Category Archives: Constitution

Government Waste Watchdog Cites Franks and Salmon for Serving the People with Distinction

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) applauded Reps. Trent Franks and Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) for their relentless and unwavering support of the fiscal interests of American taxpayers while serving in Congress.  Reps. Franks and Salmon were two of the 17 lawmakers to earn a perfect score of 100 percent in CCAGW’s 2014 Congressional Ratings, making them “Taxpayer Super Heroes.”  Since Rep. Franks was elected in 2012, he has a lifetime rating of 95 percent, while Rep. Salmon maintained a 97 percent lifetime rating since his election in 2012.

The report, which CCAGW has issued since 1989, highlights the voting records of all 535 members of Congress.  It identifies members whose impeccable voting records helped protect and save the taxpayers’ money, earning them the honored title of “Taxpayer Super Hero,” while it cites members who consistently voted against the fiscal interest of taxpayers.

CCAGW rates members of both chambers on a 0-100 percent scale.  Members are placed in the following categories: 0-19% Hostile; 20-39% Unfriendly; 40-59% Lukewarm; 60-79% Friendly; 80-99% Taxpayer Hero; and 100% Taxpayer Super Hero.  The 2014 Congressional Ratings scored 85 votes in the House of Representatives and 13 votes in the Senate.

“We applaud and wholeheartedly thank Reps. Franks and Salmon for their hard work on behalf of the taxpayers while serving in Congress,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.  “Their courageous votes to cut wasteful spending and make government more accountable should serve as an example to other members, encouraging them to make good on promises to protect the fiscal interests of American taxpayers.”

“We have no doubt that Reps. Franks and Salmon will continue to help lead the effort to end wasteful spending and reduce the growing national debt,” added Schatz.  “Their constituents should be very proud of them.”

Overruling the Courts: How We End the Reign of Liberal Judges in 2016

By Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage confirms, once again, that conservative efforts to end liberal judicial activism on major issues have failed. On matters that determine our quality of life and culture-immigration, criminal justice, abortion, marriage-the left enjoys clear mastery of the courts, and has for the last fifty years. To end this tyranny, Congress must use its power under Article III, section 2 of the Constitution to remove jurisdiction from the federal courts over these issues. This will allow the states and the people to decide these matters, restoring self-government on the issues that matter most.

For the past half century, conservative political leaders have vowed to combat liberal judicial activism. These efforts, quite simply, have failed. Unelected liberal judges now effectively run America, making every ultimate policy decision-often in defiance of the will of the people.

Unchecked liberal court rulings have subverted the Constitution, wreaking havoc on our national sovereignty and such bedrock institutions as the family and religious freedom. On the issues that determine our quality of life and culture-immigration, criminal justice, abortion, marriage-the left enjoys clear mastery of the courts and is seeking to mop up and fully implement their social agenda. Except for occasional “crumbs from the master’s table,” conservatives no longer can win in court on the issues that matter most.

To reverse this destructive trend and restore self-government, two things must happen. First, Congress must use its power under Article III, section 2 of the Constitution to remove jurisdiction from the federal courts over these issues. Second, conservative leaders and organizations must work together and insist that candidates for president and Congress in 2016 take a clear position on whether they support stripping the federal courts of this jurisdiction. Otherwise, candidates will continue to mislead conservative voters with often self-serving promises and tactics that, for a half century, have failed to turn the tide.

These jurisdiction-stripping measures would ensure, at a minimum, certain states can become “Faith and Family Networks.” There, people of faith may live in relative freedom from harassment until the courts and other institutions can be properly reformed.

An American Tyranny: Why Our Government Is Election-Proof

Starting in the 1960s, liberal activists took over the federal courts and used them to assault and fundamentally change American society. Under the leadership of former California politician Earl Warren, the U.S. Supreme Court imposed on the nation sweeping liberal policies that lacked popular support. To accomplish this, the high court claimed it had discovered new constitutional “rights.” These “rights” were conferred on individuals hostile to the rule of law and traditional American values. They included criminals and prison inmates, illegal immigrants, flag-burners, and a motley group of liberal provocateurs at war with the social conventions that had protected civilization for millennia.

Converting the Supreme Court into what Justice Hugo Black called a “day-to-day constitutional convention,” activist justices remade the nation. They threw out state laws designed to stop illegal immigration, administer capital punishment, significantly limit or ban abortion, defend marriage, honor religious faith through governmental action, and protect the innocence of children from unrestrained “freedom of expression” in the mass media. These activist rulings, to paraphrase Justice Antonin Scalia, rewrote the “Constitution for a country I do not recognize.”

For example, thanks to federal court rulings, convicted murderers are allowed decades to appeal their sentences through state and, afterwards, federal courts. These delays effectively nullify capital punishment, which the American people support. The Supreme Court has invalidated state laws allowing juries to impose capital punishment on heinous criminals who, for example, rape children. Today, the death penalty is carried out only at the whim of judges, and is no longer an effective deterrent to murder or other grave crimes.

