Judiciary Archives

"Happy" Anniversary

Forty years and 50 million lives ago, Roe v Wade was decided, and the Supreme Court federalized all state abortion laws, by somehow finding a right to kill your unborn child in the Constitution. Justice Byron White said as much in his dissent.

I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.

Fifty million children. If they had died from gunshots, the Left would realize the tragedy. As it it, it’s just "choice".

The War on Religion

(Hey, if Democrats can invent a war, so can I.)

Hobby Lobby had filed suit to block the ObamaCare contraception mandate. They lost round 1.

As a “secular” corporation, they have no rights to use the religious beliefs of their ownership as a justification not to abide by the contraception mandate. This decision is inconsistent with the Tyndale House one you may have heard about. So apparently being a Bible publisher does make you religious, but being a Bible seller doesn’t.

The argument the administration advanced successfully in the Hobby Lobby case is a particularly troublesome one for believers of all faiths who operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money. According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s "free exercise" clause because “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.”

Hobby Lobby is an all-American success story if there ever was one. Read the whole thing for their history. But now, with ObamaCare breathing down our collective necks, you lose your religious freedom the minute you start a company.

The company remained all privately owned, with no franchising. Their statement of purposes and various commitments all begin with Bible verses, commitments to honor the Lord. The Hobby Lobby folks pay well above minimum wage and have increased salaries four years in a row despite the recession. They are teetotalers of the old Oral Roberts variety, refusing to stock shot glasses, don’t sell any of their store locations with liquor stores, don’t allow backhauling of beer shipments – all things that could make them money, but they just bear the costs. Every Christmas and Easter, the Hobby Lobby folks advertise a free Bible and spiritual counseling. They are closed every Sunday. The family also signed the giving pledge, committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

So: I doubt this is the type of company to spend one dime on this contraception mandate. They will just drop coverage, and pay employees the difference, shifting them onto the exchanges or the taxpayer, rather than compromise their beliefs. It’s logical, it’s more predictable as a budgeting choice, and it will save them tens of millions in the long run versus retaining coverage and paying the fine.

I have to wonder if this wasn’t part of the plan all along; a self-fulfilling prophesy of the need for state insurance exchanges by forcing, in part, religious people who happened to have started a business to join them. That’s a little cynical, I’ll agree, but it’s tough to understand this blatant contravening of freedoms in the very first Amendment.

Arguing that a corporation isn’t a person is one thing. Arguing that you stop being one when you create one is another one entirely.

Traditional Marriage Upheld in Hawaii

An interesting reasoning that Judge Alan Kay used to uphold the law (emphasis mine).

HONOLULU (BP) — A federal court has refused to legalize gay marriage in Hawaii, ruling the issue is best addressed by the legislature and that the current law — which defines marriage as between a man and a woman — does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling by Judge Alan. C. Kay Wednesday (Aug. 8) broke a string of court losses by traditionalists on the subject of gay marriage.

At issue in Hawaii was a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1998 giving the legislature the power to define marriage in the traditional sense, which legislators subsequently did.

A lesbian couple and a gay man filed suit in federal court last year against Hawaii officials, arguing the amendment and law violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. But Kay, nominated by President Reagan, ruled the legislature had a rational interest defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"Throughout history and societies, marriage has been connected with procreation and childrearing," Kay wrote in his 117-page decision. "… The legislature could rationally conclude that on a societal level, the institution of marriage acts to reinforce ‘the important legal and normative link between heterosexual intercourse and procreation on the one hand and family responsibilities on the other.’"

The legislature, Kay wrote, could "also rationally conclude that other things being equal, it is best for children to be raised by a parent of each sex."

"Both sides presented evidence on this issue and both sides pointed out flaws in their opponents’ evidence," he wrote of parenting. "Thus, the Court concludes this rationale is at least debatable and therefore sufficient."

The issue, Kay added, is up to the legislature.

He deferred to the legislature when the point was debatable. What’s very interesting about this is that it is essentially the reasoning Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used to uphold ObamaCare; a decision that liberals hailed. While Roberts rewrote the law to make the individual mandate a tax (not something I agree he could or should do), he then concluded that it was within Congress’ power and deferred to them.

