Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

15 cases where the courts raped the law in 2016

original article: The top 15 court cases that wreaked havoc on America’s core values in 2016
January 1, 2017 by Daniel Horowitz

One of the breakthrough aspects of Conservative Review in 2016 was our increased focus on judicial tyranny up and down the federal judiciary. I was proud to accompany the release of my book, “Stolen Sovereignty,” with dozens of columns about the federal judiciary, demonstrating conclusively that its entire modern construction is irremediably broken.

Throughout the year, we explored specific cases from the Supreme Court and especially from lower federal courts showing how their entire conception of constitutional interpretation is irretrievably broken. What is regarded by settled law as a federal power, the courts give to the states; what is a state power they give to the Feds. What is an inalienable right enshrined into the Constitution, they read out of it; what is antithetical to our founding values or not discussed in the Constitution they enshrine as a fundamental right.

Moreover, we have concluded that the entire public perception of the role of the courts as the sole and final arbiter of constitutional questions is fundamentally at odds with every tenet of our founding values as a democratic republic. Congress has the full array of constitutional tools at its disposal to rein in runaway courts. Also, the legislative branch, along with the executive branch and the states, can use their powers to check and mitigate the damage incurred from bad court decisions as it relates to the actual execution of those decisions as national precedent for broad political and social issues.

I look forward to doubling down on the focus of judicial reform from a legal, constitutional, historical, philosophical, and practical perspective in the coming year. This is the year I hope that conservatives in politics will finally wake up and smell the stench of the judicial tyranny. With Republicans in complete control of the federal government and most state governments, we will only be playing defense in the courts. The legal Left will successfully place every political decision in the courts and will likely succeed in most cases. Although Trump can make a small dent in the mess by immediately filling some vacancies, we have shown how in the long run that strategy will never work to stem the entrenched and irremediable post-constitutional precedent already observed even by conservative judges, aside from the rare Clarence Thomas.

It is my hope that the coming judicial onslaught — from destroying state sovereignty and religious liberty laws to mandating rights for illegal aliens and codifying transgenderism — will serve as the inspiration for conservatives to finally restore the proper balance of power between Congress, the states, and the federal judiciary. Concurrently, with control of 33 state legislative chambers, hopefully this is the year when we finally gain critical momentum in the push for an Article V Convention of the States to reform the judiciary and the entire broken political structure from outside Washington, D.C.

To that end, I give you a partial year in review from our archives to look back at some of the craziest court decisions of the year:

1. A constitutional right to unsafe abortion clinics

In the landmark SCOTUS ruling of the year, Anthony Kennedy wrote a 5-3 opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt asserting that states can’t require abortion clinics to meet the health standards for ambulatory surgical centers, or require doctors at the facilities to have admissions privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The decision opened the door for lower courts to assail every common sense regulation states have implemented to prevent a repeat of Kermit Gosnell horror stories in abortion clinics. With this decision, the Court expanded the concocted right to an abortion to the right to an unregulated abortion clinic.

2. A license to discriminate … on behalf of the RIGHT people

While Anthony Kennedy and his ilk bastardize the Fourteenth Amendment and concoct phony rights that prevent states from defining marriage, enacting common sense abortion regulations, enforcing immigration law, and maintaining basic state powers over election laws, they allow states to actually discriminate on behalf of “minorities.” In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Kennedy and the other liberals said that college affirmative action programs that blatantly discriminate against whites are constitutional as long as they are necessary to achieve “the educational benefits of diversity.” Thus, the one true violation of “Equal Protection” was blessed by the Court, even as they strike down our history and tradition based on false applications of the Fourteenth Amendment.

3. States can’t require photo ID at the polls

Every circuit court that has heard cases related to photo ID laws have “struck down” those common sense laws as violations of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. The most egregious was the Fourth Circuit ruling insinuating that black Americans are essentially incapable of obtaining photo ID, even when provided by the state of North Carolina for free. In addition, the Fourth Circuit mandated 17 days of early voting and all sorts of new constitutional rights, such as same-day registration, pre-registration of 16-year-olds, and out-of-precinct voting. Oh, and the court also said that North Carolina election maps were racist. The Supreme Court refused to stay the lower court decision, and only Justice Thomas would have overturned the ruling mandating that 16-year-olds be allowed to register to vote!

4. Court nullifies North Carolina elections and calls for new off-year elections

After originally “striking down” North Carolina’s state elections maps — an area of law over which states fully control — a federal district court mandated new state legislative elections to be held in 2017, in contravention to the state’s constitution. Together with many other rulings this year throughout the country, federal courts have crowned themselves king over state elections. They have effectively empowered themselves to create new election maps and even new elections, invariably benefiting Democrats.

5. Racist court rules blacks too dumb to use regular ballots in Michigan

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations! District judge Gershwin Drain ruled that there is a Fourteenth Amendment right for voters to have the option of checking a party-line box on the ballot that automatically renders every vote down-ballot for the same party. The judge opined that simple “office by office ballots” are likely to increase voter confusion and miscast ballots in black neighborhoods because they evidently, in his estimation, can’t ascertain the Democrat candidate running for individual offices. The Sixth Circuit upheld his ruling.

