Neil Gorsuch isn’t the only conservative legal thinker who has been appointed to a judicial bench during the new administration. So far this year, 19 federal judges have been nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Many of these vacancies have been filled in the last several months. This acceleration in confirmations is due largely to Senate Republican leaders working around roadblocks put in place by Senate Democrats to stop the appointment of judges who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and law, not attempt to “write law” from the bench.
Two of the most recent appointments to circuit courts have strong ties to the Family Policy Alliance network. Don Willett was recently confirmed to sit on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and is closely connected to Texas Values, Family Policy Alliance’s allied organization in Texas.
Also, Steve Grasz, who was confirmed to sit on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, was formerly on the board of the Nebraska Family Alliance and his son, Nate Grasz, now serves as the organization’s Policy Director.
Karen Bowling, Nebraska Family Alliance’s Executive Director, shared her congratulations to the Grasz family: “We congratulate Steve Grasz and his family on his confirmation to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Senate confirmed a constitutionalist with a proven public service record in Nebraska who will serve with integrity and judicial prudence for years to come.”
These men have shown a commitment to faithfully interpreting the Constitution, a record of interpreting the law rather than legislating from the bench, and an upstanding character and worldview. These two men should be an encouragement to all families to see judges in our country with this type of character restoring the proper role of the judiciary. And, these two men should be an encouragement to lawmakers working hard to pass good laws that protect families, life and religious freedom—with these two men, pro-family lawmakers do not have to fear that their good laws will be overturned by activist judges.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” -Psalm 139:13-14
Welcome to the conclusion of our four-part series highlighting our vision- a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
At Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, we believe that life is precious gift from God and that it should be protected from conception to natural death.
For years, Idaho has been blessed with many pro-life legislators who have worked tirelessly to allow an innocent unborn baby his or her God-given right to life and to provide pregnant women and girls the dignity they deserve.
The result? Many of these efforts have been undermined by a small number of federal judges who choose to legislate from the bench.
While pro-life legislation has seen successful in both the Idaho legislature and Governor’s office and while the majority of Idaho citizens are pro-life; federal judges continue to require abortion on demand in Idaho.
How can this happen?
The answer is two-fold:
- Idaho is yoked to a federal judiciary that historically rules in support of abortion on demand.
Federal judges are political appointments of the president and are confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Many liberal activist judges have been appointed and approved without much opposition.
This illustrates why for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, voting your values is so critical. We must understand for whom we are voting in all elections. If part of our elected officials’ job is to appoint or confirm judges, how do they make those decisions?
- The abortion industry is extremely well-funded with a pervasive litigation strategy.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are the darlings of wealthy progressives and the Left. Benefactors from across the country help fund the horror of abortion. They raise millions annually sanitizing the death of unborn children on the altar of choice.
Here is where these two points intersect: Idaho is a litigation target for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU because they know their cases will come before a pro-abortion federal judge. With few exceptions, every piece of pro-life legislation signed into law in Idaho has been challenged in this judge’s federal court. Why? Because this judge assigns cases in Idaho and he personally takes cases challenging pro-life law.
The other thing Planned Parenthood counts on is that a pro-life legislative branch, executive branch, and citizens have nowhere to else go. They know that in Idaho the only place we can appeal is the infamously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Regardless of the circumstances, we must continue to fight for life. There is never a bad time to do the right thing. We are called to stand for life…and we must be obedient to God’s call!
So, what are we to do?
- We each need to commit to be informed when we vote for any candidate for public office. We need to require of elected senators and U.S. Presidents that the lens through which a judicial candidate is approved is the intent of the Founders in the U.S. Constitution.
- Link arms with Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. These are “David and Goliath” battles and we need our combined strength to engage. Gathering the necessary information to give Idaho voters regarding judicial and political candidates is very labor intensive.
Friends – it is time to restore a culture of life in our state! Every person has been created in the Image of God as a unique and priceless being with inherent dignity and rights – chief among them, the right to live! This includes those with terminal diagnoses and those with disabilities; the preborn and those facing the end of life; and those at every age, status or capability in between.
Our vision is an Idaho where life is cherished, and we want you to join us in this effort! Daniel 11:32 says, “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
Simply put, it’s not enough to stand for what we believe – we must also act. At Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, we call this “unleashing citizenship,” and we are counting on your help to unleash a movement of change across our state. I know we can count on your prayers.
It is time to restore in Idaho a culture in which life is cherished!
U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs ruled Missouri’s laws establishing health and safety standards for abortion clinics are likely unconstitutional. Sachs cited last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which said states cannot place restrictions that create an “undue burden” for women.
Missouri’s attorney general has vowed to appeal the ruling.
Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 state-based allies, sponsored one of the laws as a legislator and said the ruling has emboldened Planned Parenthood.
“Judge Sachs has demonstrated through this ruling his callous and cavalier disregard for the health of women who find themselves at the mercy of slipshod abortionists,” he said. “The laws struck down by Judge Sachs have been on the books for three decades in our state, and are consistent with reputable medical standards for outpatient surgical facilities. Missouri currently has only one full-time abortion clinic that can meet those safety standards. Now, we will see four new abortion clinics open in our state where the operators will have no obligation to provide responsible care to women who will often be victimized by unsafe and unsterile procedures.”
The ruling seems out of step at a time when more and more pro-life bills are being passed at the state level. Eric Teetsel, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, worries the ideology will spill over into his state.
“In the last several years, the Kansas Legislature has passed, and Gov. Sam Brownback has signed, at least 18 pro-life laws” he said. “Clearly, honoring the dignity of the unborn, safeguarding the health and safety of women, and preserving the rights of parents is of foremost importance to the citizens of our state. Yet, all too often, unelected judges have imposed their personal politics upon the voters. Such acts of raw judicial power are unjust and un-American.
“I stand with Gov. Greitens, Attorney General Hawley, and the people of Missouri as they push back against an example of such judicial activism in their state. May they prevail and provide a warning to judges elsewhere that the people will not stand by and watch as their will is ignored and undermined.”