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Big Win in Court Against Biden Overreach

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2021 1:00 pm

Big Win in Court Against Biden Overreach

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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July 9, 2021 1:00 pm

We took legal action after the Biden Administration used the sixth COVID-19 stimulus bill to take away states' ability to lower state taxes for four years. On behalf of 74 members of Congress, the ACLJ just helped secure a federal court victory to defeat Biden's unconstitutional overreach. Jay, Jordan, and the rest of the Sekulow team discuss this case and ruling. Additionally, we discuss another legal battle out of Florida the ACLJ is still fighting on appeal. A federal judge declared that government officials can no longer encourage citizens to pray amid difficult times and volunteer chaplains can no longer lead their community in prayers. All this and more today on Sekulow .

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Today on Sekulow, an update on the ACLJ's battles for you in court. Live from Washington DC, Sekulow Live. Phone lines are open for your questions right now.

Call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Hey everybody, welcome to Sekulow. Today on the broadcast, we wanted to update you a couple ACLJ, one legal battle that's ongoing, one legal battle. I think there's going to be an appeal, but we've seen a victory in already. In the victories case, this is the case involving the stimulus, the economic stimulus. And within that provision, when the Biden administration got that stimulus through, they included a provision in that stimulus that said, if you accept these funds as a state, you can't lower taxes or cut taxes at all. And so states said, wait, we should be able to accept these funds from the federal government that they're offering the states for relief and again during the pandemic. But at our state level, we should be the ones deciding if it be good economically to cut taxes, change taxes.

Maybe we're cutting this tax and increasing this other tax, but by cutting that one, you would then be subject to this provision, which would make you no longer eligible for these funds. So Ohio and other states have fought back. We represent 74 members of Congress and thousands of ACLJ supporters and ACLJ members. And at the district court level, the Biden administration has lost. They were told that this was unconstitutional by the judge.

It will, I'm sure likely be appealed by the Biden administration, but we're fighting back and we're representing members of Congress and you. So this is the, what's so important about this is that the idea was to get economic relief into the states so the states can get economic relief to the people. Now, part of that may have been that the states say, we've got this economic release coming and let's lower our tax burden on people. Like you said, they may have increased taxes in other areas. That was up to the states, but that's because we believe in federalism and that the federal government doesn't control what the state does with taxation. But in this particular case, they decided, the Biden administration said, we're going to bootstrap the state governments and tell them what they can tax and not tax. And if they take our money, they cannot lower the taxes. It didn't say if you take our money, you can't increase the taxes on your citizens that are suffering during this pandemic. But what they did say was if you take this money, you can't, Harry, lower your taxes.

Absolutely. So essentially the Biden administration has engaged in an asymmetrical move. Basically, the approach that the Biden administration has selected is to grant high tax blue state governments shelter from red state competition. And they've done so by essentially, in my opinion, violating the Constitution. So in other words, the Biden administration says we cannot grant this relief to red states if they will use tax relief or funds relief, I should say, to reduce their taxes.

And so if you notice, over the last 18 months or so, there has been literally an influx of American citizens, particularly middle class citizens from California, from New York, from Connecticut, to Florida, to Texas, to Tennessee. And the Biden administration was very, very fearful that if they granted COVID relief, which was really designed to bail out blue states, that blue states would still lose revenue in the long term. And so they've engaged in essentially an unconstitutional process. I mean, the idea that they would, you know, put in a provision, it's basically, and as I said, they were fine. The Biden administration, if you wanted to raise tax on people in the middle of a pandemic, well, that was fine. But don't lower taxes because that would be bad.

And why would the federal government be determining that? We're going to get into what happened on that when we come back from the break. But don't forget, folks, we're able to fight these cases because of your support of the ACLJ. Yeah, that's right. And we have a matching challenge right now at the Americans for Law and Justice the entire month of July. If you support the work of the ACLJ financially online at ACLJ.org, you double the impact of your donation.

What does that mean? A $25 donation to the ACLJ. That's when you're charged with your credit card, but it triggers a matching donation. It triggers a matching donation from our group of donors. So they'll match all the donations the month of July. So it's effectively like donating $50 to the ACLJ, but only being charged $25. So you really can make a difference with your financial support this month to the ACLJ if you donate online at ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. All right, welcome back to SECU. We're taking your phone calls as well. I've been talking to you about one, ACLJ, a victory, one ongoing case, but two, one that we believe will likely be appealed. Of course, this is a victory that we were just talking about out of the stimulus legislation trying to hamstring states' ability to cut taxes or lower taxes if they accept any of these stimulus funds. And that was in the law that was passed by Congress. That's what the Biden administration wanted.

