Burn Kim Davis

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2015

kim-davis-pat-post

 

In a Swiftian proposal at The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty suggests a punishment for Kim Davis, currently released by the Federal Judge who jailed her due to her deputies issuing licenses to gays to marriage, something Kim Davis has vowed to halt:

 

The Supreme Court had to know it would come to this. It had to know that in taking away the authority of states and the people to define marriage as a conjugal union, some force would be necessary to compel obedience.

A conflict about religious liberty and the authority of the state was bound to happen around marriage issues, just as it did nearly five centuries ago during the Reformation. Whatever we say about the separation of church and state, marriage is an institution that acts as a bridge between them. Religious institutions define the moral purpose and eligibility for marriage, while the state used juridical power to guarantee that stability of the institution.

So it’s not a surprise that Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which redefined marriage nationwide to include same-sex couples, reads more like a religious confession than a legal opinion. Instead of concerning itself with merely the legal consequences of marriage, it reaches outward to commend people to its “transcendent purposes” and “highest meaning.” It projected backward the true meaning of the 14th Amendment based on developments in psychology a century later, just the way religious scholars read Old Testament prophecies in light of the new. It offered miraculous contradictions of the evidence of our eyes by saying that legal developments in recent centuries represent new insights, and “[t]hese new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution of marriage.” It also offered an incorrect story of the entire history of the institution:

For example, marriage was once viewed as an arrangement by the couple’s parents based on political, religious, and financial concerns; but by the time of the Nation’s founding it was understood to be a voluntary contract between a man and a woman.

It also, like a 13th century papal bull, constricted the rights of non-conformists, when it assured religious believers that they may “advocate” for their beliefs and believe them, just not act on them and exercise them in the public square.

Kennedy’s decision is only the latest in a long series of decisions in which the state progressively usurps the role of religion in defining the eligibility of individuals, moral purpose, eschatological meaning, and “transcendent purpose” for the institution of marriage. Notice even the subtle way the Griswold decision evokes but revises marriage indissolubility. “Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred.” (Emphasis mine.) Davis’ protest, however confused about the legal consequences it risks, is properly understood as a religious one.

So let me suggest, modestly, that instead of the National Guard or a jail cell, she should be handed a more properly religious punishment, one that honors America’s evolving understanding of the separation of church and state. Before the sentence for contempt was handed down, Brian Beutler wrote in The New Republic that “she should be put behind bars until she relents one way or another.”

Any attempt to force her hand risks making her a bigger martyr on the religious right than she already is, but that risk is small compared to the risk that allowing her to continue abusing her power without consequence will create a terrible precedent. There are surely other religious clerks in the South and elsewhere who’d love to get away with discriminating against gays and lesbians, in defiance of the country’s highest court. [The New Republic]

What Beutler advocates here is making of Davis a “fearful example,” often used to compel conformity in doctrine. He’s after people’s hearts, hoping to change those who would dissent. But he doesn’t go far enough.

True, no GoFundMe campaign can restore days of life lost in a jail cell. But Davis has already indicated that jail is nothing to her compared to serving God. She’s just sitting there with the approval of her conscience!

And besides, many think that putting Davis in jail risks exciting sympathy for her and a viral donation campaign that will ultimately reward her for her intransigence. The conclusion is obvious.

Any normal punishment rewards her with the comfort of solidarity from right-wing Christians, or her own sense of moral self-approval. Therefore the only way to avoid granting her such “martyrdom” is to actually martyr her. That’s the really perverse thing about Christians who make a spectacle like this. The only way the state can really punish them is to inform them that their suffering is meaningless and proving that God doesn’t exist by sending them to the darkness of oblivion in torment. Justice Kennedy has issued his theological bull; let Kentucky officials in defiance of it be put on a pyre.

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Burn Kim Davis

  • Maybe our bishops can learn something from Kim Davis.

  • “….the comfort of solidarity from “right-wing Christians”

    Can there ever exist such a hybrid as a “left-wing” Christian?
    The idea that true Christianity can licitly embrace the many evils immutably bonded in the soul and bowels of the “left-wing,” without corrupting the admonition directly from Christ that we are “either with him or against him” is not only absurd, but demonic.
    There can be no moral equivalency between grave evil and good, regardless of the seductive word-smithing of the left.
    On the other hand, “right-wing” also reeks of it’s own lesser brand of corruption of the good.

  • Father of seven.

    I hope the Bishops do learn something, but I’m wondering how important they view their Grant $ from the Fed’s, and that relationship, vs. speaking out on issues which could jeopardize said relationship?

    What if the government and the church did not commingle fund’s? I’m naive about these matters… but I am curious. What is the gain vs loss if the church didn’t get these Grant’s?

    Would She better at proclaiming the Truth or would many thousands of people suffer losses that Catholic Charities provides?

  • “….the comfort of solidarity from “right-wing Christians”. Can there ever exist such a hybrid as a “left-wing” Christian?

    Another time, another place. At a time when the Church was fairly self-confident and vigorous in the propagation of its views, a particular take on political economy as a counter-point to views derived from Marxism might have merited the moniker. We have not lived in that world for nearly 60 years.

  • The homosexual activitists and their liberal heterosexual supporters will eventually demand the execution of people advocating traditional marriage. They have to make that demand because not doing so means that people who try to live in conformity to the Gospel are a constant pricking of the conscience that cannot ever be tolerated. Then will come the need for a Maccabean response. Like it or not, there is a reason why God nuked Sodom and Gomorrah. Of course I neither advocate nor want that to happen, but the truth is this: the cancer of sterile sexual perversion has to be either conquered by an all powerful medicine or excised by the surgical knife. It is either us or them, and they will not tolerate our freedom to practice our beliefs in the public square. Didn’t something like this happen about a century and a half ago when the Supreme Court back then made another bone-headed, dumb-stupid-idiot decision?

  • Oh, I imagine the gaystapo and their puppy dogs in the legal profession will favor the Singapore solution where anyone who stands in their way faces bankrupting civil suits.

    We’ve reached a point where it’s time for the elected officials to open up that can of whoop-ass. Let’s see if they have the cojones.

  • Have you noticed that the main stream news media isn’t talking much about Kim davis any longer? Apparently making her a visible martyr has backfired on them.

  • Art Deco: “We’ve reached a point where it’s time for the elected officials to open up that can of whoop-ass. Let’s see if they have the cojones.”
    Speaking of whoop-as, sodomy is a pain in one’s whoop-as. Speaking of “cojones”, the Supreme Court in Obergefell nixed all “cojones” and made verbal eunuchs of all citizens by imposing a “no-gender” marriage. A “no-gender” marriage removes the testimony of the gay agenda that lust is love and sodomy is the marital act. Without testicles, the testimony carries no weight. A “no-gender ” marriage will not bring forth our constitutional posterity. This is treason against our Preamble. Verbal spaying of the nation is treason against the people. Verbal castrating of the people is unconstitutional.

  • Removing the acknowledgement of God and the acknowledgement of the person’s immortal, human soul, free will, intellect and all unalienable human rights by redefining the human person as having “no gender” is the imposition of atheism by the Court. “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” is the First Amendment not to be contradicted by any insinuation of the Fourteenth Amendment that man has “no gender”, A “no gender” person invented by the Court does not exist.

  • Atheism and the imposition of atheism is unconstitutional.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis' Words of Affirmation - Big Pulpit
  • I read elsewhere (on the internet so I pass it on with a reader beware notice) that Kentucky law requires marriage licenses to be issued in the county of the bride’s home. that is the law kim davis swore to follow in her oath of office. that makes it impossible to follow the law and issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

    until the Kentucky legislature reviews and amends all aspects of its current law, Kentucky has no law governing same-sex marriage. it does still have a law governing marriage between a man and a woman.

    so, according to the five judicial tyrants, the constitution requires same-sex marriage; but, the laws of the state of Kentucky do not.

    importantly, the constitution does not provide anyone with how the laws governing marriage must be written. nor does the constitution have any language to govern marriage.

  • eddie too.

    Hummm. Origin of the bride’s home.
    Good find.
    Bride? Really?
    I’m just not sensitive to the plight of the sodomites.

    To the plight of the repenting homosexual, yes.
    CourageRC.org. you bet!

    The time is nearing when our brothers must decide for God or self. That time is nearing for all of us. Thank God for our Holy Catholic Church. The church that doesn’t change to the whims of the culture… Since God doesn’t change!

  • The Catholic Church is afraid that if it speaks out it will lose its tax exempt status, and probably be harassed by the government. And the church is correct. Think Lois Lerner. Kim Davis is going to jail but Hillary Clinton who is taking away our “deep seated cultural codes and religious beliefs” to accommodate human sacrifice, has just been cleared as she had the authority to remove classified email from her server.
    Taxes are paid by the parishioners. The church’s holding are held in trust for all future generations. Donations, gifts and behests are tax free for everyone. Separation of church and state forbids the state from making any laws pertaining to the church. Read Thomas Jefferson’ letter to the Danbury Baptist Church wherein Jefferson reaffirms man’s conscience. This Supreme Court would put George Washington in jail.

  • “The Catholic Church is afraid that if it speaks out it will lose its tax exempt status,”
    How many ways can you spell(thirty pieces of silver)?

How the Steamroller Will Hit the Church

Monday, July 13, AD 2015

Homosexual Flag

There have been a lot of suggestions going around that in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage nationally, the Catholic Church in the US should announce that priests will no longer perform civil marriages.In order to be treated as married under the law in the United States, you need to file a witnessed marriage license in your state. The way it worked for us in California was: you go down to your city hall or other government building to pick the license up. The city clerk fills it out but then leaves the final signatures blank. You take the form with you and give it to the priest who is performing your marriage. After the ceremony, the priest signs the form, asserting that he has performed a marriage ceremony for you. It’s then signed by husband, wife, and two witnesses and filed with the state. At that point, the man and woman are considered married in the eyes of the law. Obviously, it’s not just priests that can process a marriage license for the state. Any kind of religious minister (Christian or non) can, as can “non denominational” ministers of their own religion. You can also have a strictly civil ceremony performed by a city official.

Continue reading...

36 Responses to How the Steamroller Will Hit the Church

  • Pingback: THURSDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • I think it will happen much sooner and the infrastructure for despotic action exists in, among other things, the income tax. The IRS can unilaterally and without restraint challenge tax status of a religious institutions as it did against Bob Jones University. Your contributions to Church and Church related organizations will not be deductible leading to Catholics and others paying a recusant tax for their beliefs. But note the IRS won’t challenge the tax status of associations similar to CAIR…..the enemy is the Church.

    It will also happen through the despotic administrative regulatory state. All federal monies have now a requirement that in taking money your group does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity and homosexual conduct. The repercussions of this will be almost immediate.

    You will also see the “shaming” from the public square but now with the full support and backing of federal, state and local governments. Where applicable, churches will lose property tax exemptions.

    And finally, when a bishop dare speak up forcefully, he will be summoned before a subcommittee where he will be embarrassed by people like Pelosi for a host of “sims” against the state.

  • We brought it on ourselves.

    The American Catholic bishops refused for decades to stand up to abortionist politicians. Perhaps, a few or more of these bishops, and their priests, agreed with these so-called Catholic abortionist politicians. Many of the most vocal abortion supporters – the Cuomos, the Kennedys, Durbin, Sebelius, Milkuski, et al, were NEVER confronted by their bishops.

    The priest sex abuse scandal trashed the good name of the American Catholic bishops, or what was left of it. Wrongly labeled pedophiles, these abusers craved pubescent teenage boys and should not have been allowed in seminaries in the first place – let alone ordained as priests.

    The American Catholic bishops’ fealty for the welfare state – and its continued expansion – led in part to Obumblercare. They want to import every poor Latino into the US – never mind we don’t have enough jobs and every state government is stretched to balance its budget and the federal government has drowned the future with red ink.

    We almost never hear about sin. The evils of abortion, artificial birth control, fornication, and pornography are never mentioned. Personal piety is a thing of the past. Pope St. John Paul II emphasized that the home should be the domestic church. How often is it if the man of the house is annoyed with Mass and rarely attends? How many Catholic families look at Mass as something to be squeezed in or skipped but there is always time for entertainment? The entertainment industry HATES the Catholic Church.

    I am by no means the best Catholic who writes or posts here. I point no fingers at you who participate. I like my entertainment – usually documentaries, or shows about cars, or sports. Regular TV programming and movies are wretched and I avoid them.

    I can’t even get my wife to go to Mass with me. this is the residue of being educated by Latin American Jesuits. She prefers sleeping on Sunday mornings so I take my seven year old son with me to the Tridentine Mass and to catechism afterwards – alone. Either I give in to my wife and go to a mediocre Mass with bad music, bad rubrics, etc. and repeat the mistakes of my parents or I do right by my sons – and I choose the latter.

    I have no patience for willing weakness and this is what I have seen in the Church in my lifetime. Homosexuals have rolled over us because we let it happen. Enough is enough.

    Big entertainment, big education and big government have been infested with the Smoke of Satan.
    It will take people with the backbone and inner strength to fight them. My dad didn’t care and my mother still bitches about the nasty old priest who celebrated at my parents’ wedding.

    I may fail,at a lot of things but the abortionist/homosexulaist/socialist thugs aren’t getting my sons. No way.

  • Hmm, I am thinking the same argument* might work for divorced/want to get married without getting a Declaration of Nullity crowd. Maybe even demanding being admitted to Holy Communion? Isn’t that a “service” of the Church?
    .
    (*edited) The church is a public accommodation providing marriage services to its members. There are few members of the parish more active than Divorcee 1 and Divorcee 2. . . The only thing preventing St. Wishy Washy from performing the same service for Divorce 1 and Divorce 2 which it provides for any other couple that shows up wanting the same ceremony and the same reception in the hall is divorce prejudice.
    .
    I wonder if those wanting polygamy could sue that argument? A lot of respected Biblical personalities were polygamous after all.

  • Incidentally, here is a good article on why the Church should never, ever accept tax payer dollars. It happened once before. The results were not good.
    .
    http://www.mackinac.org/3461 “Public Money for Private Charity”
    .
    “When President Bush’s controversial “faith-based initiative” was announced last February, it brought to mind something I learned years ago from readings on ancient Roman history.

    After years of being shunned and even persecuted, Christians suddenly enjoyed the official blessing of the Roman state when Emperor Constantine came to power in 324 A.D. For the first time, imperial funds were used to subsidize priests and churches. Christians emerged from hiding in Rome’s catacombs to partake of the state’s largess. . . ”
    (Lawrence W. Reed, author)

  • The difference would be that roughly half of states currently ban discrimination due to sexual orientation, and in all probability there will be a national ban in the not distant future. Thus, people can sue on the basis of being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation.

    Divorced people and polygamists are not protected classes.

  • “We brought it on ourselves.
    The American Catholic bishops refused for decades to stand up to abortionist politicians. ”
    .
    Penguins fan: I think it goes even deeper than that. Even before abortion supporting politicians, the bishops and priests, refused to stand up to those who wanted to use contraception, who did NOT want to abstain from the marital embrace when a baby was “not wanted” (or possibly not wise to have, maybe due to illness or poor finances, etc)
    .
    We will never know what those priests heard in the confessional, how many of them heard the little whispers of doubt inside their own heads: “You aren’t married. You aren’t a parent! You don’t know what it is like to have 4 children under 5 years old!!” I suspect a lot of them buckled, not knowing how to give good counsel or what to say.
    .
    Or perhaps God is simply giving us our freedom to abuse, as He did Adam and Eve, and did not prevent bad people from getting into the seminaries. Would a good and holy priest say “Contraception? Yeah, whatever. Follow your conscience.” Or would a priest who isn’t following the rules himself (because he has girl or boy friend on the side) say that.

  • DJH—you raise an insight into the steamroller effect. The USCCB domestic policy and peace and justice groups are heavily subsidized by the federalis. A visit to its website to review the legislative agenda is like reading the democratic party platform. It operates as a tool of government and so you can expect collaboration through silence.

  • Here’s how I think it will go down: The test case will come at St. Wishy-Washy parish, in a state which has a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. There’s that nice, older, same sex couple that everyone basically knows about, but no one ever says anything rude about — except that nasty rules-obsessed fellow who objects when Father amends the creed to make it more gender inclusive. Pat is a Eucharistic minister. Sam leads the choir at the 5:30 mass and leads the inquiry sessions at RCIA. They’re always there to help out in every big parish activity and everyone likes them. One day, they file paperwork for marriage prep and ask to reserve the church for their wedding and the hall for the reception. Maybe that new secretary accidentally books it and takes a deposit check before realizing. Maybe it’s just believable at first that Fr. Trendy would celebrate the ceremony on his own authority. But of course, it’s not worth the poor man’s retirement to have the bishop find out about this one. He tell them he can’t do it and he returns Pat and Sam’s check to them.
    .
    That’s when the lawsuit gets filed. Nothing against Fr. Trendy, of course. They know that he probably would agree with them if he was free to speak his mind. But Christ’s message of love will be held captive by the institutional hierarchy until they’re attacked the only place they understand: their wallets.

    I think you give Father Trendy and Mrs. Ditzy too much credit in your scenario, in the sense that I doubt they’ll be unwitting participants in the events leading up to the lawsuit getting filed. Father Trendy seems particularly culpable for allowing Pat and Sam to perform such public, ministerial roles in the parish.

    I guess that makes me the nasty rules-obsessed fellow.

  • In Scotland, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, provides that marriages between persons of the same sex can be solemnised only by a district registrar or assistant registrar (these are Crown appointments).

    A “religious or belief body”(RBB) may request permission from the Scottish Ministers to celebrate SSMs and nominate the persons to be authorised to celebrate them. Section 12 provides that not only is no RBB obliged to request permission to solemnise SSMs or to nominate a celebrant but that “nothing in the Act… imposes a duty on any person who is an approved celebrant in relation to marriages between persons of the same sex to solemnise such marriages.”

    In short (1) no RBB can solemnise an SSM unless it obtains permission from the Scottish Ministers to do so (2) it is under no duty to seek permission or to nominate celebrants and (3) even if it does, no individual minister, even though authorised to do so, is legally obliged to perform one. This is known as the “triple lock.”

  • It’s time to separate Sacramental Marriage from a civil marriage – theer has to be a difference in the eyes of God.

