LOOP: Supreme Court decides not to hear abortion funding case

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11
SUPREME COURT  The Supreme Court decided not to hear a case involving a state defunding Planned Parenthood. The media immediately cast it as a win for Planned Parenthood, but that conclusion isn’t justified by the Court’s action. “The Supreme Court didn’t side with Planned Parenthood, nor did it preserve the abortion provider’s funding. It declined to hear the case at all, and the decision not to grant cert took no position on the merits of the case,” writes Alexandra DeSanctis.  READ
JUSTICE THOMAS DISSENTS  The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case earned a strong rebuke from Justice Clarence Thomas. The Supreme Court appears to be punting on this case precisely to avoid abortion, at least in the short-term. “I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood’… Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty. If anything, neutrally applying the law is all the more important when political issues are in the background,” wrote Justice Thomas. READ
PRO-LIFE FUNDING ALTERNATIVE  The Trump administration is allocating $20 million to determine effective alternatives to using tissue from aborted babies for research. “We are a pro-life, pro-science administration,” said HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley.  READ
MUELLER PROBE  The mainstream media is adamant that Donald Trump is in deep trouble because of recent filings caused by the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But historian Conrad Black makes the case that the despite the recent flurry of media noise, “Mueller’s got nothing.”  READ
CAMPAIGN VIOLATION?  To Catholics, Donald Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels is what’s sinful. But prosecutors are claiming that the real problem is that Donald Trump used funds from his corporation to pay the hush money. Prosecutors claim that this hush money was a benefit to Trump’s campaign, making it an illegal in-kind contribution (corporations cannot contribute to a candidate’s campaign).  READ
KIDS AND SCREEN TIME  Teenagers now spend an average of 4 1/2 hours a day on their mobile phones, “60 Minutes” reported. And now brain scans of adolescents who with heavy use of screen time look different than children with less active usage, according to preliminary results from an ongoing study by the National Institutes of Health. READ
TRUMP’S AG PICK  Pro-abortion groups are very opposed to William Barr returning to lead the Justice Department. An article Barr wrote in the Catholic Lawyer in 1997 helps to explain their opposition: “Through legislative action, litigation, or judicial interpretation,” Barr wrote, “secularists continually seek to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms. Decades ago, we saw the barriers to divorce eliminated. Twenty years ago, we saw the laws against abortion swept away.” READ
HOLY SITE  Churches located on the Jordan river where Jesus is believed to be baptized could reopen within a year now that thousands of landmines have been cleared from the location. READ
SAINT OF THE DAY  Saint Damasus was highly praised by his secretary, Saint Jerome. This adulation must have been much appreciated, as Saint Damasus faced the trials of the papacy in his day. A fearless leader, Saint Damasus did not always achieve victory in this life.  READ
DAILY READINGS  “The Lord our God comes with power.” (Is 40:10)  READ
AMAZING  This year’s Vatican Nativity Scene is sculpted entirely out of sand.   SHARE
BOTTOM OF THE LOOP STORY

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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