Likewise, the federal courts have knocked down state laws addressing the ongoing influx of illegal immigrants. Activist judges have overturned legislation which made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to enter a state. Other state laws targeting illegal immigration have met the same demise. This has happened even though the Framers of the Constitution expressly reserved for the states broad police powers allowing them to pass and enforce such laws-laws which defend the rule of law and basic American sovereignty.

Unelected federal judges, not elected officials, now have the final say on every national policy issue. This has made our government election-proof. Voting for president or members of Congress means little if federal judges, not elected officials, make the ultimate decisions on all public policies. As power has shifted to the federal courts, elections have become increasingly meaningless. Voter distrust of government has soared.

Moreover, the judiciary has become a firm bastion of liberalism. The courts have given America, for the past fifty years, a steady series of now-entrenched liberal court rulings. These have shattered the nation’s traditions, quality of life and culture. The courts steadfastly refuse to overturn these rulings. Except for occasional and very marginal victories, it is no longer possible for conservatives to win in court on the issues that matter most.

A Half Century of Failure

How did activist liberal judges accomplish this? Those who should have fought back against them did not. Failing to mount a successful counterattack were a succession of presidents and members of Congress-in particular, as a practical matter, the leaders of America’s conservative party, the Republican Party. Many of these leaders tried and meant well. Most, however, shunned the fight out of political self-interest. To avoid controversy and attacks from the liberal media and other allies of liberal judges, these leaders sacrificed the Constitution and self- government.

Misleading Campaign Promises and Ineffective Tactics

Every election cycle, Americans witness a disingenuous ritual. Republican candidates promise to fight the most recent batch of liberal court rulings with tactics proven, over the last fifty years, to be completely ineffective. The first stock promise: seeking to amend the Constitution. This is a political cop-out. The Framers deliberately made amending the Constitution an extremely difficult and unlikely process. This makes pledging to amend the Constitution a dodge, a high- sounding way to avoid seriously addressing activist court rulings.

Equally slippery is the second standard promise: passing more laws to challenge the offending rulings. New conservative laws, conservatives are told, will set up more cases and, eventually, victories in court. These laws are then litigated for many years, often a decade or longer. Any eventual gains from these cases are tardy and trifling. By then a whole new generation of Congressmen are in office, ready to try the same tactic before an often-forgetful conservative electorate. This political promise, in short, is the hackneyed political equivalent of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown again and again.

Despite decades of litigation, the core liberal court rulings remain untouched. For fifty years, federal judges have not reversed a single, major liberal precedent on a cultural issue. Conservative gains in court have been rare and extremely modest, while the left and its social agenda romp virtually unchallenged through the nation’s courthouses. Trumpeting these tiny and infrequent conservative “victories” are lawyers who earn income from these cases and allied politicians; their public declarations of victory often mislead conservatives into thinking they are winning the nation’s cultural battles when, in fact, they are being routed.

Finally, GOP presidential candidates offer the quadrennial chestnut of promising to appoint “strict-constructionist judges.” This tactic also has failed. The left makes confirmation of such candidates for judgeships a horrific and doubtful enterprise. Prospective judges who are honest and open enough to articulate right-of-center views prior to nomination are crucified by liberal media elites and pressure groups during the confirmation process. The savaging of the late Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas were clarion events in this regard. Indeed, the left knows how and when to fight: Had Bork been confirmed instead of his replacement, Anthony Kennedy, America would be a very different country today.

Regardless, it is hard even to find potential conservative judges, no matter how diligently a president searches for them. Lawyers are overwhelmingly liberal. For this reason, the number of conservatives in this pool of potential judges is very small. Even when they can be found, attorneys with seemingly conservative credentials frequently “flip” after donning a black robe. To do otherwise requires them to withstand tremendous professional and personal pressures and enticement from liberal legal insiders, the media and fellow judges. Few are strong enough to do so.

“The Liberal Courts”

What Judge Robert Bork foresaw as the “political seduction of the law,” in a landmark book published when Barack Obama was a law student, has materialized. The left has thoroughly politicized the law and the courts. Conservatives cannot win there on the issues that matter most. Conservative leaders and voters must acknowledge this reality and act accordingly.

How did the left capture the courts? This takeover was inevitable once liberal activists took over academia. To be a lawyer, one must complete seven years of higher education, receiving both a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor. This means undergoing seven years of indoctrination by committed liberal professors. Thirty years ago, the late Allan Bloom warned about the damaging effects of liberal bias in higher education. But this was a thorny problem to solve, and so it was ignored. Now, it has changed the country.

Liberal indoctrination in American higher education is well documented. Some 72 percent of college professors describe themselves as liberal. Only 15 percent call themselves conservative. Not surprisingly, a 2010 analysis by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute concluded that the more college degrees a person earns, the more liberal that person becomes. When Americans are asked, for instance, whether they believe public-school teachers should be allowed to lead a prayer in school, 57 percent of high-school graduates say yes. That number drops to 40 percent for college graduates, 30 percent for master’s degree holders, and only 17 percent for Ph.D.’s.

This dynamic is particularly stark in law school. Those who dissent from liberal positions during class discussions literally are hissed at and ridiculed. Professors tolerate and sometimes encourage this environment. The message is delivered. Few who graduate from law school are conservative.

