Janus decision an inadequately heralded cultural saving grace

  • Those who teach the children rule the world
  • The liberal union/academia/ Democrat party hydra has controlled teaching
  • Derailing their money train helps challenge their hegemony and the resultant cultural decay
  • Decision essentially holds Abood was wrongly decided (after 41 years)
  • Could such a corrective imply abortion regime based on Roe (45 years) is on the chopping block (as opposed to babies)
  • Portends limiting runaway public employee pension debt train (read articles)

The following articles help explain the Janus decision and the potential for its salubrious effects.  The decision and its implications are important to understand. Conservatives have achieved a grand thing.   Bold our emphasis

Supreme Court’s Janus decision could hurt unions’ political might in midterms  (Fox News)

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week that government workers can’t be forced to pay union fees for collective bargaining and other activities may hurt Democrats in the upcoming midterms – although some experts suggest it could have a galvanizing impact for union members to get out and vote.

The 5-4 decision in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees scrapped a 41-year- old decision that had allowed states to require public employees to pay “fair share” fees to unions that represent them.

“This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a non-member’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

How the media got the Janus decision wrong     (Lance Izumi at Washington Times)

In their stories on the Supreme Court’s historic Janus decision striking down compelled fees for non-union public employees to public-sector unions, the liberal media fumbled badly in reporting the basic reasoning behind the ruling.

The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), involved Mark Janus, a non-union Illinois state employee, who said that the Illinois law that forced him to pay fees to AFSCME to bargain on his behalf violated his First Amendment free-speech rights since the issues negotiated are inherently political and thus force him to subsidize the political activities of a group he doesn’t support.

The key issue, therefore, was not about the union making political contributions to candidates that Janus did not support, but that collective bargaining involves public policies and is therefore unavoidably political.

Thus, forcing Janus to support collective bargaining with mandatory fees to the union violated his First Amendment right against compelled political speech. Yet, the liberal media failed to report this basic reason for Janus‘ lawsuit.

In its story on the decision, Reuters said that the Supreme Court majority had ruled against “so-called agency fees that are collected from millions of non-union workers in lieu of union dues to fund non-political activities like collective bargaining.” Wrong.

Again, the point of Janus‘ lawsuit was that collective bargaining is inherently political.

The New York Times’ reporting was just as bad.

The Times wrote that the majority’s ruling was “based on the First Amendment, saying that requiring payments to unions that negotiate with the government forces workers to endorse political messages that may be at odds with their beliefs.” The Times clarified what it meant by “political messages” by giving the union position to provide context.

“Unions say that reasoning is flawed,” noted The Times. “Nonmembers are already entitled to refunds of payments spent on political activities, like advertising to support a political candidate.”

Further, wrote The Times, “Collective bargaining is different, the unions say, and workers should not be free to reap the benefits of such bargaining without paying their fair share of the costs.”

The Times report never made it clear to its readers that the central issue of the case was Janus‘ argument that union collective bargaining is inherently political and that forcing non-union government employees to subsidize such activities is unconstitutional.

. . .

Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the majority opinion, cited the court’s previous 2012 decision in Knox v. Service Employees saying that the court had “recognized that a ‘significant infringement on First Amendment rights’ occurs when public employees are required to provide financial support for a union that ‘takes many positions during collective bargaining that have powerful political and civic consequences.’”

Further, speaking to the argument by unions and governments that workers should not reap the supposed benefits of collective bargaining without paying for it, Justice Alito said that reasoning is unconstitutional.

“The First Amendment,” he wrote, “does not permit the government to compel a person to pay for another party’s speech just because the government thinks that the speech furthers the interests of the person who does not want to pay.”

 

6 Big Changes Coming To Public Schools And Politics Thanks To The Supreme Court’s Union SmashdownJoy Pullman at The Federalist (excerpts)

Every state is now essentially a right to work state. It’s not an overstatement to say this ruling is a death knell for unions as we know them, and will dramatically change Democratic politics.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME that people cannot be forced to pay unions they don’t want to join, the country has gone from 28 right-to-work states to 50 right-to-work states overnight. That includes several high-population, heavily Democratic states with strong unions: New York, Illinois, and California.

The vast majority of unionized U.S. employees work in government-dominated industries. So, far from the old image of unions representing the working man who needed extra protections because of dangerous conditions, today unions represent mostly white-collar people, largely an army of clerks necessitated by government programs and regulations.

