JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA’S PASSING - THE FIGHT TO PROTECT OUR CONSITUTION IS NOW OURS.

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA’S PASSING - THE FIGHT TO PROTECT OUR CONSITUTION IS NOW OURS.

By Rev. Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

Today, America lost one of its greatest heroes. An Italian-American icon dedicated to defending the Constitution with every fiber of his being. A man who recognized the erosion of the family unit in America as the greatest threat to its stability, who understood the Constitution to be a document that, like any other document, should be read and analyzed as expressing the thoughts and values of the authors that wrote it at the time of its writing. A document much too precious to be twisted and contorted to support sentiments and ideologies anathema to the very patriots who poured their hearts, souls and minds into its drafting.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought of custom designing a T-Shirt with his name and likeness on it that I could wear around my law school just to freak my professors out. Every time Scalia was derided during a discussion at law school by the backhanded comment of some confused liberal, my heart was broken. I saw his critics as lost souls, adrift in a sea of legal and logical instability destined to be helplessly marooned on an island of conflict and confusion by their fundamentally flawed ideologies.

Even in his controversial decision on Employment Div. v. Smith, 484 U.S. 872 (1990) which ultimately prompted a religious backlash and evidenced the need for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993), I understood and agreed with Justice Scalia’s much criticized opinion. Justice Scalia penned the Court’s decision in Smith holding that though the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to believe whatever they wish, it does not necessarily protect an individual’s right to act on that belief when doing so violates a neutral, generally applicable state law governing criminal behavior the state has a Constitutional right to regulate though its police power.  In Smith, it was Oregon’s right to regulate the use of an illegal drug (Peyote) for religious purposes. However controversial, his decision in this case demonstrated Scalia’s consistent commitment to protecting an individual State’s rule of law. His steadfast support for state sovereignty and his commitment to limit the scope of the federal government’s ability to interfere with this Constitutional right was invariable.

I secretly shuddered in fear when I envisioned what it would be like to have a Supreme Court without Justice Scalia. But in my heart I was comforted in knowing that Justice Scalia would continue to hang-on, if only to protect the Constitution until a President was elected that would properly select another constitutional originalist to fill his place. He hung on as long as he could, protecting the Constitution to his last breath. We now have the most liberal president in the history of our country poised to submit an appointee to the Supreme Court that will worsen the constitutional imbalance already present in this historically liberal Court.  If ever conservatives needed to erect an impregnable firewall to a potential presidential appointee to SCOTUS it is now.

What is at stake? Let me make it simple for you - the country.  Simply put, SCALIA’S REPLACEMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAT WHO THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL BE. The next president’s influence over our country is constitutionally limited to no more than eight (8) years. Conversely, the decisions of a newly appointed Supreme Court Justice will affect us for generations to come. We cannot now allow what Scalia’s life stood for to be lost with his death. The fight to protect our beloved Constitution now passes to you and me.

RELIGIOUS COLLEGES SEEK AND RECEIVE WAIVERS ON TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

RELIGIOUS COLLEGES SEEK AND RECEIVE WAIVERS ON TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

Friday, December 18, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nearly three dozen religious colleges and universities in 20 U.S. states have received federal waivers allowing them not to accommodate transgender students in admissions, housing and other areas of campus life, according to a report by the nation’s largest LGBT rights group and documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The church-affiliated schools that in 2014 and 2015 obtained exemptions to a law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational settings collectively enroll more than 73,000 students, the Human Rights Campaign said in a report published Friday.

“What we want students to know is schools are serious about this, that they have gone out of their way to make sure they have the legal ability to discriminate against LGBT students,” said Sarah Warbelow, the campaign’s legal director.

Eighteen of the 34 universities and colleges that told the U.S. Department of Education that giving transgender students access to single-sex restrooms and facilities that correspond with their gender identity would be inconsistent with their religious tenets are controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention, according to public records obtained by both the Human Rights Campaign and the AP.

The Department of Education has seen the surge in waiver applications because its Office for Civil Rights has “exceeded its legal authority” by taking the position since 2013 that the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination applies to transgender students, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory Baylor said.