The American Bar Association and other bar associations reflect and enforce these biases. Indeed, an attorney who publicly calls the judiciary politicized or liberal risks disbarment; ethical rules charge bar associations with targeting attorneys who, in their judgment, unfairly challenge the “integrity of the judiciary.” Lawyers who speak out also face professional ostracism and retaliation in more obvious ways, as the courts control the outcome of their cases and their livelihoods.

In short, conservatives must view the courts as they do the media. Both institutions have become firmly liberal. Occasional “crumbs” from either institution do not alter this reality. Conservatives should use the phrase “liberal courts” as frequently and reliably as they say “liberal media,” for the terms are equally true.

Indeed, there is an incestuous relationship between the liberal courts and the liberal media. Through generous rulings, the courts have all but shielded the media from libel suits. The media reciprocate by giving the courts “air cover,” reflexively defending them from conservative critiques by pounding those who dare articulate them. Hollywood benefits financially from liberal court rulings, and so leaders of the motion-picture industry do their part, as well. Movie producers uniformly offer films that depict judges as wise, fair and benevolent.

Reclaiming Self-Government

Congress has the power to end this tragic and ruinous state of affairs. That power resides in Article III of the Constitution.

Article III of the Constitution specifies that the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction only over disputes between states and cases in which foreign diplomats are a party. On any other issue, Congress can limit or eliminate entirely the jurisdiction of the high court and the other federal courts. In other words, the people’s elected representatives in Congress can roll back judicial abuses through a simple majority vote of both houses.

Article III, section 2 provides the Supreme Court “shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” This language expressly allows Congress to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts to uphold the will of the people.

Congress has done this in the past, though not on the controversial cultural issues where action is urgently needed today. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld past congressional restrictions of its jurisdiction. Indeed, the language of Article III is so clear and unambiguous that the high court has been obliged to concede such limitations despite its obvious conflict of interest in allowing its own powers to be curbed.

In a string of rulings going back to right after the Civil War, the high court has acknowledged Congress holds this power under Article III. One justice recognizing this constitutional reality was Chief Justice John Marshall, whose opinions first asserted the Supreme Court’s right to strike down laws it deemed unconstitutional. Marshall observed that all federal judicial powers “are limited and regulated” by Congress.

In the Federalist Papers, written to persuade the earliest Americans to adopt the new Constitution, Alexander Hamilton echoed this understanding. He stated the courts were designed to be the “least dangerous” and “weakest” branch of government. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court would be “confined to two classes, and those of a nature rarely to occur.” Likewise, federal appellate jurisdiction would exist only “with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make” (Hamilton’s emphasis). There would never be a “superiority of the judiciary to the legislative power,” meaning the courts could not overrule Congress and the people. Indeed, Hamilton noted Congress could impeach activist judges who engaged in “deliberate usurpation on the authority of the legislature.” Leading legal scholars and other observers have quoted Hamilton and other Framers in upholding Congress’s power to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

Congress should restrict jurisdiction in those areas of public policy where federal judges have engaged in repeated, substantial abuses of power to thwart the will of the people. Specifically, Congress should pass an act restricting federal-court jurisdiction so that henceforth, each state may:

  • Make it a crime, prosecutable under state law, for an illegal immigrant to enter the state;
  • Ban same-sex marriages and protect related religious freedom;
  • Allow juries to impose the death penalty on criminals as determined by state law, and impose a two-year time limit for federal courts to rule on federal appeals of state capital cases; and
  • Fully regulate or end abortion as the people of the state or their elected representatives deem fit.

This “Empower the States Act” will restore to the states and the people their rightful authority to govern themselves on key areas of public policy.

Returning these matters to the states is not a perfect solution. Because of the deep intellectual rot in the judiciary, many state courts are liberal. Yet state judges are closer to the people and more accountable because many are elected. Also, many state constitutions have a right of referendum, allowing the people to vote directly on these matters.

Conclusion: Empowering the States

In 2016, conservative voters cannot settle for the same evasions and self-serving rhetoric offered by presidential and congressional candidates for the past half century. They must insist that candidates agree explicitly that if elected, they will act to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over these matters and end the reign of liberal judges. Fifty years of failure have proven nothing else will work.

To force candidates to address these issues forthrightly, conservative leaders, activists and voters must be dogged and focused. Republican politicians in particular routinely court conservative voters and rely upon them at election time, but try to avoid tackling these issues. They want to be spared the “air war” that erupts in the liberal media when conservative elected officials address a major social issue. As a result, Republican leaders typically settle for what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich memorably called “managing the decline” of the nation. This is a generous and artful way of accusing such leaders of political cowardice and dereliction of duty, terms that are just as true and fair.

Conservatives must demand more. The hour is very late.

The “Empower the States Act” will create “Faith and Family Networks,” states and clusters of like-minded states where people of faith can live without harassment. This is a realistic stopgap measure to protect these basic liberties until the courts and other institutions can be properly reformed.

To achieve this, conservatives cannot allow candidates to change the subject, talking instead of such easy and shopworn fare as cutting taxes or curbing the bureaucracy. Many news items compete for the voters’ attention. Yet the left shrewdly remains focused on controlling the courts because they know this is their source of ultimate power. In contrast, by losing such focus, conservatives have seen their civilization wrecked by liberal activist judges.

