Monday Executive News Summary

SCOTUS hands out another religious liberty win, Biden signs gun control bill, a mostly peaceful “Night of Rage,” and more.

Top of the Fold

  • SCOTUS hands out another religious liberty win: In the case of a former public high school coach, Joseph Kennedy, who was fired for praying on the field after games, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled 6-3 that his First Amendment rights were violated. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who authored the majority opinion, wrote: “Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks. Mr. Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway. It did so because it thought anything less could lead a reasonable observer to conclude (mistakenly) that it endorsed Mr. Kennedy’s religious beliefs. That reasoning was misguided.” Gorsuch added: “Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s. Nor does a proper understanding of the Amendment’s Establishment Clause require the government to single out private religious speech for special disfavor. The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.” This was a big win for both religious liberty and constitutional fidelity.

  • Biden signs gun control bill: Joe Biden wasted no time signing into law the most significant gun control legislation Congress has passed in decades. The Senate rushed it through Thursday, the House passed it Friday, and Biden signed it Saturday. “This is a monumental day,” Biden stated. “This is a time when it seems impossible to get anything done in Washington, [but] we are doing something consequential.” Just how consequential Congress’s latest encroachment is on our Second Amendment rights remains uncertain. The law expands the federal background check program to include juvenile records, and it incentivizes states to adopt so-called “red flag” laws, wherein lie most of the controversy. Thanks to 15 Senate Republicans, Biden got his “do something” law on gun control, though, as many have observed, the bill would have had little impact on preventing recent mass shootings. It remains to be seen if the Republicans caving will have any impact on the outcome of the midterm elections.

  • A mostly peaceful “Night of Rage”: Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade, unhinged leftist abortion absolutists promised a “Night of Rage” should the Court follow through and rule according to the unprecedented leaked decision. Well, the justices held firm in a 6-3 ruling, sending the decision-making over abortion back to the states. Thankfully, the promised “Night of Rage” came and went with few serious incidents of violence. The seemingly perpetually enraged city of Portland, Oregon, seemed to provide the most instances of violence. There, a crowd attacked a pro-life center and police used tear gas to disperse rioters, arresting 10 of them. Across the rest of the country, several pro-life organizations were vandalized and/or damaged by pro-abortion activist groups such as Jane’s Revenge. Republican lawmakers have called on the FBI to designate these groups as domestic terrorists. While the FBI has eschewed calling these radicals domestic terrorists, it did note that it has been investigating “a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers and faith-based organizations across the country.”

  • Biden at NATO summit this week: Biden is headed to Madrid, Spain, this week for a NATO summit with significant issues facing the alliance. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine served to awaken some of the nations to the fact that the old Russian threat is far from gone despite the fall of the Soviet Union. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby noted that Biden is “going into a NATO Summit where the alliance has truly never been more unified.” It’s funny how a common foe flexing its muscles has a way of drawing allies closer together. Due to the war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden, two countries that have historically been reticent to join NATO, have scrambled to apply for membership, and seemingly every other NATO country is fine with it, save one. Turkey opposes the two countries joining due to their governments’ stance on the Kurds. Turkish President Recep Erdogan views the Kurds as terrorists and has threatened to veto Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the alliance. All NATO countries must vote in favor of accepting new members. Can Biden get Erdogan to back off his objection? How much influence does Russia have in Istanbul? Finally, thanks to the Ukraine war, more NATO countries have committed to living up to their agreement to spend 2% of their GDP on defense, a major issue that Donald Trump harped on during his presidency.

Headlines

  • Biden still opposes expanding Supreme Court despite Dobbs ruling (Washington Examiner)

  • Twitter is just fine with calls to assassinate Clarence Thomas (PJ Media) | Justices’ home addresses blasted on social media with zero consequences (Daily Signal)

  • More than one million voters switch to GOP in warning for Dems (AP) | But not all of those party-switchers have pure intentions: Democrats are voting in GOP primaries (Washington Post)

  • “Bring transparency and truth back to government”? Government transparency dims under Biden, watchdog reports (Just the News)

  • Navy threatens to penalize sailors who purposely misuse gender pronouns (Just the News)

  • Policy: Supreme Court corrects a miscarriage of the Constitution (Washington Times)

  • Satire: Dems pause January 6 hearings to call for insurrection (Babylon Bee)

  • Related satire: Democrats suddenly saying “woman” today as if everyone knows what it means (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

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