San Rafael, CA--Represented by the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a San Rafael church has won round one of its battle with the City of San Rafael over the constitutionality of a local tax on non-residential structures.
In September 2017, Valley Baptist Church (VBC) filed a lawsuit in Marin County Superior Court asking that the City’s Paramedic Services Special Tax be declared invalid as applied to the church under the California Constitution. The City’s voters enacted the Tax, which taxes non-residential structures at a rate of up to 14 cents per square foot, via referendum by a two-thirds vote in 2010. Because the California Constitution exempts buildings used exclusively for religious purposes from property taxation, VBC sued to have the Tax declared unconstitutional as applied to the church, as well as to recover monies paid under protest pursuant to the Tax as a condition of filing suit.
Sacramento, CA--They came by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, easily exceeding the capacity of the legislative committee hearing room and making their presence felt throughout the State Capitol. And at the end of a very long day, homeschooling families scored a major victory—defeat of a bill with serious privacy and safety implications.
For more than three hours, families and freedom advocates streamed in front of microphones to state their opposition to California State Assembly Bill 2756. Pacific Justice Institute was also represented and voiced its opposition. Large numbers of opponents made the trek from Southern California, the Bay Area, and every other part of the state. The opponents included a number of professionals, state-credentialed teachers, and self-described progressives and liberal Democrats.
Denver, CO--Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief today that urges the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold parental rights in a case of state authorities strip searching a preschool child based on unfounded allegations of abuse.
A military family from Denver enrolled their child in the Head Start program, a federally funded preschool that meets on public school property. The child’s teacher perceived the father’s tough appearance of riding motorcycles and having several tattoos as an indication that he was a child abuser. Several allegations of abuse were recorded against the military working class family, which lead to a home search that concluded there were absolutely no signs of abuse.
Sacramento, CA--A bill in the California Legislature that has alarmed homeschooling families has been delayed by two weeks.
Last week, Pacific Justice Institute reported that Assembly Bill (AB) 2926 would be heard by the Assembly Education Committee on April 11. That hearing has now been rescheduled for April 25. The Bill would create an advisory committee to come up with “additional requirements” for homeschooling. The Bill specifically directs the advisory committee to consider regulations such as health and safety inspections of the homes of homeschooling families; state-mandated curriculum standards; and credentialing, or certification of parents in order to teach their children.
In the wake of school shootings, dismal test scores, and politically-charged protests in public schools, many families are fleeing. Now, lawmakers want to drag them back under state control.
Sacramento, CA--A bill making its way through the California Legislature is raising alarms in the homeschool community, and prompting concerns about misplaced legislative priorities.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2926 would create a new state-level advisory committee to consider imposing additional requirements on homeschools. The bill directs the new committee to consider mandating new health and safety inspections of homeschools, specific curriculum standards, and required credentialing or certification of parents. As sweeping as such mandates would be, the bill further states that proposals would not be limited to those categories.
Sacramento, CA--The battle over religious freedom has reached a fever pitch in California, where lawmakers are taking a new approach to punish traditional beliefs about sex and gender.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2943 declares acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) status and behavior to be a matter of science. From that opening premise, the bill proceeds to subject skeptics to the full weight of the State’s anti-fraud and consumer protection regime for “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) when “goods and services” are involved.
Washington, D.C.--President Trump announced that he has nominated Chai Feldblum for another five-year term as the Democratic member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, Feldblum is not the typical Democratic appointee, due to her extremist views that stretch far outside the opinions of mainstream liberals.
She was first nominated in April 2010 by the Obama Administration. Before assuming her position as the first openly lesbian Commissioner of the EEOC, Feldblum established herself as an outspoken liberal activist who aggressively advocates for supremacy of LGBT rights over religious liberty. Along with her characteristic trend of burdening religious practices to advance LGBT agendas, Feldblum endorses polygamy and holds that the institution of marriage offers no value to society.
Churches, Radio Station File Suit Over City’s Attempt to Control Religious Employment, Advertising, and Facility Use
De Pere, WI--A coalition of churches and a non-profit radio station filed suit yesterday challenging a sweeping ordinance that purports to control aspects of religious employment, facility use, and even advertising. The plaintiffs are represented by Pacific Justice Institute, with local counsel Heidi Miller of Wauwatosa.
The ordinance was enacted by the City of De Pere, near Green Bay, just before Thanksgiving last year. It is set to take effect March 1.
San Francisco, CA--The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) filed its opening brief this week with a federal court of appeals on behalf of a mother whose toddler was removed from life support without her consent.
PJI represents Jonee Fonseca and Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF). Fonseca’s 2 year-old son Israel Stinson was declared brain dead in April, 2016, following an asthma attack. However, he continued to show signs of life and responded to his mother’s voice and touch, so she fought attempts by the hospital to disconnect his life support. PJI filed emergency briefing that prevented the hospital for several weeks from ending the child’s life until he could be moved.