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Kevin Lindsey, the current commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights, is on a collision course with the US Supreme Court. According to this article, Carl and Angel Larsen, the owners of Telescope Media Group, want to “use their wedding cinematography [business] to reanimate the hearts and minds of people about the goodness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Standing in their way is the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which “mandates that if the Larsens make films celebrating marriage between one man and one woman, then they must make films celebrating same-sex marriages as well.”

The Minnesota Human Rights Act is likely unconstitutional, thanks in large part to a Supreme Court ruling from this past summer that said that a baker didn’t have to bake cakes for same-sex marriages.

There’s likely a First Amendment argument to be made, too. Government shouldn’t have the authority to tell businesses what they have to write.

State officials have repeatedly threatened to prosecute expressive business owners who decline to create speech promoting same-sex marriages. And there are steep penalties for violating the law, including payment of a civil penalty to the state, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages up to $25,000, and even up to 90 days in jail.

The Larsens can’t comply with Minnesota’s speech-compelling law. Telling stories that celebrate a same-sex marriage would violate their religious beliefs and directly contradict the very message about marriage they desire to express. But they also don’t want to be investigated, prosecuted, and possibly jailed simply for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Whether you’re for or against same-sex marriage, the heart of the matter is that government shouldn’t have the authority to tell individuals or companies what they have to write.

According to the WCCO video, the Larsens won their appeal in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. If Lindsey appeals the Eighth Circuit’s ruling, which is likely, he’ll likely lose in the Supreme Court. Simply put, the DFL should stop passing laws that aren’t constitutional.

For most of this week, Democrat women senators like Mazie Hirono and Kirsten Gillibrand have insisted that Chairman Grassley’s invitation to Christine Blasey-Ford was an attempt to silence Dr. Ford. They insisted that making her testify first violated her constitutional rights. (It doesn’t.) The defendant always goes last. Who’s ever heard of the prosecution going last? How would the defendant defend himself/herself if the prosecution hasn’t presented its case first?

Writing in The Atlantic, Benjamin Witte writes that “Kavanaugh Bears the Burden of Proof.” When I went to sleep last night, I could’ve sworn that people were innocent until proven guilty. The truth is that this case has more holes in it than Swiss Cheese. If a prosecutor were to bring it to trial, the defense wouldn’t need to call a witness. All they’d have to do is make a motion to dismiss immediately after the prosecution rested. The judge would immediately dismiss for insufficient evidence.

Nan Aron, one of the most strident activists on the Democratic side, writes “Every Woman in America Is Watching” in an attempt to intimidate men.

She wrote this:

More than a quarter century ago, a university professor named Anita Hill was abused, shamed, and ignored by the U.S. Senate—just for having the courage to go before the Judiciary Committee and describe how she’d been sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

I know because I was at that hearing. My organization, Alliance for Justice, played a role in bringing Professor Hill’s story to light, by alerting the Senate Judiciary Committee to her experiences and ability to corroborate what had been widely whispered, but not validated, about Clarence Thomas. I also remember the pain and the outrage that women felt at the way Professor Hill was treated, and I want very much to believe that such a thing would not happen again in today’s #MeToo era.

First, Anita Hill was shamed because they believed Clarence Thomas, who rightly highlighted the unsubstantiated allegations in this epic scene:

Why doesn’t Aron think that women are interested in fairness? Picture a justice system where men’s careers can be demolished with unsubstantiated allegations. Is that a world you’d want to live in? Women, imagine a system where your husband’s career can be demolished with an unsubstantiated allegation. I can’t imagine that’s your definition of fairness.

It isn’t just the faux feminists that are watching on this. It’s everyone. Predictably, the Democrats have overplayed their hand. Again. There’s an old saying about Yasser Arafat that fits Democrats perfectly: He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Democrats didn’t have an opportunity to take down Judge Kavanaugh but they’re certainly missing an opportunity to win voters over.

