Today's top five stories
1.Federal appeals courts in New York and San Francisco rule against partial-birth abortion ban
Both courts say the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act doesn't have enough of an exception for the health of the mother, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision is particularly interesting for its interpretation of the Supreme Court's recent unanimous Ayotte decision. "Congress, notwithstanding existing Supreme Court law and the multiple opportunities it was given to limit the act's scope, passed an overly broad ban that it was aware likely violated the Constitution as construed by the Court," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote. "In so doing, Congress left it to the judiciary to sort out which parts of the statute are constitutional and which are not. This is precisely what Ayotte reminded us Congress may not do." Let's hope the Supreme Court chooses to weigh in on whether that's a correct interpretation.
2.World Magazine questions Focus on the Family's ties to Abramoff
It appears that Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed enlisted James Dobson and Focus on the Family in their fight against expanded gambling in Louisiana. Abramoff and Reed's client, the Coushatta Tribe, wanted to fight off the gambing expansion to protect its own gambling interests in the state. That the article appears in the conservative magazine World is a bit of a surprise, especially given the article's edge. Here's how it ends:
Tom Minnery, a senior vice president at Focus on the Family responded to the e-mails about Mr. Dobson by speculating that "it sounds like these guys were trying to take credit" for work Focus was already doing. He said Focus on the Family works on dozens of similar issues across the country each year, and that ...1
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