Only by pinning down candidates and holding them to their word on these issues can Americans realistically hope to end the left’s stranglehold on the courts. In the process, the electorate will have taken the surest path to a brighter national future.

Notes

Justice Black:  Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678 (1965)(Black, J., dissenting).

Justice Scalia:  United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 116 S. Ct. 2264 (1996)(Scalia, J., dissenting).

Liberal court rulings:  E.g., Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012)(disallowing state law barring illegal immigrants from entering state); Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S. Ct. 1684 (1961) and Miranda v. Arizona,384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966) (expanding the rights of criminals and inmates); Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705 (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 112 S. Ct. 2791 (1992)(right to abortion); Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 82 S. Ct. 1261 (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560 (1963)(forbidding public schools from conducting prayer or Bible readings);Obergefell v. Hodges, Citation Pending (2015)(right to same-sex marriage).

Bork:  Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (New York: Free Press, 1990).

Bloom:  Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987).

Liberal indoctrination in higher education:  Intercollegiate Studies Institute, “The Shaping of the American Mind,” February 2010.

Law school climate:  Andrew Peyton Thomas, The People v. Harvard Law: How America’s Oldest Law School Turned Its Back on Free Speech (San Francisco: Encounter, 2005), pp. 24-26.

Supreme Court and appellate rulings acknowledging Congress’ power to restrict  jurisdiction under Article III, Section 2:  Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506 (1869)(1867 Act); Lauf v. E.G. Skinner & Co., 303 U.S. 323 (1938)(Norris-LaGuardia Act); Felker v. Turpin, 517 U.S. 651 (1996)(Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act)); Garcia v. Att’y Gen. of the United States, 329 F.3d 1217 (11th Cir. 2003)(Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act); Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528 (11th Cir. 2002)(Prison Litigation Reform Act).  In Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 128 S. Ct. 2229 (2008), the Supreme Court, in a narrowly written decision, invalidated a federal restriction on its jurisdiction over enemy combatants held in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Chief Justice Marshall:  Durousseau v. United States, 10 U.S. (6 Crach.) 307 (1810).

Hamilton:  Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, Nos. 78 and 81 (available online athttp://constitution.org).

Intellectual support for jurisdiction-stripping measures:  E.g., Raoul Berger, Death Penalties: The Supreme Court’s Obstacle Course (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1982); R. Randall Bridwell and William J. Quirk,Judicial Dictatorship (Rutgers: Transaction, 1995); Patrick J. Buchanan, “Our Judicial Dictatorship,” Buchanan.org, October 10, 2014; Phyllis Schlafly, The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How To Stop It(Dallas: Spence, 2004).

Appendix – Proposed Legislation

114th Congress

1st Session

H.R. ____________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A BILL

To amend title 28, United States Code, with respect to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts over certain cases and controversies involving illegal immigration, marriage, capital punishment and abortion.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1.  SHORT TITLE

This Act may be cited as the “Empower the States Act of 2015.”

SEC. 2.   LIMITATION ON JURISDICTION

(a)  In General – Chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“Section 1632.  Limitation on jurisdiction

No court created by an Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, state laws that:  prohibit illegal aliens, as defined by Federal immigration laws, from entering a state; pertain to any type of marriage; determine what criminal conduct makes a criminal offender eligible for capital punishment; set a time limit, for a period of two years or more, for Federal appeal and review of state death-penalty cases; or regulate or prohibit abortion”.

(b) Conforming Amendment – The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“1632.  Limitation on jurisdiction”.

 

 

 

 

Senator Flake, Here’s How a Real Leader Responds to Lawlessness and Corruption

Just a few days ago 10 Republican members of the U.S. Senate voted to affirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general of the United States. While we were overjoyed at the departure of Eric Holder — the most lawless, most corrupt attorney general in U.S. history — his replacement is just as bad and totally unacceptable as he is. She should never should have been confirmed. Everyone knows that if the Democrats were in control of the Senate they would have refused to affirm a Republican president’s nominee for attorney general.

Nonetheless, we were curious to see how Arizona’s junior Senator Jeff Flake justified his vote to affirm Lynch. This is the message he posted on his official Senate website:

“I was pleased today to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general. While I disagree with Ms. Lynch on many policy positions, I have always believed that the Senate should give deference to the president to pick his Cabinet unless there is something disqualifying in a nominee’s background.

“Furthermore, with Loretta Lynch confirmed, Eric Holder’s tenure as head of the Department of Justice draws to a close. Not a bad day in Washington.”

So it’s “not a bad day in Washington” when the people we sent to D.C. to oppose the most lawless, radical, un-American presidential administration in our history refuse to do their jobs.

Now let’s look at how a real leader — Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who voted against Lynch’s confirmation — responded to the same responsibility set before him:

The Senate must never confirm an individual to such an office as this who will support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates established law and Congressional authority. No person who would do that should be confirmed. And we don’t need to be apologetic about it, colleagues.

