Browse Tag

Supreme-Court

Trump Is the Only Viable Pro-Life Choice

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some pro-life activists like Erick Erickson are plotting ways to sabotage Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. They probably haven’t stopped to think. If they succeed in defeating Trump, they will be culpable in many, many abortions. That’s a lot of guilt for a guy like Erickson to carry around, isn’t it?

Chances are Congress won’t introduce any major abortion laws in the next four years. That means the abortion battle will remain in the courts.

The Supreme Court is made up of four relatively conservative justices and four relatively liberal ones. That means there’s a vacancy on the court. Antonin Scalia died in February, leaving an open seat. Scalia was probably the most conservative justice. (For a breakdown on the Supreme Court’s ideological future, click.) President Obama appointed a replacement for Scalia, but the Senate probably won’t vote on that nomination.

That means the next president will appoint Scalia’s replacement, and that appointment will decide whether the court goes mostly right or mostly left.

Now, we can’t say for sure whether the GOP or Democrats will control the next Senate. But we can accurately predict this: if Clinton is the next president, the Supreme Court will be mostly liberal for a generation.

Clinton is a big fan of abortion on demand, and she’s vowed to appoint judges and justices who will overrule state and federal laws that restrict abortions. I know Hillary lies a lot, but I bet she’s telling the truth about this.

Donald Trump says he’s working with the Heritage Foundation to create a list of excellent conservative jurists to replace Scalia and any other vacancies that occur during his presidency. He’s even open to appointing Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. That probably means a Trump win keeps the high court mostly conservative.

I have no way of knowing how many more abortions will happen if Clinton wins, but I’m pretty confident in predicting that a Clinton win mean more unborn babies will die than if Trump wins.

If you’re pro-life, the choice is pretty simple: support Trump or the baby gets it.

Trump’s Immigration Fans Need to Read Wong Kim Ark

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s sad that Donald Trump has inspired so many good conservatives to promote fantasies about the 14th Amendment.

The Supreme Court addressed the issue of birthright citizenship directly, and Mark Levin and Laura Ingram know it. They are Constitutional lawyers.

Both Levin and Ingraham are familiar with United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) which established, thoroughly, that citizenship by birth has been the law of the land since before the Declaration of Independence and was codified by the 14th Amendment. (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case…).

From the majority opinion:

“Passing by questions once earnestly controverted, but finally put at rest by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, it is beyond doubt that, before the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment, all white persons, at least, born within the sovereignty of the United States, whether children of citizens or of foreigners, excepting only children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign government, were native-born citizens of the United States.”

The opinion goes on:

“As appears upon the face of the amendment, as well as from the history of the times, this was not intended to impose any new restrictions upon citizenship, or to prevent any persons from becoming citizens by the fact of birth within the United States, who would thereby have become citizens according to the law existing before its adoption. It is declaratory in form, and enabling and extending in effect. Its main purpose doubtless was, as has been often recognized by this court, to establish the citizenship of free negroes, which had been denied in the opinion delivered by Chief Justice Taney in Dred Scott v. Sandford, (1857) and to put it beyond doubt that all blacks, as well as whites, born or naturalized within the jurisdiction of the United States, are citizens of the United States.”

And, finally, the Supreme Court ruled:

The Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes.”

Levin, Ingraham, and Limbaugh are arguing that the Wong Kim Ark case was decided wrongly and the Dred Scott case was decided rightly! (Not a good position.) But, even if Dred Scott was right at the time (and it was not), it was overturned by the 14th Amendment, as Wong Kim Ark makes clear: “finally put at rest by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution . . .”

I realize that immigration is a hot-button issue. But promoting fantasies about the Constitution does no good. I thought we conservatives believed in original intent or, like me and Robert Bork, original understanding.

Levin, Ingraham, and Limbaugh are now firmly in the “living Constitution” camp, wanting to change the meaning of the text to fit the needs of the moment.

Don’t fall for it. The Constitution is not dead, but it’s dormant. It comes to life through Article V, not through talk radio.

Update:

Some have raised the question on Facebook of allegiance. In short, does allegiance to country of origin on the part of the parents prevent a child of immigrants, born on US soil, from jurisdiction under the 14th Amendment?