Since the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, Democrats have complained that they’re getting stonewalled in terms of documents in addition to making claims that Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade or side with President Trump in determining that presidents “are above the law.” BTW, that might be the Democrats’ most ridiculous allegation.

The Democrats’ latest line of complaint is that they aren’t getting all of the documents they’re entitled to. Chairman Grassley demolishes those arguments in a New York minute in this interview:

When Chairman Grassley stated that “this is more documents than the last 5 Supreme Court nominees have had in total”, he totally obliterated the Democrats’ arguments. Then Chairman Grassley polished them off by saying “They should say ‘Praise the Lord. We’ve got more to ask for.’ Besides, don’t forget, 307 opinions he wrote and both Schumer and Leahy have said in the case of Sotomayor, “We know what you stand for because you’ve got a lot of opinions.” It’s the best basis for making your objective judgment to be on the Supreme Court.”

This nomination fight is over. The Democrats lost. The Constitution wins. Hooray. Kavanaugh isn’t a wannabe politician in a black robe. He’s a judge. That’s what Democrats hate about him. That’s part of the Kavanaugh conundrum.

News junkies like me and other bloggers remember how fired up the Democrats were the night President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Special interest organizations put together official statements that looked like this:

Democrats didn’t even bother to find out who President Trump had nominated. Now, they’re making things worse. According to this ABC News article, Democrats are now willing to meet with Judge Kavanaugh to “personally lobby him to hand over his entire record.” I’d tell the Democrats to take a hike. The vast majority of them have already announced that they’re voting to not confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Why do these Democrats need to examine documents that don’t have anything to do with Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy if they’ve already decided they’re voting against him?

Judge Kavanaugh has written 300+ opinions, the most of any recent SCOTUS nominee. If they can’t figure out Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy after reading Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions, then they’re hopeless. This is an obvious stalling tactic. It should be stopped before the first interview is held.

This is wishful thinking:

Meanwhile, a potential roadblock awaits Kavanaugh’s confirmation process after the National Archives indicated Thursday that it needs until the end of October to produce nearly 1 million documents requested by Senate Republicans. The records delay could mean a vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court might not come as quickly as Republicans hoped – they wanted Kavanaugh confirmed in early October before the court’s fall term is set to begin.

That won’t slow anything down. Republicans aren’t paying attention to this tactic:

Despite the setback, Senate Republicans, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, appear unfazed and plan to forge ahead with a mid-September confirmation hearing for the 53-year old appellate judge.

Republicans should make the argument that Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings, plus his documents from when he worked for Ken Starr, plus the information that they’ll get from the confirmation hearings itself, are enough to make a well-informed decision. If Sen. Schumer whines that it isn’t enough, I’d throw it back in their face that the vast majority of Democrats have either officially announced that they’re voting against confirming Judge Kavanaugh or they’ve appeared at anti-Kavanaugh rallies where they’re expected to be no votes.

This incoherent scribbling in the Huffington Post highlights what desperate straits the Democrats are in. The chief scribbler says Brett Kavanaugh’s “confirmation is far from inevitable”, noting that, thanks to “Sen. John McCain’s illness, Republicans have a tiny effective majority of 50 to 49 in the Senate. If Democrats all vote against confirmation — which is not impossible — Republicans must unanimously hold the line.”

Clearly, this is a case of extreme wishful thinking. First, Chuck Schumer isn’t whipping this vote. Next, red state Democrats won’t sacrifice their seats just to keep some Indivisible/Resistance crazies happy.

Then there’s this:

Two of the Republicans who voted against ending the Affordable Care Act, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are still very much in play, despite early signals that some think may mean they are leaning toward confirmation. Three other Republican senators may also be unreliable votes for confirmation, depending on how the confirmation process plays out: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

This writer doesn’t offer any evidence that Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Heller or Gardner are considering voting against confirming Kavanaugh. It’s entirely speculation.

