The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Supreme Court’

CONFIRMING PRESIDENT TRUMP’S APPOINTMENTS

As fond as I am of citing the guidance which history provides, as U C Berkley burns tonight, I have no intention of mentioning that back in the mid ’60’s, Berkley was the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement. Those days are long gone from this campus and many others around the country, much to the regret of those of us who actually believe in the First Amendment.

Those who are protesting tonight on our left coast no doubt believe “That government is best which governs most.”  Apparently, that only is the case when those in charge of the government are committed to implementing policies which conform to their philosophical outlook.  Otherwise, they would be out picketing and burning effigies of the Democrat senators who are doing all within their power to obstruct the confirmations of President Trump’s cabinet appointments and soon, his nominee to the Supreme Court.

Somewhat predictably, as soon as Judge Gorsuch’s nomination was announced, the mobs assembled outside the Supreme Court denouncing Trump’s choice.  What should be the most telling was that the pre-made signs didn’t have the name of the nominee on them as the choice had been closely guarded.  So the protesters used magic markers to fill in the blank.  In other words, this protest was not about President Trump’s choice but about politics.

As those on the left are unwilling to let politics go – at least until the next election when they can have their say at the ballot box – it would seem prudent for those of us who believe in a full-functioning government to be allowed to go to work solving the many problems that this country faces, I would offer some advice to the newly elected Chairwoman of the RNC, Ronna Romney McDaniel.  Take some of the funds that the RNC has on hand and begin running ads in those states in which there are vulnerable Democrat Senators who will be running for re-election next year, slamming them for their inaction and obstruction.

If the good of the country isn’t sufficient to get them motivated, perhaps preserving their own jobs might get their co-operation.

 

 

 

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SELECTIVE JUSTICE

The mob that gathered last Saturday to voice their negative opinion of the George Zimmerman acquittal did get one thing right.  Whether or not one agrees with their premise that the basis for Mr. Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict was the result of a justice system that punishes minorities more harshly than it does whites, they are correct in saying that anytime anyone is either convicted or acquitted of a crime because of something extraneous to the facts of the case, there is an inequity which has prevailed – and all of us should protest against it.

Why should we protest such a miscarriage of justice – especially if we happen to like a particular verdict?  The answer is little more than “self-preservation”.  If we close our eyes to this sort of behavior in someone else’s case, who knows how long it will be before a corrupt political system finds reason to place us in the defendant’s box?

This administration, beginning with President Obama and continuing with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder have demonstrated a continuing pattern and practice of engaging in precisely such behavior – not only in violation of their oaths of office but to the general degradation of our legal system and ultimately to the detriment of every American.

It is hard, other than for political reasons, for me to understand the administration’s resistance to requiring people to provide proof of identity before they are allowed to vote.  When I write a check for groceries, the store wants to verify who I am.  (I don’t blame them).  When I call my gas or electric or telephone or cable TV provider to make an inquiry on the phone, they ask for the last four digits of my Social Security number and my DOB.  (I don’t blame them).

Why, then is it such a big deal that a person be required to prove that he is the person who he or she claims to be before being handed a ballot?  In fact, I believe that if we want to talk about discrimination in voting (as the Atty. General recently has regarding changes in the voting rules in a Texas county), I believe a strong case could be made about the disenfranchisement of legitimate voters by allowing people who do not have that right to vote in our elections.

There are only a few plausible explanations:

1)  The Administration is more concerned with getting people who support their agenda to vote them and their cronies into office than they are in upholding the Constitution;

2)  The Administration is terminally brain-dead and doesn’t have a clue that voting “irregularities” occur.  (If President Obama had lived his entire life in Alaska rather than a good portion of it in Chicago, there might be more believability in this);

3)  The Administration is vindictive and selective in its enforcement of the laws of the land;

4)  The Administration, having been called on by the mob to bring “Justice to Trayvon”, realizing there is no basis for their further pursuing this, need yet another distraction to show that they’re on the side of the “oppressed”;

5)   The Administration is just down right upset at the recent passage of tighter abortion regulations in Texas and is trying to appease one of its most faithful voting blocs.

That Atty. Gen. Holder’s new initiative comes in response to the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down key portions of the Voting Rights bill as being currently irrelevant is particularly disturbing.  There is a reason that the Founding Fathers ordered government divided into three equal parts.