They were told no. The victory there at the district court level, we represent 74 members of Congress and thousands of ACLJ members in that. Likely will be appealed, but it's great to start off in district court with a victory.

It's always good to start off with a win. So let's go to Thanh Ben in our Office of Government Affairs. Before we talk about the particulars of who we got on the brief and how that happened, let's talk about what this law actually did, Thanh, that was passed. And I think it's the first important to lay the groundwork of the political atmospherics that were happening. Remember, there were six stimulus bills passed during the pandemic. Jay, the first five of them that were passed during the Trump administration, all of them were widely bipartisan. Republican administration worked with Democrat members of the House and the Senate. Jay, each of those first five passed the United States Senate with more than 90 votes. That gives you just an idea of how closely the two parties work together. But when the Biden administration came in and there was a need for a sixth stimulus bill, rather than take the bipartisan deal that was on the table, they decided to use the reconciliation process and pass a bill with only Democrat votes. And why is that important in this conversation?

The reason they did that, Jay, was to get language like we're talking about today. Language that says if you take stimulus dollars, which by the way, every state is going to take those dollars to try to help their citizens recover from the pandemic. If you take those dollars, you cannot reduce your taxes in any way. We're not just talking about income tax.

You cannot have a net reduction in state taxes in any way. And Jay, one more key point here. It's not just for this year. You can't do it all the way through 2024. If you think they pulled the date of 2024 just coincidentally out of the air, I've got another thing coming for you. You mean it's an election year, so that's why they're tying it in?

This is where they do these things, and it's so transparent what they're doing. I mean, you don't have to be a degree in political science to figure out what's going on here, but why would the federal government tell, let's say, Tennessee or Georgia or New Hampshire, here's the money, and you can raise taxes on your people during a pandemic, but you can't lower them. Does that make any economic sense?

No. It doesn't make any economic sense, but it does make sense politically, and I think Thanh is absolutely correct in his analysis. Basically, this is a political power grab by the Democrats in Washington, and they're basically saying, we are going to try to rebalance the entire economy of the nation by preventing interstate competition, which is possible under the United States Constitution. The bill explicitly bars states from cutting taxes. States shall not use the funds, the bill says, to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue that results from a change in the law, regulation, or administrative interpretation during the covered period that reduces any tax.

Any tax. But in addition to doing that, they grant arbitrary capricious authority to Janet Yellen to decide whether or not the law has been violated. But I got an economics question and I've got a legal question. My economic question is, why would they do this?

What is this helping? Well, it prevents, or they hope it will help reduce the level of flight from blue states, and that means blue states will in the long term lose tax revenue from the citizens who are fleeing to Florida, to Texas, to Tennessee, or other states. So if you look, for instance, at tax revenues in the state of New York, they have gone down precipitously, and they've gone down even faster in New York City. Now, there are many reasons for this, including a surge in crime and other problems, but basically the Biden administration has said, what can we do to slow this flight?

And what is the political advantage here, Jordan? Is this to not have demographic shifts in these states? Yeah, I think the demographic shifts, they don't want these states to be able to say, okay, well, we got these funding so we can then decrease the tax burden to here. So I think it's to hamstring the state's ability to do what's best for their citizens, what they think is best for their businesses, citizens, and their economies.

And at a time during a pandemic, I think just the idea is, it wasn't that everyone was trying to rush to cut taxes everywhere. The idea that they try to limit the ability of states to do what is inherently the state's role, which is to decide, should there be a tax cut here, a tax break there, because of what businesses are going through right now. And we know that that was a reality, and so the idea that you could put this kind of hamstring in, the court said no, I'm sure they will appeal it. They want to have this kind of power to be able to put in legislation that says, if you give us this, you can't cut taxes. So we have to keep fighting on this one, but we're representing a lot of leadership in Congress as well. Yeah, so we won the case at the district court level. So the good news is, the court said this was unconstitutional, but Thanh, your team in Washington was able to put together quite an impressive group of members of Congress that we're representing, in addition to our ACLJ members. Yeah, Jay, very fortunate to be joined by 74 members of Congress, 19 members of the United States Senate, and 55 members of the United States House. Jay, if I could just quickly mention a couple of them, because we selected the leads here specifically for a reason. On the House side, you had Jim Banks, who's the chairman of the Republican Study Committee. He was a co-lead. In the Senate side, Jay, you had two co-leads.

These are very important. The ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Mike Crapo, this is the committee with jurisdiction over this program. He co-led the brief, and then this goes to Jordan's point about other tax reductions, not just tax cuts, tax reductions. Tim Scott from South Carolina co-led this brief with us. Jay, as you know, he's a champion on the issue of school choice.

