The various courts and activist judges across America certainly give us plenty to fret about, but in just the last few weeks three separate federal courts rendered decisions to give conservatives plenty to cheer about and give the Obama Administration and the "progressive" left a bad case of heart burn. All three decisions have enormous ramifications and strike a blow for freedom and common-sense, so we think that qualifies as the Good News for the month of August.
Here's a rundown of the cases and decisions:
1. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the insurance mandate in ObamaCare is unconstitutional. With unmistakable clarity, the Court called the requirement a "wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority." Agreeing with the 26 Republican state attorneys general and governors who filled the challenge, the judges wrote in their decision, "We are unable to conceive of any product whose purchase Congress could not mandate under this line of argument." The decision is the first by a Court of Appeals to rule against any provision of the legislation. Previously, the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati upheld the legislation, and a decision is expected any day out of the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va. The split decisions from lower courts virtually guarantee that the Supreme Court will ultimately decided the constitutionality of ObamaCare.
2. For the second time in six weeks, U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal of Wyoming has slapped Interior Secretary Ken Salazar with a stinging defeat for violating existing federal law relative to issuance of drilling permits. In her most recent decision, Freudenthal found Salazar in violation of the expedited drilling provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Those provisions streamlined the approval process when minimal environmental impact was obvious as in the case of multiple directionally drilled wells from the same surface pad. In late June, Freudenthal found Salazar in violation of the Mineral Leasing Act. Interior had gone through the process of identifying federal land appropriate for energy development, held lease auctions, identified the highest bidder, and collected the money, but failed to issue permits within 60 days of payment as the law requires. In some cases Salazar sat on permits for years.
3. It what has been called "A major victory for Arizona women" the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the state's 2009 Abortion Consent Act signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer. Planned Parenthood of Arizona challenged the Act and lost on all counts. The unanimous decision of a three judge panel overturns an injunction previously imposed by a Maricopa County Superior Judge and allows the provisions of the law to go into effect which require a notarized parental signature before an abortion can be performed on a minor, women will be provided with full and accurate information by a doctor in person at least 24 hours before an abortion, medical professionals cannot be forced to perform abortions if it contradicts their religious or moral beliefs (conscience protection), and non-doctors will not be permitted to perform surgical abortions.
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