June 28, 2012
Breitbart’s O’Connor and Klukowski summarize unprecedented year for the Supremes. #thankyouBushforRobertsandAlito
June 22, 2012
BreitbartTV editor and radio talk show host Larry O’Connor offered a unique perspective on current issues of Constitutional law as he substituted today on the Dennis Miller radio show. Joined by another frequent Breitbart.com contributor, Ken Klukowski (Liberty University School of Law), the subject was the unprecedented set of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have already come down this year, or are expected in the near future. Here’s a brief synopsis of the discussion:
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC – This decision found that churches and religious organizations do have the right to hire and manage their own employees under the First Amendment. Klukowski remarked that the architect of the argument (struck down) that there is no ministerial extension of the First Amendment is Sri Srinivasan – who recently was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court by Obama. This position is considered a stepping stone to the Supreme Court; Srinivasan would clearly be on the short list for appointment if Obama gets a second term – another good reason to avoid that happening.
Knox v. SEIU – The Supreme Court found that unions must give non-union workforce members timely notice (as opposed to yearly) and options to protest extra fees assessed them for union political activities. Although the decision was 7-2, Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg dissented from portions of the majority decision.
FCC v. Fox – The decision held that fines for use of expletives during live broadcasts are unconstitutional as a violation of due process. SEC regulations were not clear at the time of the violations involved. Although it would be more encompassing had the Supreme Court struck down under the First Amendment, it is now clear that broadcasters can be fined for fleeting expletives.
Still to come:
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Florida (ObamaCare) – Klukowski identified the three possible outcomes:
1) The law could be upheld without a unanimous written majority (5) decision. Justice Kennedy indicated during the oral arguments that although the commerce clause should not generally allow the extension of Federal power over individual liberty, the individual mandate might be a unique exception – thus opening the door to an infinite number of new “exceptions” to personal freedom.
2) The individual mandate could be held unconstitutional, as well as the two sections of the legislation covering pre-existing condidtions.
3) Just the mandate could be held unconstitutional, negating the entire ObamaCare law.
Justice Ginsburg recently commented that the decision would be “complicated and long.” Klukowski added that Ginsburg has stated in the past that, “When it comes to the Supreme Court, those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know.”
U.S. v. Alvarez – Also known as the Arizona immigration issue, this law actually does not involve constitutional issues other than whether AZ SB1070 conflicts with Federal laws covering immigration, (where Federal law would prevail.) There are four narrow provisions of the law that potentially are in conflict; two are expected to be unheld and the other two are in doubt. A split decision is likely.
Mount Soledad Memorial Association v. Trunk – If the Supreme Court chooses to decide this case, it will be deciding one of the major religious freedom issues in American history. The litigants are asking for the removal of the Mount Soledad War Memorial cross in San Diego on the grounds that it violates the establishment clause of the Constitution.
U.S. v. Alvarez – Also a possibility for the Supremes is this challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Stolen Valor Act, which involves a politician who lied about receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor during his campaign for political office.
tammy duckworth redux: how one bureaucrat moved the death debate forward in 2009 #Walshvs.Duckworth2012
June 22, 2012
With the IL 8th District congresional race heating up, it seems a good time to revisit how Democrat candidate Tammy Duckworth spent her time after losing to Rep. Peter Roskam. As assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and as ObamaCare was getting gamed into law in 2009, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace questioned Duckworth about a pamphlet for veterans written by an advocate of physician-assisted suicide. The Wall Street Journal op.ed. that prompted Wallace’s interview included this statement:
“Your Life, Your Choices presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political ‘push poll.’ For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be ‘not worth living.'”
It’s pretty hard to follow Duckworth’s valiant but garbled attempt to explain away the pamphlet – much like her performances in debates with the much more experienced and articulate Rep. Joe Walsh for the 8th District. Question: is this (heroic) veteran any more ready for prime time?
Asma no longer en Vogue, but never fear: Anna and Imam still are, and they’re hosting the Obama’s tonight at Harper Studios in Chicago.
June 12, 2012
Vogue editor Anna Wintour advertised (above) her June 14th New York fundraiser with Sarah Jessica Parker, benefitting Obama’s reelection campaign, but Chicagoans could be part of the effort as well. Today, June 12th, Anna W. is heading over to the unoccupied Harpo Studios in Chicago’s West Loop to wine, dine and entertain the Obamas. Although Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, formerly a Vogue favorite, was recently dropped from the magazine’s website, it appears that Somalian born ex-model Imam is in favor – she is co-hosting the $1,000 and up fundraiser. (Interestingly, Vogue reported that it became clear that recent Syrian atrocities were at odds with the magazine’s priorities and values.) Well, looks like Obama has the fashion constituency covered; now will he move on to court the unions (sorry, busy) or African Americans (sorry, gay marriage)? Let see how they poll.
