Archive for the ‘Bill of Rights’ Category

When it comes to Robert Mueller’s report, the Loony Left can’t resist hearing what Mueller didn’t say. That’s the take I got from this dishonest diatribe masquerading as journalism.

Jill Lawrence’s dishonesty is only exceeded by her writing deficiencies. This is what passes for journalism? That’s frightening. Apparently, Ms. Lawrence’s column is based on what she thinks Robert Mueller really thinks. It’s apparent that she doesn’t understand the US legal system. I’ll give Ms. Lawrence an A in creativity but that’s the only passing grade I’d give her. Check out this paragraph:

If I could stand up to raise my right hand, I’d swear to tell the truth. And it would be this: Of course I would have indicted Donald Trump if I could have. What don’t you get about “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that”? Or 10 textbook cases of obstruction of justice? Or the difference between “no collusion” and insufficient evidence to nail down a criminal conspiracy with the Russians?

One of the cornerstones of the Mueller report was what he said about collusion/conspiracy. The American Bar Association quoted from the report, saying this:

The special counsel found that Russia did interfere with the election, but “did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple efforts from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

There’s nothing in that paragraph that says they didn’t have enough evidence to charge. There’s nothing in that paragraph that suggests that the Trump campaign was that receptive to the Russians. So much for Ms. Lawrence’s theories, which, by the way, doesn’t constitute proof.

Then there’s this:

I regret being overly considerate of the president and his right to a “speedy and public trial.” We faced so many limits on our investigation and obstacles in our path, I should not have added more restrictions of my own free will and out of a sense of good sportsmanship. We are in a crisis that demands clarity and, alas, I did not recognize just how dire our circumstances — Barr’s perfidious misrepresentations, maddening Democratic caution, scandalous Republican indifference — until too late.

Ms. Lawrence thinks that a person’s right to a “speedy and public trial” is a nicety? I suppose she thinks other parts of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights are niceties, too? Here’s what the Speedy Trial Clause says:

“[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial”

As for the statement that Mueller’s investigation faced tons of limits and obstacles, that’s ridiculous. Over 1,400,000 documents were turned over. Not once during the investigation did President Trump invoke Executive Privilege. In fact, he let the White House Counsel testify for over 30 hours. The Trump administration’s level of transparency was historic in a positive way. It’d be interesting to see what Ms. Lawrence thought of when she said that Mueller’s investigation faced lots of limitations.

What the hell was Lawrence thinking when she wrote about “10 textbook cases of obstruction of justice?” We don’t know whether any of the charges met the probable cause burden of proof. If those examples couldn’t meet that level of proof, they certainly couldn’t meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” level of proof that’s required to convict. It’s frightening that journalists have left that field to become published activists while masquerading to be journalists. The truth is that Ms. Lawrence is just a paid political hack.

Gregg Jarrett’s opinion piece reached a stunning conclusion when Jarrett said “The special counsel publicly besmirched the president with tales of suspicious behavior instead of stated evidence that rose to the level of criminality. This is what prosecutors are never permitted to do. Justice Department rules forbid its lawyers from annunciating negative narratives about any person, absent an indictment.”

When Jim Comey announced that he wouldn’t indict Hillary Clinton, he first said that HRC had done some illegal things. Then he finished by saying that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against HRC. Back then, there were howls from the legal community, saying that the DOJ speaks in indictments. They don’t list things that a person did that were shady but that, in the end, the person wasn’t a criminal. Here’s Comey’s press conference ‘exonerating’ HRC:

Today’s performance by Bob Mueller was Act II of Jim Comey’s disgraceful exoneration of HRC. Mueller included in his report 10 instances of President Trump obstructing justice. In each of those instances, Mueller didn’t make a decision. Notice that I didn’t say that he didn’t indict. I said that Mueller refused to even make a decision.

Instead, in each of these instances, Mueller made the case for and against indicting President Trump of obstruction of justice. Then he essentially said that it was up to Congress to make the final decision. By comparison, when Kenneth Starr issued his report, he noted that then-President Clinton had committed 11 crimes, 6 of which were obstruction of justice charges.

Starr didn’t indict Clinton. He merely told the House of Representatives that Clinton had committed those crimes. Jarrett continues:

How can that person properly defend himself without trial? This is why prosecutors like Mueller are prohibited from trying their cases in the court of public opinion. If they have probable cause to levy charges, they should do so. If not, they must refrain from openly disparaging someone that our justice system presumes is innocent. In this regard, Mueller shrewdly and improperly turned the law on its head. Consider the most inflammatory statement that he leveled at the president in his report.