Essentially, unions have functioned as a government growth loop, spending government employees’ money to grow the number of government employees. Whenever they win, taxpayers necessarily lose, because getting more out of taxpayers is how they maintain power. The Janus ruling will put a hole in the tire of this car speeding the nation towards fiscal doom. Here’s why, plus five other important effects.

1. Democrats Will Lose a Huge Source of Campaign Cash

Unions function as political operations for politicians who expand government’s sources of power and revenue. They essentially turn government into its own lobbying group, a major conflict of interest that also corrupts government into an antagonist with interests separate and opposing those of the American people rather than our duly sworn servant.

About 90 percent of union political contributions fund Democrats,

Unions comprised six of the top ten political spenders from 1989 to 2012. Unions were one out of every five of the top 50 spenders in the 2016 election. The No. 1 national contributors to federal elections from 1989 to 2009 were teachers unions.

Forced dues are the major source of unions’ political war chests. See, unions in non-right-to-work states forced even non-members to subsidize them through something called “agency fees,” which assumes that unions benefit all employees of a unionized workforce, even non-members, by increasing their pay and improving their work conditions. In reality, unions most benefit the workers who are the least productive and even criminal (see “rubber rooms“). Productive employees don’t need a union to protect them — employers want to hire and keep them . . .

2. Schools Can Fire Bad Teachers, Pay Good Teachers More

Two-thirds of public school teachers are unionized. Unions are largely responsible for employment rules that prevent hiring and firing teachers according to merit and a principal’s discretion. Union-demanded teacher employment results in salary schedules that pay people according to credentials and length of tenure in a given school district, not teacher quality.

The results are well-documented: significantly less student learning, especially for the children who need extra help. This reduces kids’ future income and employment prospects. It also especially hurts kids with special needs and math and science education, since the people who are qualified to meet those needs typically have far more lucrative and less bureaucratic career options outside of education, where due to union-demanded salary arrangements schools often cannot offer them competitive compensation.

Thirty-four states require school districts to collectively bargain with teachers, and this ruling doesn’t change that. But, again as we saw in Wisconsin, it does allow teachers to individually choose not to fund unions, which deprives them of the money that cements their power through political activism . . .

3. States Can Better Address Massive Pension Shortfalls

Government employee unions are a major contributor to the tsunami of state and local debt about to engulf the nation, as they are the ones who used their ill-gotten political war chests to demand big benefits for their retirees at the expense of today’s taxpayers. Unfunded government pension liabilities — or the difference between what politicians negotiated with unions and what they’ve saved — now stand nationwide at $19,000 for every single U.S. resident. That’s resident, not taxpayer, so if you have two kids and a wife, that’s $76,000 your family “owes” to people providing no public service now or in the future.

In large part because of unions, California, Illinois, and New York are essentially bankrupt. Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon are also in serious trouble (see below). Their politicians are talking about having the U.S. Congress bail them out. Considering that national debt and unfunded liabilities are the highest in human history, that would be pretty funny if it weren’t so scary. . . .

4. School Districts Will Have a Lot More Freedom

Stanford University political science professor Terry Moe wrote the definitive study of teachers unions’ history and politics, “Special Interest,” in 2011. In it, he argued that union demands are incorporated into almost every important aspect of public schools. Here’s his analysis:

… public education is an arena of special interest power. When public officials make their decisions about the public schools, whether those decisions have to do with funding or personnel rules or new programs or major reforms, we cannot blithely assume that they are doing what is best for children and seeking out the most effective possible solutions. In fact, they are often responding to special interest groups. And the most powerful of these groups, by far, are the teachers unions.

Moe believed that a growing understanding of teachers unions’ self-interest among Democrats plus the power of technology would shift what he considered the dominant force keeping U.S. education from improving in the past 40 years. Instead, it appears the Janus decision will deal the decisive blow.

Gradually eroding the dominant power in education will have many effects, among them giving local school districts far more freedom. It remains to be seen what they will do with it. . . .

5. Teachers Will Be More at the Mercy of Administrators

While I think it is clear on both cultural and fiscal grounds that government employee unions have been a massive net negative for the country, I have also seen unions perform some useful functions. Most of that is in protecting teachers from truly power-abusive administrators. . . . The real reason administrations can be so heavy-handed is that public education is essentially a monopoly. Public schools are guaranteed “customers” for their services. This deprives both families and teachers of individual bargaining power against the school district, because it sharply increases the disadvantages to them of going elsewhere for education. . . .