Justice Gray’s opinion in Wong Kim Ark anticipated this argument and negated it:

Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of theUnited States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke, in Calvin’s Case, 7 Rep. 6a, “strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject;” and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, “if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.”

Van Harvey provides some great arguments against my opinion on this epic Facebook thread. You have to read it.

 

UPDATE: Judge Andrew Napolitano clearly explains the problem:

ANOTHER UPDATE: John Yoo writes on National Review:

Of course, the American people can always amend the Constitution to change the principle of birthright citizenship. Putting to one side the waste of time and resources entailed, amending the Constitution would be a sorry mistake. Rather than being a misguided act of generosity, the 14th Amendment marks one of the great achievements of the Republican party. It was the Republican party that opposed Dred Scott. It was the Republican party that fought and won the Civil War. And it was the Republican party that drafted and ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which did away with slavery and any distinction between Americans based on race. If we are to discard one of the greatest attributes of American exceptionalism, let it be the handiwork of nativist Democrats and candidates who appeal to the lesser angels of their nature.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422914/birthright-citizenship-donald-trump

NOTE: I toned this down from the original. I was too worked up and used irresponsible characterizations of people I admire and respect. I am sorry.

How I Would Vote on Gay Marriage Cases

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I’m not a lawyer. And I’m not particularly smart. But that doesn’t stop me from writing my opinion.

Rather, I’m a libertarian-ish conservative. I like a small central government that protects us from evil people in other countries and delivers mail. And prosecutes people who do great harm across state lines.

The Supreme Court has two big gay marriage cases pending. At issue:

1.  Do the people of California have the right to define marriage in their state?

2.  Does the federal government have the power to define marriage in every state?

If I were a Supreme Court justice (stop laughing), here’s how I’d rule:

1. Yes, the people of California have the right to define marriage in their state. Prop 8 upheld

2. No, the people never gave the federal government the power to define marriage. DOMA unconstitutional.

Now, let’s scale back entitlements and reform the tax code so federal tax burdens apply equally to everyone regardless of marital status, sexual preference, or eye color.

Let Depression Be Your Guide

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday, I gave you a reason to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision.  But I never said to let go of your anger or depression. That’s because we need creativity, focus, and action, and you get those through emotional distress.

Depression-treatment1

In his new best-selling book, Jonah Lehrer discusses the link between depression and creativity:

This helps explain why Forgas has found that states of sadness— he induces the downcast mood with a film about death and cancer— also correlate with better writing samples; subjects compose sentences that are clearer and more compelling. Because they were more attentive to what they were writing, they produced more refined prose, the words polished by their misery.

Lehrer, Jonah (2012-03-19). Imagine: How Creativity Works (p. 77). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Wanna feel some depression? Think about this:  since July of 2009, we’ve been fighting against Obamacare. For almost a full year, we spent many hours every week in the streets trying to block Obama’s power grab.

After the Senate crammed through hastily written legislation in March 2010, we looked toward the Supreme Court as our next line defense.  When Richard Verilli, the government’s lawyer, failed miserably in his oral arguments in March, we felt a quiet confidence build inside our guts: Obamacare would be toast.

Then came June. Each Monday and Thursday we waited to hear the news. But the news didn’t come.  “Maybe next week,” we told each other.

On June 28, there was no calendar left before them; the court had to rule.  And it did.

CNN and Fox News both reported “The individual mandate is unconstitutional.”  They forgot to mention: “under the commerce clause.”

As Twitterdom celebrated, I watched the live blog on SCOTUSblog.com.  While others reported the mandate dead, SCOTUSblog posted: “The individual mandate survives as a tax.”

Even after I tweeted this news, hundreds of tweets in my stream continued to celebrate the greatly exaggerated death of the individual mandate.

“Those poor bastards,” I thought.

One by one, the word got out.  “Holy crap!”

To me, the shining city on a hill went dark.

Then I went about my work, ignoring the news for the rest of the day.

At 6:30 pm, I left the office.  I changed clothes in my car on the way to Forest Park.

Depression has a way of churning up weird sediment from the bottom of the mind.  Sweating the 107-degree sun and driving east on I-44, the inside of my car grew dark from the shadow of the I-270 overpass. I saw Ronald Reagan in bed, white sheets over him, his face contorted in agony.

