Category Archives: Supreme Court

10% of college grads believe Judge Judy sits on the Supreme Court

That’s today’s “higher education” for ya…

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

This doesn’t surprise me at all. Today’s college students don’t recognize Reagan.

They spend a lot of time studying issues other than history like sex toy workshops.

They get extra credit for not shaving their armpits.

And they want to abandon traditional applications, transcripts and test scores because they are ‘all about privilege and wealth’.

It’s no wonder they can’t even distinguish between a TV judge and an actual judge on the Supreme Coutr.

Todd Starnes over at Fox News reports that a recent survey showed that nearly ten percent of recent college graduates say that television star Judith Sheindlin is on the Supreme Court.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) said their survey uncovered a “crisis in American civic education.” The ACTA describes itself as an independent organization committed to academic freedom, excellence and accountability at America’s colleges and universities.

Their findings reveal “that recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage.”

In it’s reporting on the study, US magazine reports that students could not identify the father of the U.S. Constitution or name one of our First Amendment Rights.

Read the rest of the story here.

As Mr. Starnes put it, “We’ve gone from the Greatest Generation to the stupidest.”

pajama boy

DCG

Lawsuit demands US remove ‘In God We Trust’ from money

I can’t imagine going through life as a professional victim.

Michael Newdow

Michael Newdow

Michael Newdow is infamous for suing for all the butthurt in his life. He’s unsuccessfully sued against the inclusion of the words “under God” in public schools’ recitals of the Pledge of Allegiance. Since 2005 he’s been suing to have the words “In God We Trust” removed from US currency. He’s now filed another lawsuit and this time it’s personal.

Fox News reports that Newdow filed the lawsuit Monday in Akron, Ohio. Throughout much of his lawsuit, the word appears as “G-d.”

Newdow claims “In God We Trust” violates the separation of church and state. One plaintiff says his Atheism is “substantially burdened because he is forced to bear on his person a religious statement that causes him to sense his government legitimizing, promoting and reinforcing negative and injurious attitudes not only against Atheists in general, but against him personally.”

The lawsuit represents 41 plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan, including many unnamed parents and children who are atheists or are being raised as atheists. Defendants include Congress, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and various federal agencies.

Methinks he’ll be unsuccessful again.

DCG

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to city’s assault weapons ban

Supreme Court 2015

On Monday the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a Chicago suburb’s ban on semiautomatic “assault” weapons. USA Today reports that this keeps similar bans in place from Massachusetts to Hawaii. The high court declined to reconsider two lower courts’ rulings that the ban was constitutional. Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas said Monday they would have taken the case.

Gun control advocates were thrilled, saying that it signaled that the majority of justices agree with the lower courts, or at least feel it’s a matter to be left up to state and local governments. Similar bans are on the books in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut and Hawaii.

The court denied a petition, backed by the Illinois State Rifle Association, that sought review of the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Highland Park.

Lower federal courts have ruled that statutes such as Highland Park’s are not at odds with the Supreme Court’s rulings in 2008 and 2010 permitting handguns to be kept at home for self-defense. Scalia wrote in District of Columbia v. Heller that the court was not upholding “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Thomas wrote a blistering, six-page dissent from the court’s refusal to hear Arie Friedman’s challenge to the gun ban. “Roughly 5 million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles,” Thomas wrote. “The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Gun control proponents praised the justices’ decision. Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the court “sided with a community that has taken action to protect itself from the type of violence we’ve seen in San Bernardino, on college campuses and in movie theaters.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Proponents of gun rights expressed hope that the justices would agree to hear a case soon. “It is only a matter of time before the Supreme Court takes a case, sets things straight, and properly subjects this and similar unconstitutional laws to renewed challenge,” said Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

There’s another petition, asking the justices to consider a Massachusetts ban against citizens possessing stun guns for self-defense, which remains pending before the court.

second amendment3

DCG

 

The time for Civil Disobedience is here: Kentucky county clerk imprisoned for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals

On November 12, 2012, a week after Americans re-elected Barack Obama to the White House, Dr. Paul Kengor mournfully — and presciently — declared a sunset for the culture of life in the Untied [sic] States. He wrote:

The battle to end legal abortion in America is over. The election and reelection of Barack Obama has made Roe v. Wade a permanent part of American life, with tens to hundreds of millions of unborn babies the coming casualties. Barack Obama got two Supreme Court picks in his first term and will get more in his second.

