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Well, not really — that will never happen. But, according to Russell Shaw, the Supreme Court will be hearing a not dissimilar case (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra) where the state obliges pro-life pregnancy counseling centers seeking to encourage women not to have abortions to post the following notice:

California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number of the local office].

The law under question is called the Reproductive FACT Act. The irony lost to the liberals is that this has nothing to do with reproduction but everything to do with being able to stop reproduction. It is also about power. Contraception and abortion are the idols whom the liberals worship and they continue to use the ever-increasing coercive power of the state to force people to abandon and violate their First Amendment rights. There is no tolerance from the left on these issues. Tolerance to them means acceptance of their worldview.

Surprisingly, a California Superior Court judge ordered an injunction against the FACT Act:

In October, though, a California Superior Court judge in a separate case granted an injunction against enforcement of the FACT Act. In a ruling saying “compelled speech” is tolerable only within “reasonable limitation,” Judge Gloria Trask said the law “compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the state has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the plaintiff in this case (ADF also represent the plaintiff in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission). They write:

The government simply has no business attempting to control the ideology of its citizens through the coercion of private businesses. Pro-life pregnancy centers exist to offer help and hope to pregnant women in need. And in a free society, they must retain the freedom to operate according to their mission without fear of government punishment.

And as Russell Shaw finishes:

In conflicts like these, people looking for larger trends see the coercive dynamic of contemporary secular liberalism according to which state power is rightly used as an instrument for imposing and enforcing its ideological dictates—especially, as is the case here, when these concern idols of liberal ideology like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Now the coercion is increasingly occurring at the expense of religious believers who have chosen to live as their consciences tell them they should. It is by no means clear where the Supreme Court, which over the years has done so much to advance this profoundly illiberal cause, will come down in this argument.

I am continually amazed that the liberals and progressives see President Trump as this fascist monster who wants to force things down our throats, where in reality it is the liberals and progressives who lead the fascist charge. Are they so committed to their cause that they can’t see this? Or are they all just morons?

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  1. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Scott Wilmot: Are they so committed to their cause that they can’t see this? Or are they all just morons?

    Channeling my good friend @skipsul here:

    Embrace the power of “and.”

    • #1
    • November 24, 2017, at 4:55 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  2. Profile Photo Member

    I suspect this case (and the law) is seen as a win-win by the lefties. If the law is upheld, they get to force pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortion services. If it is struck down, the next case will be a Planned Parenthood abortion mill challenging the laws in conservative states that require abortion clinics to show sonograms and provide information regarding the unborn baby. It would require a pretty clever justice to fashion a ruling that struck down this law and didn’t provide the basis for challenging sonogram laws – perhaps along First Amendment lines that would require PP to claim that they have a deeply held belief in favor of killing children. If the Lord calls Justice Kennedy to judgement, we could end up with a Justice who would support a ruling that would call Roe and Casey into doubt.

    • #2
    • November 24, 2017, at 5:26 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Randy Webster Member

    Abortion is the left’s sacrament. It’s as simple as that.

    • #3
    • November 24, 2017, at 5:31 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    And with a Clinton White House, more judges put in place to support this sort of thing.

    • #4
    • November 24, 2017, at 5:32 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Larry3435 Member

    Scott Wilmot: I am continually amazed that the liberals and progressives see President Trump as this fascist monster who wants to force things down our throats, where in reality it is the liberals and progressives who lead the fascist charge. Are they so committed to their cause that they can’t see this? Or are they all just morons?

    I ask myself that question frequently, but I know a lot of them and they are not all morons. So it is a quasi-religious conviction, that is more or less immune to facts and reason.

    On the other hand, the state requires the posting of dozens (maybe hundreds) of notices. So far as I can tell, nobody pays any attention to them. @scottwilmot, I suspect that if a state required the posting of a notice in abortion clinics, explaining the availability of alternatives like adoption, you would have no First Amendment problem with it. I feel obliged to be consistent on this point.

    • #5
    • November 24, 2017, at 5:52 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    It would require a pretty clever justice to fashion a ruling

    Reading that sentence I immediately thought of Justice Kennedy – although he isn’t clever – he is devious with his words: this penumbra being the most devious:

    At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

    With a mind like that, who knows how he will rule – although being the cafeteria catholic that he is, I can guess.