Kavanaugh’s record indicates he would likely vote to reverse the narrowly decided Supreme Court ruling finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional. That allows opponents to argue that if a senator votes for confirmation of Kavanaugh, he or she is voting to take away your health care. This is the issue that caused Murkowski and Collins to dramatically break with their party last summer, and you can expect it to take a major role in efforts aimed at swaying their votes again.

There is also very little question that Kavanaugh would vote to gut Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Yet a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose repealing Roe, including 52 percent of self-identified Republicans. Even in red states like Manchin’s West Virginia, Heitkamp’s North Dakota or Donnelly’s Indiana, voters don’t want a woman’s right to make her own choices about pregnancy taken away.

Is there anything in this scribbling that suggests a connection with reality? I’ll stipulate that it has a connection with the Democrats’ talking points. That isn’t the same as a connection with reality, though.

The truth is that I hope that Democrats vote unanimously against confirming Judge Kavanaugh. It’ll make defeating them this November that much easier. ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch has had enough of the Democrats’ stupidity:

Good for him. It’s long past time.

This Politico article contains some of the best news I’ve seen all day. When I read “the party’s base is demanding Schumer and his colleagues wage a knock-down, drag-out fight”, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Let’s be upfront about this. I don’t expect this to happen. Still, if the Democrats want to imperil their most vulnerable senators, I’ll be happy to see that happen. I’d love to see Republicans pick up 6-7 seats instead of 2-3 seats in the Senate.

Still, if the Democrats’ base insists on a knock-down-drag-out fight, Republicans should smile, then hit these red-state Democrats hard until they’re too toxic to win. In some cases, that shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s important that we remember that this vote isn’t the only thing that senators like Manchin, Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson will be judged on. Tester and Nelson voted against Gorsuch. All of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Don’t think that those votes won’t be included in the GOP’s closing arguments in late October and early November.

Still, how long at-risk Democrats can or should hold out is a complicated political equation that could affect their survival in November. As long as they remain undecided, deep-pocketed conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network and Americans for Prosperity will continue pounding them with pro-Kavanaugh ads and activism in their states.

A spokeswoman for JCN said it would pull ads when and if Democratic senators come out in support of Kavanaugh and shift to thanking the nominee’s supporters. Meanwhile, GOP opponents, who expect some of these Democrats to ultimately support Kavanaugh, are hitting them for their supposed indecision.

Organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network are already running ads like this against Democrats:

This is another hard-hitting ad from JCN:

Good luck dealing with that pressure.
UPDATE: Rand Paul has announced that he’s supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The pressure just got a lot more intense for Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, etc.

Saying that Tina Smith doesn’t understand the Constitution speaks to another of her qualities that disqualify her as a serious Senate candidate. It’s almost as embarrassing as Amy Klobuchar saying during the 2006 election that the Senate would write a law ordering either the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Pentagon to draw up plans to remove troops from Iraq.

This time, Smith tweeted about this NYTimes article about how Judge Kavanaugh “could reshape environmental law from the Supreme Court.”

The second paragraph states “During his 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often regarded as the nation’s second-most powerful court, Judge Kavanaugh voted in a number of high-profile cases to limit Environmental Protection Agency rules involving issues like climate change and air pollution. In two key instances, his arguments were later embraced by the Supreme Court.”

There’s nothing radical about that position. It didn’t say that the EPA didn’t have the right to create regulations. Judge Kavanaugh simply opined that the EPA didn’t have the authority to implement “far-reaching regulations.” In other words, Judge Kavanaugh thinks that far-reaching regulations are essentially unpassed environmental legislation. Another way of looking at that is that Judge Kavanaugh thinks that the legislative and executive branches should pass legislation that addresses these issues.

His legal philosophy was clear: In the absence of explicit instructions from Congress, any far-reaching effort by the E.P.A. to tackle environmental problems should be met with deep skepticism by the courts. That philosophy often put him sharply at odds with the Obama administration, which sought to harness older environmental laws to deal with newer challenges like global warming.