But it’s worse than that. All of us will now be handmaidens in this destruction. In the not-so-distant past, abortion advocates didn’t demand that all of us forcibly pay for their abortions—and for Planned Parenthood, contraception, and embryo destruction. They weren’t demanding that taxpayer-funded contraception become a new “entitlement.” That, too, has changed under Barack Obama, and we will not be able to conscientiously object as faithful [Christians]….

This is a devastating defeat. The heights of abortion absurdity will be thrust to once unimaginable depths.

Little did Dr. Kengor know then what we now know that the “heights of abortion” involved the harvesting of organs and tissue from still-alive aborted late-term babies in the taxpayer-funded slaughter-houses of Planned Parenthood. (See “Planned Parenthood horror: Baby’s heart beats during harvesting of his brain”)

Nor did Dr. Kengor anticipate that 2½ years after, the U.S. Supreme Court would rule that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. (See “Judicial Tyranny: Dissenting opinions on Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage”)

But where Dr. Kengor was wrong was in predicting that “we will not be able to conscientiously object as faithful” Christians. Faithful Christians are doing just that, most notably a brave Kentucky county clerk named Kim Davis.

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis

Four days ago, on September 3, 2015, Kentucky Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses for two months since the Supreme Court, by a razor-thin margin of one (5-4), legalized same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. She argues that her Christian faith — “God’s moral law” — should exempt her from signing the licenses.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning jailed Davis for contempt of court — for refusing to follow his order to issue the licenses. Bunning said Davis’ religious beliefs don’t allow her to disobey the law, “Her good faith belief is simply not a viable defense.” Banning said he didn’t make the decision lightly and spoke of his own religious beliefs. But he said that the oath he took, and the oath Davis took, supersedes those beliefs. Bunning also said that it’s not his job or the court’s job, but that of the legislative and executive branches, to write laws or make changes.

Meanwhile, 5 of 6 Rowan County deputy clerks all succumbed and told Judge Banning they would hand out marriage licenses to homosexual couples beginning the next day, Sept. 4. The lone holdout is Davis’ son.

Kim Davis' mug shot

Kim Davis’ mug shot

Kim Davis’ attorney Roger Gannam called Judge Banning’s decision “unprecedented.” Gannam said this is the first time in history that an American has been jailed for believing in their conscience, “for having the belief of conscience that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”

Bunning told Davis she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses. Davis said “thank you” before she was led out of the courtroom by a U.S. marshal. Davis says her supporters are raising funds for her, but she herself hasn’t requested any money. (Source)

U.S. federal judge David Bunning

U.S. federal judge David Bunning

David Bunning was appointed by Pres. George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He is the son of Jim Bunning, who was a U.S. senator from 1999 to 2011. Throughout Davis’s months-long legal battle, Bunning made it clear that he knew his decision to force the Rowan County clerk to follow the law put him at odds with the deeply held personal beliefs of a lot of Americans, himself included. Bunning wrote in his ruling:

“Personal opinions, including my own, are not relevant to today. The idea of natural law superseding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed. Our form of government will not survive unless we, as a society, agree to respect the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions, regardless of our personal opinions. Davis is certainly free to disagree with the court’s opinion, as many Americans likely do, but that does not excuse her from complying with it. To hold otherwise would set a dangerous precedent.”

“Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!” -Isaiah 35:4

Please pray for Kim Davis.

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

~Éowyn

California city councilman threatened with criminal prosecution for opposing homosexual marriage

A few years before he died on April 17, 2015, reflecting on the increasing secularization and anti-Christianity of our perilous times, Cardinal Francis George predicted:

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

We can already see the outlines of one of George’s predictions.

Already, Christian-owned businesses, like bakeries, which refuse to cater to homosexual marriage have been prosecuted. Now, a city councilman is threatened with criminal prosecution for voicing his disapproval of homosexuals’ use of the rainbow flag as their emblem.

Last Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the city council of Newport Beach, California, voted 4-3 to disassociate themselves from an email sent to his constituents by one of their own, Councilman Scott Peotter, on the recent Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on same-sex, i.e., homosexual marriage.