6. Ohio can’t purge dead voters from its voter registration

According to the Sixth Circuit, states can’t even clean their voters rolls after employing a painstaking process of verification. In a 2-1 decision, which included a Republican-appointee, the Sixth Circuit forced the Ohio secretary of state to reinstate “voting rights” to 465,000 dead voters who were removed from the rolls through the very process required by the motor voter law. By misinterpreting congressional statutes to prevent states from fighting voter fraud, the courts are essentially abolishing free and fair elections, the underpinnings of our federal representative democracy.

7. Non-citizens voting is de facto law of the land

If dead Americans can vote, why can’t live foreign nationals vote in our elections? That is the conclusion we must draw from two court decisions this year. Both the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Tenth Circuit blocked states from requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration, even when the U.S. Election Assistance Commission explicitly gave them permission to do so. With thousands of non-citizens erroneously registering to vote through motor voter laws, the courts have now blocked the only practical way to prevent non-citizens from diluting the integrity of our elections.

8. Transgenderism is settled law

Earlier in the year, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the federal education code forces states and school districts to allow boys into female private dressing rooms. More recently, the Sixth Circuit ruled that transgenderism being enshrined into civil rights is already “settled law.” Earlier in the year, a federal judge in Colorado urged the State Department to adopt “gender neutral” passports. Thus, the most immutable laws of nature are now being settled by the courts as the very opposite of their nature. This coming year, the Supreme Court will rule on one of these cases, Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, in what is likely to be Kennedy’s transgender equivalent of Obergefell.

9. States MUST fund Planned Parenthood

Almost every district and federal court that has heard cases filed by Planned Parenthood this year have ruled in the group’s favor, forcing states to fund them. Evidently, private abortion groups under criminal investigation for trafficking baby organs now have an inalienable right to taxpayer funds — out of reach of the state legislature to regulate. The Tenth Circuit ruled that Planned Parenthood has a First and Fourteenth Amendment right to taxpayer funding! Judge Michael R. Barrett, a Bush-appointed federal judge in Ohio, ruled that the state cannot cut off funding because the butcherhood “will suffer a continuing irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law.” This has now dissuaded weak governors like John Kasich from even signing pro-life legislation into law.

10. The Bill of Rights prohibits the Ten Commandment monument!

A GOP-appointed judge wrote an opinion for the Tenth Circuit completely rewriting the First Amendment, essentially declaring secularism the national religion. They gave standing to a group of pagan polytheists to sue against a privately funded replica of the Ten Commandments placed on the city hall lawn in Bloomfield, New Mexico. How did they demonstrate injury-in-fact to successfully obtain standing against the monument? With a straight face, the judge opined that the plaintiffs suffer “irreparable injury” because they have to pass by the monument while paying their water bill! Meanwhile, states and law enforcement can’t obtain standing to sue when their suffer security and economic problems as a result of Obama violating immigration laws.

11. States cannot protect religious liberty

While a private abortion organization evidently has the right to taxpayer funding — even if it is violating the conscience of half the taxpayers funding it — a private business does not have the right to merely mind its own business and run its organization according to its conscience.  In July, Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the Mississippi legislature from enforcing HB 1523, a law protecting private organizations from being forced to service the homosexual or transgender agenda when it interferes with their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The Fifth Circuit, including a GOP-appointed judge, refused to stay the district judge’s ruling. Thus, the most sacred rights of conscience and property are shredded by the same courts that create rights to taxpayer-funded abortions.

12. Stolen Sovereignty: Judge turns 6 states into sanctuaries

By now you are seeing the pattern of how the courts have denuded states of any long-held powers. Yet, when it comes to the one legitimate federal power — immigration enforcement — the courts are siding with sanctuary cities that thwart federal immigration officials. On September 30, Judge John Lee of the Northern District of Illinois codified sanctuary cities into law by ruling that localities in six states may not cooperate with federal authorities to detain illegal aliens unless ICE can somehow prove that each random individual is a known flight risk. This is part of a troubling trend of courts overturning settled law and granting illegal aliens standing to sue for avenues to remain in the country against the national will. If nothing is done to block such meddling in congressional power over immigration, the courts will likely thwart every effective immigration enforcement measures conservatives are encouraging Trump to implement.

13. Driver’s licenses for illegal aliens

The Ninth Circuit codified Obama’s illegal executive amnesty by ruling that Arizona could not follow congressional immigration statutes and must instead grant driver’s licenses to those amnestied by Obama. The court ruled that illegals have a Fourteenth Amendment write to affirmative state benefits and that Arizona doesn’t even have a public interest other than “animus” to prohibit them from obtaining driver’s licenses, despite the rash of drunk driving incidents. Meanwhile, this same court refuses to recognize a true right for Americans, the Second Amendment. A few months later, a federal judge in Texas gave standing to illegal aliens to sue the state of Texas to grant their children birth certificates simply by showing Mexican ID cards, thereby stealing the birthright and sovereignty of American citizens.