This frightens Democrats because most of their major policy ‘victories’ have come through the courts, not through passing legislation.

In Tina Smith’s mind, that makes Judge Kavanaugh an existential threat to liberal activism. The last thing she wants is a judge interested just in ruling on a bill’s constitutionality. I’ll propose something radical that Tina Smith has never thought of. If the law doesn’t offer the proper solution to a problem, why not (Gasp!) write a new bill, get it passed, then signed into law?

Here’s something Tina Smith also likely doesn’t know. There’s no limit on the Senate’s authority to write and propose new legislation.

After reading Bernie Sanders’ op-ed, it’s impossible to take him seriously. The op-ed starts by saying “Over and over again, President Donald Trump tells us the U.S. economy is ‘absolutely booming,’ the ‘strongest we’ve ever had’ and ‘the greatest in the history of America’ thanks to his leadership and his leadership alone. Unfortunately, like virtually everything that comes out of his mouth, Trump is not being truthful with the American people.”

Actually, it’s Bernie who isn’t being truthful. If the middle class is doing so awful, why is consumer confidence as high as it’s ever been? If things are so bad for the middle class, why is black unemployment and Hispanic unemployment the lowest in history? If things are so tough on the middle class, why is the unemployment rate for women the lowest it’s been in 60+ years? Either Bernie things that there’s tons of African-American, Hispanic and female millionaires or the middle class is doing exceptionally well right now.

There’s no other explanation. Period.

The low unemployment rate is the good news. The bad news is that poverty in our country remains unacceptably high and tens of millions of Americans are struggling to keep their heads above water. Despite Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations, wages for average workers have actually gone down, not up, by five cents an hour since June of last year after adjusting for inflation.

The good news about Bernie’s bad news is that poverty has dropped since President Trump took office. That’s an indisputable fact.

I wrote this post in March, 2016. According to the Minnesota State Demographer’s office, the poverty rate for Hibbing then was 20.6%. Today, the poverty rate for Hibbing is 18.2%. Further, the Median Household Income in 2016 was $38,112. Today, the MHI in Hibbing is $42,004. That’s a 10% increase in MHI in that city.

In addition, as the American middle class continues to collapse, the Federal Reserve reported that 40 percent of Americans lack $400 in disposable income to pay for an unexpected expense like a medical emergency or a car repair. The truth is that in America today, 43 percent of households live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to pay for their housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and their cell phone without going into debt.

What an idiot. The socialist policies of the Obama administration have led to a huge increase in the income gap. It always does wherever it’s tried. During the Obama administration, wages were stagnant. Under the Trump economic policies, wages are finally rising. They aren’t rising as much as we’d like to see but they are heading in the right direction.

Bernie Sanders’ op-ed is based on political ambition, not economic statistics. He can’t stand to admit that he’s just wrong. That’d destroy his (perceived) shot at the presidency. The truth is that he’s never had a legitimate shot at that office because he’s a whack job. In this rambling rant, Bernie Sanders displays just how ignorant he is:

This is embarrassing. I don’t want the Supreme Court involved in writing policy. I want them determining whether legislation conforms to the Constitution.

The Constitution, in its separation of powers clause, essentially said that the federal government can’t tell states what they have to spend money on. The principle is called commandeering. Sovereign states get to determine what things they want to spend their money on and how much money they want to spend on each line item.

In Bernie’s mind, the federal government should have the authority to tell states how the states should spend their money. In other words, Bernie thinks that the federal government should be able to tell independently elected individuals how to best represent people Bernie’s never met.

This morning, the White House put out this statement to highlight the praise Judge Kavanaugh has received. Simply put, this will make the Democrats’ demonization scheme seem like bitter partisan politics, which is precisely what it is (in addition to a desperate attempt to stop the confirmation).