“The schools have reasonably concluded that they are quite likely to become the next target of OCR if they follow their religious convictions on these matters,” said Baylor, whose Christian legal advocacy group has advised some colleges on how to seek the exemptions.

The tension mirrors disputes that have arisen over the refusal by Catholic hospitals and universities to offer contraception in their employee health plans and moves by local governments to stop contracting with religiously affiliated adoption agencies that refuse to place children in households headed by same-sex couples.

Higher education institutions that receive federal funds for research or financial aid are barred from discriminating on the basis of sex under Title IX, the 1972 law that originally was used to open men’s colleges to women and to create more athletic opportunities for women at co-ed schools.

Colleges controlled by religious organizations always have been eligible to seek exemptions from Title IX. More than 190 representing both Christian and Jewish denominations received the waivers from the mid-1970s through the late 1990s, seeking permission, for example, to only hire male teachers for certain positions or to sanction students or employees who had sex outside marriage.

Catherine Lhamon, the Department of Education’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement that the government would “vigorously enforce Title IX’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity, in every applicable school.” But she noted that her office does not have discretion to deny waivers to colleges seeking a religious exemption.

“Congress did exempt from Title IX’s protection institutions that are controlled by religious organizations, to the extent that Title IX conflicts with their religious tenets,” Lhamon said in a statement. “We are committed to protecting every student Congress gave us jurisdiction to protect.”

At least 24 of the 34 colleges and universities granted religious exemptions based on their beliefs about gender identity also received waivers allowing them to discriminate against gay and lesbian students and employees, citing faith-based prohibitions against homosexual sex, the Human Rights Campaign said.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision at the beginning of 2015 to accept the case in which a court majority ruled in June that state gay marriage bans are unconstitutional was a likely trigger, Warbelow said.

“It’s indicative of the progress that LGBT people have made, both in terms of social acceptance so there are more LGBT people willing to live openly, and developments in the law,” she said.

The Department of Education says another 22 schools have exemption requests under review.

NJ PARENTAL RIGHTS ATTACKED - Right to control the mental healthcare of minor children now limited.

NJ PARENTAL RIGHTS ATTACKED - Right to control the mental healthcare of minor children now limited.

By Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

A3371/S2278, the bill to ban counseling efforts to change a minors' sexual orientation, has passed both houses of the NJ legislature. Absent intervention by governor Christie, parents in NJ can no longer seek professional (including psychiatric) help for their minor children struggling with their sexual identity if such counseling includes any manner of redirection of the child's "stated" gender affectional preference, even if the professional believes the affections to be misguided and/or mistaken. In saying what I am saying I am in no way condoning the recently reported ridiculous and harmful practices allegedly utilized by members of the psychiatric community in this regard, assuming such reports are true.

What is of concern to me is that fact that this bill presents an impermissible intrusion into a parent's right to bring up their minor children according to the precepts of their particular faith without intervention by the government. The issue of gender identity is integrally tied to foundational religious beliefs affecting a majority of Americans - Beliefs which must be respected and over which the state cannot constitutionally intrude, irrespective of popular opinion to the contrary.

In light of this legislation, it would appear that mental health care professionals who are devout Muslims, Jews, or Christians are now at a crossroads in terms of reconciling their professions with their respective faiths. Licensed School teachers are sure to follow if they work in a school, public, private, or parochial, "licensed" by the State of New Jersey. This is a matter of a person's right to hold to their religious convictions and to impose the same onto their children, convictions held sacrosanct for thousands of years. To summarily dismiss and to publicly disparage and ridicule the views of millions of decent, law-abiding Americans who happen to hold to strong religious convictions on a particular matter of great moral controversy, and to now legislatively force a particular secular view into how parents choose to care for their children's psychological/psychiatric health, is simply both "un-American" and unconstitutional.