Again, Mueller’s thinking is out-of-step with the Constitution. The Bill of Rights presumes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. According to Mueller’s thinking, Trump was guilty until he was exonerated. That’s bassackwards and then some.

Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence. It is the bedrock on which justice is built. Prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To bring charges they must have, at minimum, probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. The special counsel took this inviolate principle and cleverly inverted it. He argued that he could not prove the president did not commit a crime.

Today is a sad day for the rule of law. Today, a special counsel decided he had the right to ignore the Bill of Rights. Today, a special counsel thought he was Jim Comey’s stand-in.

Let’s be clear about something. A number of Democrat committee chairs are constitutional illiterates. Either that or they’re exceptionally corrupt or both. It’s something I’ve spent a big chunk of time thinking about. Here’s what finished things off for me.

When House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings issued subpoenas for President Trump’s private financial records when he was a private citizen, President Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit to prevent the production of those records.

The legal complaint from Trump’s legal team reads “Chairman Cummings has ignored the constitutional limits on Congress’ power to investigate. Article I of the Constitution does not contain an ‘Investigations Clause’ or an ‘Oversight Clause.’ It gives Congress the power to enact certain legislation. Accordingly, investigations are legitimate only insofar as they further some legitimate legislative purpose.”

That’s true as far as it goes but I’d add that they didn’t mention a separation of powers conflict, too. Congress isn’t tasked with investigating private citizens before they were part of the government. That’s the jurisdiction of the executive branch. Specifically, the Department of Justice has the statutory authority to investigate private citizens. The investigations of private citizens is the responsibility of the FBI or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The only people vested with the responsibility of convening grand juries are the DOJ attorneys, U.S. attorneys or a special counsel.

This won’t be a terribly difficult case to decide. The legislative branch has the constitutional authority to give advice and consent, pass legislation, provide legislative oversight and to ratify treaties.

House Democrats don’t have the authority to investigate the private activities of private citizens. That’s the job of the executive branch. Period. Mark Levin discussed another possible explanation with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday night’s Life, Liberty & Levin:

I don’t know if that’s what these Democrats are trying to do but I won’t rule it out. It’s pretty frightening when the People’s House is weaponized to torment private citizens. Though that precedent hasn’t been sent, Speaker Pelosi did say that subpoenas might be a way to negotiate with President Trump:

Apparently, Pelosi and other Democrats don’t think playing fair is required. That’s why they need to voted out of office in 2020. The bigger the landslide in the House and Senate, the better. It’s clear that Democrats don’t see limits on their investigative powers:

I suspect that they’ll be stopped cold by the Supreme Court. I can’t wait to hear about that ruling. What’s chilling is hearing E.J. Dionne say that going after a private citizen’s private financial records “is the right thing to do.”

Perhaps the more accurate title of this post should be ‘When will Leftists protest these civil rights’? FIRE’s Susan Kruth’s article on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s revised regulations outlines changes to Obama administration’s anti-due process regulations.

Let’s be clear. The Obama administration’s Education Department was anti-civil rights. When it came to dealing with alleged sexual assault on campus, the Obama administration’s Education Department “encouraged schools to have a single investigator adjudicate sexual misconduct cases through a series of separate meetings with the parties and witnesses.” By contrast, the DeVos-proposed regulations pertaining to alleged sexual assault “requires that schools ‘must provide for a live hearing’ when adjudicating a case.”

In other words, universities must allow a cross-examination of the accuser. Nameless, faceless accusers won’t have their ‘day in court’. Kruth continues with this:

Having a live hearing ensures that all parties can see exactly the same evidence and testimony that the fact-finder is seeing, so that he or she can rebut that evidence and testimony as fully as he or she is able.

The department’s new rules go on to require a typical and critically important feature of live hearings: cross-examination of all witnesses, including the parties. The Supreme Court has called cross-examination the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” and it can be especially paramount in cases that hinge on witness testimony, as the Sixth Circuit emphasized just two months ago.