  • This is much like debating which path Christ will be forced to follow to Golgotha, rather than why he was betrayed. The damage and agenda for all this was established many years ago–and sadly–it was hardly covertly accomplished.

    It is our culture of license and privilege being abused systematically in every institution since at least the great revolution against all moral authority of the sixties. Those “Catholic” politicians, priests and bishop were allowed to get softened up by the Church which rushed to open its doors to the world instead of doubling down on that sacred trust which is the only way that could have provided a means of resisting the secularism that was unleashed by the powers and principalities.

    Better to be disliked, but untainted and strong of faith until the end, than to share in our own destruction by turning away from the Church’s God-given mission of salvation just to play footsie with the Godless world for the diabolically distorted mission of “social justice.

    No small wonder we now have church leaders embracing worldly hammer and sickle crucifixes.

  • “Divorced people and polygamists are not protected classes.”

    You do not have to be in a protected class to bring an equal protection claim. (One could of course argue that the whole concept of protected classes is an equal protection violation, at least as to how the concept has played out in practice.)

  • Don L.

    Agreed. Seems the tasteless salt is being propagated.

    If men can be tested in the crucible, like gold in the fire, why not the Holy Catholic Church?
    That might be what’s going on.
    The impurities must “rise first” before being obliterated in the furnace.

    Just wondering.

  • Don’t blame me. I never voted for a democrat.
    .

    It’s bat-crap crazy out there. Get used to it. Or else, what are you prepared to do?
    .

    Of course, the same-pervert couple can walk across the street and find an Episkie priestess, or whatever from the thousands of US cults, to “marry” them . . . [BARF]
    .
    What we will experience are gay gestapo attacks or Church raids viciously demanding that priests perform for them marriage rites. The priests may need to do it.

    .
    Here is a modest proposal. The bishop should be present. He steps forward and intones the Rite of Excommunication *(Bell, Book and Candle) over the public sinners. Americans (only) have the right to worship! Liberal air-heads exploding . . .

  • I’m waiting to see which of the liberal priests will first sanction and preside over a same-sex marital contract ceremony (what we call matrimony).

  • I think you’re overly optimistic about 10 years.

    I’ll bet you it happens within 2.

  • (T. Shaw Here is a modest proposal. The bishop should be present. He steps forward and intones the Rite of Excommunication *(Bell, Book and Candle) over the public sinners. Americans (only) have the right to worship! Liberal air-heads exploding . . .)

    The problem might be in finding someone to do that to the many bishops that also need purification…

  • An answer?

    Cardinal Burke resurrected The Holy League, http://www.holyleague.com , and our parish recently climbed on board. May was our first meeting.
    Just over forty men joined in. We meet every month. Guest speakers, dinner, then adoration with confessional’s ( two ) operational.

    This is a great start!

    Please check it out.
    Our future is bright… we’re just in the storm at the moment.

    PS. This is men only fellowship.
    Strong Men!

  • Wrong. The will come from within, not outside, the Church. It is already gaining steam.

  • The real diagnosis implicitly acknowledged by this article is that the Catholic Church has lost its faith. The majority of the institutions and even churches and parishes which call themselves Catholic are nothing but — I’m sorry to say — rotting corpses. Scenarios like the one described above could never happen in a SSPX parish. Essentially an SSPX parish is nothing but what a normal Catholic parish once was, before Vatican II. We are facing a catastrophe because we have let the enemy in. The biggest problem is not the neo-fascist gay movement, it is the completely accepted laxity in faith and morals in the Church, to the point that propagandists of sexual immorality are not only not expelled but actually protected by the hierarchy, the Pope himself included. This will not change, unless a “gang” of determined “warriors” arise who are prepared to use “rough” and unconvential methodes to rid the Church from this despicable sissies and pleasers.

  • R. Sevenster.

    The gang of rough warriors to rid the Freemason’s out of Holy Church is going to likely be a divine assault. A cleansing that comes from above. Two lightning strikes that followed the announcement of Pope Emeritus retirement was not coincidentally timed. Not in my opinion. It was a reminder of the one Who Is, Was and Is to come again. He will clean house when ready.

  • It seems to me that we may need to get used to foregoing taxpayer money to run our charitable programs. But that is just a start. Perhaps we can make the assets of the Church “un-get-at-able” by our rogue government. I believe that morally, this would be the same as hiding our assets, as the deacon Saint Lawrence did when he hid the golden chalices and patens that the early Christians were using for the celebrations of the Eucharist, together with the coin which had been raised to assist the poor. When Caesar’s henchmen demanded that Lawrence turn over the treasures of the Church, Lawrence pretended to acquiesce. Instead of presenting the golden vessels and the money, however, Saint Lawrence gathered together some of the destitute old and sick and presented these persons to the henchmen. “These,” Lawrence proclaimed, “are the treasures of the Church.” Which may be said to be true in a very highly spiritualized sort of sense, but Saint Lawrence knew perfectly well that these were not even close to what the henchmen were looking for, and the henchmen knew he knew.

    And so Lawrence ended up being roasted alive on a grill.

    Those of us who would be willing to be roasted to death as Saint Lawrence was rather than to see the presence of the Church disappear from our neighborhood streets and from our cities, might support a method that draws its inspiration from Saint Lawrence. (The disappearance, as we all know, would be caused by being driven into bankruptcy by lawsuits from the Dark Side as well as fines from the Dark Side using the powers of the government.) One solution would be to get together very clever lawyers and accountants, and to put the Church property in the name of some series of shell corporations (ABC Holdings Corp. dba DEF Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary of GHI Corp. JKL Corp. holds overall ownership, etc. etc.) And let the corporate owners listed be the mothers of U.S. priests, but the mothers are citizens and residents of Belgium or Costa Rica or the Philippines. Off-shore: can’t get at ’em. The same with the houses, and vehicles, and lawn-mowing equipment, and computers, and desk and chairs for the school – titled off-shore. Can’t get at ’em. And the cash goes into the vaults of a financial institution on the Canary Islands, or Saint Kitts, or the Hebrides, or wherever has a good financial system, but doesn’t allow agents of the Dark Side using the power of the U.S. government to seize customer assets.

    Off-shore, off-shore, off-shore. I say put all the paperwork and the paper money off-shore now. And let the accountants and the lawyers be the sharpest and cleverest and the most experienced we can afford because agents of the Dark Side will be coming after us hard sooner or later. And as we also know, the master of the Dark Side is very clever.

  • I’m looking forward to how the church is going to respond pastorally to her own. Mother Church does not neglect her own.

  • In other countries like France, couples go to the local magestrate and obtain a civil marriage. then the couple comes back to the Church for a “con- validation.Maybe this could work in the United States.

  • Somewhat OT but I spent a lovely day with 6 ladies at a flea market on Saturday. One of them I’ve known all my life, 2 I just met that day, the other 4 I know to varying degrees. We had a wonderful day – talking, laughing & shopping and we ended up 8 hours later at a delightful restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, the talk turned to the Supreme Court SSM ruling. I wasn’t surprised that it got heated but even the cynic in me was taken aback that 4 of these ‘nice’ women stated without irony that the Roman Catholic faith was going to have to change to accommodate SSM! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

  • I like Phillip’s solution and
    I also think a solution is embedded in Penguins Fan’s “we brought it on ourselves comment:
    ” bad music, bad rubrics, etc. It would help if we turn around – and get back to worshipping God in a manner befitting Him.

  • This is confusing, because the Church recognizes civil and non-Catholic marriages as valid, but Catholic couples who marry outside the church are not recognized by the Church, and there is a special ceremony called Convalidation. Would they be forced to convalidate same sex couples?

  • Would they be forced to convalidate same sex couples?

    Hard to say what Justice Kennedy’s muse will tell him. Historically, for the most part, government is constrained from telling you what to believe, but you are constrained in the ways you can act on your beliefs (egregious e.g., if you’re an Aztec, no human sacrificing for you, but feel to believe the gods demand it or no more sunshine; less egregious e.g., you can believe that the OT legitimates plural wives, but polygamy is still against the law –for now). Increasingly, however, government is moving away from telling you what you can’t do to telling you what you must do. Thus far the coercion is hidden behind a sort of Hobson’s Choice (you don’t have to buy this ridiculously expensive health insurance plan, you’re free to choose to pay the obscenely expensive fee/penalty/tax), so how much longer before certain wrong beliefs/symbols are no longer protected because they’re implicated by beliefs about other wrong beliefs/symbols?
    .
    We’d have to ask the Sons of Confederate Veterans I think.

    (Full Disclosure, I’m going off of what I remember of Con Law from the Political Science half of my double major from 20 years ago. For the most part I’m a historian by training, so grain of salt and all that.)

  • Bit confused by the last paragraph; in France e.g., and Italy I think also, you must have a civil marriage and (if a Catholic) a separate Church marriage. Seems to me that though not perfect from Church’s point of view it solves the problem unless, of course, the State were to become pro-active and outlaw any form of sacramental (addition) or act that looked like a marriage.

  • This might also bring a second exodus of homosexual priests and nuns to leave the Church since Vatican II in order to get married.

  • After Obergerfell v. Hodges, how long will it be before we see Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice v. Hodges? How long after that will we see Fido v. Hodges? P.E.T.A. will pick up the attorney fees, of course.

  • Deacon Mike Chesley and Skypilot
    France has had mandatory civil marriage (le mariage civil obligatoire)since 9 November 1791. It is illegal for a minister of religion “habitually” to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple not already legally married (Code Pénal Art 433-21) “Habitually” provides an exception for death-bed marriages and “marriages of conscience.”
    For Catholics, the chief importance of the civil marriage is the registration of the marriage settlement, in which the parties elect one of the matrimonial régimes provided under the Code Civil – community of property, community of acquisitions only, separation of property, conjunct usufructs &c and also the settlement of property on the issue. Remember that French law knows nothing of trusts.
    Wedding invitations usually refer to the two ceremonies as « le mariage » and « La bénédiction nuptiale » the marriage and the nuptial blessing. Not a few Canonists have argued over the years that the Church should revert to the pre-Tridentate law and recognise the civil marriage as sufficient for validity, but “solemnisation in the face of the Church” as a grave religious obligation – the position before 1563. Tametsi was aimed at “clandestine marriages,” but the Civil Register now provides a public and accessible record, which adequately addresses that problem.

  • A little more than a year ago 100,000 conservative French people marched through Paris on behalf of traditional marriage and family. I think conservatism is on the rise.

  • “authentic reform must be grounded in organic development” .

    I think that’s a quote from B16 but it applies to our Western Culture, and to our American politics too.
    Conservatives evangelize the culture when we don’t form circular firing squads. Also we have to pay attention to the signs of hope around us (even if they seem rare ) and build on them

Fortnight For Freedom: Abraham Lincoln on Supreme Court Decisions

Sunday, June 28, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

Some quotes from Abraham Lincoln in how to react to illegitimate Supreme Court decisions.  An illegitimate decision is one in which the Court arrogates to itself the power of a legislature under the mendacious guise of merely interpreting the Constitution:

 

 

1.  I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit; as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government.

2.  Judicial decisions have two uses-first, to absolutely determine the case decided, and secondly, to indicate to the public how other similar cases will be decided when they arise. For the latter use, they are called “precedents” and “authorities.”

3.  We think its (the Supreme Court) decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled, should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the general policy of the country, subject to be disturbed only by amendments of the Constitution as provided in that instrument itself. More than this would be revolution.

4.  At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

5.  Judicial decisions are of greater or less authority as precedents, according to circumstances. That this should be so, accords both with common sense, and the customary understanding of the legal profession.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Abraham Lincoln on Supreme Court Decisions

  • I was beyond angry when Obama brazenly attacked the SC at his SOTU speech. Now I which he had gone further.

  • Good post. The Dred Scott Justices, the Abortion Justices and the Sodomy Justices will all one day stand before that Supreme Justice from whom there is no escape.

  • This is some more comment re how Lincoln dealt with the S Ct. We appear to going down this road again.

    Honoring the Holy Innocents of America: The American Address

    Catholic Lane July 28,, 2015
    by Guy McClung, J.D., Ph.D.

    The 1857 SupremeCcourt Dred Scott decision said that Dred Scott, his wife, and their unborn child were not human beings, but were property to be bought and sold. Led by proslavery Chief Justice Roger Taney, the Court created a new national constitutional right to own slaves. Taney, a Democrat and a Roman Catholic, was born on a tobacco slave plantation, and was a former slave owner.

    Abraham Lincoln rejected the Dred Scott decision and rejected the Court’s ability to declare that certain human beings were subhuman. He denied that the Court could resolve and decide the meaning of the Constitution for the other coequal branches of the government or for all the people. Lincoln considered the Dred Scott decision lawless. He rejected the assumed supremacy of what he saw as a renegade Court, and therefore believed that the decision was non-binding on the executive and legislative branches. President Lincoln and the U.S. Congress, and many of the people, not only defied Taney and the Supreme Court, they refused to obey the decision.

    Their defiance led to the Civil War.

    In the summer of 1863, in the costliest of battles in terms of loss of life, over 50,000 soldiers from both sides died at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Now in America, the number of dead aborted children here exceeds by over a thousand times the number of dead at Gettysburg. Ironically, today the majority of the dead are minority children – over seventeen million of them are African-American – and many of these dead children are descendants of those for whom the Civil War was fought and won. In the Fall of 1863 President Lincoln went to dedicate a cemetery to the dead soldiers of Gettysburg. The words he spoke there have become known as The Gettysburg Address. Here is:

    The American Address

    A dozen score years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men, women and children are created equal; and founded on the principle that they are all endowed, not by any government, not by any Constitution, not by any law, but endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life.
    Now we are engaged in a great civil conflict, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met at great battlefields of that conflict, in cities and towns across America, at the killing chambers of Planned Parenthood, and at numerous other death dealers whose business is abortion. We have come to dedicate a portion of these cities as the final resting places of thousands of innocent children who give their tiny lives; we are come to dedicate their unmarked graves, the dumpsters, the toilets, the biological waste incinerators, and the garbage cans that receive them. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — the ground across America where they have died and where more will die. The children, who struggle, suffer, cry out with silent screams, and die have consecrated this land far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget that the children have been and will continue to be killed here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which the children who die here have thus far so nobly advanced, the work they have begun in their small way, dying with their tiny voices unheard. But we hear them.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead and living unborn children we take increased devotion to that cause for which they give the last full measure of devotion; that we here solemnly vow that no more children’s lives are taken in this Land of Freedom, this Land Of Life . That we here highly resolve that all these children have not died in vain in this American Holocaust– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, including all the people, even the smallest people now warm and happy within their mothers wombs, that this nation, these people, and these children shall not perish from the earth.

    – See more at: http://www.catholiclane.com/the-american-address/#sthash.zurZ83cD.dpuf

Various and Sundry, 3/4/15

Wednesday, March 4, AD 2015

Is winter over yet? Supposedly we’re getting somewhere between a centimeter and a foot of snow tomorrow.

– Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the Obamacare subsidy case. It looks like Anthony Kennedy stuck his finger in the air and it was blowing the government’s direction today. We’ll see if the Court determines that words do, in fact, mean things.

– Stop the presses, David Brock was spinning on behalf of Hillary Clinton. His performance on MSDNC this morning was so outlandish that even co-host Mika Brzezinski was forced to sigh, ““Oh my God. I’m not sure what planet I’m on right now,” in response to one of Brock’s evasions. To paraphrase one of the commenters at NRO, when Miza Brzezinski is the voice of reason, oofta.

Looks like Brock’s gonna have his interns working double tonight to produce another 17-page document that is largely a giant tu quoque argument.

– Michele Obama’s attempts to brainwash our kids by feeding them tasteless junk is well underway. I cringe when I read things like this:

Under the complex “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” legislation, which has long been a signature issue for the first lady, participating schools take federal money but must stringently limit the number of calories and the amount of sugar, fat and sodium in every morsel of food sold at schools. Also, in what presumably falls outside the hunger-free aspect of the act, there are calorie caps.

A Maryland lawmaker is also pushing legislation that would require fast food restaurants to offer water, 100% pure juice, and low fat milk as the default beverage option for kids’ meals instead of water.

You know I don’t necessarily have a problem with the idea of government promoting healthy nutrition. What I do take issue with is them issuing mandates based on outmoded and discredited nutrition concepts. Evidently the only way children are eating healthy enough for the government is by eating tasteless vegetables and low-calorie foodstuffs.

Now, I’m fortunate enough to have children who actually like eating vegetables. I also try to prepare said vegetables in a manner that will make them more prone to eating them. If you have to add a little fat to the veggies to make them a bit tastier, so be it. There’s also no need to force feed them stuff when they might prefer other foods that have high nutritional value.

Four lessons from the fourth season of Downton Abbey. Not sure I completely agree with all of the interpretations, but certainly some interesting food for thought.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Various and Sundry, 3/4/15

  • So that Maryland guy wants to make known quackery put into law? Not surprised….
    We only use whole milk. All three kids are very healthy*. Doctors have to give people orders not to give small children non-whole milk, because they really need the fat.
    It builds up their brain.
    Insert obvious insult about how much milk the Maryland law maker had as a child.
    .
    * their skinniness probably has more to do with my not restricting my weight-gain while I was pregnant with them; their developing bodies weren’t “taught” that we’re in a starvation situation. Plus normal “run around all the time” stuff.

  • Abolish the school lunch program. Separate School from State. Curtail government hijacking of parental responsibility. Cut government to the bone, then grind the bones down.
     
    Back when I was a kid, the school lunch program was Mom Makes A Sandwich. The day-care program was the Babysitter, in my family’s case she was a nice Catholic schoolgirl from our neighborhood. We also had the best welfare program of all, Dad Had A Job.

Ted Cruz on the Courts Mandating Gay Marriage

Monday, October 6, AD 2014

 

 

At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

 

 

God bless the Federal judiciary!  After having such a smashing success in “resolving” the abortion issue by legalizing it, they have “resolved” the gay marriage debate by mandating it.  Senator Ted Cruz (R.Tx.) is having none of it:

The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible. By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution. The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing.

This is judicial activism at its worst. The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens. Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.

The Supreme Court is, de facto, applying an extremely broad interpretation to the 14th Amendment without saying a word – an action that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. Because of the Court’s decision today, 11 States will likely now be forced to legalize same-sex marriage: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. And this action paves the way for laws prohibiting same-sex marriage to be overturned in any state.

