Good Morning! 

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was once asked about term-limits for judges. He replied: 

“If there were a long term – 18, 20 years, something like that – I’d say that was fine. In fact, it’d make my life a lot simpler, to tell you the truth.” 

Justice Breyer’s life is expected to be simplified by June’s end: 

  1. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court, NBC News reported today. CNN reports that he is expected to formally announce his retirement at a White House event with President Biden as early as Thursday. 

Citing “people familiar with his thinking,” the report emphasizes that Breyer’s retirement now would allow President Biden to nominate his replacement, presumably replacing him with another judge with a liberal judicial philosophy. 

Born in 1938, Breyer is currently the oldest justice on the court. He was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Bill Clinton and has served since 1994. He replaced the retiring Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the court’s infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. 

Breyer is a graduate of Harvard Law School and was also a law professor there. He’s also received two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one from Magdalen College, Oxford, and one from Stanford University. His professional life included stints as special assistant to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust; as assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973; and as a judge on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1980 to 1994. 

RELATED: 

How Republicans Can Block Stephen Breyer’s Replacement 

From Time: 

If all 11 Republican members of the Judiciary Committee oppose Biden’s pick and all 11 Democrats back her, the nomination goes inert. (A pretty safe bet in a committee where at least half of the Republican members have White House ambitions of their own.) The nomination doesn’t die, but it does get parked until a lawmaker—historically, the Leader of the party—brings it to the floor for four hours of debate. 

A majority of the Senate—51 votes, typically—can then put debate about the issue on the calendar for the next day. But that’s the last easy part. When the potential pick comes to the floor again, it’s not as a nomination. At that point, it’s a motion to discharge, a cloture motion that requires 60 votes. In other words, 10 Republicans would have to resurrect the nomination of someone already blocked in the Judiciary Committee. 

Given the rules of the Senate as they stand, a resolute Republican Party can pull a sequel to the Garland nomination. Sure, the Democrats could try to change the power-sharing agreement, but as the debate on voting rights showed us in recent weeks, one hold-out voice among Democrats in favor of the filibuster can tank the plan with little consequence. Which means all of the odds-making about who might get the call from White House Counsel in the coming days, who might get tapped to sherpa the nomination through the Senate or even what this means for the next term are all likely for naught. Republicans, should they want to, can sink this nominee. And if history is predictive, that’s exactly what they’ll do.  

  1. Pope Francis calls on parents to ‘never condemn’ gay children 

From USA Today: 

Pope Francis on Wednesday called on parents around the world to not condemn children if they are gay.   

Francis made the comments while speaking about the biblical figure Joseph during his weekly general audience. He addressed parents facing difficult situations in the lives of their children, such as kids who are sick, imprisoned or killed in car accidents.   

But he also addressed parents “who see that their children have different sexual orientations, how they manage that and accompany their children and not hide behind a condemning attitude.”  

“Never condemn a child,” he said.  

Church teachings consider homosexual activity “intrinsically disordered,” though it calls for gay and lesbian people to be respected.   

  1. Big Win for the Pro-Life Movement: Planned Parenthood Drops Lawsuit Against Sanctuary City for the Preborn 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Planned Parenthood has decided not to pursue an appeal in their case against Lubbock, Texas, for outlawing abortion in its city shortly after Planned Parenthood began performing abortions within city limits. This is a win for the pro-life movement. Abortionists and those that defend them see the legal writing on the wall. The days of abortion on demand in America are coming to an end.  

The people of Lubbock made headline news last May when they approved a proposal to make the city a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” The measure passed with overwhelming support—62% in favor of the proposal and 38% opposed.  

The “sanctuary city for the unborn” movement began in 2019 in East Texas. To date, more than 40 cities across the country have enacted similar city laws. Lubbock is the largest city, with a population of just over a quarter million, to pass a sanctuary city law for the preborn.  

The Lubbock ballot initiative bans abortion within city limits and creates a private cause of action so that private citizens can sue abortionists for providing abortions. 

4. Largest Catholic University in U.S. Now Offering Students Nine Gender Pronoun Options 

From The Daily Citizen: 

DePaul University (DePaul) is the nation’s largest Catholic university, and apparently it has forgotten what the Catholic Church believes about the creation of humankind as male and female as two distinct, yet complementary sexes. 

According to The College Fix, DePaul recently “jumped on the opportunity” to allow students to choose nine different gender identities. 

In an Instagram post, the DePaul University Student Government Association (SGA) announced the “very exciting” update to the university’s Campus Connect platform. 

The platform now allows individuals to choose from a myriad of gender identities: male, female, intersex, non-binary, transgender male, transgender female, cisgender, unspecified and “I do not wish to self-identify.” 

The University’s SGA noted that while the gender identity feature is new, what isn’t new is an individual’s ability to select their pronouns or sexual orientation. 

Among the various pronoun options, students can choose: he/his, she/hers, they/theirs, and unspecified. 

  1. Dozens Of Democrats Urge Biden To Cancel Student Loan Debt Up To $50,000 Per Borrower 

From the Daily Wire: 

In a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, more than 80 Democratic lawmakers asked the president to cancel “up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.” 

The letter, which included the signature of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), began by thanking Biden for extending the student loan pause, a move he made in December, and then requested he permanently cancel federal student loan debt.  

“As you continue to evaluate the best way forward to an equitable recovery [from COVID-19], we urge you to direct the Department of Education to publicly release the memo outlining your legal authority to broadly cancel federal student loan debt and immediately cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower,” the letter reads. 