    • #6
    • November 24, 2017, at 5:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Profile Photo Member

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    It would require a pretty clever justice to fashion a ruling

    Reading that sentence I immediately thought of Justice Kennedy – although he isn’t clever – he is devious with his words: this penumbra being the most devious:

    At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

    With a mind like that, who knows how he will rule – although being the cafeteria catholic that he is, I can guess.

    We can be certain that he will not support a ruling that would call Roe and Casey into doubt. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.

    • #7
    • November 24, 2017, at 6:03 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Profile Photo Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    On the other hand, the state requires the posting of dozens (maybe hundreds) of notices. So far as I can tell, nobody pays any attention to them. @scottwilmot, I suspect that if a state required the posting of a notice in abortion clinics, explaining the availability of alternatives like adoption, you would have no First Amendment problem with it. I feel obliged to be consistent on this point.

    Clearly the law can’t be struck down on the basis that the State has no right to force businesses to post notices against their economic interests: forget about closing the door, the horses are gone and the barn has been razed to the ground. But requiring someone to post a notice that undercuts the entire reason for being does raise First Amendment issues. As long as abortion providers claim to be pro-choice, rather than pro killing unborn children, then laws requiring certain information to be provided can be distinguished. It might be different if they came into court and said they had a deeply seated religious view in favor of killing children, but that might be too much for even 21st century judges to swallow.

    • #8
    • November 24, 2017, at 6:08 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. civil westman Inactive

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    It would require a pretty clever justice to fashion a ruling

    Reading that sentence I immediately thought of Justice Kennedy – although he isn’t clever – he is devious with his words: this penumbra being the most devious:

    At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

    With a mind like that, who knows how he will rule – although being the cafeteria catholic that he is, I can guess.

    I don’t know if Kennedy also referred to the infamous “penumbras” (and, if I remember correctly “emanations”), but I think the term was first used by Justice William Douglas in Griswold v. Connecticut in conjuring a previously-unknown right to privacy in the Constitution. This is emblematic of progressive jurisprudence’s torture of language in service of the warm and fuzzy notion of the “living Constitution.” Having such a malleable foundation for what it is that is supposed to constitute us as a nation means, in reality, that the Constitution merely means whatever the eminent justices on the court (sic) say it means; it means that the written words of the Constitution are “nugatory” (jurists really like that word for some reason).

    • #9
    • November 24, 2017, at 6:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. I Walton Member

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):

    It’s promoting choice by showing the patient what they propose to do and to whom. They don’t have to say anything for or against abortion, adoption or becoming a parent, they don’t have to advertise the pro life clinic or hand out pro life literature. There is no compelled speech, take temperature, blood pressure and a sonogram.

    • #10
    • November 24, 2017, at 6:31 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Housebroken Thatcher

    Scott Wilmot: …public programs that provide immediate free…

    Advertising to further the expansion of the welfare state.

    And I object to their use of the word “free” when what they really mean is, “We will gladly force some of these religious fruitcakes that think killing your child is murder to help pay for your act of infanticide.”

    • #11
    • November 24, 2017, at 7:18 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    But requiring someone to post a notice that undercuts the entire reason for being does raise First Amendment issues.

    Is the State requiring all businesses to post that notice? If it only requires pregnancy counseling centers to post that notice it does seem discriminatory. But there are clever ways of posting notices that make them a bit less visible.

    • #12
    • November 25, 2017, at 6:21 AM PST
    • Like
  13. contrarian Member

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    It would require a pretty clever justice to fashion a ruling that struck down this law and didn’t provide the basis for challenging sonogram laws

    I don’t think so. An abortion is a medical procedure and there’s a whole body of literature surrounding the importance of acquiring informed consent prior to performing a procedure. A crisis pregnancy center (CPC) isn’t doing anything like that – although if they promote the idea that they provide women with ‘counseling’ the ought to be careful to specify that they’re not making claims about anything therapeutic but are instead merely offering counsel.

    I don’t know the facts in this specific case, but in the past the pro-choice (PC) arguments has been that CPCs are guilty of a form of fraud – rather like advertising your establishment as a travel agency, but anyone who goes inside hoping to arrange a trip will end up getting a hard sell to buy a time share in vacation property. Regulating CPCs is supposed to be a form of consumer protection.

    However, as long as CPCs can establish that they aren’t therapists and that they’re not a business, they should be fine. Whether they’re a ministry or a nonprofit with a mission to provide information and promote awareness (or both), they’re unambiguously protected by 1A.