It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage, but that is what the Supreme Court is implying today. The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment.

Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.

Marriage is a question for the States. That is why I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws.

Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Ted Cruz on the Courts Mandating Gay Marriage

  • May the Lord bless Ted Cruz as a he speaks in defense of Right. We know how he will be (and has been) attacked so we pray that he and others (who know and will speak the truth) will not lose heart. Mary Mother of God pray for us.

  • Our hope is that our Supreme Court would weigh and consider that correspondence of our laws with Right and Truth, as we have recognized and accepted corporately in our Constitution, so that our right and liberties might be maintained.
    Instead the Supreme Court may be presiding over state suicide by disintegration.
    Here is a thought from Orestes Brownson (The Americanrepublic) “ I ….still maintain that the sovereignty of the American Republic vests in the States, though in the States collectively, or united, not severally, and thus escape alike consolidation and disintegration.”

  • OK, so I found and read Sen. Cruz’ bill (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2024/text) which was mercifully short and as far as I can tell, right to the point. Of course, since I read law about as well as I read Sanskrit, there are possible nuances there which most likely evade me. So, I ask the panel assembled:
    .
    Is this bill simply stating that, if it becomes law, State legislatures will be the final arbiters in the matter, and that it is in those august chambers the battles will contend, placing the issue beyond the scope of Federal courts at any level?
    .
    If so, then hurrah for Sen. Cruz.
    .
    Of course, any time that any government body claims that they have the right to define marriage, Mark 10:6-9 come to mind. Huh.

  • “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose of earth shall be loosed in heaven”
    .
    Has the Supreme Court imparted procreative powers on same sex couples?
    .
    “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Same sex “marriage” needs to be put on the ballot.
    .
    The Supreme Court is allowing sodomists to redefine our civilization, to redefine our marriage. After the Court defined Dred Scott as three-quarters of a person and the sovereign person in the womb, who constitutes our sovereign nation from the very first moment of his existence, as non-existent, people are lucky to be born before the Court says that you and I are non-existent, non-persons.
    .
    God, in heaven, the Father of us all, will be dictated to by a Court who believes that it is a Church established by Christ. If the Court believes itself to be a church, then, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” ought to decide for themselves the matter of same-sex wives.
    .
    And there above the Court are the Ten Commandments for all to see and know: “God save this Court.”
    .
    Ted Cruz refused to give the murderers in the room countenance.

  • Our most precious civil right is our right to rule ourselves. The Federal judiciary seems very unclear on the concept of “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

    The judiciary have fewer excuses. The problem is all over the haut bourgeois, really. I’ve got academics in my family whose understanding of ‘democratic choice’ is that they get what they want.

  • Anywho, my guess is that Roberts sided with the liberal justices to deny writ on the cases. Whether he did so because he agrees with the lower court decisions, or because he does not think a majority would reverse them (given Kenedy’s disgraceful record), who knows. At least this leaves a slim reed for a future SCOTUS to support real marriage.

  • One or more of the liberal justices could have made up the difference to reach four justices for review. My guess is that none of the justices, including perhaps Kennedy, are entirely sure which way he will jump.

  • “Questioning the moral character of Christians dying for their faith, the very ones that are being raped, beheaded, sold into slavery, and basically exterminated in an epic scale not seen since World War II is not something to be proud of nor cheerleading.”

    Rubbish. The people in that room who booed Cruz due to their overweening hatred of Jews deserve to have their moral character questioned. It was the equivalent of people seeking our aid against the Nazis in World War II booing our British allies. If they do not want our aid because of our relationship with Israel, I guess they will have to depend on the good will of their Arab muslim “brothers”. Lots of luck.

  • Well this thread went completely off topic and I was as much at fault as anyone. I am deleting the off topic comments and shutting down this thread.

Our Pyrrhic Victory

Tuesday, July 1, AD 2014

I want to be excited about the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and against the blatantly illegal and unjust HHS contraception mandate. But as I said back in March, writing for Crisis:

[In the event of a Hobby Lobby win] my celebration will be muted and limited, however, because a legal victory will not address the underlying philosophical and cultural divide that brought this case before the court to begin with. Contrary to what some may believe, law is not the foundation upon which society rests; it is rather the adhesive we use to patch up broken pieces of society. The more laws, precedents, mandates, rulings and decisions we require to defend our basic interests and assert our rights, the greater indication we have of a society that is almost literally tearing itself apart.

I’m not alone in this. James C. Capretta writes in The National Review:

But even in victory, it is hard to avoid the sinking feeling that having to fight at all over this issue is something of a defeat.

That’s because the HHS mandate was always a politically contrived issue without real legitimacy…

What’s most discouraging is that millions of American voters really seemed to buy it. The absurdity of the “war on women” claim has not undermined its potency. Unfortunately, the Hobby Lobby decision, welcome and necessary as it is, ensures that the “war on women” flag will be waved incessantly in the run-up to the 2014 midterm election. The GOP will need to do a far better job this time around in framing the issue and making it clear that what the Obama administration wants is not access to contraceptives but victory in a pointless ideological crusade.

And Ross Kaminsky at The American Spectator writes:

Although the Court got it right, conservatives and libertarians alike — namely any American who understands the primacy of our Founding principles over the utilitarian approach of statists — have an uphill battle on our hands when it comes to the population overall…

Until “hearts and minds” are changed so that Court decisions such as Hobby Lobby are heralded not only as correct, but as obviously so, these small victories mean little in the longer war against a determined and patient foe.

I was fairly certain from the beginning that the Court would rule in favor of Hobby Lobby. But the reason Hobby Lobby prevailed was because the administration failed to consider the possibility of simply paying for these contraceptives itself, i.e. with our tax dollars. Though I understand that in the context of case law and precedents, there is a significant distinction between compelling direct payment/participation and simply collecting taxes, in practice it amounts to the same thing. One way or another, we will all have our pockets picked to serve the federal government’s ideological agenda.

I was prepared for the hysteria and mass psychosis of the left and the radical feminists as well. From the moment it was announced and conservatives pointed out the slam-dunk case against it, proponents of the mandate have engaged in one of the most dishonest and demented propaganda campaigns in modern history. That they would now threaten violence with impunity is not surprising either. We live in two different philosophical, moral, and semantic universes. Between them exists a chasm which rational argument cannot cross. To even engage the mindless arguments against the ruling would be beneath any of us. Ginsberg’s dissent may be worth deconstructing, but I will leave that to people with more time (besides, I think Alito and, I never thought I’d say this, Kennedy did a fine job addressing her directly in their opinions).

The enemies of the Constitution, the 1st amendment and Christianity in this country have been handed a victory even in defeat, a banner around which to rally and reinforce their collective delusions. Against this insanity, which will be used against the tottering remnants of our republic and our churches like a battering ram, sober and reasoned discourse will not stand. Our enemies are not interested in it. They do not want it, any more than the Jacobins or the Bolsheviks wanted it. They want our heads on pikes and our hearts on platters, they want to write our epitaphs in blood and erase our memory from the Earth. If you don’t believe me, check out some of the reactions for yourself.

Continue reading...

12 Responses to Our Pyrrhic Victory

  • “I was hoping that it would not go out of its way to find that the Obama administration had a legitimate and compelling interest in ensuring that every woman has access to birth control – an interest that ought to have absolutely nothing to do with the federal government – but it did.”

    No, the majority did not adjudicate that issue:

    “We find it unnecessary to adjudicate this issue. We will assume that the interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to the four challenged contraceptive methods is compelling within the meaning of RFRA, and we will proceed to consider the final prong of the RFRA test, i.e., whether HHS has shown that the contraceptive mandate is “the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” §2000bb–1(b)(2).”

    For purposes of determining whether the RFRA prong requiring the least restrictive means was satisfied by the contraceptive mandate, the court assumed but did not find that supplying free contraceptives was a compelling governmental interest. A very important distinction under the law.

  • “They want our heads on pikes and our hearts on platters, they want to write our epitaphs in blood and erase our memory from the Earth.”
    A metaphor only. Their reality is that they want us on psychotropic medications, and when those would have taken their toll they would say, “Those poor people, they wouldn’t want to suffer like that”, and so the merciful lethal injection would follow. They don’t hate, after all, they really do care about people.

  • The Soviets had Stalingrad before the war. They had plenty of problems after holding Stalingrad. Still, the Battle of Stalingrad was a victory for them. There are times when holding your own and making your enemy waste resources count as conditions for victory.

  • Obama won the woman vote by 11 points in 2012. What will it be in 2016?

  • “… the administration failed to consider the possibility of simply paying for these contraceptives itself, i.e. with our tax dollars.”
    This is not accurate. We already pay for contraceptives and even abortions through federal, state and local tax dollars. The current administration did not fail at this. They are now trying to force us to more directly pay for these things through insurance regulations. I work at a self insuring, big corporation. My insurance now includes some cost for these abominations.

  • It is possible to write; “Not a penny of my tax dollars is to be used to promote abortion and abortaficients” thereby freeing oneself of complicity in the evil brought about by the HHS Mandate.

  • Actually, Hobby Lobby still provides many contraceptives, including abortafacients, to its employees, so HL is being inconsistent.
    .
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381637/hobby-lobby-actually-lavishes-contraception-coverage-its-employees-deroy-murdock

  • Contrary to what some may believe, law is not the foundation upon which society rests; it is rather the adhesive we use to patch up broken pieces of society.

    To some extent I suppose. I see law as more a reflection of society. The very fact a law could be proposed and passed mandating contraception coverage, and but for one slim vote, would survive, is a sad reflection on the state of our culture. Not to mention the very real victories of gay “marriage”.

  • “We live in two different philosophical, moral, and semantic universes.” Yes, that’s true.
    “…. reinforce their collective delusions. Against this insanity, which will be used against the tottering remnants of our republic and our churches like a battering ram,
    sober and reasoned discourse will not stand.” Probably also true, but we’ve Got to keep trying. It (rational argument) can’t be beneath us- what else can we do?

  • Anzlyne

    Language can only work within a common frame of reference. Anyone who has tried to translate from one language into another will appreciate this.

    That is what Wittgenstein meant, when he said that, if a lion could talk, we could not understand him.

    The Holy Father has pointed to this difficulty, when he said, “After all, in every age of history, humans try to understand and express themselves better. So human beings in time change the way they perceive themselves. It’s one thing for a man who expresses himself by carving the ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace,’ yet another for Caravaggio, Chagall and yet another still for Dalí. Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning.”

    In her 1958 paper, Modern Moral Philosophy, Miss Anscombe highlighted one of our difficulties: “In present-day philosophy an explanation is required how an unjust man is a bad man, or an unjust action a bad one; to give such an explanation belongs to ethics; but it cannot even be begun until we are equipped with a sound philosophy of psychology. For the proof that an unjust man is a bad man would require a positive account of justice as a “virtue.” This part of the subject-matter of ethics, is however, completely closed to us until we have an account of what type of characteristic a virtue is – a problem, not of ethics, but of conceptual analysis – and how it relates to the actions in which it is instanced: a matter which I think Aristotle did not succeed in really making clear.” We are not much further forward than when she wrote that.

Bingo!

Wednesday, April 30, AD 2014

I rarely read Hot Air much these days, though it is fortunate that I decided to take a look this afternoon or else I would have missed this insightful post from Ed Morrissey, as he absolutely nails it on two distinct issues.

First off, Morrissey calls out the Democrats for their attempt to amend the first amendment. Senator Tom Udall from New Mexico has introduced an amendment inspired by recent Supreme Court decisions that curtailed certain campaign finance restrictions. Morrissey notes that not only does this amendment not have a prayer of getting anywhere near the two-thirds vote required, it’s simply not something that very many Americans are clamoring for.

If Democrats think this will allow them to ride a wave of Occupy Wall Street populism, they’d better look again at the polling this week. Despite spending weeks on the Senate Floor ranting about the Koch Brothers, Harry Reid’s McCarthyite campaign of Kochsteria has resulted in … almost nothing. In the NBC/WSJ poll linked earlier, only 31% had an opinion about the Koch Brothers at all, and only 21% thought of them negatively in a poll where 43% of the respondents admit to voting for Obama in 2012. Michael Bloomberg, one of the left’s multibillionaire activists, got a 26% negative score, and the Democratic Party got a 37% negative score. (The GOP got 44%.) Nearly twice as many respondents think of Barack Obama negatively than they do the Koch Brothers, despite weeks of hard-sell demonization from top Democratic Party leaders.

Well, the Democrats are trying just about everything to prevent the electoral thumping that they will undoubtedly receive this Fall, and this is just one more act of desperation that will have absolutely no impact whatsoever. But at least it lets us know the truth about what they think of the first amendment.

But I’m even more impressed with Morrissey’s final paragraph, as he brings up a Supreme Court case that I’ve long contended was the impetus for all of the craziness that the federal government has spewed forth over the past seven decades.

If Democrats (and Republicans) want to act seriously to take billionaires out of the political game, they’re aiming at the wrong Supreme Court decision. They should pass an amendment repealing Wickard v Filburn‘s impact on the interstate commerce clause. That decision shifted massive political power from the states to Washington DC by defining practically everything as interstate commerce — including non-commerce. Killing Wickard would shift most regulatory power back to the states, and take the corruption out of Washington DC as the stakes would become too small for billionaire investment. Don’t expect Senate Democrats to do anything meaningful on crony capitalism, though … or anything meaningful at all, if this stunt is all they have.

Other than Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Wickard stands out as the absolute worst decision in the history of the Court. As Ed points out, it essentially allowed the federal government to intervene in every nook and cranny of our lives under the justification of “interstate commerce,” even where the action under consideration was neither interstate or commerce.

Ed’s also correct in noting that this expansion of the federal government is the prime reason that so much money is being pumped into federal elections, lobbying, and other activities. Last week I heard Russell Simmons spouting about how all of the evils of our world are due to the corrupting influence of money, and that’s why he supported Occupy Wall Street. Yet Simmons and his ilk are the very ones seeking to augment the powers of the federal government. They don’t see the inherent contradiction in this approach. As the federal government grows and grows and grows, it only increases the avenues for monied interests to wield their influence. It is the massive expansion of the federal government that has inspired this massive spending by outside groups. Of course interested stakeholders are going to want to influence the federal government in areas that affect them. The solution to diminishing their influence is not in curtailing the first amendment, but in restoring the balance of power between the states and the federal government. The Koch brothers (and George Soros for that matter) will immediately lose interest in spreading their wealth around to hammer away at the federal government if the federal government would simply get out of everyone’s business.

Like that will ever happen.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Bingo!

  • Protesting against crony capitalism as the Occupy Wall Street flea baggers do while crying for more and more centralized government in Washington, DC to provide bread and circuses to the undeserving only increases moneyed interests while raping the middle class of its wealth producing ability. It is Democrats and their RINO cousins who benefit from such corporate socialism, as the peepul laud their godless, wicked messiah, Barack Hussein Obama, man of idolatry, perverted filth and murderous intent, no different in substance from his predecessor King Mannaseh of Judah.

  • Paul Zummo–I caught that post on HA. The notion of constitutionally limiting speech, particularly targeting political speech, is worrisome simply in its articulation. And, while it now seems remote, Congress has in the past and will continue to work toward limiting political speech as it serves comgress’ self interest. Remember–liberty is the constituent of no politician.

    Paul Primavera–I enjoy the passion manifest in your colorful language. It reminds me to not be so timid about God’s love and His gift of freedom to us all.

Sorry Mr. Franklin, We Couldn’t

Wednesday, June 26, AD 2013

I was going to provide an analysis of both of the Supreme Court decisions today related to gay marriage, but instead I will focus on Hollingsworth v. Perry, which was concerned with California’s Prop 8. But first a couple of thoughts about US v. Windsor, the DOMA case. The immediate short-term impact of the case is somewhat limited in scope. Federal benefits will be conferred upon same-sex couples who live in states that recognize their partnership as marriage. The long-term impact, however, is much starker, as will be explained in a moment.

Both Justices Alito and Scalia provide blistering dissents, and they should be read in full. They disagree on a technical though not insignificant point about the standing of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, or BLAG (and for the record, I tend to side with Alito). First of all, Scalia properly notes that, despite the rhetoric in Kennedy’s opinion, this was not a federalism case, or at least the case was not decided on federalism grounds. In fact, contrary to exhortations of some so-called libertarians on twitter, this case has the ultimate effect of further eroding states’ rights regarding same-sex marriage. Had this case been decided on federalism (10th amendment) grounds, then the outcome would have been possibly justifiable. But the majority’s reliance on 5th and 14th amendment concerns – effectively relying on the absurd legal doctrine of substantive due process – runs completely counter to the federalism argument, and paves the way for future challenges to state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage.

Justice Scalia recognizes this farce for what it is, and reminds the public of the exchange between these two very same Justices ten years ago to the date in Lawrence v. Texas. Then Justice Kennedy assured us all that striking down anti-sodomy laws would not eventually be used as a rationale for upending traditional marriage, and Scalia scoffed at him in the dissent. Well, guess who’s looking prophetic now. Even left-wing pundit David Corn (gleefully, this case) acknowledges Scalia’s prescience. Kennedy, backed up by the obtuse Chief Justice, assures us that nothing in this decision interferes with state decision-making on marriage. Once again Scalia scoffs, and, sadly, at some point in the future he will no doubt be proven right.

As for the Prop 8 case: my what a tangled web. I have been defending Chief Justice Roberts’s decision (joined, I may remind you, by Antonin Scalia along with three of the Court’s leftists) on the grounds that had the case been decided on the merits, it is quite possible that the same 5-4 majority in Windsor would have held Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, and this would have been the Roe v. Wade of gay marriage. Now, I’m not so sure.

Admittedly, I am somewhat conflicted on the ruling on standing. The majority concludes that the petitioners did not have standing because they were not official delegates of the state, and they did not experience any harm due to the appellate court’s ruling decreeing Prop 8 to be unconstitutional. From a  certain point of view, this is a perfectly acceptable legal holding. Scalia made a very good case in his Windsor dissent for a blanket denial of standing to all non-state petitioners in such cases. Scalia is acting fairly consistently, thus that explains why he voted with the majority here.

