Denmark Brings First Blasphemy Case In 46 Years

190px-WLM_-_roel1943_-_Koran150px-national_coat_of_arms_of_denmark-svgFor many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here. Now, Denmark has opened up its first blasphemy prosecution in 46 years. It is chilling evidence that the West is yielding to the pressure to curtail free speech in a crackdown on those who criticize or mock religion.  In this case, a 42-year-old man protested what he viewed as the growing influence of Islam by setting a Quran on fire.  The result is now a criminal charge for blasphemy as Denmark joins this worrisome trend.

 

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Supreme Court To Hear Important Case Involving Shooting Of Mexican National At Texas Border

SCOTUSToday the Supreme Court will hear  Hernandez v. Mesa, a case with potentially significant impact on the current immigration debate.  The case involves the shooting and killing of Sergio A. Hernandez Guereca, 15, at the border on June 7, 2010.  The family argues that Hernandez was simply playing a game with his friends in running to touch the U.S. border fence when Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa, Jr. shot and killed him.  The agents insist that Hernandez was a known illegal alien smuggler with two prior arrests and was throwing rocks at the agents.  Since the government prevailed below before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Court will only consider the facts asserted by the family in determining if dismissal was appropriate.  At issue will be the right of a foreign national to assert constitutional rights — an issue that could have bearing on the ongoing debate over the Trump immigration executive order.

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Congressman Moves To Sue House Over Removal Of Controversial Painting Depicting Police As Pigs

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them.  Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture.  

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Executive Redux: Administration Set To Issue New Order On Immigration

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedWord on the street is that the Trump Administration is prepared to issue a new executive order on immigration.  While I have maintained that the law favors President Trump on this issue and I have been critical of the decision by the Ninth Circuit, I have also maintained that the original executive order was poorly written, poorly executed, and poorly defended.  A second executive order could reset the litigation and cut away a key (and in my view questionable) component of the Ninth Circuit opinion in expressly exempting green card holders.  The new order reportedly does precisely what many of us have suggested while keeping the majority of the prior order.  By retaining the same countries and imposing the same conditions, the new order would protect the Administration politically from allegations that the President has backtracked.  It would also leave the core basis for challenges on the merits of such travel limitations.  I will be speaking on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about the President’s executive order authority at the US Capitol Visitors Center at noon.

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WA Supreme Court Rules Against Florist In Gay Marriage Discrimination Case

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Baronelle Stutzman
Baronelle Stutzman

What so far has proven to be a long ordeal for two men originally wanting only to be provided with a floral arrangement for this upcoming wedding, and also for florist Barronelle Stutzman who asserts her right to religious freedom by denying this service, has now come to another milestone in Washington.

A unanimous ruling by the Washington Supreme Court, the court denied Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers, INC’s assertions, ruling:

“…Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” and therefore held that “the conduct for which Stutzman was cited and fined in this case-refusing her commercially marketed wedding floral services to Ingersoll and Freed because theirs would be a same-sex wedding-constitutes sexual orientation discrimination under the WLAD.” (Washington Law Against Discrimination)

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Trump Says Administration Will Issue New Immigration Order Next Week

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_cropped200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgPresident Trump said today that  he will sign a new immigration executive order next week and that he  would appeal the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling against his travel ban.  He further called the Ninth Circuit a court “in chaos” and “turmoil.”  I do not see the chaos or the turmoil on the Ninth Circuit, which is the largest circuit in the country.  One can certainly disagree with the decision on the executive order, but the panel decision was a good-faith decision of three judges who unanimously ruled against the order on the effort to stay the lower court’s temporary restraining order (TRO). Update: there appears another disconnect between the White House and the DOJ. In today’s filing the DOJ requested that the Nunth Circuit vacate the prior order because the new order will rescind and replace the old order.

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Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction of Executive Order In Virginia

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedIt appears that the problem with the Internet in Palau resulted in the deletion of the original post on the decision in Virginia.  I did not want to delete any discussion so I am keeping this post.  I am in Guam now with better Internet access.  Virginia federal district court Judge Leonie Brinkema granted a preliminary injunction which requires a higher showing for the challengers. In that sense, this is an obvious victory but it could also be an opportunity for the Trump Administration.  I believe that the Brinkema decision might be the better option for the Administration to appeal given its focus on religious discrimination and its reliance on campaign statements and the bizarre statements of Rudy Giuliani.

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