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    if a state required the posting of a notice in abortion clinics, explaining the availability of alternatives like adoption, you would have no First Amendment problem with it

    I wouldn’t, but I’d feel the same way about a clinic that performed cosmetic surgery. They’re recognized as having similar obligations and concerns even if you’re a PCer.

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    I know a lot of them and they are not all morons. So it is a quasi-religious conviction, that is more or less immune to facts and reason.

    Yes. On both sides of the issue, those who feel strongly see themselves as the modern equivalent of the abolitionists.

    • #13
    • November 27, 2017, at 2:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. contrarian Member

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Reading that sentence I immediately thought of Justice Kennedy – although he isn’t clever – he is devious with his words: this penumbra being the most devious:

    At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

    civil westman (View Comment):
    This is emblematic of progressive jurisprudence’s torture of language in service of the warm and fuzzy notion of the “living Constitution.” Having such a malleable foundation for what it is that is supposed to constitute us as a nation means, in reality, that the Constitution merely means whatever the eminent justices on the court (sic) say it means

    I’m not actually a conservative. I have some conservative values and some liberal ones, and lately it’s become crystal clear that I’m not welcome with the liberals anymore because of the former. I find it fascinating that conservatives in general seem willing to focus on the former. In theory, it’s supposed to be the other way around.

    At any rate, two of the things I feel very strongly about where I have conservative views are that I’m pro-life and I’m an originalist. I’ve always felt the same way about abortion, ever since I learned what it was and what the arguments are, but when I was younger my views on constitutional interpretation were very different.

    In my defense, the Brown v Board argument for a living document can be hard to resist. I did a 180 in college because I was studying analytic philosophy. That’s the school which includes figures like Russell & Whitehead, and it’s also the view which stands in opposition to people like Heidegger & Derrida.

    The analytic approach stresses the importance of structure and formalism to the determination &/or creation of meaning. It takes the position that many persistent problems can be dealt with if we’re willing to agree to be strict, rigorous, and very precise in how we analyze meaning.

    It stresses that if you don’t agree to do this, with a little skill someone can take normative statements and create powerful arguments that they imply whatever you want them to. Eventually it dawned on me that the political significance of this was much greater than I’d originally supposed. I thought to myself, “Holy cream of wheat… the living document theory turns the whole Constitution into a friggin’ Etch-A-Sketch!”

    • #14
    • November 27, 2017, at 3:24 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. contrarian Member

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):
    if they came into court and said they had a deeply seated religious view in favor of killing children

    There’s a satanist group doing that is essentially making just that argument. (I’m not joking.)

    • #15
    • November 27, 2017, at 3:33 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Randy Webster Member

    contrarian (View Comment):
    Holy cream of wheat… the living document theory turns the whole Constitution into a friggin’ Etch-A-Sketch!”

    My tag line back in the BBS days was “A living Constitution is no Constitution.”

    • #16
    • November 27, 2017, at 5:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    contrarian (View Comment):
    Eventually it dawned on me that the political significance of this was much greater than I’d originally supposed. I thought to myself, “Holy cream of wheat… the living document theory turns the whole Constitution into a friggin’ Etch-A-Sketch!”

    Amen!

    • #17
    • November 27, 2017, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Profile Photo Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Whistle Pig (View Comment):

    It’s promoting choice by showing the patient what they propose to do and to whom. They don’t have to say anything for or against abortion, adoption or becoming a parent, they don’t have to advertise the pro life clinic or hand out pro life literature. There is no compelled speech, take temperature, blood pressure and a sonogram.

    I agree. But this law in California seems to me to be aimed at providing a basis for undoing the sonogram laws.

    • #18
    • November 27, 2017, at 9:13 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Profile Photo Member

    contrarian (View Comment):
    Yes. On both sides of the issue, those who feel strongly see themselves as the modern equivalent of the abolitionists.

    Guilty. And probably see those with strong views on the other side as slavers.

    • #19
    • November 27, 2017, at 9:16 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot

    Fr. Z has an action item post alerting us to the fact that oral arguments will be heard tomorrow on this case and calling us to pray as when David went to meet Goliath. He said, “this battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

    He has a link to PregnancyHelpNews where they speak On Giants and Bully Bills.

    • #20
    • March 19, 2018, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • Like

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