Ms. Lynch has announced that she supports and, if confirmed, would advance, the president’s unlawful executive amnesty scheme—a scheme that would provide work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare benefits, tax credits of up to $35,000 a year (according to the Congressional Research Service), and even the possibility of chain migration and citizenship to those who have entered the country illegally or overstayed their lawful period of admission. The president has done this even though Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would implement such a scheme.

President Obama’s unlawful and unconstitutional executive action nullifies current immigration law—the Immigration and Nationality Act—and replaces them with the very measures Congress refused to adopt. Even King George the Third lacked the power to legislate without Parliament.

During her confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee, I asked Ms. Lynch plainly whether she supported the president’s unilateral decision to make his own immigration laws. Here is the relevant portion of the hearing transcript:

Sessions: I have to have a clear answer to this question—Ms. Lynch, do you believe the executive action announced by President Obama on November 20th is legal and Constitutional? Yes or no?

Lynch: As I’ve read the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, I do believe it is, Senator.

Of course, the lawful duty of the Attorney General is to enforce the law that exists, not one she or the president might wish existed.

One of the most stunning elements of the president’s scheme is the grant of work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from citizens and legal immigrants.

Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights has written at length about how this undermines the rights of U.S. workers, especially African-American workers, and other minorities, suffering from high unemployment. At her confirmation hearing, I asked Ms. Lynch about what she might do to protect the rights of legal U.S. workers. Here is the exchange in question:

Sessions: Who has more right to a job in this country? A lawful immigrant who’s here or a citizen—or a person who entered the country unlawfully?

Lynch: I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here. And certainly, if someone is here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they would be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.

This is a breathtaking statement. It is unprecedented for someone who is seeking the highest law enforcement office in America to declare that someone in the country illegally has a “right” to take a job.

This nation is—as George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley has put it—at “a constitutional tipping point.” Professor Turley, who is a nationally recognized constitutional scholar and self-described supporter of President Obama and his policies, testified before the House of Representatives in February 2014, 9 months before the president announced his unprecedented executive action:

“The current passivity of Congress represents a crisis of faith for members willing to see a president assume legislative powers in exchange for insular policy gains. The short-term, insular victories achieved by this president will come at a prohibitive cost if the current imbalance is not corrected. Constitutional authority is easy to lose in the transient shifts of politics. It is far more difficult to regain. If a passion for the Constitution does not motivate members, perhaps a sense of self-preservation will be enough to unify members. President Obama will not be our last president. However, these acquired powers will be passed to his successors. When that occurs, members may loathe the day that they remained silent as the power of government shifted so radically to the chief executive. The powerful personality that engendered this loyalty will be gone, but the powers will remain. We are now at the constitutional tipping point for our system. If balance is to be reestablished, it must begin before this president leaves office and that will likely require every possible means to reassert legislative authority.”

One of those means is the advice and consent power. It was created for just such a time as this. It is not only appropriate, but necessary, that the Senate refuse to confirm a president’s nominees when that president has overreached and assumed the legislative powers of Congress. It is particularly necessary when the president’s nominee is being appointed specifically for the improper purpose of advancing the president’s unconstitutional overreach—all through the powers of the office to which they have been nominated.

Congress must not confirm anyone to lead the United States Department of Justice who will advance the president’s unconstitutional actions. Congress has a limited number of powers to defend the Rule of Law and itself as an institution and to stop the Executive Branch from overreaching. It is unthinkable that we would ignore one of those powers in the face of such a direct threat to our constitutional order—and it is part of an escalating pattern of overreach.

Every day that we allow the president to erode the powers of Congress, we are allowing the president to erode the sacred Constitutional rights of the citizens we serve. We have a duty to this institution, to the Constitution, and to the American people not to confirm someone who is not committed to those principles but rather who will continue in violation of them. For those reasons, I will oppose this nomination and I urge my colleagues, regardless of party, to do the same.”

Senator Sessions, you are an inspiration and a true patriot and leader. We applaud your courage and your integrity in standing up to evil and to minimize harm to this great nation. You are doing what you were elected to do.

As for you, Senator Flake, the same cannot be said. We do not compound one mistake by replacing it with a second mistake. The lack of reasoning, the void of depth and intellect in your brief, casual statement is stunning. And unacceptable.

RFRAs have NEVER Harmed a Homosexual Person

By Casey Mattox
The Federalist

It has been 22 years since President Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. For two decades it has applied to every law in the District of Columbia and the federal government. In the intervening decades, 20 other states have followed suit with their own state RFRAs. These RFRAs hold government to a high burden of proof when it burdens religious exercise. Under RFRA, there are no guaranteed outcomes, but the government cannot take burdens on religious exercise lightly.

In two decades of RFRAs, the world has not ended. In fact, not a single person who identifies as homosexual has been harmed by these RFRAs. None. This may come as a surprise to you if you have watched any of the media coverage or been on social media for the last several days. The unhinged claims from the Left have been entirely detached from the reality that these laws have actually existed for decades and have never resulted in any of the things they worry will happen. This is not new. Dire warnings that are unsurprisingly not confirmed by future events have been a common theme in arguments from the Left in recent years.