This is the very opposite of judicial activism, and what they’re supposed to do; judge the law and not redefine it.

A Closer Look at the ObamaCare Supreme Court Ruling

Episode 5 of the "Consider This!" podcast is out today and it’s all about a single topic, so I thought I’d post the script here for those who don’t do podcasts. If you do do podcasts, click here for the show notes and ways to subscribe, or just listen, to the show.


I mentioned previously that while the individual mandate was struck down as an exercise of the Commerce Clause, it hung in there as an exercise of the taxing authority of the federal government. That is to say, the way it was sold to the American people, and the way the Obama administration is continuing to try to defend it, is unconstitutional. By being given the authority to regulate commerce, Congress cannot force you to engage in commerce so that they can then regulate it. However, if arranged in a way such that you have to pay a tax if you don’t comply, well then it’s all hunky-dory. So then, when you hear Democrats insist that the mandate is not a tax, as they have been saying, remember that they are therefore arguing that it’s unconstitutional. They’re trying to have their mandate and eat it, too.

The main reason they’re arguing that it’s not a tax — going against a Supreme Court ruling that they are ostensibly in favor of — is because of the legislative ramifications. A tax can be repealed on a bare majority vote, and is not subject to a 60 vote Senate filibuster. This makes it much easier for, say, a President Romney and a Republican House and Senate to repeal. I would have thought that trifecta tough to accomplish this November, but with this ruling, I suspect a fire is going to be lit under many a conservative, and I hope that this translates into votes. I think Democrats, too, see this scenario as more plausible today than it was before the ruling, which is why they’re trying to make this particular hard sell. Billy Mays, the TV pitchman who used to try to sell you so many handy items, would be proud.

If you insist, against the advice of the Supreme Court, that the Commerce Clause should be good enough to implement a mandate, consider this. The intention of the clause itself was a negative power; a preventative, restraining one. It was written so that there was an authority to appeal to when there were trade disputes among the states. It was never intended to be a positive power by the federal government; one that allowed it to act on its own. Those aren’t my words. Those are James Madison’s. But hey, he’s just what some people call The Father of The Constitution. What would he know?

Read the rest of this entry

"Consider This!" Podcast Episode 4

In the latest episode of my new podcast project, I give my first look at what the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare(tm)) means. If you think there are places where government should just butt out of, you are not going to like what this bill let’s the government do.

A comment on a Facebook question posted by La Shawn Barber gives us a new perspective on how to deal with illegal immigrants.

You know those machines where you take the next number to be waited on? The government has one. It’s costs $19 million. Every year. Really.

And you know all those human interest stories that the media keep running to tell us that we really need ObamaCare? Do they compare to the 130,000 elderly patients in Britain that die every year so that costs can be kept down or beds can be freed up? Yup, 130,000. Every year. Really.

Click here for show notes, and ways to listen to the podcast; through iTunes, another podcatcher, or right on the web page. It’s politics in 10 minutes or less (8 minutes and 40 seconds, this time).

"ObamaCare" Stands

Calling the individual mandate a "tax" (which is something Obama himself expressly said it was not, by the way), the Supreme Court has upheld the core of the Affordable Care Act. There was a small limitation placed on Medicare changes, but overall it survived intact.

First of all, the election in November has come fully in focus because of this. There’s a clear distinction between the candidates now; one wants to keep this, and one wants to repeal it. The final fate of the ACA now falls into the hands of the voters, and there may be a huge backlash.

Secondly, the power of the Congress under the Commerce Clause was (at least) restricted, since the SCOTUS ruled that the way the mandate was written was outside that power. That at least was some silver lining around this cloud. It’s power via taxation, however, has now become absolute, going where I don’t think it’s gone before. There is no limiting principal on what they can do, or, more specifically, what they can make you do. The Constitution was written by guys who knew their history, and how government’s tendency is to grow and take over more and more power. It was written to limit the federal government. But now, that power has had one of its biggest shackles unlocked. As a precedent, it is incredibly dangerous.

And because of this, I want to say to anyone who has ever complained that the government should get out of any area of their lives where it has no business, just remember that now it can direct your every purchase if it so chooses. After it takes out taxes, it can still tell you how to spend the rest. If you supported this bill, then you have opened that door. You can no longer complain about government meddling in anything. You helped give it that power.

