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Jay Sekulow: Words of Encouragement for Pastor Youcef from the Kids

Millions of people around the globe are calling for the release of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who faces the death penalty in Iran because of his Christian faith.

As you already know, we continue to work in this country and abroad to secure his release. There are millions praying for his release from jail, where he’s now been held for nearly three years.

No one puts the words of encouragement for Pastor Youcef better than students in a third-grade class from Elijah House Academy in Richmond, VA.

Their teacher told the students about Pastor Youcef’s plight as an example of a modern day Daniel, who like Pastor Youcef refused to recant his faith in God in the face of execution.

Take a look at these powerful images. Young children understand what’s at stake here.

These school children join a growing list of people around the world who support Pastor Youcef. You can too. Join the ACLJ’s Tweet for Youcef campaign and add your name to our petition calling for his release.

Jay Sekulow

Original post published at http://blog.beliefnet.com/faithandjustice/author/jay_sekulow/

Raise Your Voice to Practice Your Religious Faith, Jay Sekulow will Make it be Heard

Jay Alan Sekulow is the Chief Counsel for the American Centre of Law and Justice (ACLJ) which was founded by Pat Robertson the CBN founder, in order to protect people’s religious and constitutional rights. Jay has presented oral arguments before the US Supreme Court on 12-occasions and has won many landmark victories defending constitutional rights. Sekulow is a champion of life, a formidable antagonist of religious prosecution, a saviour of human rights and a highly respected broadcaster.

He is a frequent guest on the '700 Club', because of his inimitable insight into legal and political concerns and his vast experience in Constitutional law. He is regularly interviewed by many prestigious TV channels like Fox News, ABC and CBN News etc, regarding the critical legal work of ACLJ in protection of religious rights and liberties.

He is the host of a radio program, Jay Sekulow Live! A daily outreach of the ACLJ. Through his radio show, Jay keeps his listeners informed about crucial challenges nationwide regarding liberty and renders them an opportunity to stand in support of ACLJ in defence of religious faith and freedom, garnering tens of thousands of signatures for various causes by means of ACLJ's committees and petitions. Moreover, he is the host of ACLJ This Week; the ACLJ's weekly TV show airs on many networks nationwide.

As a Supreme Court lawyer, Sekulow is widely recognized as one of the legendary saviours of religious liberties and constitutional rights in the US. He has won myriad milestone religious rights cases at the U.S Supreme Court. In the Lamb's Chapel case, he paved the way for missionaries and churches to be allowed equal access to utilize public facilities for religious purposes.

This Man of Pedigree is not just a leading advocate for religious freedom at the U.S Supreme Court, but he is also a stalwart protector for the rights of the unborn. Moreover, he has been rigorously involved in Ten Commandments cases at the U.S Supreme Court, availing unanimous victory in Pleasant Grove for the right of governments to display monuments of the Ten Commandments in parks.

Sekulow's nearly half century of distinguished Court advocacy, has garnered accolades from America's most preeminent publications. Jay has been honoured by Time Magazine as one of the “25- Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” The Legal times has titled him as one of the “90-Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last Thirty Years.” The American Lawyer named Sekulow to its esteemed “Public Sector 45.”

His passion for protecting and respecting religious rights has led him to expand ACLJ's operations and open up new offices worldwide. Jay Sekulow strongly believes religious liberty is an inalienable, Lord-bestowed right for all human beings around the world.

Jay Sekulow: A Supreme Court Stretch Saves ObamaCare

Now that the ObamaCare decision is out and the analysis continues, there are more questions about how the Chief Justice reached his conclusion that the penalty provided for failing to purchase health care is actually a tax – a distinction that cleared the way for the individual mandate and ObamaCare to be upheld as constitutional.

What’s worth noting here is that President Obama repeatedly sold this health care law saying it was NOT a tax on the American people.