Perhaps the president and the AG missed that semester in law school.

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THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT

Gracie wanted to go out for a walk this afternoon.  It wasn’t at a time that was on my schedule for the dog park so I thought that I would just take her in the neighborhood.  The temperature was approaching 100 degrees and I really didn’t think she would stay out very long in the heat.

So we went to the little park a few minutes away and there we found a number of children from the neighborhood, celebrating their last day of school and the beginning of their summer vacation.  They hadn’t seen either Gracie or me for some time and greeted us warmly.

One of the youngsters, a young boy named Scott came over and said hello to us and began to pet Gracie.  He’s a very bright and gentle child whose parents raised him with a wonderful sense of generosity and kindness.  Scott will be a junior in high school next year.

So we talked for a few minutes about school and his break from it.  I asked which subject he had most enjoyed in his sophomore year.  Much to my delight, he said, “history.”  As half my college background was in history nothing could have pleased me more.

So I pursued our conversation and asked, “What history did you study this year?”  He responded, “American.”

I should have known better but I pursued this and asked him if he could tell me the three branches of government.  I like giving pop tests.

Scott thought for a brief second and said, “Well, there’s the DMV …”  And at that point, despite my shock I said, “Hey, you got the toughest one.  I’m sure you know the other two.”

For a moment I thought I should correct him – but I knew that our encounter was going to be brief and I thought to myself, “Self – how could you possibly hope to overcome ten years of “education” in a minute or two?”  So I kept my mouth shut, let the kids play with Gracie a bit longer and went home.

I went online when we got back and read that the latest polls said the Supreme Court has fallen to its lowest approval rating in many years with only 44% of the American public viewing the Court positively .  Based on my encounter with Scott I was shocked at this number.

I was amazed that 44% of our populace knew there was a Supreme Court.

More significantly, despite it’s low level of positive public acceptance, it may well be the determinant in who becomes the next President of the United States.  Allow me a moment to express my thinking.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be one of three branches in our system of checks and balances.  It has the authority to overturn law which Congress enacts and has the right to overturn orders issued under Executive authority.  It might be most descriptive to categorize it as the “Court of Last Resort.”

The court is, in theory, impartial.  The Justices are supposed to view each case which they choose to accept on the basis of their interpretation of the Constitution as it applies to that case.  It is supposed to be apolitical.

The current court has made its decisions based on an obvious political bias – the four conservative Justices voting as a block; the four liberal Justices voting as a block; and the lone independent having the responsibility to cast the deciding vote.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons that our view of the Justices and confidence in their decisions has fallen to record lows in the polls.  But the truth is that, given what must be construed as a politically divided Court, the Supreme Court may well be the arbitrator of who is the next President.

Currently the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of what we generally call “Obamacare.”  This legislation is opposed by a vast majority of the American populace.  In particular, certain provisions within the bill has helped to catalyze a solidarity movement among a particular group – our Roman Catholic citizens.

They strenuously object to the imposition of providing contraceptive and abortive “treatments” in direct conflict with their view of morality.  They view this as a First Amendment issue – Freedom of Religion.  Prayer vigils in advance of the Court’s ruling on the law’s constitutionality were held today country-wide.  They hope and pray that the Court will overturn at least portions of the bill.

President Obama has done nothing more effective in three and one half years than to coalesce the Roman Catholic minority in the country over this issue.  Many of these voters contributed to his victory in 2008.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if  the President and our Catholic friends both want the same decision from the Court – that the law be found unconstitutional?

If that were to happen, Catholic organizations would not be required to provide abortive services as the law, as it is being implemented currently, demands.   Thus they would be relieved of the current requirement that either they break the law or violate their consciences.

From Obama’s perspective, striking down the law would enable him to say, “I gave America this wonderful law which covers uninsured Americans with medical care.  I am a person of the people.  Don’t blame me if the Supreme Court overturned my great and valiant efforts.”

Should the Court overturn Obamacare it might diffuse much of the opposition which has coalesced among Roman Catholic Americans and provide him the needed extra  votes to continue his agenda for another four years.

It’s a little frightening that the part of our government which enjoys the lowest rating of any of the three branches may have it in its power to make the difference this November.

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