Thoughts on Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

Just the higher-profile ones.

The Arizona Immigration Law: The court struck down 3 of the 4 provisions, and upheld the portion that requires police to check the immigratio status of someone they think is here illegally. However…

The court struck down these provisions: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

Governor Jan Brewer is trying to put the best face on it, by saying:

“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens,” Gov. Brewer said in a statement. “After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.”

This, however, isn’t necessarily the end of the road for legal challenges of this particular provision, and the Justices said as much. So the governor is really trying to do damage control.

I understand that we don’t necessarily want 50 different standards on immigration to this country, but the federal government, in picking and choosing what laws it will enforce, forces states to do the job that the people’s representatives said the Fed ought to be doing. Arizona may have overstepped its constitutional authority somewhat, but I expect (I hope) that this will get the people to start electing a federal government that will indeed enforce the laws that are passed.

No automatic life without parole for juveniles: This does not mean that life without parole entirely; only that states cannot impose that penalty automatically for certain crimes. The liberal justices said it was "cruel and unusual", the conservatives ones said, "Neither the text of the Constitution or our precedent prohibits legislatures from requiring that juvenile murderers be sentenced to life without parole." Tough call. Constitutionally, can see both sides, but in practice, it does seem that life for a minor without the possibility of parole is very harsh. But since the ruling does allow it for individual cases, I can get behind it.

Rejects corporate spending limits: This was basically a reaffirmation of the Citizens United case from 2010, but saying that it applies to the states as well. Corporations have interests in how elections go, and should be allowed to contribute to issue-oriented campaigns. Restricting speech, especially political speech, is a slippery slope away from government accountability. Money is a corrupting influence in Washington, no doubt, but that’s mostly what politicians can do with taxpayer money. Political speech, should it be restricted by Washington, could make it more corrupt, since it would then get to decide what others say about them. The solution to bad speech is more good speech, not curtailing all speech.

 

Coming Thursday, the big ObamaCare ruling. Expect a frenzy around 10am Eastern Time on Thursday.

Further Erosion of Religious Rights

A restaurant owner can’t refuse to serve people based on their race or gender. It is considered a public business. But how about a photographer? Not just one with a studio open to the public, but one who you would hire to come out and photograph your wedding?

A New Mexico judge now says that they can no longer pick and choose which weddings they will work at.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony violated state anti-discrimination laws, the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled.

The court on Thursday agreed with a previous ruling, in which a district court judge said the photo studio is considered public, similar to a restaurant or store, and cannot refuse service based on sexual orientation, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/JSAdE5 ). The photography studio had argued that its refusal was not an act of discrimination but a reflection of the owners’ religious and moral beliefs.

The state (New Mexico here, but all over the country) is trying to freeze out businesses that don’t toe the liberal line. Catholic adoption agencies who have the same religious objection, in many places, now have to either violate their principles or shut down to avoid lawsuits. Now we have photographers who have to do much the same thing. Sensing a trend here?

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based legal alliance of Christian attorneys and others that represented the studio, plans to appeal. Elane Photography argued that it provided discretionary, unique and expressive services that aren’t a public accommodation under the Human Rights Act.

The studio asked hypothetically whether an African-American photographer would be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally.

The court responded: “The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class. Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”

So, you have human rights only if you’re one of the classes with special rights. Don’t we always hear how homosexuals just want equal rights, not special rights? Watch what they do, however. If you’re a Christian photographer, you can now be targeted, even if there is a photographer right next door who is more accommodating and doesn’t have the same moral qualms. This is fair?

North Carolina will be voting on an amendment to the state constitution that will define marriage as one man and one woman. It’s too bad that something so engrained in cultures worldwide must now have its obvious definition written into the overarching legal document for states, but since there are those that now wish to redefine it legally, it’s something that must be done.

In Georgia, we saw how, even though there were already laws against same-sex marriage, the same-sex marriage proponents sought to get around this by using the courts to declare the law unconstitutional. To preempt that here, a constitutional amendment was proposed and passed. Now North Carolina is doing the same thing, but those against the amendment are arguing…well, not arguing, really, just casting aspersions. Mark Duffy, writing for Buzzfeed says this:

The state already doesn’t "recognize" same-sex unions. That apparently isn’t a strong enough statement for North Carolina lawmakers.

