastors, has been meeting twice monthly since August to discuss political candidates and how they rate on a biblical worldview.

“We have dealt with abortion, same-sex marriage,” said Bishop Jim Lowe, Pastor of Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, Ala. “As gatekeepers, it our responsibility to not only teach congregations but protect congregations from the outside intrusion of government deciding what is right and what is wrong. We want to inform congregations of those threats that come against the church. We’re like watchmen on the wall.”

So how did the candidates rate? Alabama.com has the breakdown:

“Based upon our 0-5 Star rating system, with five being the HIGHEST probability that a candidate will exemplify a Biblical world view if elected President of the United States, our collective average rating evaluations for each Presidential candidate are as follows:”

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton, 1.88 Stars

Bernie Sanders, 1.71 Stars

Republicans:

Ted Cruz, 3.22 Stars

Ben Carson, 3.15 Stars

Marco Rubio, 3.03 Stars

John Kasich, 2.41 Stars

Donald Trump, 0.88 Stars

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Need FADA

Photo credit: elPadawan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In a letter addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, officials representing nine Catholic colleges — in addition to representatives from dozens of other schools and public policy organizations — joined the Cardinal Newman Society in a Family Research Council-led effort calling on legislators to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in order to “prohibit federal government discrimination against those who continue to believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The letter stresses that the passage of FADA is very much needed to ensure that government does not discriminate against groups holding to the traditional view of marriage:

Charities, non-profits, and family owned businesses with religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage should not be penalized by the federal government for their beliefs. FADA prevents the federal government from engaging in discrimination, whether in grants, contracts, licensing, accreditation or tax treatment against individuals and entities who continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual relations are reserved for such a marriage.

Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly commented: “The very survival of Catholic education and faithful nonprofits like The Cardinal Newman Society is threatened, unless Congress intervenes and ensures our full protection. Congress needs to stand by the First Amendment and defend America’s bedrock principle of freedom of religion.”

The signatories requested that congressional leaders schedule a vote on FADA “for early this year.” FADA was  introduced in the House by Rep. Continue Reading