The practice in many Christian churches in Germany during WWII was to sing louder so as to drown out the screams of millions of Jews as they were herded to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps on train tracks near church buildings. Singing louder did not save the life of one precious Jew. When it comes to enacting legislation that directly or indirectly affects our religious beliefs or the manner in which we choose to raise our children, we can either sing or fight. I would highly recommend that we learn from past mistakes. Though I would legally fight for the right of any person not be discriminated against in terms of housing, employment, etc., I would fight even more strongly for people to be able to practice their faith unimpeded by government, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Standing For Your Rights | A Christian Obligation

Standing For Your Rights | A Christian Obligation

By Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

A Biblical Legal Analysis of Citizen's Rights
There are two instances in Scripture where the Apostle Paul exercises his rights as a Roman citizen, but he does so for different reasons. He does so in Philippi (Acts 16) to protest to the Government's misuse of power over its citizenry. We must make sure that Government appropriately uses the power with which they have been entrusted. He insists that those who harmed and humiliated him personally address the situation and make amends to him publically (apologize). The second instance is in Jerusalem found in Acts 21. In this case, an issue concerning the Gospel is at stake. He demands his rights be observed so that ultimately God's will for his life could be accomplished, having been told by God that he was to "bear witness in Rome." Demanding justice of our leadership ultimately benefits the people and helps them to reach their divine destiny. By doing so, we often speak for those who do not have a voice.

Background
In Acts 16, and then again in Acts 21-23, we see a part of the apostle Paul that might, at first glance, seem contradictory to the philosophy he espouses in Romans 13 concerning the divine appointment of governmental authority and the Christian's obligation to submit to it.

In these chapters we see Paul exercising his right of provocatio, or 'appeal' as a Roman citizen. This was a right rooted in the Roman right to appeal to the sovereign people, provocatio ad populum. The Lex Iulia de vi codified the rights of cives (Roman citizens – generally members of high Roman society of which Paul was a part) as opposed to the very limited rights of the perergrinus (the ordinary provincial). The Lex Iulia protected the Roman citizen who invoked the right of provocatio from "from summary punishment, execution or torture without trial, from private or public arrest, and from actual trial by magistrates outside Italy. They (the provisions of the law) are to be understood in connection with the ordo system, which had been created for the protection of Roman citizens - a method of trial by jury at Rome for statutory offences."

When Paul and Silas were dragged in before the magistrates in Acts 16, the procedure followed initially comported with that expected for "extra ordinem" charges by a party with standing. However, the magistrates departed from legal procedure when they ordered Paul and Silas to be flogged and thrown in jail, in direct violation of their rights as cives Romani. God of course miraculously intervened and dramatically set them free that evening, after which it could be said that they voluntarily submitted to their illegal detention. After discovering their incompetence and gross error the following morning, the magistrates sent word that Paul and Silas should immediately be set free. Paul, however, refused to leave demanding instead that the magistrates themselves come to get them, apologize, and personally escort them out of jail for all to see. He made it a point to publicly display his indignation over the fact that he, a Roman citizen, had been so mistreated by "government officials" who had abused their sacred trust (power - Romans 13) in violation of his rights.

There are many among us for whom we act as surrogates - legal residents as well as undocumented people groups. We are their only voice. Standing for the rights of people in the face of governmental abuse and neglect is not only biblically correct, it is our Christian duty.

WE SAW IT COMING FOLKS - Constitutional Gender Confusion.

WE SAW IT COMING FOLKS - Constitutional Gender Confusion.

By Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

Biological males now protected as having a Constitutional right to bathe along with biological females in High School, so long as they believe themselves to be female, notwithstanding the presence of a distinctly male organ for all (biological females) to see or turn away from. This is the finding of Federal education authorities in Illinois against an Illinois school district seeking to honor the requests of parents who found the practice disgraceful. It’s only going to get worse unless the Church and other groups rally together and demand basic common respect.

Here’s an excerpt from my lecture series on the outcome of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision which foretold of this move. It is part of my section on “The Trojan Horse.” –

“Here’s the problem - Allowing people who identify as gay or lesbian to marry is a question of what the State does. It governs the conduct of state or governmental officials. However, how you treat alleged discrimination against people who identify as gay is another question altogether. This is a question that addresses the behavior of private actors - business owners, private employers, pastors, licensed teachers, public and private schools, licensed counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and so on. Now we have a Supreme Court precedent that can be used to force people to act against their religious beliefs by claiming that simply acting on their faith is a discriminatory act.