This is not about statements or posturing. It’s because those promoting same-sex marriage have changed the battlefield from the legislature to the courts. And each time they get met on that battlefield, they whine about it and make assumptions about their opponents. These are not the actions of people appealing to your mind or reason, but to your emotions and, ironically, to hate of those they disagree with.

This is further exhibited by the commenters on the page. I noted the legal reasoning that the NC lawmakers might have, paralleling it with what I had seen here, and was immediately accused of deliberately twisting the facts. Except that the facts are historically verifiable. Nothing was twisted. Check out the comment thread. A very eye-opening read.

Defending the Indefensible

That’s what Byron York thinks is the job of the Obama administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli. First it was ObamaCare, now it’s the Arizona illegal immigrant laws. John Hinderaker notes some of the disconnects that Mr. Verrilli is desperately trying to connect.

Justice Sotomayor was commenting here on an extraordinary aspect of the Obama administration’s position, to the effect that it is OK if individual Arizona law enforcement officers decide to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, but if the state directs them all to cooperate, it is somehow unconstitutional. The Obama administration literally argued that for a state to engage in “systematic cooperation” with the federal government on immigration is unlawful. We can’t blame Mr. Verrilli for his inability to sell that bizarre argument. We do blame Barack Obama and Eric Holder for trying to assert it.

Of course, what is going on here is that the Obama administration doesn’t want to enforce the immigration laws that Congress has enacted. The essence of its position in the Arizona case is that the federal government has the right to decide not to enforce the law, and if it so decides, then no state has the power, under the Constitution, to do anything that would tend to enforce those federal laws. So if the Obama administration decides that it will gain political advantage by ignoring federal laws against illegal immigration, states like Arizona just have to take the consequences without complaining.

Mr. Verrilli has to twist himself in knots to try to defend the indefensible; a government that chooses which laws to enforce and which to ignore, and which want to force states to tow their particular line. The states will have none of that, and this case will determine whether the federal government can, indeed, actually legislate by ignoring laws it doesn’t like.

Friday Link Wrap-up

A federal government out of control. Without any evidence, Attorney General Eric Holder took a woman to court for obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic. The judge threw out the case and ordered the government to pay $120,000 to the woman. Yes, it’s good that the woman was compensated, but this case should have never gone to court.

I think Julian Assange has been irresponsible for dumping secret data that, in many cases, has put lives at risk or tipped our hand to enemies. Still, it’s nice to know that, in all that, George W. Bush has been vindicated in his handling of the Iraq/WMD situation.

I agree with the sentiment that the teen’s shirt said, "Jesus Is Not A Homophobe". However, I also think that the folks he thinks need that message aren’t, for the most part, homophobes either, if, by "homophobe" you mean "someone who agrees with 2000 years of Christian teaching".

Global Warming Update: "The number of [polar] bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt."

James O’Keefe is at it again. He, a white guy, to prove that voter fraud really is simple, something that Attorney General Eric Holder denies, was able to (almost) vote in the primary as Eric Holder himself, a black guy. Extremely easy.

An atheist who threatened to sue over a Nativity scene, was helped in his time of need by the very Christians he had threatened. Result: He’s now a Christian preparing to enter the  ministry.

John Stossel, libertarian and (when he was at ABC News) a contrarian in the media, describes the liberal bias at his old network.

Ever since Jimmy Carter got snookered by giving food to North Korea in exchange for an empty promise not to pursue nukes, we keep hoping that they’ll change their mind about belligerence if we bribe them well enough. It hasn’t worked, and it won’t work. A dictator that will spend who knows how many millions on a missile program while his country starves is patently not concerned about his people. Period. No amount of appealing to his better nature will change that. Now that N. Korea has test launched (what Rick Moore calls) a "three-stage artificial reef", now we’re serious. Now we mean business. Well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Civility Watch: "Moderate Caucus" chairman, a Democrat, tweets, "Cheney deserves same final end he gave Saddam. Hope there are cell cams."

President Barack Obama vs. History

The President said something yesterday that just goes against 200+ years of American history, including the notion of the separation of powers and the responsibility of the judiciary. But first, some of that history.

