The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/34896
Apr. 29, 2015
“Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.” —John Adams, Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1812
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
Same-Sex Marriage Decision Hinges on Justice Kennedy1
In the oral arguments over the Supreme Court case that may institute same-sex marriage nationwide, the Court appeared to split along its usual lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy once again becoming the justice on which the whole decision rests. Like many, Hot Air’s Allahpundit2 saw Justice Kennedy sympathetic to the arguments made by the pro-same-sex-marriage lobby. Allahpundit believes the Court will rule against traditional marriage; the only question now is by what vote. Nevertheless, some justices were cautious. For thousands of years, marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman. Then, the Netherlands changed its definition of marriage in 2001. “You’re not seeking to join the institution,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “You’re seeking to change what the institution is.” He added, “One of the things that’s truly extraordinary about this whole issue is how quickly has been the acceptance of your position across broad elements of society.” The plaintiffs’ attorneys have been practicing for months3, running moot courts and rehearsing responses to Justice Antonin Scalia’s style of questioning. The goal, The New York Times reported, is not just win, but “win big.” If SCOTUS rules in their favor, then they already have. More…4
National Guard, Curfew Quell Second Night of Baltimore Unrest5
The rioting Monday night in Baltimore left 19 buildings and 144 vehicles burned, 20 police officers injured and 235 people arrested. But what we saw by dawn on Wednesday is that Tuesday’s violence was subdued. Two thousand National Guard members and 400 state troopers enforced a 10 p.m. city-wide curfew. Baltimore was hesitant at first to crack down on the initial stages of unrest because many of the unruly were youth, but then the violence evolved. “When we deployed our officers yesterday, we were deploying for a high school event,” Baltimore PD spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalcyzk6 said. “I don’t think there’s anyone that would expect us to deploy with automatic weapons and armored vehicles for 13-, 14- and 15-year olds.”
Meanwhile, about 50 protesters were demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri, last night when a man was shot in the lower leg7. While it’s not clear if the shooting is connected to the demonstrations, police threatened to use “chemical munitions” to clear the crowd. Later, a group set fire to trashcans and a portable toilet. Even after all this time, violence still lingers in the St. Louis suburb. However, Barack Obama wasn’t about to say the riots are due to a malformed relationship between cops and citizens. No, for him, the problem is Republicans. He said at a press conference yesterday8, “I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities … But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could.” Leftists believe the answer to everything is more money. More…9
Obama: Congress Is Just Afraid of a Little Globalization
In pushing for a free-trade agreement with countries arrayed around the Pacific Ocean, Barack Obama has managed to enter the rare political situation of gaining opponents in both Democrat and Republican parties11. Democrats, led by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, bray that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt the middle class. Republicans, well, they have a right to be suspicious, because the administration that “led” the U.S. economy on its slowest recovery to date wants to negotiate a trade deal that will have huge economic implications. Furthermore, Obama is seeking approval for this treaty in a simple yes-no vote, a move that speeds up the negotiation process, but one that also cheapens Congress’ role in negotiating treaties. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Obama called the skeptics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership scared of a little globalization. After all, if the U.S. does nothing, then China will establish its trade agreements and earn influence over that corner of the globe. “What we can’t do, though, is withdraw,” Obama said. “There has been a confluence of anti-global engagement from both elements of the right and elements of the left that I think [is] a big mistake.” There is a reason why the Constitution grants Congress the power to approve treaties, and the argument that we’re running out of time is no excuse to trust the judgment of one man. More…12
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Why Is SCOTUS Even Considering Same-Sex Marriage?
By John J. Bastiat
Since the very definition of marriage is up for grabs at the U.S. Supreme Court this week — SCOTUS entertained oral arguments Tuesday on a number of cases consolidated under the central issue of the un-constitutionality of states’ ability to deny gay marriage — we thought this an appropriate point to interject reason into the debate, strengthened by an understanding of history — Constitutional history. Let’s start with the basics: The Constitution of the United States has nothing to say about marriage, “gay” or otherwise. What does that mean?
Well, if you know nothing about civics, it means nothing. Unfortunately, that’s the take the religiously zealous supporters of same-sex marriage are trying to foist off on the Supremes this week. Their approach, of course, doesn’t admit to this, or even begin to touch on the truly core issue — Federalism — for the same reason abortionist supporters of Roe v. Wade did not: They would otherwise lose. Let’s walk through this Matrix together, Neo.
The Constitution is the foundational legal document governing our nation. For almost 200 years it served as the backbone behind the body of laws under which the lowliest individual to the U.S. President operated. All of that changed with the Progressive Movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s, FDR’s New Deal and a host of other progressive assaults on the concept of the Rule of Law. Wiser-than-the-rest-of-us progressives rejected this idea in favor of the arrogation that some people (read: them) are better suited to rule than others (read: you), and accordingly pushed to make the Constitution a “living, breathing document” (read: changeable to suit progressives’ needs). The practical upshot of this “breathing” is that Rule of Law is all but a dead letter in our nation. But we digress.
