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With John Yoo in the host chair this week, we get off to a rocky start because a certain friend of ours made a favorable reference to Edmund Burke in a draft article shared with us in advance of publication, and Lucretia immediately went to DefCon1. To be continued next week!
Anyway, after introducing our whiskies of the week, we get down to business with ranking the biggest farce of the week (after Joe Biden that is), which came down to two deserving finalists: the latest hysterical J-6 hearings (which Steve said Democrats are clinging to like drowning sailors to a leaking life raft), or the delicious popcorn feast of racism inside the completely corrupt Los Angeles City Council. It took less than 72 hours for the left and the media to come up with the party line, which is that Hispanic politicians dishing on blacks, Jews, and Armenians is one more example of . . . white supremacy. We kid you not. We have the receipts from NBC News and the New York Times. White supremacy seems even more powerful than The Force in Star Wars. May The Farce be with you, LA City Council!
Then after a quick update on the Georgia, Arizona, and Utah senate races (Egg McMuffin again??), we raise our glasses to several more promising new Supreme Court cases, which, on close inspection, turn out to have one thing in common despite their very different issues: many of them involve cleaning up messes left behind by old Anthony Kennedy opinions. In particular we look at the sequel to Sackett v. EPA, which bought out Lucretia at her eloquent best explaining why her presentation of this case in the classroom is always so effective with students.
And if you persist to the end, you’ll see we think Kamala outdid herself this week, achieving new lows in banality. And even though we were all tired after a long week, we got our groove on anyway, so it seems appropriate to end with bumper music from The Flamin’ Groovies.
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I hate to ask after the running gag, but perhaps some time y’all could rehash just why John Yoo is so opposed to the Clean Air Act? I mean, there are plenty of reasons to oppose it and I’m sure he opposes it for a supermajority of them, but for now I’m going to assume he’s looking to buy cheap housing downwind from a McDonald’s.
Administrative judges are unconstitutional. Quoting from the 6th Amendment:
“By an impartial jury”. Now, not being a lawyer myself I can’t tell you why bench trials are allowed at all, but let that pass. A judge who is employed by one party in the question can’t be impartial.
The counterargument here is, I think, the phrase “criminal prosecutions”. If a regulation is not a law then prosecuting someone for breaking it can’t be a criminal prosecution. The answer to that is regulations have the force of law. If my breaking a regulation empowers the EPA to judge against me and fine me dollars by the ten thousand then I’m entitled to the due process of law, which includes a trial by impartial jury. If I’m merely breaking a regulation, something that doesn’t rise to the level of a criminal act, then the regulation can’t have the force of law, and they can’t compel me to pay the fine. I guess you could argue that the broken regulation qualifies as a misdemeanor and hence doesn’t rise to the level of a jury trial. What other misdemeanors have a ten thousand dollar fine, let alone a ten thousand dollars a day until we start doubling it fine?
It is my firm conviction that the constitution is too important to be left solely to the lawyers. If people react to administrative judges as if they ought to be unconstitutional, that’s because they ought to be unconstitutional. Insofar as the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise in the past it’s going to take some really fine legal reasoning to convince me they weren’t plain wrong.
It is an inside gag. He’s not opposed to the Clean Air Act (or clean air!); he’s just opposed to my bringing it up in class, which I used to do just to bug him. So it’s become a “runner” as they say in standup.
Distribute the Plan B pill widely. Advertise that you are distributing the Plan B pill widely.
Stop the GOP legal threats against abortion.
Reduce abortions and get more GOP votes.
It is totally true that the gay alphabet mafia is harassing this baker in Colorado. (I happen to be gay.) I do not think much of the so-called Christian baker, however. I know of nowhere in the New Testament where followers of Jesus are told to sit in judgment of sinners. (I also happen to have a master’s in theological studies from Duke , awarded magna cum laude, and have exegeted in koine Greek as well as English.) Indeed, Jesus famously surrounded himself with sinners. Yes, they were instructed to repent—i.e., turn away from sin—but as Paul makes clear in Romans 2 (which immediately follows his condemnation of all sorts of sin, including the only reference to lesbian sexual acts in the Bible), judgment is not the role of the believer, but of God. In fact, it’s just as bad to judge as to sin because the judging person not only soils the good news of the gospel, but also becomes a usurper of God. (Jesus never mentions this issue at all, BTW, but he does spend a good deal of time condemning divorce.) This baker has every right to refuse any request, but, to my mind, he lacks grace just as his critics do, inasmuch as they all serenely confuse themselves with God. The honorable thing, given his love of judgment, would be for him to make cakes privately, only on commission, and to stop advertising his work to the public, thereby increasing his fortunes and opportunities to judge.
We are not supposed to be accessories to sin.