The famous Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison set up what was the primary purpose of the US Supreme Court. From Wikipedia:

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) is a landmark case in United States law and in the history of law worldwide. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in Western history a court invalidated a law by declaring it "unconstitutional". The landmark decision helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government.

To repeat, this was the "the first time in Western history a court invalidated a law by declaring it ‘unconstitutional’." Pretty big deal. And it’s one that the Court has exercised many times in the past. From Answers.com:

Unconstitutional and Preempted Laws 1789-2002
According to the GPO (Government Printing Office Database):

1789-2002 Acts of Congress Held as Unconstitutional…………………………158

1789-2002 State Statutes held unconstitutional………………………………..935

1789-2002 City Ordinances held unconstitutional………………………………222

1789-2002 State and City laws preempted by Federal laws…………………..224

Total State, Local and Federal Laws Declared Unconstitutional…………….1,315

Total State and Local Law Preempted by Federal Laws…………………………224

Total Laws Overturned, all governments……………………………………….1,539

Now, this table of figures is being quoted all over the Internet today, with the source being Answers.com, and the Answers.com page does not have a link back to its source information, so take these figures with a grain of salt. But regardless of the specific numbers, we do know that the Supreme Court has struck down laws as unconstitutional before. That is, after all, the purpose that Marbury v. Madison gave it 209 years ago.

With that in mind, let’s listen in on a statement made to the press yesterday regarding the ObamaCare case before the Supreme Court.

"I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress," President Obama said at a White House event in the Rose Garden today.

"I just remind conservative commentators that for years we have heard the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example and I am pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step," Obama said to the White House press.

"Unprecedented." Really? "Extraordinary." Is that so? Even if we did not have that table of numbers above, few of us would really believe that, until now, the court has never struck down a law because it is unconstitutional.

And Dave Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy blog has an answer for those sticklers who would say that the President was speaking specifically about "a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress".

President Obama can call legislation enacted by a vote of 219 to 212 a “strong” majority if he wishes. But there is nothing in the Constitution suggesting that a bill which garners the votes of 50.3% of the House of Representatives has such a “strong” majority that it therefore becomes exempt from judicial review. To the contrary, almost all of the 165 federal statutes which the Court has ruled unconstitutional had much larger majorities, most of them attracted votes from both Democrats and Republicans, and some of them were enacted nearly unanimously.

[Note: His number of 165 is through 2010, and comes from a GPO document that he does link to, but it doesn’t have a nice table of figures to show that. Kopel’s post is worth reading the whole thing. Also, I honestly titled my blog post before reading his entry. Really.]

The striking down of ObamaCare would not, as the President claims, be a case of "judicial activism"; a term I think he is just employing to try to get a dig in at conservatives and throw some red meat to his supporters. In striking down this law, the justices would not be finding new rights in the Constitution; they would be establishing that the Constitution says only what it says and nothing more. In fact, it is Congress and the President being unprecedented here, insisting that the power to regulate commerce between the States includes the right to compel someone to enter into a contract. "Compulsory contract" is an oxymoron, and the court ought to hold Congress at least to what makes logical sense.

Further, the President already knows that the Supreme Court strikes down laws, because he’s lobbied for it before. From Kopel:

It would not be unfair to charge President Obama with hypocrisy given his strong complaints when the Court did not strike down the federal ban on partial birth abortions, and given his approval of the Supreme Court decision (Boumediene v. Bush) striking down a congressional statute restricting habeas corpus rights of Guantanamo detainees…. The federal ban on abortion, and the federal restriction on habeas corpus were each passed with more than a “strong” 50.3% majority of a democratically elected Congress.

The President is trying to intimidate the Court and garner some modicum of public support by lying about history. This from a guy who was a Constitutional law professor senior lecturer. It’s incredibly disingenuous and outright dishonest. But will anyone on his side of the aisle call him on it?

Friday Link Wrap-up

It has been said that we’ve not had global warming on the scale that we have it now, and therefor this time around it must be human-induced. The Medieval Warming Period, it is said (and reiterated by the IPCC), was merely localized and therefore can’t be compared with today. New evidence, however, shows that indeed the MWP was felt as far away as Antarctica. Not exactly localized.