14. SCOTUS opens door for retroactive release of thousands of violent criminals

The courts were responsible for the crime wave of the ‘70s. If nothing is done to stop them, they will spawn a new crime wave in the coming years. In Welch v. United States, with Justice Thomas as the lone dissenter, the Supreme Court retroactively invalidated a major statute which created a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence for those who had three prior convictions for a “violent felony.” Consequently, thousands of the worst criminals in federal prison are flooding liberal district courts with petitions to reopen their cases for potential early release.

15. Courts force pharmacies to carry every form of contraception

In a case where silence is deafening, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a family-owned grocery and pharmacy store in Washington state that was forced by the lower courts to stock their shelves with Plan B morning-after pills. Justice Alito wrote a scathing dissent noting that the high court’s refusal to overturn lower court tyranny was an ominous sign that there are now five justices on the court who won’t even recognize the most foundational of inalienable rights. Even if Scalia’s seat is filled with a rock star constitutionalist, Anthony Kennedy has jumped the shark on religious liberty.

Indeed, we have a judicial emergency to contend with in 2017!

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Can an unconscious man commit a crime? Yes.

original article: Judge rejects subpoena on rape accuser who admitted she violated blacked-out student
January 13, by The College Fix

Would impose ‘trauma’ on woman with credibility problems

She admitted in text messages to performing oral sex on her blacked-out sex partner, but she won’t have to submit to a deposition in that student’s lawsuit against Amherst College for expelling him as a rapist.

In a little-noticed order in the long-running due process and Title IX lawsuit, issued shortly after the November election, a federal judge refused to grant a subpoena on student “Sandra Jones” sought by plaintiff “John Doe.”

Because Jones has since moved to Washington state, the ruling on the subpoena was made in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

There, Judge James Robart decided that deposing Jones in person would inflict “trauma” on the accuser.

read full article
read the lawsuit

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Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong

original article: Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong
August 22, 2016 by Ryan T. Anderson

A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”

Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:

The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

McHugh, whom the editor of The New Atlantis describes as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was during his tenure as psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins that he put an end to sex reassignment surgery there, after a study launched at Hopkins revealed that it didn’t have the benefits for which doctors and patients had long hoped.

Implications for Policy

The report focuses exclusively on what scientific research shows and does not show. But this science can have implications for public policy.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that ‘only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.’

Take, for example, our nation’s recent debates over transgender policies in schools. One of the consistent themes of the report is that science does not support the claim that “gender identity” is a fixed property independent of biological sex, but rather that a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.

The report also discusses the reality of neuroplasticity: that all of our brains can and do change throughout our lives (especially, but not only, in childhood) in response to our behavior and experiences. These changes in the brain can, in turn, influence future behavior.

This provides more reason for concern over the Obama administration’s recent transgender school policies. Beyond the privacy and safety concerns, there is thus also the potential that such policies will result in prolonged identification as transgender for students who otherwise would have naturally grown out of it.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Policymakers should be concerned with how misguided school policies might encourage students to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. As the report notes, “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”

Beyond school policies, the report raises concerns about proposed medical intervention in children. Mayer and McHugh write: “We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”

They continue: “We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” But as they note, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

Findings on Transgender Issues

The same goes for social or surgical gender transitions in general. Mayer and McHugh note that the “scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population.” Even after sex reassignment surgery, patients with gender dysphoria still experience poor outcomes:

Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Mayer and McHugh urge researchers and physicians to work to better “understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.” They continue:

In reviewing the scientific literature, we find that almost nothing is well understood when we seek biological explanations for what causes some individuals to state that their gender does not match their biological sex. … Better research is needed, both to identify ways by which we can help to lower the rates of poor mental health outcomes and to make possible more informed discussion about some of the nuances present in this field.

Policymakers should take these findings very seriously. For example, the Obama administration recently finalized a new Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires all health insurance plans under Obamacare to cover sex reassignment treatments and all relevant physicians to perform them. The regulations will force many physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to participate in sex reassignment surgeries and treatments, even if doing so violates their moral and religious beliefs or their best medical judgment.

Rather than respect the diversity of opinions on sensitive and controversial health care issues, the regulations endorse and enforce one highly contested and scientifically unsupported view. As Mayer and McHugh urge, more research is needed, and physicians need to be free to practice the best medicine.

Stigma, Prejudice Don’t Explain Tragic Outcomes

The report also highlights that people who identify as LGBT face higher risks of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, such as “depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and most alarmingly, suicide.” The report summarizes some of those findings:

Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent in the overall U.S. population.

What accounts for these tragic outcomes? Mayer and McHugh investigate the leading theory—the “social stress model”—which proposes that “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations.”

But they argue that the evidence suggests that this theory “does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” It appears that social stigma and stress alone cannot account for the poor physical and mental health outcomes that LGBT-identified people face.

As a result, they conclude that “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations.” And they call on all of us work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

Findings Contradict Claims in Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

Finally, the report notes that scientific evidence does not support the claim that people are “born that way” with respect to sexual orientation. The narrative pushed by Lady Gaga and others is not supported by the science. A combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely account for an individual’s sexual attractions, desires, and identity, and “there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation.”

