Subject Line A/B Test

Baker that was Subject of SCOTUS Case Cries Religious Persecution
Once again claiming religious persecution, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, has sued Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. According to Phillips, Hickenlooper has led a statewide crusade to “crush him” because he disagrees with his values. Phillips was famously the subject plaintiff in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the Supreme ruled that a business owner (Phillips) was not obligated to provide wedding-related services if they went against his religious beliefs.Phillips did not want to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Now, Phillips claims he has been harassed by many with requests for offensive cakes, including a cake to celebrate a a transgender individual . The lawsuit states, “Phillips declined to create the cake … because it would have celebrated messages contrary to his religious belief that sex — the status of being male or female — is given by God, is biologically determined, is not determined by perceptions or feelings, and cannot be chosen or changed.” Recent PRRI data shows that the public is divided on whether business providing wedding services should be able to refuse to serve same-sex couples. Forty-eight percent of respondents say that they should be obligated to provide services, while 46 percent say they should not.
Judge Won’t Let Trump Administration’s Transgender Military Ban Info Stay Private
A federal judge in Baltimore shot down a request from the Trump administration to keep private information and communications related to the administration’s transgender military ban. One year ago, President Trump took to Twitter to announce a forthcoming ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. Josh Block, a lawyer for the ACLU says, “It is difficult to believe that concerns about fitness and deployability changed so dramatically in such a short time…It suggests they may have been a pretext for a discriminatory purpose.” The Justice Department did not release a public comment on the case. Shortly after Trump’s tweet, PRRI conducted a survey asking people whether they opposed or supported transgender individuals serving in the military. Sixty-four percent of respondents supported transgender individuals being allowed to service in the U.S. military, while 30 percent were opposed.
John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash
Former CIA director John Brennan, who recently had his security clearance revoked by the Trump administration, took to The New York Times to explain why he thought this occurred. Arguing that his clearances were revoked by Trump primarily as a way to silence a critical voice of the President, Brennan also called Trump’s denial of collusion with Russia “hogwash.” “Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him. Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference — from Mr. Trump or anyone else — so that all Americans can get the answers they so rightly deserve,” Brennan contended. A 2018 Democracy Fund Voter Study Group survey, co-authored by PRRI’s Associate Director of Research, Rob Griffin, found that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans felt that Mueller’s investigation was being conducted fairly. A 2018 PRRI study found that a similar number (45 percent) of Americans felt that outside interference from a foreign government was a big problem in U.S. elections.
Get Ready for More Abortion Fights At State Level
The Supreme Court nomination process has reignited abortion fights across the country, writes Jessie Hellman in The Hill. As abortion advocates fear that President Trump’s nominee will be hostile to abortion rights, many are looking towards the states as the next battleground in this political fight. Hellman writes, “They’re encouraging state lawmakers to scrub unenforced laws banning or restricting abortion off the books, should the Supreme Court throw the decision on whether abortion should be legal back to the states.” According to a 2018 PRRI survey, 38 percent of Americans overall believe that it is at least somewhat likely that abortion will become completely illegal in the U.S. in their lifetime.
A Familiar Playbook for Dealing With Women Politicians?
There has been a surge of women running for political office this election cycle, and even though some are winning big races, women candidates are still being dismissed by their male counterparts, argues Ginia Bellafonte in The New York Times. “Feminism’s grand resurgence this past year — striking in the results of the Democratic primary in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District on Tuesday in which Ilhan Omar, a young Somali immigrant, won in a six-way race that had three male candidates cumulatively receiving less than 9 percent of the vote — seems to have had little effect on heightening the sensitivities of male politicians to the optics of dismissing their female opponents. When women in politics are not facing the tediousness of having men explain things to them, they are often up against the indignities of their apathy,” she points out. According to a 2016 PRRI survey, 58 percent of Americans believe the country would be better off if more women were serving in public office.
“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin Passes Away
Legendary singer Aretha Franklin passed away Thursday morning. The vocalist, who was 76, had battled with pancreatic cancer in the later years of her life. Nicknamed the Queen of Soul, Franklin was widely considered to be one of the greatest American singers regardless of genre. Known for singing classics like “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “Spanish Harlem,” Franklin’s career arc spans seven decades. In 2005, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from then President George W. Bush.
Little Girl Who Got into Mom’s Amazon Account Learns the Power of Giving Back
A little girl in Utah went viral this week after a photo circulated showing her standing next to the mountain of toys she had ordered online without her parent’s permission. Instead of punishing the girl or sending all the toys back, her parents decided to turn something sneaky into something good. Ria Diyaolu, the cousin who shared the initial story, wrote online that the family decided to donate almost all the toys to a local children’s hospital. Diyalou tweeted, “Kaitlin chose to donate all of the toys to the Children’s Hospital where she stayed for a week when she was a baby! She wanted to give a little joy to those who aren’t well.” As for the rest of the toys, the little girl was allowed to keep one Barbie doll and won’t have Internet access for a month.