Archive for the ‘The Constitution’ Category
Saying that Donald Trump isn’t a constitutional conservative is understatement. Calling Trump a despicable man who’s only interested in himself is totally justifiable, especially in light of this video:
DONALD TRUMP: In life, you have a thing called condemnation and cities have a right to condemn for the good of the city, whether it’s New York, whether it’s Los Angeles, whether it’s any other place. Atlantic City is one of those places and it’s got the right to condemn.
DANA BERLINER: In the 1990s, Donald Trump was behind an outrageous case of eminent domain abuse. Vera Coking was an elderly widow who lived in her home alongside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. She bought that home and Donald Trump wanted Vera’s home so he could build parking for his casino across the street.
TRUMP: Everyone coming into Atlantic City sees that property and it’s not fair to Atlantic City and the people. They’re staring at this terrible house instead of staring at beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.
JOHN STOSSEL: You’re bullying these people out…
TRUMP: Excuse me. That’s wrong. For you to use the word bully is very unfair. This is a government case. This is not a Donald Trump…
STOSSEL: Yes, it’s Donald Trump. It’s you and your cronies in government working together.
TRUMP: For you to call these people cronies is very unfair. You’re calling good public servants cronies.
BERLINER: An unaccountable state agency tried to condemn Vera Coking’s property and transfer it to Donald Trump. He convinced the government officials to use their eminent domain power to take Vera’s home. This was public power but it was used for private gain.
Eventually, a case like this made its way to the Supreme Court. We know it as Kelo v. New London. The Rehnquist Court sided with the developers. An entire neighborhood was demolished, supposedly to build a shopping mall. After the ruling, though, the development never happened. An entire neighborhood was destroyed for nothing. Here’s more to the Trump-Stossel fight:
STOSSEL: Basic to freedom is that if you own something, it’s yours. The government doesn’t just come and take it away…
TRUMP: Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build schools? Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build roads or highways or have access to hospitals? Condemnation is a necessary evil.
STOSSEL: But you’re not talking about a hospital. You’re talking about a building that a rich guy finds ugly.
This is proof that Trump is no more a constitutional conservative than Hillary Clinton.
What’s disgusting is the fact that otherwise level-headed Republicans are actually buying Trump’s schtick. They’re saying that he’s a fighter. They’re partially right. Trump can always be counted on to fight for the things that interest Trump. Trump’s hardline statements against illegal immigration are part of a charade that’s soon to be exposed. Trump is, putting it charitably, a temporary border hawk. That’ll become apparent when the opposition research on Trump shows how his properties were built with illegal immigrants.
Donald Trump is no more a conservative than Hillary is. In fact, Trump has contributed to her campaigns in the past. He’s also contributed to the Clinton Foundation.
Laurence Tribe’s op-ed about the King v. Burwell ruling is typical progressivism. It’s all about rationalizing a terrible, wrong-headed decision. Tribe made some statements that deserve rebutting. This is one of those statements:
The Supreme Court correctly applied standard interpretive methods in holding that, despite the apparent clarity of those four words, the law makes subsidies available on all exchanges, state and federal. Looking to the overall purpose, structure, and context of the Act, the court asked with incredulity why Congress would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges especially when Congress itself provided the federal backstop.
When the words are clear, which they are, the test that Tribe mentioned isn’t applied. Typically, that test is only applied if the words are ambiguous. Chief Justice Roberts said that the 4 words were “inartful drafting.” Justice Scalia’s response was that it wasn’t likely that that inartful drafting would appear in the ACA’s language 7 different times.
As for whether Congress “would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges”, the answer is yes. That’s why the federal government didn’t start building their website right away. Their plan — their concerted plan — was to pressure states into creating their own exchanges. Further, the IRS didn’t write its rule extending subsidies to people who bought their insurance through HealthCare.gov until it was clear that a substantial number of states weren’t going to create state-run exchanges.
Isn’t it curious that that clarification wasn’t the first thing mentioned in the rules? The instructions to the IRS weren’t written until late in the process. Why wasn’t it the first rule written? If the ACA’s success hinged on the subsidies, shouldn’t that have been the first rule written?
The people also won because the Roberts Court has given them a solid basis for trusting that hard-won victories in Congress will remain intact when challenged in the court. When it decides constitutional cases, like the much-anticipated same-sex marriage cases, the court’s role is to serve as a check on the people, ensuring that legislative or popular majorities don’t act in violation of the Constitution. This is the sense in which the court has famously been described as “counter-majoritarian.”
