You may recall that on the opening day of the legislative session this year, lobbyist Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), and her allies in the anti-choice, anti-constitutional rights for women movement suffered a major defeat when the U.S. Supreme Court denied Arizona’s petition to the court requesting review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down the Arizona Tea-Publican legislature’s 20-week abortion restrictions, Horne v. Isaacson (13-402).
On Monday, lobbyist Cathi Herrod and the CAP and its legal partner in the Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist movement, the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), suffered another major defeat when the U.S. Supreme Court denied Arizona’s petition to the court requesting review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Betlach v. Planned Parenthood (13-621) striking down the Arizona Tea-Publican legislature’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. U.S. Supreme Court won’t revive Arizona abortion law:
The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to consider a move to resurrect an Arizona law that would have disqualified abortion providers from receiving public funding for other medical services.
The high court declined to hear Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the 2012 law.
That ruling was upheld last August by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed with U.S. District Judge Neil Wake that the law violated federal Medicaid law by not allowing patients to freely choose a qualified medical provider.
The Supreme Court in May refused to revive a similar law in Indiana that also has been blocked.
Horne and the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom had argued the state’s case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our Tea-Publican lawless legislature has lost in court, yet again, for having enacted the radical extremist agenda of Cathi Herrod and the CAP. Our lawless legislature is pissing away your tax dollars on vexatious litigation and frivolous lawsuits in pursuit of a radical extremist agenda. It’s too bad that the Arizona Republican Party and the CAP cannot be held responsible for these court costs.
BTW, by losing these culture war cases in court and racking up attorneys fees and court costs owed to the successful litigants, they are enriching the lawyers of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. So aren’t Cathi Herrod and the CAP and the Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature “indirectly benefitting” Planned Parenthood under their own theory of the case? Doh!
What the Arizona Republic fails to tell you in the report above is anything about the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
As I have previously posted: What the Republic does not tell its readers is anything about this hate group. A 2005 Southern Poverty Law Center report listed ADF as one the top 12 most influential anti-gay hate groups in the country. It is the legal arm for the Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist movement. SourceWatch reports:
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) [now the Alliance Defending Freedom] was founded in 1994 by more than 30 Christian ministries, as a response to the American Civil Liberties Union, to defend “family values.” ADF’s major focus is strategizing and coordinating with hundreds of lawyers and right-wing groups to defend what they define as “Christian legal issues.”
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People for the American Way notes that ADF’s founding groups “are influential members of the Right, they are pro-life and anti-gay and their ultimate goal is to see the law and government of the US enshrined with conservative Christian principles.”
Media Matters reported last December, Meet Alliance Defending Freedom, Fox’s Favorite Anti-LGBT Legal Organization:
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Scottsdale, AZ-based legal group committed to rolling back the rights of women and LGBT people on the grounds of “religious liberty.” The organization has played a leading role in combatting marriage equality and non-discrimination policies in the U.S. while working internationally to criminalize homosexuality. Despite its rabid anti-LGBT extremism, ADF receives reliably friendly treatment from Fox News.
Established as the Alliance Defense Fund in 1994, ADF’s founders include such religious right leaders as Focus on the Family’s James C. Dobson and Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright. According to ADF’s website, the organization changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom in 2012 to highlight its “enduring mission to gain justice for those whose faith has been unconstitutionally denied in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”
Headed by President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears, staffed by more than 40 attorneys, and boasting an annual budget in excess of $30 million, ADF bills itself as “a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system.”
As part of its effort to remake the American legal system along quasi-theocratic lines, ADF has:
- Partnered with more than 300 like-minded institutions, including the Federalist Society, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the rabidly anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, and the now-defunct “ex-gay” organization Exodus International.
- Filed a brief supporting statutory bans on gay sex in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ultimately found state anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional.
- Opposed anti-bullying efforts in public schools, calling for exceptions for speech or actions based on religious views and decrying “tolerance training” and “special protection” for LGBT students.
- Created its own “Day of Truth” to combat the Day of Silence, which commemorates LGBT victims of bullying, harassment, and violence.
- Crusaded against a gay-inclusive Boy Scouts of America, calling the BSA’s decision to allow gay scouts an assault on “freedom” and working with churches that sponsor scout troops to work around the new membership policy.
- Defended California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
- Offered free representation to Iowa county recorders who refused to provide same-sex couples with marriage licenses.
- Dispatched chief counsel Benjamin Bull to Russia to meet with Yelena Mizulina, the legislative leader of that country’s crackdown on LGBT people.
- Represented 18 plaintiffs challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that for-profit employers cover contraception at no additional cost to employees.
ADF’s relentless legal campaign against LGBT equality led the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to describe the organization as “virulently anti-gay.” SPLC proved instrumental in exposing an aspect of ADF’s work that the organization chooses not to tout on its website – its international work to criminalize homosexuality.
Drafted in accordance with other 19th-century British colonial laws, Section 53 of Belize’s criminal code bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.” Violation of the code is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
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SPLC reported in July that ADF has rushed to the defense of Section 53, offering legal help to the right-wing group Belize Action. As SPLC notes, ADF has touted Belize Action’s defense of Section 53 without mentioning that it has supplied lawyers in the case.
These are the radical extremist from whom Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature take their marching orders. This radical extremism has to end.