Since the progressives’ constitutional onslaught, the model formerly known as “federalism” has died yet another — virtual, if not actual — death. The Constitution originally gave power to the federal government to make and enforce certain, very particular laws across the land. These so-called “enumerated” powers were so called because they were very limited in scope, though unlimited within the span of that scope. Such laws were applicable to the entirety of the United States and evolved from the previous federal power failures of the former bedrock document, the Articles of Confederation. For example, the power to regulate commerce among the states — a power itself abused over the past century by an overly-ambitious SCOTUS interpretation of the term “interstate commerce” — is specifically granted to Congress under Article I of the Constitution. Likewise, the power to enter treaties — another power very recently abused, since the current office holder ignores the prerequisite Senate consent to such power (“He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties… ”) — is specifically granted to the president under Article II.
However, the rest of governmental power is vested within the states. This structural component was codified under the Tenth Amendment, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In a nutshell, the Tenth Amendment is saying if We-the-People didn’t give you-the-federal-government a particular power in the Constitution, we are keeping that plenary power for individual states to make those calls. The rationale behind this principle, as aptly annunciated in the opinion section of Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal14, is that the “Founders believed that social mores should be reflected in law through the democratic process, not judicial command.” Indeed.
Unfortunately, over a century of assaults on the Tenth Amendment have withered it to a bare thread of what it once was. Were this not the case, the issue before SCOTUS wouldn’t even be here. It would be among each of the 50 states to decide for themselves. Sadly, that option was foreclosed with SCOTUS’s unreasonable shoot-down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), whose primary focus was the assertion of individual states’ rights to choose for themselves whether or not to recognize same-sex marriage. Ultimately, that means the decision of whether to recognize same-sex marriages rests not with individual states, but rather with an arbitrary and often-fickle Supreme Court.
The real issue is whether a state’s free people can decide for themselves whether they can choose one such path or another. The more the Tenth Amendment is eviscerated by the Court, the less likely they can. The Founders envisioned the states as political laboratories to experiment with governmental models. Those that worked encouraged people to move and join in the prosperity of successful models; those that didn’t encouraged people to vote with their feet. Let’s hope the Supreme Court learns its lesson from Roe v. Wade and decides the Founders’ model is best. If history is any guide, however, we’re not overly optimistic.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Star Parker: “[I]f leaders in these various institutions of our nation’s left-wing elite look in the rearview mirror to their own family histories, histories of Christians and Jews arriving and settling in America, they most certainly, overwhelmingly, will find families — parents, grandparents, great-grandparents — defined by the very traditional values that their offspring today throw to the trash. Central to the propaganda being sold is the notion that embracing sexual behaviors that our religions prohibit represents progress. But in fact, these behaviors are more ancient than our religions. Our religions were the answer to these destructive behaviors. And no, this is not about freedom. Few do not believe or accept that every American should be free to live as he or she chooses. This is a battle about redefining the values of our nation’s culture and, hence, redefining our nation itself.”
Insight: “The real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security.” —Author Robert Welch (1899-1985)
Non Compos Mentis: “I’m under no illusion that under this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities. And so we’ll try to find areas where we can make a difference around school reform, and around job training, and around some investments in infrastructure in these communities trying to attract new businesses in.” —Barack Obama, faulting Republicans for the rioting in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore
“The fact is that al-Qaida was not in Iraq prior to President Bush’s decision to commit significant American resources on the ground in that country. That is a historical fact.” —Obama spokesman Josh Earnest, shooting back17 at George W. Bush after he criticized his successor’s foreign policy
Dezinformatsia: “You get into Baltimore, you can’t find a job with a short commute. And that’s, to me, the problem that’s behind all of this [rioting]. … [The jobs] went to the right-to-work states … where the unions didn’t have any power. You could get people to work for nothing and the stuff wasn’t that good that was made down there.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
Village Idiots: “[Baltimore] policemen and firemen have the right to work in the city and live in the suburbs. Some live as far away as … Pennsylvania. And so they come in as an occupying force, not as neighbors. So, often people are afraid of them, because they’re not taxpaying neighbors whose children go to school with their children. So there is this gap between police and people. And you really ought to have residential requirements for policemen and firemen. Those who get nectar from the flower should sow pollen where they pick up nectar.” —Jesse Jackson
And last… “Sixth-year president blames fourth-month GOP Congress for blocking agenda which would’ve aided city run by Democrats for decades. #Baltimore” —twitter satirist @hale_razor
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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