Election 2016 and your family

Election 2016 may have you confused on what to do for your family. With two imperfect candidates you may be considering not voting at all.  While this election will determine who leads America for the next four years, it will affect your family in many important ways, including Supreme Court appointments, state and federal policies on taxes, health care, and protecting women and children from the harms of abortion.  If you are thinking of not voting, please think again.  The Family Policy Alliance’s latest video may echo just what you are feeling.     


YouTube Play Button with FPA logo


Election day requires voter knowledge to protect families and their restoration.  The Virginia Catholic Conference has released a presidential guide to aid voters in their decision in the presidential election. The organization, a longtime partner of the Saint Thomas More Society, is the public policy agency representing Virginia's Catholic bishops, but provides basic principles helpful for all with a Christian worldview.  The importance these issues play for families cannot be overstated.  For more clarity on why this federal election is important to state family law see Marriage, State Domestic Regulations Power, and Family Strength.  


The guide entitled
 "Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates" was a joint project of the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida Conferences. Compiled to help voters understand where the candidates stand on important issues before casting their ballots, these positions have vast implications for families and family law. The guide also contains information about the two major-party candidates. Guidelines for political activities for parishes and other congregations can be found here. Additional materials from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) can be found here.  For more information, see the Virginia Catholic Conference website.


Gender Identity, Body Parts and Family Restoration

This blog post is from 3L & current Wills, Trusts & Estates student Katherine Thomas on family and life planning, highlighting some family restoration challenges:


In reflecting about my advanced directive I had a thought regarding organ donations and about the momentum toward transgender identity. If I die, I would be happy to be an organ donor; however, I do not want my female reproductive organs to go to an individual who feels like he should have been born a female. A quick bit of research revealed that female reproductive organ transplants could become a major pursuit in the future. This article was an eye opener for me on this issue - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-a-transgender-woman-could-get-pregnant/. Considering the recent transgender equality initiative, should the types of procedures mentioned in this article be successfully implemented, females need to be aware that their female organs could be donated to support a transgender male's aspirations of becoming a female. 

As a Christian woman, I believe God made each of us special, unique to our own individual design, and with a purpose. God does not make mistakes and He did not make a mistake when He decided whether any person is male or female. I believe in equality but am troubled by this movement. If someone says he or she wants to identify as or even become a woman, I cannot stop them, but it is against my faith for those desires to be advanced, manipulating God's design, through the use of my body parts.


To consider more on this issue download and read A Christian Perspective on Gender Equality. Family restoration happens in the thoughtful process necessary in every area of our lives.


SCOTUS Denies Rehearing on Executive Order Immigration Program

The Supreme Court today refused the White House’s request to review the immigration case of United States v. Texas, U.S., No. 15-674, rehearing denied 10/3/16. According to U.S. Law Week, “In June, the justices divided 4-4 on the issue. The split left lower court rulings putting a hold on President Barack Obama’s expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program—commonly known as DACA and DAPA—in place. These programs would have deferred deportation for approximately 4 million immigrants who entered the country illegally, and granted them temporary permission to work in the U.S.”

The Challenges of Family Law and Policy in Immigration Regulation are particularly perplexing because they require so much state cost in border states.  Legal immigration allows states to be prepared for those costs, but illegal immigration opening international borders has overburdened states.  

Today’s order means that Texas and 25 other states who challenged the programs arguing that these orders represented an unauthorized abuse of presidential power have been victorious in their challenge.  The case will be returned to the District Court Judge in Texas. 

Issues involving immigration and families are extremely significant, and must rely on firm national immigration laws that work with, rather than against, state governments who bear the financial and structural burden to protect children and families as they immigrate.   


Family Law Difference Makers

Many Regent Law alumni now serve as Family Court Judges all over the country, working to determine what is best for children in often broken or troubled families.  The Rev. Tim Keller uses divorce laws as an example of how our religious beliefs affect our public life. These Regent alumni are difference makers with a solid base in their personal faith. 
Some tools available to help a child and his or her parents deal with divorce might include film documentaries such as Spare the Child, or a new file called Split which gives the child’s perspective. 
Family law difference makers understand how important it is to work toward family restoration, even in court, and place the best interests of children as paramount to family strength.