6. Sets the Stage For a Bureaucracy Showdown

I think the best way to solve teachers resorting to unions to gain bargaining power that the monopoly school system siphons from them is to give every family substantial bargaining power, through school vouchers. That would restore good teachers’ power by forcing school districts to care about student achievement to attract students, rather than relying upon inertia. If school districts care about achievement, they will start to focus on teacher quality real fast, as teacher excellence is the No. 1 driver of student achievement.

Imagine what would happen if every single American parent were free to use the public resources dedicated to their children to buy precisely the kind of education they want.

This would also set teachers free to run their own schools or teach individual classes for an entire potential cottage industry of education consultants, therapists, tutors, and one-room schoolhouses. No longer would they have to go begging to massive, centralized masters for employment, which gives central planners the power to dictate what education must look like and contain. . . .

I have said before that teachers unions are last century’s battle. They may be powerful, but their power is a legacy power. In structure and style, unions are a holdover from the era of big factories, lifetime employment at one employer, mass negotiation, mass products, of the Industrial Age. The Janus decision only reinforces and materializes that opinion. However important it has been, the key struggle of today and the near future is not unionization, it is centralization.

As the main antagonist of freedom in education ebbs more swiftly, what is replacing it? I think the answer is technocracy: The bureaucratic ruling class already corrupting national life. Unions contributed to the administrative class, but they also competed with it for power, in a lesser version of the fascist and socialist jockeying we see in broader politics during collectivist impulses. The only historically possible positive counterweight is self-government, meaning individual liberty. We need our state and national lawmakers to restore that balance of power as soon as possible, or the power vacuum unions leave behind will feed another kind of tyrant.

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Can you believe this twerpy guy –

 Heads up thanks to TN

 

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Strzok’s (worse than) schlock

Running out of time for a more extensive commentary about Strzok’s testimony yesterday (relying on those conservative commentators able to view all of it). But this will suffice for now as to where Strzok is coming from:

 

In his testimony Strzok tries to paint himself as an anti-corruption, objective, uncorruptible patriot who would never let his personal feelings interfere with or instigate an investigation for political reasons.Put Strzok’s face in place of this person (sex undetermined)

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Kavanaugh — Republican Establishment pick?

The QC Times says confirm Kavanaugh!!

While we have expressed concern over Kavanaugh’s connections to W Bush and especially Justice Kennedy, actually W’s picks on balance were not bad, just not great – of the sitting justices,  W picked Alito (great) and, meh Roberts. Dad picked Thomas, but also Souter. Reagan gave us Kennedy, Scalia and O’Connor (he tried to give us Bork).

But now the Quad City Times issues its opinion that Kavanaugh SHOULD be confirmed.  The problem we have with the QCT is that they uncharacteristically used sound reasoning about the process, even calling Democrats hypocrites.  They actually wrote:

Donald Trump is president. Republicans own the U.S. Senate. And Judge Brett Kavanaugh is qualified.

Kavanaugh will be confirmed, and he should be.

We don’t think they would do that for a more conservative jurist with comparable credentials. It worries us that they probably feel he is the best “they” can get.  But then we do want to see a confirmation, but just not any confirmation, not another Kennedy (I lean to thinking Kavanaugh is somewhat to the right of Kennedy, and that Kavanaugh is not all positioning / climbing/ ambition). But as a member of SCOTUS his true head gets to come out. That is the anxiety not alleviated as yet (never to be eliminated).

The thing is all the politics seem headed in Trump’s favor. If not Kavanaugh now, a more actually Scalia like conservative jurist would be possible after the midterms, the way it looks today. No we are not saying wait because Trump being Trump he might just renominate a failed (this time) Kavanaugh after Republican pick-ups from the midterm. If Dems were to win the Senate (increasingly not likely) well that is too painful to think about.

So the concerns should be less who picked him then what he has issued. On that score read this Terry Jeffrey commentary at Townhall

Does Alien Caught at Border Have Right to Bear Arms?

Kavanaugh takes the establishment track, not narrow, more like noncommittal. We don’t have the confidence vibes in him we felt more with others. But others we respect, more studied than we, do have confidence in him.   Maybe the QCT thinks he can be rolled, like Kennedy and Roberts and maybe their sources know something we have not been appraised of?  Perhaps readers can appreciate our anxiety about Kavanaugh.  We anxiously await every confidence building report.

It shouldn’t be this way.  The SCOTUS has too much power.  But for now it is what it is and the right justices can reset the presumptions about the tribunal.