Peotter noted the irony of the LGBT movement’s use of the rainbow as their emblem, when the rainbow was originally given by God as a sign to Noah after the Great Flood, which the Creator had sent because of humanity’s sinfulness. (See Trail Dust’s “Who really owns the rainbow?“)

City Councilman Keith Curry went further than disassociating himself from Peotter’s email. Curry pushed the city council to formally censure Peotter, and to refer Peotter to the District Attorney for prosecution ostensibly because Peotter had used a picture of the Newport Beach City Seal in the background of his email.

Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry

Local LGBT activists expressed dissatisfaction with the city council’s Tuesday night vote, claiming Peotter’s comments were hate speech and created a hostile work environment.

Stepping into the fray is the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). Their attorneys sent a letter to the City Council, cautioning them against punishing Peotter for his exercise of free speech.

PJI president Brad Dacus warns:

“It is alarming that some politicians and activists now believe that expressing support for traditional marriage should be prosecuted. This situation should be a wake-up call to all Americans. We face an ominous future of further repression, coercion and censorship unless we speak and act now in defense of our constitutional freedoms.

If Councilman Keith Curry wants to criminalize opposition to “gay” marriage, I suggest he should begin with the four justices on the Supreme Court who voted “no” on making homosexual marriage a new constitutional right. (See “Judicial Tyranny: Dissenting opinions on Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage”)

Thankfully, Curry will be term-limited out of the city council next year. His email address is curryk@pfm.com.

Send Councilman Peotter a word of support! His email address is SPeotter@NewportBeachCa.gov.

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV and Cal Catholic

~Éowyn

It is time for U.S. Christians to disobey unjust laws – Take Our Poll!

Please take the poll that follows Buchanan’s essay!

america_divided

 

A Coming Era of Civil Disobedience?

By Patrick J. Buchanan • July 10, 2015

The Oklahoma Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, has ordered a monument of the Ten Commandments removed from the Capitol.

Calling the Commandments “religious in nature and an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths,” the court said the monument must go.

Gov. Mary Fallin has refused. And Oklahoma lawmakers instead have filed legislation to let voters cut out of their constitution the specific article the justices invoked. Some legislators want the justices impeached.

Fallin’s action seems a harbinger of what is to come in America — an era of civil disobedience like the 1960s, where court orders are defied and laws ignored in the name of conscience and a higher law.

Only this time, the rebellion is likely to arise from the right.

Certainly, Americans are no strangers to lawbreaking. What else was our revolution but a rebellion to overthrow the centuries-old rule and law of king and Parliament, and establish our own?

U.S. Supreme Court decisions have been defied, and those who defied them lionized by modernity. Thomas Jefferson freed all imprisoned under the sedition act, including those convicted in court trials presided over by Supreme Court justices. Jefferson then declared the law dead.

Some Americans want to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, who, defying the Dred Scott decision and fugitive slave acts, led slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

New England abolitionists backed the anti-slavery fanatic John Brown, who conducted the raid on Harpers Ferry that got him hanged but helped to precipitate a Civil War. That war was fought over whether 11 Southern states had the same right to break free of Mr. Lincoln’s Union as the 13 colonies did to break free of George III’s England.

Millions of Americans, with untroubled consciences, defied the Volstead Act, imbibed alcohol and brought an end to Prohibition.

In the civil rights era, defying laws mandating segregation and ignoring court orders banning demonstrations became badges of honor.

Rosa Parks is a heroine because she refused to give up her seat on a Birmingham bus, despite the laws segregating public transit that relegated blacks to the “back of the bus.”

In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King, defending civil disobedience, cited Augustine — “an unjust law is no law at all” — and Aquinas who defined an unjust law as “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

Said King, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

But who decides what is an “unjust law”?

If, for example, one believes that abortion is the killing of an unborn child and same-sex marriage is an abomination that violates “eternal law and natural law,” do those who believe this not have a moral right if not a “moral responsibility to disobey such laws”?

Rosa Parks is celebrated.

But the pizza lady who said her Christian beliefs would not permit her to cater a same-sex wedding was declared a bigot. And the LGBT crowd, crowing over its Supreme Court triumph, is writing legislation to make it a violation of federal civil rights law for that lady to refuse to cater that wedding.