Think about this. Any time in the next four years, as states are trying to deal with how to educate children coming out of a pandemic, if they pass any sort of school choice measure that results in a reduction in state taxes, that would trigger this provision. That's why Tim Scott was on the bill with us. Jay, one other name, Steve Scalise, the majority whip in the United States House, is also on this brief.

So 74 members in total, a very strong showing. No, I think it's fantastic, and the Court's conclusion was also fantastic, saying that this was totally unconstitutional, what they did. But as Jordan said, that battle's not over, because what's going to happen now is going to be an appeal to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Yeah, so again, this will continue. This battle is not over. But again, as an example, I want to go back to the work that we do. We talked about when we signed on the brief and we signed on the members of Congress.

But to come back with you to report on this victory at the district court level, starting out that way at the district court level, obviously it will make its way through the Court of Appeals. But ultimately here, it's about putting down markers, saying when are we going to fight back against this administration's overreach, trying to take advantage of our, during a pandemic, of states' abilities to be flexible, if they so choose, if the legislatures of those states so choose to, maybe, and again, you could say we're going to cut taxes to this business or to this industry because they need it right now, but we're also going to raise taxes here. Or property taxes are going to go up, or sales taxes are going to go up, and they have no problem with going up. There's no prohibition on raising any taxes. It's always about cutting or limiting the tax liability.

You just said something very important. For instance, a state could say, you know what, this particular industry's been harmed, tourism, restaurants. We're going to give them a tax break for the next 18 months. On the other hand, real estate values are continuing to go up, and this sector's doing really well, so we may want to adjust taxes on that. And they're saying the federal government's staying to the state.

You can't do that. Absolutely. And part of the reason for that, of course, is what we have is a bailout of labor unions, but also at the end of the day, what we have is the centralization of power in Washington. Washington believes that it knows best. It knows best with respect to state taxing authority. It knows best with respect to state election security laws, election integrity laws. It knows best with respect to time, place, and manner regulations, with respect to elections as well.

So at the end of the day, what are we doing? We are centralizing power in Washington. It's a power grab, and I think this judge was absolutely right in rejecting it. Yeah, but this is, again, this battle's not over.

Nope. The Biden administration's not going to give up at the district court level. So we appeal.

They appeal it, and we're going to be there to fight that appeal, but that's where you come in, folks, and help us by standing alongside us so we can continue this fight. This is a great time to support the work of the ACLJ. So whether you financially support the work regularly of the ACLJ or whether you are new to us, you found out about our work, you want to support, you're interested in making that first financial contribution, this is the time to do it.

Because during the month of July, we have a matching challenge. You double the impact of your donation. That's online at ACLJ.org.

It's safe, it's secure, it's quick. You make a $50 donation right now at ACLJ.org. That is effectively like $100 for the organization because we have a group of donors. They say the entire month of July, we will match the donations that come in. We will match every donation that comes in, so you double the impact of your financial contribution to the ACLJ. Think about a $200 donation.

It's like $400 for the ACLJ if you make it during the month of July. We'll be right back on Secular. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn. It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. We're just talking about an ACLJ victory at the district court level in federal court, that involving fighting back against the Biden administration. Another ACLJ case, this has been a long-term battle out of Florida involving legislative prayer, but at the local level.

And dates back to, again, 2014, the city of Ocala experiences a crime wave. The police chief works with local community leaders, including NAACP leaders, who say, you know, we should maybe do a prayer vigil, get the community together. And the American Humanist Association, which is another most radical atheist group, comes in, doesn't just threaten the city, but sues the city. And they find a district court judge that agrees with them that even though we have a long history in the United States, where we have chaplains in Congress, chaplains in the military, the courts have a number of times gone back and said, there's no issue with legislative prayer.

Basically, stop sending us these cases. The reason why they keep getting these cases is because of radical district court judges, and now we've appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Abby Sutherland is the senior counsel for the ACLJ, and she's handling this case and has been for a while now. Abby, let's go back and set up the facts of what happened here, what created, literally, a federal case. Okay, well, and as Jordan recapped, there was a crime spree in the community that resulted in injury to several children.

And the police actually knew who the shooter was, but had difficulty collecting evidence, and no eyewitness testimony would come forward. And they knew, they actually knew that the eyewitnesses resided in the faith community, and so that's where Chief Graham, who regularly practices community policing, which is a policy where you work with community leaders, you all work together in the community under these types of circumstances, he met with the NAACP. They agreed that what Chief Graham should do is sit down and speak with the faith community leaders, which he then did, and out of that meeting came the idea of a prayer vigil. Now, at that point, Chief Graham, in the police department, stepped away and allowed the community leaders to go ahead and plan, promote, and fund the event.

Okay, so let's talk about it. So the state money wasn't involved by the county, they were involved in doing it. Tell us about the prayer vigil.

