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Today's Top Five

1. Jim Wallis gives Democratic weekly radio address
Accepting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's invitation "was a difficult decision," the Sojourners president wrote on his blog. "I work hard to maintain my independence and non-partisanship, and didn't want to be perceived as supporting one party over the other. But it was an occasion to get our message to millions of people, so I decided to accept."

Wallis's address, touted as the first such weekly radio address by "a non-partisan religious leader," began with a disclaimer: "I want to be clear that I am not speaking for the Democratic Party, but as a person of faith who feels the hunger in America for a new vision of our life together and sees the opportunity to apply our best moral values to the urgent problems we face. I am not an elected official or political partisan, but a religious leader who believes that real solutions must transcend partisan politics."

Wire stories on the address focused on Wallis's calls for action on corruption, Iraq, poverty, the environment, and abortion.

2. Faith-based initiative goes to the Supreme Court—in a way
Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation is a case about Bush's faith-based initiative, but, as the First Amendment Center's Tony Mauro points out, it "does not directly test the meaning of the establishment clause itself." Instead, it's a case about standing. Right now, Hein isn't about whether government-sponsored conferences for the faith-based initiative violated the First Amendment, but whether the Freedom from Religion Foundation can bring a suit accusing the conferences of doing so. Mauro explains:

Under the traditional doctrine of standing, you can't challenge a government program you don't like just because ...
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December 2006

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