Heritage expert testifies to strengthen the U.S.-UK relationship

Your support helps strengthen ties between nations that defend the free world.

Last year, the British people voted to exit the European Union in a movement known as “Brexit”.

That decision to leave the EU strengthened the partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom.

If this new alliance between the United States and Britain is to thrive, then the Trump administration must make clear that Brexit is positive and will strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance.

That’s what Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. and Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, testified about before the House Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Committee on Wednesday.

You can watch his testimony here >> 

From trade to security, the Trump administration is in the process of negotiating our country’s new relationship with the newly exited Britain.

Committee members heard from Gardiner on the Anglo-American relationship and its role against international terrorism and rogue states.

Great Britain and the United States need to stand together so they can not only maintain their own trade deals, but to stand strong in the global war against ISIS and al-Qaeda, as well as threats from Russian.

The world stage needs U.S.-British leadership to defend its democratic freedom.

How can the U.S.-UK relationship be strengthened? 

Heritage stands against religious discrimination

At Heritage, we believe the religious beliefs of both individuals and organizations should be respected by law.

Your support helps protect religious liberty by defending citizens’ consciences from government overreach.

When Jack Phillips, a cake artist and baker from Colorado, declined to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, the gay couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The Colorado judge determined he had engaged in sexual-orientation discrimination. But all Jack wanted to do was run his business in accordance with his religious beliefs.

In September, Jack came to Heritage to discuss the challenges of creating art, doing business, and stay true to his conscience in modern times. Now, his legal battle has made its way to the Supreme Court.

In this case, Justices will decide whether states can compel business owners like Jack to create speech that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In Jack’s view, the creation of a cake for a gay wedding is a form of speech; it conveys a message about the validity of gay marriage.

This message violates his sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a sacred promise made between a man and a woman.

Jack believes he should be able to run his business in accordance with his beliefs, and that the state should not compel him to express views that violate his conscience.

Oral arguments were held this past Tuesday at the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Heritage hosted an event titled “Free Speech Takes the Cake: Can States Compel Speech?”

Kristen Waggoner, the Senior Vice President of Alliance Defending Freedom and Counsel for Jack Phillips was present, alongside Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and Lloyd Cohen, a law professor at George Mason University.

You can watch a livestream of the discussion here >>

The stakes of this case are high. The future of free speech and the government respecting its citizens’ religious beliefs hangs in the balance.

Creative professionals all over the country have filed amicus briefs supporting Jack and the rights of artists to utter – and not utter – messages that align with their values.

Artists who care about their right to decline to use their creativity on projects that violate their consciences should stand with Jack.

We need to protect religious freedom so that the pursuit of truth can unfold naturally in public discourse, without government intervention and punishment.

Your support helps protect people like Jack, who live their faith even when it’s counter-cultural.

Should Jack be forced to bake a cake for a ceremony that goes against his religious conscience?

Reigning in Federal government control

Last Thursday, Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, testified before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the administration of U.S. courts, federal rules of evidence, civil and appellate procedures, judicial ethics, patent and trademark laws, information technology, and other matters referred by the Chairman.

Von Spakovsky is an expert on civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform.

For years, he’s been studying how plaintiffs’ attorneys and activists attempt to manipulate courts for their own ends at the expense of the public.

Thanks to your support, he had the opportunity to address the role and impact of nationwide injunctions which cut this process of deliberation short by allowing single lower courts to make laws and set precedents for the rest of the country.

Our founding fathers would say that federal courts lower than the Supreme Court shouldn’t be able to make nationwide laws; one circuit’s precedent shouldn’t bind another’s.

This is because complicated legal questions are better answered when they have the opportunity to be viewed by a variety of judges with a variety of perspectives.

A lengthy process of deliberation is essential to preserving sound reason and logic in our legal system.

In his testimony, von Spakovsky said:

When federal district courts issue nationwide injunctions, they are invading jurisdiction and authority of other federal courts and other appellate circuits.

Your support helps advocate for a return to these constitutional principles.

Have the powers of federal district courts gone too far?