What happened? So at the prayer vigil, there was a police presence, as there always is in a public gathering at the town square, which is where the prayer vigil is held. And volunteer chaplains for the police department attended the vigil and helped lead the vigil. But now they're volunteer chaplains, which the plaintiffs indicated and testified unanimously that they understood that they were not OPD officials and or paid employees.

So there was no confusion there on the part of the atheist. And the atheist actually attended two protests. They didn't want to participate in the vigil.

They had no intention in participating. They incurred the injury intentionally so that they could then bring suit against the city of Ocala. But now was there any allegations that the, I guess there were allegations, but the police chief was not himself doing the event. It was a community leader. And the one thing that the police chief did was post a letter encouraging unity in prayer and attendance at the vigil.

Where was that posted? That's correct. He signed a letter that was prepared by community leaders and posted it on the OPD Facebook website. Okay.

Let's back up for a second. So he does a letter to encourage this event, which the community suggested. He's not saying you must, you have to, you got to attend. He's simply just saying, hey, this event's going to take place in our community.

It'd be good for people to attend if they so like. I mean, was that basically it? Yes.

Yes, that was it. He did it for numerous events. It wasn't just that this was the only event that he would post a notice of and encourage citizens to attend. He was then, the OPD also was aware of an anti-bullying event that took place two or three months later. You keep saying OPD.

That's the Ocala Police Department. That's correct. Yes.

Okay. So there was no, there's no evidence of funding, of government funding here. In fact, the witness testimony is unanimous that there was no government funding. The organizers of the event, all private citizens, testified over and over again that they were responsible for planning, promoting, and funding the event. And then Chief Graham's communications to citizens who reached out to him to inquire about the event is consistent with that.

He reiterated that this was not an Ocala Police Department event, that this was not a city event, that it was planned and promoted by private citizens within the community. It's just shocking that, again, 2021 out of 2014, these battles, I mean, it's why we exist, because these are not, you cannot, we always talk about the court as the place of last resort, and it's not quick, and it gets slowed down more during a pandemic, and then the Supreme Court is weighing in on issues, so of course the cases get held. But this has been somewhere where the court has tried to make it settled. Maybe they haven't been clear enough yet that we can have chaplains. We can have chaplains that are paid by, I mean, Abby's talking about how here there's no money exchanging hands, but in the U.S. government there are paid federal government chaplains in the military. They exist in Congress, and they are paid. In the military, this is their job, their only job is to be a chaplain. I mean, you see it every day, every time they're in session. They open the sessions with prayer, Jay. I mean, there's a chaplain in the United States Senate, the United States House.

I'm actually on their email distribution list, so I get their devotionals that come out on a weekly basis. But Jay, I mean, those have been challenged and attacked too, and we have defended those as well. And interestingly enough, Jay, members of Congress on a bipartisan basis have stood with us in that. They want these chaplains there, and I'm sure that's true in this city as well. You've got to have partners on the ground to challenge it.

Fortunately, we have. So what did this judge say? Abby, what did the judge say here, the district court judge? Well, the first error the judge that we respectfully argued that he made is that he held that because prayer is just quintessentially religious, that any association with prayer and government officials is inappropriate and violates the Lemon Test, which is the test that courts have applied for years to determine whether there's a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Now, as you all know, just last year, the Supreme Court reiterated again that it's not a fan of the Lemon Test and actually refused to apply the Lemon Test in yet another category of cases, monument cases. And so this case is incredibly important because it is a legislative prayer case, and as we point out in our appellate brief, there's a long history of our nation's leaders, local and national leaders, calling for prayer during difficult times in history. And that's exactly what occurred here. And so the court applied the limit. They issued National Day of Prayer Proclamations. I mean, the irony of this is really not even legislative prayer in one sense, because this is prayer being given by private citizens at a private gathering.

Right, right. And so there's numerous issues that are before the appellate court, and that's why we felt it was incredibly important to appeal this particular decision. It is a big case. And Abby, this case has the earmarks of a potential Supreme Court case. Now it appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Abby, thanks for working on this. We're running out of time on this segment.

Thanks for your help on this. But, folks, this one could end up at the U.S. Supreme Court. It's a unique example, too, where we don't just represent individuals, but here we're representing the city of Ocala. So it's not always the ACLJ suing the governments, suing states, suing the federal government, suing cities and towns.

Oftentimes it is defending and it is representing the cities themselves or the towns themselves who come under these attacks. Usually they are just threats by these atheist organizations, but occasionally they file suit. Maybe they do something about this judge. This judge in this district could be more friendly to their radical position, so they were willing to file the lawsuit. We have to defend, again, this idea of legislative prayer, of chaplains. Anytime they can, these groups, they want to get all that removed. They want all that gone. And we have to constantly fight for it in ways.