The Democratic lawmakers said this move would provide relief to more than 36 million Americans. They also suggested that student loan payments would resume again but did not give a timetable for when that might happen. “In light of the high COVID-19 case counts and corresponding economic disruptions, restarting student loan payments without this broad cancellation would be disastrous for millions of borrowers and their families,” the Democrats wrote.   

  1. Tim Keller on the Decline of Evangelicalism 

From Life in the Gospel: 

How much hope is there?” The obstacles are formidable. What reasons are there for any confidence that it is possible? Briefly, the reasons to have hope for renewal are: 

  1. The limits of secularism. Despite many signs of its strength and the growth in secularism in the U.S., as a philosophy secularism has shown severe limitations in its ability to form community and give individuals meaning, identity, contentment, and the ability to face suffering.   
  2. The strength of global Christianity. Outside of the West, Christianity is growing rapidly and most of it is evangelical and Pentecostal.   
  3. The demographics of religion. In general, the more religious people are, the more children they have, and this social fact holds across the cultures and the classes.  
  4. The subversive fulfillment of chosen religion. Mainline Protestantism, Catholicism, and other religions are inherited—you are literally “born into” them and adhere to them because your family does. These churches decline more rapidly in modernity because young people do not want to follow a path that they have not chosen for themselves. Evangelical faith is better adapted to modern culture in this way, because it is indeed a chosen religion—one that requires conversion. 
  5. The translatability of faith. Christianity, unlike orthodox Islam and Judaism, has no book of Leviticus in the New Testament. Detailed regulations for food and dress and other daily activities are not prescribed—allowing Christians to be fully integrated into the surrounding society.  
  6. The promise of Jesus.In G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man there is a chapter on “The Five Deaths of the Faith.” He does a brief overview of times in which orthodox Christianity was challenged profoundly— Arius and the controversy over the divinity of Christ in the 3rdcentury, Voltaire and the rise of skepticism in Europe during the Enlightenment, Darwin and the rise of scientism, and so on—but in each case emerged strong and growing. 

 

  1. Jordan Peterson says Bible is like no other book, tells Joe Rogan it’s the ‘precondition for the manifestation of truth’ and ‘way more true than just true’ 

From TheBlaze: 

Jordan Peterson offered some eye-opening words about the Bible during his marathon interview on Tuesday’s episode of the “The Joe Rogan Experience,” telling the host that the Good Book not only is like no other book, but also far beyond simply true. 

What are the details? 

Peterson — a world-renowned author and speaker who recently resigned as a tenured University of Toronto professor while calling academia a “stunningly corrupt enterprise” — told Rogan that the Bible is at the very core of our cultural “bedrock of agreement.” 

Noting that he had just “walked through” the “very cool” Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., Peterson explained that in terms of “fundamental texts” in Western civilization — those upon which just about all others depend — writings by the likes of William Shakespeare and John Milton are in that category. But the Bible, he said, is the very foundation of them all. 

  1. YouTube permanently bans Dan Bongino 

From The Hill: 

YouTube on Wednesday permanently banned conservative commentator Dan Bongino from the platform, saying he attempted to evade a previous suspension. 

The Fox host uploaded a video to his main channel while his secondary channel, which primarily hosted short clips from his digital radio show, was actively suspended for violating YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. 

“When a channel receives a strike, it is against our Terms of Service to post content or use another channel to circumvent the suspension,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Hill. 

Both of Bongino’s channels have been removed and he will not be able to create a new one in the future, the platform said. 

  1. ‘Home Team’ stars Kevin James, Taylor Lautner say Netflix film highlights importance of fathers 

From the Christian Post: 

Comedian Kevin James and Taylor Lautner, stars of “Home Team,” have reflected on how the forthcoming Netflix sports comedy highlights the important role a father — or a father figure — plays in the life of a child at a time when the role is often diminished in entertainment. 

Hitting the streaming service Jan. 28 and produced by Happy Maddison Productions, “Home Team” is inspired by actual events. It tells the story of former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton (Kevin James) after he was suspended for the 2012 season as part of the “Bountygate” scandal. 

While on suspension, the Super Bowl-winning coach returns home, where he’s eager to reconnect with his estranged 12-year-old son, Connor. Eventually, he’s convinced by Connor’s football coach, Coach Troy (Taylor Lautner), to help coach his son’s sixth-grade football team, The Warriors. What follows is a series of both comedic and heartwarming events — and the rebuilding of a father-son relationship. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, James, a father of four, emphasized that the movie highlights the importance of finding time for family and maintaining relationships in even the busiest seasons of life. 

“We all get caught up in this world of working and fulfilling our duties in the workplace and … it’s hard … and it’s difficult, but it is key to find those moments, to be able to do it in whatever way, shape or form you can to spend more time with your family and really connect because families need that,” James said. “It’s so important.” 

10. New Chick-fil-A Literally Built on God’s Word – Bible Buried in Foundation, Opened to This Verse 

From CBN: 

Chick-fil-A is known as a company based on Christian principles, but there’s a new Chick-fil-A location being constructed in Marshal, Texas that’s literally being built on the word of God.  

David and Holley Snow, the franchise’s owners, wanted to accentuate that their restaurant will “glorify God” and bless people. The Snows couldn’t be there for the pouring of the foundation due to the birth of their second child Wynter. So they had their 4-year-old son Montgomery place a Bible, opened to Joshua 1:9, in the foundation during construction, according to the website Church Leaders.  

KNUE Radio reports the Snows figured “what better way to start a legacy in this community than with their children — the future.” 

“While we do serve delicious food, people are what’s most important to us,” the Snows wrote in a social media post. “Our purpose here is simple—to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”