HENDERSON FOR SCOTUS (read the article)

This article was edited and extended from earlier version

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Trump’s eventful 24 hours, SCOTUS, NATO & Trade

This article from Gary Bauer at Campaign for Working Families provides a summary of President Trump’s NATO summit to date. The related trade comments are compelling — to the effect, too many of our European allies are playing us for fools, wanting our defense umbrella largely protecting them from Russian military hegemony and Iranian threats while feeding the ability of each to do so.

As regards SCOTUS, Bauer seems unreservedly supportive of nominee Kavanaugh as are many if not most trustworthy and insightful conservative outlets.  But Kavanaugh’s  comments on precedence are what concerns us,  among other things including accepting Obamacare as a tax.  The implication of the latter is that any mandate can be viewed as a tax so all mandates are constitutionally defensible.  It does us no good to have a “constructionist” who takes pain to reconstruct bad things to make them palatable to a constructionist view pf the Constitution.

As regards precedence – if he is speaking as a lower court judge as regards Supreme Court issued “precedence” that is one thing.  But to enshrine bad Constitutional law is no textualist, constructionist or originalist.

Trump’s trade negotiating stance (and skills )are just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary Bauer

NATO KnockdownYesterday morning, President Trump held an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn as he was getting ready to fly to Europe for a NATO summit and other meetings.  Asked about the trip, he said this:

“Well, it’s going to be an interesting time in the UK, and it’s certainly going to be an interesting time with NATO.  NATO has not treated us fairly, but I think we’ll work something out.  We pay far too much and they pay far too little. . . So I have NATO, I have the UK . . . and I have Putin.  Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all.  Who would think?”

All day long, the media spun the president’s joking remarks as being tough on our friends and easy on Putin.  The media’s misleading spin really exposes their anti-Trump agenda.

Why is the president being tough with our allies?  Because they are not spending enough on defense.  Defense against what?  Russia!

While Europe and the U.S. face the same threats from radical Islamism, the only nation-state threats Europe faces come from Russia and Iran.  The president is simply saying to NATO that it must stop relying on America’s taxpayers for its defense.

Yes, we are allies.  But allies need to fairly share burdens and investments in their mutual security.

How in the world does the media spin this as Trump being easy on Putin but tough on our allies?  Trump wants Europe to get tough on Russia!  And he hammered that point this morning.

During a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump expressed his frustration that Germany is spending just over 1% of its GDP on defense.  At the same time, they have made a massive deal that makes them dependent on Russian energy.  The president said:

“So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very in inappropriate. . .  Ultimately, Germany will have almost 70% of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. So you tell me, is that appropriate?” 

That is what an “America First” foreign policy looks like!

One of the reasons Germany cut this deal with Russia is that left-wing environmentalists pushed the government to phase out its nuclear power plants and coal mines.  Just another example of left-wing lunacy.

Stoltenberg did concede that Trump’s “tough love” is making a difference.  Consider this exchange between the president and Stoltenberg:

STOLTENBERG: I agree with you that we have to make sure that our allies are investing more. The good news is that allies have started to invest more in defense.  After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets. And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation.

TRUMP: Why was that last year?

STOLTENBERG: It’s also because of your leadership. . .

TRUMP: They won’t write that, but that’s okay.

STOLTENBERG: No, I have said it before, but the thing is that it really has. And your message is having an impact.

While it is true that more European states are stepping up, it happens to be the smaller states like Poland and Estonia.  Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, has delayed its planned increases in defense spending.  By 2025, it hopes to reach a goal of spending 1.5% of its GDP on defense, well short of Trump’s 2% goal.

And while Europe takes advantage of our defense commitment, it has imposed disproportionate tariffs against American goods.

Speaking of tariffs, true to his promise to get tough on trade, President Trump imposed an additional $20 billion in tariffs against $200 billion of Chinese imports.  Beijing isn’t happy, but there may be very little it can do about it.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

“China’s Commerce Ministry said Wednesday that China would act with ‘necessary counter-measures,’ but did not repeat that the government would retaliate in commensurate fashion, as it has promptly done in the past. . .  But Beijing cannot match the new proposed tariffs because China imported only about $130 billion of products from the U.S. last year. By comparison, the United States imported more than $500 billion of Chinese goods.”

In other words, China kept upping the ante and Trump just called their bluff!

Kavanaugh’s Conservativism

Vice President Mike Pence and former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl escorted Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Capitol Hill yesterday for his first series of meetings with key senators.  Naturally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office was the first stop of the day.