Furthermore, the scientific research shows that sexual orientation is more fluid than the media suggests. The report notes that “Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80 percent of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.”

These findings—that scientific research does not support the claim that sexual orientation is innate and immutable—directly contradict claims made by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in last year’s Obergefell ruling. Kennedy wrote, “their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment” and “in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”

But the science does not show this.

While the marriage debate was about the nature of what marriage is, incorrect scientific claims about sexual orientation were consistently used in the campaign to redefine marriage.

In the end, Mayer and McHugh observe that much about sexuality and gender remains unknown. They call for honest, rigorous, and dispassionate research to help better inform public discourse and, more importantly, sound medical practice.

As this research continues, it’s important that public policy not declare scientific debates over, or rush to legally enforce and impose contested scientific theories. As Mayer and McHugh note, “Everyone—scientists and physicians, parents and teachers, lawmakers and activists—deserves access to accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

We all must work to foster a culture where such information can be rigorously pursued and everyone—whatever their convictions, and whatever their personal situation—is treated with the civility, respect, and generosity that each of us deserves.

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2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade

original article: 2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade
January 18, 2016 by KRISTI BURTON BROWN

Roe v. Wade has been the most fatal judicial decision in U.S. history. In the aftermath of Roe, 58 million babies have been aborted, whilecountless women have been irreparably damaged and families have been harmed and torn apart.

Roe was based on multiple mistakes, direct lies, and a rejection of accurate science, research, and the real Constitution. (Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg agrees that Roe was “heavy-handed judicial intervention [which] was difficult to justify.”) However, there are two particularly damaging mistakes – one made by the justices and one by the attorney who argued the case.

FATAL MISTAKE #1: The justices completely missed the intent of the 14th Amendment.

The justices behind Roe wrote that there was no constitutional basis for protecting preborn life. They rejected the 14th Amendment as a basis for protecting the preborn, even though it recognizes the right to life and equal protection for all persons.

They entirely failed to recognize the specific intent of the Congressional sponsors of the 14th Amendment. The intent – a key part of interpreting law – shows that the sponsors wanted to include future vulnerable and oppressed human beings in constitutional equal protection.

Representative John Bingham, a House sponsor, intended the Amendment to be applied universally – to any and every human being.[1] In a speech to Congress, prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment, he declared that the Constitution is “based upon the equality of the human race. Its primal object must be to protect each human being…”[2]

Senate sponsor Jacob Howard agreed that “the measure would apply to even the ‘humblest, the poorest, the most despised of the human race.’”[3] Representative H.D. Scott stated: “The strength of this Government…is in its willingness as well as ability to do equal and exact justice to every human being…”[4] He condemned justice being “made subservient to interest” and when the strong “can prey upon the weak and unfortunate with impunity.”[5]

Just as these statements applied to Black Americans at the time, they apply to the preborn now, just as they did on January 22, 1973, and at the time the 14 Amendment was passed. The Roe Court would have done well to recognize this clear and constitutional truth.

FATAL MISTAKE #2: The lawyer who argued Roe believed women needed abortion to be successful.

There are certainly things to admire about Sarah Weddington, the 26-year-old lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court. At a very young age, she took on the entire nation to advocate for something she believed in. She didn’t let her age, gender, or inexperience stop her.

However, besides the fact that Weddington was on the completely wrong side of a human justice issue, she also has a sad story in her personal history. Before she married Ron Weddington, she became pregnant with their child in her final year of law school. Neither of them wanted children, and so the couple traveled over the border to Mexico, for an illegal abortion.

Weddington cites her ability to have an abortion as the reason she went on to have a career as a lawyer, and yet countless successful female attorneys have proven Weddington’s assertion wrong. Women are, in fact, able to be successful and to be mothers.

Erika Bachiochi, a feminist and former pro-choice attorney,  authored “Embodied Equality: Debunking Equality Arguments for Abortion Rights” for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. She also wrote about the real truth on abortion and women for CNN:

As a one-time abortion rights supporter, I well know the temptation to see the right to abortion as a representation of women’s equality. …

Abortion betrays women by having us believe that we must become like men — that is, not pregnant — to achieve parity with them, professionally, socially, educationally. . …

When we belittle the developing child in the womb, a scientific reality that most pro-choice advocates have come to admit, we belittle and distort that child’s mother. We make her out to be one with property rights over her developing unborn child (much as husbands once had property rights over their wives).

We give her the inhumane (but for 42 years, constitutionally protected) right to decide the fate of another human being, of a vulnerable child — her child — to whom she properly owes an affirmative duty of care. We do all this rather than offering her the myriad familial and social supports she needs, whatever her situation, and cherishing her role in the miracle of human life.

Conclusion

While these two fatal mistakes continue to cost millions of lives, we can each personally work to stop the damage. In our conversations with friends, on social media, on campus, and at our offices, clubs, churches, and groups, we can spread the truths that every human being – at every stage of development – deserves equal protection and that no woman needs to take her child’s life to succeed at life. We can actively and practically help women who make the choice for life.

As Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee,says:  “As long as abortion is legal, pro-lifers will fight and never give up.”

Sources:
[1] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[2] Id.
[3] SENATOR JACOB HOWARD, SPEECH INTRODUCING THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, Speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 23, 1866
[4] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[5] Id.

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Environmental activist ‘scientist’ admits fraud in court

original article: Activist ‘Scientist’ Runs From Reporters After Admitting In Court He Has No Proof Fracking Poisons Water
March 3, 2016 by Michael Bastasch

It’s another bad day in court for environmentalists trying to prove how bad hydraulic fracturing has been for the town of Dimock, Pa.

A Cornell University engineering professor often used by activists to attack fracking ran from reporters after he admitted in court there was no proof drilling had contaminated Dimock’s drinking water.

Prof. Tony Ingraffea was forced to admit he was an anti-fossil fuel “advocate” in court Tuesday, and that he had no proof fracking done by Cabot Oil and Gas had contaminated the drinking water of two Dimock families suing the oil company, according to journalist Phelim McAleer.

McAleer, who also created the documentary “Fracknation” to expose anti-fracking myths, has been covering the trial against Cabot. He previously reported the plaintiff’s lawyer admitted they had no proof chemicals from fracking ever ended up in drinking water. McAleer confronted Ingraffea about his activism and lack of proof fracking contaminated Dimock’s water.

“It has been a rough few days for Professor Ingraffea, the anti-fracking movement’s favorite scientist,” McAleer wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “Professor Ingraffea was forced to admit that he’s an anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel ‘advocate.’”

“He admitted that his theory contradicted the plaintiffs’ own timeline,” McAleer continued. “Under Ingraffea’s theory, the ‘contamination’ could only have started in late 2008/early 2009 because that was when the gas drilling started; however, the plaintiffs have stated repeatedly that their water allegedly deteriorated in the summer of 2008 before the drilling Ingraffea has been blaming for the past 8 years.”

“Then Ingraffea shockingly admitted that after eight years of claims and multi-million dollar lawsuits, he had no proof that Cabot had contaminated any water in Dimock,” McAleer wrote.

It was after this stunning admission that McAleer approached Ingraffea outside the courthouse, where the anti-fracking professor tried to avoid questions about his admission and even hid behind a woman’s coat.
“I wanted to know if, after admitting under oath that he had no evidence to back up his claims that Dimock’s water was contaminated, he would now take the opportunity to apologize to the people of Dimock. He didn’t. He ran away,” McAleer wrote.

Ingraffea became an eco-celebrity after he and a colleague published a report in 2011 claiming methane emissions from fracking would cause more global warming than coal. He was then taped by anti-fracking celebrities, like actor Mark Ruffalo and Yoko Ono (no one really knows why she’s still famous), for his criticisms of fracking — he and Ruffalo appeared in TIME magazine in 2011 for their activism.

Ingraffea also made an appearance in the anti-fracking film “Gasland: Part II” in 2013. In the film, he claims “industry documents” show 60 percent of all fracked wells failed, but this claim was later proven false — the document cited in the film had nothing to do with fracking on land, but instead with drilling in deeps waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ingraffea has since appeared at numerous events alongside celebrities, speaking out against fracking and fossil fuels.

“It’s sad that people such as Professor Ingraffea can make so many damaging claims, scaring people, telling them their water is poisoned, and all these years later admit in a court that he never had any evidence to back up his scaremongering,” McAleer wrote.

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A tale of two conspiracies: Planned Parenthood vs Hillary Clinton

You may have heard the grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood regarding the events portrayed in the scandalous baby-parts videos has, as of yesterday, indicted not Planned Parenthood, but the group who recorded the videos. The announcement is a bit short on details.

“Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced Monday that Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.”

So Daleiden gets in trouble for purchasing the baby parts, but Planned Parenthood suffers no penalty for selling them. Hmmm. Also mentioned in the article is the charge of tampering with “a governmental record” which is not named in the release.

LifeNews.com was diligent enough to mention (back in August of 2015) that one of Planned Parenthood’s board members works in the D.A. office who conducted the investigation. And what response do we hear from abortion supporters about this possibility of a conflict of interest? The allegation of “conspiracy mongering”.

Now whether the presence of the board member really did affect the nature of the investigation remains to be seen. But given the money and power involved in the cushy arrangements between Planned Parenthood and government, it is not at all difficult to see a high likelihood of tampering in this investigation – especially when you consider the nature of the videos.

The videos were analyzed by a group of “experts” commissioned by Planned Parenthood. According to the New York Times:

“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” the analysis of a private research company said.

Rest assured the private company hired by Planned Parenthood to review the videos are “qualified experts” who just happened to reach precisely the conclusion Planned Parenthood wanted. Hmmm, no conflict of interest there either, right?

Contrast this situation with Hillary Clinton’s current email scandal. As of this writing the FBI is supposedly poised to indict her soon. But what do we hear out of leftwing circles? Allegations of tampering with the investigation.