But then the Solicitor General, in oral arguments before the high court, waded into that area – using the tax argument. In the end, Chief Justice Roberts embraced that analysis and a massive government-run, pro-abortion law that had four votes poised to overturn the law, was saved – by the Chief Justice’s vote.

In an interview this morning, I told FOX News I thought the decision was a stretch legally, an overreach that ultimately will expand the power of the federal government, not to mention implementing the largest tax increase in history. YouTube Preview Image

There will be more analysis and debate about all of this in the days ahead. In my view, the Chief Justice got this one wrong. During his confirmation hearings, he used a baseball analogy to describe his role on the high court. He said he would be an umpire on the bench – calling “balls” and “strikes” as he sees them – not to “pitch” or “bat.” In this case, he called a ‘strike’ – millions of Americans – including four Justices poised to overturn ObamaCare – disagreed.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put it best when he noted that while the high court concluded that ObamaCare was constitutional, it did not say that ObamaCare is good law, or good policy. As Romney put it: “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”

Jay Sekulow

Original post published at here

Jay Sekulow – A man who dedicated his life to serve humanity

Jay Sekulow - a renowned lawyer and a respected human rights activist, who strongly believes in just one thing “we are all God’s children and no one is above the law.”

The Chief Council for ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice), Sekulow is very popular among the world's most renowned legal and political observers. He is an attorney with tremendous passion for protecting religious liberties, freedom and democracy in the courtrooms, in public and in the upper house.

At the US Supreme court, Jay Alan Sekulow has argued 12 revolutionary cases-including many landmark cases that have become an eminent part of the legal system in the genre of 'religious liberty litigation.'

In the milestone case of the Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens,; Sekulow cleared the path for public school students to create religious organizations and Bible clubs in their school premises. Similarly, In McConnell vs. FEC, Jay ensured that minors' constitutional right to free speech remain protected and they cannot be prohibited from voicing their support for a political party or candidate by making a contribution to a political rally or campaign. The Supreme Court unanimously consented with this argument, unequivocally holing that 'minors 'relish the protection of the First Amendment.

Initially, no one could have foreseen that what had started as a mission to defend religious rights in the United States, would comprise as an international outreach. In a world where Christians face violence, discrimination and even brutal death for simply practicing their religion, it soon became evident that there is a lot of effort required to safeguard humanity. Jay Sekulow deeply believes that religious freedom is a universal right and a global concern.

Whether it is raising his voice against discrimination in the name of religion or safeguarding religious liberty abroad or right here at home, he possess a vast track-record of success which has not gone unnoticed. Time Magazine named Sekulow as one of the most influential evangelicals in America; Town Magazine crowned him as “Townhall of Fame and recognized him as “one of the top attorneys in the US.”

Jay Sekulow has spent his career protecting religious liberties; fighting for freedom of speech; instigating pro-life campaigns; and restoring faith in people.

Jay Sekulow: ObamaCare Focus Turns to Congress and Repeal Vote

The fight to challenge ObamaCare is over at the Supreme Court. Now, the focal point is Congress – and specifically the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner put it bluntly: “This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over one step at a time.”

A growing number of Americans understand that the Supreme Court got this one wrong. And, a clear majority of Americans now support repeal of ObamaCare.... Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/faithandjustice/2012/07/jay-sekulow-obamacare-congress-repeal-vote.html

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: SCOTUS Puts AZ in Tough Spot with Immigration

The Supreme Court today unanimously upheld a key provision of Arizona S.B. 1070 – a provision of the law that gives police authority to check the immigration status of a person while enforcing other laws if ‘reasonable suspicion’ exists that the person is in the United States illegally. That’s the good news.

The bad news: the high court struck down a number of other provisions which Arizona was relying on to secure its borders and protect its citizens. And, there’s more bad news. The provision upheld by the high court is actually in jeopardy because of President Obama’s selective enforcement of immigration laws.

