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3/2/2009 - March 2009 SLI Newsletter

March 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you might expect, abortion and gambling are this year again two of the most significant issues. With the Obama administration, we will be facing new challenges as a result of his commitment to abortion on demand. These events are mainly at the national level.

At the state level, gambling is poised to dominate legislative proceedings. This is particularly true in light of Governor Riley’s task force to determine the legality of electronic bingo through court action. The gamblers are scurrying to protect their dark activities.

This month’s Educational Update focuses on “FOCA,” the Freedom of Choice Act. As you will see from the Update, this is the most radical and far-reaching proposal since Roe v. Wade. FOCA will require Congress to act. We believe its filing has been slowed down by the growing economic problems. But, on a separate matter, this did not keep Obama from immediately signing an executive order (a mere stroke of his pen) lifting the Mexico City Policy, which will allow federal funds to be used abroad to counsel for abortion.

We must be diligent in our fight to save the lives of the unborn. One of the most cogent reasons we have heard lately was from a recent interview with Judge Robert Bork. He said one reason for carrying on the pro-life campaign, even in light of constant defeat, such as, a potential passage of FOCA or a president like Obama appointing more liberals to lower federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, is if there is no cultural effort supporting the sanctity of life, no case will ever make it back to the Supreme Court for a decision.

Governor Riley appears to be genuinely committed to stopping illegal electronic bingo gambling in Alabama. He is meeting with different groups and his task force appears to be making significant progress. The issues will center on: is electronic bingo permitted and, if so, are the electronic machines unlawful “slot machines?”

In the legislative branch, SB 135 and HB 363 have been filed to completely lift restrictions for Greene County bingo. These bills would permit casino gambling. However, more importantly, these bills are clearly unconstitutional. Just as the Legislature disregarded constitutional restrictions on local acts permitting alcohol referenda in small cities, the Legislature is attempting to do by statute what only can be done by constitutional amendment. Like the Cedar Bluff local act permitting alcohol sales, if these bingo bills pass, the burden will fall on individuals to try to prove standing to contest the unconstitutional enactment and to pay for the litigation. Just as in Cedar Bluff, it is unlikely any government authority would contest the lawless act of the Legislature. We will discuss this more later as the facts develop.

Difficult economic times have affected all of us. We expect to recover from those. Our contributions are down significantly. Yet, these cultural issues continue and it is not likely we would be able to recover if we do not persevere. Please honor our efforts with a significant contribution, which will be tax deductible to you. Thank you for your support.

Yours very truly,

A. Eric Johnston

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