The top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence suggested Sunday that congressional Republicans are manipulating the inspector general who recently reported about new “top secret” information found on Hillary Clinton’s private email system.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff argued that several Republican committee chairmen are investigating Clinton’s use of the private system as secretary of state while “actively campaigning” against her.

“I think the inspector general has to be very careful not to allow himself to be used by one political party against the other in a presidential race,” Schiff told “Fox News Sunday.”

Of course credibility of either conspiracy largely depends on political ideology. Although, it’s not like government investigations have ever been tampered with before.

But these conspiracy theories apparently are not equal. Rest assured we will be told the allegation of conspiracy in the Planned Parenthood investigation is empty. But the allegation of conspiracy to “get Hillary” will of course be treated as legitimate. Because that’s how news media works today – overtly taking sides before all the facts are known, and ignoring the facts that are inconvenient for one side.

abortion, bias, corruption, criminal, elitism, government, ideology, indoctrination, judiciary, justice, news media, pandering, politics, scandal

Filed under: abortion, bias, corruption, criminal, elitism, government, ideology, indoctrination, judiciary, justice, news media, pandering, politics, scandal

Sotomayor: Every single individual in this society chooses, if they can, their sexual orientation

original article: Sotomayor: We’re not taking away your liberty, because we won’t force you to marry a gay person
April 29, 2015 by Ben Johnson

One moment in the Supreme Court’s oral arguments over same-sex “marriage” reveals what an embarrassment Sonia Sotomayor is as a justice.

John J. Bursch, who argued on behalf of marriage, said that the people, not five unelected justices, should be able to decide whether to redefine a pillar of society that predates the government and written history.

“This case isn’t about how to define marriage,” he said. “It’s about who gets to decide that question. Is it the people acting through the democratic process, or is it the federal courts? And we’re asking you to affirm every individual’s fundamental liberty interest in deciding the meaning of marriage.”

The “wise Latina” immediately interrupted him with the following non-sequitur:

“I’m sorry. Nobody is taking that [liberty] away from anybody. Every single individual in this society chooses, if they can, their sexual orientation, or who to marry or not marry. I suspect even with us giving gays rights to marry that there’s some gay people who will choose not to.”

I’ll pass over Sotomayor saying that “every single individual..chooses” his or her sexual preference. But don’t miss the full illuminating brilliance of her argument: The Supreme Court is not trampling on the right of 50 million people in 35 states to settle their own law as long as straight people are not forced to “marry” homosexuals.

For Sotomayor, apparently anything short of judicially mandated sodomy is within the justices’ constitutional prerogatives – a view that would surprise any of our nation’s founding jurists, whether Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian.

This would be a laugh line if the Left didn’t keep saying it with a straight face. (No pun intended.) The Obama administration made a similar argument about the HHS mandate. In February 2012, then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the conscience-destroying provision of ObamaCare strongly upheld individual freedom. “It’s important to note that our rule has no effect on the longstanding conscience clause protections for providers, which allow a Catholic doctor, for example, to refuse to write a prescription for contraception. Nor does it affect an individual woman’s freedom to decide not to use birth control.” (Emphasis added.)

Sebelius basically said, “Hey, be happy we’re not stuffing birth control pills down your stupid Catholic face!” Coming from an administration whose Science Czar John Holdren has justified “compulsory abortion” for American women, that comes as cold comfort, indeed.

abortion, bias, civil rights, constitution, freedom, government, homosexuality, ideology, judiciary, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism

Filed under: abortion, bias, civil rights, constitution, freedom, government, homosexuality, ideology, judiciary, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism

Anti-Business Myths Pervade Reporting on Religious Freedom Legislation

original article: Anti-Business Myths Pervade Reporting on Religious Freedom Legislation
April 1, 2015 by Hans Bader

Sometimes, the media propagates anti-business myths, in the course of reporting on legislation that has little impact on business. So it is with its recent reporting on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation enacted in Indiana, and passed by Arkansas legislators. (CEI takes no position on such legislation, which we previously discussed at length at this link.)

As The Washington Examiner notes, “The federal version of Indiana’s bill, which was signed into law in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of their religion — except in instances where the government can prove it has a ‘compelling interest’ and can impose the burden in the least-restrictive way possible.”

In reporting on the Indiana legislation, many media sources have erroneously suggested that it is somehow radical to give rights to businesses or corporations (as opposed to individuals) and that such legislation would be unprecedented in allowing religious freedom to be asserted as a defense to a lawsuit by a private person.

Press coverage has also often falsely implied that religious-freedom legislation gives religious businesses a broad right to discriminate against gays and lesbians, when in fact no such right has ever been recognized under the similar legislation that already exists at the federal level and in many states. As The Washington Examiner points out, “The words ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian’ and ‘sexual orientation’ are nowhere to be found in” its “language,” and “no religious freedom bill has been used successfully to defend discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the 22 years since Congress and states began adopting such laws.”