Taxing the rich rarely lives up to expectations of the amount it will bring in. That’s because the rich have many options of where to put their money. Cause pain in one place, the cash moves to another place. (Some on the Left will inevitably say that this makes the case for a global tax. Well, when our government can’t get by on $4 trillion a year, it’s not the fault of the rich.)

A crowd larger than any OWS gathering protested in San Francisco, but the media ignored it. Why? (Wait for it…) Because they were religious people protesting Obama. Some news is clearly more newsworthy than others. Oh, that liberal media.

Liberals were so absolutely sure that their view of the "living" Constitution was right, they were predicting a near-slam-dunk for them in the Supreme Court over ObamaCare. But exhibit A of how they simply failed to take seriously the arguments against it is Jeffrey Tubin of CNN. He was sure it would be 7-2 or even 8-1 in favor of the ACA, and was just gobsmacked after day 2. Why? The very same arguments used against ACA had been out there for months. But the news wouldn’t give it adequate coverage. Mr. Tubin, you could blame CNN for your ignorance. But then, that would mean you have no responsibility as a journalist to find it out for yourself. Oh, that liberal media.

And finally, something for the "separation of church and state" crowd. A US Army issued New Testament with a letter from the President recommending that soldiers should read it.

Links for Thursday, 23 February 2012

Have you heard of the MEDEVAC issue with the Army?
Does it make sense to essentially paint a target on medic helicopters evacuating wounded military personnel from the battlefield? Michael Yon has written on it, and FoxNews now has a piece.

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Michael Yon on Britches for the Troops

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Victoria’s Secret Model gives it all up because of her faith?
Original HT to Joe Carter. From the CBS story,

After reaching the pinnacle of her career, a Victoria’s Secret model says she recently quit the runway because she wants to be a more positive role model for young girls and because baring so much skin conflicted with her Christian beliefs.

It took time for her to figure this out? Color me just a tad skeptical of this story and/or the circumstances.

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Alcohol, high-speed crash, 3 Marines dead
Perhaps we should be more concerned with anti-driving laws than with anti-gun laws?

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Has the U.S. Constitution seen better days?
From the New York Times,

The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige.

In an interview, Professor Law identified a central reason for the trend: the availability of newer, sexier and more powerful operating systems in the constitutional marketplace. “Nobody wants to copy Windows 3.1,” he said.

In a television interview during a visit to Egypt last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court seemed to agree. “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she said. She recommended, instead, the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights.

Didn’t CS Lewis refer to this type of thinking as chronological snobbery?

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Uh-Oh. This election cycle might get even nastier

Infanticide By Any Other Name

I didn’t want to bury this post in a "Friday Link Wrap-up", so I’m forgoing that feature to focus on what Mark Steyn calls a "fourth trimester" abortion.

Albert Mohler brings up a recent court decision in Canada where a mother was convicted of strangling her newborn baby and tossing him over the fence into a neighbor’s yard. To compound this horror, the Canadian justice system (and I use the term "justice" very loosely) decided she would not spend any time in jail. None. Here’s how the judge justified this.

Justice Joanne Veit, whose name should now go down in legal and moral infamy, tied this woman’s act of infanticide to Canada’s lack of legal restrictions on abortion. The judge’s decision stated that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”

She continued: “Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.” She also stated that the Canadian approach is a “fair compromise of all the interests involved.”

Two juries had found Effert guilty of second-degree murder, but an appeals court had reduced her conviction to infanticide.

This is what comes from acceptance of a million abortions per year, and what comes from a judiciary far more concerned about feelings than laws. Mohler’s column notes that this slippery slope has been known to be coming for years now, but the Left has been deaf to the warnings.

The ultimate insult is that Effert may actually spend time in jail, not for killing her baby, but for throwing the lifeless body into her neighbor’s yard. Kill your child and we’ll grieve with you, but litter? That’s over the line.

I’ve heard those on the Left, including Christians, suggest that if you’re against abortion, just don’t have one. But life, even (especially) of the "least of these" is worth defending. Mohler closes by explaining why.

Mark this well — the horrific logic of this judge’s decision will not remain in Canada. Indeed, it did not even start in Canada. Those arguments are already in place in the United States. If we will not defend life in the womb, eventually the dignity of every single human life is thrown over the fence.

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