“Where’s the rest of me?” he growled.

The remainder of the movie, Kings Row, played out in my mind.

I was looking for words to say at the rally, and I found them.

My mood lifted.

Creativity emerges from depression, as it turns out.  And so does perseverance:

“Successful writers are like prizefighters who keep on getting hit but won’t go down,” says Nancy Andreasen, a researcher at University of Iowa. “They’ll stick with it until it’s right. And that seems to be what the mood disorders help with.”

Lehrer, Jonah (2012-03-19). Imagine: How Creativity Works (p. 79). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

What’s true of writers and fighters is true of patriots in the battlefield, of crusaders for  justice, and of champions of a cause. The fight is never easy.  Depression sucks.  Agony hurts.  Pain is not happiness, no matter how the Ministry of Truth might spin it.

But the pain also compels action. And pain tells you you’re still alive.

Andreasen says. “If you’re at the cutting edge, then you’re going to bleed.”

Lehrer, Jonah (2012-03-19). Imagine: How Creativity Works (p. 79). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

If you didn’t buy my Kings Row happy story, that’s fine.  You and I will weave in and out of happiness and depression for the rest of our lives.  It’s the nature of fighting for something bigger than ourseles.  Neither of us can get our arms around it alone, and when we corner it, it manages to escape.

But it can’t run forever.

If you still feel the pain of loss and hurt and fear, then you’re still alive. You still have fight in you.  And you and me and millions of others fighting for liberty should scare the crap out of Barack Obama.

Here’s What’s Great About the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the Ronald Reagan movie Kings Row, Reagan plays Drake McHugh, whose legs are sawn off by a sadistic, class-conscious doctor.

kings

Everyone remembers the line “Where’s the rest of me?” No remembers what happens after that. I’ll fill you in.

McHugh’s best friend, a psychiatrist, decides to tell McHugh (Reagan) the truth: his legs were perfectly healthy, but the doctor cut them off to keep the lower class McHugh from pursuing the doctor’s debutante daughter.

Instead of sinking into self-pity, McHugh laughs and rallies.

The movie made Reagan a star. Kings Row also gives us the perfect narrative for our response to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision:  laugh and rally.

The conservative grassroots in the USA was already complacent before the decision.  C’mon, admit it.  You expected the Supremes to strike down the individual mandate, at least. Then you expected everyone to pile on Obama for wasting three years.  Then you expected Romney to waltz into the White House.  And we’d all live happily ever after.

But happily ever after is relative. Yes, you can live happily ever after without your legs, but you can’t imagine it until they’re gone.

In this TED talk, Harvard’s Dan Gilbert explains an amazing phenomenon that Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman describes brilliantly:  Nothing is as bad as we think it is while we’re thinking about it.

So what’s so great about the decision?

The Supreme Court just reminded us that our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness depend solely on us.  A republican form of government—a government of democratically elected representatives—requires constant vigilance from its citizens.  On autopilot, the representatives of the people become oligarchs, until one oligarch emerges as the despot.  That’s the natural order of things: domination by the connected through force.

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress can use the tax code to force us to do anything it wishes—buy a car, sell a car, paint our houses purple.  If you don’t like that, then vote for people who don’t want to decide what color your house should be or how often you should go to the doctor.

You want to live free? Vote for people who want you to live free.

And convince 50% + 1 of the people around you to do likewise.

I’ll leave you with JD Wilson’s photos from our post-Obamacare flash rally in Forest Park on Thrusday.

Obamacare Ruling Comes Down This Week, and We’re Having a Tea Party

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Pack clothes, flags, and signs for an Obamacare Tea Party at Forest Park on Art Hill this week.  The rally will begin at 7:00 PM on the day the Supreme Court rules.

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We don’t know the day, but we do know the time: 7:00 pm in Forest Park on Art Hill (map below). The most likely days are Monday or Thursday, but because of the magnitude of this case, it could be any day of the week.

So be ready.

It’s how we spent the Summer of 2009: fighting a government takeover of healthcare in America.