That said, the Chief Justice’s opinion is very worrisome, and not just from the standpoint of traditional marriage. As Justice Kennedy (!) explained in his dissent (joined in totality by Thomas, Alito, and Sotomayor), the petitioners here do, in effect, represent the state. In fact the state constitution all but says that when it comes to ballot initiatives, ordinary citizens are agents of the state. I would go a step further and suggest that Roberts offers up a very constrained view of who the state is. According to his logic, the “state” is nothing more than the Chief Executive and the bureaucracy. From a technical legal standpoint this is fine, but the very point of a ballot initiative is to bypass state officials whom the citizenry at large have decided are not acting in their best interests. I have written before about my concerns (to put it mildly) regarding ballot initiatives, but it is illogical to deny that the ballot initiative process changes the normal dynamics of who has legal standing.

The Chief suggests on page 8 of his opinion that once the proposition was approved and enacted, that petitioners no longer had a role in enactment. But if the executive branch of the government refuses to defend the amendment or statute, that leaves the citizens with no legal recourse.

The petitioners relied on the case of Karcher v. May to argue that they indeed had standing, but Chief Roberts denied that the the ruling there was applicable.

Far from supporting petitioners’ standing, however, Karcher is compelling precedent against it. The legislators in that case intervened in their official capacities as  Speaker and President of the legislature. No one doubts that a State has a cognizable interest “in the continued enforceability” of its laws that is harmed by a judicial decision declaring a state law unconstitutional. Maine v. Taylor, 477 U. S. 131, 137 (1986). To vindicate that interest or any other, a State must be able to designate agents to represent it in federal court.

But in a case revolving around a ballot initiative, haven’t the voters themselves become, in essence, the equivalent of legislators?

Roberts’s reticence to grant standing in this case is understandable, and I can see why Scalia would join the majority. In his Windsor defense, Scalia admirably rails against the idea of an omnipotent judiciary that decrees on all constitutional issues just because it wants to. An overly broad interpretation of who has standing empowers the judiciary. But I think this is a rare case in which judicial deference actually damages the workings of the republican process. For good or ill, Californians have favored a much more directly democratic system, and the Court’s majority fails to factor that into its decision-making. By denying standing to the petitioners, the Court has said that citizens have no real redress should state executives defy their expressed wishes.

Which leads me back to my uncertainty over the rationale over the votes cast in these two cases. I’m in the odd position where I disagree with the person who I think has the cleaner motive, but agree with the person whose motives are perhaps suspect. I have no doubt that if this case had been decided on the merits, Chief Justice Roberts would have voted to uphold Prop 8, while I’m not so certain about Kennedy.  Scalia acted consistently with his overall principles, as did Alito (who would have granted standing to BLAG). Thomas offered no opinion in either case, but I suspect his reasoning would be similar to that of Alito, and so he acted consistently on the standing question as did, quite frankly, Sonia Sotomayor. As for the Court’s three other left-wingers – well, they did what they always did and just voted for the right (in their minds) outcome, reasoning be damned.

No matter the rationale for Roberts’s decision, it has ill portents. If Roberts acted strategically, then he abdicated his responsibility to be an impartial arbiter of the law. If he acted earnestly, well, he was simply wrong. More importantly, we’re stuck in a situation where the actual wishes of a democratic majority are trivial concerns compared to the desires of a handful of unelected judges. No matter how they voted today, this is simply untenable, and there is no end to this judicial tyranny in sight.

 

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Sorry Mr. Franklin, We Couldn’t

  • I think the style of rhetoric in Kennedy’s DOMA decision makes it pretty clear what his opinion is. Unless he puts states’ rights on the absolute highest pedestal, but it seems very weird to declare the issue illegitimate and prejudiced and limit that view to the federal govt.

  • “[T]he Court has said that citizens have no real redress should state executives defy their expressed wishes.” Except to vote them out of office; they can always do that, if they feel strongly enough.

  • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Herewith is the First Amendment. DOMA and Proposition 8 are peaceable assembly. Same sex so-called marriage is not equl Justice because the fraud involved in male brides is mob mentality. Proposition 8 judged by Vaughn Walker, a closet practicing homosexual with a vested interest, without the decency to recuse himself is a fraud. Government perpetuated fraud is tyranny.

    God is Justice. Atheism has no standing in a court of law.

  • Pingback: Attack on Marriage: Thursday Special - BigPulpit.com
  • Pingback: Do We Need to Use “Holy Matrimony” Exclusively? - BigPulpit.com

DOMA Overturned, Prop 8 Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Wednesday, June 26, AD 2013

Unsurprising results. Here is the DOMA decision, and here is the Prop 8 decision.

Both were 5-4 decisions. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court on DOMA, Roberts on Prop 8.  The lineups were slightly different. The dissenters on DOMA were Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and on Prop 8 Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and  . . . Sotomayor. Prop 8 fell because of standing and not on the merits of the legal issue, so the Court lineup actually doesn’t say much on that one. Of course the end result is that California will now recognize same-sex marriage.

I’ll be back much later with a full analysis. What the Windsor (DOMA) case means is that the federal government cannot prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriage, and those married in states allowing SSM must receive federal benefits. States are still free to not recognize same-sex marriage, but Kennedy’ s use of the Equal Protection Clause to underpin his argument means that the handwriting is on the wall. Scalia’s dissent is a must-read, but Alito’s is perhaps more significant – particularly footnote 7.

In the meantime, here’s some happy reading for you to ponder for the rest of the day.

Update: I think my explanation of the DOMA decision’s results is a little shaky. This was never about what the states could do, but it simply relates to granting federal benefits to same sex couples who claim to be married.

 

 

Continue reading...

23 Responses to DOMA Overturned, Prop 8 Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing

  • Busy day in the law mines so I do not have time to comment except to say that under the full faith and credit clause DOMA was always of dubious constitutionality. It was a successful tactic in the nineties by the left to derail the strong push to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and that chicken has come home to roost. The Court sidestepped proposition 8 because Kennedy is not willing, yet, to impose gay marriage on the entire nation by judicial fiat. (There are very weird lineups in that case in the majority and the dissent, so my last statement may be completely wrong.) More from me after I have had a chance to read the decisions this evening.

  • All:
    God save your majesty!

    Cade:
    I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
    and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
    that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

    Dick:
    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    Cade:
    Nay, that I mean to do.

    Henry The Sixth, Part 2, Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

  • I actually WAS hoping there was a silver lining in the link. Turns out it is more depressing an idea than the post itself.

    Satan has been having a field day in the West since the early 1900s and it feels like many bad roads are converging.

  • Twitter: @GPollowitz:

    “Future Bill Clinton quote: ‘I always thought DOMA would be overturned, that’s why I signed it into law'”

  • Well I haven’t read the Prop 8 case yet, but perhaps your silver lining is that it is good that it wasn’t decided on the merits, because if it had been decided on the merits the decision could have been very Roe-esque.

  • Matthew 10:15

    Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Luke 10:13-15

    Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

  • “We shall go before a higher tribunal – a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as infinite justice, will preside, and where many of the judgments of this world will be reversed.” Thomas Meagher

    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

  • I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I’ve read a couple of things indicating that the Full Faith and Credit clause has never been applied to states recognizing marriages in other states. If that’s true, it would mitigate the impact of this decision (for now).

  • DOMA was always constitutionally problematic. No one should be shocked by it being overturned.

    The silver lining, if any exists, is that we live to fight another day at the state level on the defense of marriage. By punting on the Prop 8 case, the Court did not do what many same-sex “marriage” advocates had hoped it would do, which is to constitutionally enshrine SSM as a secular-left sacrament the way it did with abortion in Roe v. Wade.

  • “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

    That is a great quote, one I’ve never heard before. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Spot on, T. Shaw! SCOTUS could issue a ruling declaring that a tail is a leg, but that wouldn’t make it so.

  • Pingback: Attack on Marriage - BigPulpit.com
  • Jay,

    Excellent analysis, I agree completely.

  • The bishops have issued a statement (http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-126.cfm) declaring today to be “a tragic day for marriage and our nation.” Well and good, but it means next to nothing unless they put some teeth in it. It’s time for them to draw a line in the sand. It’s also time for a pastoral letter on the subject.

  • The failure of our Bishops to speak is utterly demoralizing.

    Casey’s website displays his unfettered support for gay marriage. Pelosi and Biden seem to oppose every social position the Church has taken. Yet nothing happens. We have Dolan’s diocese paying for abortions through healthcare while the USCCB proclaims the same policy at a national level to be unconscionable. Our schools knowingly hire homosexual teachers, only to have the bishop of those diocese act surprised and dismayed when they lose in court due to inconsistent application of policy.

    For God’s sake… Well, for ours, actually… Can our hierarchy get their act together!?

  • One of the probably-a-trolls over at Ricochet (the COC keeps ’em from being obvious) decided to throw an utter fit over the “how many legs does a dog have” thing, accusing the editors of ignoring slanderous comparisons of homosexuals to dogs….

  • Pingback: Attack on Marriage: A Roundup of the Best Punditry and Analysis in the Catholic Blogosphere |
  • I have been on vacation with my family this week. It is the first one in five years and I really needed it. I am amazed at all of the HIV billboards I see in Miami Dade. It is nauseating.

    I hope Texas does secede. If not, I may move my family to Poland. This abortion and homosexual garbage has to end.

  • Trolls need to shut off debate because all they have are ad hominems, distortions, fabrications, and “SHUT THE EFF UP!”

  • The goblins gay undoubtedly will “heart” this from “Never Yet Melted” blog, “Life in a Nation Governed by 15-year-old Girls.”

    Conclusion:

    “We obviously live in a society led around by the nose by an elite which is too stupid to live. Any appeal to emotion and sentimentality will reduce even the learned Supreme Court Justice, nominated by a Republican and entrusted by Fate with the deciding vote, to the intellectual condition of a pubescent female in early high school who has been reading “Black Beauty.”

  • Proposition 8 is peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress. Any and every citizen has the standing to appeal it, pro se, and not be denied our First Amendment civil rights. Denying a citizen access to Justice because of technicalities is denying Justice to all. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

  • DOMA overturned. Let the gay agenda prove that they have the ability of two becoming one and claiming the definition of marriage of two becoming one. I say that I am wealthy but that does not raise my bank account not one red or rainbow cent.

  • The consummation of two human beings, body and soul in the presence of God is the sacred state of Matrimony. In the fact that same-sex individuals cannot ever consummate their love for each other, leaves the disparaging fact of their commitment being undone, only half accomplished. No amount of constitutional investigation or encouragement will change the fact that same-sex couples cannot couple or consummate their relationship in the presence of God. Therefore, there is no marriage for gays to be constitutionally protected. Since gays have consistently rejected same-sex unions, it appears that gays are willingly complicit in rewriting our constitution without ratification by the people.

The Shelby Decision and Uncle Toms

Tuesday, June 25, AD 2013

This is, in a sense, a two-part post. The first part examines the decision handed down by the Court in Shelby v. Holder, and the second looks at the hysterical over-reaction.

The decision itself is fairly restrained. In a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts delivering the opinion of the Court, the Court ruled as unconstitutional Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Actually, it really just ruled that Congress’s application of a 48-year old formula for determining which states and counties had to seek clearance from the federal government for any changes in its voting laws was lo longer justified. States subject to pre-clearance were those states which had poll tests and other restrictive measures in place at the time of the law’s enactment, and which also had enormous gaps in white versus black voter participation. This formula has remained unchanged for nearly half a century.

As the Chief explained in the ruling, the Court permitted a very wide abrogation of state authority in its decision upholding the Voting Rights Act (Katzenbach v. Morgan). The Court permitted what it termed “an uncommon exercise of Congressional power” due to “exceptional conditions.” As the Chief further explained, those exceptional conditions no longer applied, and indeed in those states and counties subject to pre-clearance there has been increased racial parity in terms of registration and participation. In fact, if one were to construct a list of states that should be subject to pre-clearance based on disparities in voter participation, there would be more justification in including Massachusetts instead of, say, South Carolina.

Justice Ginsburg in her dissent quips, “In the Court’s view, the very success of  Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy.” By the standards established by the dissenters, the formula established in Section 4 could never be deemed unconstitutional. Further, as Chief Justice Roberts says in his opinion:

The dissent treats the Act as if it were just like any other piece of legislation, but this Court has made clear from the beginning that the Voting Rights Act is far from ordinary. At the risk of repetition, Katzenbach indicated that the Act was “uncommon” and “not otherwise appropriate,” but was justified by “exceptional” and “unique” conditions. 383 U. S., at 334, 335. Multiple decisions since have reaffirmed the Act’s “extraordinary” nature. See, e.g., Northwest Austin, supra, at 211. Yet the dissent goes so far as to suggest instead that the preclearance requirement and disparate treatment of the States should be upheld into the future “unless there [is] no or almost no evidence of unconstitutional action by States.”

Ultimately, the decision is of somewhat limited scope:

Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in §2. We issue no holding on §5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions. Such a formula is an initial prerequisite to a determination that exceptional conditions still exist justifying such an “extraordinary departure from the traditional course of relations between the States and the Federal Government.” Presley, 502 U. S., at 500–501. Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.

Of course this hasn’t stopped the left from completely over-reacting. A post on the Corner compiled the most over-the-top reactions. Melissa Harris-Perry’s tweet of “Damn, that citizenship thing was so great for awhile,” certainly was cute, but no one is touching Minnesota state rep. Ryan Winkler, who tweeted, “SCOTUS VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas. Marriage decision may blur Court’s backsliding.” Winkler soon deleted that tweet, and followed up with this whopper:

Uh huh.

It’s difficult to determine the most disgusting part of this exchange. Either Winkler is historically illiterate or a liar, though of course nothing necessarily precludes both being true. What’s worse, this white legislator from one of the whitest states in the Union seems to think he knows better than a black man raised in the South about how to deal with racial prejudice. Moreover, whitey has declared himself the judge of authentic blackness. Charming.

Finally, and I realize this is something of a nitpick, but the very term “Uncle Tom” is offensive not just because it carries with it the implicit notion that all African-Americans must think and act a certain way, but because the term itself is based on a character in a historical novel who was the opposite of what the term is meant to imply. I have a feeling that no one who has ever used the phrase has actually read the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, because if they had they would have a hard time justifying referring to the character as a race traitor. Then again, we live in a world where Al Sharpton is given legitimacy as a political analyst on a cable news network, so perhaps I underestimate the stupidity of large swathes of the American public.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to The Shelby Decision and Uncle Toms

  • “What? You mean there are racial overtones to an affluent white man representing an affluent white district in a lily-white state (where the term “people of color” refers to Danes) calling out an African-American man as an “Uncle Tom” for not behaving the way an affluent white man believes an African-American is “supposed” to act?”
    ~ Ryan Winkler – D(ouchebag) F(or) L(eftism), MN

  • dunno it sorta seems like a reverse-engineering of the liberal approach to the Constitution, i.e. having a seemingly broad definition of what counts as unconstitutional as far as legislation, as opposed to just blocking/reversing broad liberal judicial decisions. Though it is funny to see liberals appropriating conservative rhetoric about judicial activism for this and when they thought Obamacare was going down.

    as far as “Uncle Tom,” the term is what it is at this point whatever it originally meant. Since it has a defined meaning similar to being a shill I don’t think it’s inherently offensive (not on the level of other slurs anyway) even though people toss it around lazily.

  • A white man calling a black man an “Uncle Tom” is inherently racist. It means “Hey, ‘black’ man, you’re not behaving the way I – a white man – thinks a black man should behave.”

  • The idea that Congress could pass legislation taking away a measure of self government from only certain states always was an affront to the equal protection afforded by the fourteenth amendment, and the Court, as it did today, overlooked the obvious in not striking down the entire statute, however well-intentioned and needed the statute was in many parts of the South half a century ago. Now it is merely a relic of a bygone era. Although of deep emotional significance to liberals, perhaps as a memory of the brief period they did not embrace racial discrimination, the Court gutting the statute has as much practical significance as the Court striking down letters of marque and reprisal.

  • Pingback: Interview with Atheist Blogger Bob Seidensticker - BigPulpit.com
  • Law rarely goes away merely because the conditions predicate are no longer true.

    Discrimination laws and the agencies that oversee them continue to expand while the incidents of actual discrimination become fewer and fewer. This ruling is unsatisfactory but the Court could have done little else – the offenses necessitating federal oversight being so grave and the underlying symbolism that the Voting Rights Act engenders in Americans. Actually, it is rather brave and surprising that the Justices took this step.

    What isn’t surprising is Justice Thomas’ position.

    I always ask anyone who is criticizing Justice Thomas whether they have read his autobiography. Either I am told “no, did he write one” or “yes, what a whiner.”

    I have read the autobiography several times. His story is comelling and the blueprint for his choices on the Bench is startlingly clear. The autobiography deals effectively with the Uncle Tom usage debated above since it was written by a very smart man, wholly aware that that mean-spirited, demeaning term was a cross he would have to bear the weight of long after he dies.

Robert Bork: Requiescat in Pace

Wednesday, December 19, AD 2012

 

If the Constitution is law, then presumably its meaning, like that of all other law, is the meaning the lawmakers were understood to have intended.  If the Constitution is law, then presumably, like all other law, the meaning the lawmakers intended is as binding upon judges as it is upon legislatures and executives.  There is no other sense in which the Constitution can be what article VI proclaims it to be: “Law….” This means, of course, that a judge, no matter on what court he sits, may never create new
constitutional rights or destroy old ones.  Any time he does so, he violates not
only the limits to his own authority but, and for that reason, also violates the
rights of the legislature and the people….the philosophy of original
understanding is thus a necessary inference from the structure of government apparent on the face of the Constitution.

Robert Bork

 

Robert Bork, one of the titans of American Law, has died.  The foremost expert on anti-trust,  and a champion of originalism in regard to the Constitution, Bork was appointed by President Reagan to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  In 1987 he was nominated by Reagan for the Supreme Court.  In a campaign of lies and personal vilification spearheaded, fittingly enough, by Senator Edward M. Kennedy his nomination was defeated.  If he had been confirmed, Roe v. Wade would now be merely a bitter memory. 

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Robert Bork: Requiescat in Pace

  • In 1987 he was nominated by Reagan for the Supreme Court. In a campaign of lies and personal vilification spearheaded, fittingly enough, by Senator Edward M. Kennedy his nomination was defeated.