The Constitution was built to restrict what government isn’t authorized to do. That’s insanity. The Fourth Amendment wasn’t written to tell people what they couldn’t do. It was written to tell government what it can’t do. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting unreasonable searches against private citizens and publicly-traded companies.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress from writing laws that restrict people’s ability to speak out against politicians and government. It isn’t a check on people. It’s another check on government.
If Prof. Tribe can’t understand the most basic principles underpinning the Constitution, then his opinions on Supreme Court rulings is questionable.
The last 2 nights, Megyn Kelly has featured Amherst University’s decision to expel a student after a woman accused him of rape. Here’s the video of Monday night’s segment:
There’s no excuse for what Amherst University did. First, the fact that a woman waited 2 years before ‘reporting’ a rape should’ve been a hint to Amherst that this case should be viewed with a healthy bit of skepticism. Second, after the alleged rape was reported, the female student’s texts were recovered from a third party. They showed that the female student did more than consent to having sex. The texts showed she initiated sexual contact. In fact, it went further than that. After having sex with the man she accused of raping her, she texted another male student and asked him to “entertain” her.
It’s disturbing is that Amherst didn’t reverse the male student’s ejection from Amherst after the texts were discovered. What’s more disturbing is that the accused student wasn’t allowed representation. Further, it was against US Department of Education rules to let that female student to be cross-examined by the male student’s attorney because it might be a traumatic experience for the accuser.
This unnamed male student has hired legal counsel. They’re likely to file a lawsuit against Amherst and the Department of Education for violating the student’s due process rights. If ever there was a slam dunk case, this is it. Amherst didn’t show any interest in the accused student’s constitutional rights. The accused student was stripped of his ability to defend himself. When exculpatory evidence was discovered and presented to Amherst, it was treated as if it didn’t exist.
This is the video of last night’s segment on the Amherst story:
That the US Department of Education put together these guidelines that leave students essentially defenseless against accusers is disgusting. Brit Hume is right. It’s an article of faith that there’s a culture of rape on college campuses. The studies that purport to show this epidemic have been thoroughly discredited. Another thing that’s disgusting is that the US Department of Education would implement a plan that ignores students’ constitutional rights. The DOE didn’t water down the accused students’ constitutional rights. The US DOE just threw these students’ constitutional rights out entirely.
Technorati: Amherst University, US Department of Education, Culture of Rape, Dear Colleague Letter, Due Process Rights, Rights of the Accused, Cross-Examination, Exculpatory Evidence, Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly
It’s looking like Rebecca Otto will file a lawsuit to prevent private auditors from conducting audits:
State Auditor Rebecca Otto Wednesday reiterated her determination to take a recent change to her office’s responsibilities to court unless legislators repeal the new rules in a special session. “They’re going to have a special session and they can deal with this then,” Otto told MPR News host Tom Weber. “If they choose not to, they’ve made a choice. If they don’t want to [spend money on a lawsuit], they should take care of it in a special session.”
Gov. Dayton and Ms. Otto have gotten uppity about this. David Schultz has chimed in, too. Here’s my question to that trio: Where in Minnesota’s Constitution does it outline the State Auditor’s responsibilities?
I’ve read Article V. That’s where the Constitution establishes the office of State Auditor. Nowhere in Article V does it list the auditor’s responsibilities. Article V, Sect. 3 outlines the governor’s responsibilities. That’s the only constitutional officer whose responsibilities are defined in Minnesota’s Constitution.
Since the legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Dayton doesn’t attempt to abolish the State Auditor’s office, there isn’t a constitutional issue. The office is still intact. It’s just that the auditor’s responsibilities have changed. Here’s where things get tricky for the DFL.
Twenty-eight counties currently have the right to hire private auditors. That carve-out isn’t in the Constitution, meaning that changed through the passage of a state statute. If that change can happen through passing a state statute, why can’t other changes happen via state statute?
Otto argues the move is unconstitutional, and that it stands to gut her office.
Ms. Otto will lose that fight. Here’s why:
Anderson’s plan extends that option to all Minnesota counties, though it preserves Otto’s authority to double check private audits.
Sarah Anderson’s plan changes Ms. Otto’s responsibilities. It doesn’t eliminate Ms. Otto’s responsibilities, which is the linchpin constitutional argument.
If Rep. Anderson’s legislation sought to eliminate the State Auditor’s constitutional office, that legislation would be DOA. When the Treasurer’s office was eliminated in 1998, it was done with a constitutional amendment.