Prophesying Doom that Never Materializes

The Equal Access Act is the reason your child can have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at school. Most Americans would think that permitting students to voluntarily get together before school to pray is a good thing. But when Congress considered the act in 1984, some Democrats, including then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, opposed it because allowing Christian students to gather to pray “could usher in KKK and Nazi” student groups. More than 30 years later, it is clear Boxer was on the wrong side of history. Her worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to “Mein Kampf” has not been realized.

Boxer’s worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to ‘Mein Kampf’ has not been realized.

When the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2006, abortionists argued that approximately 2,200 partial-birth abortions per year were necessary for health reasons. This was important because the law lacked any health exception (except to save the mother’s life). When the Supreme Court issued its opinion eight years ago in April 2007, it held that the law was generally constitutional.

However, the Court invited any abortionist or woman filing a new challenge to show why a partial-birth abortion was necessary in one of those 2,200-per-year instances. Planned Parenthood warned of consequences for women’s health from the decision, just as Justice Ginsburg wrote in a dissent: “One may anticipate that such a preenforcement challenge will be mounted swiftly, to ward off serious, sometimes irremediable harm, to women whose health would be endangered by the intact D&E prohibition.”

Eight years later, no such complaint has been filed. I’m not aware of a single example of any woman who was harmed by not being able to have a partial-birth abortion procedure in that time.

There are three possible reasons: (1) by incredible fortune, the threats to women’s health making partial-birth abortion necessary ceased on April 18, 2007; (2) Women are harmed daily, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry lack the resources to file the invited lawsuits; (3) the claim that partial-birth abortion was necessary to protect women’s health was a lie.

Finally, when Texas passed HB2, the pro-life law that brought stardom to Wendy Davis, a primary focus of abortion supporters who opposed the bill was its prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This provision was the centerpiece of the controversy, and Davis opposed it at length. But while virtually every part of the Texas law has been challenged in the intervening two years, the prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks has never been challenged. It has been Texas law since October 2013.

Time to Stop Listening

And Texas isn’t alone. Laws like it have been enacted in 13 states. But despite their cries of harm to women’s health, abortionists have only challenged these laws in the Ninth Circuit and in a now-pending Georgia state court case. At least 10 of these laws, including Texas’s, are in effect without legal challenge. As MSNBC reported, there is

a strategic reason to avoid challenging that [20-week] ban…. [A] Texas challenge would go to the conservative Fifth Circuit. Not only would that court potentially uphold the law…, the combination of decisions would create a split in the circuits that would make the Supreme Court likelier to hear it.

This is their choice. But at some point when your warnings of imminent harm are stifled by your own prudential choices, and none of the bad consequences you warn about ever happen, perhaps your claims just aren’t true. That’s critically important to keep in mind with the needless hysteria happening now over completely mischaracterized state religious freedom laws.

But history need not repeat itself. In the children’s story, when Peter repeatedly cries, “Wolf!” the townspeople finally stop listening. It’s time to stop giving credence to the Left’s cries.

Tell Mesa City Council to Vote NO on Unnecessary Gender Identity Resolution

UPDATE: The Mesa City Council did not pass the extreme resolution last night. However, the council appears determined to do so in the near future. WRITE TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL IMMEDIATELY TO EXPRESS YOUR OPPOSITION. THEIR EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE LISTED BELOW.

Dear Mayor and council members:

We are strongly opposed to the proposal known as:

NEW MESA CITY CODE TITLE 6, CHAPTER 14 “PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND HOUSING ON THE BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, ETHNICITY, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, RELIGION, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION, VETERANS’ STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, GENETIC INFORMATION, AND FAMILIAL STATUS” AND ESTABLISHING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

The sections that are most objectionable are those pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

This proposal will create more problems than it will solve and is totally unneeded.

Sexual orientation is not an immutable trait, such as race. There is no comparison between the two.

Gender identity and expression is an indication of psychological problems. It is not an immutable trait.

Once you open this Pandora’s box, you will subject well-meaning, law abiding citizens to unreasonable penalties and punishments.

It is no wonder that Scottsdale and Fountain Hills have both recently defeated such measures and that Springfield, Missouri, Charlotte, N.C. and Fayetteville, Arkansas also rightly rejected these unnecessary and problematic resolutions, which are pushed by far-left radicals upon unassuming communities.

A few years ago, we warned members of the Mesa council that radical homosexual activists were urging political activists to move to the East Valley to enact extreme social change which is at odds with the strong family-oriented characteristics of Mesa and Gilbert. Most of the council members responded to that they were not going to allow this to happen.

We are asking you again to not let this happen. We do not have the types of problems in Mesa requiring this sort of radical legislation on the part of our city leaders. We must respect free speech and religious liberty — the First Amendment — before we ever consider any type of “sexual liberty” proposed by leftists.

Please vote NO on Thursday.

Thank you.

The Arizona Conservative

Lend your voice to opposing this radical proposal. Write to all members of the Mesa city council today:

ian.linssen@mesaaz.gov; alicia.white@mesaaz.gov; randy.policar@mesaaz.gov; district3@mesaaz.gov; councilmember.glover@mesaaz.gov; marrisa.ramirez-ramos@mesaaz.gov; matthew.clark@mesaaz.gov

Dr. Ben Carson’s Speech at 2015 CPAC

Republican Turncoats (Like Bob Worsley) Help Dems Defeat Photo Radar Bill

The bill to ban photo radar and red light cameras, SB 1167, received a recorded vote yesterday, thanks to the tireless work of bill sponsor Kelli Ward (R – LD5).