Illinois needs a strong Tea Party and a strong Walker-like leader. #courage #conviction #conservative #change
June 12, 2012
New York Times on line, Room for Debate, 6/12/12
Reagan Would Be a Tea Party Hero, by Anne Sorock
Ronald Reagan, the humble servant-leader, would have appealed to all conservatives, indeed all Americans, who believe in the right and ability to self-govern.
It is the political establishment that would have much to fear from Reagan—not grassroots activists, as Jeb Bush implies in his comments yesterday. Bush is accurate only in that the stranglehold the political establishment of both parties wields over Americans is greater today than ever. It is Republican Party officials, not the Tea Partiers, who would need to be nudged to embrace Reagan’s candidacy.
Jeb Bush’s definition of Reagan’s brand as one of “finding accommodation” and “common ground” is akin to summing up the Founding Fathers as rabble-rousers who really disliked taxes. He missed the essence of what Reagan provided for Americans
Reagan was more than a charismatic tax-cutter; he was an insurrectionist within the Republican Party, just as the Tea Party movement is in today’s establishment. In 1976, Reagan challenged Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination, and in 1980 he defeated the establishment candidate, George H. W. Bush, who later joined him on the ticket. His 1980 platform called for a return of the citizen activist; in doing so Reagan challenged the political establishment mentality, primarily by returning to this model of the servant-leader.
And all of this talk wasn’t just posturing. Reagan made tough decisions regarding the Soviet Union, tax code, energy regulation, and how to deal with the AirTraffic Controllers strikes.
Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is what has provided unchecked power to the political establishment. And bipartisanship over principle is what has led us to runaway deficits and a fiscal mess that will take generations to fix. To suggest that Reagan would somehow embrace this insulated tyranny of the political class over grassroots activism is utterly false.
Conservatives today would have clamored for a Ronald Reagan nominee; no one more so than the Tea Partiers with their emphasis on fiscal restraint and, more importantly, desire for a leader who believes that the people can govern themselves.
Reagan might have been barred from receiving the 2012 GOP nomination because of ruling elites in the political parties, but not because of a lack of popular support. Jeb Bush’s cheap shot against those who are invigorating the party from its center—yes, small government and fiscal conservatism is at the old GOP’s center, not its periphery—reveals just how much he has bought into the political establishment mentality.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has recently exhibited Reagan-like qualities. Walker believes that government is here to serve the people and is leading the charge for today’s Republicans to take it back.
As Reagan said in his inaugural address of 1981, “From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”
Do you have a suggestion for the Illinois statesman who will carry on the Reagan legacy in Illinois? That would be someone who can take on Gov. Marshmallow, Emperor Emanuel, and the GOP establishment.
June 6, 2012
For sure, it was a hard day’s night in Chicago if you were anywhere in the vicinity of Axelrod or Jarrett or Obama. The message from the Walker/Kleefisch victory (53% to 46%) was that public sector unions are not holding onto the monopoly power they have enjoyed for decades. The most interesting result of Walker’s WI Act 10 collective bargaining reform is the fall off of union membership: AFSCME public employee membership dropped from 62,818 in March, 2011 to 28,745 in February, 2012 and AFT teacher members dropped from 17,000 to 11,000 – all because Walker made union membership a free choice. Democrats are watching their union $$ donations shrink before their eyes.
Although (sore) loser Democrats are boohooing the “outside funding” for Walker (which they like to blame on the Citizens United Supreme Court decision), the less-sung victory in Wisconsin was for the Tea Party movement. While Wisconsin Democrats were having their 18-month collective tantrum, Tea Party workers were maturing into a practical fighting force that out-manned and out-enthused the well-oiled union thug movement. My favorite tweet during the long election night: “If you hear thunder, it is just Ronald Reagan and Andrew Breitbart high-fiving each other.”
More than anything, the new media players played a transformative role in making this conservative victory a reality. If you don’t know these citizen journalists, take the time to google them now, because they are the future. Kudos to courageous videographer Rebel Pundit (Jeremy Segal); to the on-line newspaper Illinois Review (editor, Fran Eaton); to Milwaukee WTMJ radio d.j. Charlie Sykes (whose non-stop tweets all evening were amazing) and to live blogging at Legal Insurrection (William Jacobson), which ended the election coverage with a web site fireworks display.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson helps out Barrett in Milwaukee, but on school choice their message to needy kids is mixed, at best.
June 5, 2012
A small group of Breitbart.com journalists challenged governor recall candidate Barrett in Wisconsin about his fluctuating views on school choice, now in Milwaukee compared to his tenure as a congressman in D.C. Later, Jesse Jackson avoided confronting the same issue. Watch the report at RebelPundit.com.