In this case, it's representing a city. And that's why your support of the ACLJ is so critical right now in our matching challenge campaign. Go to ACLJ.org. Have your gift matched.

Back with more in a moment. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live.

And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. So as we were just talking about on the broadcast, one ACLJ victory at the district court level. We represent 74 members of Congress, thousands of you, in the fight against the Biden administration, the idea that the stimulus funds, they could limit states' abilities and ban states, prohibit states from lowering or cutting taxes. If they wanted to accept any of these stimulus funds, the courts have agreed that that is unconstitutional. It's the state's role to decide if it's proper to do a tax cut or a tax benefit to someone.

And that's not going to be, the federal government can't hamstring the states that way. We also talked about a case out of Florida where we represent the city of Ocala and their fight for a prayer event that a court deemed unconstitutional. We're fighting that at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals representing the city. And you may have noticed at the ACLJ, we've launched a campaign during the pandemic, but it's something we believe is very important because of the current administration.

And it's the ACLJ more than ever campaign. So now more than ever, we believe that the work, the expertise, the team that we have at the American Center for Law and Justice is needed. On one of these issues is education, specifically on school choice. But one thing that happened during the pandemic was that when we launched our school choice initiative on education, the pandemic hit and people were starting to have real issues with school districts. We assisted over a thousand families with various issues. I mean, from food issues, childcare issues, to not having the right internet ability or the right tech.

The actual hard tech where they needed laptops or tablets to be able to continue their education. And you get the credit for seeing this, Jordan, because it was early on and Jordan led this initiative and it started out where we thought we would be helping a couple of dozen families around the country. It ended up being, I think we got inquiries, I mean, multiple thousands. We actually helped, I think 1400 families or something close to that. And it was, as Jordan said, everything from computer access to these kids in the inner city, that that's where they got their meals. How are we going to get those delivered?

Mobile devices. And we were just really successful. Our team did a fantastic job. So we put together a, as part of our more than ever campaign, that was an exact reason why more than ever the ACLJ was needed.

And we were able to help literally thousands and thousands of people. And of course, the next issue that you'll see in the last segment of the broadcast is on the life issue, something we've been involved in literally for 40 years. Yeah, and this is again at a time when we are dealing with an administration that has the most pro-abortion, probably HHS Secretary in history, former Congressman and Attorney General of California. This is a cabinet secretary who, in Congress, voted against the ban on partial birth abortion, is the most radically pro-abortion, Javier Becerra, radically pro-abortion cabinet secretary ever when it comes to HHS. I mean, he is in the back pocket of Planned Parenthood.

This is their agent. Tried to close down crisis pregnancy centers, women health centers that offered life as the, as an alternative, wanted them to post affirmatively that where they could, where these women could get abortions. You're talking about violating your conscience. And he is the HHS Secretary. So when we talk about the ACLJ now more than ever, and you know, on the life issue, we've been involved in it. We've got one of the biggest appeals going on right now in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. So, I mean, we are totally engaged in defending life on Capitol Hill, in Europe, around the globe, and in your neighborhood.

That's how aggressive this is. And that will show in this, what you're going to see in the last segment of the broadcast, in our now more than ever series, which is going to be available for people to actually see. It's an old series we're putting together over the next several months.

That's right. And so you can check this out today on the broadcast as well, kind of get a peek at what we're working on with this more than ever campaign. It's a great time to support the work of the ACLJ, and we really do believe this, the ACLJ more than ever.

We have a matching challenge at ACLJ.org. You can double the impact to your donation. Yeah, and we have the more than ever dot com is also a website that will have these videos posted. And there's going to be a number there. I think they're talking about six to ten, I think, of what they're looking at.

That's more than ever dot com. But as Jordan said, we're also in a matching challenge campaign. And that means any amount you donate to the ACLJ, we're getting a matching gift for.

And I want to encourage you, great day to do it because we go into the weekend here. You've seen the full scope of the work. The win, you saw the case that did not go our way, that we're appealing to the 11th circuit involving prayer. You're seeing our activity on school choice.

Then you're going to see it on life. Stand with us as we stand with you now more than ever. ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress.

The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support for that. We are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge for every dollar you donate. It will be matched. A ten dollar gift becomes twenty dollars.

A fifty dollar gift becomes one hundred. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Secular. We're going to check out our More Than Ever series.

You can learn more about that at MoreThanEver.com. Let's get right to it. For the American Center for Law and Justice, for the ACLJ, life has always been a top issue since our founding. Barbara, I am here at this site because your office asked me to come here. You all wanted the dramatic effect.