But are people who celebrate the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village as the Mount Sinai moment of their movement really standing on solid ground to demand that we all respect the Obergefell decision as holy writ?

And if cities, states or Congress enact laws that make it a crime not to rent to homosexuals, or to refuse services at celebrations of their unions, would not dissenting Christians stand on the same moral ground as Dr. King if they disobeyed those laws?

Already, some businesses have refused to comply with the Obamacare mandate to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. Priests and pastors are going to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Churches and chapels will refuse to host them. Christian colleges and universities will deny married-couple facilities to homosexuals.

Laws will be passed to outlaw such practices as discrimination, and those laws, which the Christians believe violate eternal law and natural law, will, as Dr. King instructed, be disobeyed.

And the removal of tax exemptions [from churches] will then be on the table.

If a family disagreed as broadly as we Americans do on issues so fundamental as right and wrong, good and evil, the family would fall apart, the couple would divorce, and the children would go their separate ways.

Something like that is happening in the country.

A secession of the heart has already taken place in America, and a secession, not of states, but of people from one another, caused by divisions on social, moral, cultural, and political views and values, is taking place.

America is disuniting, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote 25 years ago.

And for those who, when young, rejected the views, values and laws of Eisenhower’s America, what makes them think that dissenting Americans in this post-Christian and anti-Christian era will accept their laws, beliefs, values?

Why should they?

See also “No Longer One Nation, Under God“.

~Éowyn

America is ruled by an unelected double government

The idea that the U.S. actually is ruled by a shadow unelected government is not new, but Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon is the latest person to say so.

Glennon calls the shadow government a “double government.” By that, Glennon isn’t referring to a conspiracy or the Illuminati or The Powers That Be, but what others have called by a less-loaded term, “the administrative state” — the vast federal government bureaucracies staffed by unelected, faceless officials who, in “administering” the U.S., make countless policy decisions every day that affect every facet of our lives.

double govt

Jordan Michael Smith, a liberal, writes for the Boston Globe, Oct. 18, 2014:

The voters who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer….

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

… Glennon’s critique sounds like an outsider’s take, even a radical one. In fact, he is the quintessential insider: He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA….

How exactly has double government taken hold? And what can be done about it? Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This interview has been condensed and edited.

IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government?

GLENNON: …. I initially wrote it based on my own experience and personal knowledge and conversations with dozens of individuals in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies of our government, as well as, of course, officeholders on Capitol Hill and in the courts. And the documented evidence in the book is substantial—there are 800 footnotes in the book.

IDEAS: Why would policy makers hand over the national-security keys to unelected officials?

GLENNON: It hasn’t been a conscious decision….Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.

The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”

IDEAS: Isn’t this just another way of saying that big bureaucracies are difficult to change?

GLENNON: It’s much more serious than that. These particular bureaucracies don’t set truck widths or determine railroad freight rates. They make nerve-center security decisions that in a democracy can be irreversible, that can close down the marketplace of ideas, and can result in some very dire consequences….

There is not only one explanation or one cause for the amazing continuity of American national security policy. But obviously there is something else going on when policy after policy after policy all continue virtually the same way that they were in the George W. Bush administration.

IDEAS: This isn’t how we’re taught to think of the American political system.

GLENNON: I think the American people are deluded…that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change….policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.

IDEAS: Do we have any hope of fixing the problem?

GLENNON:The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that’s a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.

Where I disagree with Glennon, who is a liberal, are:

  1. Glennon confines the “double government” to only the national security sector. But if we use his own argument, since it’s the unelected government bureaucrats who actually make policies, the “double government” would pervade every sector of government, not just the Pentagon.
  2. Glennon‘s emphasis on the role played by the “double government” minimizes — and therefore excuses — actual decisions made by Obama (amnesty for illegals via executive orders), Congress (Obamacare), and the Supreme Court (gay marriage) which greatly impact every American’s life. Of course, once those policies are made, bureaucracies are created to implement and enforce the policies, and those bureaucracies will never go away. As an example, see the diagram below on the Byzantine labyrinth of government bureaucracies spawned by Obamacare.

↓ Click image to enlarge ↓

Obamacare bureaucratic maze

See also:

~Éowyn