Friday morning news – June 18, 2021
For WORLD Radio, I’m Kent Covington.
Democrats celebrate another legal victory for Obamacare ” Capitol Hill Democrats are celebrating yet another legal victory for Obamacare.
The Supreme Court ruled for the third time on Thursday to leave the affordable care law in effect.
SCHUMER: ACA is here to stay. And now we are going to try to make it bigger and better.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer heard it.
In the 7-2 decision, four Conservative judges sided with the majority… including Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats described her as a threat to healthcare law during confirmation hearings last year.
The Republican-led challenge asserted that the individual mandate, which required most Americans to purchase health insurance or face punishment, was unconstitutional. The court upheld the mandate in 2012 because Congress has the power to levy a tax on people without insurance.
During President Trump’s administration, Congress reduced this tax penalty to zero. Republican states renewed their objection to the law saying it no longer conforms to the constitution because it does not include a tax.
But the judges said states did not have standing to prosecute because they could not prove that the law had caused them harm.
The High Court sides with a Catholic agency in a dispute over foster care ” Religious freedom advocates are also celebrating a big win in a separate case on Thursday. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.
JOURNALIST ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN: The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of a Catholic foster care agency whose religious values prevent it from working with same-sex couples as parents reception.
Judges said the city of Philadelphia violated Catholic Social Services’ First Amendment rights by limiting its work with the group on its policies.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that CSS — quote— “seeks only an accommodation that will allow him to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with his religious beliefs; he does not seek to impose these beliefs on someone else.
An attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty who advocated on behalf of Catholic Social Services applauded the decision. In a statement, Lori Windham of Becket said: “It’s a beautiful day for the highest court in the land to protect foster mothers and the 200-year-old religious ministry that supports them.”
Report for WORLD, I am Anna Johansen Brown.
Baker Chirstian to appeal discrimination ruling in religious freedom case ” Meanwhile, in Colorado, Jack Phillips is still locked in a legal fight over his First Amendment rights.
The Christian owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop has won a lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court after refusing to support a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But he is now fighting another case in which he was accused of discrimination after refusing to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.
District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled this week that Phillips discriminated against transgender lawyer Autumn Scardina, who demanded the cake.
Phillips is appealing the decision. The Defending Freedom Alliance, which defends Phillips, issued a statement saying “Every American should have the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of government sanctions.”
The State of Texas plans to go it alone on the border wall ” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said his state would spend up to $ 250 million to build more barriers along the south Texas border.
ABBOTT: We’re going to build the wall. We will secure the border. But more importantly, we will restore safety to the citizens who live in the Lone Star State.
The governor’s office is also in the process of outsourcing funds for more hurdles… by creating a website and a post office box where people can donate money to the effort.
The governor said the Biden administration is choosing not to enforce national immigration laws and that communities in Texas are paying the price in the form of increased crime and drug trafficking. This, he said, forced the state to act on its own.
Questions remain as to how far the state can take a project for which the total cost, duration and schedule are unclear. And the effort could face legal challenges, including from the federal government.
Abbott has said he wants the U.S. government to return the land obtained for the border wall and return it to private citizens who can allow Texas to complete the job.
Hong Kong newspaper editors arrested under security law ” Hong Kong police on Thursday used China’s new national security law to arrest five editors and executives of a pro-democracy newspaper. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, JOURNALIST: Thursday’s arrests mark the first time the Chinese government has used anti-press legislation as part of a new crackdown on degraded freedoms in Hong Kong.
Police said they had proof that more than 30 articles published by Apple Daily played a “crucial role” in what they called a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong.
Apple Daily has long been one of Hong Kong’s most vocal freedoms advocates. Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence after being convicted of playing a role in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019.
Those arrested on Thursday included the editor of Apple Daily, the CEO of its publisher Next Digital and several editors.
Police also froze millions of dollars in assets belonging to three companies linked to Apple Daily.
Report for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I am Kent Covington. For more information, features, and analytics, visit wng.org.
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