You got it. There are thousands of people and millions across America that disagree, that say abortions, murder. And the fact of the matter is, what this case is all about are people speaking out. The two core issues for us at the American Center for Law and Justice, 100 percent, of course, number one, religious liberty. And the second issue, which I think is core to the ACLJ's mission, it's so important to us since our founding, is the fight for life, the fight for the unborn. The ACLJ has always been at the forefront of fighting for life, whether that is defunding Planned Parenthood, which we have been successful in doing on numerous occasions, or supporting clinics that come alongside the mother and support the mother through the entire pregnancy and then even beyond. When you talk about the defense of innocent, preborn life, I really think this sits at the very center of everything that ACLJ does.

And it's one of the things that inspires us and drives us forward. It's a fundamental issue for the ACLJ. Either the unborn child is a human being or they're not.

It's that simple. And, of course, the science clearly establishes that that unborn child is a person. If you can't agree on life and the right for everyone to have a chance to live, then everything else really doesn't matter. This has been a very, very difficult issue in part because the ACLJ has had to deal with progressives. During the Trump administration, we had a lot of success on defunding Planned Parenthood.

It is my profound honor to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life. Anything that the President could do through executive order was done. They reinstated the Mexico City policy so that U.S. taxpayer dollars were not going to foreign organizations that were funding abortion.

But that's all been changed now. The Biden administration has effectively ended the Mexico City policy. What the Mexico City policy did was to forbid American aid going to countries where they would use U.S. taxpayer dollars to perform abortions. We all have to work really hard to ensure that no American taxpayer dollar ever goes to underwrite an abortion and to stop funding from going to abortions anywhere in the world.

This has been a key part of America's stance for life, for the value of human life, for morality itself. This is now, you know, up for grabs and in question simply because of a change of administrations. The Biden administration has appointed Xavier Becerra, a radical pro-abortion individual, to head the Health and Human Services Department. So the HHS secretary, former attorney general of California, is also a congressman.

Xavier Becerra is up to become the nominee. He is now the secretary of Health and Human Services. He gets asked about his vote on partial birth abortion. I will tell you that when I come to these issues, I understand that we may not always agree on where to go. But I think we can find some common ground on these issues because everyone wants to make sure that if you have an opportunity, you're going to live a healthy life.

I will tell you that I hope to be able to work with you and others to reach that common ground on so many different issues. I think for all of us, when it comes to partially delivering a child and then killing it, there's no common ground. The HHS secretary is the most pro-abortion HHS secretary, Health and Human Services, in our nation's history. He tried to shut down and silence crisis pregnancy centers. He tried to make crisis pregnancy centers advertise where the abortions will be performed in the state of California, that you had to do that if you ran a crisis pregnancy center.

Now, we beat him at the Supreme Court in the United States, but they're setting policy. One of the most ardent pro-choice people in Washington, D.C., so when President Biden picked him to be the secretary of HHS, we knew that these issues would be front and center. We've seen that the Biden administration is completely sold out to the pro-abortion movement. We've seen that with ties to Planned Parenthood. We've seen that with funds funneling into abortion.

We've seen that with appointments that President Biden has made. I support a woman's right to choose. I support it's a constitutional right. I've supported it. I will continue to support it. And I will, in fact, move as President to see to that the Congress legislates that. All of our pro-life work that we do at the ACLJ is more critical now than I've really ever known it to be.

It starts here at home with the United States government holding them accountable, holding the Biden administration accountable so that all Americans are able to have faith in their government. People think, well, if Republicans are in charge, then, you know, it's the Republican Party platform is pro-life, so it would be easy to defund Planned Parenthood. But that's not really how Congress works. Not every Republican is as pro-life. When you have a pro-life President in office controlling the executive agencies, that's where you can really see some movement. And we saw that under President Trump, who said, let's look at all of my executive power and do everything we can.

Now, here's the good news. They are setting policy, and that gives us the opportunity to go to court to challenge those policies. And we have a conservative Supreme Court. Now, the great test on how conservative that court is is about to happen.

My hope and prayer is that it is, but again, we're not taking anything for granted. So in our briefing to the Supreme Court, we are really detailing the legal arguments on why life should be protected. The pro-abortion groups are unrelenting. They know they have a pro-choice administration. They know they've got a pro-abortion administration.

They're going to go as far as they can, and we have to be there to stop it. We are for life. Life is a precious gift of God.

It is a precious gift of the Holy Spirit. It is something that we believe in very deeply and have for decades upon decades. We do not believe in abortion on demand. We do not believe in killing children. If you look back at the whole history of the abortion movement, it is tied in with Margaret Sanger, who was very active in the 1920s and the 1930s. I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world that have been diseased from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically, delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things. They can just mark where they're born.