As expected, WITHIN ONE MONTH OF THE DECISION, the EEOC in a 3-2 ruling (notice how close these rulings are – around 50% are AGAINST) held that discrimination against someone in employment for sexual preference is the same as sex discrimination (an established protected class) and is to be treated accordingly. This law basically proscribes disparate treatment of “similarly situated persons.” It essentially allows enforcement action by federal, state and local municipalities against private citizens, companies, or generally “actors” as an anti-discrimination effort.

By conflating the two issues (the right to marry and discrimination based on an individual’s personal sexual preference and/or preferred sexual identity) and by morally justifying homosexuality in its holding, Obergefell essentially established A NEW DE FACTO CIVIL RIGHT affecting an ever-expanding and as yet undefined group of people (LGBTQ…?). This decision not only forced states to ignore their democratically adopted domestic relations laws (family law) against the will of the people in those states, but it will now be used to demand equal protection for this as yet undefined group to engage in behavior considered by most as morally unacceptable for thousands of years, such as the unfettered use of restrooms or showers of one's choosing, irrespective of one's biological gender, based solely on a person’s claimed (and unchallenged) psycho-sexual proclivity or identity. This will be allowed and protected by law as a result of this holding irrespective of how morally repugnant the choice might be to others directly affected by it. For example, a young girl might now find herself in the same bathroom as an adult biological male with his organ in place and very much in working order.

In summary, based on this opinion, the Court has not only established itself as the Supreme Court of the land, but as a Supreme entity. It is no longer limited to merely interpreting the laws of the several States in light of the Constitution, but can now apparently confer dignity on what or who it sees fit.  Look up the article in the New York times by clicking here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/us/illinois-district-violated-transgender-students-rights-us-says.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

NEW CLOTHES - Examining the Supreme Court’s recent same-sex ruling.

NEW CLOTHES - Examining the Supreme Court’s recent same-sex ruling.

An examination of the Supreme Court’s recent same-sex ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges.

By Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

A Fairytale
In 1837 Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, penned the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” about cunning swindlers who concocted a scheme to defraud a vain emperor. The emperor was duped into buying a garment hailed as being made from a valuable fabric invisible to anyone either unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid.” The June 26, 2015 decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, came as a result of the use of the same deceptive technique by lobbying groups aiming to dupe the American public, the media, and now the U.S. Supreme Court into buying a fantasy to our collective shame as a nation.

Contrary to popular belief, marriage equality was not achieved by this ruling. Even before this decision, everyone in America had a legal right to marry. What this ruling actually did was obliterate the definition of marriage, an institution held sacrosanct for thousands of years. It defined the term into meaninglessness. As a result of the ruling, same-sex couples can now enter into an as yet undefined social compact which has no gender limitations and soon will have no numerical limitation, as limiting marriage to two people will be legally problematic based on the legal logic used in this holding.

Government is God
Through this decision the Supreme Court has unilaterally overridden the legislative will of over thirty (30) states. And as in the Obamacare decision that preceded it, the Court here unequivocally solidifies its new standard that words no longer have a definite legal meaning. Words now mean only what SCOTUS says they mean. Based on this opinion, the Court has not only established itself as the Supreme Court of the land, but as a Supreme entity. It is no longer limited to merely interpreting the laws of the several States in light of the Constitution, but can now apparently confer dignity on what or who it sees fit.

Justice Kennedy’s “Newspeak.”
Justice Kennedy gives lip service to the virtues of marriage by saying, “It is fair and necessary to say these references [to marriage] were based on the understanding that marriage is a union between two persons of the opposite sex.” And that “…reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world still hold this view of marriage.” But his soliloquy makes this irrelevant, as he ultimately uses the Court’s newly found divine authority to label these “reasonable” people as both wrong and biased. In this context he makes an ominous statement:

“Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here. But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied.”

This statement essentially excludes people whose opinions are forged by their moral and religious ideals from involving themselves in the legislative process and further proscribes the application of their beliefs to democratically influence public policy. He ‘touts’ religious freedom apparently believing religious communities to be comprised of legal idiots when he says,

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”

So basically, religious people can constitutionally believe and teach whatever they want to [even if this Court has deemed it bigoted], so long as they don’t practice their beliefs, a right portentously excluded from this statement. Justice Thomas’ response to this ruse is significant, characterizing the majority’s assumption that government confers “dignity” through marriage as nonsensical:

“Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved... [a]nd those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

He calls out Kennedy’s attempt at deception, quoting portions of the above excerpt and adds,

“Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for ‘religious organizations and persons… as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths’. Ibid. Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.”

