America • civic culture/friendship • Congress • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • feminists • Identity Politics • Post • The Courts • The Culture • The Left • The Resistance (Snicker)

Ford is a Liar and Her Story Isn’t Credible

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

One thing I learned watching the witch trial of Brett Kavanaugh on MSNBC, is that a prestigious university in New York has a Vice President for Social Justice. (She is an MSNBC commentator.) Her Orwellian title is but one of many signs that our country is already on the threshold of 1984; the Judiciary Committee circus is another.

In her comments on the hearings, this Vice President for Social Justice, Maya Wiley, clearly was out for blood, and had no interest in evidence, due process, or the facts. She is also ticks off all the right social justice police boxes by being a woman, a woman “of color,” and a lesbian. In other words, she occupies three of the top rungs in the hierarchy of the oppressed—all bombs waiting to blow up in the face of any straight white male who stumbles into her path.

Any fair-minded observer of the Kavanaugh proceedings would have noted that no one—Republican or Democrat—so much as laid a glove on his female accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, even though she had come forward to destroy the life of an exemplary individual and his family. No one, dared to do so. Call this feminine or alleged victim privilege. Kavanaugh’s high school yearbooks with tales of drinking were fair game, but Ford’s—which openly talk of the girls’ sexual promiscuity and boast of girls passing out at drinking parties—were not. Nor were her extensive political connections to the anti-Trump left, the pro-abortion movement, the Democratic Party, and even the law firm involved in the Steele dossier.

Yes, the sexual crime prosecutor established that Ford lied to the committee when she said she couldn’t come to Washington for the hearings because she was afraid of flying. In fact, as she admitted under questioning, she has frequently flown all over the world for pleasure. But no one actually confronted her about this. For example, no one asked her directly, “If you were brazen enough to lie to a congressional committee about this, why should we believe you in regard to anything else?”

Yes the same prosecutor gently asked Ford why she thought her best friend Leland Keyser whom she claimed was present at the party and would corroborate her story, in fact refuted it, saying that she was never at such a party, and the one in question never happened. Ford gave a transparently evasive answer saying her friend had (unspecified) health issues, while never explaining what they were or why they should cause her to contradict what Ford had claimed.

Actually, all the alleged witnesses to the party where the incident was supposed to have taken place have denied that they were there. The one witness who allegedly was in the room where she claimed the incident took place says he wasn’t there. But none of the senators had the temerity to confront her directly with the obvious question: why should we believe your inflammatory claims about Judge Kavanaugh given that no one you have named supports any piece of your story. Moreover, no one asked her “How do you feel about besmirching the reputation of a stellar individual, and bringing incalculable pain to his family by advancing claims that no one corroborates? How can you say that you are 100 percent sure an incident happened, when you can’t remember anything else accurately about the evening? Did your lawyers instruct you to say 100 percent? What actually did your lawyers prompt you to say in your prepared statement?”

No one said to her:  “You signed a letter attacking President Trump’s border policies and were able to get the anti-Trump ACLU to publish it; you contacted an anti-Trump paper, the Washington Post, to make your charges; you turned first to Democrats who are sworn to ‘resist’—actually sabotage—the Trump presidency and his judicial nominees; and you accepted attorneys recommended by Democrats, who are activist Democrat, anti-Trump lawyers. Can we conclude, therefore, that there might be a political motive behind your decision to bring up these character-ruining accusations about a rough-housing you allegedly received 36 years ago when you and Kavanaugh were too young to even vote?”

No one dared to ask these questions or to vigorously pursue problematic areas of her testimony and behavior. Instead everyone expressed sympathy for her and her pain in testifying, and said how credible she sounded—even though, unlike Kavanaugh’s presentation, hers was vetted and coached by lawyers, and even though it amounted to character assassination if her memory was false.

At the bottom of these asymmetries lies the fact that despite half a century of women’s “liberation” and “hear me roar” proclamations the feminist attitude towards women is still Victorian. Women are fragile violets who wilt before the raised voices and impassioned claims of male innocence. But this image is a one way mirror. Let a moment go by and then, when they or their defenders are on the counter-attack, hear them roar. Senator Mazie Hirono put it mind-numbingly well: “Men should just shut up and stand up” by which she meant for their female accusers, of course.

This is the ideologically constructed atmosphere, which makes a latter-day witch trial like the judiciary committee hearings possible. Christine Blasey Ford’s story is unbelievable on its face. She claims that after the alleged incident at the alleged party, where three of her friends (who have denied it) were allegedly present, she fled. Here are some questions that were not asked:

How did she get past those friends without them seeing her and her distress?

How could she not have warned her best friend, Leland Keyser, that there were two potential rapists in the house, if that’s what she thought?

How did she get home?

How did her best friend not ask her the next day why she left without her, or what happened?

Why was this such a trauma she could not tell her best friend? One can understand why she would want to conceal from her parents that she had gone to a drinking party with boys, but her friend who allegedly was there? She doesn’t even claim that she was raped, only that she was frightened in an incident that could have happened at any of the drunken parties she might have attended as described in her high school yearbook.

On the face of it, Christine Blasey Ford’s story is not only unsubstantiated. It isn’t credible. The destruction of Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation is the equivalent of a modern-day lynching—the third that Democrats have orchestrated in the last 27 years. It’s despicable. At least Republicans like Lindsey Graham have laid that charge at the door of the Democratic culprits who worked so hard to accomplish it. But, as a nation, we obviously have not reached the point where we can grant women true equality by confronting their lies and their reckless accusations with the same candor and frankness we would if they were coming out of the mouths of men.

Photo credit:  Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

KBO • The Courts

Stephen Breyer Arrested For Underage Drinking & Ginsburg Tipsy At State Of The Union

 

Well, this interesting. While we have been treated to innumerable lectures about how Brett Kavanaugh’s youthful beer drinking makes him unsuited for a seat on the Supreme Court, it turns out that some of Court’s Lefties like a tipple as well.

Stephen Breyer, was arrested for underage drinking when he was a student at Stanford. I wonder if the hectoring scolds chastising Kavanaugh think that Breyer should step down. Breyer discussed the incident in 2015 with NPR:

“We were in a restaurant, which was where they used to sing opera and serve wine. It was called the Bocce Ball, I think. It was very nice. You’d go there, and I think I was 18—I was 18—but the drinking age was 21 and they’d give you a glass of wine and you’d sit there and listen to the opera singers from the San Francisco Opera and have a glass of wine. There was sawdust on the floor. It was very nice, it was a lovely place. … The police apparently raided this opera restaurant and arrested everybody in sight who looked under 21 and there we are, but they didn’t proceed with it further and they sort of wiped out the arrest record.”

The Washington Post reported on it too: “At Stanford, he had his share high jinx, getting arrested at one point for underage drinking.”  Oh dear no, not that! At least there are no credible accusations of him throwing ice.

And then, of course, there is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who fell asleep during President Obama’s State of the Union in 2015. She’s known to her admirers as “The Incredible RBG”, incredible perhaps for her ability to drink? Maybe she’s SCOTUS champion of The Devil’s Triangle.

 

Justice Ginsburg told CNN that she “was not 100% sober” for the speech. One can hardly blamer her, of course, but, well, she’s not in college. The Kavanaugh Smear Committee is intent on indicting the man’s character for his youthful beer drinking and insisting it is disqualifying. Everyone knows they don’t believe it, they’re just adhering to the “any weapon at hand” ethic that defines Left Wing political warfare. But shouldn’t their friends on the Court be held to the same standard? In fact, shouldn’t they at least be expected to be sober on the job?

 

 

America • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Elections • Political Parties • Post • The Courts

Dems Risk Losing Suburban Women with Kavanaugh Attacks

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

I am not a crier. One of my best friends teases me that Satan cries more than I do; my husband jokes about my “six-second cry” when I finally shed some tears.

But as I watched Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, I cried—and for more than six seconds. I wept for him, for his crushed wife seated behind him, for his young daughters, and for his friends. I cried for our country. It was an emotional release of sympathy, frustration and rage.

I wasn’t alone. Several of my friends admitted they had the same reaction. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway mirrored the feelings of millions of women when she choked up that evening during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News: “I was sobbing when I was watching it,” Hemingway said. “I heard that a lot from people as well. It was hard just to watch those clips here.”

A bungled political assassination attempt on Brett Kavanaugh will cost the Democrats more than a seat on the Supreme Court: The party might also have killed its edge with suburban women just weeks before the pivotal midterm elections. The near-unanimous reaction to this travesty among my fellow suburban moms is unlike anything I’ve seen in the Trump era.

Until now, Democrats have been confident that women living in the suburbs would propel the much-vaunted “blue wave” this fall because President Trump remains unpopular with this traditionally Republican constituency. Polling conducted over the summer indicated suburban women had a strong preference for Democratic candidates over their Republican opponents. Several vulnerable Republican-held congressional districts are located in suburban areas.

But Democrats have overplayed their dirty hand, and women might exact their revenge in November. Republican women are outraged at Democrats and their media accomplices for what they’ve done to Brett Kavanaugh and his family. One poll taken right after Kavanaugh’s testimony showed 71 percent of Republican women believed Kavanaugh was telling the truth. In a Morning Consult poll released late Monday, 58 percent of Republican women described Dr. Christine Ford as “opportunistic.” Republican women are the only voters whose support for Kavanaugh’s nomination has increased post-hearing.

The majority of women voters in red states with vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection next month support Kavanaugh’s confirmation; a Harvard/Harris poll shows identical voter enthusiasm between Republican and Democratic women for the midterm election.

The truth is that Republican women have been skeptical about the Kavanaugh allegations since the beginning. CNN hosted a discussion group shortly after Ford’s sexual assault claims were made public; the interviewer appeared shocked to hear several Republican women say they believed Kavanaugh’s denials and doubted his accuser. A few said that even if the accusations were true, they were irrelevant. “I would hate to think 30, 40 years later, somebody is going to destroy your life because somewhere at some party, maybe you touched somebody the way you’re not supposed to,” one woman said.

Women rallied to Kavanaugh’s defense on Capitol Hill before the hearing on September 27. The media admitted that Congressional offices were fielding as many calls from women in support of Kavanaugh as from those who opposed him.

“Female voices have echoed throughout the Senate this week demanding male senators justify their support for Kavanaugh,” wrote Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard on Sunday. “But other women have spent hours calling Senate offices in support of Kavanaugh, condemning what they saw as an anti-Republican ploy.”

A CNN segment aired Monday featured dozens of women visiting fence-sitting senators to demand they vote against Kavanaugh; at the end of the piece, the reporter confessed that “while the opposition is loud, there is quiet support for Brett Kavanaugh among women.”

I asked several suburban moms to share their thoughts about the Democrats’ assault on Kavanaugh. Here is a sampling of their responses:

“The whole process was shameful, an obvious political maneuver. Ford clearly had ‘something’ happen to her, and the Democrats capitalized on her pain. Their disingenuous actions actually hurt the real plight women face. It was a dark day for America on Thursday.”

“What does it say about me as a woman that I don’t feel such strong affiliation with the sisterhood that I therefore automatically believe every charge leveled at a man by a woman? Is it my training as a lawyer? I don’t think so. I think it is my years of being married to an honorable man, and my parenting of two young men who ‘know’ what is and isn’t expected of them in their treatment of their female peers.”

“Knowing that this happened so long ago and they were teenagers (I believe) makes it a non-issue for me. People change over the years, they grow up, and most become mature and responsible. I think it is immature and disrespectful to bring up something from someone’s past to ‘smear’ them.”

“Democrats behavior in this process is truly disgusting and childish. I am appalled. I also watched Judge Kavanaugh’s rebuttal. I’ve read comments that ‘we don’t want a judge with that temperament on the bench!’ Really? I work in the legal system and that’s exactly the temperament I expect in a judge. I will vote in November no matter what. And there is no way I’d vote Democrat in this political climate.”

And this is from a childhood friend, one of the few women I know who did not vote for Trump, but still is a Republican: “I don’t think even if he was a douche in high school that he should be condemned. No one else has come forward to make such claims the entire time he’s been a judge. It’s ridiculous.” She also told me that Trump is a “narcissistic idiot” but she plans to vote Republican in November. She lives in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, which the Cook Political Report rates as “leans Republican.”

The Kavanaugh debacle has been a motivator for the GOP. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview Sunday that Republican voter enthusiasm has changed “drastically” over the past several days.

“We look at absentee ballots, those who are requesting ballots prior [to Election Day] and that has increased over the last week,” McCarthy explained. “We look at volunteerism. We look at things that are happening online.”

The shared tears and collective fury are galvanizing women voters, but not in the way Democrats initially calculated. The Democrats’ insistence that due process and a presumption of innocence don’t apply to men (particularly conservative white men) is a terrifying prospect for the husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers we love. The Left still doesn’t understand that we don’t hate men like they do.

The Democrats’ shameful conduct also has quashed their most convincing argument, which is that Donald Trump is a vulgarian who does not have the temperament to lead. What Republican woman now believes that Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)—who warned American men to “just shut up and step up for once”—or Cory Booker (D-N.J.) or Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are more prudent or civilized than Trump? Why would any suburban mother vote to empower a lowlife, bottom-feeding hustler like Michael Avenatti? Trump’s tweets look tame compared to the bile coming from these people.

I am told we are to believe women no matter what. If what I now hear from my suburban sisters is the truth (excuse me, “our truth”) then the Democrats have plenty to worry about right now.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Post • Republicans • The Courts • The Left

Revenge of the Nerds: Swamp Edition

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

In one scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” Meg Ryan’s character insists she had great sex in college with a guy named Shel. Billy Crystal’s character doesn’t buy it.

“Sheldon? No, no, you did not have great sex with Sheldon. A Sheldon can do your income taxes, if you need a root canal, Sheldon’s your man . . . but humpin’ and pumpin’ is not Sheldon’s strong suit. It’s the name. ‘Do it to me Sheldon, you’re an animal Sheldon, ride me big Shel-don.’ Doesn’t work.”

Since we all reliving the 1980s, that clip came to mind as I watched Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) grill Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday about his high school hijinx and in-crowd jargon from Georgetown Prep’s 1983 yearbook. The former prosecutor applied his keen interrogation skills against the Supreme Court nominee as Whitehouse delved into an unfamiliar world of teenaged popularity and partying, a place where guys like Kavanaugh strode past the likes of Whitehouse in the high school hallway with nary a glance, and Kavanaugh’s gal pals never gave poor Shel a chance to score.

Whitehouse revealed depravity of the highest order as he exposed the elite prep-school caste system. He finally was clued into its secret dialect and, acting like he was uncovering the cool kids’ Rosetta Stone, he made Kavanaugh admit that “ralph” is a reference to vomiting, and “boofed” means flatulence. The judge finally explained to an anxious nation what all those Fs were before his mention of the FFFFFFFourth of July. (Poor Squi.)

Whitehouse even exposed how these campus kings entertained themselves on the weekend while he was at home sharpening his Dungeons and Dragons skills. In one riveting exchange, peering over his glasses, the two-term senator cross-examined the former star athlete and student:

Whitehouse: Devil’s Triangle?

Kavanaugh: Drinking game.

Whitehouse: How’s it played?

Kavanaugh: Three glasses. In a triangle.

Whitehouse (confused): And?

Kavanaugh: You ever play quarters?

Whitehouse: No.

Kavanaugh: It’s a quarters game.

The Man Dorks Love to Hate
Aside from the Left’s vicious and venal assault on Kavanaugh and his family, another ulterior motive has been at play over the past few weeks. It is “Revenge of the Nerds, Swamp Edition.” Duckie versus Blaine. Farmer Ted versus Jake Ryan. Booger versus Ogre. Except this time, dweeby Democratic lawmakers and their media Geek Squad have piled on to the SCOTUS Prom King, and it isn’t pretty. Decades of pent-up hostility for being ignored, depantsed and stuffed in lockers came frothing to the top of our national political dialogue.

Brett Kavanaugh is the guy the dorks love to hate, and they still resent him. He was a three-sport athlete and top student—”busted my butt in school,” he told Whitehouse—and obviously very well-liked. Legions of friends, both men and women, have come to his defense. Old girlfriends have attested to his character and manners. “I’ve been friends with Brett Kavanaugh for over 35 years, and dated him during high school,” wrote Maura Kane. “In every situation where we were together he was always respectful, kind and thoughtful. We remain good friends and I admire him as a husband, father, and professional.”