Let’s not forget it was just days ago that President Obama actually changed immigration law by simply issuing a directive – an order to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

This did not go unnoticed by Justice Scalia who issued a stinging dissent that put this fact into proper perspective.

“The issue is a stark one: Are the sovereign states at the mercy of the federal executive’s refusal to enforce the nation’s immigration laws? A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the states conceivably have entered into the union if the Constitution itself contained the court’s holding? If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state. . . .To say, as the court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of federal immigration law that the president declines to enforce boggles the mind.”

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, Arizona and other states are in a difficult spot now. Even with a constitutional immigration provision upheld by the high court today, we have a president who picks and chooses which laws he wants to enforce. YouTube Preview Image

As you may recall, we represented nearly 60 members of Congress and more than 65,000 Americans in an amicus brief filed with the high court backing Arizona S.B. 1070.

While acknowledging there will be more legal challenges, Arizona Governor Brewer called the high court’s decision to uphold the key provision of the law “a victory for the rule of law.” And the fact is that most Americans not only supported Arizona’s efforts, but wanted the Supreme Court to uphold the entire Arizona immigration law.

Today’s decision, compounded by the continuing overreach of President Obama, raises more questions than it answers when it comes to immigration reform. We will continue to back constitutional measures in Arizona and other states that want to secure their borders and protect their citizens.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: Historic Religious Liberty Win – 25 Years Ago Today at Supreme Court

June 15, 1987. I was in Chicago conducting a training program – examining the legal issues – on literature distribution for Jews for Jesus.

Just months earlier, I had delivered oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of Jews for Jesus – arguing that literature distribution at airports was a constitutionally-protected activity. It was my first time before the high court, a young and nervous attorney, who presented what was then a unique argument.

Instead of relying solely on the premise that such literature distribution was protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, which had met with limited legal success, I argued that officials at the Los Angeles International Airport actually created a policy forbidding all “First Amendment activities.” My argument was very direct and focused: the policy prohibiting literature distribution violated the free speech rights of my client. My entire argument was aimed at protecting free speech.

You can listen to the oral arguments here.

On that day, June 15, 1987, I knew the Supreme Court would be issuing opinions. There was no internet, no instant communications to find out what the Supreme Court had decided. I placed a call from a pay phone to the Court from Chicago and asked about the status of the case. “A decision has been issued,” the clerk responded. I waited. And then I heard the news. “Nine-zero, unanimous.” I couldn’t believe it. Stunned. That was a very emotional moment.

Each and every Justice agreed that religious speech must be given the same protection as all other protected speech.

The unanimous Court held that the regulation at issue was overbroad on its face; in other words, it was so overreaching and violative of the First Amendment that “no conceivable governmental interest would justify such an absolute prohibition of speech.” It was a resounding win for free speech and religious liberty.

Now, 25 years later to the day, I look back at that first Supreme Court win with fondness and deep gratitude. At the time, I never imagined what would unfold in the following years. I’ve been privileged to return numerous times to the Supreme Court to take part in oral arguments, and very fortunate to have secured additional victories protecting the constitutional rights of Americans.

The Lord has blessed the ACLJ with tremendous success. No question about that.

What is also true is that none of it – not the first Supreme Court win a quarter century ago or any of our other victories – would have been possible without the support of you – our members. There are some who have been with us from the very start. And many others who have joined with us over the years.

I want to thank you for your continued prayers and support. There will always be new threats – new challenges – to our families and to our freedom. And I want you to know that as we celebrate this special anniversary marking our first Supreme Court victory, we remain dedicated to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: Last Chance for AG Holder on Fast & Furious?

A meeting between Rep. Issa and Attorney General Holder is scheduled to take place late today. Here’s the question: will the meeting and the documents expected to be produced by Holder be enough to hold off a scheduled contempt of Congress vote against Holder set for tomorrow in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee?