McConnell has vowed to ensure that the Senate confirms Kavanaugh in time for him to take Kennedy’s seat when the Supreme Court convenes in October.  Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer declared yesterday, “I’m going to fight this nomination with everything I’ve got.”  So the fight is on!

By the way, as you may recall, Schumer previously demanded that the Senate delay a vote on Kennedy’s replacement until next year, at which point he hopes to be Majority Leader and in a position to torpedo Trump’s nominee.

Well, a recent NBC News poll found that Americans have little patience for Schumer’s obstructionism — 62% say the Senate should vote on the Kavanaugh nomination before the November elections.

Since the nomination was announced Monday night, we have received numerous messages expressing varying degrees of interest and concern about Kavanaugh’s record.  So I’d like to offer a few points that I hope our readers will find encouraging.

  • The same vetting process that produced Justice Neil Gorsuch has also produced Judge Brett Kavanaugh. And given Gorsuch’s record, I find that reassuring.
  • A legal reporter with the Supreme Court news site SCOTUSblog described Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy as “conservative,” adding that he has “applied principles of textualism and originalism espoused by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”
  • Speaking of Scalia, as I noted yesterday, Kavanaugh once hailed Antonin Scalia as “a hero and role model.”  I don’t think many liberal or even centrist judges would say that.
  • A former Yale law professor who taught Kavanaugh wrote that he is “an avid consumer of legal scholarship. . . who prioritizes the Constitution’s original meaning.”
  • An ideological ranking system developed by a group of political science professors determined that Kavanaugh “would have the second most conservative score on the bench if confirmed, next to Justice Clarence Thomas.”

My friend Clarence Thomas is a very high bar.  But if Kavanaugh is close to Gorsuch or Scalia, he will be significantly better than Anthony Kennedy.

Understanding Roe

With President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, abortion has once again returned to the forefront of the national political debate.  But while polls often show significant support for Roe v. Wade, the inconvenient truth for the left is that most American’s do not fully understand the decision, which has led to a legal regime of abortion on demand.

Read more in my latest opinion piece at The Washington Examiner.

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American Family Association now says let Kavanaugh process play out

Our concerns about Kavanaugh continue, that said, American Family Association has decided to hold fire: ( we note there is a lot of sincere knowledgeable horsepower behind Kavanaugh)

AFA Statement on Kavanaugh nomination to SCOTUS

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dear Lorrie,

AFA has opposed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S Supreme Court for some very valid reasons. We are deeply concerned about how he might ultimately rule on issues related to abortion and religious liberty. For these reasons, we consider this nomination to represent a four-star appointment when it could have been five-star.

However, after hearing the concerns of some of our supporters, and after hearing the passionate defense of Judge Kavanaugh by many we consider to be friends in the pro-life movement, we are willing to let this process play out. We eagerly await the confirmation hearings when we hope to get clarification from Judge Kavanaugh on aspects related to our concerns.

At this time, we have no plans to fight President Trump on this nomination. He has appointed a lot of good federal judges already and we look forward to many more. We hope that our concerns prove to be unfounded.

Thank you,

Tim
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

See online version of the alert here.

This article and a comment by a reader at RedState have insights that makes us queasy:

If You’re Worried About Brett Kavanaugh and Roe v. Wade, Consider This

Comment at RedState article:


mountaingoat •  
My impression of Brett is that he is a careerist in the establishment who would do whatever it takes to get the job. Republicans in the post Souter years have vetted nominees’ past rulings very carefully. Thus it was in Brett’s self interest to apply an originalist approach to his rulings on the DC circuit, which he did quite consistently. The opinions in his rulings might be entirely sincere, however the incentives for him to rule in this way as a circuit court judge are different from the incentives to rule in this way on the Supreme Court. I think it is more instructive to look at the small number of cases where he deviated from originalist principles.

Kavanaugh ruled on the Obamacare case before it went to Roberts and the Supreme Court. I think he and Roberts both thought the individual mandate was unconstitutional. They both punted on striking it down, but they punted in different ways. Kavanaugh punted by arguing that the court did not yet have jurisdiction to hear the case because the penalty was a “tax” that had not yet been paid, an argument conservatives on the Supreme Court disagreed with. His reasoning tries to be too clever by half, but it makes more sense from the perspective of his political self interest. If Kavanaugh had written an opinion upholding Obamacare, that would jeopardize his chances of being nominated to the Supreme Court. On the other hand if Kavanaugh had written an opinion arguing that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, he would be very unlikely to be confirmed if Democrats controlled the Senate. Recall that Democrats controlled the Senate in 2011 when Kavanaugh heard the case


If so then Kavanaugh was onboard with redefining  Obamacare as being a tax, not simply unconstitutional.