What About Marriage Equality?
Chief Justice Roberts, in his vehement dissent, states, “The majority’s decision [to announce a new civil right] is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent.” A person does not find their identity and gain civil rights by a pattern of willful behavior. Behaving or feeling a certain way is an aspect of our human experience and does not in itself establish an inherent immutable characteristic. To be “immutable” something must be permanent – unchanging. Being black, for example, is a legitimate constitutional immutable characteristic. Even using the amicus brief actually quoted by Justice Kennedy in support of this Court’s mistaken contention that “sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic,” (yeah, I read it), said “… fully 88% of gay men and 68% of lesbians reported that they had ‘no choice’ [about their sexual orientation] at all.” Based on this Court's own supporting briefs from which it draws its irrational conclusion, 12%, or 1-2 out of 10 self-professed homosexual men and over 1/3 of professed lesbians in the studies feel they have a choice as to their sexual orientation. By any stretch of the imagination these numbers do not support the conclusion that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. On the contrary, most modern studies support sexual orientation to be more fluid than we thought before.

That said, the question was never one of equality. The question always was whether an alleged committed relationship between two same-sex parties could legitimately be called a “marriage” and who should decide whether this is so. According to Justice Kennedy, a man who just two years ago in United States v. Windsor wrote an opinion that concluded, “[R]egulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States,” and then went on to write, “[T]he Federal Government, through our history, has deferred to state-law policy decisions with respect to domestic relations,” now has completely reversed his previous opinion and presently feels that it is the Federal Government, not States, through the divine Supreme Court that should decide what a marriage actually is.

The Court has now unfortunately legally codified a false narrative. Based on strained studies engineered to push an agenda bent on establishing a bogus civil right where such a right does not constitutionally exist, we are now faced with a “new” civil right for a non-existent and non-discrete class of people. As a result, people of faith will suffer greatly because of the tsunami of litigation that will follow against those who will dare to refuse to bow to Baal (figuratively) by not compromising their deeply held religious convictions. Justices, Judges and City Clerks will likely be fired all around the country if they do not perform same-sex ceremonies they find repugnant to their faith. Religious schools and organizations may also soon be sued and may well loose public grants and ultimately their tax-exempt status as a direct consequence of this ruling, a ruling purportedly aimed only at guaranteeing equality for a fluid burdened class.

Chief Justice Roberts issued this chilling warning of impending attacks against people of faith,

“Today’s decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution (First Amendment). Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing same- sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

In the end, this decision had little to do with equality or the U.S. Constitution and everything to do with a social agenda aimed at vilifying and ultimately mortally wounding all who look upon the sexual behaviors in question as morally wrong. Like the fairy tale, it is all about forcing the American people to recognize and laud a non-existent civil right fancifully displayed before the American people by a largely immoral Court. A Court that has, by its decision in this case, shown itself to be naked.

HEARTBROKEN - Thoughts on the Eric Garner tragedy.

HEARTBROKEN - Thoughts on the Eric Garner tragedy.

By Rev. Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

Eric Garner should not have died. Plain and simple. This is a case of excessive force, not necessarily motivated by racial animus. Sadly, more care is typically taken handling animals than was given to this man. The NYPD should man up, admit their mistake here, apologize to the family, and pay up.

This case must be distinguished from Ferguson where the decedent was a thug and the behavior displayed following the incident by the hoodlums feigning concern dishonored the distinguished memory of our revered civil rights icons. Both the autopsy and the video in Garner's case rightly indicate probable criminal negligence. Unlike Ferguson, there should have been an indictment in this case. 