    And left-wing Catholics, who still lionize Kennedy while carping about the GOP doing nothing about abortion, will fail to appreciate why they aren’t taken seriously.

  • i think part of the problem the originalist case encounters is that a lot of Americans, not just liberals, think that if something is considered an injustice (large or small) but isn’t being democratically overturned, the Supreme Court has some kind of duty to expedite that.

    plus people talk about checking the “tyranny of the majority” as if that’s the main function of the courts, as opposed to just one function.

  • May he rest in peace.

    From today’s WSJ: “The Wisdom of Robert Bork.”

    “. . . the Warren Court, was the redistribution of society’s wealth, prestige and political power. […] routinely voted against business litigants whatever the legal context. . . . even those who approve, . . . conclude that Justice Douglas’s politics were also his law.”

    On activist judges: “That activism prevails in those courts, even though . . . elected judges, suggests either . . . public is ill-informed about the shift in power from democratic institutions to authoritarian bodies or . . . general weariness with democracy and the endless struggles it entails.”

    “Their Will Be Done,” July 5, 2005

    “Once the justices depart . . . from the original understanding of the principles of the Constitution, they lack any guidance other than their own attempts at moral philosophy, a task for which they have not even minimal skills. Yet when it rules in the name of the Constitution, whether it rules truly or not, the Court is the most powerful branch of government in domestic policy. The combination of absolute power, disdain for the historic Constitution, and philosophical incompetence is lethal.

    “The Court’s philosophy reflects, or rather embodies and advances, the liberationist spirit of our times. In moral matters, each man is a separate sovereignty. In its insistence on radical personal autonomy, the Court assaults what remains of our stock of common moral beliefs. That is all the more insidious because the public and the media take these spurious constitutional rulings as not merely legal conclusions but moral teachings supposedly incarnate in our most sacred civic document.”

    Robert Bork will not suffer the evil times that are “in the offing.”

Supreme Court Justices in Church? We Can’t Have That

Monday, October 8, AD 2012

At the Bench Memos blog at National Review, Mathew Franck linked to a rather hysterical screed written by Marie Griffith. The object of Griffith’s scorn: the annual Red Mass that takes place at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC before the opening of the Supreme Court term. Griffith is not at all pleased that two-thirds of the Supreme Court attended the latest Red Mass a couple of weeks ago.

Last Sunday, September 30, witnessed one of the most vivid and, to many (emphasis mine), disturbing examples of this religion/politics paradox.

Right out of the gate we get some good old-fashioned intellectual dishonesty. Who are the “many” that are disturbed by this visual? I would wager that the overwhelming majority of people have no idea that this Mass even exists, and that a scant few who are aware of its existence are very bothered by it. Rather than taking ownership of an opinion and writing that she is offended by the Red Mass, Griffith assigns a feeling to a mythical many. It’s a passive aggressive trick employed when a writer either lacks the guts to openly state their feelings, or when they want to conjure up support for an opinion that is not wildly shared by actual open beings.

She continues:

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Supreme Court Justices in Church? We Can’t Have That

  • “… I’m a little embarrassed that a Supreme Court Justice used an apostrophe to form a plural, but that’s beside the point…”

    LOL! It’s the editor in me, but that was the first thing I thought upon reading that quote.

  • We invoke the only JUST one that He might inspire all that you do….

    So perfectly said, however the heights of the bench seem to tower over heaven in the case of a few Justices.

    Humility anyone?

  • For the record, Justice Breyer, also Jewish, was in attendance. So, 4 Catholics and 2 Jews. There were 2 Catholics that were not there: Justices Alito and “Wise Latina”.

  • It’s too bad these special people are “disturbed” by liberties that our forefathers won with so much blood, sweat, and tears.

    We need to ensure these special people can never act toward such paradoxes as did their heroes: Che, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, . . .

  • If the Klan of the 1920s (and their lawyer, Mr. Hugo Black) could only see the Supreme Court of today: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, and nary a Protestant (and the only Southerner a black Catholic man).

  • Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more Southerners on the Supreme Court – starting with a certain bowtie-bedecked Catholic currently sitting on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    (Imagine the field day the libs on the Judiciary Committee would have with “Stare decisis is fo suckas!”)

    😉

  • In France, the equivalent of the “Red Mass” is held up and down the country on the feast of St Ives, the patron saint of lawyers (and abandoned children) on 19 May. Magistrates and advocates attend in their robes, as do members of the law faculties of universities.

    In Paris, it is held in the Sainte-Chapelle (arguably the most beautiful small building in the world) which is part of the courts complex (the Palais de Justice) and state property.

    Every year one hears some criticism, not to the fact of the mass (for laïcité guarantees freedom of worship) but to the wearing of official dress, which opponents argue gives it the appearance of a state occasion.

    By the by, there is a daily mass in the Sainte-Chapelle on weekday mornings at 8.30 am, for those working in the courts or having business there – even though the Sainte-Chapelle is only about 300 m from Notre Dame cathedral.

  • Pingback: Catholics for Choice Huffington Post | Big Pulpit
  • Writers, without any known exception, are assumption peddlers; they assume, you read then ignore or make it your own–they could care less all the way to the bank. This humorous piece has but one answer; the justices who attended the Red Mass did so because they wanted to for their own personal reasons as big boys and girls often do and, oh yes, responding to God’s ever-present grace may have been a factor. I pray so.

  • “… I’m a little embarrassed that a Supreme Court Justice used an apostrophe to form a plural, but that’s beside the point…”

    You’re incorrect. It is impossible for an apostrophe to form a plural. A Supreme Court justice may claim that it does, but it’s outside the nature of an apostrophe to do such a thing. An S performs its natural function when it is applied to a word without putting a barrier between it and a word. That’s how plurals are formed. Liberals may object to that, saying that people are free to form plurals any way they want to, but you can’t alter the nature of the plural without serious consequences. In fact, trying to perform a pluralization with an apostrophe turns the act into an artifical form of contraction.

The Worst Supreme Court Selections in American History

Friday, July 6, AD 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts’ recent decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, as well as his vote to overturn much of Arizona’s illegal immigration law, has made conservatives think that yet again a Republican president was bamboozled. Personally I think it’s a bit early to completely write off the Chief Justice. For most of his tenure he’s been a fairly reliable conservative vote, and there is still much time (presumably) before he retires. Then we will be better able to assess his legacy.

It did get me thinking, though. What are the worst Supreme Court selections in history? I’m looking at this question in terms of the president doing the selecting. Someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a doctrinaire liberal, wouldn’t make the cut because no doubt she has voted in much the way Bill Clinton would have wished when he picked her. Similarly, I do not include someone like John Paul Stevens. Though over time he veered much further to the left than Gerald Ford or his Attorney General , Edward Levi (who basically made the selection) could have anticipated, Stevens’ jurisprudence was not that radically removed from Ford’s own preferences. In fact, Ford wrote of Stevens:

For I am prepared to allow history’s judgment of my term in office to rest (if necessary, exclusively) on my nomination thrity years ago of Justice John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court. I endorse his constitutional views on the secular character of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause, on securing procedural safeguards in criminal case and on the constitution’s broad grant of regulatory authority to Congress. I include as well my special admiration for his charming wit and sense of humor; as evidence in his dissent in the 1986 commerce clause case of Maine v. Taylorand United States, involving the constitutionality of a Maine statute that broadly restricted any interstate trade of Maine’s minnows. In words perhaps somewhat less memorable then, “Shouting fire in a crowded theater,” Justice Stevens wrote, “There is something fishy about this case.”

He has served his nation well, at all times carrying out his judicial duties with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns. Justice Stevens has made me, and our fellow citizens, proud of my three decade old decision to appoint him to the Supreme Court. I wish him long life, good health and many more years on the bench.

Well, if Ford was willing to base his legacy on his choice of John Paul Stevens, then I’m happy to call Gerald Ford a miserable failure.

This, then, is a list of the biggest mistakes in Supreme Court selection. 

Continue reading...

15 Responses to The Worst Supreme Court Selections in American History

  • While I like your selections, I could also see arguments for James McReynolds and Harlan Stone. I guess in both of those cases it wasn’t that the Justices evolved but that the issues before the court that would have provoked the most conflict between them and their appointers were well after the appointments. Actually that point was after Wilson and Coolidge were both deceased.

  • Warren as Attorney General of California was a driving force behind the West Coast internment or evacuation of Japanese Americans, a move opposed at the time by J. Edgar Hoover who, no joke, received an award from the American Civil Liberties Union during the War. Warren later repented of the decision many years after the War, but his actions then clearly indicated that he would never let the Constitution stand in the path of anything that Earl Warren wanted done.

  • I would have had Blackmun number one on the list. He made the Supreme Court only because he was a childhood friend of Chief Justice Warren Burger and it was thought he would vote like Burger. A man of infinite vanity and small mind, Blackmun gets my vote for worst Supreme Court justice.

  • O’Connor voted pretty reliably conservative while Reagan was in office. Reagan was badly served by Goldwater, a closet pro-abort and open Planned Parenthood backer, in regard to that appointment.

  • Souter was completely contemptible.

    “David Souter alone was shattered. He was, fundamentally, a very different person from his colleagues. It wasn’t just that they had immediate families; their lives off the bench were entirely unlike his. They went to parties and conferences; they gave speeches; they mingled in Washington, where cynicism about everything, inluding the work of the Supreme Court, was universal. Toughened, or coarsened, by the their worldly lives, the other dissenters could shrug and move on, but Souter couldn’t. His whole life was being a judge. He came from a tradition where the independence of the judiciary was the foundation of the rule of law. And Souter believed Bush v. Gore mocked that tradition. His colleagues’ actions were so transparently, so crudely partisan that Souter though he might not be able to serve with them anymore.

    Souter seriously considered resigning. For many months, it was not at all clear whether he would remain as a justice. That the Court met in a city he loathed made the decision even harder. At the urging of a handful of close friends, he decided to stay on, but his attitude toward the Court was never the same. There were times when David Souter thought of Bush v. Gore and wept.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/06/did-bush-v-gore-make-justice-souter-weep/

    A left wing partisan and all around doofus, his opinions have to be read to be believed.
    Souter was a warning against a stealth candidate who turns out to be a stealth candidate for the other side. Warren Rudman, the political mentor for Souter, was a pro-abort RINO senator from New Hampshire and he knew precisely what the nation was getting with his protege:

    http://www.visionandvalues.org/2009/05/when-biden-and-rudman-wept/

    Souter’s view of constitutional jurisprudence given a mocking to remember:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/200197/david-souter-dumbs-it-down/matthew-j-franck

  • O’Connor voted pretty reliably conservative while Reagan was in office.

    I believe it was Jan Crawford’s book that detailed how O’Connor moved leftward as a result of Clarence Thomas. I’m not sure how much credence to put into that, but she certainly started her leftward drift around that time.

    As for Blackmun, I wouldn’t put him above Warren only because the latter was the Chief Justice and more instrumental in transforming the Court. Also – and this is pure conjecture – but I have a feeling that Ike regretted that pick more than Nixon regretted Blackmun.

    As for who was the worst – a slightly different topic perhaps worthy of a separate post – my vote would be Thurgood Marshall. Not only was he horrid from a constitutional standpoint, but his legal reasoning never impressed me.

  • Though wasn’t it O’Connor who said in 1983 that Roe was “on a collision course with itself” because medical advances were lowering the age of fetal viability and undermining the premise of Roe that unfettered abortion was OK through at least the 2nd trimester, if not longer, because the fetus wasn’t yet viable?

  • O’Connor was all over the map throughout her career when it came to abortion. In the AZ legislature she cast pro-choice votes, but then she signaled to President Reagan her personal opposition to abortion. I think Reagan was convinced that her personal opposition to abortion would carryover into her jurisprudence – which is the same reasoning Bush employed when he first nominated Miers. O’Connor did vote to ease some of the restrictions on abortion while on the Court, but ultimately could not vote to overturn Roe itself.

  • Arthur Goldberg, once a mouthpiece for the labor union goons. Breyer, who is mediocre, clerked for Goldberg, who went on to become UN ambassador without distinction. Although Goldberg found a “right to privacy” in Griswold v. Connecticut, he’s best remembered as a vigorous opponent of the death penalty as “cruel and unusual punishment.” Another weakhearted lib on a court dominated in recent decades by pinkos.

  • Souter is a snake, a very bad man.

    Joe Biden and Rudman jumped for joy after Souter’s Casey vote, evil indeed.

    http://www.jillstanek.com/2009/05/when-biden-wept-for-joy-his-history-with-david-souter/

  • On a somewhat smaller fiasco scale, back in the 80’s the Right To Life in our state endorced a ‘conservative Lutheran Pastor” for state assembly. We worked our tails off to get this guy elected. He did and we ended up with the most pro abortion liberal leaning representative we ever elected in this state. We had to live with that end result for many years as once he got in there we couldn’t get him out. Kind of like the SC. I guess anyone can be wolf in sheeps clothing, and the best can be snookered. Too bad millions of unborn have had to be sacrified to these bums.

  • Oh and now our very liberty. I don’t care how anyone tries to defend roberts he’s Benedict Arnold in my book.

  • Paul

    Reference Chief Justice Warren.

    I read Brown v Board of Education I.

    That is one of the worst written documents I have read (believe me I have read an awful lot of bureaucratese). Excerpt he remembered to have one imperative sentence saying Plessey was overturned one has difficulty finding meaning.

    Of course that was his first major opinion did his writing get better with time.?

    Thank you.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  • If one looks back to an earlier period, in Jones v Opelika [319 US 584 (1942] one finds Roberts J complaining that, in some six years, the court had fourteen times reversed one or more of its earlier decisions, many of them recent. He observed that such decisions tended “to bring adjudications of this tribunal into the same class as a restricted railroad ticket, good for this day and train only. I have no assurance, in view of current decisions, that he opinion announced today may not shortly be repudiated and overruled by justices who deem they have new light on the subject.”

    As one particularly egregious example, a case, Minersville School District v Gobitis [310 US 586 (1940)] that was decided by a majority of eight to one, was overruled three years later in West Virginia School Board of Education v Barnette [319 US 624 (1943) by a majority of six to three. Of the six, three of the Justices (Black, Douglas & Murphy JJ) had changed their minds, two (Jackson & Ritledge JJ) were new appointments and one was the former lone dissident (Stone CJ, formerly Stone J)

    Whatever one thinks of the decision in question, such judicial capriciousness can only bring the law into disrepute. Surely, the highest court having once decided what the law is, it should be for the legislator to say what it ought to be.

  • I dunno.

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

    The inexplicable Roberts fuster-cluck devastates the economy and personal liberty.

    It creates an omnipotent federal government. The law will make health costs skyrocket and hamstring the private sector.

    It will destroy jobs and consign millions to penury. It will debase the currency and lower all Americans’ living standards.

    And, they will blame Bush.

    FTSCOTUS

The Worst Supreme Court Decision of All-Time

Friday, June 29, AD 2012

As bad as yesterday’s Supreme Court decision was, it doesn’t hold a candle to one handed down twenty years ago today. On this date in 1992, the Court decided the case of Casey v. Planned Parenthood. People might be disappointed with John Roberts right now, but the fury at Justices O’Connor and Kennedy, and to a lesser extent Souter, after they voted to uphold Roe v. Wade dwarfs that.

Ed Whelan links to post by Michael Stokes Paulsen in which he calls Casey the worst Supreme Court decision of all-time. Part one is here, and part two is here. I wholeheartedly agree. I also ranked Casey as the worst when compiling my list of the worst decisions of all-time. Sure, there have been several atrocious decisions handed down by the Court, and Paulsen highlights some of the worst defenders in part one. But what makes Casey so egregious is the combination of the sheer awfulness of the decision from a constitutional perspective, as well as the devastating real world impacts it had.

Paulsen details all that is wrong with the decision. The plurality opinion relied on stare decisis to reach its conclusion, treating the doctrine as though it were sacrosanct. If you listened to the plurality you would come to the conclusion that Court had never struck down a decision it considered to be wrongly decided. What’s more, the plurality opinion is simply a mess of contorted logic, rightfully mocked by Scalia in his brilliant dissent. Most damning, it ensured the continued legal protection of abortion, dooming millions more unborn children to their premature death.

I’ll leave you to read both articles in their entirety.

Roe v. Wade may have made abortion legal in all 50 states, but Casey entrenched that decision. Worse still, it did so in a way that made the Roe majority opinion seem like a masterwork of originalist logic by comparison.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to The Worst Supreme Court Decision of All-Time

  • Paul:

    Funny you should mention the Casey case on occasion of yesterday’s Obamacare decision. The reason is that in both cases, the swing votes flipped. Kennedy with Casey and Roberts with Obamacare, according to Jan Greenburg’s book Supreme Conflict (pg. 155), Scalia and Kennedy took a walk near their homes shortly before the decision came out. Scalia went away thinking the conservatives could still count on Kennedy. But alas, we now know different.

    Nothing really new under the sun.

  • The worst scourge of the Supreme Court was Jan 22, 1973. We have lived under the pallor of death since that day. Nothing good will happen until that death sentence is stopped in it’s tracks. God is the only One we can “count” on to change the bitter hardened hearts of not only arrogant judges but misguided Christians. Rev 3 15-16.

  • A Catholic wrote the majority opinion in Roe v Wade. Kennedy is an alleged Catholic, and so is Roberts.

    We are our own worst enemy. No Protestant, Muslim or atheist has ever caused as much arm to the Catholic Church as bad Catholics.

    Sometimes, I too am a bad Catholic due to my thoughts and deeds, lest anyone think I only practice “j’accuse”.

  • Abortion kills a person. The United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said: “We do not know if it is a PERSON, so kill it anyway.” Thomas Jefferson said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”
    The Supreme Court said: “We do not know if there is a God, so get rid of Him, His Son and His followers.” Thomas Jefferson said: “…and endowed by their Creator”
    The Supreme Court said: “We may tax and penalize conscientious objectors to our killing of persons.” Thomas Jefferson said: “with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” The Ninth Amendment says that “the person has rights not enumerated in the Constitution” like conscientious objection to the killing of persons.
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in his Patriotism said that Thomas Jefferson believed in the dignity of man and in the sovereignty of God. St. Just, Thomas Jefferson’s opponent believed man had no inherent rights, that there was no God and violence was the only language to be spoken. 1) Terror, destruction of civil Liberty, confiscation of property. Government built upon a pile of corpses.
    2) Political Mysticism: My will or nothing.
    Spiritual Mysticism: God or nothing.
    3) Satanism: Destruction of law and order, violence. The new Violence.
    The choice is ours: Thomas Jefferson: God or nothing, or Obama: “My will or nothing”.