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Truthfully, be nervous about any pick (more so some)

Gorsuch had things in his background to make us concerned, and it is too early still to have all concerns set aside about him. More so is our concern about the choice of Brett Kavanaugh announced by President Trump last night. Read  the DLH commentary of a couple of days ago here.

The conservative movement is not totally on board with the choice.  At least one group is calling for opposition. The points made by American Family Association are of concern but we will benefit from context supplied by other responsible and knowledgeable observers. I doubt that they are playing any sort of good cop bad cop game. The concerns are certainly legitimate, but again total context and the free rein of SCOTUS membership are important.

Here is a collection of commentaries good ,bad and wary.

From American Family Association:

U.S. Supreme Court Alert: Tell Senators to oppose Judge Kavanaugh

Monday, July 9, 2018

Dear xxxxx

President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy of Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh is simply the wrong nominee-even a bad nominee. Based on his written opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a deficiency in a constitutional judicial philosophy of a limited judiciary. Some of his decisions may have been favorable, but several of his opinions about those decisions contain problematic language.

Urge your senators to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although Judge Kavanaugh decided correctly in court case Priests for Life v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Services, he wrote a moderate opinion disagreeing with the Priests on a foundational constitutional religious liberty principle.

As a result of Obamacare, the faith-based organization Priests for Life and others argued that the government could not compel or force them to provide contraception and abortion causing drugs for their employees. Judge Kavanaugh unnecessarily conceded in his opinion that the government has a compelling interest to force religious organizations to provide contraceptives and abortifacients for employees. Kavanaugh’s concession created a dangerous precedent.

There are also concerns with his opinion related to illegal alien female minors who are expecting but also seeking an abortion in the United States. Other concerns relate to his writings on Obamacare. It’s been argued that Judge Kavanaugh provided the roadmap to uphold the Obama Administration’s healthcare overreach at the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is said to provide the legal argument for Chief Justice to save Obamacare by calling the mandatory insurance a tax.

Judge Kavanaugh’s reasoning on religious liberty, Obamacare and issues concerning life have proven to be of major concern. For these reasons and more, urge your senators to firmly oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

If our mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

https://i2.wp.com/www.afa.net/media/2129/timsig.gif?resize=102%2C61

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

From Jay Sekulow (who was associated with Kavanaugh) at American Center for Law and Justice :

Roger,

The Supreme Court is at stake. This is urgent.

President Trump’s nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is a superb choice. He is an extremely qualified conservative jurist.

Judge Kavanaugh embraces the philosophy of our Founders – an unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution.

Already the Left is in full panic mode. The biased and vitriolic political attacks on the nominee are already beginning. Planned Parenthood already says “abortion . . . is on the line.” They will stop at nothing to defeat Judge Kavanaugh.

We’re aggressively mobilizing on Capitol Hill to ensure Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. This will be the fight of a lifetime.

This isn’t just one Supreme Court case at stake. It’s a fight for every Supreme Court case for decades to come. We urgently need your support today.

We’ve just taken on a brand new case at the Supreme Court – your free speech is at stake. Another case could defund and decimate Big Abortion. But our resources are majorly drained.

Today your Tax-Deductible gift will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar. $5 becomes $10; $20 becomes $40 in defense of the Constitution at the Supreme Court.

Have Your Gift Doubled Before Our Supreme Court Deadlines.

Jay Sekulow
ACLJ Chief Counsel

From Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

So how great/awful was the Kavanaugh pick?

The big show last night turned out to be even less melodramatic than the low bar hoped for by Democrats. None of the picks on Trump’s shortlist were all that controversial, though one might argue that Amy Coney Barrett’s short tenure on the bench was a cause for concern. But still, despite the fact that there will always be some grumbling from the peanut gallery, Brett Kavanaugh was easily a solid choice for the President to make because he comes with some insurance policies baked into the cake.

See Also: Poll: Red-state Dems better think twice on Kavanaugh obstruction

The Democrats are obviously going to oppose Kavanaugh almost entirely across the board and will try to make life difficult for him during the coming confirmation hearings, but they’ll have questions to answer in terms of how hard they want to hit him. One of the first entries in the hurdles they face came almost immediately from Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar, writing at the New York Times, A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh.