Hearing this man beg for air only to be ignored by the NYPD directly leading to his death is both heartbreaking and inexcusable. Once he let the officers know that he couldn't breathe, the officers were under a moral and legal obligation to release him enough to remedy the life threatening activity. End of story. The type of "hold" that was used to restrain Garner is irrelevant. There were no exigent circumstances here justifying turning a deaf ear to this man's cries for his life. Let's pray for his family and that the NYPD realizes its errors and does the honorable thing here to make this right.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/…/Timeline-Eric-Garner-Chokehold-…

PRAYER IN SCHOOL - Prayer & Religious acts in public schools cannot be constitutionally forbidden.

PRAYER IN SCHOOL - Prayer & Religious acts in public schools cannot be constitutionally forbidden.

By Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit
www.gonzlawgroup.com

Contrary to myths spread by the legally misinformed, the Supreme Court has not ruled that students are forbidden to pray, read a religious book, or otherwise worship on their own while at school.

In Engle v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) the Supreme Court simply concluded that officially conducted prayer, promulgated in this case by the Board of Regents in New York, violated the Establishment Clause.  Similarly, in a subsequent Supreme Court ruling the following year involving school prayer and Bible reading, School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963), the Court decided that opening exercises promoting either the reading of the Bible or recitation of the Lord's Prayer in a public school violated the Establishment Clause as applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.

That said, it is critically important to point out to legally uninformed school officials that these decisions of the Supreme Court did not "remove prayer [or other religious observances] from public schools."  The Supreme Court simply and exclusively removed only government-sponsored worship from the public schools, as is expressly outlined in the Court’s rulings in both cases. Public school students have always had and still possess the right to pray, read the Bible, or worship on their own while attending a public school as class schedules permit.

Conversely, a public school official’s interference with such private religious observances would constitute an impermissible intrusion into religion by the state and would thereby violate the student’s First Amendment rights. Officially interfering in any manner with an individual’s non-disruptive religious observance, even within a public school environment, is proscribed by the U.S. Constitution. This would include interfering with such activities as quietly praying, reading the Bible, worshiping, or even outright proselytizing during a scheduled break time or even during class time when objectively appropriate due to the subject matter being discussed. Public School officials, including teachers cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination, even if the viewpoint in question is inherently religious.

I hope this information will help many of you in defending your particular student’s constitutionally protected rights. 

NOT EVEN A “SMIDGEN OF CORRUPTION” IN THE IRS SCANDAL? Examining the cover-up.

NOT EVEN A “SMIDGEN OF CORRUPTION” IN THE IRS SCANDAL? Examining the cover-up.

By Rev. Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com

President Obama, a Harvard educated lawyer, used these words in his description of an investigation of the IRS that had not yet concluded at the time. He spoke of “knuckle-headed decisions” having been made, thereby denying by implication that laws had actually been broken with a straight face.  This was said in the face of the legal fact that when Lois Lerner, a lawyer herself and head of the IRS Exempt Organization Division, was brought to testify before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, she decided to invoke her rights under the 5th Amendment. In order for her to legally do this, as Ms. Lerner and President Obama both clearly know (a rookie lawyer knows this), it is mandatory that she have a “real and substantial fear” that her testimony would result in self-incrimination, or minimally contribute to her criminal conviction in the United States. She could not rightfully plead the 5th if there was absolutely no possibility of her being found guilty of a crime as a result of her testimony. Her actions evidently speak to her belief, notwithstanding the President's assertions, that answering Congress’ questions might well provide more than a “smidgen” of proof of criminal conduct on her part.

The President’s statement concerning the non-existence of criminal activity and Lois Lerner’s actions are thus both factually and rationally irreconcilable. Subsequent to the invocation of her right against self-incrimination, Ms. Lerner joined our previous U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, in the now highly esteemed “contempt of Congress club.” Ms. Lerner was rightfully held in contempt of Congress for which she could have, and perhaps should have, been jailed on the spot. This is where it really gets interesting. Now it appears that years of emails from Ms. Lerner to various parties in Washington have been “lost” by the IRS, along with her hard drive. Furthermore, it also appears that other critical parties in the IRS have also mysteriously lost their emails and hard drives as well – a statistical impossibility. These facts alone establish the need for the appointment of a special prosecutor - now.

One thing can be said of all of this - the present administration lacks a “smidgen of credibility,” a fact on which the American public, both conservative and liberal, seem to wholeheartedly agree.