Sadly for the nerds, Kavanaugh’s charmed life did not end after graduation. He went on to the Ivy Leagues, worked in the Bush White House, and became a federal judge. The fact Kavanaugh is also a devout churchgoer, a volunteer at homeless shelters, marathon-runner, kids’ basketball coach, husband, and father to two beautiful little girls only made the dorks more mad. They are fuming that this party boy, and not they, will be in a position of power instead of selling cars like all party boys should be.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she would use her constitutional powers to learn more about all the fun she missed out on in high school: “I will be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school. Apparently there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. This is why we need an investigation.”

Meantime, senator and national nag Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted out a video clip of Kavanaugh joking about his days at Georgetown Prep, claiming that she “can’t imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice?” (No, Liz . . . just the cool moms.)

Vivia Chen, a writer for American Lawyer, scolded Kavanaugh about his typical teenage behavior: “As any woman who came of age during the ’70s and ’80s can tell you, girls were expected to put up with a lot of nonsense at parties, in parked cars or darkened movie theaters. And among the preppy set, of which Kavanaugh was a member, that culture of hard drinking and male predatory behavior was normal.” Kavanaugh is a scapegoat for an entire generation of these women and their pent up frustrations. And if that wasn’t clinging on to enough high school neurosis, some of these childish punks even made fun of his name.

The Real Objection, Of Course
And don’t even get the nerds started on brewskis. Kavanaugh’s beer consumption in high school and college was a hot topic among the Democratic geeks on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked Kavanaugh several questions about his Bud Light habits, including whether he had ever blacked out from drinking or couldn’t remember things from the night before. (He said no.) The blue-checkmark geeks were unpersuaded. Author and law professor Jennifer Taub sniffed how Kavanaugh’s answer was “not responsive. It is defensive. Also when asked about drinking he also turns it around aggressively questioning senator.” Seriously?

The Left’s main objection to Kavanaugh clearly centers on politics: They are livid another conservative judge will be seated on the Supreme Court for decades to come, jeopardizing their cherished case law protecting abortion rights, union thuggery, and unhinged environmentalism. As Kavanaugh also pointed out, their rage is fueled by the results of the 2016 presidential election and revenge on behalf of the Clintons.

But there is a more basic human emotion at play: Envy. The geeky Left cannot abide the idea that the popular jock grew up to lead a stellar life, have a beautiful family, and get a chance at history while the Shels of the world stand against the gymnasium wall, waiting to be asked to dance. It really is like 1982 all over again.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • Big Media • Congress • Conservatives • Democrats • feminists • First Amendment • Identity Politics • Post • Republicans • The Constitution • The Courts • The Culture

Democrat Bloodlust Has Energized Republicans

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Over and over again I have heard from people outside of politics and the media, but all over the political spectrum, about their extreme distaste for the Democrats’ bloodlust. They see it for what it is: there is no search for truth, it’s not about justice. It’s a well-orchestrated political hit-job designed to destroy a good man and accomplished judge because he represents an end to Leftist control of the Supreme Court which they have used since the 1930s as a super-legislature to force their radical, dehumanizing agenda on the country over the objections of the American people. At least they know what’s at stake. When looking back on the 1930s and Britain’s failure to rearm or oppose Hitler when it would have been easy, Churchill described the nation as having been ‘lost in a pacifist daydream.’ The same could be said for some Republican Senators who seem not to know that the new politics is, sadly, one of no holds barred political warfare. They need not engage in the immoral tactics of the Democrats, but they must at least recognize what they’re up against.

This will have an impact on the upcoming midterm elections—but not the way Democrats will hope. They envision their pussy-hat wearing legions descending on the polls and sweeping into power a host of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clones and their “male allies.” “This is it comrades,” you can hear them say, “today we overthrow the patriarchy!” But no. They have done, once again, for Republicans what Republicans could not do for themselves: energize the base.

Read the rest at Spectator USA.

Photo credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • civic culture/friendship • Congress • Conservatives • Cultural Marxism • Post • The Constitution • The Courts • The Culture • The Resistance (Snicker)

Cowardly Republicans Grant a False Premise

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

The logic of a premise will drag you to its conclusion. When Senate Republicans accepted the premise that Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh was a legitimate personal complaint rather than a political maneuver orchestrated by the Democratic Party, they placed themselves in the grips of a logic leading them through bargaining about how to accommodate her as he was dogged by a nationwide campaign of personal and political vilification.

The logic’s next step is likely to come Thursday, when Ford does not show at the Judiciary Committee hearing amidst renewed Democratic and media accusations of a litany of sins by now all too familiar.

Republicans will be left with the same option they had when the Democrats first brought up their last-minute landmine—to press ahead with confirmation. But by accepting a premise they knew was false, they energized the Democrats’ constituencies and dispirited their own.

They embarrassed themselves by volunteering to be played for suckers, as well as  looking callous toward  victims of sexual assault. Brilliant.

The substance, the manner, and the circumstances of Ford’s accusation shouted that it is a hoax—that the Democrats had conjured a political bludgeon of last resort, and never intended for Ford to testify. But the Republicans, being pusillanimous, refused to acknowledge the reality of what they were getting into.

The accusation’s substance advertised its unseriousness. The total lack of specifics about the time and place of the alleged assault, of anything that might be an investigation’s staring place, was red flag enough. But the contradiction between the original report to a therapist about four men in the room—and nothing about Kavanaugh—and the subsequent account of two, Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, was as obvious to the Democrats making the charge as to the Republicans. When Judge denied any knowledge of the alleged party, followed by all others who Ford named as having knowledge of it, the Republicans had no reason to refrain from labeling the accusations the very definition of slander. No reason except cowardice.

The accusation’s manner was just as telling. Ford and her lawyers have been careful never to make the charge in a way that would subject them to prosecution for perjury. When Ford and lawyers refused to take part in the Judiciary Committee staff’s initial inquiry into the charge, instead making ever-changing demands about an eventual hearing’s procedure while also demanding postponements, Republicans had no reason to shy from demanding a statement under penalty of perjury. None except cowardice.

The circumstances of Ford’s accusation—formulated by a Democratic activist, held in pectore by the chief Democratic strategist on the nomination until all other ploys had failed to yield the desired result, and used to achieve delay along with mobilization of Democratic constituencies were as obvious to Republicans as to Democrats. There was no reason for Republicans to pretend otherwise—except cowardice.

But turning your back to the attack dogs only means you can’t defend yourself, and that they will bite you in the rear. The Republicans’ cowardice led them to this act of stupidity.

Incredibly, the Republicans hoped that Ford would take part in a hearing focused on facts. Fat chance! If Ford testified, even the mildest cross examination would underline not only that there is zero basis for believing the charges, but that the charges themselves are internally inconsistent and self-discrediting. Why would the Democrats allow that, putting her and her lawyers at risk of prosecution for perjury?

For Democrats, the only possible value added from a hearing would be yet another chance to paint the Republicans as vicious to women—which they’ve already done, in spades. The most dramatic way would be for Ford to react to cross examination by bursting into tears. That can be very effective—but only if carried out just right, which is very hard to do. Fake tears are totally discrediting. Why risk that? In front of Republican senators, maybe. But not in front of the country ahead of a midterm election.

By now, the accusations against Kavanaugh have achieved all that can be expected of them. No need for Democrats to risk their gains. They have not delayed the Senate floor vote past the November elections. They may or may not have moved one or two Republican senators, or solidified three Democratic ones. Surely, they have given Republican senators yet another chance to show their contemptible weakness. Certainly, they have further energized their own voters—but at the cost of projecting a scary image of themselves to the rest of the country. How many non-Leftist voters they have energized to do what remains to be seen on election day.

If the voters elect Republicans in November 2018, hoping to protect themselves against the new model Democratic Party, it will represent the triumph of hope over experience.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Administrative State • American Conservatism • Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Conservatives • Deep State • Democrats • political philosophy • Post • self-government • The Constitution • The Courts • The Culture

The Suicidal Sanctimony of Phony Conservatives

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Christine Blasey Ford made scurrilous accusations against Brett Kavanaugh for actions she claims occurred nearly 35 years ago when they were both minors. Both Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, who Ford also claims was present have vehemently and categorically denied her claims. The people who know Kavanaugh, as well as decades of evidence of a life lived with dignity and propriety, support him.

Even one of the people Ford claims was a witness denies her claims. Ford says that Leland Keyser was a friend of hers and was at the party in 1982. But Keyser says she has no recollection of the party. Not only that, she denies knowing or ever being in a social situation with Kavanaugh. Keyser’s statement calls into question whether the party occurred at all, which would make Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh entirely false.

Predictably, however, Ford has been joined by Stormy Daniels’ execrable mouthpiece, Michael Avenatti. Now a Yale classmate is making claims about some nudity at a dorm party, which have been questioned or denied by people who were allegedly there. So why are some self-described conservatives signing up to help this circus along?

What’s Different Now
False accusations and smear campaigns against upstanding Supreme Court nominees are nothing new. Democrats destroyed Robert Bork’s reputation in 1987 with a campaign of lies. Republicans said never again. So when Democrats tried it again on Clarence Thomas in 1991, that effort failed.

Today, however, so-called conservatives are helping Democrats destroy Kavanaugh as they seem to miss the point: Democrats aren’t acting in good faith. There is no search for truth—the campaign to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination is just brass-knuckled power politics. Democrats will do and say anything they think will keep Kavanaugh off the bench.

The longer it goes on, the more claims they will gin up until Republicans just can’t take it anymore and slink off in defeat, leaving Democrats in control of the Supreme Court. Remember when Harry Reid admitted to lying about improprieties in Mitt Romney’s tax returns but justified it by saying he “did what was necessary.” The same ethic is at work here.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty not only thinks that Ford’s claims should bar Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court, but he told Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, who wrote she believes Ford despite the lack of evidence, that “it’s hard to see how he could remain a federal judge.” David French agreed that the allegations, if proven, should “mar him for life.” National Review Online Editor Charles C. W. Cooke agreed, adding that he doesn’t think that makes him “irrational or a Stalinist.”

Dennis Prager disagreed and made the commonsense argument that people should be judged based on the entirety of their lives and not for things that occurred in their youth, for which there is no evidence, and which the accused has denied. For that, he earned the opprobrium of French’s wife, Nancy, in a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post. French added that she “is no longer a Republican” because Republicans tell her that “character doesn’t matter” and that “people are disposable.”

Yet, these are the people who represent themselves as “true conservatives.” They’re not and it’s time for actual conservatives to realize it and ignore them. What they really are is self-righteous moralizers and anti-social prigs.

Aiding and Abetting Political Enemies
If the Frenches and the Geraghtys of the world kept their opinions to themselves, the country would be better off. Unfortunately, they are members of a very vocal political suicide cult who falsely claim the conservative mantle yet collaborate with political enemies and work to advance the evidence-free smear of Kavanaugh. The only thing these “conservatives” seem genuinely interested in conserving is the platforms they use to reprimand the rest of us for not living up to their preposterous standards.

For those of us concerned about practical politics and the future of American republicanism, a constitutionalist majority on the Supreme Court is vital to regaining some notion of responsible self-government. It has been the object of two generations of work by actual conservatives. But these hectoring scolds are actively working to seize defeat from the jaws of victory on the basis of a patently obvious, after the buzzer, bad faith smear campaign designed to destroy a man whose entire life—not to mention the testimony of many contemporaries—contradicts the claim.

If they are successful, we will all pay the price.

These are people who must not be allowed to represent the rank-and-file conservatives who backed Trump (none of these commentators did) and who want to effect a constitutional restoration. If you want to see a fair representation of what right-leaning Americans, including women, are thinking about this situation, watch this:

Geraghty claims that an alleged awkward encounter at the age of 17 should earn a lifetime ban from the federal bench. This sentiment appears to be shared by many of his colleagues and fellow travelers. What other employment does he believe should be off limits? I wonder if he’s thought it out that far or if he’s just emoting. Should it bar someone from all legal practice? What about insurance sales? Real estate? How about Walmart greeter?

And why? What are the rules? And what other purported sins should bar Americans from public service and even employment? Failing to observe the sabbath? Idolatry? Taking home some Post-It notes from the office? Dining and dashing with college friends? I’d say that it quickly becomes absurd, but they past that point long ago. And I can’t help but wonder if this provisional Committee on Public Virtue could say that every action of their own conforms to their quickly evolving standards.

A Cop-Out of a Fig Leaf
These so-called conservatives know no sense of proportion and thus lack basic wisdom. The fact is, they have no standards. Everything is ad hoc, impressionistic, emotional, and most of all driven by a sense of seeking to preserve their own place without regard to the good of others or the country. It is ugly, petty, and graceless.

Their preferred formulation of “if the charges are true, then . . . ” is a way to declare guilt and pronounce a sentence without ever having to seeing a shred of evidence and despite vehement, categorical denials from the accused. It is vulgar and wrong. It is also counter to the standards of French’s own denomination, which teaches that the Ninth Commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of one’s neighbor’s good name. By promoting gossip, smears, and accusations in the most public way he is doing just the opposite, despite his use of the “if . . . then” fig leaf.

Let me show you how this works: “If the Frenches, Charlie Cooke, and Jim Geraghty kick puppies, they should never be allowed to have a dog.” It doesn’t definitively say they kick puppies, but it does leave a distinct odor of wrongdoing and helpfully offers a ready-made punishment.

So let’s try another: “If pundits who claim to be conservatives promote unfounded Democrat smear campaigns, then no one should listen to them.”

Or this one: “If they actively use their platforms to undermine conservative causes, then we should realize they aren’t really conservatives at all and ignore them.”

Pharisaical Pretenses
Remember that these are the very same people—the same “principled conservatives”—who claim to want dignity and propriety in our public officials. But their participation in Kavanaugh’s public defenestration makes it less likely that such people will want to serve. It is a vile spectacle. They are nothing but self-seeking virtue hustlers—the right-wing equivalent of Al Sharpton—who claim virtue while practicing vice.

The real truth is that no one is good enough for them because in their hermetically sealed world, politics isn’t a practical art at all, and it isn’t about improving the country. It’s just a game of fake virtue one-upmanship to see who can be holier than thou. It’s unrealistic, immoral, and dysfunctional. It’s just the flip side of the unrealistic utopian ideology which has made Leftist politics so destructive.

On the Right, we need to reject the hectoring moralizers and two-bit virtue hustlers. Destroying people’s lives and careers without evidence, trafficking in gossip and self-regarding sanctimony should be given no place. Like it or not, the pharisaical pretense of Geraghty, French, and company enables vile bottom feeders like Michael Avenatti who cook up sick conspiracy theories about Brett Kavanaugh in a desperate attempt to keep a constitutionalist off the Supreme Court. Shame on them.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Administrative State • America • Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Conservatives • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Progressivism • The Constitution • The Courts • The Culture

The New Refuge of Scoundrels

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Just when observers had concluded the desperate progressive opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could not stoop much lower, it most certainly did.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), in the news recently for somehow unknowingly employing a Chinese spy as her gofer and chauffeur for 20 years, passed on information to federal investigators that weeks ago had come to her attention from an unnamed, unidentified, and anonymous female who claimed she was a high school acquaintance of Kavanaugh’s. Apparently, we were to believe that the once-anonymous informant had harbored a long-simmering, but heretofore never-voiced complaint of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, which coincidentally reached a peak of unsustainable resentment at the time of his nomination to the highest court in the land.

After days of gossip and innuendo to the effect that the likely next Supreme Court Justice might just be some sort of pervert, Anonymous finally came forward and identified herself as a victim of a then 17-year-old inebriated Brett Kavanaugh who (she says) sexually manhandled her in 1982 when she was 15. More specifically, the woman now alleges that Kavanaugh and another student at a high-school party entered a room inebriated, pinned her to a bed, and then groped her while she was clothed. Young Kavanaugh then allegedly attempted to take her clothes off her while he and his classmate, Mark Judge, both laughed “maniacally.” She adds that she had sought “medical treatment” for her unspecified injuries.

Anonymous identified herself in the Washington Post on Sunday as Christine Blasey Ford, a registered Democrat, Bernie Sanders supporter, and psychology professor at Palo Alto University, who otherwise had no recollection exactly where or when the supposed assault occurred some 36 years ago. Nor did she offer any clear reason why she had never then, or in the more than three decades since, contacted authorities to report the purported assault, other than claiming in 2012 that the incident then 30 years earlier still troubled her and contributed to her own sense of unease.

