Veterans Day Teaching in Texas Public Schools Protected by Texas State Board Of Education, Religious Liberty Prevails over Federal Gov’t in Houston

November 11, 2011

Veterans & Their Families Protected in Texas by Liberty Institute:  At Liberty Institute we were honored to win a huge religious liberty case in Houston at the VA Cemetery where “God” was being banned at military funerals, in additiona to other hostile attempts censor religious expression.  Details here

Teaching on Veterans Day Prevails in  Texas Public Schools!  During the Texas Social Studies & History standards battle in 2010, a misguided group of teachers recommended that Veterans Day be removed from some sections of K-12 social studies.  But they wanted to add more mentions of Mary Kay Ash and some liberal members wanted more mentions of avowed Socialist, Dolores Huerta.  This outrageous effort by some groups of teachers to remove Veterans Day from parts of our social studies standards ultimately failed, because our ELECTED State Board of Education members said NO to these changes.  Our conservative leadership by the State Board of Education members, led the way on this. Find out more at


For our continuing work, at Liberty Institute, to protect Veterans Memorials, like the Mojave Desert Memorial & Cross and the Mt. Soledad Memorial and see

Also, see our State Board of Education video where we helped keep Veterans Day from being taken out of some sections of the K-12 social studies standards and some pictures from the Veterans’ Day Parade in Austin.

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U.S. Senate Candidate Forum Was A Great Success

August 1, 2011

On Saturday, Liberty Institute participated in the Tour of Texas Senate Candidate Forum in Austin.  Our own Jonathan Saenz was 1 of 3 panelists asking questions to the candidates and we were able to provide our free Texas Legislative Guides to all in attendence (download the guide at The event was held at the Capitol in the extension auditorium and was packed with conservative activists, tea party supporters, 9-12 groups, and others who where very interested in learning about the candidates.  While all candidates of both parties where invited, only Republican candidates Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert, Glenn Addison, and Lela Pitttenger participated in the event. Newly announced candidate, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, did not attend the event which clearly upset some of the grassroots activists in attendance.

The panelists did a great job of delivering hard hitting questions that the audience was cleary interested in hearing the candidates’ responses to.  Questions hit on key topics of free markets, limited government, the Constitution, social conservative values, immigration, and more.  All the candidates performed well as evidenced by the standing ovation the candidates received at the end of the forum. Check out some pictures from the forum:

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After each Forum, a straw poll of the attendees has been conducted. In a surprise, Glenn Addison lead the Austin poll with 50% support, followed by Ted Cruz in 2nd place at 33%, Lela Pittenger with 12%, and Tom Leppert with 5%. In the previous 2 forums in Houston and San Antonio, Ted Cruz had lead the staw poll.  With 2012 less than a year and a half away and the primaries closer than that, we encourage everyone to continue to be engaged in the political process, paying close attention to the candidates that are jumping into races and incumbents looking for reelection.  These candidates forums are a great way to get to know the candidates running for U.S. Senate and we encourage you to attend one in your area.

Here are the dates for the remaining forums:

Waco – August 13

Plano – October 1

Tyler – October 15

For more details and to register, visit New Revolution Now’s website here.

Liberty Institute Statement on SB 7 Passage, Planned Parenthood Funding Cut

June 27, 2011

Texas Legislature Strikes At Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood:

Liberty Institute Applauds Passage of Pro-life, Fiscally Responsible Bill

AUSTIN, Texas, June 27, 2011 – Earlier today, both houses of the Texas Legislature voted to approve Senate Bill 7 (SB 7), which along with other legislation passed this session, strikes at and could effectively end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in the state. The bill will now be sent to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature, which is expected.

In regard to the vote, Liberty Institute released the following statement:

“The passing of this legislation is a defining moment in Texas history for the pro-life and taxpayer protection movement.  Texas leaders have sent a clear message-Planned Parenthood and similar abortion groups should not use taxpayer funds to support their agenda”, said Jonathan Saenz, Liberty Institute legislative director who supported SB 7 at the Texas Capitol and has provided legal analysis and advocacy efforts to support pro-life strands of SB 7.

SB 7 prevents abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving tax dollars through the “Women’s Health Program” (estimated $34 million loss for PP).  SB 7 prioritizes other funding that PP usually goes after, to give priority of funding to community-based centers that provide comprehensive primary care to women, not just “family planning”.   Planned Parenthood does not fall into this category. SB 7 also prevents county tax dollars from being used for abortion, like Travis County Healthcare District has been doing for years with approximately $450,000.

Record Vote of Senate on SB 7:

Record Vote of House on SB 7:

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal and policy group dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families. Visit for more.

Yes, Prayer is a Protected Right, By Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute

June 20, 2011

Last week, the Americans United for Separation of Church & State, who lost their case to censor student speech at a  high school graduation ceremony, just outside of San Antonio, had their op-ed printed in the San Antionio Express News.

Our turn.

This Op-ed was written by Kelly Shackelford, lawyer and President/CEO of Liberty Institute (we represented the valedictorian, Angela Hildenbrand in this case).

Liberty Institute on Fox News this Morning

June 6, 2011

I was on Fox News this morning with Angela Hildenbrand, class valedictorian and Liberty Institute client, to discuss the Medina Valley High School Graduation.  The video of the interview is below.

Sen. Cornyn: Banning Prayer at Graduation Wrong Lesson for Class of 2011

June 3, 2011

See the full statement by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), on the Medina Valley H.S. case in Texas.

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) filed a lawsuit against Medina Valley Independent School District last week on behalf of an agnostic couple whose son threatened not to attend his graduation if there was a prayer.

Our organization, Liberty Institute, has filed a court motion to protect the right of the valedictorian of the 2011 class for Medina Valley H.S., who has been censored from praying.  Find our release here.

In 2007, we helped pass the School Children’s Religous Liberty Bill to help protect students from this type of censorship.

Liberty Institute Files Motion To Protect Prayer of Texas High School Valedictorian

June 2, 2011

This is an update regarding the Medina Valley issue in Texas where the Americans United for Separation of Church & State has filed a lawsuit.  Attorney General Greg Abbott has also his intent to file a brief on this issue, supporting an individual’s right to pray.

Our press release on the court motion we filed, is here.

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