Unfortunately, the bill failed by a vote of 15-13, but there is still hope to revive it.

Of the 15 NO votes, 4 were Republicans who, so far, haven’t listened to their constituents – despite the barrage of phone calls and emails over the past several weeks.

Senator Bob Worsley, Senator Adam Driggs, Senator Nancy Barto, and Senator Steve Pierce chose to bend to high-powered lobbyists from Redflex and American Traffic Solutions.

Every single Democrat and these Republican turncoats voted to continue violating your rights and stealing your hard-earned money – all while putting your lives and property at risk.

Senator Ward has publicly vowed this fight is not over yet.

But she needs your help moving the 4 Republicans to a YES vote on SB 1167.

It’s critical you contact the following State Senators immediately and demand they change their vote on SB 1167.

Senator Bob Worsley (R – LD 25):
bworsley@azleg.gov 602-926-5760

Senator Adam Driggs (R – LD 28):
adriggs@azleg.gov 602-926-3016

Senator Nancy Barto (R – LD 15):
nbarto@azleg.gov 602-926-5766

Senator Steve Pierce (R – LD 1):
spierce@azleg.gov 602-926-5584

There are many ways the bill could be revived in this session.

In fact, another vote on SB 1167 could happen at any time while the legislature is in session, so these phone calls and emails are incredibly urgent.

With their vote, Senator Bob Worsley, Senator Adam Driggs, Senator Nancy Barto, and Senator Steve Pierce told Arizona citizens they have no problem with:

  • Violating the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Violating Arizona’s Constitution by depriving you of your right to equal protection under the law.
  • Scanning the license plates of every driver passing by and keeping them in a foreign-owned database (Redflex – Australia).
  • Thwarting their own party platform, which calls for a ban on photo ticketing.
  • Voting YES on the same scam that Rahm Emanuel refused to get rid of in Chicago.
  • Putting your life and property at risk so they and their buddies can fund their campaigns through “Clean” Elections (10% of every ticket goes to this fund).
  • The hazard of shortened yellow light times, which SCAMera companies like Redflex and ATS demand in order to drive up revenues. Motorists then slam on their brakes to avoid a ticket, which causes more accidents.
  • Handing over law enforcement to politically connected, crony capitalist companies
  • Ignoring the calls from major police organizations around the state – like MCSO, PCSO, and PLEA – demanding support for the bill and banning this scam for good.

We can still pass SB 1167 this session, but you must take action TODAY.

In Liberty,

Arizona Campaign for Liberty Team

P.S. SB 1167 can still be revived, but it won’t do any good unless we flip at least 2 of the 4 Republican NO votes.

It’s critical you contact the following State Senators immediately and demand they change their vote on SB 1167.

Senator Bob Worsley (R – LD 25):
bworsley@azleg.gov 602-926-5760

Senator Adam Driggs (R – LD 28):
adriggs@azleg.gov 602-926-3016

Senator Nancy Barto (R – LD 15):
nbarto@azleg.gov 602-926-5766

Senator Steve Pierce (R – LD 1):
spierce@azleg.gov 602-926-5584

Sheriff Joe will Sue Lawless President

– The Washington Times – Friday, November 21, 2014
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is suing President Obama over his plans to grant temporary legal status and work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants in the country, saying the actions from the president will have a detrimental effect on his ability to carry out his job. “Specifically, it will severely strain our resources, both in manpower and financially, necessary to protect the citizens I was elected to serve,” Sheriff Arpaio said in a statement.

Among the many negative effects of the action, he said, “will be the increased release of criminal aliens back onto streets of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the rest of the nation.” The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that both Mr. Obama’s actions outlined Thursday evening and his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are “unconstitutional abuses” of the president because “instead of legislation first passing both houses of Congress and then being sent to the president under the ‘Presentment Clause’ for signature and implementation or veto, the president originates legislation by himself and then dares the Congress to disagree.” The White House has consistently said Mr. Obama is acting within his constitutional authority. In a speech Thursday outlining his actions, Mr. Obama said deportations of criminals are up 80 percent over the last six years, and that the government will keep focusing resources on threats to security. “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law,” the president said. “If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.” The controversial Sheriff Arpaio is currently embroiled in a racial profiling case brought against him over allegations that a former sheriff’s deputy was shaking down illegal immigrants. U.S. District Judge Murray Snow warned Thursday that he would get a court-appointed official to examine allegations of wrongdoing by officers if the agency doesn’t adequately investigate. More than a year ago, Judge Snow ruled Sheriff Arpaio’s office had systematically racially profiled Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols. Sheriff Arpaio denies that his officers have racially profiled people and has appealed the decision. The judge is requiring Sheriff Arpaio’s office to video-record traffic stops, collect data on stops and conduct additional training to ensure officers aren’t making unconstitutional stops. Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/21/sheriff-joe-arpaio-sues-obama-says-action-will-res/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS#ixzz3JkQAvAzO Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Saturday Election Update

Freedom candidate Martha McSally continues to lead incumbent Ron Barber (CONTROL) in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s 2nd district. Her lead is currently 509 votes.