Or as Ford explained her sudden self-unmasking over the weekend: “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.” A cynic might suggest that anonymity was useful in the 11th-hour smearing of Kavanaugh, but had proved not quite enough to derail his nomination, and so the fallback and default position of identification followed.

Ford was wise finally to come forward, given that the ability of the defendant now to face his accuser is a fundamental tenet of Western jurisprudence, as are canons such as statutes of limitations and hearsay. And just as Kavanaugh has labored for days under terrifying smears of Anonymous’s charges, so, too, will Ford have to prove to the court of public opinion that her narrative is believable, and neither timed nor crafted for the higher progressive objective of destroying a conservative Republican Supreme Court nominee.

Feinstein, in raising these initially anonymous allegations, was trafficking in the world of the English Star Chamber Court, the Inquisition, and the whispers and initial innuendos that prompted the hysteria of the Salem witch trials. Or rather she had a finger in the wind: if the 36-year-old charges created an Anita Hill-like hysteria, Feinstein was to be seen as heroic and on the barricades of the #NeverKavanaugh resistance. But even if her the charge proved absurd, then she could have retreated into something like “Just Sayin’.

So Feinstein saw no downside in releasing the initially anonymous sourced charge just after the formal hearings on Kavanaugh had concluded, in hopes that the smear could not be answered by cross-examining senators, but might gin up pressure on senators nonetheless to change their votes.

When the gambit backfired, Anonymous then—and only then—stepped forward to press her charges. What is left unsaid is that we will no longer have a free country or enjoy civil liberties and the safety of a Bill of Rights, if any American, at any time, can be ruined by an allegation of unproven sexual assault of some 36 years past, when the accused was a 17-year-old teenager, by an accuser who initially trafficked anonymously in such allegations, came forward only as part of a wider, more intensified and collective last-ditch effort to destroy the reputation of the accused, and yet has no clear memory of exactly where she was at 15, or the approximate date, when she claims that she was assaulted, or why she made no such accusation for 30 years—or when she raised the issue some six years ago privately during counseling, why her therapist’s notes of such revelations do not now match her current version of the incident.  

Most would assume that when Blasey Ford wrote in her allegation, “I have received medical treatment regarding the assault,” she would produce proof of a confirmable visit to an emergency room or doctor fairly soon after the alleged attack—not subsequently refer to a couples therapy session 30 years later, during which the therapist took notes that now do not, six additional years later, synchronize with the current allegations.

Bad Faith Publishing at the New York Times
Anonymity has never become more disreputable—and legitimized. An unidentified source is the new American means that is to be justified by noble progressive ends, often in the context of somehow delegitimizing Donald J. Trump and anyone or anything remotely connected to him.

Newspapers rarely print anonymous op-eds. And when they do, the themes are matters of policy or ideology, not self-righteous confessions of stealth and supposedly justified conspiracies against the president in the final weeks before a midterm election. Yet on September 5, the New York Times published an unsigned confessional from one of many supposed “senior officials” who all are said to be members of #TheResistance. These disloyal insiders, we are told, are doing all they can to subvert the operations of the Trump Administration and, in their warped view, see these actions as the embodiment of some kind of patriotism.

Both the Times and the unknown author of the accusations believe that anonymity is justified because of the extraordinary danger that Trump is said to pose to the American commonwealth.

In reality, both parties more cynically assume that anonymity precludes all discussions of verification. What Ben Rhodes once cynically called the “echo chamber” and what President Trump refers to as “fake news” are supposed to have earned our automatic trust. They have not.

We have no idea whether the Times is acting in good faith and publishing verbatim the insider’s account, or whether it solicited the op-ed, or whether the op-ed was edited or massaged by the Times—given that we have no ability to question the author, much less to see any supporting documents or corroborating testimonials. Moreover, the Times just published a fake news account that United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley was ordering extravagant drapes for her office (actually ordered during the Obama Administration). Its veracity continues to erode.

Far more important, the anonymous op-ed makes sweeping, even subversive, assertions that many like the author in the administration may well be breaking federal law by deliberately not carrying out, or indeed actively obstructing, administrative or legal orders. But ascertaining the truth of such charges is not the objective of the Times’s gambit. Instead, speculation, gossip, rumor, and “fear” are—as pundits grow feverish in their claims that the ogre Trump forced professionals of such rare virtue bravely to come forward.

Bob Woodward’s Games of Anonymity
The op-ed appeared conveniently as a would-be force multiplier of advance copy excerpts of Bob Woodward’s new tell-all Fear, circulating among journalists and reviewers. Fear is yet another Woodward exposé that reviewers say makes the identical argument as does Anonymous: so chaotic and disruptive is the landscape within the Trump Administration that the ensuing climate of fear naturally begs for some sort of deep-state intervention (as in the removal of an elected president).

There is no need to rehash four decades of commentary on Woodward’s journalistic methodology of using unnamed sources to “reconstruct” dialogues and conversations, replete with quotation marks. Generations of critics have warned that his muckraking cannot be verified and often cannot be fully accurate or even true.

When both observers and participants question the veracity of Woodward’s scenarios, sometimes the implication follows that, if called to account, he just may release (promises, promises) “tapes” of his sources to validate his dramatic reconstructions of these anonymous interlocutors.

Those quasi-threats are then usually followed by backpedaling: he has promised anonymity to his sources, and so, unfortunately, he cannot follow through on his warnings to substantiate his narrative. It is almost as if the threat to resort to citations, footnotes, or any type of confirmation of his speakers with background information of time and place would be seen as subversive.

We have forgotten how in the last four decades since the appearance of All the President’s Men just how the Woodward method has become institutionalized by the national press. We know the familiar modus operandi: the journalist is contacted by a leaker or indeed trolls for the leak. The “source” demands to remain anonymous. Negotiations follow about the terms of cloaking the informant. The motive of the unnamed source—whether it be patriotic, careerist, self-interested, or venomous—is immaterial.

The journalist is the ventriloquist, his sources puppets. Any observer who reads Woodward sees how the psychodrama further unfolds: should an anonymous source balk, then he must soon realize that some other anonymous sources might offer an alternate—and by definition competing and even more unflattering—narrative.

Sources, then, vie for primacy and likely exaggerate and fabricate, worried that if one does not leak or provide “background” he may become a target rather than the targeted: that is, someone else will first go full-blown Woodward.

At times, more substantial deep-state sources may use Woodward as much as he uses them, feeding him their own narratives and their own sources to substantiate their yarns, albeit of course, anonymously.

All of the above is the best-case scenario. Just as often journalists can invent dialogue and psychodramas, and attribute them to “informed sources,” “a high senior official,” or “sources tell us.” After Journolist, the WikiLeaks /John Podesta trove, the epidemic of fake news, and the “echo chamber,” why should anyone take the new journalists at their word?

Even at best Woodward is a postmodern Thucydides, whose 141 speeches in his magisterial history have sparked 2,400 years of controversy over their veracity. The historian himself, presaging Woodward, confesses that he wrote down what he heard. Fine. But when that effort proved not entirely feasible, Thucydides confesses that he put those words into the mouths of speakers that they should have said:

. . . it was in all cases difficult to carry them [the speeches in the history] word for word in one’s memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course, adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said.

Woodward says he relies on tapes rather than memory, but his method is as ambiguous as that of the ancient historians who routinely put their own words into the mouths of speakers. The speakers in Woodward’s “histories” usually say what is demanded on them by “the various occasions”—and in accordance with Woodward’s own thematic purposes.

Redaction, Anonymity, and Leaking
Anonymity has also become the impediment to ending the entire Russia-Trump collusion mythology. Almost every document that is so painstakingly obtained from a Justice Department or FBI archive appears so heavily redacted as to be worthless. Miscreants are not identified by name, but instead by letters or numbers. The point of redaction is to disconnect the deep-state messenger from the incriminating message.

How strange, then, that some government leaks to the press are replete with names, and so damn the innocent like Carter Page. Yet at other times official government documents use redaction to protect the identity of the culpable. So the final irony of the new cult of anonymity is that not all anonymity is equal.

The Obama National Security Council and others did their best to unmask and, quite illegally, leak the names of those caught up in surveillance. Either officials in the Justice Department or the FBI or both fed the toady press the names of a number of surveilled Trump campaign personnel.

If an official is willing to offer dirt on the current president, then journalists peddle the gossip and innuendo through the use of anonymity to “protect” a valuable source.

Yet if a name is legally protected from disclosure, but its release might fuel an anti-Trump narrative, then it is usually leaked.

Noble progressive ends justify any means necessary to obtain them—and increasingly anonymity is the preferred method.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2016 Election • Conservatives • Donald Trump • Post • The Courts • the Presidency

Is the President a Bad Role Model for Children?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Most voters say President Donald Trump is not a good role model for children, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. “While 90 percent of voters say the president should be a good role model for kids, only 29 percent say he is while 67 percent say he is not.”—U.S. News Jan. 26, 2018.

As someone who has devoted his life to writing and speaking about moral issues and the importance of character, I am regularly criticized for supporting President Trump. Democrats and Republican opponents of the president consider conservatives who support the president to be, at best, inconsistent with conservative values such as tempered speech, commitment to truth, support for European allies and free trade. And those of us who are religious conservatives and support the president are deemed hypocrites for supporting a man who has presumably committed adultery on more than a few occasions and said gross things about women in a private conversation.

Perhaps the most common objection to supporting the president is this: “He is a terrible role model for children.” So, let me address this objection.

As a father and grandfather, I would like every adult man (and woman—but I’ll confine my comments to men) to be a model for younger men. I consider it to be a moral obligation of every man to aspire to be a model for younger men. Perhaps the most meaningful compliment I receive is when a man calls my radio show or writes an email and tells me that he sees me as a “father figure.” I always respond how meaningful that statement is to me and always add that this is precisely what every man should aspire to be.

My suspicion is that this was much more common an aspiration among men generations ago. It is one of the reasons adult men and women seek to be called by their first names rather than “Mr.” (or, in the case of women, “Miss” or “Mrs.”). Many members of the baby-boom generation have not wanted to grow up: They dress, talk and act like teenagers, and many delay engaging in one of the most important statements of maturity—getting married—as long as possible. More men than ever never get married. In short, they want to see themselves as peers of young people, not father figures.

So then, if I emphatically support the idea that adult men should seek to be models for younger men, how could I support a president who apparently isn’t? The answer should be so obvious I am disappointed that all conservatives do not readily understand it. The role of the president of the United States is first and foremost to be a good president. If he (or she) is a personal role model, that is a lovely bonus—but it is only a bonus. When I was young, I never regarded the president of the United States as a personal role model. That task fell on my father, my grandfather, my older brother, my uncles, my parents’ friends, my teachers, my rabbis and other older males.

President Jimmy Carter was known to be a faithful and devoted husband, and was not known for making false statements (only libelous ones after leaving office—like calling Israel an “apartheid” state). So what? Do conservative never-Trumpers think Jimmy Carter’s personal integrity mattered more, or his presidential decisions?

And, by the way, I’ll take Donald Trump’s character over that of Hillary Clinton. I believe she sold her country’s interests for personal gain. That she never committed adultery probably mattered to her husband and daughter, but not to me in determining who should be president of the United States.

What a president does as president is immeasurably more important than his personal sins. What he does personally affects his family. What he does as president affects the lives of 328 million Americans and, for that matter, the whole world.

Donald Trump is responsible for the lowest unemployment in generations, for appointing two conservative Supreme Court justices, for boosting defense spending, for confronting the illegal-immigrant crisis, for cutting government regulations, for strongly supporting Israel, for lowering taxes, for confronting Western European countries over their morally indefensible low defense spending and so much more that anyone who calls himself conservative should celebrate. Those achievements—not to mention preventing a left-wing, i.e. Democratic Party, victory in 2016—are what should matter to every conservative and every American frightened by what the left is doing to the country, to its universities, high schools, families, gender relations and race relations, and everything else it touches.

If your house were on fire, would you be more concerned with the character of the firefighters sent to extinguish the fire or their firefighting ability? The generation that grew up under one of the most decent presidential moral models—Dwight Eisenhower—turned out to be the most narcissistic, morally confused and unpatriotic generation in modern American history. So much for presidents as models for children.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Administrative State • America • Congress • Conservatives • Post • Progressivism • separation of powers • The Constitution • The Courts • The Resistance (Snicker)

Are Dems Right to Panic Over the Court? Five Originalists Weigh In

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

My intuition is that the Democrats are not panicking enough about the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. They’ve been so busy ginning up their base with claims that Kavanaugh will spell the end of abortion and gay marriage that they haven’t focused on the more likely, and larger, impacts of an originalist court. Trump’s court will change America.

Kavanaugh is most robust in defending the Constitution on foundational questions, not the headline grabbers. This is good news.

An originalist court will bring needed changes to everyday life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We’ve already seen several dramatic victories when Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court last term. This was a foretaste of far-reaching changes to come. Reinstating constitutional safeguards against government power will be significant for religious freedom, free speech, curtailing racial preferences, unleashing free enterprise, and stopping unaccountable government.

In Justice Anthony Kennedy’s last term, when he sided with the conservative justices, we saw that a faithful reading of the Constitution can be revolutionary. In Janus v. AFSCME, government workers were freed from compulsory union fees. Unions spent almost $2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions in 2016, raised with those compulsory fees. Janus may cut the cycle of Democrat politicians voting for ruinous salaries and pensions, which bankrupt local and state government, as the cost of union support. And it set an important legal precedent for undoing poor court decisions from the past.

The Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling in favor of a Christian baker targeted by gay rights activists, trying to force him to bake a gay wedding cake, was an important victory for free exercise of religion. Even liberal Justice Kagan, who was furious at what she called “weaponizing the First Amendment” in the Janus case, joined the consensus defending the First Amendment in the Masterpiece case which was decided on a 7-2 majority.

Breaking the Grip of Stare Decisis and Chevron Deference
Is my intuition right about the game-changing power of honoring our Constitution? To answer this question, I sought out five of the best originalist legal minds in the country. In one interview after another, these judges and Supreme Court lawyers agreed about the importance of President Trump selecting originalist justices. The two legal mainstays that allow the Deep State to continue its power grab unchecked are about to be slowly but methodically dismantled.

These much-misused legal doctrines are stare decisis and Chevron deference. In the 20th century, stare decisis and the Chevron deference enabled the explosive expansion of the executive bureaucracy and of government power over all areas of life and the economy. These technical terms will never become household words, but changing them will affect every household in America.

Stare decisis means not overturning precedent, even if the precedent was wrongly decided and unconstitutional. It is often quoted by liberals to argue that Roe v. Wade is sacrosanct.

Chevron deference is a doctrine that says the courts should defer to the executive branch agencies, allowing them to write regulations and policy that carry the force of law, with only limited judicial review. It delegates interpreting laws to bureaucrats, which deprive citizens of recourse to court review. This gives a green light to executive overreach. For example, the Obama administration did not have to bother trying to pass a transgender bathroom law. A government bureaucrat merely reinterpreted Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to define unisex bathrooms as discriminatory based on newly invented gender rights.

It has been almost a century since progressives on the Supreme Court radically transformed America’s legal traditions.  We will not see abrupt and rapid change, as when progressives legislated from the bench in Roe v Wade or dictating gay marriage.  The Trump court will be the beginning of a new era of slower, case by case progress back to constitutional limits on government power.

Jim Burling, Pacific Legal Foundation
First, I talked with Jim Burling, vice president of litigation at the Pacific Legal Foundation, which has 10 wins and only two losses before the Supreme Court. PLF has been a powerhouse for decades defending property rights, notably against eminent domain and the EPA. Then some interesting things happened. One was in the realm of national politics, and the other was an intellectually electrifying book that created a seminal change in their thinking about defending liberty.

The political change began with President Obama’s big government agenda, and the voters’ repudiation of him two years later, resulting in his loss of Congress. Unwilling to let his power be curbed by our constitutional separation of powers, Obama embarked on an imperial presidency. He put the administrative state on overdrive. He ruled through executive orders and unaccountable bureaucratic regulations, often brazenly illegal, such as funneling half a billion dollars of bank fines to private radical organizations, often flouting constitutional limits, for example, turning the Clean Air Act into a war on coal.