This week, the Supreme Court issues a historical decision: have we delegated to Congress the power to force people to buy something?

If the Supreme Court answers “yes,” then we need to work on fixing the Constitution.

If the Supreme Court says “no,” then we need to celebrate.

Either way, the ruling is a just cause for demonstrating.

Let’s show LOTS of FLAGS and SIGNS.  Let’s dress in lots of RED, WHITE, and BLUE.  Let’s pray that we’re celebrating our Second Independence Day—this time, independence from the arbitrary rule of other men.

Once again, that 7:00 on Art HIll in Forest Park. Here’s a map with Art Hill circled in red:

ForestParkMap08

McCaskillPAC

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What I find so funny about Claire McCaskill’s war on super pacs is that her husband is a super PAC.

For the record, I have formally endorsed Senator McCaskill in her race to return to private life.

Zimmerman Update

Having declared George Zimmerman guilty of first degree, racially motivated murder, the MSM are now investigating the case.

What they’re finding:

The George Zimmerman that Francescani describes is quite different from the “delusional racist vigilante” that many have made him out to be.

Read more on Business Insider.  But BI’s headline is wrong.

George Zimmerman Before The Trayvon Martin Shooting - Business Insider

Conservatives didn’t pre-judge Zimmerman the way liberals did.  Maybe because studies show we are

better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party.

Read more on The Daily Caller

(BTW, narrow-minded liberals hate it when you remind them that they’re narrow-minded, uninformed, and less receptive to criticism. So don’t do that.)

So, to mayor. Or Sotomayor

Being the eternal optimist, I’m holding out hope that Sonia Sotomayor could flip right one day.  On Wednesday, my silly dream got a bump.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in Obama vs. The People of Arizona.  (I know that’s not the actual caption, but it should be.) Justice Sotomayor “shredded” the U.S. government’s crappy case, in Business Insider’s view.  Quoting Sotomayor:

Putting aside your argument that this — that a systematic cooperation is wrong — you can see it’s not selling very well — why don’t you try to come up with something else? [emphasis original].


On her first day on the court, she questioned whether corporations really should have the same rights as humans who never die.  For many libertarians, that’s a question worth exploring.   (But that’s a huge conversation for another day.)

Exit question:  has Donald Verrilli argued his last case before the Supreme Court?   I can’t imagine that Obama will accept the blame for giving Verrilli impossible assignments in this and Obamacare cases.

Maybe the real reason Obama wants more illegals in the U.S. is to stuff ballot boxes in November.

Don’t miss yesterday’s Top Story on Mitt Romney.

The Supreme Court Votes on Obamacare Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We won’t know the result until late June, most likely.  And the results of today’s vote could change by then.

supreme-court

Still, it’s sort of weird that after three years of public, wildly emotional and stupifyingly complex arguments, the fate of the republic comes down to a short meeting in Washington involving nine people in a paneled room.

Mark Sherman of AP describes the cloistered scene:

After months of anticipation, thousands of pages of briefs and more than six hours of arguments, the justices will vote on the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in under an hour Friday morning. They will meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court’s main floor. No one else will be present.

I’ve already written about the importance of this case. Its significance approaches that of the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776, when it voted to declare our independence from Great Britain. That’s because the court will decide whether the government is a creation of its people, or if we are mere subjects to the government’s absolute rule.

I am not optimistic.

I think Justice Kennedy is looking for an excuse to uphold the law, and the brain tends to find what the the brain seeks. If he votes to uphold, Chief Justice Roberts will likely vote with the majority. That’s because the Chief Justice assigns the opinion for the side he’s on. By voting with the majority, he can craft the opinion himself.

In this scenario, the Supreme Court will have ruled, effectively, that Congress can extend government’s powers beyond the limits of the Constitution whenever it deems necessary. (Allahpundit concurs.) At least, it will have done so in the mind of swing voter Anthony Kennedy. That means our government would no longer be limited to the powers we gave it.

And at that point, my friends, we are no longer morally bound to the government in Washington. If Washington breaks its covenant, we are free to create a new government.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

– Declaration of Independence

How monumental is that decision, now?

(For more one the covenant of the Constitution, read Michael Patrick Leahy’s fabulous new book, Covenant of Liberty.)