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freedom of association Tag

In what some might be the next standoff over religious liberty, a high school near Madison, Wisconsin is at odds with an off-campus student lunch group over the right to hold free, Jesus-themed lunches. Fox News explains:
[Middleton] high school allows students to eat lunch off-campus. In 2014 a small group of parents began meeting with their children in a nearby park — providing home cooked meals along with a Christian-themed, inspirational message. The small weekly gatherings in the fall and spring eventually morphed into a popular gathering spot for hungry kids — with nearly 500 turning out for all sorts of goodies — ranging from Chick-fil-A sandwiches and fresh fruit to hundreds of homemade brownies. “We show up every week just to show the love of Jesus,” parent Beth Williams told me. “Our mission statement for Jesus Lunch is ‘food for the body, nutrition for the soul.’”
As students started inviting more friends to attend, the gatherings have brought as many as 400 hundred students to the lunches, which are held at a park directly next to the school campus.

We have been covering the "John Doe" investigations of Scott Walker and Wisconsin conservatives since January 2014, when it came on our radar after a state court judge quashed certain subpoenas. Since then, we've had over 25 posts, detailing the depths to which Democratic prosecutors sank in the effort to get Walker and his supporters, as well as related litigation. John Doe No. 1 targeted Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive. That probe failed to find any misconduct by Walker. John Doe No. 2 targeted alleged illegal coordination during the Recall Election between Walker's campaign and conservative groups. A state court judge already has ruled that even if there was such coordination, it was not illegal; that ruling is on appeal in the state courts. A federal District Court ruled the same way, but was reversed by the federal appeals court primarily on procedural grounds as to whether a federal court should interfere in a state investigation; a request is pending for the U.S. Supreme Court to take that case. In a second federal case, the same District Judge ordered Wisconsin not to enforce its coordination law as relates to issue advocacy. We’ll see if that holds up on appeal. While the legal proceedings are interesting, it is the physical and emotional abuse visited up innocent conservative activists by John Doe investigators that is particularly outrageous. We've focused on the home raids before, including this description by George Will, The nastiest political tactic this year:

Congress is back in Washington, and Senate Democrats have wasted no time in bringing forward their proposal for a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the right to set limits on how much money can be raised for and spent in federal political campaigns. Senate Joint Resolution 19 is sponsored by Tom Udall (D-NM) and has gained the vocal support of powerful Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Patrick Leahy, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and Majority Leader Harry Reid. Its three sections would drastically affect both freedom of speech and freedom of association in America:
Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections. Section 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections. Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.
In his first floor speech following the August recess, Majority Leader Reid made it clear that he's willing to once again prevent Republicans from having a voice in the Senate---ironic considering he's advocating the muzzling of voters via Congressional fiat:
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