PLF realized that their defense of property rights faced insurmountable odds against the extra-legal deep state. A 2014 book by Philip Hamburger, Is the Administrative State Unlawful? (a shorter version, The Administrative Threat is a good introduction) galvanized them to shift their approach to directly attack deep state prerogatives unlawfully delegated by the courts through Chevron deference.

Hamburger’s historical deep dive into 17th-century England, the original showdown between Parliament and the absolutist powers of the King, showed how those hard-won constitutional principles applied to the present-day battle with the bureaucratic state. The lawyers at PLF realized they had a blueprint in their hands they could use to roll back the deep state’s self-anointed kingly powers. Civil servants have no right to define law, judge compliance, or apply penalties. Bureaucrats in America now exercise the constitutionally delegated powers that belong to the legislature and the courts; powers that the kings of England were forced to relinquish centuries ago.

Jim Burling believes we are at one of those seminal moments in intellectual history, when clear thinking unleashes profound forces for change. PLF went through the Hamburger book chapter by chapter, translating the historical battles into current constitutional freedom battles that could be won. Their new goal is to claw back the deformation of progressive rulings and restore limits on bureaucratic power.

In Justice Gorsuch’s first court session, PLF won two cases, one on free speech and one safeguarding the right to sue the EPA in federal court, a right trampled by the EPA’s infamous Obama era “waters of the United States” rule, by which the federal government seized jurisdiction over every piece of private property in America that has a spring puddle or an irrigation ditch, and gave homeowners only 120 days to seek redress in court.

The night before President Trump’s election, Burling couldn’t sleep. He was thinking about the coming liberal court under Hillary Clinton’s administration. The Pacific Legal Foundation would have to stop looking to the Supreme Court.  As the returns on election night came in, Burling thought, “We’re not going to lose the court after all.”

Burling believes President Trump has done a spectacular job with his court appointments. He foresees more victories against the Chevron doctrine, the legal power tool of the deep state.

His long-term dream is to return the Commerce Clause to regulating only true interstate commerce, not all economic activity in the country. As a young law student, he was taught that because of precedent economic freedom was gone forever. Now rolling back government intrusion that stifles free enterprise seems like a viable goal.

Burling expects Judge Kavanaugh to be faithful to the actual language of statutes and the Constitution. Republican nominees in the past were often chosen based on political favors owed, such as John Sununu’s successful lobbying for Justice David Souter simply because he was from New Hampshire, despite his liberal record. President Trump was serious about seeking out the best originalist judges in the country. There is not a bad choice among them.

Will the new court be a gamechanger? There is reason for hope, according to Burling, that the court will be more robust in overturning bad court precedents, but he foresees only incremental change, given Chief Justice Robert’s predilection for narrow rulings. Bigger changes will await another Trump nominee.

Jeremy Tedesco, Alliance Defending Freedom
The day after Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, I spoke with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who successfully argued the Masterpiece Cakeshop case during Justice Kennedy’s final term on the court. ADF lost the case in every court all the way up to the Supreme Court, where the group won a landmark victory, 7-2.

ADF is the country’s premier law firm defending the sanctity of life and religious liberty. They have taken nine cases to the Supreme Court in the last seven years and won every single time. ADF can be proud of their Masterpiece win, which was based on the free exercise of religion.

Tedesco is looking forward to having, not a conservative majority, but an originalist one. To truly protect the First Amendment, we need justices who interpret according to the text and original intent of the constitution. With Justice Kavanaugh replacing Justice Kennedy, that dream has a chance of becoming reality.

I asked Tedesco to describe his “dream case” to bring before a Supreme Court with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on board. His answer focused on the First Amendment. “In Masterpiece, the court did not reach the ultimate free speech question: whether the state can compel creative professionals to create custom artistic expression that violates their beliefs. In Masterpiece, the court reserved that question for future cases.”

ADF has several open cases working their way through lower courts, putting “stepping stones in place,” that Tedesco hopes will lead to another major free speech victory at the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s record on freedom of speech and religion, as analyzed by ADF’s CEO, Michael Farris, is encouraging.  Kavanaugh dissented in an Obamacare case that ruled pro-life organizations must give free contraception and abortifacients to their employees. Judge Kavanaugh argued that the religious believer, not a government regulator, has the right to decide the ethics of their own behavior.

When “the Government requires someone (under threat of incurring monetary sanctions or punishment, or of having a benefit denied) to act or to refrain from acting in violation of his or her sincere religious beliefs,” Kavanaugh wrote, “that constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion. . . . That is precisely what happened here.”

In another case, an atheist claimed that the prayers during the presidential inauguration violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to take the case, ruling the plaintiff could not show a concrete injury. Kavanaugh dissented. He would have heard the case and ruled against the plaintiff, because of longstanding precedent and widespread use of “so help me God” in official oaths.

Kavanaugh is a strong judicial advocate against bureaucratic overreach. He ruled in an FCC case that the court should not defer to the executive branch legislating through regulations. He wrote, “We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance.’”

Breaking free of the Chevron Doctrine forces responsibility on Congress, which is accountable to voters. It opens up many opportunities to ADF’s defense of the American freedom.

Judge Clint Bolick, Arizona Supreme Court
My next interview was with Clint Bolick, a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court. Judge Bolick worked previously at the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, where he was vice president of litigation. He’s a Supreme Court lawyer and a protegee and friend of Justice Clarence Thomas, dating back to their work together at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s. Bolick also co-founded the Institute for Justice, which litigates for mom and pop businesses fighting government regulations, school choice, property rights, and free speech. He is one of the country’s giants in defense of individual liberty and the right to engage in free enterprise. Bolick is an unapologetic activist in defense of the constitution.

Judge Bolick thinks the enthusiasm about the Kavanaugh appointment on the right and the hysteria on the left are both overstated. Justice Kennedy often sided with the originalist judges. An originalist majority has been whittling away at the Commerce Clause for years, returning power to the states. That trend will not change with Kavanaugh, but it will accelerate.

The biggest change Bolick foresees is on the Chevron doctrine’s deference of the court to the administrative state.  Justice Gorsuch is famous for a sweeping opinion in which he attacked Chevron directly. (Kavanaugh is widely regarded as strong in this area as well.)

Judge Bolick sees the recent Janus ruling as a roadmap for how to revisit stare decisis, with potential application to Roe v Wade and gay marriage. Janus overturned a previous Supreme Court decision in order to rule against mandatory union fees, because the fees were spent on political campaigns, and were thus coerced political speech. The court considered the reliance of the public on settled law, including the practical ramifications of overturning it, and came out in favor of overturning precedent in order to restore First Amendment rights.

I asked Judge Bolick what part of constitutional jurisprudence he would like to see revisited by the new court. His answer was quick: return economic freedom to an equal footing with our other constitutional rights. Overrule the Jim Crow-era Slaughterhouse Cases. The 14th Amendment, passed to protect freed slaves after the Civil War, had three provisions. Two are famous—equal protection and due process. The first one, just as important, was gutted by the Supreme Court’s 1873 Slaughterhouse decision and has passed away from our collective memory. It is the “privileges and immunities of citizens.”

Privileges and immunities of citizens go back in history—they were guaranteed to Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims. They were of utmost importance to our nation’s founders and include the right to pursue a livelihood, own property, make contracts, and bear arms.

Justice Thomas is the leading proponent of bringing back constitutional protection for these economic rights. Economic freedom would do more to help black Americans than “affirmative action” and race-based preferences ever could. Onerous licensing requirements, such as requiring 2,000 hours of training to be licensed to braid hair for a living, blocks ordinary people from starting up the ladder to prosperity.

State governments take the freedom out of free enterprise, lessening people’s lives and harming the economy. The Institute for Justice is currently defending the rights of an outstanding black couple—he is a former Army Ranger and corporate project manager, she has an MBA and a successful business—who want to offer job skills classes. Under Virginia law, they must apply to state bureaucrats, pay thousands of dollars, rent classroom space and create a library, do mountains of paperwork, all just to request a license that could be refused. The case is being argued on free speech grounds, but from what Judge Bolick explained, the 14th Amendment’s privileges and immunities of citizens should give this couple direct protection of their economic enterprise.

Returning to an original, textual understanding of economic freedom is a lifetime dream for Bolick. He believes an originalist court might take it on.

Robert Alt, The Buckeye Institute
Next, I had the privilege of talking with Robert Alt, a highly respected originalist legal expert, mountain climber, Iraq War correspondent, and hard-working president of the Buckeye Institute, a think tank that focuses on economic freedom. Buckeye last term filed an amicus brief in the Janus lawsuit. Alt was upbeat after the 5-4 victory in that case, which freed government employees from having to pay a fee to a union against their will.

“The liberty of the individual was upheld,” Alt told me. Janus was all about consent. It offers a model of how to reconcile a previous wrong decision with stare decisis, the judicial norm of respecting settled law. Stare decisis should distinguish between errors of interpreting a law passed by Congress (which the other branches can correct more easily) and errors in interpreting the Constitution itself (which are nearly impossible for the other branches to correct). The tradition that legal stability requires the court mechanically to maintain constitutional errors is wrong. When a Supreme Court error deprives the individual of constitutional rights, in this case of freedom of speech and association, it should be corrected by the court.

Janus was a vital win for originalists. It overturned a 41-year-old precedent, affirming the responsibility of the Supreme Court to undo poor decisions of past progressive court rulings. It applied the First Amendment to prevent compulsory speech, in this case, being compelled financially to support a union’s political lobbying.

Politically, Janus is of paramount significance. Rush Limbaugh calls collusion with public unions a Democrat money laundering scheme. Unions spent $1.7 billion on politics in 2016, mostly for Democrats. Democrat politicians bankrupt cities and states to pay for unrealistic salaries and benefits demanded by government unions. In exchange, government unions skim off some of that taxpayer largess through compulsory fees and funnel it back into Democrat party election coffers. It is not just worker’s hard-earned money, but all our hard-earned tax money being collected by unions and passed along to the Democratic Party.

We are talking about big bucks, election-changing bucks. According to Alt, some rural teachers in Ohio pay up to $1,200 in union dues. There are 5 million union members in compulsory union states, and if 20 percent opt out, unions stand to lose a significant amount of their political war chest.

The leftist Nation magazine analyzed the impact of Wisconsin and Michigan becoming “right to work” states. Both states went for Trump, the first time they went Republican since the 1980s. The loss of union money, used for getting out the Democrat vote, resulted in a 3.5 percent swing in favor of Republicans, enough to change the outcome of the election. To say that Democrats are concerned would be an understatement.

During oral arguments, Justice Kennedy asked, wouldn’t the unions lose power if you lose this case? When the union lawyers answered yes, their goose was cooked. Kennedy saw this as the crux of the case: unions’ collective bargaining speech was inherently political; hence workers were being compelled to take part in political speech.

Addressing the wider question of how a more originalist court with a second Trump Justice will change America, Robert Alt foresees a rollback of the administrative state. We have had a dereliction of duty both by Congress and the Courts, both happy to pass power to unaccountable bureaucrats in the executive branch. A stronger originalist court will be willing to limit Chevron deference, which allows unelected administrators to rule through regulation.

The pace and reach of bureaucrats issuing regulations are out of control. Robert Alt oversaw a project to catalog all federal criminal laws and count them for the first time. There are 4,500 federal criminal laws spread throughout the law code.

How many criminal federal regulations are there? No one knows for sure. The best guess comes from the work of Professor John Coffee at Columbia Law School. He estimates there are 300,000 federal regulations that carry criminal penalties that were never approved by Congress.

President Trump could be the pioneer who forces Congress and the Supreme Court to do their jobs and take power back from the administrative state. So far, the liberal judges are not budging. They apply Chevron deference to maintain outcomes they like, but not to respect Trump’s lawful immigration policy.

Alt’s dream for an originalist court? Like Clint Bolick, he would revisit Slaughterhouse. That series of Jim Crow-era decisions crushed newly freed slaves’ economic liberty and stripped all Americans of protection against state laws that infringe on the “privileges and immunities of citizens.” The loss of these fundamental rights became settled law and is not even taught to young lawyers. The result is that economic rights are not protected from government intrusion like other safeguards in the Bill of Rights. The heavy hand of government and crony capitalism was unleashed on free enterprise: licensing laws run amok, big business welcoming burdensome regulations that they can afford to comply with, but which crush new competitors. And we mustn’t forget that privileges and immunities also guarantee the right to bear arms across the states.

Alt does not see the Supreme Court suddenly becoming a strongly originalist institution, striking down laws to protect individual rights. Chief Justice Roberts is a “minimalist” who believes on principle that the High Court should have a modest role. The irony, as we saw in his Obamacare ruling, is that Justice Roberts exerted huge judicial power in the name of limiting judicial power. He created his own remedy to save Obamacare and avoid ruling it unconstitutional.

Pete Hutchison, Landmark Legal Foundation
My last conversation was with Pete Hutchison, who succeeded radio talk show host Mark Levin as president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. Landmark’s mission is to fight the administrative state’s abuse of power. Naturally, Hutchison is pleased with Trump’s focus on originalist judges. An originalist Supreme Court justice strives to apply the law dispassionately, with no political agenda. There isn’t a single liberal judge who would go against the Democratic agenda, Hutchison told me, because ignoring outcomes and focusing on rule of law doesn’t fit their judicial approach.

Hutchison minced no words on Judge Kavanaugh. “He is brilliant and extremely well qualified,” he said. “But I think the Left should be celebrating. He will set the meat slicer on its thinnest setting in cases like that dealing with Obamacare.”

Landmark filed one of only two amicus briefs in the 2012 Obamacare case that addressed the question of whether the tax penalty could be considered a constitutional tax. “We went through the Constitution’s requirements and concluded that the penalty was not a constitutional tax,” Hutchison explained. “Kavanaugh embraced the tax notion . . . It was a thinner slice than Roberts in a way, as he would have held the case another two or three years.”

But Hutchison thinks Kavanaugh “will be great on Chevron deference, which is critical, and on the vast majority of other matters.”

He adds that Trump’s next pick, if it comes from the president’s famous list of candidates, is “very likely to be the big one if the Republicans can hold the Senate” in the fall. “I can only imagine the collective freak-out should Judge [Amy] Barrett get the next nod!”

Hutchison is optimistic that with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the new Supreme Court will block the Left from using “disparate impact” as a legal theory to advance federally mandated racial quotas in employment, housing, education, and indeed, every area of life where you can count people by race. Disparate impact is dangerous and undoing it perhaps could be the most important benefit of the Trump presidency from a liberty standpoint.

Like the other originalist lawyers and judges with whom I spoke, Hutchison sees the Chevron deference of the courts to executive branch bureaucrats as teetering, possibly to fall before a more originalist court. Congress purposely delegates authority to agencies by writing vague statutory schemes to avoid voter scrutiny, even though delegating legislative power to unelected officials is flatly unconstitutional. It affects every area of the law where regulations are written, absolving politicians from responsibility for anything.

An originalist court would push back and ask legislators: What authority did you delegate? What are the limits of that authority? Is this a constitutionally legitimate delegation of power? An important example is the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” rule, which the Trump Administration has sought to reverse. A lawsuit challenging this is currently working its way through the lower courts.

Hutchison thinks Justice Kagan is right to worry about that the First Amendment could serve as a sword against progressivism. The First Amendment would take on more power as a constitutional right under an originalist court. Freedom of speech, religion, and assembly would be used as legal protection against the progressive activist judges imposing a social justice agenda. We saw that happening in several important originalist victories in the court’s last term, affecting government union dues, gay marriage, and pro-life pregnancy centers. The Masterpiece decision raised the bar to a higher standard, called “strict scrutiny,” to justify the government limiting a constitutional right such as free speech or freedom of religion.

An originalist court is also likely to revisit the federal balance of power. Hutchison points to an interesting Commerce Clause case still in the lower courts, that challenges California’s animal rights mandate for chickens. California voters dictate food or fuel standards to providers from other states, without their citizens having any say so—that’s not how the federal system and representational government were meant to work. Farmers in Ohio and Iowa will be forced to heat their barns and get rid of half their chickens. Consumers across the country would pay a premium for eggs. A court that follows the meaning of the 10th Amendment reserving power to the states will give such cases a fairer hearing than in the past.