The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice is President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move. Last week the president promised to select “someone with impeccable credentials, great intellect, unbiased judgment, and deep reverence for the laws and Constitution of the United States.” In picking Judge Kavanaugh, he has done just that.

In 2016, I strongly supported Hillary Clinton for president as well as President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland. But today, with the exception of the current justices and Judge Garland, it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh. He sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the most influential circuit court) and commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers and jurists.

Ouch. When a Yale Law professor and Hillary Clinton supporter comes out of the gate with that sort of praise, liberals are walking on quicksand if they try to paint Kavanaugh as a monster. If anything, it should be conservatives who get nervous, wondering if another David Souter has just slipped under the flaps of the tent.

From the conservative side of the aisle, Professor Glenn Reynolds found Kavanaugh to be the “safe pick” with a “gold-plated resume.”

After more than the usual buildup, orchestrated by a master of reality TV, President Trump has chosen his nominee for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Anthony Kennedy. And he’s playing it safe.

Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is a graduate of Yale Law School, has taught at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown, and served in President George W. Bush’s administration before being named to the Court of Appeals. Like Trump’s prior nominee, Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh has a gold-plated resume and Federalist Society credentials. And, also like Gorsuch, he’s a former law clerk to Justice Kennedy. (And he was hired to teach at Harvard Law School by then-Dean, now Justice, Elena Kagan).

What is it that really makes Kavanaugh the “safe bet” for Trump? There’s probably no bigger factor than the presumption that both Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are going to be comfortable with him. And if the President can lock down those two votes in the Senate, everything the Democrats do or say will be entirely sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Some of the early reactions coming from the cable news talking heads make it sound as if the Democrats are out of luck as well. I tuned into Morning Joe this morning, fully expecting to see Joe and Mika rending their clothing and wailing about the end times but it was nothing close to that. They were treating the pick as almost a done deal. A few exceptions cropped up, such as the paper Kavanaugh wrote in 2009 in which he suggested that sitting presidents shouldn’t be open to investigations and trials. Scarborough picked up on that, asking if Kavanaugh would assure Senators that he would recuse himself in any case that involves investigations into the President. (That’s a fairly ridiculous suggestion since the judge has never been involved in a specific case relating to Trump.)

But that doesn’t mean that the Democrats are going to bow out without putting on a show. Joe and Mika brought on Jim Vandehei, who said Democrats would be “crazy not to… try to bring this guy down.” But is that really the case? There are at least three red-state Democrats who may be facing a choice of either voting for Kavanaugh or surrendering their seats to the GOP (assuming they can hang onto them at all). Will Chuck Schumer really put the whip to Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Claire McCaskill or Joe Manchin to vote against Kavanaugh? If he does and some of them go on to lose their seats, Schumer would need to start watching out for his own security in the Senate Minority Leader office.

If everyone can just manage to resist the urge to form up the GOP circular firing squad, this should really be a done deal at this point. Let the Democrats put on their show over the summer and then schedule a vote. It really doesn’t have to be any harder than that.

Also Helen Alvare – lobbyist for pro-life causes writing for Women Speak for Themselves:

Dear xxxxx,

The whole world knows now that Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to the US Supreme Court. Of course, it is impossible to predict whether he will be confirmed to the Court, or what he will do when he gets there.

Here are three quick points to keep in mind:

1. Good news: he is known for interpreting the Constitution according to its text, and not according to his personal opinions. This is an important change from Justice Kennedy, whose opinions, especially concerning the family, were about his personal views, and not about what the Constitution said. Of course, the Constitution does not contain a right to abortion, and it would be great if five Justices would say so!

2. Whether they believe it or not (or whether they are just trying to quell hysteria on opponents’ part), I notice that conservative supporters of Kavanaugh continually say that, when he is a Justice, Roe v. Wade (which made abortion legal in all 50 states) will not be overruled.   . . .

Set forth for your convenient analysis, as always, comments welcome:

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Might as well go with Amy Barrett

The  Democrat leadership/ leftist media is going crazy trying to make Roe v Wade the third ney, first second and third rail of everything.  No nominee will be immune from their hysteria so why not give them apoplexy and nominate Amy Barrett.  The others may be fine or better but anytime you can expose the enemy do so

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Senator Durbin…one whose first name is both a proper noun and a common noun

Forgive our earthiness, but if you do not have contempt for this guy, and the party that promotes him, you are not paying attention.