  • Until the recent Obamacare decision, my vote for “Worst Supreme Court Decision of All Time” would have been “Wickard v. Filburn”, the case that decided that interstate commerce included everything, including things that weren’t interstate and were not commerce (like growing wheat on your own land for your own use).

    Eliminate that one case, and perhaps as much as 85% to 90% of all the filth the government pushes would lose its “justification”.

    But now Roberts has informed us that non-taxes (penalties) are really taxes and constitutional, so anything can be justified by attaching a penalty and calling it a “tax”.

    In case anyone hasn’t figured it out, the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in the Constitution for just such an occasion as appears to be forming… to ensure that oppressive government maybe overthrown, violently if necessary, by the People.

  • Pingback: The Worst Supreme Court Selections in American History | The American Catholic

The Majority Opinion that Became a Dissent

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

If you had told me before the day started that John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy would have penned differing opinions on the Obamacare case, and that I’d be siding with the latter’s opinion, I would have said that you were nuts. Alas, it appears that John Roberts is the new Anthony Kennedy.

Ed Whelan has speculated that Chief Justice Roberts changed his vote at the last minute, and therefore the dissenting opinion was originally the majority opinion. He has a follow-up post that posits another theory supporting that notion, which also explains how that could be logistically possible. Having now fully digested the dissenting opinion, I am just about 99 percent certain that John Roberts did indeed change his vote, and that the dissenting opinion was the majority opinion until the Chief Justice changed his mind.

Frankly, the dissent just doesn’t read like a dissent at all. As Whelan points out, the dissenting opinion repeatedly alludes to Justice Ginsburg’s opinion as the dissent. In fact, the dissenters barely alludes to the Chief Justice’s opinion at all until the very end. The final couple of pages are a scathing attack on the majority’s opinion, heretofore unmentioned. It certainly seems like the dissenting Justices felt jilted by the Chief Justice, thus the unusually harsh rhetoric of the final few paragraphs of the dissent. Another sign that the dissenters were in the majority comes on the second page:

Continue reading...

36 Responses to The Majority Opinion that Became a Dissent

  • I wonder if Chief Justice Roberts believes that he has secured peace in our time with his decision.

  • This is a brilliant and thoughtful post and I love it. But I couldn’t help but not the double meaning at the spelling here-

    “left at the alter by the Chief Justice”

  • I meant to write NOTE the double meaning!

  • Ha! Good catch anzlyne. That was unintentional, thus I edited the post.

  • Chief Justice Roberts = Neville Chamberlain
    Barack Hussein Obama = Adolf Hitler

    Nothing could be clearer.

  • Oh, but Paul Z., “alter” is perhaps MORE correct.

    😉

  • If Roberts is such a spineless jellyfish, he should not serve on any court, anywhere.

    Honestly, I feel hatred toward the man. And yes, I recognize that that is a terrible sin, and I am praying for the hate to go away. But at the moment, it is difficult for me to feel any other emotion for the man who shoved a knife into the back of the USA today. And when I think that he is a young man and will be Chief Justice until he dies or retires, I feel utter despair for our future (and yes, I know despair is also a sin). It’s funny – I frequently feel anger toward and contempt for Obama, but I don’t hate him. I recognize that he is following his own principles, twisted though they may be. But Roberts – a man who has apparently caved because he couldn’t stand the heat? His legacy? His rightful place will be next to Justices Taney (Dred Scott) and Holmes(the government has a right to sterilize the mentally handicapped because “3 generations of imbeciles are enough.”

    But, hey, on the upside, I’m sure Roberts will get lots of invitations to chi-chi G-town parties now!

  • Pingback: Catholic Blogosphere Reaction to Supreme Court Health Care Ruling | Big Pulpit
  • On the other hand, by returning the issue to the political sphere, Roberts has put it back where it belongs. Sure, I wanted the mandate struck down so I could spike the ball and gloat…but the reality is that if the mandate had been found unconstitutional then the liberals just would have brought it back under different guises at a later date. Heck, even if struck down you have to figure Obama would continue to implement it by regulatory fiat (DREAM Act, anyone?). Upon reflection, I wish we hadn’t even brought it to the courts – the proper place for this battle is in the court of public opinion. Either we can convince a majority to repeal ObamaCare, or we can’t. If we can, then we’ve won the war – if we can’t, then striking down this particular law would do no long term good.

    Take this, my friends, as a blessing – we are not challenged to work with a will and, with our trust given to God, do what we know is the right thing.

  • Think, for a moment, just how dead gun control is – sure, some court decisions were helpful but, at the end of the day, it was an awakened American people determined to preserve their right to bear arms which made the issue politically toxic…and now the Courts follow the people on the matter. That is how not just Obama Care but all manifestations of socialism must be defeated…

  • I am reminded of the story about a bird that did not fly south for the winter. Stuck in a barnyard, nearly frozen to the ground, accepting fate that nothing was worse and it would die. A cow walked by and dropped a load of “out-put” on the hapless bird. But the dung was warm and there were undigested seeds. The bird was warmed, ate and then started to sing. That was when a barn cat came along and started to dig. Happy to be free the bird sang and stretched. And was promptly killed and consumed by the cat.

    Moral of the story, not everyone that craps on you is your enemy, not everyone that gets you out of s@#% is your friend, and if you are buried and happy, keep quiet about it.

    I do not believe that Chief Justice Roberts is our “enemy” nor do I think he is another Chamberlain. It was left to the voters to remedy the action of this Act of Congress. Otherwise from now until the end of the USA there will be the constant court battles to undo what was done by a prior administration.

    It can be done, through the ballot box and our elected Representatives, not from appointed judges that many of whom owe more allegiance to a political ideology than to justice.

  • Ah, yours is the calmer, wiser take on things, Mr. Noonan. I was so bitterly angry today and felt so betrayed….I pray you are right.

    I am a Burkean conservative, and as such, am frequently disgusted with Republicans professing to hate big government and yet voting for big government as soon as they get nice offices in DC. I hope for and fully expect Romney and a GOP Congress to strike down Obamacare. If they don’t, well, I will be done with the GOP. We will end our days as slaves to the Almighty State and there is nothing the little people like me can do about it.

    A few months ago, in confession, a priest reminded me to put not my trust in kings – or politicians, or hopped up lawyers (which is what Roberts is)….Yes, he was right.

  • BTW, it takes a full 10 minutes before I can download TAC and probably another 5 before I can access the comments section. I have showered and blown-dried my hair in the morning- and then I return to my computer and find TAC is still not downloaded. I find it the slowest site in the Christian world 🙂 It is the number one reason why I rarely comment here- does anybody else have similiar difficulties?

  • I did worry about Roberts as I’ve been reading how he doesn’t want his court to look too political but I didn’t think he would actually go this far. It was like he was reaching for something to uphold this law & he found it in taxes. I’ve lost total respect for this man. We need healthcare reform but not this one. I’m a moderate conservative but I was very angry & I’m totally disliking Roberts right now as he changed America as we see it. Obama is changing this country & I won’t even recognize it if he remains president. I’m just sad.

  • Mark, it isn’t up to the Court to decide issues based on the politics of the situation. Roberts’ attempt to play John Marshall and get the Court out of a political jam was unnecessary. What exactly would have been the fallout if the Court struck down Obamacare? President Obama and the Democrats would have complained. So what? A majority of the population would have supported the outcome, and even if a majority did not that is irrelevant. As the dissenters correctly pointed out, the Chief Justice’s attempt to the get the Court out of politics only entangled it further. In the end, the Court made law. How is that an example of the Court returning the issue back to the political sphere. With this decision the Court became part of the political sphere.

    All that being said, I agree with what others have said in terms of dialing back our emotions. We are not in Nazi Germany, and the tanks aren’t going to start rolling into our Churches. This is a terrible defeat for the rule of law, and I think also a worrying sign that we’re still two votes away from repealing Roe. But we need to take it down a notch.

  • Donna, I don’t have any problems, but you are not the only person to notice that. We’ll look into it.

  • Indeed. Additionally I view this as a Pyrrhric victory for Obama, as this decision will be a millstone around his neck during the remainder of the campaign. Too many conservatives become disheartened too easily when there is every reason to think that this decision is a Godsend politically.

  • Don, you’re ever the optimist, which I admire. Of course, I always see a half-full glass. The rosy reaction is like finding good news in a recession by reading a headline: “Mafia forced to lay off 6 judges”

  • Another thing that irks me about the rationalization of this decision, as seen in Charles Krautahammer’s column:

    Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.

    This is akin to George Bush avoiding the question of the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold and letting the Courts decide. All three branches of the government have the equal authority and obligation to decide upon the constitutionality of legislation before them. It is an abrogation of duty, not a sign of political pragmatism, to simply punt the matter away.

  • I try not to be a pessimist or an optimist when it comes to politics Joe but to call ’em like I see ’em. Many conservatives were saying that the game was up when Obama got elected in 2008. 2010 demonstrated how out of touch that view was. American political history is a series of reactions and counter-reactions. Obama went too far to the Left, and he reaped a political whirlwind in 2010 and the same is in store this November.

  • I agree with Donald. The President has just been made a liar, at least on the subject of a tax increase (which was a large part of the objection to the ACA in the first place…who is going to bear the cost?). I saw an ABC News blog link this morning to the interview I which he absolutely rejected the notion that the individual mandate was a tax. Guess Mr. Constitutional Law missed that class.

    No, I think we need to give this a few days to unfold. The analyses I’ve read aside, I believe Justice Roberts may have given those who oppose the law exactly what they need to fit it… He avoided giving the President. White martyrdom on the subject, and he exposed the law for what it is: a massive tax increase on those least able to afford it.

  • TAC does load slowly – probably a side-effect of the litany of links on the side.

    Dick Morris is saying the same thing Krauthammer says, which will probably be the theme of many variations in weeks to come. The November’s gonna be a slugfest. Hopefully Holder’s out of the SecState chair so we don’t have Black Panther goon squads threatening polling places.

    Question – Supposing a GOP quash and concomitant numerical ability, what’s the chance/point/P&L for an attempted Constitutional amendment expressly forbidding Congress to tax non-activity? I would not know how to word it properly, but, could or should such a thing be considered?

  • Good article from Jonah Goldberg today. Ignore the misleading headline – he really takes Roberts to the woodshed.

    what’s the chance/point/P&L for an attempted Constitutional amendment expressly forbidding Congress to tax non-activity?

    Somewhere between slim and none. The GOP will almost certainly have legislative majorities in both Houses of Congress, but not enough to get such an amendment through.

  • “Politics and Culture from a Catholic Perspective?” I don’t think so. I am Catholic, but this blog ‘s authors and commenters certainly do not speak for me or, I suspect, for a majority of Catholics. Alhough I would have preferred a single-payer system, I agree with the purpose and intent of the ACA, and applaud the Supreme Court’s action. There will be no tax assessed against anyone if people who have enough income to pay federal income taxes do the individually and socially responsible thing and buy health insurance. The tax is imposed only on those who do not, and for whose healthcare either health providers or the rest of us end up paying.

  • Paul:

    If yesterday you were “just about 99 percent certain that John Roberts did indeed change his vote,” the following excerpts from yesterday’s dissents should make you just about 100 percent certain. Make note of the reference to “Chief Justice Roberts” in Justice Ginsburg’s dissent and “we” in the joint dissent:

    From Justice Ginsburg’s dissent:

    In failing to explain why the individual mandate threatens our constitutional order, THE CHIEF JUSTICE disserves future courts.

    From the joint dissent:

    The dissent claims that we “fai[l] to explain why the individual mandate threatens our constitutional order.” Ante, at 35. But we have done so. It threatens that order because it gives such an expansive meaning to the Commerce Clause that all private conduct (including failure to act) becomes subject to federal control, effectively destroying
    the Constitution’s division of governmental powers. Thus the dissent, on the theories proposed for the validity of the Mandate, would alter the accepted constitutional relation between the individual and the National Government.

    For what it’s worth, I’m 100% certain the Chief Justice switched sides at the last minute, and I’m substantially certain he did so on the misplaced belief he was preserving the integrity of the Court by protecting it against further attacks of politicizing the judicial process. By switching at the last minute, he also gave insufficient time to what became the joint dissent to dismantle his holding that “commerce clause regulation of inactivity is unconstitutional but regulation by taxation of inactivity is constitutional” or his similarly contradictory position that, on the one hand, the penalty-for-inaction “tax” is not a direct tax because it is not akin to a Capitation which is easily susceptible to apportionment or a tax on personal property or real estate, but, on the other hand, we shouldn’t be worried that the government has just now been given the power to tax inactivity because the power to tax inactivity has been around from the founding as evidenced by . . . of course, the Capitation or poll tax which applies merely for being a citizen. I imagine with a little advance notice Justice Scalia could have put a few more barbs into the joint dissent or dissented separately.

  • I am Catholic, but this blog ‘s authors and commenters certainly do not speak for me or, I suspect, for a majority of Catholics.

    While I’m sure you have your finger on the pulse of the Catholic community at large, we’ll continue to express our opinions as our Catholic faith informs us to do.

    There will be no tax assessed against anyone if people who have enough income to pay federal income taxes do the individually and socially responsible thing and buy health insurance.

    Ah, the compassionate left in action. Nobody will be punished so long as everybody does what we demand that they do in the name of social justice. There is nothing particularly “Catholic” about such an attitude, but I’m sure you will go on believing that you are more Catholic than the rest.

    Fine then.

  • Hank: Good catch, and more evidence that Roberts did indeed change his mind, and fairly late in the game at that. And I agree fully with your take. Clearly Scalia and the rest were caught off guard, as evidenced by the the relative lack of attention the dissent paid to the Chief Justice’s opinion until the very end of the dissent. I’m sure Scalia would have torn into Roberts more than he did for his double-talk on the tax had he had sufficient time – note he only addresses the government as being sophists, and not the majority of the Court.

  • Paul,

    Good points but now there are two things:

    1. Obama and the Democrats have to run with this horrendously unpopular law still the law of the land.

    2. Obama and the Democrats can’t point to the Evil, Wicked, Nasty, Republican Supreme Court as the source of blame for what went wrong.

    Obama carries the ObamaCare millstone around his neck in to November and the Courts are out of the political fray. I actually kind of like this outcome.

  • Donna,

    A great calmness came over me as I took in the decision – all is well and its all going to be for the best. And, yes, TAC does load slowly.

  • yes mark of norwich “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”

  • W F Aiken

    Would you regard a levy, confined to uncultivated land, as a tax or a penalty?

  • Would you regard a levy, confined to uncultivated land, as a tax or a penalty?

    At least that levy would be attached to property ownership; not to nothing, not to non-action. I am not saying it is a good thing, but at least there might be some reason behind it.

  • I don’t think the levy you mentioned is just.

  • “I don’t think the levy you mentioned is just.”

    Nor do I, but would it be a tax or a penalty?

  • God did not want His Chosen People to be governed by a king. God wanted the Israelite nation to be a nation of sovereign persons, ruled and governed by the Supreme Sovereign Being, disciplined by LOVE. Still, Israel insisted. God relented and gave them Saul, then David.
    George Washington had served two terms as President of the United States. When Washington refused a third term as president, the people wanted to crown him king. Washington absolutely refused. George Washington was truly disciplined by LOVE, a sovereign. As a sovereign, George Washington exemplified the true meaning of sovereignty for each and every person and our nation.
    Justice is predicated on intent. As the personification of Divine Justice, the perfect Justice of God, The Supreme Court for the United States of America is empowered by Divine Justice, to root out all corruption, all falsehood, all malevolence, any evil that would threaten the Liberty and the common good of each and every individual person, every citizen, every state and nation, for whom the Justices have taken an oath to preserve FREEDOM, through the United States Constitution.
    CJ John Roberts statement that it is not the Supreme Court’s job to correct our mistakes and /or crimes is simply Roberts reneging on his oath. Swallowed by atheism and secular humanism, Roberts aids and abets the establishment of these disordered aberrations as religion through which the FREEDOM of religion might be practiced by the sovereign persons who happen to be citizens, in spite of the fact that these aberrations have been thrown off by the plaintiffs, violate the Ninth Amendment, (the Ninth Amendment states that persons have rights not enumerated in the Constitution) and deny the freedom of conscience, the human being’s immortal soul, the human being’s rational soul. Without a rational soul man becomes a beast, a rapacious beast or a subject, a member of a herd to be driven and corralled. Man has already witnessed the violence and been subjected to inhumanities un-thought of several decades ago. To this John Roberts adds his imprimatur. “It’s not my job”
    Obamacare cannot be dealt with because it is not a law. Obamacare is tyranny, coercion and fraud, the establishment of a God-less society. Obamacare will have no new generation, only a new generation of flatliners.

  • Mary De Voe

    There is an inscription in the Chapelle Expiatoire in Paris, built by the Catholic community as an act of reparation for the murder of the Royal Family “in diebus illis non erat rex in Israhel sed unusquisque quod sibi rectum videbatur hoc faciebat.” – In those days, there was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6)

    In fact, the phrase, “there was no king in Israel” recurs four times in Judges(17:6, 18:1, 19:1 & 21:25) and each time it goes on to describe some disaster or act of wickedness.

The Chief Justice’s Ruling: A Gross Expansion of Federal Power

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

Conservatives looking for some kind of victory in today’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. (the Obamacare case) are pointing to two aspects of Chief Justice John Roberts’s rulings. First, a majority of the Court ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under the commerce clause. Second, the Court ruled that the Federal Government could not force the states to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, the Court narrowed the scope of Congressional power in two different arenas.

Indeed, 44 pages of Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion are absolutely constitutionally sound. During the course of the opinion the Chief Justice made the same argument that many individual mandate opponents have been making for months: you cannot create an economic activity in order to regulate it under the commerce clause. “The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. If the power to ‘regulate’ something included the power to create it, many of the provisions in the Constitution would be superfluous.” The Chief Justice latter adds that the individual mandate “does not regulate an existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce.” Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.” Furthermore, “[a]llowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and – under the Government’s theory – empower Congress to make those decisions for him.”