Change Is on the Way
I came away from these conversations with a new appreciation that change won’t come quickly through a more originalist court, but it will come. We’ll be heading in the right direction—the direction of limited, constitutional government, as the framers intended. The court will throw controversial questions back to the Congress and the states to decide, in protracted and impassioned political battles, where they belong. Unlike progressives ruling from the bench by fiat, we will have to work through all three branches of government—as it should be.

The court alone will not dismantle the administrative state or force government to retreat from our lives, but it is an indispensable player. Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh give us reason to expect more justice and less unchecked expansion of government power.

Democrats do not understand the Constitution or the love and fidelity it inspires among ordinary Trump voters. They don’t understand how many Americans want the court to fight for our constitutional safeguards against government power.  Our precious American individualism, freedom, and prosperity depend upon it, in the digital age more than ever. Progressive Supreme Court justices are all about advancing the political agenda du jour and care nothing about constitutional principles. They think originalists are the same. We’re not. We revere the limits as much as the rights handed down to us as a sacred and incomparable legacy.

It is definitely time for Democrats to panic.

Photo credit: Melina Mara/The Washington Post

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • Center for American Greatness • Education • Identity Politics • Post • The Constitution • The Courts

Crazy Brainy Asians

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

The Justice Department last week filed a “statement of interest” on behalf of a lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University for discriminating against Asian-American applicants as a class. The government’s intervention is stronger than a mere “friend of the court” brief and portends a federal lawsuit against Harvard.

To better understand any likely outcome in this case, some familiarity with relevant case history is helpful. Due to their unusual history in America, distinct from that of other Asian-Americans, Japanese Americans have had singular experiences in the court system that are instructive today for all Americans, not just Asians or other ethnic minorities. President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Gentlemen’s Agreement” with the Emperor of Japan, which limited Japanese labor immigration and, among other things, protected San Francisco children of Japanese and other Asian ancestry from discriminatory treatment in its public schools would be the beginning of any such abbreviated history. This period of limited immigration ended with the Immigration Act of 1924, which closed immigration from Asian countries and severely restricted it for eastern and southern Europeans.

In response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt’s administration relocated 110,000 ethnic Japanese from the West Coast, about 90 percent of their total in the U.S. mainland population. The U.S. Supreme Court decided the major cases challenging the relocation in December 1944. While Korematsu v. U.S., by a vote of 6 to 3, authorized the initial phase of the relocation, it did not justify the  relocation centers themselves.

In fact, ex parte Endo, decided the same day, expanded the bureaucracy’s existing liberal leave policy to include all those in the centers who were loyal to the United States. The government, “has no authority to subject citizens who are concededly loyal to its leave procedure.” Free people do not require government permission to live where they wish. This unanimous decision thus dismantled the centers and allowed the residents to return to the west coast. The court timed its opinions to follow the shifting of the war front to the western Pacific Ocean and the national elections in November (thus preventing the Japanese return from becoming an election issue).

The complexity of the law in these relocation cases later was reflected in the affirmative action cases argued by liberal justices. In Odegaard v. DeFunis (1974) dissenting Justice William O. Douglas, author of ex parte Endo, criticized the “reverse discrimination” mentality: “The purpose of the University of Washington cannot be to produce black lawyers for blacks, Polish lawyers for Poles, Jewish lawyers for Jews, Irish lawyers for Irish. It should be to produce good lawyers for Americans and not to place First Amendment barriers against anyone.”

But he then concluded the University of Washington law school’s preferential admissions policies may well be consistent with the Constitution. Quite aware of how race and ethnic categories can be misused, Douglas recalled that the Japanese relocation cases should be understood as exceptions in that “those making plans for defense of the Nation . . . were planning for the worst.”

Douglas’s reference to the Japanese exclusion cases was then amplified by Justice William Brennan, in his joint opinion in the monumental Bakke affirmative action case. Brennan was a towering figure in liberal jurisprudence, who tried to use the exception posed by Korematsu to justify discrimination against racial or ethnic groups: As with the possibility of Japanese invasion, affirmative action’s enlightened goals provide a rational basis for denying rights to some groups in order to favor others.

The court’s most recent reference to the Japanese exclusion question was this past term’s “travel ban” case. Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent tried to compare the Trump Administration’s alleged Muslim travel ban to the relocation of Japanese-Americans, while Chief Justice John Roberts dismissed Korematsu as overruled by “the court of history.” Neither saw the relocation justification in the light of its pairing with ex parte Endo: despotic action may be necessary to defend the nation, but the dictates of necessity are limited by the requirements of republican government.

The current case that draws together these diffuse strands of Asians in America is the lawsuit charging Harvard with discrimination against Asian-American undergraduate applicants. A new report by my wife, Dr. Althea Nagai, published last week by the Center for Equal Opportunity, focuses the attack, using Harvard’s own admissions data from 2009-2017 to show that the university consistently lied in its public representations about its discriminatory practices. No other explanation seems plausible for the results of Harvard’s admissions process that produced such uniform ceilings, with entering classes of between 15 and 18 percent Asians (excluding Asians from abroad) over the last several years. Two pie charts below encapsulate the Center’s report, and a third table summarizes how each stage of admissions whittles down the Asian numbers. (The Harvard class of 2021 has a total of 1,687 members.) The graphics were created by Althea Nagai from Harvard’s own data, which university officials have tried to disavow since it became known in discovery.

Chart 1, Hypothetical Breakdown of Admittees, Based Solely on Academics.  Source: Althea Nagai, “Harvard Investigates Harvard: “Does the Admissions Process Disadvantage Asians?” Center for Equal Opportunity, Aug. 30, 2018.

Chart 2, Final Model of Racial and Ethnic Distribution of First Year Class. Source: Althea Nagai, “Harvard Investigates Harvard: “Does the Admissions Process Disadvantage Asians?” Center for Equal Opportunity, Aug. 30, 2018.

Nagai’s report points out how Harvard used different criteria (recruited athlete, legacy or alumni preference, “personal qualities,” race) to reduce Asian admissions at every stage and boost numbers of other groups. As the report elaborates, being an Asian applicant reduced the likelihood of admission, when compared with others of comparable academic merit. It is not sports or extracurriculars that hurt Asian applicants. They suffer a setback just by being Asian.

Harvard has a personal ratings system, where an applicant is judged by the admissions office on whether the person has a “positive personality,” whether “others like to be around him or her,” if s/he has such traits as “likability …helpfulness, courage, [and] kindness,” is an “attractive person to be with,” “widely respected,” a “good person,” and has good “human qualities.”

The personal qualities category is derived from letters of reference, personal essays, and interviews. The suspicion, based on anecdotal evidence from admissions personnel, is that the Admissions staff has a stereotyped view of Asian-American applicants that unfairly and illegally harms their admission chances.  

Graph 1 showing decline of Asian-American admissions when other factors, including race, are added. Source: Althea Nagai, “Harvard Investigates Harvard: “Does the Admissions Process Disadvantage Asians?” Center for Equal Opportunity, Aug. 30, 2018.

For reasons unknown and unacknowledged, Harvard set an Asian quota of below 20 percent over the last 15 years, as this graph from the previous CEO Report on Harvard shows. The contrast between Harvard and Caltech, which does not use racial/ethnic quotas, is striking. (The Harvard Asian admissions numbers for the class of 2021 went up a few points to 22 percent when the current lawsuit was filed, although Harvard’s “public” numbers may not be the same as the ones they are legally required to report to the government, the latter being based on the government’s definitions. The numbers in the Caltech-Harvard report are based on statistics reported to the U.S. government. )

Graph 2 showing a ceiling for Asian-American admits (green line) since the early 1990s. Source: Althea Nagai, “Too Many Asian Americans: Affirmative Discrimination in Elite College Admissions,” Center for Equal Opportunity, May 22, 2018.

But, to construct a kind of liberal establishment defense of Harvard, one should reassess the “personal qualities” factor. A Harvard man is not Library Man. For that purpose, it’s helpful to recall how liberal icon justices Douglas and Brennan used the precedent of the Japanese exclusion cases to defend earlier racial and ethnic preference policies. One might even add a national security threat, given the high rate of Asian applicants who are immigrants or only first-generation Americans. They may lack not only commitment but loyalty to America, to say nothing of Harvard. Ever shouting “USA! USA!” Harvard might be of one voice with Bismarck about “Das gelbe Gefahr” (Yellow Peril). Thus, the Great Wall of Harvard might be seen as a measure that would permit assimilation to proceed (as the Immigration Act of 1924 intended).

But there is another way for that avatar of excellence and for us to look at the world. The recently concluded Little League World Series featured a team from South Korea and, from the United States, Hawaii. The American roster had players of varied ethnic backgrounds reflecting its home state demographics. Rather than being embarrassed to have a student body resembling Hawaii’s world champions, maybe Harvard should recall why baseball is the all-American game. The Hawaii team figured it out without a Harvard degree among them.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit:  Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Law and Order • Post • Religion and Society • The Courts • The Culture • The Left

Pope Francis Rewrites Catholicism . . . and the Bible

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Last week, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had changed the Catholic catechism. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with Catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers, and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians, were all wrong.

And God and the Bible? They’re wrong, too.

Pope Francis, the product of Latin American liberation theology—along with many other Catholic religious and lay leaders—is remaking Catholicism in the image of leftism, just as mainstream Protestant leaders have been rendering much of mainstream Protestantism a branch of leftism, and non-Orthodox Jewish clergy and lay leaders have been rendering most non-Orthodox synagogues and lay institutions left-wing organizations.

The notion that it is immoral to execute any murderer—no matter how heinous the murder, no matter how many innocents he has murdered, no matter how incontrovertible the proof of guilt—is an expression of emotion, not of reason or natural law or Christian theology or biblical theology.

Regarding the latter, the biblical commandment to put premeditated murderers to death is unique.

First, it is fundamental to biblical morality. The injunction of putting murderers to death is the only law found in each one of the first five books of the Bible (the Torah).

Second, all other sins involving the death penalty were only applicable to Jews (and for thousands of years, Jews regarded those death penalties not as literal but as pedagogic—to teach the seriousness of various offenses in an attempt to create a moral and holy nation).

But the Bible makes it clear capital punishment for murder is applicable to all of humanity. It is the first law God gives Noah after the flood, after commanding him to be fruitful and multiply. Putting murderers to death is, therefore, the first moral law God gives the world. Why this draconian penalty for murder? Because the penalty is a statement about the seriousness of a crime, and the God of the Bible deems the wrongful, deliberate taking of a human life the pinnacle of injustice. Allowing all murderers to keep their own lives diminishes the evil of murder and thereby cheapens the worth of the human being. In God’s words, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6).

It is precisely to preserve the unique worth of the human being that the Bible mandates putting murderers to death.

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote, “today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been.”

Unacceptable? To whom? It is acceptable to about half of American Catholics and about half of the American people. But it is unacceptable to the elites of our time, the people who have the most contempt for Catholicism and every other Bible-based religion.

The death penalty, Francis wrote, “entails cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.” These are all subjective opinions. I suspect most people do not think the death penalty as punishment for premeditated murder is necessarily cruel, inhumane or degrading. What are all of us missing? And why isn’t life imprisonment cruel, inhumane and degrading? (Indeed, opposition to life imprisonment is already the norm in many progressive countries like Norway, where someone murdered 77 people, mostly children, and received a 21-year prison sentence.)

The Pope also writes that no matter how serious the crime that has been committed, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Most of us think it is the murderer, by committing murder, who has attacked his dignity and inviolability, not the society that puts him to death. We also think it is the dignity of the murder victim that is attacked by rewarding the murderer with room and board, TV, books, exercise rooms and visits from family members and girlfriends.

Furthermore, why isn’t keeping a murderer in prison one day longer than is necessary to protect society an “attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”? For that matter, isn’t every punishment an attack on the dignity of the punished? Of course it is—which is why progressives ultimately oppose all punishment, equating it with vengeance.

In the middle of the night on July 23, 2007, two men entered the Cheshire, Connecticut, home of Dr. William Petit Jr. and his family. They nearly beat Dr. Petit to death with a baseball bat. Then, one of the men raped his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and the other man sexually assaulted her 11-year-old daughter, Michaela—an assault he photographed with his cellphone. Dr. Petit managed to escape, but Hawke-Petit was strangled to death; Michaela and Hawke-Petit’s other daughter, Hayley, were tied to their beds; and the house was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

In a 4-3 decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment violated the Connecticut Constitution, thereby preventing the execution of the murderers and assaulters of Dr. Petit’s family.

This was Dr. Petit’s reaction: “I think when people willfully, wantingly, without any remorse take someone else’s life, they forfeit their right to be among us.”

For those who believe in the Bible, Dr. William Petit of Cheshire, Connecticut, echoes God’s view. Pope Francis of the Vatican does not.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2018 CREATORS.COM

Photo credit: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • Donald Trump • Post • Republicans • separation of powers • The Constitution • The Courts • The Media • the Presidency • The Resistance (Snicker)

Packing and Unpacking the Court

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text][/fusion_text][fusion_text]

In response to President Trump being called upon, once again, to exercise his constitutional power to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, Democrats broke the outrage meter. University of Baltimore Law School teacher Garrett Epps wrote at The Atlantic that “on the day the Democrats hold power to alter the makeup of the court by bare-knuckle means, they will do it. And they should.” “‘Eleven Justices,” writes the Huffington Post’s Zach Carter, “is the next ‘Abolish ICE.’”

After all, as journalist Michael Hiltzik tells us, “The fact of the matter is that the current court already is packed.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his fellow Republicans refused to hold hearings on President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. The Senate “unpacked” the court—it held the court to eight members until after the 2016 presidential election, whereupon President Trump chose the young but white-haired conservative Neil Gorsuch to replace the deceased conservative Scalia.

Some of our conservative friends, such as John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, writing in a once-influential conservative fortnightly, think the Democrats’ current craze for court-packing is “foolish.” Indeed, in the run up to the 2018 midterms, with the Democrats out of power in Congress and the White House, it is electorally foolish. The liberal but cool-headed dean of UC Berkeley’s Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky, has explained why: “Progressives should be very careful about suggesting this might happen. Exit polls from the 2016 election indicated that the Supreme Court was the most important consideration for Trump voters, but not for Clinton voters . . . If they perceive Democrats might try and take the Court by changing its size, it will provide a strong appeal to conservative voters.”

But a little political science can help us distinguish between foolish and sensible occasions to pack the court. Empirical studies of the justices’ rulings shows that they are generally careful never to place the court as whole to the right or the left of both the president and Congress. This literature is much more coy about the explanation for this “moderation”: the president and Congress, if they are willing to act together, can make the Supreme Court they want.

Had President Obama replaced Scalia with Garland, the Republican president and Republican Congress actually elected in 2016 would have faced a court that, on the average, was well to the left of them both. Perhaps one or more of the liberal justices would have moderated their rulings, yet another “switch in time that saved nine.” Chief Justice Roberts can plausibly be viewed as swinging his vote on Obamacare in 2012 for similar reasons, though at that moment the House of Representatives was already under Republican control.

But if not, and if in 2017 and 2018 the liberal majority had sought to thwart key elements of a program that a Republican president had managed to push through Congress, court-packing—actual or threatened—would have been a wise response to restore constitutional democracy.

Surely Yoo and Delahunty are correct that it is better for the justices to restrain themselves and leave vital matters on which the text of the Constitution is silent to the elected branches, the states, or the people. It would be even nicer if we could all go back to the pre-Bork rule where clearly qualified men and women were confirmed for judgeships higher and lower without inquiry into every jot and tittle of their views. But failing a niceness revolution, constitutional officers must always be ready to use their full constitutional powers to realize their constitutional agendas.

Israel and India have genuinely independent judiciaries, where the Supreme Court is entirely (India) or largely (Israel) selected independent of the elected branches. America’s Founders were wiser, and left the responsible politicians to check the “least dangerous branch”—and defang it, when necessary, through packing and unpacking.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2016 Election • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Foreign Policy • Hillary Clinton • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post • Russia • Technology • The Courts • The Left • The Media • Trump White House

The Lies at the Heart of the Mueller Indictments

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

So far, the reporting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s July 13 indictments of 12 Russians mostly can be divided into two categories. First, we have the corporate press, which parrots Mueller’s every word as if his honesty were as certain as death and taxes. Second, we find thoughtful outrage directed at Mueller by some of the more independent-minded right-leaning commentators, who recognize that their elite brethren are ignoring the real story. 