That doesn’t guarantee that the courts will do the right thing. Unfortunately, there are too many liberal jurists who either don’t understand the Constitution or they implement their policy preferences. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in this instance. If it does, however, then it’s time for voters to vote out the justices that don’t follow the clear language of the Constitution.
Not even justices are above the law.
It’s amazing that the DFL is working itself into a tizzy over the changes to the State Auditor. It’s even triggered a fight within the DFL over whether to dump Sen. Bakk as the Senate Majority Leader. It’s now accelerated to the point that a bunch of the DFL’s most loyal special interest allies are weighing into the fight. Check out the list of DFL special interest allies that’ve signed onto the letter:
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Sierra Club – North Star Chapter
Center for Biological Diversity
Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Save Lake Superior Association
League of Women Voters – Minnesota
Izaak Walton League of America – Minnesota Division
Protect our Manoomin Water Legacy
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Land Stewardship Project
Clean Water Action
Alliance for Sustainability
The letter was signed by Jeremy Schroeder, the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota. Check out this paragraph:
Preserving the State Auditor’s audit authority protects taxpayers and is critical for accountability and transparency. Concerns about the effects of allowing local units of government in Minnesota to select their own auditor are bipartisan and significant. State Auditor Rebecca Otto has made a compelling case for the value to taxpayers of maintaining transparent and open audits of local government units in Minnesota. Allowing local units of government to shop for their own auditors opens the door to potential abuse and corruption. Our organizations believe in good governance, and this change decreases transparency and accountability.
That’s a flimsy argument. There’s nothing standing in the legislature’s way of passing a law that establishes criteria that the private auditors would have to meet. That would eliminate any “potential abuse and corruption.”
Preserving the State Auditor’s audit authority protects the Minnesota Constitution and upholds basic standards for transparent lawmaking. The attempt by the Minnesota Legislature to privatize one of the primary functions of a Minnesota constitutional officer raises significant legal as well as policy questions.
Actually, there aren’t any constitutional questions. Minnesota’s Constitution establishes the office of State Auditor. It doesn’t establish what the State Auditor’s responsibilities are. They’re established through the legislative process.
Finally, it’s interesting that these organizations give a rip about the issue.
Much ink has been spilled on what the state auditor’s responsibilities are. Prof. David Schultz wrote this on the issue:
The governor should have never signed a bill that allowed for this. Nothing against private auditors, but this is the constitutional duty for the Auditor. The privatization will cost tax payers more in the long run–as is typically the case with many privatizations. But in many ways, it probably does not matter whether the governor wins to get this privatization overturned–the provision is probably unconstitutional, conflicting both with Article V, section 1, of the Constitution creating the office of the Auditor, and Article III, section 1, the separation of powers clause of the Constitution.
I read what the Minnesota Constitution says about the State Auditor. Here’s what Article III says:
DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT
Section 1. Division of powers. The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments: legislative, executive and judicial. No person or persons belonging to or constituting one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others except in the instances expressly provided in this constitution.
Here’s what Article V says:
Section 1. Executive officers. The executive department consists of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, and attorney general, who shall be chosen by the electors of the state. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be chosen jointly by a single vote applying to both offices in a manner prescribed by law.
[Amended, November 3, 1998]
Sec. 2. Term of governor and lieutenant governor; qualifications. The term of office for the governor and lieutenant governor is four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. Each shall have attained the age of 25 years and, shall have been a bona fide resident of the state for one year next preceding his election, and shall be a citizen of the United States.
Sec. 3. Powers and duties of governor. The governor shall communicate by message to each session of the legislature information touching the state and country. He is commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces and may call them out to execute the laws, suppress insurrection and repel invasion. He may require the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to his duties. With the advice and consent of the senate he may appoint notaries public and other officers provided by law. He may appoint commissioners to take the acknowledgment of deeds or other instruments in writing to be used in the state. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He shall fill any vacancy that may occur in the offices of secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and the other state and district offices hereafter created by law until the end of the term for which the person who had vacated the office was elected or the first Monday in January following the next general election, whichever is sooner, and until a successor is chosen and qualified.
[Amended, November 3, 1998]
Sec. 4. Terms and salaries of executive officers. The term of office of the secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor is four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The duties and salaries of the executive officers shall be prescribed by law.
[Amended, November 3, 1998]
Sec. 5. Succession to offices of governor and lieutenant governor. In case a vacancy occurs from any cause whatever in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall be governor during such vacancy. The compensation of the lieutenant governor shall be prescribed by law. The last elected presiding officer of the senate shall become lieutenant governor in case a vacancy occurs in that office. In case the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the same devolves on the lieutenant governor. The legislature may provide by law for the case of the removal, death, resignation, or inability both of the governor and lieutenant governor to discharge the duties of governor and may provide by law for continuity of government in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack in this state, including but not limited to, succession to the powers and duties of public office and change of the seat of government.