In the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Freedom candidate Diane Douglas leads CONTROL candidate David Garcia by just under 19,000 votes.

Governor-Elect Ducey will have a Republican Legislature to Work with

SPECIAL BULLETIN

Republicans will maintain control of the Arizona Legislature. Republicans are on their way to victory in 16 state Senate races, the party of CONTROL* has won 13 seats. The only issue in doubt is in District 6.

Former lawmakers Sylvia Allen (Republican) and Thomas O’Halleran (Independent) are locked in a very close race. With just over half the precincts reporting, O’Halleran leads by about 600 votes. Allen got into the race very late when the conservative incumbent, Chester Crandall, died in a horseback riding accident near Heber just days before the August primary. The late Crandall won unopposed, but Allen was able to replace him on the GOP ticket.

If Allen wins the seat, the GOP will have a 17-13 Senate majority. If O’Halleran wins the seat, the GOP will hold 16 seats, the party of CONTROL 13 and there would be one Independent seat.

Republicans are claiming 37 Arizona House of Representative seats, CONTROL 23 seats.

So Governor-elect Ducey will have a Republican majority to work with for the first two years of his first term.

STATEWIDE RACES

Doug Ducey appears on his way to becoming Arizona’s next governor. Fellow Republicans are leading Democrats in all of the other statewide office elections with 1,103 of 1,566 precincts reporting in these state office contests.

Ducey, former state treasurer, leads Comrade Fred DuVal of the party of CONTROL 53-41 percent. The good news is that Arizona will avoid the record spending binges and budget deficits that DuVal would have accrued had he been elected. It would have been a repeat of the Napolitano years when the former governor spent money far faster that the state could generate revenues. But under Governor Ducey, fiscal sanity is a certainty.

We also believe — and certainly hope — Ducey’s administration will be friendly to life, liberty and family. He gave every intention to the Center for Arizona Policy that this would be the case, and we urge him to hold true.

In the race for attorney general, GOP Mark Brnovich has a lead of 66,000 votes over CONTROL candidate Felicia Rotellini, 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent.

Secretary of state race is a little closer. Liberal Republican Michele Reagan has 52 percent of the vote, surprising frequent CONTROL candidate and former attorney general, Terry Goddard, 48 percent.

Closer still is the race between Republican Diane Douglas and CONTROL’s David Garcia. Douglas leads by about 1,500 votes, with 50.87 percent of the vote to Garcia’s 49.08. Douglas wants to get rid of the Big Socialism education curriculum, Common Core. Garcia would be a disaster for Arizona’s children.

Jeff DeWit, another Republican, is running unopposed for state treasurer.

The party of CONTROL refused to allow its members to select candidates for governor or attorney general. No one other than Comrade DuVal, who wants to move Arizona forward communist style, or Rottelini, were allowed to compete for those nominations in the August primary election.

CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Conservative Congressmen Matt Salmon, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar and David Schweikert are all sailing to victory.

Salmon said: “Tonight’s election results make one thing exceedingly clear: Arizonans want their elected officials to get government out of the way and support policies that will let the private sector thrive and create jobs.”

CONTROL incumbents Kyrsten Sinema, Ron Barber, and Raul Grijalva are all on their way to re-election as well.

Ann Kirkpatrick, another CONTROL incumbent, is pulling away from Andy Tobin in a congressional race, and now leads by 5 percentage points with 177 of 327 precincts in.

Ruben Gallego (CONTROL) has sewn up election in the congressional seat held for many years by the retired Ed Pastor.

The top vote-getters, in order, for Arizona Corporation Commission are Republicans Doug Little and Tom Forese and then CONTROL’s Sandra Kennedy a distant third.

Judges

Among judges up for retention, Scott Bales is winning handily. He was appointed by former Gov. Janet Napolitano (CONTROL).

Props

Prop 122, which will stem out of control federal government interference with Arizona, is barely ahead, by just one percent.

The Right to Try prop, 303, is winning big.

And as it has done numerous times, the attempt to raise state legislator pay (Prop 304) is losing bigtime.

In Phoenix, the unfunded/pension spiking madness is likely to continue. Prop 487 is up 55 to 45 percent.

CONCLUSION

All in all, it’s a good night for America and Arizona (on the 11th anniversary of The Arizona Conservative, No. 1 cultural commentator in the state). Though politics is downstream from culture, tonight’s results are a good sign that people have had enough of Big Government Socialism, the Obama Administration, and the do-nothing U.S. Senate under Harry Reid’s abdication of responsibility and leadership. This is also a great day for the sanctity of life, for families, and especially for free speech and religious liberty.

We remember the wisdom of President Reagan, one of the five truly great presidents in this nation, who said during his first inaugural address:

“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”

Thank you for coming here to consult our election recommendations and coverage.

May God bless America.

* The reason we refer to Democrats as the party of CONTROL is because their radical philosophy is to try to control every aspect of your lives — to your detriment.