Roberts further tears into the logic of those defending the mandate on commerce clause grounds by pointing out that other activity – such as people not eating a healthy diet – does far more to raise health care costs than does failure to have health insurance. Therefore, under the government’s logic, “Congress could address the diet problem by ordering everyone to buy vegetables.” Therefore, the government’s arguments with regards to the commerce clause are ultimately unsupportable.

The problem with those taking the rosy view; however, is that the Chief Justice’s opinion is 59 pages. The Chief takes a detour roughly halfway through the opinion that is so unfathomable, it almost reads as if an entirely different person wrote the opinion.

Chief Justice Roberts holds that despite the statutory language, the penalty for failure to buy health insurance can more accurately described as a tax. This, despite what the language of the bill actually says, and what President Obama himself even said. And that’s also in contradiction of what had just been argued when discussing the anti-Injunction act. As Carrie Severino puts it:

The main holding of the case is that the mandate is upheld as a proper exercise of the taxing power. This is a decidedly awkward result, as the first section of the result explains that the mandate is not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. During the oral argument the courtroom erupted in laughter when the solicitor general was asked how he could argue that the mandate was not a tax on Monday but was on Tuesday. In the end, the court chose that implausible — even laughable — result in a fairly explicit attempt to hold the mandate constitutional.

Jeff Goldstein also mocks this bit of legal jujitsu. Intentionalism is a concept that he blogs about frequently, and he rightfully calls out the Chief Justice for his violation of the concept.

According to the CJ, a penalty is indeed a tax when it can be viewed as a tax for purposes of a ruling.  Meaning, a penalty is a tax when a Justice decides to rewrite the law to turn a penalty into a tax.  Which he justifies because the way the penalty looks to him suggests that “reasonable”  people (or philosopher kings) can, if they squint — and if they ignore the intent that turned the law into law in the first place, and turned a set of marks into a set of signs, into language — see a tax.  How that is “reasonable” is anyone’s guess:   we know in no uncertain terms that Obama and the Dems who passed the law didn’t devise the mandate as a tax (despite what they later argued); for one to conclude that it is reasonably possible to “read” a penalty as a tax,  therefore, what c0mes to count as “reasonable” must be redefined as “ignoring what we know to be true”.  And that seems antithetical to “reason.”

Roberts has chosen to see a tax where a penalty was intended — thereby rewriting the law and turning it into a new text, one which he intends, though he incoherently and disingenuously suggests that he is finding meaning in the text that can “reasonably” be ascribed to it.

Roberts justifies this change in terminology by noting that the amount of the penalty that would be levied would not be punitive – in fact the cost of paying the penalty would often be less than the cost of buying health insurance. And since the so-called penalty would not be burdensome, it’s not really penalizing behavior.

Yeah.

But the most egregious aspect of this decision, and one which an astounding number of commentators seem to be missing, is that the Chief Justice has massively expanded the use of the taxing power. Roberts asserts that “taxes that seek to influence conduct are nothing new.” He then rattles off a list of things that are taxed heavily in order to change behavior, including cigarettes. The problem with this is that people have to buy cigarettes in order to be taxed. This “tax” is applied to people who don’t make a purchase. In other words, the federal government is taxing non-activity. It is the same exact logic that the government used to justify the mandate under the commerce clause. All Roberts has done is shift the authority under the Constitution which justifies government intervention.

Then Roberts makes the astounding claim, also amazingly echoed approvingly in certain quarters, that “While the individual mandate clearly aims to induce the purchase of health insurance, it need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS.” (emphasis mine)

I’m actually embarrassed for the Chief Justice here. Surely he is not as incapable of making a logical progression as this statement suggests he is. But let’s make this crystal clear. If you do not purchase health insurance, you will be penalized, err, “taxed.” If you fail to pay that tax at the end of the year, what do you suppose happens to you? Does the IRS send you a series of letters pleading with you to “please, pretty please, with a cherry on top, please pay your tax?” Do they put little frowny faces at the bottom of these letters? Does the Commissioner of the IRS stand outside your window with a boom box blaring “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, the rain pelting him as he cries out “Please, just pay this tax which, by the way, should in no way be construed as a penalty?”

Oh, that’s right, you go to jail. So you totally have the right to not buy health insurance, and there’s absolutely no punishment for failure to pay the tax. This assumes, of course, you always wanted to share a very small space with a drug dealer named Zeke. Just think of this as a government-funded vacation where you may, or may not, have discomfort walking towards the end of the vacation. You see – what a bargain!

The Chief Justice makes several more spurious claims. He notes that “tax incentives already promote, for example, purchasing homes and professional education.” But tax incentives are reductions in the level of taxation for making certain purchases. Your taxes are not increased when you decide to rent a house instead of purchase one.

Roberts observes that the “Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity. A capitation, after all, is a tax that everyone must pay simply for existing, and capitations are expressly contemplated in the Constitution.” Really? The income tax was made allowable only through the 16th Amendment, but it’s not a tax merely for existing. It’s a tax that only applies if you earn money – in other words, it’s a tax that applies only when you engage in the activity of earning your daily bread. It’s not a “mere existence” tax, and it’s certainly not a taxation of non-activity.

According to Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the ability to issue direct taxes apportioned among the several States, but the Chief Justice himself declares that this is not a direct tax.

Section 8 of Article I states:

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Again, I fail to see how that justifies taxation of non-activity. The idea that this kind of tax would have been countenanced by the same people (by and large) who fought the War of Independence is laughable on its face.

Attempts to sugarcoat this opinion are wrongheaded. In many ways, Roberts’ basing his decision on the tax power is worse than if he had relied on the Commerce Clause, for he has actually expanded the reach of the federal government in a way heretofore unseen. It’s true that Roberts and the four dissenters limit the reach of the commerce clause, but in reality they haven’t done much more than what the Rehnquist Court did in the mid-90s in the Lopez and Morrison cases in limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause. No new ground has been broken, and no old precedents were over-ridden. Much the same can be said with respect to the Medicaid ruling. On the other hand, the Chief Justice has broadened the taxing power so that it can now be applied to non-activity. Long story short, the federal government has more power today than it did yesterday. That is the most chilling aspect of this decision.

I believe that the commenter cthemfly25 has it right in the comments on my previous post:

Congress can always use taxing authority to undermine the constitution.  And if a tax can be used to undermine the constitution and modulate and control social behavior, then the all powerful central government can use its unmitigated taxing power to regulate religion (there is no way applying Roberts’ logic that the religious mandate could be struck down), regulate home schooling or private schooling (“taxed” for not teaching homosexual curriculum), regulate the size of families (taxed for having more than two kids), regulate food or beverage consumption (taxed based on calorie intake), regulate fuel consumption (“taxed” for excessive fuel consumption), regulate choice of consumer goods such as vehicles (“taxed” for not purchasing a “green” car),—–regulate from a central authority any human or civic activity under the rubric of “taxation”.

Perhaps the Anti-Federalist Brutus was right, after all, about the taxing power under the Constitution.

This power, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every comer of the city, and country — It will wait upon the ladies at their toilett, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages, nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bed-chamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office, or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house, or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop, and in his work, and will haunt him in his family, and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house, and in the field, observe the toil of his hands, and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States. To all these different classes of people, and in all these circumstances, in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them, will be GIVE! GIVE!

 

Continue reading...

10 Responses to The Chief Justice’s Ruling: A Gross Expansion of Federal Power

  • “Long story short, the federal government has more power today than it did yesterday. That is the most chilling aspect of this decision.”

    Is this necessarily a problem that Catholics have to deal with or just Republicans, Libertarians, etc?

    I am still waiting for Mr. McClarey to lead the way now that his desire became reality. I think Mr. McClarey overestimates the number or Catholics or Christians who care in the least about this ruling.

  • Thank you, Paul Z. As I just commented on Don’s post, you, he, Bonchamps and the others here at TAC are voices of sanity in an insane world.

  • Bar prep prevents me from reading the opinions in good conscience, but my guess is that the states made a major misstep in stating that it would obviously be permissible for Congress to tax everyone and then give a tax break for everyone who purchased insurance. By admitting that there was essentially another justification to do basically the same thing, the states opened themselves up for an interpretation that desperately was seeking a peg to save the bill. That doesn’t excuse Roberts though.

  • The state now has the power to control every aspect of human life in America.
    Resist and you will be taxed. Resist the tax and you will go to jail and lose
    all of your assets, including your income.

    The state can also demand all Catholics to renounce their Catholic faith or face financial
    ruin via a tax. The state can prohibit certain categories of human beings from procreation or face financial ruin via a tax.

    Further, the state can control the population of the U.S. through the use of abortion and euthanasia of ObamaCare.

  • Pingback: Supreme Court Religous Freedom Religous Liberty Health Care | Big Pulpit
  • As I think more about this Supreme Court decision, I think it might be a good thing. I know for sure that God can bring good from it.
    The decision in fact focuses our attention on the truth of what we need to do to protect our liberties, defining more clearly what is meant and what is allowed by our allowing the government to tax.
    We always thought the government could tax– and thought that there were a few defined direct objects at the end of that sentence. Now we see to the contrary, the the authority we have given over to the government ican be construed not just to tax Something, income or property or something, but simply the authority to tax… .

    Roberts has just pointed out that the penalty acts in effect like a tax and could be construed that way, and what are we voters going to do about it?

    The courts should not be activist; the people should be activists. We look at what we need to do to protect our selves and our national interest, and do it. We define more closely what is given in that authority to tax. If the umpire continually calls a ball a strike, the batter is out, the umpire becomes meaningless and the game is over– so we need to insist on clarity concerning our constitution… enough of this mish mash about it being so old we don’t know what it means. We do too.

  • Unless government acknowledges the rational, immortal soul of the human being with its conscience, and especially the human being’s conscience, Obamacare is taxation without representation, enslavement as brute animals to a force of ‘superior” brute animals. The Planet of the Apes was especially poignant as the Statue of Liberty is seen submerged in the ocean.

  • It must be added that taxation is to “secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” from the Preamble to the Constitution for The United States of America. Since our tax monies have been abused to exile The Supreme Sovereign Being, the Giver of LIfe and the Endower of all unalienable rights to man, FREEDOM, conscience, speech, peaceable assembly, our taxes are being pirated to kill our constitutional posterity in the womb, to inflict pornography, assault and battery on our virginity, innocence and civil rights to be secure in our foundational and human liberties, our taxes are being swindled into deforming the TRUTH, embracing perjury, and treason, it may not be said, cannot be said, that the monies extorted from conscientious citizens is called tax, but taxation without representation.

  • “so we need to insist on clarity concerning our constitution… enough of this mish mash about it being so old we don’t know what it means. We do too.”
    All future presidents must be given a literacy test, a comprehension test, and a reading test. Are public schools so bad that presidents and politicians can graduate without being able to read? Swearing an oath to uphold a Constitution the President cannot read demands school vouchers for private schools, until the public school start teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.

  • “The courts should not be activist”

    Exactly. That is why the ruling is horribly wrong. Four of the justices recognized that pretending ‘Obamacare’ was constitutional is an activist position. Roberts took an activist position.

Et Tu, Ioannes?

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

The Supreme Court has ruled the individual mandate is constitutional as a tax. So the individual mandate is not a permissible use of the commerce clause; however, it is appropriate for Congress to levy a tax that essentially forces taxpayers to buy health insurance.

I will have to wait until I read the entire opinion before rendering judgment, but at first blush this looks like a terrible defeat for the rule of law.

By the way, it looks like it was a 5-4 decision. Kennedy voted with Scalia, Thomas and Alito. Let that sink in.

Correction: I am now reading that it was 6-3. Honestly, I’m reading a lot of conflicting reports, so I’ll refrain from further commentary until I read the opinions.

Correction to the Corrction: Nope, Kennedy, Alito, Thomas and Scalia would have decreed the entire act unconstitutional. It was John Roberts who saved Obamacare.

And now I offer my apologies to all those I scolded for critiquing the John Roberts selection. You were right. I’ve thus changed the post title.

Continue reading...

74 Responses to Et Tu, Ioannes?

  • Roberts bows to King Obama. Another sorry day for the late great USA

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) Don’s just come down with a kidney stone; otherwise, I’m sure he’d be commenting at length on this.

  • Past time to vote out Congress and start over.

  • We need to win both houses by super-majorities and the presidency in order to repel Obamacare.

    I don’t see this happening.

    And the argument that we can stop funding of Obamacare is pointless, because once a democrat takes the executive branch and the legislative branch (which will happen over time), they’ll go back and fund it.

    It’s a bad day for American Freedom.

    That and Chief Justice Roberts is looking more like the equivalent of Bush I’s Souter. A liberal wolf in conservative sheepskin.

  • Excellent re-title of this post, execpt it should read:

    “Et tu, Ioannes?”

    Ioannes is the Latin (and Greek) for John.

    I am beyonmd livid, BUT we have to remember that God allows everything to happen for a reason, and Jesus Christ is STILL on the Throne and STILL in control.

    Obama cannot and will not win. He will one day stand before that Great White Throne of Justice as we all shall. He will answer for his crimes and he will NOT escape the rightful punishment due to him (as none of us shall escape should we remain in a state of unrepentant sin).

    Lord have mercy!
    Christ have mercy!
    Lord have mercy!

  • And the day started out so well….

  • Trying to wrap my mind around KENNEDY being solid on this.

  • ACA: Taxation Without Regulation.

    If Congress can say you can be taxed for not buying health care, then they can say you may be taxed for not buying broccoli.

  • Excellent re-title of this post, execpt it should read:

    “Et tu, Ioannes?”

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

    We need to win both houses by super-majorities and the presidency in order to repel Obamacare.

    Well it’s a good thing we’ve got a nominee who can really lead the charge on the awfulness of an insurance mandate.

    Oh. Wait.

  • Pingback: Well, Frick. « Head Noises
  • If this doesn’t put the nail in the coffin of the “you must vote GOP because of the importance of Supreme Court nominations” meme, nothing will. The appointment of John “Roe is settled law, and I do pro bono work for the homosex lobby” Roberts should have been enough in itself; but really, can there be any reasonable doubters now?

  • Roberts (via FoxNews:) “The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance [empahsis mine]. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

    So, just being unfairly rich isn’t bad enough anymore? Now, you can’t be unfairly rich and unfairly independent?

    They can’t make me buy an electric car that doesn’t work, but they can tax me at any given rate (which the Secretary shall determine at a later date) for NOT buying one.

    Great. I believe that gun and ammo sales will begin to increase soon.

    Ruger: RGR on NYSE.
    Smith and Wesson: SWHC on NASDAQ.
    Taurus Brazilian: SAO-FJTA4.

  • WK Aiken,

    Is that a gremlin or cat you are using as your avatar?

    /trying desperately to forget that John “Souter” Roberts is very young and will be on the Supreme Court for a good 40 years.

  • I feel like I just got punched in the gut….. really, really hard…..

  • So Obamacare now becomes the new litmus test for nominees. Only those who would agree to overturn Roe and Obamacare get nominated.

    Unbelievable. This day shall live in infamy.

  • Defeat for the rule of law? This was a great victory for limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause. Finally, a limit! Roberts just needs to learn how to read a statute and we will be all set.

  • The avatar is a photoshopped rabbit (eyes) who is objecting vociferously to having its teeth brushed. Ironically, it does well represent the emotional state of most right-thinking Americans today.

    I do not know why the website grabbed onto it from among the (literally) hundreds of graphic images I have on my computer. Perhaps I used it as a past logon avatar.

  • This was a great victory for limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause.

    Indeed, as I read through his opinion now, this would be one of the great Supreme Court decisions of all-time if Roberts had stopped on page thirty. Alas, he continues.

    Unfortunately, Roberts’ decisions to apply the taxing power to the individual mandate may be an even more absurd application than relying on the commerce clause. I’ll post on the Roberts’ decision in a little bit, I hope.

  • Pingback: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Religious Freedom Healthcare Mandate | Big Pulpit
  • This is a parody I wrote a few years ago.

    OHHHHHBaamaaa, Ohhhhhbbbbbbammmmaaa

    (sung to the tune of Ritichie Valens Oh Donna)

    We have a president, Obama is his name. Since January, he’s been goin’ insane. Oh I loathe his ways, but with Obama this is how it’s going to be.

    Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama,

    Turnin’ health care into welfare, he’ll make us all sick, it’s a part of his scheme, a socialist trick.
    Though we loathe his plan, but Obama wants to force it to be.

    Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama,

    He hates the military, this is clearly true. he prefers Code Pink to the red, white, and blue. He loathes this land, Obama this doesn’t have to be.

    Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama, Ohhbaama,

  • What can we do about it now?

  • What can we do about it now?

    According to the smart set, we now vote for the guy who implemented the same exact thing in his home state.

  • “What can we do about it now?”

    Put your head between your legs, lift your head up and kiss your sweet ass goodbye.

  • I will never comply! We have been stabbed in the back by Chief Justice “Bart Stupak” John Roberts! Sadly, I’ll probably end up in prison over this. I will never give my money for abortion!!! There will be no redress from this. The entire republic has been fatally undermined. I do not envision an electoral remedy. I am cleaning my shootin’ irons.

  • I haven’t really been praying about this in particular– thinking about it but not praying. I will pray more. I will give to the Becket fund. Would like to go to Courthouse steps but alas Even if we had a many people in Washington as they do on Jan. 22, will they pay attention? I will vote__________. II hope the repub convention speaks loud and clear to this issue. I hope Rubio etal take a look at what justice Kennedy saw.

  • The Roberts court is the lasting legacy of “conservative” support for George W. Bush. Now of course we simply MUST vote for Romney, because gosh, we can’t let the Left control the Supreme Court.

    Unless something happens to completely re-orient American conservatism to be actually, you know, conservative, there will no longer be a country worth conserving.

  • Arizona got trashed so why is this a big surprise? The fix was in when Kagan and Sotomayor got in. The bishops have zero chance of winning against the Obama juggernaut. “Women’s rights” will trump “religious liberty.” Time to re-read 1984.

