Capitol Hill Report — 7/28/17

Supreme Court Cases to Watch

Supreme Court
Currently, there are three notable court cases that are necessary for the Supreme Court to rule on in order to preserve religious freedom and free speech.  One case has been taken up, while the other two have been awaiting a decision on whether they will be considered.   

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
 
Cake baker, Jack Phillips from Colorado, was asked in 2012 to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.  After saying that he was unable to design a cake that would violate his beliefs, the couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Phillips was ordered to re-educate his staff by implementing new policies and file quarterly “compliance” reports to show that he is complying with the orders.  The Supreme Court has decided to review this case later this year. 
 
Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington/Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
 
Like Jack Phillips, Baronelle Stutzman declined to use her creative abilities to design flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2013 because of her sincerely held beliefs.  The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the couple, and the State of Washington have brought cases against her.  Alliance Defending Freedom, who is representing Stutzman, has asked the Supreme to consolidate this case with the Masterpiece Cakeshop case because of their similarities.
 
City of Bloomfield v. Felix
 
Two local Bloomfield, New Mexico residents filed suit through the American Civil Liberties Union because of their offense to a Ten Commandments monument at City Hall.  This monument was a privately-funded statue that was created as an effort to beautify the city.  It stood among other monuments that represented significant historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the Bill of Rights. The residents claimed they were “offended,” however, being offended should not be standing to sue. This case was appealed to the Supreme Court earlier this month.   

 
Clearly, these cases show the injustices that have been brought against those of faith who want to exercise their freedom of speech. Eagle Forum will continue to watch the progress of these Supreme Court cases.
 
Update on Healthcare

The Senate took a procedural vote on Tuesday in order to repeal and replace Obamacare. The vote was on the motion to proceed to the healthcare bill.  This passed 51-50 with Vice President Pence breaking the tie. 

We will continue to monitor this important issue and report to you as we have updated information as they proceed.


5 Good Reasons Why Transgender Accommodations Aren’t Compatible with Military Realities

by Ryan T. Anderson

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he was reversing an Obama-era policy that opened the military to people who identify as transgender.

That policy, announced during the last year of President Barack Obama’s second term, was scheduled to go into effect earlier this month, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a six-month delay in its implementation to review whether it was in fact prudent given the nature of the military and its mission.

The mission of our armed forces is winning wars and protecting the nation. So, any personnel policy must prioritize military readiness and mission-critical purposes first.

Read the remainder of Ryan Anderson’s comments here.
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Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. 

Statement from Eunie Smith, Eagle Forum President: President Trump Upholds Military Readiness; Restricts Transgenders from Military