I’m sure many Christians would disagree with my POV, which is of course their right (and maybe they’re right). But the main thing I got from my div school experience—which luckily took place before the tentacles of woke took over—was the importance of humble obedience, of not confusing the good news with a contract to condemn, which is as common as sin.
The baker didn’t go around protesting gay marriages. The gay activists came to him. They required him to applaud gay marriages. He refused. If you condemn him, then you say that people who disagree with you shouldn’t have freedom of conscience.
@stevenhayward Did the term ‘social justice‘ —which you said has a 1000 year history in the Catholic Church —really have the sense with which we use it now before LeoXIII and Rerum Novarum?
We just have to disagree on this. I’m not condemning him. I am merely observing him as someone who has a public persona identified with a particular issue. He can do whatever he wants—as he has, with lots of support. His conscience is totally his own—I never suggested otherwise. But he’s the kind of public believer whose heart does not appeal to me. (And I’m sure my heart would not appeal to him. So be it.) And maybe his POV is agreeable to God. I just personally find that very hard to believe.
Yes, I think so, though I haven’t read much on the matter for probably 30 years now, so I’m rusty. But certainly in the Scholastic Age the Thomists and others refined Aristotle’s four-part definition of justice to include ideas such as “just price” (which really meant the opposite of what the left means today–it actually implied a free or market price (this was long before Adam Smith), not dictated by the merchant or ruler, etc.
The issue is, he does business with any gay person as long as it doesn’t involve communicating a pro-gay position. Forcing artists to communicate something they don’t want to communicate is not a road we want to go down.
The issue of administrative law judges is different than the jury trial issue.
You state that “due process of law . . . includes a trial by impartial jury.” Why do you think this? Is it in the Constitution? It’s sure not in the 6th Amendment that you cite, with respect to non-criminal cases.
You might want to look at the 7th Amendment, which does address jury trials in civil cases. It states:
Notice that this applies only to “Suits at common law,” a distinction that might not be apparent to a non-lawyer, because it turns out that there are many types of suits that are not “at common law.” Some are statutory, some relate to the old English distinction between courts of law and courts of equity. Our Founders — many of them lawyers, including Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton — knew this, and this explains their choice of language.
Your argument about the unavailability of compulsion to require payment of a fine is also incorrect. Technically, a fine is reduced to a civil judgment. There are then enforcement mechanisms, generally involving seizure of property. This is completely normal in our system — for example, if you lose a lawsuit for breach of contract or for a car accident, this is how you will ultimately be forced to pay.
If you forcibly resist the lawful execution of a judgment, then that may be a crime, and the criminal prosecution would involve a jury trial (as you note, with an exception for misdemeanors in some situations).
What about “flee from sexual immorality”? 1 Cor. 6:18.
I think that Paul does make it clear that we are to judge those inside the church, in 1 Cor. 5:
This would apply to professing believers, not unbelievers. What about unbelievers? Perhaps this is what Paul was referencing in 2 Cor. 6:
To me, this provides pretty good support for the idea that a Christian ought not to participate in immoral acts or pagan rituals. My own view is that this includes the perversion of the sacrament of marriage that is so-called “same-sex marriage.”
He offered to sell them any of the already prepared cakes in his store. They wanted him to add a comment celebrating their marriage. He refused. You want to drive people who disagree with you out of of the public square.
Nothing I wrote suggests that.
FWIW, I’m against gay/same-sex marriage but believe civil unions should be available. Marriage is not a sacrament in Protestant churches as much as it is within the Catholic faith; nonetheless, my respect for the Sacraments is the reason I don’t support gay marriage. I also agree—and have written in every post—that this baker is being and should not be harassed for his judgments. And, absolutely, many activists demand recognition/acceptance and thereby inherently go too far. But to me—which I have consistently expressed here as an opinion, not an edict—this baker is not a faith hero. And, yes, Paul does call for intra-church struggle sessions among the believers to whom he writes his epistles, as they were separatists anxiously awaiting the parousia, which Paul believed (in error) was imminent.
Nonetheless, JTBC, I totally respect yours and Richard’s views. Godspeed.
Regarding this episode’s intriguing Outro music: Is that a Beatles-variant version, or somebody else covering the Beatles song? (I was guessing the latter.)
You’re not condemning him? You can’t mean that. I pray you don’t mean that.
You’re conflating/equating his policy – which, as Richard Easton points out, no one knew of until he began to be persecuted by the homosexuals who demand “you will be made to care” – with the outright, undeniable public persecution inflicted on him by those homosexual activists.
Do you also not condemn his persecution by those homosexuals who demand “you will be made to care?”
Not a Beatles song! The Flamin’ Groovies were another of those late 1960s “British invasion” bands that sounded a bit like the Beatles.