Tag: Constitution

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. What if you don’t believe in a Creator? Or that He has created us all equal? Or that we have […]

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Attempting to read the United States Constitution in its entirety can be an intimidating task. At over 7,500 words including the Ammendments and its place as the single most important document in the history of the U.S. – it’s vital for all Americans to know what it stands for, the freedoms it provides, and the […]

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Understand that to surrender even a tad of freedom, a touch of liberty, or a bit of property—whether to climate change, Covid, national security, the “common good” or “society’—based on the decree of a demented, illegitimate president, a narcissistic zealot like AOC, the descendant of a nepotistic lineage of privileged inbreds like Pelosi or Newsom, […]

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Trump supporters who contest the 2020 election lose their 5th, 4th, and 1st Amendment rights, Constitutional liberty interests, and writ of habeus corpus  in Washington DC Courts, where the guy with the viking horns is being held without bail because he might “push false claim of election fraud” if released.   Preview Open

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TurleyVision 1999: Impeachment as a Madisonian Device

 

My dear spouse occasionally forwards me the legal theories of Jonathan Turley, who currently argues Trump’s impeachment trial is unconstitutional now that Trump is a former official. Curious as to what Turley had to say about impeachment before Trump, I did some digging and struck a mother lode: Turley’s 146-page 1999 Duke Law Journal article, Senate Trials and Factional Disputes: Impeachment As A Madisonian Device. Turley’s reasons for publishing such a masterwork in 1999 may not have been dispassionate, since he had recently testified at Bill Clinton’s impeachment, but since Trump’s presidency wasn’t even a gleam in the old GOP elephant’s eye back then, Turley’s thoughts on impeachment in 1999 should at least be free of any bias for or against Trump. Those with the patience to read — or at least skim — Impeachment As A Madisonian Device will be rewarded with plenty of information on impeachment’s constitutional function and history that’s interesting in its own right, and a perspective in which the non-juridical, political nature of impeachment transcends mere raw exercise of power.

Impeachment As A Madisonian Device extensively surveys the constitutional history of impeachment. Its thesis is that the impeachment process, declared first in the House, then passed to the Senate for trial, culminates in

The Best Articles I Read in 2020

 

Here at the end of 2020, I’m trying to close up a number of tabs I have open on my browser. Many of them are articles, and of that number I’m certain several were suggested or linked to by fellow Ricochet members, mentioned in podcasts, or discovered through searches prompted by Ricochet discussions. I was originally going to say “The 10 Best Articles…”, but the list is more than ten articles and I’m sure I’m forgetting some additional ones that I read months ago…it’s been a long year.

For this post I loosely define “the best” articles as those that challenged my thinking on an issue, were educational, were unexpected or deservedly scandalous, courageously broke with prevailing current narratives, or discussed an important topic otherwise ignored or forgotten. I’m not going to say which characteristic applies to which article as I’m trying to keep this post relatively brief, and each article could form the foundation of a post and become fertile ground for discussion. Some of the articles were written in years prior to 2020, but I just got around to reading them this year and they were either prophetic or remain pertinent to current events. Grouped with some of the articles I have read, I’m also listing what I’m going to read next in regard to that topic. These will have “to be read” in parentheses next to them.

Religious Liberty Should Prevail

 

This past week in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court re-entered the dangerous minefield at the junction of religious liberty and anti-discrimination. The current dispute arose when Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services announced that it would no longer refer children to Catholic Social Services (CSS) for placement in foster care because CSS refused to consider same-sex couples as potential foster parents. CSS was, however, prepared to accept into its foster care all children regardless of their sexual orientation. After prolonged negotiations with the city failed, CSS sued. It seeks, in the words of the Third Circuit, “an order requiring the city to renew their contractual relationship while permitting it to turn away same-sex couples who wish to be foster parents.” The Third Circuit upheld the position of the city.

Resolving this delicate confrontation requires a return to first principles. Let’s start with the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion, as elaborated in Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith. Alfred Leo Smith, a drug guidance counselor, was denied unemployment benefits after being terminated for consuming peyote, a controlled substance, as part of a religious rite. The court held that his religious beliefs do not “excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the state is free to regulate.” The First Amendment did not require Oregon to accommodate Smith’s religious practice. Any neutral law of general applicability was acceptable, notwithstanding its disparate impact.

Notably, the word exercise is broad enough to cover not only Smith’s use of peyote but also CSS’s adoption policies. Accordingly, under no circumstances should Philadelphia be allowed to pass an ordinance that requires the Catholic Church to ordain women as priests, or to offer family aid services paid from its own funds to same-sex couples. The question in Fulton is whether CSS’s free exercise rights are forfeited when the city supplies public funds and matching services to CSS and the children it puts up for foster care.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. They also discuss the Philadelphia police-involved shooting of a man advancing toward officers with a knife and the resulting violence that left 30 officers injured, including 12 in the hospital. And they break down the left’s unhinged reaction to the Barrett confirmation – from immediate calls for court packing to claiming originalism is racist – while Jim points out that the left probably ought to blame Ruth Bader Ginsburg for Barrett being on the court.

On today’s episode of American Wonk, FREOPP’s Avik Roy talks with Ilya Shapiro, author of “Supreme Disorder,” a new book on the politics of the Supreme Court. They talk about Amy Coney Barrett and ask: what have conservatives gotten right and wrong in their quest to change how the Supreme Court thinks about the Constitution?

Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court

“Judge of the Decade”, the Honorable Michael Warren (6th Circuit Court, Oakland County, MI) Author & Co-Creator of the Patriot Week Foundation https://www.patriotweek.org/ discusses the contentious and history-making Trump nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. From a Constitutional perspective, can Democrats go through with their threats to “pack the court”? How and when did SCOTUS become so politicized? If Trump wins reelection, will a second term see a 7-2 Conservative court and how would that impact the country?

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Federal law creates a mass of minor observances, honoring this group and that cause, all through the year. Current events and religions create additional overlays of important dates, noted by the president of the United States in his official capacity. There is an element of boilerplate, of consistent wording framing annual observances across administrations. Look […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris is having very little impact on the presidential race. They also roll their eyes as Hillary Clinton suggests to the convention yet again that she really won the election and Barack Obama, of all people, says we need a president who will faithfully defend the Constitution.  And they react to the news that former White House official and Trump 2016 campaign honcho Steve Bannon is under indictment for allegedly defrauding a charity supposedly funding a border wall.

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Conservatives are generally quick to point out that America is a republic, not a democracy. But what really is the difference, and are they even right? Voting in America has changed considerably since the days of our founding. Back then, the government didn’t even print official ballots. Instead, you got ballots from the candidate who […]

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Twofer Tuesday: President Trump and Kayleigh McEnany Speak

 

Trump and McEnanyIt was a twofer Tuesday at the White House. Early in the day, Kayleigh McEnany delivered her usual elegant evisceration of the press pool jackals. President Trump then tagged and rolled in with a solo performance in a tight and disciplined 26 minutes. Off-camera, he took consequential action with his pen, signing an executive order on the Census. I extensively annotated and selectively bolded the official transcripts, presented below for your consideration. Tuesday’s performance by the president was markedly better, tighter, more disciplined, than many in the past. Or that is my view. I especially welcome feedback from those who have been supportive of his policies but off-put by his presentation manner in press conferences.

[Author’s note: Ricochet members and readers are perfectly able to index and regularly scan official sources, but most of us do not have that interest. I hope that this occasional series of official video and transcripts adds value to Ricochet, as good, factual reporting does elsewhere. Yes, I add my opinion and analysis in and around the official facts of what was spoken. And. This injection of opinion within long transcripts is clearly set off in brackets. You read, you decide. Why transcripts? Because text is so much faster than the spoken word. You can read closely or just skim for highlights so much faster than comprehensible speech. Why video? Because important parts of our communication are tone and physical gesture.]

Kayleigh McEnany opened with law and order, framing the administration’s response in Portland, Oregon. She closed with a defense of Dr. Birx, as a woman who is a true medical expert, who rose to the rank of colonel, and who fought HIV/AIDS. McEnany waved the 400-page notebook full of medical data Dr. Birx delivers to every governor weekly and denounced the New York Times for smearing her. President Trump briefed exclusively on COVID-19 for 14 minutes, then took questions for 12 minutes. The net result was good communication on both major issues the left intends to use to win in November. In his office, the President signed an executive order, and issued a statement, directing the Secretary of Commerce to exclude illegal aliens from the electoral apportionment report, a commonsense action. I leave aside all the actions being taken by the Vice President, First Lady, and Second Lady, cited with links at the end of this post.

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  Every four years, we are reminded that the president of the United States must be a “natural born citizen.” But what does this even mean? Does it apply to everyone born in America, and is there a difference between a “native born” (one naturalized at birth by statute) and a “natural born” (one who does not […]

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С днем ​​россии: A (Not Very) New Era in Russian Politics

 

Before COVID became the center of international news coverage, much attention was being paid to Vladimir Putin’s sudden reorganization of the Russian government and proposed overhaul of the Constitution, which has seen little change since 1993. Naturally, Vladimir Vladimirovich did not attempt to bring about these changes with a spirit of liberal democracy and healthy regime change in mind (indeed, some would say that it is very unhealthy to even think about regime change in Russia). The spread of the virus, though, which he was unable to halt even after closing the Russian border with China in January, put a wrench in his plans. 

Russia is still, right now, the third most affected country in the world with at least half a million cases (this is data compiled and released by Putin’s government, after all), and a health system that is not up to the challenge in a multitude of ways. Putin was well aware of this, which is why he closed the border so early and implemented a strict lockdown when the situation started to deteriorate. But now, more important concerns are at hand. The President has pressured the Moscow government into lifting restrictions, and, after a holiday celebration today, has planned a concert for tonight in Red Square. These moves come in plenty of time to get people comfortable with going outside and attending rallies ahead of a July 1 vote on the changes. 

Join Jim and Greg as they finally find some good news this week.  They start by applauding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling out the double standard of governors and mayors who ignore COVID restrictions for some and drop the hammer on others.  They also appreciate Bernie Sanders strongly opposing the abolition of police when some of those leading the defund police charge seem to be part of his clientele. And they react to Dr. Deborah Birx lamenting the destruction of dozens of COVID test sites in the recent riots.

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As we inch closer to the 2020 Presidential election, expect to see more and more ignorant attacks against America, our founding ideals, and western civilization itself. First, one of the biggest lies that the anti-American left perpetrates must be addressed— the idea that America is founded on racism, white supremacy, and slavery. Preview Open

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