For instance, during his speech, Judge Kavanaugh said “I look for the best.’ We are proud that so many of those hires have been talented women.” To prove that this isn’t just a PR statement, the White House noted that Judge Kavanaugh “has sent 21 of those 25 women clerks—an impressive 84 percent—on to clerkships at the Supreme Court.”

Definitely, Judge Kavanaugh has something to be proud of. Still, it isn’t a PR stunt when it’s a pattern of behavior. At some point, thoughtful people will have to admit that it’s part of who he is. Here’s the official letter of support from Judge Kavanaugh’s female clerks. I thought that this paragraph was particularly noteworthy:

But the Judge’s record of supporting women is as much qualitative as it is quantitative. Mentorship is critical to advancement in the legal profession, and the Judge is a dedicated mentor to all of his clerks, men and women alike. He has counseled us on our career options, provided honest and highly valued recommendations to prospective employers, and sometimes given a much-needed nudge to those of us who doubted whether we were qualified to chase our ambitions. It is not an exaggeration to say that we would not be the professors, prosecutors, public officials, and appellate advocates we are today without his enthusiastic encouragement and unwavering support.

I triple-dog dare the Democrats to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of being unworthy of their support. If Democrats vote unanimously against confirming Judge Kavanaugh, they’ll pay a heavy electoral price for it. Here’s something from the letter from Yale alumnus supporting Judge Kavanaugh that I found noteworthy:

Judge Kavanaugh is eminently qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Judge Kavanaugh, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, is one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists. In his twelve years of service on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in DC, he has demonstrated a principled approach to interpreting the law. He has reached legal conclusions free of political partisanship. Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his life to upholding the rule of law and our Constitution.

Here’s President Trump’s speech nominating Judge Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy:

Rest assured that Minnesota will have a heated race this fall. For months, pundits like Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg have predicted 4 tight US House races. I’ve been skeptical of those predictions from the start. I never thought that Erik Paulsen’s and Jason Lewis’s seats were toss-ups like Cook, FNC and RealClearPolitics were predicting. Further, I’ve thought that the MN-08 race was likely to be the most likely to break the DFL’s way while MN-01 was virtually a lost seat for the DFL.

The tight race that’s likely to happen is the Senate seat currently occupied by Tina Smith. Over the past week, she’s proven that she’s capable of making multiple unforced mistakes. Before the week actually started, Smith announced that she wouldn’t support any Supreme Court nominee. She did that before the nominee was picked. That helped her look like a partisan ideologue, which is her true identity. At the other end of the week, she campaigned with self-described socialist Bernie Sanders and cop-hating Keith Ellison.

Meanwhile, Karin Housley, Smith’s opponent, is running a nearly flawless race while touting the Republicans’ economic accomplishments. First, a comparison is required. Bernie Sanders had a strong following thanks to the pathetic Obama economy, which produced tons of income inequality. He lost that issue the minute the Trump/GOP economy took off and hasn’t looked back.

Bernie can complain all he wants but people will ignore him when they’ve got their pick of good-paying jobs. It’s hard to think that we’re in a recession when we’re at full unemployment and there are more job openings than there are people to fill them. If income inequality is going to be Bernie’s message, he’ll lose. By comparison, here’s Karin Housley’s message:

Simply put, Tina Smith’s positions on things like immigration, taxes and the Supreme Court are pretty extremist. It’s impossible to sugar coat it. According to her own campaign website, Tina Smith supports open borders ‘immigration’. As for taxes, she’s never met a tax increase she didn’t like. Finally, Tina Smith prefers outcome-based justices and judges because they won’t hesitate to change the policy portions of a piece of legislation.

The judiciary shouldn’t care what is or isn’t smart policy. If there is a statute that needs fixing, it’s the legislative and executive branches’ responsibility to fix the problem.

Karin Housley prefers judges and justices who look at the text of the legislation, then determines whether the legislation fits within the framework of the Constitution.