First of a two-part series.


Since Mueller can’t force the 12 Russians he’s indicted to come to the United States for trial, his indictments represent, at best, a shameful corruption of the independent counsel’s powers for political ends.

Andrew McCarthy at National Review thinks Mueller’s real purpose is to justify his 18-month investigation, which has already cost taxpayers $17 million. Meantime, Jed Babbin at The American Spectator believes Mueller timed the indictments to disrupt Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin. If so, it certainly succeeded; contributing, as it surely did, to the incredible outpouring of hostility directed at the president’s attempt to reset relations with Russia.

As a political ploy, Mueller’s indictments may be a work of Machiavellian genius. But as far as any legal ramifications are concerned, he might as well have indicted Boris and Natasha from the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” show.

Mueller, however, may be up to more than McCarthy or Babbin suggest. Indicting people you won’t ever have to prosecute would be a sneaky way to get bogus allegations into the public record without ever having to substantiate them. Indeed, given that his narrative won’t be scrutinized and attacked by a hostile defense attorney, an unscrupulous special counsel could use such indictments to disseminate falsehoods he wouldn’t dare risk bringing into a court of law.  

All of which makes it very odd that so much of the conservative press agrees with their elite media colleagues in refusing to investigate or even question whether Mueller might be careless with his facts. Intelligent pundits are somehow treating a man they believe has cynically abused public office in the worst possible way as if his word were beyond reproach.

Which is a pity because, if they took their dismal assessment of Mueller’s professional ethics to its logical conclusion and began investigating his honesty, they would quickly find that Mueller has omitted, misleadingly stated, and even outright lied about matters of public record; particularly regarding two central figures in the nefarious plot dramatized in his indictment, the anonymous alleged hacker, “Guccifer 2.0” and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Mueller’s First Lie: Guccifer 2.0
Mueller does get one thing right about Guccifer 2.0: he emerged out of nowhere on June 15, 2016, starting a blog and taking credit for the now-infamous hack of the Democratic National Committee’s servers. That hack was first reported publicly just one day earlier in the Washington Post, which attributed the deed to Russian spies.

But Mueller’s contention, that G2 “claimed to be a lone Romanian hacker to undermine the allegations of Russian responsibility” for the hack will remind hard-boiled detective aficionados of a passage from Dashiell Hammett:

I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar: ONLY GENUINE PRE-WAR AMERICAN AND BRITISH WHISKEYS SERVED HERE.

I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more.

In G2’s entire corpus of almost 60 blog posts, tweets, interviews, and publicly released direct messages, he only once claimed to be Romanian. And it happened a full six days after his June 15, 2016 debut, when he was forced to address the subject in an interview with Vice:

Vice: So, first of all, what can you tell me about yourself? Who are you?

G2: i’m a hacker, manager, philosopher, women lover. I also like Gucci! I bring the light to people. I’m a freedom fighter! So u can choose what u like!

Vice: And where are you from?

G2: From Romania.

That’s it. Those two words are the only time G2 ever claimed to be Romanian. If his purpose was, as Mueller claims, to establish a Romanian identity, he had the opportunity to do so when Vice first asked “what can you tell me about yourself? Who are you?” But, instead, the interviewer had to explicitly ask a follow-up.

Moreover, Vice’s question about G2’s nationality wasn’t an idle one. Besides the fact that he debuted taking credit for a hack the Washington Post attributed to Russian intelligence services, accusations that G2 was a Russian spy began emerging the very day he first appeared and were immediately and continually a hot topic in the tech community.

Within hours of his June 15 debut, both Gawker and Wired published evidence that G2 was working with Russian intelligence. The next day, Vice wrote that it’s “likely that Guccifer 2.0 is nothing but a disinformation or deception campaign by Russian state-sponsored hackers.” That same day, the popular tech sites Vocativ and Arstechnica agreed and, the next day, cyber-security firm ThreatConnect drew the same conclusion.

Yet G2 allowed these accusations to proliferate online for six days before claiming to be a Romanian and then only did so after explicitly being asked about his nationality. He then answered in as few words as possible, dropping the subject immediately. He also never linked to the Vice interview in his blog, or on Twitter, or made any other effort to further publicize his remark. Moreover, in the ensuing months, as the buzz about his Russian ties grew louder, he never again claimed to be Romanian. Contra Mueller, G2’s effort to establish a Romanian identity never even rose to the level of half-hearted.

Mueller’s allegation that G2 “claimed to be a lone Romanian hacker to undermine the allegations of Russian responsibility for the intrusion” is completely at odds with the public record.

Mueller’s Second Lie
It gets worse. G2 not only made no significant attempt to establish a Romanian identity, he never even made any serious effort to deny that he was Russian.

Here’s the opening of G2’s first blog post, just one day after the Washington Post, using information volunteered by the Democratic National Committee’s tech firm CrowdStrike, first announced to the world that Russian spies had hacked the DNC server:

Worldwide known cyber security company CrowdStrike announced that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers had been hacked by “sophisticated” hacker groups.

I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.

[The original] Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers. But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.

Not only does G2 give zero indication that he’s Romanian, he doesn’t even deny the Washington Post’s claim that he’s working for Russian intelligence. He writes as if he’s pleased with the details of the Post’s biography. The rest of his post concerns documents G2 claims to have hacked and bears no relation to his nationality. Thus, his first public statement provides no reason for someone familiar with the previous day’s Washington Post story to doubt its contention that he was a Russian spy.  

Moreover, G2’s June 21 Vice interview, other than being the only time he claimed to be Romanian, is also only one of only two times he denied being Russian or having connections to Russian intelligence.

Nine days after the Vice interview, on June 30, G2 addressed the issue of his nationality in a post devoted to answering personal questions allegedly sent by readers. But everything about his answers downplays any slight suggestion therein that he’s not Russian.

The blog post is entirely made up of dull autobiography; none of it any more interesting than G2’s pedestrian remarks about loving women and Gucci shoes from his Vice interview. He released no files, meaning that the post is less likely to receive the attention his other posts garnered. The question about his Russian identity comes up amid a bunch of other questions, so the reader has to scroll down to see it. But, most importantly, G2 not only doesn’t say he’s Romanian, he never says anything that contradicts the widely circulating belief that he was a Russian spy:

Many people ask me where I’m from, where I live and other personal information.

You see, I can’t show you my IDs, it would be stupid of me.

I can only tell you that I was born in Eastern Europe. I won’t answer where I am now. In fact, it’s better for me to change my location as often as possible. I have to hide.

But generally, it’s not that important for where I live. I can work wherever there’s an Internet connection. So I feel free in any free country.

A lot of people are concerned if I have any links to special services and Russia?

I’ll tell you that everything I do I do at my own risk. This is my personal project and I’m proud of it. Yes, I risk my life. But I know it’s worth it. No one knew about me several weeks ago. Nowadays the whole world’s talking about me. It’s really cool!

How can I prove this is true? I really don’t know. It seems the guys from CrowdStrike and the DNC would say I’m a Russian bear even if I were a catholic nun in fact. At first I was annoyed and disappointed. But now I realize they have nothing else to say. There’s no other way to justify their incompetence and failure. It’s much easier for them to accuse powerful foreign special services.

They just fucked up! They can prove nothing! All I hear is blah-blah-blah, unfounded theories and somebody’s estimates.

Specialists from Eastern Europe, Russia, China, India work for the leading IT-companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple. There’s no surprise that many hackers are descendants from these regions.

Even though G2 complains about CrowdStrike attributing the hack to Russians, he never explicitly denies it. He begins by saying he’s from Eastern Europe without specifying a country. But immediately after complaining about CrowdStrike, he lists several geographical regions, including Eastern Europe, and says it’s no accident those places produce a lot of hackers, which suggests he’s from somewhere on the list. And, though Russia is a part of Eastern Europe, he nonetheless redundantly includes it in the list of places that might give birth to a hacker like him.

Is it at all plausible, as Mueller claims, that this is the behavior of a Russian spy whose sole mission is to make people think he’s something else?

After his June 30 non-denial, G2 didn’t address his relationship to Russia again for almost four months. On October 18, a BBC interviewer suggested that he might be Russian and asked his opinion of Putin. Here was an opportunity to make up for letting the accusations that he was a Russian spy, which had been circulating and spreading since his debut, go unchecked. By now, you’ve probably seen enough to guess that he did not avail himself of it:

BBC: are you a Trump supporter?…

G2: i don’t vote for trump

BBC: Well, if you’re Russian (or Romanian or whatever) you can’t vote for anybody right?

G2: i vote for freedom

follow me and make a good story  

BBC: what do you think about Putin?

G2: i don’t live in russia. i’m not interest in russia and it’s government

BBC: Not even a little bit?

But you don’t live in the USA either – and you are very interested in American politics

I mean, I’m interested in Russia (and the UK and the US too)

G2: i’m little bit angy with that, all of u attribute me to russia, but i’m tried of it I don’t care about that country.

The interviewer explicitly suggests that G2 is Russian while parenthetically allowing he might be Romanian “or whatever.” G2 neither denies the suggestion nor endorses the parenthetical remark. And, just like the previous time he addressed his nationality four months earlier, though he complains about being described as Russian, at no point does he actually deny the description’s aptness; he doesn’t say he’s not Russian; he just says he’s “not interested in” and “doesn’t care” about “that country.”

G2 addressed the question of his nationality only once more, in his final public statement on January 12, 2017, almost two months after the BBC interview and seven months after his June 15 debut. By that time, apart from a few skeptical researchers, anyone who knew anything about G2 took it for granted he was a Russian spy. For the first and only time, G2 voluntarily addressed the allegations and straightforwardly denied them:

I really hope you’ve missed me a lot. Though I see they didn’t let you forget my name. the U.S. intelligence agencies have published several reports of late claiming I have ties with Russia.

I’d like to make it clear enough that these accusations are unfounded. I have totally no relation to the Russian government.

Remember: G2 debuted on June 15, 2016 taking credit for a hack that had been attributed to Russian intelligence the day before. He waited seven months to straightforwardly address the mounting evidence and resulting accusations that he was a Russian spy. Apart from that, he discussed his nationality just three times, two of them only because he was forced to by interviewers. And, aside from the two words “From Romania,” nothing he said contradicted the accusations circulating that he was Russian until that final public statement six months after his debut.

Mueller’s assertion that G2’s raison d’être was to create the impression that he wasn’t Russian, whether by claiming to be Romanian or otherwise, is, again, completely at odds with the public record.

Mueller’s First Omission and the Extent of His Second Lie
Mueller says that G2 pretended to be Romanian “in order to undermine the allegations of Russian responsibility” for the alleged DNC hack. But what Mueller doesn’t tell us is that these allegations of Russian responsibility were entirely a result of G2’s own behavior.

Though it took six days for G2 to make even a token effort at denying the reports circulating that he was a Russian spy, he began intentionally dropping clues that he was Russian in the second sentence of his very first blog post:

I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly)))

“)))” is the symbol that Russians use in place of our “lol.” Is there any chance that a Russian spy on a mission to convince the world that he’s not would use a Russian emoticon in the second sentence of his first public statement?  

More evidence of Russian involvement was found within hours of G2’s June 15 debut. Someone at Gawker peeked at the metadata in a file he sent them and discovered the name of the founder of the Soviet secret police listed as the username. If that weren’t enough, it was written in the Russian alphabet. Later expert examination of the metadata revealed that the Russian name was inserted in the file minutes before G2 released it. On June 15, 2016, just before G2’s first blog post, someone opened up a copy of Word, changed the language of a document template to Russian, set the username as “Феликс Эдмундович,” and then cut and pasted the original document in.

As researcher Stephen McIntyre, who discovered these machinations, remarked:

If I encountered a document which had been most recently modified by a user using the pseudonym “J. Edgar Hoover”, I would not jump to the conclusion that the document originated with U.S. counter-intelligence or police. If anything, I would presume the opposite.

But even putting the technical details McIntyre discovered aside, the fact that a reporter from Gawker found evidence connecting G2 to Russian intelligence within hours of his debut would have by itself raised red flags if people weren’t so hungry for sensational news. How ever the Soviet secret police founder’s Russian name got in the metadata, no real Russian spy working to disrupt the United States presidential election would be so careless.

G2 also chose to use a company based in Russia to cloak his real IP address. Even then, there are plenty of email providers that would conceal the company’s Russian IP. Yet G2, who Mueller would have us believe was a high-level Russian operative engaged in espionage designed to control the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, somehow chose one that didn’t.  

If G2 had simply kept quiet, there would have been nothing substantiating the Washington Post’s claim he was a Russian spy. Instead, G2 left a series of clues that, within 24 hours of his debut, fueled rampant speculation that he was working for Russian intelligence. Mueller isn’t simply lying when he claims that G2 tried to pass himself off as non-Russian to shift blame for the DNC hack away from Russia; he’s concealing that the truth is the exact opposite. G2 went out of his way to plant obvious clues that he was Russian, which, as he must have intended, were discovered immediately.

Mueller’s Puzzling Second Omission
Even apart from the lies and omissions so far adduced, the scenario Mueller describes makes no sense.

The Washington Post reports that a Russian spy has hacked the DNC. So to shift blame away from Russia, the alleged hacker starts an anonymous blog and takes responsibility for the hack, falsely claiming that he’s Romanian. Putting aside that G2, instead, intentionally created the impression that he was Russian, anyone can start a blog and claim to be the hacker mentioned in some sensational headline. So why on earth did anyone give credence to G2’s attempt to take credit for the hack?

What Mueller isn’t saying, oddly enough, is that G2 provided evidence to substantiate his connections to the Post story.  

The DNC’s tech firm, CrowdStrike, released the information to the Post. The story extensively quotes CrowdStrike’s founder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, and president, Shawn Henry. Interestingly, before joining CrowdStrike, Henry was the FBI’s head of cybersecurity. And in one of those coincidences that seem so common among those working against President Trump, Robert Mueller just happens to be the one who promoted Henry to that position. Alperovitch, though Russian by birth, is a member of the vehemently anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian Atlantic Council.

CrowdStrike’s well-connected duo told the Post something that Mueller’s indictment omits. They didn’t just release the information that the DNC was hacked; they also wanted the public to know that a file of Trump opposition research was stolen. Indeed, though Mueller is silent about the Trump opposition research file, its alleged theft by Russian spies is clearly the big takeaway of the Washington Post piece since its mentioned in both the lead sentence and the headline: “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump.”

This description of one allegedly hacked file gave G2 the means to verify his claim to be the hacker: he released 230 pages of Trump opposition research and sent copies to Gawker and The Smoking Gun. Though G2 had no way of proving that this was the very Trump opposition file mentioned in the Post story, releasing the file provided at least some evidence that he was in possession of a file that CrowdStrike claimed was hacked from the DNC; and, hence, provided at least some of the confirmation necessary for his story to be taken seriously.

Moreover, apart from the Russian fingerprints in the metadata, the very same file of Trump opposition research turned up among Wikileaks October 7, 2016 release of emails pilfered from John Podesta’s Gmail account. Indeed, the DNC itself admits that the file G2 released came from Podesta’s emails. So, besides initially playing the crucial role of confirming G2’s link to the Washington Post story, the Trump opposition research file also seems to provide the strongest possible evidence that G2 passed documents to Wikileaks. Yet, though Mueller’s is trying to establish a connection between G2 and Wikileaks—there is even a section in the indictment titled “Stolen Documents Released through Guccifer 2.0”—the Trump opposition research file goes unmentioned.

Why would Mueller leave out the one piece of evidence that directly establishes G2’s connection with Wikileaks? Because the details surrounding the stolen Trump opposition research file, together with other information about Wikileaks missing from Mueller’s indictment, shows that G2, rather than being a creation of Russian intelligence, is a ruse designed by the DNC’s tech firm CrowdStrike to discredit Wikileaks.

In part two: How Mueller’s indictment represents the final move in solidifying a false narrative designed to frame and discredit Julian Assange.

Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Immigration • Law and Order • Post • The Constitution • The Courts • The Media

Close the Birthright Citizenship Loophole

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

The law is full of loopholes. If you do not first secure two witnesses, your last will and testament may not be valid. If a policeman fails in reading the Miranda warning, a criminal’s confession may be thrown out and kept away from the jury. And, through the lawbreaking and evasive maneuvers by their illegal alien parents, young children, through no merit (or choice) of their own, may end up with the very beneficial acquisition of U.S. citizenship.