How an administration that swore an oath to uphold the Constitution can deprive people of this basic civil right is startling. Further, it’s time to admit that leftist Democrats are now fascists and/or anarchists. IF you think I’m kidding, check out Eric Swalwell’s proposal:

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Look at the mental gymnastics Rep. Swalwell employs to justify this confiscation:

You’re probably wondering what gun confiscation has to do with due process rights. That’s a fair question. They’re both part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms is a sacred right. I prefer referring to it as the right to protect myself and my family. It’s a natural right. The Supreme Court has called the right to due process and to confront your accuser the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

It isn’t supposition to say that Democrats have opposed the right to protect yourself and your family from burglars and criminals as vigorously as they’ve opposed the right of people to cross-examine their accusers. What other constitutional rights do Democrats want to sacrifice on the altar of political correctness?

When I read this article, it confirmed that our schools have failed us. Here’s what happened:

New Prague High School senior Andy Dalsin held a poster during the protest which said “Gun Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.” Principal Lonnie Seifert was having none of it, however. Seifert even threatened Dalsin with being hauled away by the police if he didn’t comply.

That’s just the start of it. Things quickly devolved:

Seifert claims he was just going by district policy, according to KSTP-5. In a statement, the district said “such items [as Dalsin’s] must be submitted to and reviewed by school administration at least 24 hours in advance.”

That’s an unenforceable policy because the First Amendment protects such speech. In fact, when the Supreme Court gutted McCain-Feingold, part of the reason for SCOTUS striking it down was because the bill told people when they could and couldn’t run advertising against candidates. This isn’t exactly on point but it’s close.

First, who gave Principal Seifert the constitutional authority to accept or reject communications of any sort? Next, why is expressing a contrarian opinion on another of our civil rights unacceptable? Didn’t the Founding Fathers put the First Amendment into the Bill of Rights to protect contrarian communications? I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it again — there’s no need to protect non-controversial speech because everyone agrees with it. Finally, the First Amendment implicitly states that nobody in government has the authority to accept or reject student communications.

Further, Dailywire.com added to the story saying:

The video was first posted to Facebook by Kenny MacDonald, a student at New Prague High School in New Prague, Minnesota. The short video does not show what took place before or after the principal singled-out the student. In the post, MacDonald provided the following account of what took place:

Kids at our school today walked out, in honor of the 17 students killed in Florida. Students held signs that said, “Arm our teachers” they had two signs. A student walked out without saying a word peacefully put up his sign which said “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” he was escorted off the property by our principal and threatened to be put into a police car. This violates the first amendment and makes me sick that they can do whatever they want. Please make this go viral

It went viral alright:

Within a few hours, the video had already been viewed nearly 300,000 times, shared over 17,000 times, and received thousands of comments from people who expressed anger and disgust over the suppression of free speech and political indoctrination at public schools.

Then there’s this:

It’s appalling to read that “New Prague Area Schools fully respects and recognizes that students have free speech rights. Those rights, however, are to be balanced against the District’s responsibility to maintain a school environment focused on education.”

New Prague Area Schools obviously doesn’t respect students’ free speech rights because it threatened a student if he didn’t remove his sign. Further, a student’s First Amendment rights aren’t “balanced against the District’s responsibility to maintain a school environment focused on education.” A student’s First Amendment rights are to be balanced against the constitutional tests established by the Supreme Court. In literally hundreds of cases, the Supreme Court (and other appellate courts) have ruled against restrictions placed on people by city governments and school districts.

Finally, it’s frightening that a high school principal has such a flimsy understanding of the First Amendment. The School Board should order him to take an online class on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from Hillsdale College. Principal Seifert’s understanding of the Constitution is embarrassing.

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You’d think that a former California attorney general would understand the basics of our legal system. After reading Kamala Harris’s tweet about Education Secretary DeVos’s rescinding “Obama-era guidance on investigating campus sexual assault, puts interim rules in place.” In her tweet, Sen. Harris said “This is infuriating. We should be strengthening, not weakening, protections for sexual assault survivors.”

Sen. Harris’ statement assumes that all women who step forward are rape victims. Further, Sen. Harris’ statement doesn’t say a thing about protecting the right of defendants to question their accusers. Does Ms. Harris think it’s ok for women to be able to accuse men of raping them anonymously? In what universe is that ok?

In her Twitter bio, Sen. Harris said that she is “dedicated to fighting for justice & giving voice to the voiceless.” That sounds nice but I don’t think she means it. Instead, I think she’s just another man-hating mad woman from California. We finally got rid of Sen. Boxer, one of the original man-haters of the Senate, and she’s replaced with another man-hating woman.

With a state as populated as California, wouldn’t you think that they’d be able to find someone more interested in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?