This is not because of the novelty or rarity of such laws: as The Washington Post’s Hunter Schwarz notes, many states have their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and “Indiana is actually . . . one of 20 states with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Instead, religious defenses to gay-rights claims tend to fail because the court finds a “compelling interest” justifying regulation, or finds no “substantial burden” on the business owner, which illustrates the limited reach of these religious freedom statutes as applied to discrimination claims.

But, in fact, there is already a Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the federal level, and as Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler has observed, it has already been interpreted to apply as a defense in lawsuits brought by private persons, by most (but not all) of the federal appeals courts that have considered the question, including “The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 8th, 9th and D.C. Circuits.”

I have previously explained why businesses should be able to assert constitutional rights and other civil liberties as a defense to lawsuits by private people at this link. Thus, Kessler’s colleague Sandhya Somashekar was mistaken to write earlier that Indiana’s law is “fundamentally different” from the “federal” RFRA, which “protects only individuals seeking relief from government intrusions on their religious beliefs, while “[t]he Indiana law and others like it also apply to disputes between private parties.” In reality, Indiana’s law merely makes explicit what was already implicit in the federal law, as commentators like Reason’s Jacob Sullum and law professor Josh Blackman have observed.

The media have also suggested it is somehow radical to give rights to businesses (as opposed to individuals). But it makes little sense to deny rights to an association of persons, such as a corporation, since that would allow the government to effectively use the corporate form to take away the rights of real people. The Supreme Court’sHobby Lobby and Gonzales decisions, like the great majority of prior court rulings,allowed corporations to rely on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I have previously explained why corporations logically have rights at this link, noting that corporations also have rights under international human-rights accords, such as the European Convention on Human Rights. (See also this Detroit News op-ed by CEI’s Ryan Young and me at this link, and my commentary, “Amendments try to take away the rights of corporations and gay people.”)

There is nothing novel about a corporation having constitutional or other rights: The Supreme Court first recognized such rights in ruling in favor of Dartmouth College, an incorporated entity, in its decision two centuries ago interpreting the Constitution’s Contracts Clause, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819).

The idea that rights should not apply against private lawsuits is foreign to our constitutional tradition. For example, the Supreme Court has repeatedly applied the First Amendment as a defense to lawsuits by private parties over speech, even when the speech is hateful and hurtful. See Snyder v. Phelps (2011) (tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress could not constitutionally be applied to protest speech by bigoted homophobic church); Hustler v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988) (damages could not be awarded in private lawsuit over parody demeaning a famous religious figure); New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) (defamation damage award was unconstitutional when it was based on speech that was not recklessly false).

The Supreme Court has also recognized the First Amendment right of freedom of expressive association as a defense in ruling against a lawsuit brought against the Boy Scouts under the gay-rights provisions of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.See Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000). The notion that the Constitution limits even private lawsuits is not a novel one, but an understanding that reaches back to the era of the Founding Fathers, as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh found in his research, citing court rulings such as Harris v. Huntington, 2 Tyl. 129 (Vt. 1802).

While Religious Freedom Restoration Acts have not been successfully relied upon to challenge state gay-rights laws or discriminate against gay people, it may be that they could successfully be used by regulated entities to challenge other types of antidiscrimination regulations that burden their religious expression, such as agency rules restricting religion-based hiring by religious organizations (federal civil-rights laws and state gay-rights laws typically do not ban religion-based hiring by religious organizations, although agency regulations sometimes attempt to do so).

For example, in Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod v. FCC (1998), the FCC attempted to regulate a religious broadcaster’s use of religion in selecting people who would speak for it on the air, which the broadcaster argued violated its rights under both RFRA and the Free Exercise Clause. The appeals court sidestepped the issue, by junking the FCC’s equal-employment opportunity rules because they also contained unconstitutional racial and gender preferences, and remanding the issue back to the FCC to determine whether to continue to regulate religion-based hiring in any future EEO rules adopted by the agency. But the court did not hide its skepticism that such “broad employment regulation” could be justified by an agency’s “interest in broadcast diversity” when the religion-based hiring in question was not banned by any generally-applicable civil-rights law applying to society generally.

It is not RFRA, but the First Amendment itself, that has occasionally been relied upon to successfully block discrimination lawsuits, such as in the Supreme Court’s Boys Scouts v. Dale decision, which relied on freedom of expressive association to quash a sexual-orientation discrimination lawsuit, and the Ninth Circuit’s Rodriguez v. Maricopa decision, which relied on the First Amendment to quash a racial harassment lawsuit. When a New Mexico wedding photographer objected to filming the civil-commitment ceremony of a gay couple, her strongest defense was rooted in the First Amendment, not RFRA.

anti-religion, bias, bigotry, civil rights, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, freedom, government, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, judiciary, justice, left wing, liberalism, news media, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, public policy, relativism, victimization

Filed under: anti-religion, bias, bigotry, civil rights, discrimination, diversity, first amendment, freedom, government, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, judiciary, justice, left wing, liberalism, news media, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, public policy, relativism, victimization

When is a tool a weapon? Chicago court throws out teacher discipline case.