That, to me, is the greatest sin. And she wanted to shrink the population of the United States, and perhaps of other Western countries, grounded in the perception that certain people are either unfit to live or they are unworthy of life. The ACLJ strongly believes that every life matters, and that means that we have been front and center in supporting the pro-life cause. Life is under attack, and we have to protect the precious, innocent lives that the Biden administration deems unworthy.

There's two main issues, too, in the fight for life that we're working on right now at the ACLJ. One is we're seeing the refunding of Planned Parenthood. So Planned Parenthood was defunded to the extent that the Trump administration could do it. They did it. Was all of it defunded?

No. But we're seeing a refunded Planned Parenthood now, a more powerful Planned Parenthood. When Planned Parenthood gets more money, they get more powerful. And when they get more powerful, Planned Parenthood gets stronger and more aggressive in court. When you have a radical HHS come in, an HHS secretary who's radically pro-abortion, and an administration full of pro-abortion advocates, what they try to do is whittle away at the conscience protections. So I think you're going to see a lot of court action in the next several years. So in the last group, there was not that many because the administration was either fighting it or the House and Senate were controlled by a more pro-life majority, so legislation that was anti-life wasn't getting through.

That's going to change. We will continue to fight against these abortion initiatives. We will fight in terms of sending FOIA requests to the federal government. We will fight these initiatives in court, and hopefully we will prevail before the United States Supreme Court. We're having to file more briefs now than ever before. We're in court now more than ever before.

We've got a major appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit defending those who spoke out for life that have been sued, literally by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, for simply exposing the fact that these groups were involved. And this is the allegations in the videos, in the sale of human body parts. And they really didn't deny it. They just said it was legal.

We take a different view. But they went after the videographers, the reporters, the investigative journalists. That case is on appeal in the Ninth Circuit. It may well end up in the Supreme Court. The court will be the fight battleground. Courts are a place of last resort. And when you talk about our work at the Supreme Court, it's the last court of those courts of last resort. So we want to be the advocates for people who have, they have exhausted every other possible remedy for their situation, and they still are seeking justice, and we want to be their warriors for justice, if you will, and fight alongside them. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world that does not restrict abortion at any stage of the pregnancy.

That is a list that you do not want to be on. And there's a way that we can get ourselves off it. We at the ACLJ have been advocating for a piece of legislation that is called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It's a very simple bill. It simply says at the stage of pregnancy, it's right about 20 weeks, where a child is scientifically proven to be able to feel pain. We will not allow an abortion after that stage. It's a very common sense piece of legislation.

It catches us up to where the rest of the world is. That is a piece of legislation that is being blocked by the House of Representatives right now, specifically Nancy Pelosi. If 218 members of the United States House would go down to the floor and sign what's called a discharge petition, that bill could be passed out of the House and move on to the United States Senate.

It's something that should absolutely happen. It's very important that we remain hopeful that the courts that the Trump administration was able to impact will give us good rulings that are based in law and sound reasoning and not just liberal rhetoric. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash GIFT. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.

Welcome back to Sekulow. We're going to check out our More Than Ever series. You can learn more about that at MoreThanEver.com. Let's get right to it. We've been working on school choice and defending it in court for decades. Jordan Sekulow told us that hundreds of families had contacted the ACLJ about suing school closure districts. Coming to the education system was not a new move for the American Center for Law and Justice, for the ACLJ. We've been doing it since our founding. School choice has been an issue that we have keyed in on and we've argued all the way to the Supreme Court for decades.

Not just one decade, but decades. And now we're starting to see real results when it comes to school choice. What we learned very quickly from many parents who were reaching out to the ACLJ is that their child had been left behind. I'm very interested in creating a foundation of education for those folks in the middle-income arena, as well as kids living in poverty, kids like myself who perhaps live in the wrong zip code going to underperforming schools. I'd love to give parents the tool of choice.

When parents have choice in education, I think their kids have a better chance of success. More than 1,900 families contacted the ACLJ during the pandemic looking for help to get educational options for their students. And more than anything, we just wanted to be an advocate for those families, for those students. We wanted to find real solutions for real problems for real students that were facing adversity. And so we were faced with a lot of different issues where people were contacting us regarding their ability to let their kids go to school. This is an administration coming in saying, we want to shut down charter schools.

We want to only have public school options and then private schools for those who can afford it, which most of their kids go to. The ACLJ occupies a very special space. There are lots of other places that do lots of important work for America, but the ACLJ has taken up a lane which is irreplaceable.

The More Than Ever campaign is all about reminding Americans that now we need the ACLJ more than ever. Tonight, U.S. cases of coronavirus more than doubling, with two new cases in Southern California and one in Maricopa County, Arizona. The CDC confirming all five patients in the U.S. had traveled to Wuhan. But what happened with the pandemic, obviously everything changed. So you had the need for alternative school situations, which evolved everything from school choice to, during the pandemic, getting special needs of students met by their counties.

