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Justice Alert: Blue Slips, Free Speech, Digital Privacy, and More

An update from the Committee for Justice:


Gorsuch Proves a Solid Conservative on Court's Final Day


President Trump's first appointee to the Supreme Court showed himself to be an unabashed defender of constitutionalism.

While there were no retirement announcements at the Supreme Court, conservatives hope that the much-predicted departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy will soon pave the way for President Trump to put a dependably constitutionalist -- or "textualist" if you will -- majority on the Supreme Court for the first time since the 1930's.

That hope, however, depends entirely on the proposition that President Trump can be relied upon to put conservative justices on the Court. That proposition got a big boost from the record of Justice Gorsuch on the final day of the term...


No Churches Need Apply? Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty in Trinity Lutheran Ruling

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, involved a state-run grant program in Missouri that reimburses non-profit organizations for resurfacing their playgrounds.


In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, the Court held that when the state deliberately excludes religious institutions from a generally-available public benefit, it burdens the free exercise of religion. By singling out religious institutions for detrimental treatment, grant restrictions like Missouri's plainly penalize the exercise of religion. And, according to the Supreme Court, penalizing such institutions based solely on their religious status "is odious to our Constitution . . . and cannot stand..."


Committee for Justice Calls for Regulatory Relief with Amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act


We supported the Lee-Gardner Amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act.

The Committee for Justice joined the Niskanen Center, Competitive Enterprise Institute, the R Street Institute, and TechFreedom in calling on Congress to support an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act that would lift regulatory barriers on supersonic flight.

"With technology and law at a regulatory crossroads, constitutionalists should advocate against regulations that push new innovations out of existence," said Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy at the Committee for Justice. "This regulatory freeze on new technologies is attested by the 40-year stagnation in airplane speed," Baker explained...


Social Networks and Net Neutrality: Who Really Threatens Free Speech?


In contrast, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have vague policies that allow them to censor “hate speech,” and apply their supposedly neutral regulations against doxxing, threats, and harassment unevenly.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act grants “interactive computer services” (ICS’s) including Facebook, Twitter, and Google, immunity for their users’ content. In contrast, newspaper publishers are held liable for the content of their reporters, columnists, and even their advertisements and classifieds in certain situations. Congress explicitly granted these companies this immunity based on the finding that ICS’s “offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” Censorship flies in the face of that assumption.


Podcasts and Multimedia:

Courthouse Steps: Sessions v. Morales-Santana Update


Recorded by The Federalist Society Civil Rights Practice Group.

Last November, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Morales-Santana. Morales-Santana's father was born in Puerto Rico but acquired U.S. citizenship in 1917. Morales-Santana was born in 1962 in the Dominican Republic to parents who were unmarried at the time. In 1970, upon his parents' marriage, he was statutorily "legitimated" and was later admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident. After having been convicted of various felonies, in 2000 Morales-Santana was placed in removal proceedings after having been convicted of various felonies. Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice gives an update on this case.


Rep. Doug Lamborn, David Daleiden, Curt Levey


President of The Committee for Justice, Curt Levey, discussed why President Trump's nominees are held up in the Senate.

On Wednesday's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) had an update on what's happening on Capitol Hill. Project Lead at the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, joined Tony to highlight the contempt of court order issued against Daleiden's criminal defense attorneys. Also, President of The Committee for Justice, Curt Levey, discussed why President Trump's nominees are held up in the Senate


In Case You Missed It:

Trump Had Every Right to Demand Comey's Loyalty, But Democrats May Not Care


If the issue is whether the president should be impeached, legal definitions will also take a back seat.

As FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate, recounting his version of a series of conversations with President Trump, senators, reporters and pundits focused on the meaning of Trump's reported words.

Senators engaged in a game of semantics that unsuccessfully attempted to uncover Trump's intentions and how they relate to the various definitions of "obstruction of justice" under federal law. However, notably missing from this debate is a disclaimer that, in the end, definitions and nuances of intention won't make much of a difference...

Exploring the major questions surrounding these vacancies, Committee for Justice President Curt Levey has authored a special cover story for the June edition of Newsmax magazine.

Special Report: The Coming Supreme Court Shakeup


With the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump has already begun to make his mark on the Supreme Court. Now, faced with rumors of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, and tasked with filling a large number of federal court vacancies, Trump is presented with a unique opportunity to reshape the courts. Exploring the major questions surrounding these vacancies, Committee for Justice President Curt Levey has authored a special cover story for the June edition of Newsmax magazine.


The Committee for Justice in the News:

The New York Times: Trump's Life-Tenured Judicial Avatar

"After the term ended, voices on the right predictably cheered Justice Gorsuch's performance. "Gorsuch proves a solid conservative on court's final day," read a statement from the Committee for Justice, a strong supporter of his nomination..."

Fox News: Should the government be able to get its paws on your cell phone info?

"By agreeing to review a case called United States v. Carpenter, the high court is wading into particularly treacherous waters...If the information that your cell phone transmits to your carrier confirms your presence at the bank while it's being robbed, is that something the police should know? Curt Levey, president of the Washington-based Committee for Justice, thinks not..."

U.S. News & World Report: The Conservative Judge

"His early performance "says a lot about both what Gorsuch will be like as a Supreme Court Justice and what the President can be counted on to do as more High Court vacancies occur," according to a report by the conservative Committee for Justice. "Conservatives hoping for a solid conservative majority on the Court in the near future had good reason to cheer today..."

The Hill: Gorsuch starts to show his conservative cards

"In a statement, the Committee for Justice said Gorsuch's rulings this week show he's an "unabashed defender of constitutionalism. 'That says a lot about both what Gorsuch will be like as a Supreme Court Justice and what the president can be counted on to do as more high court vacancies occur...'"

The San Francisco Chronicle: Gorsuch makes conservative mark in 4 Supreme Court cases

"The four cases showed Gorsuch to be 'an unabashed defender of constitutionalism,' said Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice. He said Gorsuch's opinions also provided encouraging evidence of "what the president can be counted on to do as more high court vacancies occur..."

The Washington Times: Senate Democrats hold blue slips, delay Trump's federal judicial nominees

"Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, said it has been the exception when the blue slip tradition hasn't been followed during the past 10 to 15 years... 'There's always sort of this tension going on, and somehow they work it out and save the blue slip,' said Levey. 'I kind of suspect that's going to happen again'... Levey said there is no hard and fast precedent on what qualifies as consultation. 'If you seem like you're sincerely getting input from the senators, I think that counts as consultation,' said Levey...'"

One News Now: SCOTUS reviews 4th Amendment surveillance case

"A legal organization that advocates for constitutional freedom is watching a 4th Amendment case currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Carpenter v. The United States, which reached the court from the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals...'"


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