Weekly Legislative update video from the Texas Capitol.
Legislative Update video for the week March 21-25.
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(President of Free Market Foundation shown above as legal counsel for Hannah Giles, who helping take down ACORN.)
As you know, we, at Free Market Foundation/Liberty Legal Institute, are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are funded solely by private donations. We could not do the work we do without the support of so many generous persons.
But our battles (and victories) have been many this year, and we need a strong December and finish for 2009 to cover the expenses for defending freedoms and family values in the courts, legislature and media.
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In the Courts
- We won our third landmark case on religious freedom in the past three years at the Texas Supreme Court – this time protecting all churches in an opinion that national experts hailed as “groundbreaking”.
- We won the first written decision from the IRS for pastors and churches nationwide in over a decade, explicitly protecting pastors’ rights to speak to the political issues of the day and equip their congregants to vote their values.
- We argued, along with the Texas Solicitor General, at the Federal Court of Appeals to defend the Texas Moment of Silence law, and we won! Now, we’re fighting again at federal appeals to defend the words “under God” in the Texas pledge in a lawsuit brought by an atheist plaintiff.
- And there’s more- our brief was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Summum case; we’ve won numerous victories for churches literally being banned from existing; we represent Hannah Giles, who has been sued by ACORN; we represent all the major veterans groups in the Mojave Desert Cross case at the U.S. Supreme Court; and, we represent Houston City Councilwoman, Ann Clutterbuck, in a lawsuit brought to try to ban prayers at city council meetings.
In the Legislature
- We won the major battle at our State Board of Education, stopping the liberal attempt to strip our students of academic freedom and their right to test the strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories, including evolution.
- We led the charge, reversing the State Board of Education committee decision to remove Christmas from the coverage of religious holidays in our Social Studies books and standards.
- We won a last-minute veto from the Governor on a frightening bill which would have changed the Texas law on parental rights to allow government officials to take away and interrogate anyone’s children with no notice or requirement of “just cause.”
- Defeated Planned Parenthood’s attempt to takeover sex education in Texas.
- Defeated dangerous so-called “Hate Crimes” legislation.
- We helped lead the largest Pro-Life lobby day at the Capitol, with live ultrasounds performed for legislators.
- We tracked over 150 bills, testified in 25 legislative hearings, and held 9 press conferences during the Texas Legislative Session.
- Had nearly 50,000 hits on our Texas Legislative Update Blog
In the Media/Culture
- We were featured in over 2,000 interviews and stories this year including O’Reilly, Hannity, ABC National News, CNN, the New York Times, C-SPAN, the front page of the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and many, many other national and local media.
- We held two major press conferences at the National Press Club as well as others outside the U.S. Supreme Court including the Mojave Desert Memorial case where the ACLU is attacking the cross and our veterans’ memorials nationwide.
- We launched www.donttearmedown.com leading to more than two million views of our video and to interviews reaching 10 million through radio and t.v. alone.
ACTION ALERT! House Sponsor, Rep. Jerry Madden, Expects Veto; Coalition Letter to Gov. Perry: Protect Children & Parents, VETO SB 1440June 16, 2009
SB 1440, which is an unconstitutional attack on children and parental rights as a result of a drastic 4 page amendment on the last days of the session, has still not been acted on by Gov. Perry. Children should not be torn from their homes and be traumatized because of an uncorroborated, anonymous tip. Gov. Perry has just a few days left to sign or VETO SB 1440. click here to read more about this issue details from previous posts. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/parental-rights-in-jeopardy-ask-gov-perry-to-veto-sb-1440/
We helped draft a legal analysis letter, joined by a broad coalition of national and Texas groups, and sent it to Gov. Perry, urging Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440. Click here for Letter to Gov. Perry SB1440 VETOrequest TheHonR Perry 06 15 09
Click here to see the long list of very diverse groups/entities/persons calling for a VETO of SB 1440(we keep updating it as it keeps growing!): VETO SB1440. Call us at 512-478-2220 if you want to add your organization to the VETO SB 1440 list.
Cecilia Wood, Board Certified Family Law Attorney & Texas Family Foundation Member is on of the many attorneys supporting a VETO of SB 1440.
Also, in the letter is a statement from the House Sponsor of SB 1440, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-Plano) who now says he expects for Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440 and that a mistake was made by accepting the amendment with the unconstitutonal language. Please call Rep. Madden and thank him (512) 463-0544.
Please Call Gov. Perry TODAY and ask him to VETO SB 1440 (512)-463-2000.
Also, Call your State House Represenative and your State Senator and ask him/her to VETO SB 1440.
Click here to find your State House and Senate Member. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/
We respectfully request the VETO of SB 1440, as it:
1. Circumvents Constitutional Protections in the Fifth Circuit’s Gates v. TDPRS decision.
2. Entices State Actors to Violate Clearly Established Law, Subjecting Them to Personal Liability.
3. Allows DFPS to Violate Parental Rights.
4. Removes the “Good Cause” Standard Currently in the Texas Family Code.
5. Authorizes Medical and Other Confidential Records to be Given to Untrained Investigators.
6. Contains Weakened Evidence Standards.
7. Grants Sweeping Powers to Investigators Without Notice or a Hearing.
8. Lacks Parental Protections for Execution of Orders.
9. Emergency/Imminent Danger Situations Are Not At Issue, Not Affected by Veto of SB 1440.
“Liberal” blogs such as the DailyKos.com and others are also supporting a VETO of SB 1440. http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/1424581.html and http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/06/conservative-veto-call-for-expanded-cps.html
Video from Press Conference on SB 1440