DURBIN’S ‘DOGMATIC’ LUNACY LIVES LOUDLY WITHIN HIM

They’re coming to take me away, ha-haaa.
They’re coming to take me away, ho ho, he he, ha ha,
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time
And I’ll be happy to see those nice young
Men in their clean white coats and
They’re coming to take me away, ha-haaa!

From The Daily Wire (excerpt)

Sen. Dick Durbin: Trapped Thai Soccer Team Like Detained Illegal Immigrants
“Trapped in a bureaucratic cave.”

Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that detained illegal immigrants awaiting asylum hearings at detainment centers along the United States’s southern border are exactly like the 12 Thai soccer players trapped inside a mountain.

Echoing host Chuck Todd’s thoughts and prayers for the children in Thailand, currently on a six-hour trek out of a rapidly flooding cave trail, Durbin claimed illegal immigrant detainees were in a similar cave of bureaucracy.

“Hearts and prayers are with those boys in Thailand, trapped in the cave,” Durbin told Todd. “I hope our hearts and prayers are also with thousands of children, toddlers and infants, removed from their parents by the Trump Administration, under zero tolerance. They’re trapped in a bureaucratic cave, too, so let’s not forget them.”

Durbin also accused President Donald Trump of holding migrant children, separated from their parents under an Obama-era policy change, “hostage” but did not indicate what Trump’s ransom might be, only that the president is being “mean.”

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Beware ‘Deranged Bush’ Association

Ohh Noo! More umbrage from the left and the Never Trumpers; So what’s new?

Now we’re hearing that President Trump has done it again. A Fox news story reports that the sound of eyebrows being raised around America is deafening. Trump has ignited another ‘firestorm”!

“During his speech at a rally in Montana Thursday night” Trump criticized, actually ridiculed, a slogan, “the thousand points of light”, coined by the 41st president, the sainted George Herbert Walker Bush:

“What the hell was that, by the way, thousand points of light? What did that mean? Does anyone know?” Trump asked the crowd.

“I know one thing: Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican.”

(I have to admit, I too wondered “what’s that about?” Reminded me of Mao’s “Let a hundred flowers bloom”.)

Trump’s comment , of course, drew a lot of ‘twitter’ action.

GW’s former press secretary, Ari Fletcher: “This is so uncalled for. Going after a 94-year-old, former President’s promotion of volunteerism. I don’t mind potus being a fighter. I do mind him being rude.”

Even wacky pseudo-journalist, Jim Acosta chipped in, but his comments are never worth repeating.

Coming amid all the speculation about Trump’s upcoming Supreme Court nominee led many to think it was a signal that the president will not name Brett Kavanaugh to the seat held by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh has many ties to the Bush family.

We think that may be true. While Judge Kavanaugh is amply qualified for the High Court, so is each of the reported finalists, but none are burdened by close Bush family association like Brett.

President Trump does not owe anything to the Bushes, and especially not to the 94 year old George H W Bush, who publicly proclaimed he did not vote for Trump in the 2016 election. “HW” is also apparently very fond of Trump’s opponent in that election as well both of the Clintons, Bill and Hillary.

Beyond that, George W fondly refers to Bill as “his brother from another mother”. While “43” never had a critical word about his successor in the White House, Barack Obama, he has been openly dismissive toward Trump. “That’s some weird shit”, ‘W’ said in reference to Trump’s inaugural speech.

It’s also apparent to most that the Bush family is still resentful over the defeat Trump handed “low energy” Jeb Bush in the 2016 race for the GOP nomination.

Further, and perhaps more important than any of that are the actions of the Bush family and a number of members of W’s administration after he left office.

The late Barbara and Laura Bush and George W’s daughters have all publicly acknowledged their pro-choice position and their support of Planned Parenthood with Barbara Pierce Bush giving the keynote speech at a fundraiser for the organization. (We didn’t hear much of that while George W was president and claiming pro-life sentiments.)

The Bush family, during GW’s presidency and since have been strongly in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants and taken positions much more akin to the ‘open borders’ preference of Democrats than for their own party’s expressed position and in direct opposition to Trump’s official campaign and administration’s policies. They are also pro gay marriage.

In our opinion, Judge Kavanaugh’s ties to the Bushes are enough to disqualify him as Supreme Court Justice. He may be a solid ‘”jurist’ in the mold of a Scalia or Alito or Thomas, or Gorsuch. But with a background with the Bushes…who knows?… it’s not worth risking another David Souter           DLH

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