  • From facebook:
    Todd Brophy posted in Hot Air Free Speech Zone
    Todd Brophy 9:38am Jun 28
    OK……………. I feel much better about this now. The States can opt out of the Medicare boondoggle. This reaffirms the 10th Amendment and States rights. This law cannot be supported by the Commerce Clause argument. The Federal Government, under this precedent, cannot force you to buy anything. The personal mandate is a tax. If you refuse to pay it, there is no mechanism to force payment. This makes the law a sham. If the mandate is a tax, it may be repealed by reconciliation. This means we need 51 votes in the Senate, not 60. Roberts is perhaps a genius and he is telling us, you make think you lost, you won big, now vote Obama out and secure your future.

    View Post on Facebook · Edit Email Settings · Reply to this email to add a comment.

    Anybody with better legal kungfu than me (ie, most any adult over 30) got a clue?

  • Don, praying that you get well so soon. For your own comfort and so you can get it taken care of before Obamacare fully kicks in and you find yourself in “hospice” due to this malady disease which would be too costly to treat.

  • “(Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) Don’s just come down with a kidney stone; otherwise, I’m sure he’d be commenting at length on this.”

    Good thing for Don Obamacare hasn’t gone into effect yet.

  • “That and Chief Justice Roberts is looking more like the equivalent of Bush I’s Souter. A liberal wolf in conservative sheepskin.”

    Somehow this brings the image of Roberts unzipping himself only to reveal he is actually David Souter and says, “And you thought I retired…. hehehehehe.

  • The Federal Government, under this precedent, cannot force you to buy anything. The personal mandate is a tax. If you refuse to pay it, there is no mechanism to force payment.

    I simply do not understand how people can make this argument. If you don’t pay your taxes you go to jail. It would certainly be interesting to see a person make a legal challenge when they file their taxes but leave off the portion that is dedicated to the individual mandate. Methinks they would be less than successful.

  • Kinda what I was thinking….

  • (Don’s wife Cathy again:) Thanks for the prayers & good wishes! We convinced our family doctor to open his office early so he could see Don & call in prescriptions for Flomax & paid meds to the pharmacy. (How willing would a physician be to provide that kind of above-and-beyond service under Obamacare?)

  • Pingback: Why is it absolutely vital to vote GOP?
  • I’ve been thinking, which is always dangerous, but it’s been a fairly crisis-free work day so there’s been time. Maybe all the crises are in WDC right now . . .

    Anyway, this excerpt from Herr Roberts keeps jumping up at me and shouting.

    ” . . . it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.” Again, emphasis mine.

    No legal scholar am I, but this looks like SCOTUS has just made it Constitutional for Congress to tax a non-activity. Like division by zero, this makes such power infinite in scope. Regardless of whether it takes place acorss state lines, it is now possible for Congress to say “You are not [doing, buying, participating in] thing X, and therefore we shall tax you for this not doing of it.”

    Now, I also do not consider myself an alarmist, but how many steps is it between the power to tax for Not Doing Something, and This:

    “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Rev 13:16-17

    You want to be exempt from all the various taxes incurred by not doing things? Well, here. Just put this on yourself someplace obvious, just so we can keep track . . .

  • No legal scholar am I, but this looks like SCOTUS has just made it Constitutional for Congress to tax a non-activity.

    Bingo. Though 4/5 of the opinion is based on solid constitutional arguments, this one passage turns the decision into an utter abomination.

  • Catherine A. McClarey says:
    Thursday, June 28, 2012 A.D. at 9:20am
    (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) Don’s just come down with a kidney stone; otherwise, I’m sure he’d be commenting at length on this.”
    Catherine: To purge kidney stones, boil parsley, bunches of parsley and consume the water. After about two weeks, the kidney stone will be passed. My mom was told to do this and it worked for her saving her from surgery. Sorry you are ill, Donald. Many prayers, in Latin and in English. Parsley is an organic deodorant good for halitosis, body order and other things. Happy kidneys to you.

  • http://alphatronshinyskullus.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/this-is-how-they-will-turn-us-into-china/

    This Supreme Court decision can ultimately be used to implement forced family planning similar to China’s.

  • W.K. Aiken: Obama had rolled tanks into the street in a show of force.

  • Ah, the kidney stone. It’s said that imperfect contrition is sufficient for a sacramental confession – that is, a fear of the pains of hell. One little kidney stone and you’ll spend the rest of your life with a strong incentive to holiness.

  • In 923 Executive Orders, Obama has declared martial law and given as though he had the authority to order the Supreme Court around, the unauthorized power to enforce his 923 and all Executive Orders for the past fifteen years. These orders include assigning every piece of free land and waterway as well as all pieces of private property to himself. Obama has already made the law to take all private property as his own, he just needs a cover like Obamacare to set the leemings running. Saul Alinsky would be proud. Let Our Lady of Victories hold FREEDOM from despots, dictators and Obama. Let FREEDOM be granted to the unborn, and the Person of God in the public sqaure.

  • Mary: It will come to that. I remember Father Larry Richards saying only 2 years ago that he saw the end in about 4 years. Father Larry’s a pretty firey guy, but he’s also almost always spot on.

  • Get well soon, Don.

  • This is one ugly, senseless, malignant opinion on so many levels. The majority opinion is unreadable, or not necessary to read, in part because you know what to expect from the lefties. But Robert’s legal construction to side with the lefties is so bad, so absurd that it literally shreads the constitution. At least now there is no pretense of having a constitution limiting the powers of a central government.

    The dissent is real simple, eloquent and straight forward. The dissent points out, citing Madison, that taxing authority is limited to the purposes of the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution. Makes sense right? Otherwise, you can tax for that which is unconstitutional. So Roberts is part of the majority which held the law unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause—-you actually have a majority holding on this point. How then does Roberts go with the lefties, who hold the constitution in disdain, and find that the taxing provision of the Orwellian “Affordable Health Care Act” is permissible when he otherwise holds that congress did not have power under the commerce clause to enact it.

    Unlike the lefties, I find Roberts’ legal constuct to be dangerous. Congress can always use taxing authority to undermine the constitution. And if a tax can be used to undermine the constitution and modulate and control social behavior, then the all powerful central government can use its unmitigated taxing power to regulate religion (there is no way applying Roberts’ logic that the religious mandate could be struck down), regulate home schooling or private schooling (“taxed” for not teaching homosexual curriculum), regulate the size of families (taxed for having more than two kids), regulate food or beverage consumption (taxed based on calorie intake), regulate fuel consumption (“taxed” for excessive fuel consumption), regulate choice of consumer goods such as vehicles (“taxed” for not purchasing a “green” car),—–regulate from a central authority any human or civic activity under the rubric of “taxation”.

    This is an unspeakably dangerous precedent and a super highway to serfdom. If you hear a pundit say this will mobilize the base blah blah blah….ignore him. The danger is that as precedent any congress, and for sure any leftist president and congress has now been given unbridled powers. It’s not just bad for now, it’s bad for the future of this country.

  • “regulate home schooling or private schooling (“taxed” for not teaching homosexual curriculum), regulate the size of families (taxed for having more than two kids), regulate food or beverage consumption (taxed based on calorie intake), regulate fuel consumption (“taxed” for excessive fuel consumption), regulate choice of consumer goods such as vehicles (“taxed” for not purchasing a “green” car) . . .”

    Regulate the dispensation of contraceptives, sterilization and abortions on demand (taxed for not providing these things.) The left has been wanting to get its hands on the Church’s money for decades, and now it has the tools.

    Euthanasia is next.

    I just finshed “Sons of Cain.” While no Clancy novel, the underlying theme is crystalline and fighteningly real. The dogmatic narrative of Chapter 37 is the most clear and pointed explanation of the current political landscape I have ever read.

  • WK Aiken mentioned the book, “Sons of Cain”, which obviously I must now buy ad read. A review at Amazon says:

    “An ancient group of twelve unspeakably powerful men are prepared to implement mass suicide in the United States. Already in control of the Congress and the Presidency, all that they lack is the Supreme Court. The only thing standing between these SONS OF CAIN and the lives of the Court is a small group of dedicated warriors. Wealthy ex SEAL, Nick Rieper, and his dozen, Knights of Longinus, may be the most deadly strike force alive. The have pledged their lives, their fortunes and their honor to battle international Satanism. Battle is joined as they engage the Cainites and their demon leader, Namon, in mortal combat. They stand alone as the only force alive with the knowledge, the skill and the faith to prevent a crime that will change America… forever.”

    Sadly, Satan has been in control of SCOTUS for a very long time indeed, at least since Roe v Wade, and perhaps since the Dred Scott decision of 1857.

  • Hope you will feel better soon, Don.
    Have heard good things about blueberries (to add to Mary’s idea) from someone who could understand the discomfort, but this day is different … .
    My father warned me that I may live to see the loaf of bread I might have, if I were wise enough to stop shopping for inedible things, be why I got killed by some ‘starving’ mob.
    No exec. order to help with chaos from unknown right and wrong.

  • What we have witnessed today is something akin to the ascendancy of the NAZI’s to power in Germany. It was an evil turning point for Germany and the whole of Europe, the same here. We are on an unalterable path to destruction, and we are dragging the rest of the world down with us.

  • “What we have witnessed today is something akin to the ascendancy of the NAZI’s to power in Germany”

    You are absolutely right Tom. This is as momentous and dreadful as that event.

  • Let’s all sing together.

  • Alphatron, our country has taken a step that cannot be retraced. The momentum of evil is at a self-generating pace. I think we will not see the defeat of this evil until there has been much, much bloodshed.

  • Alphatron, our country has taken a step that cannot be retraced.

    Well, there’s always the “amend the constitution” thing to limit the Fed’s ability to tax.

  • Foxfier, well that would work only with an electorate that couldn’t possibly have elected the current POTUS. I don’t see any realistic solution outside of civil war.

  • Between the fraud, the protest no-votes and the disappointment that they still have bills, O might be a fluke.

    We’ve been in worse states. Giving up is giving in.

  • Don, Hope you feel better soon!

    Alphatron,

    This Supreme Court decision can ultimately be used to implement forced family planning similar to China’s.

    I agree that this is a lousy decision, but in a sense this is what is already being done, but in reverse. Due to the child tax credit, I pay $5000 less in taxes because I have five kids. Now, I think that’s a perfectly fair way to make up for the fact that parents are performing a valuable service to the state and absorbing a lot of social costs, but the anti-kid folks flip this around and complain that the government is charging them extra taxes for not having had kids.

    While there’s a psychological difference between taxing people for not doing something and giving people a tax credit for doing something, the incentive isn’t hugely different. (Where I think the ruling really stinks is that is basically makes up this gloss, the law clearly wasn’t written as a tax in the traditional sense, it was written to force people to buy health insurance.)

  • Thanks for the good wishes. I am now functional again. Full post to follow on the decision.

  • This is the equivalent of a “Dhimi” tax.
    Obama’s a muslim isn’t he?

    Great to hear you’re feeling better, Don.

  • “While there’s a psychological difference between taxing people for not doing something and giving people a tax credit for doing something, the incentive isn’t hugely different. ”

    I think I would disagree. A $1000 per kid tax credit is not going to affect my family decision-making, the same way that a mortgage interest deduction is not going to affect my home purchase decisions. I’m either ready for such steps or I’m not. Lowering my taxes a little because I do something I was going to do anyway is icing on the cake; in choosing not to do these things, I do not spend what those who get the credit do, and ulitmately I get to choose because I have my reasons: I don’t want to be a father or I don’t want the responsibility of home ownership. So the math is a wash and I still make my own decisions.

    However, a $1,000 tax on not requiring my kids to attend the State-mandated classes that all schools must teach on how there is no sin, all sexuality is fine and our Friend the State is our sole benefactor will have me howling. That’s a hypothetical, to be sure, but it’s not outlandish when one considers what’s already being promulgated in the indoctrination halls. The point is that I have no choice here. I have to do one of three painful things: betray my moral constitution, pay money I can’t afford or become a prisoner of the State. Forcing me into behaviors I object to on all levels by means of extortion is every kind of evil.

    This doesn’t even touch the aspect of how the State can now tax the Church into oblivion by charging her for the continued ability to obey her conscience.

    The difference is more than psychological, methinks.

  • Sometimes I just feel so defeated, but then the thought came to me: didn’t Our Lord say that when I am weak, is when He is strong? That means we must let go and trust Him completely because no matter how dark things appear, and it will get worse, He’s ultimately in control and will bring about an eventual purification. My prayer is: “Almighty God, Merciful Father, please restore us to your grace, rebuild us in your image, let America fulfill her destiny – the reason you called her into being. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord. Amen. Our Lady of America, pray for us!”

    Don, for kidney stones, I’ve used Chanca Piedra. It’s a herbal formula from South America that can be purchased in a Health Food Store. You put about 5-10 drops in an 8oz glass of water, twice a day and it takes away the pain and breaks up the stone so it can pass. I hope you feel better soon – I know what you’re going through!

  • According to Roberts’ logic (which, again, I want to emphasize, I don’t agree with) in order for the “tax” argument to work rather than the “penalty” argument, the tax has to be lower than the cost of the behavior avoided. Thus, there could only be a tax for not sending your kid to public sex ed classes if the tax was lower than the cost of the class — which if it’s a public school would be $0.

    Look, I agree that it’s a ridiculous piece of reasoning, I just don’t think it leaves us notably more open to tyranny than we were before. This isn’t going to “turn us into China”, it’s just a lousy decision. And hopefully one that we can overturn come the fall by kicking Obama out of office.

  • Agreed. Some of you need to get a grip.

    We need to win both houses by super-majorities and the presidency in order to repel Obamacare.

    No. We need for a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to have the sense to get rid of rancid parliamentary rules, among them the abuse of holds and the filibuster. Of course, they won’t.

  • I don’t think Romney would be effective in overturning Obamatax. One of his economic advisers is Greg Mankiw, an economics professor at Harvard. Mosey on over and take a look (http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/) at how similar Mankiw’s logic was back in 2007 to this Court’s and the very close similarity to Romney’s Health Care Plan in Massachusetts.

    I was in need of medical care in Sweden during a visit in the early 80s and was lucky to be able to avail myself of a free medical clinic. Certainly no frills and comfy upholstered chairs in the packed waiting room, but the medical care seemed to be adequate for my needs. Our populace won’t like the downgrade of facilities and the long wait if it truly comes to that here, but I think we should be more concerned and focused with religious freedom at this point.

  • PM Hope you will feel better soon, Don.
    Have heard good things about blueberries (to add to Mary’s idea) from someone who could understand the discomfort, but this day is different … . Blueberries and cranberries aid in the removal of e-coli that adheres to the kidneys like barnacles. The kidney stone is an aggregate of uric acid, which may be reduced to particles like sand and passed, by sonic waves, while the patient sits in a specially prepared bath of water. The continued use of parsely, blueberries and cranberries are more enjoyable than the bath. Celery reduces the uric acid in the joints called gout. I am sure you are appraised of all this but I had to say it. I am sorry you are sick.

  • W.K. Aiken. I see Father Larry Richards on Living Right with Dr. Ray Guarendi, a show on EWTN. Prayer always gives us more time, if we ask for it. The good will die with the bad. May it not come to that.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    “While there’s a psychological difference between taxing people for not doing something and giving people a tax credit for doing something, the incentive isn’t hugely different.”

    Actually, I see a huge difference. When a tax credit is given, it serves to reduce the taxes one owes. The child tax credit has been written to give people money if their tax liability is reduced to less than zero. I have eight children, and so I turn around and use it to pay the very regressive taxes that exist in my state. At any rate, the cost of that subsidy is spread over the entire population, and to future generations through the issuance of federal debt. No one person is on the hook for it. Furthermore, by the monetization of our national debt, the recipient also ends up paying for it through higher prices that result from the weakening of our currency. There are also tax credits for a number of other things such as electric vehicles. The government says, “you pay less and we might kick in a little extra.” I disagree with this on principal. The government shouldn’t be cutting me a check for my children. It’s insulting.

    When an activity is taxed, however, that individual bears the full brunt of it. It’s not spread out among the rest of the population. If the government decides to tax someone $50,000 for not using birth control, that individual had better cough up the cash or their wages will be garnished, their assets seized, and they could potentially end up in jail if it’s judged to be tax evasion. If they decide to give a tax credit for up to 2 children, and tax someone $100,000 for each extra child after the second, it’s the same. Pay up, or else. This is actually how they do it in China. They call it the “social maintenance fee.” This article at http://www.economist.com/node/21557369 explains how it works.

    It states “The fine for having extra children is known as the “social maintenance fee”. Mr He estimates the government has collected over 2 trillion yuan ($314 billion) in such fees since 1980. Failure to pay means the second “black” child cannot obtain a household-registration document, or hukou, which brings with it basic rights such as education. The amount of the fine varies from place to place. A husband and wife in Shanghai will each pay 110,000 yuan ($17,300), three times the city’s average annual post-tax income, for a second child. The fine increases with income. The rich can shell out millions.”

    This sounds strikingly similar to enforcement of the individual mandate for health insurance.

  • Would you describe an annual levy on uncultivated land as a tax or a penalty?

  • Well… As the smoke clears I would like to share mho.

    0.01: If the supreme court had said it was unvalid, the left would have blamed it on the partishanship of the court. Every liberal, and independant would think that they are the victim because partisans impede “progress”. The gloating on the right would be a powerful force of encouragement for these leftists to do everything they can to win this election. Now however, they think they’re flying high, when in reality the people who voted for him are now seeing the arrogance and the straightforward decieving they are submitted too. That creates much needed repugnance on the people who otherwise would have voted for him. The brilliancy of the Supreme Court assuring that people know it is a Tax, and the excerpt that refers to the fact that the Supreme Court is not there to help the ignorance of the voters who put such a leftist in power is a clear rallying call for people to wake up. An awakening that would not have happened in another way.

  • 0.02: what if in catholic prayer….it was revealed…. that the only thing that could stop his re-election was to make that decision, and word it so to give Romney the much needed ammunition. Look at how riled up people are now… that translates into votes. One has to welcome the overconfidence of the Democrats right now…

  • “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” Mt 10:16

  • Furthermore, when the contraception mandate lawsuits make their way to a supreme court decision, no one can say that it was made in deeply flawed partisan court. People’s eyes would awake to the fact that the only ones that can fight the liberal march to perdition will be the Catholic Church. All ye conservatives, join the only ones who can fight the gates of hell—and prevail!