by Art Kelly
1. A new Gallup Poll reveals that President Obama has the highest approval ratings from Muslims and the lowest from Mormons, while Catholics rate him near the national average, Jews above the average, and Protestants below the average.
In the period January to July 2010, the approval ratings of Obama from members of religious groups were:
48% All Americans
As compared to the ratings from a year earlier (January to June 2009), Obama suffered declines in support from each of the religious groups:
-15% All Americans
The decline in support for Obama is fairly consistent among all religious groups except Muslims who remained his most loyal supporters. Atheists were his next biggest boosters.
2. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) violated the First Amendment rights of a student Catholic organization by refusing to fund their events, while providing funding for the events of other student organizations.
UWM had refused funds from student activity fees because the student group's events contained religious expression. The Appeals Court affirmed lower court rulings that concluded the funding refusal amounted to unconstitutional discrimination based on viewpoint.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed suit after UWM violated the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a previous lawsuit filed on behalf of the group, Badger Catholic, formerly known as the Roman Catholic Foundation.
The Appeals Court was clearly irked that UWM had violated the agreement, noting, "A litigant who tries to evade a federal court's judgment--and a declaratory judgment is a real judgment, not just a bit of friendly advice--will come to regret it."
Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel for ADF, said, "The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups."
3. A new poll from Rasmussen Reports finds that 38% of voters say judges too liberal, while 18% believe they are too conservative and 31% think they are just right.
53% believe judges have their own political agenda, while just 29% believe they generally remain impartial.
By a 62% to 25% margin, voters believe judges should be elected by the people, rather than appointed for life.