Kellogg to Be Given ‘Defender of Life’ Award by Thomas More Society – Omaha 10/13/16 10/13/16 9:13:38 AM
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John Kellogg David Daleiden Archbishop George Lucas
Kellogg to Be Given ‘Defender of Life’
Award by Thomas More Society – Omaha
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
John Kellogg is a well-known, longtime Omaha attorney. He has long espoused causes that support the defense of life. One of his passions is the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm that raises awareness of the integrity of family and religious liberty. He currently serves as the Omaha chapter’s vice president.
This Saturday, he will be honored with the Defender of Life Award at the St. Thomas More-Omaha annual banquet.
John Kellogg, 78, has practiced law for over 50 years. He is founder and partner of Kellogg and Palzer, P.C. He earned both his bachelor’s of science and law degrees from Creighton University.
John has an extensive record of pro-life advocacy, including representation of sidewalk counselors. He petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari (denied) in (Mary) Lyons v. (Hon. Warren K.) Urbom, seeking, in litigation, guardians for the unborn.
John’s pro-life involvement includes Business and Professional People for Life (President), Essential Pregnancy Services, Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research, and Nebraskans United For Life. He has helped draft statutes to limit abortions and he is a pro-life public speaker.
He has also been active in Pride Omaha (Parent/Community Drug Prevention); the Stephen Center; Omaha for Decency; the Social Justice Committee of the Omaha Archdiocese; the Serra Club of West Omaha; the Bishops Pro-Life Pastoral Association; the Manota Simon Foundation; S.I.D.S.; and Business & Professional People for Life. In many of the organizations, he has served or is serving on their board and as their legal advisor.
Recent headlines have shone a light on the Society’s defense of some Gretna high School students’ attempt to form a school-sponsored Students for Life club. The Society has waged similar legal battles in five other states. The Society argues that the school’s denial to sponsor the club is a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment.
Besides Kellogg, several other prominent Omaha attorneys are members of the Thomas More Society, founded in 1997, including Creighton Law Professor Edward A. Morse, Matt Heffron, Dennis Moynihan, Richard Gilloon and Martin Cannon.
Kellogg said their organization is “not always popular with the bar.”
But, he said, “We’re just doing what we think is right. We believe in the dignity of all human life. We believe in family. We are not judgmental, and we don’t try to force our opinion on anyone. We address social issues that we feel endanger that philosophy.”
The Society defends those who advocate their views and are charged with a crime.
The guest speaker at the banquet – Saturday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Center, 654 S. 86th Street in Omaha – is David R. Daleiden, a nationally known pro-life activist who worked for Live Action before founding the Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress in 2013.
Currently, the national Thomas More Society’s most high-profile case is the defense of Daleiden, who filmed a series of undercover videos with Planned Parenthood officials. Daleiden is being sued criminally and civilly in multiple states, with a potential for more charges and lawsuits to be filed.
A Texas judge recently dismissed a misdemeanor charge against him for allegedly trying to buy body parts from Planned Parenthood as a part of a Center for Medical Progress’ undercover investigation. Daleiden maintained that he and the Center for Medical Progress followed all applicable laws in the course of its investigative journalism and that the indictments were politically motivated.
St. Thomas More (1478-1535), a lawyer who once served as chancellor of England for King Henry VIII, is famously known for giving up his life for refusing to acknowledge that the king was head of the Church in England and could annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Before his martyrdom by beheading, he declared that he died “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Inspired by More’s example, Thomas Brejcha founded the Thomas More Society (ThomasMoreSociety.org) in 1997, a “not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty.”
On August 8, Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas sent a letter to the Thomas More Society in support of the Society’s plan to establish in Omaha a full-time office of the public interest law firm.
In his letter, Archbishop Lucas wrote: “Specialized legal expertise is needed to safeguard the right of Christian people to live out their faith in a manner which reflects their conscientiously held beliefs and that is consistent with our faith in Jesus Christ.
“I support the Thomas More Society’s efforts [to establish the Omaha office]. Without its legal expertise, individuals, small businesses and religious organizations could not otherwise defend themselves in the legal arena against changing social and political ideologies,” Archbishop Lucas said.