Sec. 6. Oath of office of state officers. Each officer created by this article before entering upon his duties shall take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of this state and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and ability.
Sec. 7. Board of pardons. The governor, the attorney general and the chief justice of the supreme court constitute a board of pardons. Its powers and duties shall be defined and regulated by law. The governor in conjunction with the board of pardons has power to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction for an offense against the state except in cases of impeachment.
Notice what isn’t in Article V of the Constitution. It doesn’t list the State Auditor’s responsibilities. I highlighted Sec. 3 because that’s about the “powers and duties of governor.”
That means that a) the Constitution only created the office of State Auditor. It didn’t define the State Auditor’s responsibilities. That means that the Auditor’s responsibilities are established by Minnesota state statutes. That means that there’s nothing constitutionally improper concerning the bill Gov. Dayton just signed. Gov. Dayton can express his displeasure with the just-signed provision.
Rebecca Otto has been complaining non-stop about the bill but she had multiple opportunities to testify against the bill early in the session. She chose not to, which is her option. Her complaints sound more like whining than constructive criticism.
If Gov. Dayton insists that this be repealed, then it’s him who will cause a government shutdown. Let Gov. Dayton and Ms. Otto explain why 28 counties have the option of hiring a private auditor but that 59 counties didn’t have that option.
This morning’s reading has included the latest information on how the Clintons used Hillary’s official position as head of the State Department to enrich the Clinton Foundation. After that, I read more about Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm’s fishing expedition into conservatives’ political activities. After I finished with that, I read this article about the federal government’s confiscation of Marvin Horne’s agricultural crop.
After reading these articles, it’s clear that progressive policies are ruining the United States. It’s equally clear that we won’t recognize the United States if these policies continue. The nation that our Founding Fathers will have been confiscated by progressive thugs who hate the Founding Fathers’ United States.
Let’s start by talking about the constitutional protections progressives threw into a trash can during Chisholm’s fishing expedition. The thugs (I won’t call them law enforcement officers) that raided Cindy Archer’s home told her she couldn’t talk about the raid to anyone and that she couldn’t get a lawyer to represent herself. Then they repeated these actions in 9 more homes. The thugs had search warrants but it’s questionable how valid they are. According to the Constitution, you need to tell the judge what evidence you have to get a warrant. Telling the judge ‘We think Ms. Archer has information that will help our investigation’ won’t cut it.
What’s worse is Ms. Archer being told that she couldn’t get an attorney. Here’s the text of the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Having thugs in uniforms tell Ms. Archer that she couldn’t talk with a lawyer is un-American and fascism.
KEY QUESTION: Do we want to live in a nation where the government is used as a weapon against citizens exercising their right to participate in the political process?
Next, let’s talk about the Clintons using Hillary’s position at the State Department for personal gain:
Was there a quid pro quo? Based on the Times reporting, there was certainly a lot of quid (millions in donations that made it to a Clinton charity; a half-million-dollar speaker’s fee) and multiple quos (American diplomatic intervention with the Russians; approvals when the Russian firm offered a very “generous” price for Uranium One). The Clinton perspective is that, although the approvals were delivered by the State Department when Clinton led it, there is no evidence that she personally delivered them, or of the “pro” in the equation.
The Clintons’ defense didn’t include an outright denial of wrongdoing. What’s telling about the Clintons’ denial is that it stopped short of denying that they were involved in influence peddling.
KEY QUESTION: Do we want to live in a nation where the well-connected get rich without contributing anything of value to the economy?
Finally, let’s look at how weaponized government confiscated agricultural products without compensating farmers for the products they produced. The Horne family raised lots of raisins on their farm. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) ordered them to limit their production of raisins. When the Horne family refused to accept the government’s demands, the USDA fined them $700,000 for not obeying the government.
Farmers should have the right to grow however many crops as they want. The government shouldn’t be able to limit the quantity of products they produce. It’s the farmers’ property. It’s their right to do whatever they want to do with their property as long as they aren’t physically harming others.
KEY QUESTION: Did the Founding Fathers intend for the government to limit the size of an individual’s crops? Or did the Founding Fathers write the Constitution in such a way that limited the federal government’s authority in telling individuals what they could do?