We’ve been talking about this for months. The Attorney General and Justice Department continue to stonewall – failing to produce key information that would explain who knew what and when in the botched gun-running DOJ program known as Operation Fast & Furious, which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Not only has it been impossible to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, the DOJ had to retract a February 4, 2011 letter submitted to Congress – retracted many months later – after it was revealed the letter contained numerous inaccuracies and false information.

Now, with a late day meeting set between Rep. Issa and Attorney General Holder, very big questions still remain.

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, this is one last chance for Holder. Will he comply with a duly authorized subpoena or not?

The fact of the matter is that this is fast becoming quite a constitutional showdown. And the truth is this is a crisis created by the Attorney General himself. This has not been good lawyering. In fact, the legal strategy employed by the DOJ of stonewalling and providing incorrect information is preposterous.

Will the Attorney General produce the necessary document at today’s meeting with Rep. Issa, the chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee? We will see.

As Rep. Issa put it, “It’s not about meetings, it’s about getting documents.”

Stay tuned.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: President Obama’s Arrogance

It’s a tactic that has become the hallmark of his presidency. President Obama declaring a change in U.S. immigration law. No Congressional action. No court decision. Just another executive decision. This time changing immigration law to permit young people who were brought to this country illegally to stay, rather than face deportation.

We should have seen this one coming. The Wall Street Journal points out that President Obama actually revealed his intentions a year ago. “In a speech last year to La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization that has criticized the White House for the lack of progress on immigration reform, President Obama mused that he’d like ‘to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.’ He added, ‘Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.’”

Well, the temptation he talked about then proved to be too much for the president. Last Friday, he gave into political temptation. Another power grab.

President Obama and his imperial presidency. Acting alone in deciding which laws to enforce, which to ignore. A constitutional scholar who isn’t following the constitution. A president who doesn’t worry about the separation of powers, circumventing the traditional checks and balances of our constitutional system.

It’s this kind of arrogance that already has drawn a sharp rebuke from many.

Sen. Lindsey Graham called Obama’s action “at best unwise and possibly illegal.” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he is planning to file suit against the Obama Administration to challenge the president’s action.

And respected commentator Charles Krauthammer put it more bluntly: “Beyond the pandering, beyond the politics, beyond the process – is simple constitutional decency. This is out-and-out lawlessness. You had a clip of the president himself say months ago ‘I cannot do this on my own because there are laws on the books.’ Well, I have news for president – the laws remain on the books. They haven’t changed.”

For this White House and this president, there is only one branch of government – the executive branch. And, no doubt, the president will continue to rely on what many have called his executive command authority to push through his agenda.

For more information about Jay Sekulow visit at http://jaysekulow.blogspot.com

New Ordinance Allows Nativity Scene on Public Property

We were contacted this past December by a Chelsea, MI Council Member who asked us to assist in drafting an ordinance to regulate private use of public space. He contacted us because Chelsea would not allow a live nativity scene on city-leased property during a December festival. Councilman Anderson wanted an ordinance in place to protect such activities. As such, he contacted ACLJ attorneys who were able to provide him with information regarding the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act.

Specifically, we discussed Lamb’s Chapel, argued by ACLJ Chief Counsel, Jay Sekulow, a case in which a unanimous Supreme Court held that the First Amendment requires religious groups to be treated equally with other groups that use public facilities. The Court upheld two principles. First, denying religious organizations equal access to, and use of, public facilities for speech activities violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Second, it is not a violation of the Establishment Clause (what some people mistakenly call “separation of church and state”) for a school to treat religious organizations equally with other organizations. These principles apply to all public facilities, not just school facilities, which have been opened for use by community organizations.

Based on such case law, ACLJ attorneys were able to assist the Council Member in drafting an ordinance that would regulate private use of public space. The outcome was favorable, and we just received word that the drafted ordinance passed unanimously.

We are pleased with this outcome and will continue working to protect the rights of religious organizations to ensure that they are treated equally with other organizations when public space has been opened for use by community organizations.

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