There were just scores of students who were left behind during the pandemic. There were countless students that did not thrive in a virtual learning setting and they did not have the means to select different alternatives to either hire a tutor or to find an alternative way of learning. Schools were saying, we're going to go online, but these people didn't have internet in their home, couldn't afford it, didn't have iPads for their kids. Some parents lacked resources, basic resources such as internet or computers.

We literally had school children who were sitting on curbs near police cars in order to steal the internet from the police cars so that they could complete their assignments. Not every student has equal opportunity in the sense that there's a huge digital divide in this country. So if you are in a rural environment or rural school district, in some cases do not have access to rural broadband, it also has significantly hurt our students with special needs and disabilities. Children with special needs have special rights under the law. And one of the things that they have the right to is an individual education plan. And many of the children in this situation during the pandemic were not having that individual education plan administered. We were able to come alongside families and make sure that school districts found a way to give those children educational options during the pandemic.

So I'm very proud of the role that the ACLJ played. They were trying to pass, what happened was it was this kind of like broad-based, one-size-fits-all approach to education when you had special needs students that had special needs. And the county had the resources to do it.

They just weren't forthcoming. And that's why we went aggressively on that issue. One of the things that we want to impress upon people is the need, especially during this pandemic, to get kids back in school. That's very important for us is to make sure that children are back in school provided, of course, that the environment is safe all around. Should parents have the option to use the tax dollars that are allocated to their child to send them someplace else that is open if they want them in school? We need to get our schools back open again. We're the most innovative nation in the world.

We can do it. If your school isn't opening, don't accept it. It's your child. It's your money.

Why should you pay for a service you're not getting? Reopen schools or give me my school money back. We know the harm that's being done to everyone, adults and children, from this isolation that so many people have felt, depending on what state or school district you live in. And that's the whole problem with our education system. It shouldn't be about where you live or what neighborhood you're in, about how good of an education your kid gets. We are not having a problem based simply on resources. We're not having a problem based on zip codes.

We are having a problem based on imagination. We're having a problem based on the circumstances that the adults find the kids, not that the kids find themselves. So if we teach to where we want them to go, as opposed to dumbing it down, we'd get high-performing students in high-performing schools in the poor zip codes. The best way to serve underserved communities, especially minority communities, is allowing for school choice so the parents have real options as to where to send their kids to school. We have a lot of people, there's a lot of ACLJ supporters, who get nervous when they hear school choice. They say, well, what does that mean? Does that mean that the public school I like, does that mean they're all going to go away? I'm a teacher, does that mean my pay is going to be decreased?

And so they get nervous. So we believe that there has to be a lot of education done on school choice. Keep in mind, during the pandemic, a significant number of schools were closed entirely.

This put a disproportionate burden, particularly on lower middle-class families and poor families who often lacked resources. Had it not been for education, I would not be sitting here today. I think of education as the gateway to the American dream. I want to open that gate wider for kids living in poverty, wider for those folks in middle-income America who are sandwiched.

Think about it. The folks who are taking care of their parents and their kids, they need access to a better education system that sometimes they cannot afford. Why not give more parents choice that would lead to revolution? This is a way you could actually take care of people who are suffering and are in some of the lower income areas and could really use school choice. As we emerge from the pandemics, parents are realizing just what their students have been being taught. And honestly, over the pandemic, there were countless school districts that took that opportunity to revamp the curriculum that they are teaching to their students. And so I think now more than ever, parents are waking up to the reality that they need to be at the forefront of making educational decisions. People really aren't there yet.

You'd think they would be, but we're always surprised when we do our radio show, which helps us kind of get a sense of where people are, they get very nervous. And that plays right into the hands of the teachers unions, who are then indoctrinating your kids with whatever they want. The influence of teachers unions that at times seem to care more about their own agendas than the safety and the education of our children in the school systems. I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African American and Latino children. The Department of Education under President Trump was in favor of not only school choice, but a variety of choices within that school choice.

These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious, or home school that is right for them. MoreThanEver.com is also a website that will have these videos posted, and there's going to be a number, I think they're talking about six to ten I think, of what they're looking at. That's MoreThanEver.com, but as Jordan said, we're also in a matching challenge campaign. And that means any amount you donate to the ACLJ, we're getting a matching gift for.

And I want to encourage you, great day to do it because we go into the weekend here. You've seen the full scope of the work. The win, you saw the case that did not go our way, that we're appealing to the 11th Circuit involving prayer, you're seeing our activity on school choice, then you're going to see it on life.

Stand with us as we stand with you, now more than ever. ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 15:05:09 / 2023-09-23 15:28:19 / 23

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