Birthright citizenship began as an unintended consequence of the language of the 14th Amendment. This beneficent amendment was ratified in the wake of the Civil War to address the former Confederate states’ restrictive “black codes,” which limited the rights of the newly freed slaves. Such laws included provisions limiting the right to bear arms, to travel, to make contracts, and much else, often using roundabout maneuvers, such as racially neutral language that based rights on whether one’s grandparents had a particular right.

Thus, the amendment states broadly, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The amendment goes on to protect all such citizens’ “privileges and immunities,” the right to “life, liberty, and property,” and “equal protection of the laws.”

In other words, this was not an immigration amendment, but rather a law aimed at addressing the particular obstacles that faced the recently freed slaves. While tortured readings of the 14th Amendment have also brought us such abominations as an abstract “right to privacy,” which in turn led to the right to abortion and gay marriage, on the question of citizenship, there is at least a debatable question arising from the text of the amendment itself.

What the Court Has (and Has Not) Said
The Supreme Court has addressed this question only infrequently, and then only over 100 years ago in the 
context of a U.S. born citizens of legal residents who were themselves subjects of China. In that case, the justices, lacking legislative guidance, concluded from the common law that being born in the United States was enough to confer citizenship automatically.

In the intervening years, particularly since the 1960s, a massive wave of illegal immigration has combined with this legal rule and created a large scale problem. The authors of the amendment, of course, had not dealt with significant illegal alien migration, and noted in debates that there were certain classes of “passers-through,” whose children did not qualify for birthright citizenship, including children of ambassadors. In addition, the combination of the “subject to the jurisdiction” language of the amendment and the power (under Section 5) of Congress to pass legislation to enforce the amendment as a whole suggest that its reach can rightly be restricted in such undeniable grey areas through legislation. But today the longstanding of “birthright citizenship,” the ideology of America as a “nation of immigrants,” as well as the numerous groups and people with a stake in the status quo have led to this concept’s enthronement.

Today the children of illegal aliens, tourists from China and Russia who come here expressly for the purpose of having their child born here for citizenship purposes, the children of visa-holders who are soon brought back to their countries of origin, and similar cases have devalued citizenship by bestowing it upon people with no real connection with or loyalty to the country.

Look to the Founders
While “our values” as expressed by both the Left and the nominal Right increasingly means the radicalism of yesteryear, the values of our founders as expressed in our founding documents are quite a bit more clear on the question of citizenship and immigration.

It is self-evident that they were wary of foreign influence. History is replete with disloyal newcomers opening up the city gates to their erstwhile countrymen or otherwise acting against the national interest. That’s why the Constitution requires any president to be “natural born,” even as it recognizes the possibility of naturalization.

The Constitution also requires congressmen to be seven years a citizen, and senators nine. The founders were sensibly skeptical of immigrants, whom they did not consider the ideal Americans of Bill Kristol’s and Brett Stephens’ imaginations. The Founders knew that newcomers could become productive and loyal Americans, but they knew also that the possibility of dual loyalties and outright disloyalty was a pervasive risk, and that a proven record of loyalty and allegiance was a useful preventative measure.

When illegal aliens, in particular, are able to confer citizenship on their offspring, the social contract between the government and the governed is broken. As our founding documents make clear, our government hinges upon the “consent of the governed.” It is supposed to be a government “of the people,” devoted to their “common welfare.” Self-government hinges upon the existence of a people with a common language, history, culture, and mutual loyalty—a people whose laws are an expression of their collective will.

When an illegal alien’s child is born here, not only is there no such guarantee of loyalty, there is affirmative evidence that such loyalty is missing. After all, the illegal alien has already shown contempt for the laws made by the people; his citizen child, with whom he does not share citizenship or even legal status, will grow up in a household without democratic participation. Rather, it will be naturally hostility to the country’s laws and government because of their quasi-fugitive status. The child will grow up to think of the country and its institutions as difficult obstacles that threaten his natural loyalty to the family, and not as the prized possession and expressions of the “noble free.”  

It’s About Self-Government . . .
This, quite simply, is not a good start. More important, it is not something upon which the American people, through their representatives, have ever clearly weighed in. Rather, birthright citizenship is a judicially created accretion that lacks any kind of pedigree as an expression of the will of the governed.

The common law dealt with this type of problem under the notion that “no one should profit from his own wrongdoing.” If someone stole money, invested it, and doubled it, the thief had to return the stolen principal and also the ill-gotten gains to the original victim. In this way, the law created a sound structure of incentives.

By contrast, “birthright citizenship” rewards illegal aliens (as well as other dubious cases, like birth tourists) without any corresponding benefit to the country or its people, nor any of the normal indicia of loyalty and allegiance.

To function, self-government requires a moral foundation, as well as an existing community. Majority rule does not extend to the whole globe. There is no duty to submit to even a majority of hostile “others.” Likewise, even a majority of a particular people is not permitted to do certain things, such as the imposition of ex post facto laws or the deprivation of property without compensation. The majority is limited both in its breadth (to a particular group of people) and its depth (it may only make laws that are constitutionally permissible).

The combination of large-scale illegal immigration and judicially created birthright citizenship have inverted these ordinary limits on American constitutional government, by allowing foreigners to decide who gets to be part of that people without their consent—indeed without any say at all—and without any of the safeguards to ensure that any such “citizens” become a loyal constituent part of the body of American citizens.

. . . And the Consent of the Governed
We live in a society with a great many rules that require respect for the wishes and autonomy of others. As the campus feminists remind us, “no means no.” But what is true individually is no less true collectively. Families decide who can be a guest in their homes. Gated communities control who enters. Shopping malls and Starbucks (until recently) could expel disruptive or non-paying customers. And countries, even generous and expansive countries such as ours, can decide who gets to become a citizen and under what circumstances.

As Donald Trump put it so bluntly in his campaign, “we either have a country, or we don’t.” Historically that meant a particular country, distinguishable from others, with a government made by and for a particular people. It was not the patrimony of the whole world, but rather devoted to the “general welfare” of its “posterity.”

Whether the issue is run-amuck intelligence agencies, when and under what circumstances to go to war, or who can and cannot be a citizen, the fundamental question of our age is the same as it was at our country’s origin: “Do we govern ourselves?”  

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • Congress • Conservatives • Declaration of Independence • Identity Politics • Immigration • Libertarians • Post • The Constitution • The Courts • The Left

Dred Scott? Seriously?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

The radical Left’s resort to ad hominem attacks and allegations of “racism” against their political opponents has become so commonplace that the charges have become virtually meaningless. Apparently, the open-borders Right now thinks that by joining the catcalls, they can resurrect some of the old sting.

How else to explain the recent spate of scurrilous charges leveled against Michael Anton for daring to state that the 14th Amendment—as the Supreme Court itself has recognized—does not mandate automatic citizenship to children born on U.S. soil to parents who owe their allegiance to a foreign sovereign. Anton is anti-Black, anti-Asian, and anti-Hispanic—indeed, anti all non-white people—and even wants to restore the infamous holding in Dred Scott, claims The Federalist’s Robert Tracinski. He wraps himself in the flag “while loathing the republic for which it stands,” asserts Bill Kristol. His argument “is an offensive dumpster fire,” adds David Marcus, also at The Federalist.

These histrionics are not much different than those emanating from the left side of the spectrum. Garrett Epps, for example, says in The Atlantic that Anton’s position is the “constitutional equivalent of flat-earthism,” even Hitlerism. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls Anton’s argument “Racist, Ahistorical Gobbledygook.” What these over-the-top accusations from both the open-borders Right and the radical Left share is a refusal to confront the argument against them, which is usually a pretty good indication that they cannot. Better, then, to try to shut it down with name-calling.

What Jurisdiction Means
The argument they seek to avoid is pretty straightforward, and compelling. The language of the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause contains two components. First, “all persons born . . . in the United States”; “and” second, “subject to its jurisdiction,” are to be automatically citizens. The phrase, “subject to the jurisdiction,” standing alone, can have two meanings: A full, allegiance-owing jurisdiction, and a partial, territorial jurisdiction. Anyone present in the United States (save for diplomats) is subject to her partial, territorial jurisdiction. Think of a British tourist temporarily visiting the United States on vacation, who is subject to the law that we drive on the right side of the road, not the left.

Even those who are in the country illegally are subject to our laws while here. Subject to the full jurisdiction, on the other hand, involves some kind of allegiance, such as arises when someone has become, or is in the process of becoming, part of the body politic. The issue, then, is which of these two meanings was intended by the drafters and ratifiers of the 14th Amendment.

On that, we do not need to speculate, because the question was posed directly to the leading sponsors of the 14th Amendment. Responding to the question whether the clause would mandate citizenship for “Indians” because they were “most clearly subject to our jurisdiction, both civil and military,” Senator Lyman Trumbull (R-Ill.), a key figure in the drafting and adoption of the 14th Amendment, responded that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States meant subject to its “complete” jurisdiction, “[n]ot owing allegiance to anybody else.”

Similarly, Senator Jacob Howard (R-Mich.), who introduced the language of the jurisdiction clause on the floor of the Senate, contended that it should be construed to mean “a full and complete jurisdiction,” “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.”

And what was the “same jurisdiction” that applied at the time? It was set out in the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which the 14th Amendment was intended to constitutionalize: “All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” The slight variation in language was designed to address the issue that Indian nations were not “foreign powers,” but domestic ones; it was not designed to broaden the mandated citizenship to anyone who managed to make it to U.S. soil even while maintaining their allegiance to a foreign power.

Tested in the Courts
In the 
Slaughterhouse Cases (1872), the Supreme Court agreed. This was the first case to come before it after the adoption of the 14th Amendment, and the Court there noted that “[t]he phrase, ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.” So much for the claim that the “subject to the jurisdiction” clause excluded only the diplomatic corps.

Granted, that was dicta, but it became holding a decade later, in the case of Elk v. Wilkins. There, the Supreme Court held that an “Indian” born on U.S. soil was nevertheless not a citizen by virtue of the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause because the phrase, “subject to the jurisdiction,” required that he be “not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.” Hence, the Supreme Court made clear that the phrase, “subject to the jurisdiction,” was used in the complete sense, not the partial, territorial sense. As Thomas Cooley noted in his authoritative treatise, “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States “meant full and complete jurisdiction to which citizens are generally subject, and not any qualified and partial jurisdiction, such as may consist with allegiance to some other government.”

Much is made of the Supreme Court’s later decision in Wong Kim Ark, in which the Court held in 1898 that the child born on U.S. soil to Chinese immigrants was a citizen under the terms of the 14th Amendment. But Wong Kim Ark’s parents were permanently and legally domiciled in the United States, a point that the court went out of its way to emphasize. The holding of that case (as opposed to some of its broader dicta) therefore did not address whether the children of parents who were here only temporarily as visitors (“temporary sojourners,” to use the language of the day) and who continued to owe allegiance to a foreign power, were automatically citizens merely by birth on U.S. soil. And it certainly did not address whether the children of parents who were in this country illegally could lay claim to automatic citizenship. And no case since then has so held, either. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying.

Race Has Nothing to Do With It
The perfectly sensible distinction drawn in the 14th Amendment is between those whose lawful and permanent residence in the United States evidences an allegiance to the United States, and those whose mere temporary presence (or even unlawful presence) evidences no such allegiance. This is true no matter the region of the world at issue. Someone from Western Europe who has illegally entered the United States, or overstayed a temporary visa, has no more claim to citizenship for her child born here than does someone from Asia, or Africa, or Central or South America.

Conversely, a child born on U.S. soil to anyone who arrived legally and has become a lawful permanent residence is a citizen no matter the nation of origin of the parents. Quite simply, race has nothing to do with it. Lawful, permanent residence, sufficient to make the parents “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the full and complete sense, does.

More fundamentally, this original understanding of the 14th Amendment is in accord with one of the most fundamental tenets of the Declaration of Independence, namely, that legitimate governments are based on the consent of the people. What constitutes “a people” who consent to a particular government is in turn also based on consent, and it is a mutual consent, not a unilateral one. Just as the United States cannot unilaterally impose the duties of citizenship on peoples in other nations, so too, others cannot unilaterally claim the benefits of United States citizenship. That task is, under our Constitution, assigned exclusively to Congress, which has the power to set the rules for naturalization—which is to say, to define who should be offered citizenship.

Misreading the 14th Amendment to confer automatic citizenship on the children of temporary visitors and, even more troubling, on the children of those who have entered this country illegally, destroys the notion of consent, usurps Congress’s plenary power to set naturalization policy, and undermines the rule of law. Worse, it is a throwback to the old feudal notion that anyone born in the King’s realm is forever the King’s subject. Our Declaration of Independence renounced that archaic claim. We should be appalled that self-proclaimed intellectuals on both the Right and the Left want to resurrect it.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • Free Speech • Post • Pro-Life • Religion and Society • Republicans • Satire • The Constitution • The Courts • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker)

Brett Kavanaugh’s America

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

There’s so much being said about Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. How can anyone keep up?

If you’re reading American Greatness, you’ve probably read about the judge’s impeccable credentials and character. And if you saw Kavanaugh address the press at the White House after the president introduced him, you would have seen a good and principled man. A mensch. Yes, Kavanaugh is Catholic. But you don’t have to be Jewish to be a mensch.  

But is he the man for the job? Come on. Just take a look at him, and you see the Poster Guy for a Supreme Court Justice.

OK, not everyone sees it. Elected Democrats at all levels, leftist agitators, fraudulent media acolytes—the Excess of Awful—see something entirely different.

Like Cole, the boy in The Sixth Sense, who sees dead people, a lot of Trump opponents look at Brett Kavanaugh and see a dead agenda. Every unpopular and destructive item on their wish list, all of which pretty much eviscerates the Bill of Rights—from curtailing speech and restricting religious liberty to confiscating guns—is completely dead the day Kavanaugh takes his seat on the bench.

It’s not a secret that the modus operandi of all card-carrying members of this Excess of Awful is to fundamentally transform the United States of America by foisting radical changes on the American people, changes that permanently alter culture and customs and lifestyles.

It’s a tough job, and #TheResistance is ready to do it. But they can’t do it alone. What they need most of all is to get like-minded Supreme Court justices to do the heavy lifting for them. These JINOs—Judges in Name Only—eschew their role as judges, and morph into legislators. Actually, Politburo lackeys better describe how they view the laws and the Constitution. With a 5-4 vote, these fraudulent judges can decree a slew of laws that could never be passed through the normal legislative process.

Right now, this leftist cabal has only four reliable Supreme Accomplices sitting on the high court. To succeed with their putsch, they desperately need to add a fifth. President Trump, getting the opportunity to make this Supreme Court selection, and denying them a fifth judge, has them apoplectic.

Senate hearings will begin soon. And the ugly will get uglier. So why endure the hate fest? I know. Everyone likes to peek at a car wreck. And with the Democrats and their ilk, it’s easily a ten-car pile-up. But why succumb to your voyeuristic impulses? Look no further than the list below to grasp the lunacy about to be unleashed on the American public. Then move on and enjoy the summer.

Women in Kavanaugh’s America
Brett Kavanaugh’s America will be The Handmaid’s Tale on steroids.

Right out of the gate, Kavanaugh will ban pussy hats.

Within days, Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade, and “Orange is the New Black” will become reality television, as millions of women will be sent to jail. And those will be the fortunate ones! Millions of others will die as they converge on the back-alleys across the nation to abort their fetuses with coat hangers distributed by Planned Parenthood.

Guns in Kavanaugh’s America
In Brett Kavanaugh’s America, the Gunfight at the OK Corral will seem as timid as a game of hopscotch.

Kavanaugh will mandate that all Republicans, suspecting harassment from members of the Maxine Waters Militia, be given a gun.

If attacked in a manner similar to Sarah Sanders’ confrontation at a Red Hen restaurant, Kavanaugh will give permission to shoot the attacker—and shoot to kill!—to avoid the cost of incarceration. (Keep in mind, there will be a shortage of prison space, as most prisons will be filled to capacity with all the women who had illegal abortions.)

Additionally, NRA members will be employed at public schools as security guards. Anyone, but primarily illegal aliens, threatening the lives of the students will be shot dead.