April 18, 2014 by Warren Richey

A veteran teacher at a Chicago elementary school has lost his bid to reverse a four-day suspension without pay because he showed an array of hand tools to his second grade students as part of a math lesson.

Douglas Bartlett displayed pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, a pocket knife, and a box cutter in his classroom as part of the lesson. He also described and demonstrated how each tool is used by professionals.

Mr. Bartlett, who has been a teacher in Chicago for 17 years, thought he was using physical objects to help his students learn the required course material.

Instead, according to school administrators at Washington Irving Elementary School, Bartlett was guilty of wielding “weapons” in his classroom in violation of various school policies.

School Principal Valeria Bryant cited Bartlett for “possessing, carrying, storing, or using a weapon on the job when not authorized to do so.”

He was also accused of violating school rules, repeatedly engaging in flagrant acts, inattention to duty, and negligently supervising children.

The principal said the teacher had failed to obtain permission to use a box-cutter and a knife in a classroom demonstration, and failed to keep the box-cutter in a location inaccessible to the seven- and eight-year-old students.

Bartlett objected to the punishment. He complained that administrators were enforcing the student handbook definition of “weapon” in his case, even though he was a teacher rather than a student, and even though the items had been used and demonstrated as tools, not weapons.

The teacher appealed the principal’s decision. Administrators upheld the four-day suspension and the inclusion of a notation of the disciplinary action in his employment record.

Barlett filed suit in federal court, asking a judge to declare that school officials had violated his rights by failing to provide him with prior notice that the use of tools like a pocketknife and box-cutters while teaching a class could subject him to disciplinary action.

On Thursday, US District Judge Robert Dow dismissed Bartlett’s case, saying that even though Bartlett clearly disagrees with the administrator’s conclusions and punishment, “his disagreement does not give rise to a viable constitutional claim.”

Judge Dow quoted an earlier court ruling: “It is not the role of the federal courts to set aside decisions of school administrators which the court may view as lacking a basis in wisdom or compassion.”

School administrators are granted wide discretion to carry out their educational mission, the judge said, and should not question that discretion when it does not violate specific constitutional guarantees.

Judge Dow said school officials had provided due process procedures for the teacher to present his side of the case and to appeal the principal’s ruling.

He added: “Even if the use of the box cutter and knife were acceptable practices – or, at least, not barred by a clearly articulated rule – the imposition of a four-day suspension for leaving such tools in a place accessible to second grade students was within the discretion of the school administrators and did not run afoul of [Bartlett’s] constitutional rights.”

The federal complaint was filed and litigated with the help of the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group.

John Whitehead, president of the institute, said Bartlett was a victim of “zealous misapplication of misguided zero tolerance policies.” He called it “zero tolerance policies run amok.”

“In an age where public schools face an unprecedented number of real challenges in maintaining student discipline, and addressing threats of real violence, surely no one benefits from trumped up charges where no actual ‘weapons’ violation has occurred and no threat is posed to any member of the school community,” Mr. Whitehead said in a statement.

“Education truly suffers when school administrators exhibit such poor judgment and common sense,” he said.

The case is Douglas Bartlett v. City of Chicago School District #299 (13cv2862).

original article: When is a tool a weapon? Chicago court throws out teacher discipline case.

abuse, education, extremism, ideology, intolerance, judiciary, law, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy

Filed under: abuse, education, extremism, ideology, intolerance, judiciary, law, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy

Lawsuit Against Common Core Filed in Utah

July 31, 2014 by Shane Vander Hart

The Libertas Institute announced a lawsuit filed against the Utah State Board of Education over the Common Core State Standards.  The lawsuit filed today in Utah’s Third Judicial District Court has six plantiffs, a couple of them who are well known by Truth in American Education readers.

They are:

  • Patti Bateman, who was an elementary school teacher at the time of Common Core’s adoption
  • David Cox, an elementary school teacher
  • Timothy Osborn, who was a member of the Alpine School Board at the time of Common Core’s adoption
  • Christel Swasey, a parent of school aged children and licensed educator
  • Dr. Gary Thompson, a parent of school aged children
  • Steve Whitehouse, a board member of the Maeser Prep Charter School

“Two weeks ago, Governor Herbert announced he had asked the Attorney General to investigate legal issues surrounding Common Core,” said Libertas Institute president Connor Boyack. “We have been conducting our own investigation since January and have identified several violations of the law.”

“Most Utahns believe that local control of education is important,” said Boyack. “We agree, but it’s important to note that local control is not merely about having Utahns managing federal or multi-state programs. The idea behind local control is that the people who are most intimately affected by the product of public education should be involved and able to give input. This did not happen with the adoption of Common Core—and it should have.”

Their six page brief petitions the judge for an petitions the judge for an “order enjoining the Board from further implementing Common Core in Utah’s public schools, from requiring Utah’s public schools to further adopt or abide by Common Core, and from enforcing Common Core in Utah’s public schools.”

read full article: Lawsuit Against Common Core Filed in Utah

education, ethics, government, judiciary, litigation, nanny state, public policy, reform, scandal

Filed under: education, ethics, government, judiciary, litigation, nanny state, public policy, reform, scandal

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