When government can tell people that they don’t have the right to counsel, that government has confirmed that they’re a lawless regime. When government dictates to farmers what crops they can grow and how much of that crop they can grow, then that government has become the people’s dictator, not its servant. When individuals use their official government responsibilities to enrich themselves, then we’ve reached a point where those individuals have stopped being public servants.
It’s at that point when weaponized government must be defanged and the individuals involved in these activities must be stripped of their ability to enrich themselves. It’s imperative that citizens of good faith halt the Democrats’ culture of corruption.
When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:
Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”
She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”
Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:
Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:
MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.
French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.
The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?
In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.
This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.
Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.
Technorati: Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Barbara Kluka, John Chisholm, John Doe Investigation, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Totalitarian Progressives, Democrats, Cindy Archer, Weaponized Government, Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill, Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth
This weekend, after he met with Raul Castro, President Obama continued his hate America tour, declaring that he was “very aware of the fact that there are dark chapters in our own history.”
There’s no doubt that this nation has seen dark chapters during its history. While the darkest of those dark chapters is either the Civil War or the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not all of this nation’s darkest chapters involve war. The Obama administration is one of those dark chapters.
Betraying Israel is a sad chapter in US history. President Obama has frequently betrayed Israel, whether it’s through revealing Israel’s sensitive nuclear secrets or by sending his political operatives to Israel to defeat Israel’s sitting prime minister. Frankly, betraying Israel is betraying the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage.
Frequently ignoring the Constitution is another instance where the Obama administration has led the United States into a dark chapter in our nation’s history. No other administration has had the Supreme Court rule unanimously against their power grabs thirteen times. That’s a record that’s as likely to get broken as Cy Young’s 511 victories as a pitcher.
Negotiating a nuclear proliferation treaty with Iran, which is what John Kerry’s framework really is, is a betrayal of our allies in the region. That’s before talking about how it establishes Iran as the regional superpower. That’s before talking about how it endangers our national security by pumping new money into Iran’s coffers to support regional and worldwide terrorist attacks.
That’s before highlighting this foolish statement:
“The cold war has been over for a long time and I’m not interested in battles that have been over frankly, before I was born,” President Obama stated.
It’s stupid for President Obama to insist that the Cold War is over. Putin’s on the march, gobbling up huge parts of neighboring countries. Further, I’m interested in hearing him explain how the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, when he was 28 years old. Perhaps he didn’t notice because he was too busy selling cocaine?
The only potential positive that might come out of the Obama administration is the stench that will remind us we’ve survived a national nightmare of incredible intensity.
Technorati: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Iran, Appeasement, Terrorists, Cuba, National Security, Israel, Pearl Harbor, Civil War, Supreme Court, Constitution
Just when I thought it was safe to listen to former State Sen. Steve Murphy again, he said something strikingly stupid. Friday night on Almanac’s Roundtable, Indiana’s RFRA law was brought up. Here’s what Murphy said:
I really don’t think nationally that we need any laws like that.
That isn’t just strikingly stupid. It’s frightening that a politician wouldn’t know that Bill Clinton signed RFRA into law in 1993 or that it passed the House unanimously and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Further, it’s frightening that a politician wouldn’t remember that RFRA was cited by Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision:
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the Government “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” 42 U. S. C. §§2000bb–1(a), (b). As amended by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), RFRA covers “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” §2000cc–5(7)(A).
Simply put, the government can’t force people to act against their religious beliefs unless the government can offer a compelling reason for restricting a person’s religious rights. Even if the government can provide a compelling reason for limiting a person’s religious beliefs, the government’s solution must be “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
Earlier in the segment, Ember Reichgott-Junge said that “the Religious Right” is wise in not introducing RFRA legislation. I’d just recommend Sen. Reichgott-Junge read John Hinderaker’s post about RFRA. Specifically, she should read this part of John’s post:
The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).
Remember that these are prominent former DFL state senators. When they’re sworn in, they swear an oath to “support the Constitution of the United States, the constitution of this state and to faithfully discharge the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and ability.” It’s impossible to support the US Constitution if you don’t know what’s in it.
Finally, Sen. Murphy is the guy who said that he wasn’t trying to hide tax increases in his transportation bill. He’s also famous for saying this:
“Everything is fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out, and the governor just poked out my eye by vetoing this bill,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing. “I think that is a clear indication he wants a train wreck at the end of session. He wants the Legislature to fail, and he wants to blame us.”
Steve Murphy and Ember Reichgott-Junge’s ignorance of the Constitution and major Minnesota court cases are frightening, especially considering the fact that the DFL is the party that thinks government is the dispenser of good things. Frankly, these DFL has-beens couldn’t support the Constitution they wore to uphold.