NRA members will also be enlisted to monitor the school bathrooms. Any student claiming to be transgender and attempting to use a bathroom that doesn’t match up with the student’s biological characteristics will be arrested or shot.

Kavanaugh’s Catholic America
Brett Kavanaugh, being a Catholic, will impose his religious beliefs on everyone.

As Catholicism rejects contraception, Kavanaugh will ban all forms of birth control, including the rhythm method.

Additionally, Kavanaugh will require every American to go to confession. He will compel all priests, and ICE agents moonlighting as priests, to divulge any information that might be considered subversive. Guilty parties will be sent to camps currently being constructed in Montana and North Dakota.

How Do You Solve a Problem Named Brett?
America has no place on the nation’s highest court for “some frat boy named Brett.” Judges must have real names like Ruth, Sonia, Elena, Sandra, Thurgood, and Felix.

You can be sure that Kavanaugh is unfazed by the assortment of slings and arrows hurled his way. He knows his adversaries are Lilliputians, and he’s Gulliver.

But frat boy! Those are fighting words.

Kavanaugh’s enemies might want to reconsider their strategy. He’s not one to be trifled with. Once they get him to start searching through all those emanations and penumbras, who can say what he might find? And then, all Brett’s are off.

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • American Conservatism • Americanism • Center for American Greatness • civic culture/friendship • Conservatives • Declaration of Independence • Post • The Constitution • The Courts • The Left

Finding the Next Justice Thomas Will Take a Gang, Not a Village

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text][/fusion_text][fusion_text]

David Brooks’ insightful account of “a self-consciously built” “conservative legal infrastructure” behind Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination raises more fundamental questions about the Court and contemporary political and academic trends. While this “infrastructure” is a work of many hands, Brooks really means to single out the Federalist Society.

The Federalist Society is better understood as a gang (MS-1787) rather than as a “community” or village or even “a cohesive band of brothers and sisters.” Sometime in the 1990s, The New Republic called “the Straussians” as the “one of the top-ten gangs of the millennium.”

Tom Sawyer, in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, makes the commitment required of such an endeavor clear: “Now, we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.” The contrast between the political effectiveness of the Federalist Society and other groups on the right founded at the same time in the early 1980s, including the politically less successful Straussians, is instructive. Even the good each has achieved may not be sufficient to meet the political crisis of our time.

I will not repeat the heroic tale of the rise and rise of the FedSoc but rather refer the serious reader to political scientist Steven Teles’s account in The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement. One must compare it with a 29 year-old Woodrow Wilson’s excitement at forming “a band of young fellows (say ten or twelve)” to dominate the public prints with their thinking—whose content he does not dwell on, other than its novelty. “All the country needs is a new and sincere body of thought in politics, coherently, distinctly, and boldly uttered by men who are sure of their ground.” Wilson, of course, became the first (and perhaps only) president to attack the Declaration of Independence, in the name of Darwinian novelty and against individual rights.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies originated as a debating society involving “conservatives and libertarians” who are committed to the principles of freedom and the separation of powers, and who believe “that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” At least in their earlier years, they stood more for Judge Robert Bork’s legal positivism against the exotic or even toxic leftist faculty. But the group has also expanded its appeal, sponsoring its 2015 annual Rosenkranz debate between Robert George of Princeton, a new natural law scholar, and John McGinnis of Northwestern law school, an originalist and a positivist. Other groups have gone beyond the generalities of the FedSoc, such as Hadley Arkes’s James Wilson Institute and John Eastman’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the litigation project of the western Straussian Claremont Institute. But the Federalist Society, with help from the Heritage Foundation and, most of all, White House Counsel Don McGahn, put together Trump’s list of potential judicial appointments.

The Prudence and Limitations of the List

The genius and limitations of the FedSoc can be seen in the cleverness of the Trump campaign’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. The list has been expanded twice, indicating the first list of 11 judges was concocted in significant part to appeal to crucial states in the campaign, including Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The second list of 10 added two from Florida and doubled up on names from Colorado (including now-Justice Neil Gorsuch), Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri. Finally, the White House released a third list of five names in November 2017, which elicited a harrumph from the New York Times. It included a name some observers thought oddly omitted from the first, Judge Kavanaugh, who went through extended and heated confirmation battles before being confirmed in 2006. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a finalist for this current nomination, was also on this latest list. The next list may be the true list.

It now seems clear that the first list was a trial to see whether a list in principle was a political success, so the campaign added the second list with Gorsuch. They saved the controversial Kavanaugh for the third list. (In the meantime, Trump promoted others named in the first list from State Supreme Courts or a federal district court to federal circuit courts of appeal.)

Trump both rationalized and politicized the selection of Supreme Court justices, to the advantage of both the Constitution and his own political interest. This contrasts with the blemished records of George H.W. Bush and his predecessors Nixon and Reagan (not to mention Eisenhower) and the avoidance of disaster with George W. Bush’s near-nomination of his assistant, Harriet Miers.

If they had been given the chance, would the Federalist Society have done the really right thing and have proposed Phyllis Schlafly, the woman who single-handedly stopped the ERA, to fill the woman seat on the Court President Reagan had promised in his 1980 campaign? After the Supreme Court’s role in the collapse of the separation of powers and the rise of the administrative state, nothing but a political challenge from within could restore it to its constitutional place.

But these disparate strands lead us up to the fundamental issue in thinking about the Constitution. It arose in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing in 2010. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), not a lawyer but a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked her about her belief in natural rights and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. (Skip to 16:30 here.) Kagan reacted as though she had been asked whether she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and accordingly insisted her thoughts on the matter, whatever they were, had no bearing on how she would judge cases. No other senator on the committee asked about the Declaration or natural rights.

Would the judges on the FedSoc list answer this key question any better? In fact, Gorsuch would and likely Judge Barrett would, too—though I wonder about any commitment they may have to “new natural law”—but I have my doubts about the others. That of course is the fault of the legal education establishment, not the Federalist Society,  which has only crooked timbers to work with. There is work for many gangs.

The Declaration Anchors the Constitution

The first principle of American constitutionalism is the bond between the Declaration and the Constitution. The distortions of the Dred Scott case unmoor the Constitution from any dignity and purpose it has in an original understanding. American jurisprudence has never recovered from that case. In brief, if Americans can’t understand the injustice of slavery and why it was so difficult to extirpate it, what can they possibly understand about living in a free society?

It is not for nothing that the most radical originalist on the Supreme Court is Clarence Thomas, who grew up under segregation. His commitment to natural right is seen less in citation of doctrine, though he is quite adept at this. It is rather manifest in his radical originalism—his quest to find the roots or nature of the issue at hand.  In helping bolster that determination in him, the Claremont gang played a role.

Thomas has revived the legal world’s interest in basic questions about the Constitution.

There is no cloning a Clarence Thomas. But smart and influential people need to be able to spot such a one and let him exercise his virtues by connecting our crisis today with the founding, the Constitution and the Declaration together. A bold president is essential. Though the stage is set, it seems unlikely the Trump-Roberts Court will be able to perform this gargantuan task. Nonetheless, grounds for hope remain.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Donald Trump • First Amendment • Post • The Constitution • The Courts • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker)

The Left’s Real Problem: It Can’t Buy SCOTUS

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text][/fusion_text][fusion_text]

As signs point to an easy confirmation for President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, #TheResistance has entered full “chicken with its head cut off” mode. For evidence of this, look no further than Judge Kavanaugh’s alma mater, Yale Law School, where a series of alumni, teachers, and various other sour grapes enthusiasts have penned an hysterical letter denouncing Kavanaugh as a “threat to the most vulnerable,” and a man whose legal theories are a “direct threat to our democracy.”

The letter is inspired, they say, by Kavanaugh’s deferential attitude toward executive power: deference which the letter claims is motivated by pure partisanship, given Kavanaugh’s previous record working with Clinton-era independent counsel Kenneth Starr. That the letter itself seems to be motivated by the same “naked partisanship” naturally elides the authors.

Indeed, that sort of blithe lack of self-awareness is characteristic of the letter, and by extension, of the Left’s critique of Kavanaugh. In particular, the accusation that Kavanaugh is a threat “to the most vulnerable” is laughable when you consider the increasingly alarming takeover of the corporate world by Leftist ideology. In particular, the open and shameless progressivism of massive tech companies makes the proposition that Kavanaugh is a threat to the “vulnerable” a bad joke. Is Google’s HR Department “vulnerable” now?

Well, as it happens, yes, they are, but not in the way Leftists use the word. That is, they are not vulnerable to institutionalized racism, or rape culture, or any of the million other far-Left bogeymen, but what they are vulnerable to is tightening labor markets and the attendant rising labor costs they bring.

In this respect, Judge Kavanaugh is a nightmare for the corporate Left, given his forceful belief—expressed in a case involving the Brazilian restaurant, El Fogo de Chao—that corporations have no right to import foreign labor, if domestic labor is available. “Mere economic expediency does not authorize an employer to displace American workers for foreign workers,” Kavanaugh wrote in that case.

And therein lies the real problem for the corporate Left. Unlike the bureaucracy of the administrative state, or members of Congress, Justices on the United States Supreme Court cannot be bought, and no amount of slick lawyering can force the Justices’ hand. We saw this revealed in great detail in the recent Supreme Court decision Trump v. Hawaii, in which Chief Justice Roberts upheld President Trump’s controversial travel ban as a legitimate exercise of executive power.

“The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the INA,” Roberts wrote. “Neither dissent even attempts any serious argument to the contrary, despite the fact that plaintiffs’ primary contention below and in their briefing before this Court was that the Proclamation violated the statute.”

Period. End of conversation.

And from whom, exactly, was the wailing and gnashing of teeth loudest? Why, the doyens of the tech industry, of course. In fact, they barely had time to catch their collective breath, seeing as tech leaders at companies like Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, and Twitter were already blue in the face from complaining about the manufactured crisis of President Trump’s border separation policies. Airbnb in particular freaked, releasing a TV spot that hysterically proclaims, “To limit travel is to turn back progress.” And if by “progress,” Airbnb means drug dealing, prostitution, and robbery, then it certainly is a pioneer when it comes to such progress.

But it’s not just Airbnb. A lot of leftist-dominated companies sunk money into trying to get President Trump’s travel ban stopped by the courts. And it fell flat, even with the comparatively libertarian Justice Kennedy as a swing vote. With an economic patriot like Kavanaugh replacing him, the tactic of trying to sue their way out from under policies that advantage Americans over imported workers will be crushed into the dust the instant any of their suits reach the Supreme Court. The Left’s strategy of importing voters to win politically, and importing cheap labor to win economically, will hit a decades-long snag.

This is why the Left fears the Kavanaugh nomination, and the takeover the Supreme Court by nominees in that mold: because, far from hurting the vulnerable, it will hold their own elites accountable in the one court that cannot be bought, cannot be overruled, and whose justice they cannot escape.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

America • civic culture/friendship • Conservatives • Donald Trump • Elections • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Post • Progressivism • The Constitution • The Courts • The Culture • The Left • The Leviathian State • The Media

Who’s Winning the Culture Wars Now?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text][/fusion_text][fusion_text]

On May 6, 2016, as the run-up to the struggle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the presidency began in earnest, one of the Left’s most influential and brilliant intellectuals, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet, wrote a blog entry called “Abandoning Defensive Crouch Liberal Constitutionalism.” His most important assertion in that little screed, italicized no less, was “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won.” By “they” he meant “conservatives,” and by “we” he meant “progressives.”

Tushnet, an almost unbelievably prolific and charismatic individual (and, indeed, an old friend), is wrong.

One of the founders of the Marxist-influenced Critical Legal Studies Movement, Tushnet was writing about what he thought should be done in the United States Supreme Court after Clinton was elected and more progressives were put on the bench. But, of course, the unexpected victory of Trump means, as we are seeing with the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, that it is the cultural conservatives who will be ascendant for a generation, and not the progressives after all.

Culture Wars Define American Greatness
Trump’s triumph was a conservative triumph and a decisive victory in the still ongoing culture wars. Tushnet got it wrong because he apparently failed to grasp there will be no end to the culture wars so long as one side—the Left—insists on the illegitimacy of traditional views of human nature and flourishing, of religion and morals, and of private property and of the limited government contemplated by our framers.

Understanding this, one can go even further. The culture wars—best understood, actually, as battles over what really constitutes American greatness—will continue as long as there is a conflict between good and evil on earth, or, as C.S. Lewis once argued, as long as our planet is “enemy-occupied territory,” where God and the Devil fight for the soul of man. Such a notion is anathema to progressives, whose deity is science, whose current obsession is intersectionality, and, for most of whom, the proposition that Providence governs human affairs is hopelessly irrational and outdated.

Those whom Hillary Clinton despicably called the “deplorables,” and whom President Obama condescendingly accused of clinging to their guns and their religion, those whom the effervescent Kurt Schlichter (a Tushnet of the Right) calls “us normals,” still have that traditional understanding, and what is most remarkable is the manner in which people on the Left, like Tushnet, may be incapable of understanding why that should be so.

One has only to spend a few moments on the internet or watching Fox News to be exposed to the manner in which the Left increasingly fails to comprehend this reality, and flails about in a misguided struggle to silence conservatives and indecently and intolerantly to seek to crush dissension from political correctness. Two recent horrifying and instructive examples are a recent Planned Parenthood promotion and a “comedy” routine from Michelle Wolf.

The abortion provider Planned Parenthood of New York City’s fundraising campaign is straightforwardly labeled, “Protect Our Freedom to F*ck: Donate to Planned Parenthood of New York City.” The 45-second spot, a spectacular paean both to fornication and intersectionality, uses the word “f*ck” or its derivatives 13 times, and ends with the admonition, “F*ck New York and everyone in it. Protect our right to safely f*ck whoever the f*ck we want: donate to Planned Parenthood of New York City.” Apart from the lamentable grammatical lapse of the split infinitive, the ad appears to suggest that human flourishing is all about unlimited copulation, and this can be done without fear of consequences because abortion (and, presumably birth control and “safe-sex” counseling) can be readily available if Planned Parenthood has sufficient funding.

In a similar vein, Michelle Wolf, the purportedly comedic harridan who earlier this year harried President Trump and horrifically tried to humiliate Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House Correspondents Dinner, has a new routine called “a Salute to Abortion.” Dressed in fetching sparkling tights and a star-spangled low-cut red-white-and-blue majorette ensemble, Wolf throws confetti and declares, “God bless abortion and God bless the United States of America.” One can admire the patriotism, but she makes clear in her performance that for her, abortion is not the taking of an innocent human life. Instead, it’s merely “stopping a baby from happening. It’s like ‘Back to the Future’ and abortion is the DeLorean. Everyone loves DeLoreans.” At another point in her routine, Wolf suggests that abortion ought to be something available on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, and that it ought to be viewed as removing an egg from a woman’s “McMuffin.”

If the RNC runs the Planned Parenthood promotion and Wolf’s routine as part of its campaign, it is likely to result in quite a few Republican victories in 2018, because these progressives are broadcasting their unappealing and narrow view of life as fulfillment of evanescent carnal desire and a crabbed version of self-actualization.

“People Will Die” and Other Lies
Similarly horrid events unfolding last week included the testimony of Peter Strzok, which once again demonstrated the Left’s intolerance of Trump and his supporters, and reminded us of the Obama Administration’s placing Clinton and her campaign officials above the law, as they were excused from abominable breaches of national security and mendacity.

In the same disturbing vein were the scare tactics employed to suggest that if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for the Supreme Court, “basic rights” of all Americans are threatened, and “people will die.” The Borking of Brett is well underway, but this time, because Republicans have the numbers, it won’t work.

The Left must lie, perhaps, in order to continue to persuade its supporters and to appeal for funds to maintain power because it simply gets reality wrong. Life is not about solipsistic self-actualization, and—as the Right now understands, but the Left still does not—humans will not flourish under socialism and a leviathan state. Not abortion on demand, but moral and religious altruism, of a kind that Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated in his private life, is what makes life worthwhile.

As Russell Kirk showed us, a rich diversity of approach in politics and culture is also essential, and, perhaps, the fact that our First Amendment encourages abominations like the Planned Parenthood promotion and Michelle Wolf’s “salute to abortion” is not entirely lamentable. At least they help us understand the real nature of American greatness, by suggesting its opposite.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]