Ruth Bader Ginsburg Slaps NOW

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Well that didn't take long. In a not-so shocking ruling today, the Supreme Court sided with abortion protestors saying federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations outside abortion clinics.

So free speech lives on, for now. It was an 8-0 decision, though we can be sure Alito would have made it nine had he been on the court when it was decided. I wonder how the people at NOW are taking it, as you know it's a bad day for the National Organization for Women when Ruth Bader Ginsburg disagrees with you.

ProLifeBlogs calls the decision a "victory" although I find such sound beatings unworthy of mass celebration. Malkin links to some more reactions.

Morning Thoughts

While we wait for any possible Supreme Court decisions to be released this afternoon, here are some stories to chew on for the morning:

  • While I don't follow nor give credence to opinion polls I can't help but notice that our dear president is at an all-time low of 34%. Much of it, I believe, has to do with the negative attention the Dubai Ports deal has picked up. If Bush can effectively explain this transaction and clear up the misconceptions I see his approval raising slightly, if only back to the low 40s.

  • Speaking of Dubai, why are Democrats in such a frenzy over this? Aren't they the party that rejects racial profiling and Islamic stereotypes? Surely if Kerry had won the presidency and made this deal Democrats would be crying racist at any and all opposition.

  • The NHL is back in business now that the Olympics are over. And still nobody cares.

Another Reason Not to be a Felon

Monday, February 27, 2006

Like I have to tell you this is from the NY Times' editorial page:

Stripping convicted felons of the right to vote is a slap at America's democratic ideals. Many states are backing away from this policy, understanding at last that voting rights are in fact basic human rights that should be abridged only in the rarest circumstances. That lesson has yet to penetrate the state of Washington, which has created a form of disenfranchisement that is straight out of "Oliver Twist."

Several states permanently marginalize ex-offenders by saddling them with unfair charges and fines that are supposed to help pay for public defenders, drug tests, halfway houses and other "services." But Washington leads the pack in dunning impoverished offenders. People who commit certain crimes are even charged for having their DNA registered in the offender database.

In addition to devastating poor families that can barely feed themselves, these fees push ex-offenders even further into the margins of society. And Washington's policy of stripping people of their right to vote until they can cough up enough money to pay these unfair charges is morally outrageous.
The biggest misconception we have about our "rights" as citizens is the supposed right to vote. Like it or not, no such right exists. It was only until after 1870, when the 15th Amendment was ratified, that any mention of the right to vote existed. It states: "the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on the basis of race, color or previous condition of servitude."

In other words, citizens do not have a fundamental right to the ballot, but cannot be denied the opportunity because they're black or were once a slave. Nowhere is it in written in federal law that felons can't be deprived of the vote.

How "morally outrageous" it is to deny felons the right to vote is I'm sure, pale compared to the act they committed that rendered them a felon in the first place.

Abortion Lawmakers Can't Count

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's simple math, really:

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) - South Dakota's state senate voted on Wednesday for an abortion ban aimed at giving the conservative-tilting Supreme Court an opening to overturn rulings granting women the right to the procedure.

Only an unlikely veto by Republican Gov. Michael Rounds could prevent the legislation from becoming law, people on both sides of the issue said.

"We hope (Rounds) recognizes this for what it is: a political tool and not about the health and safety of the women of South Dakota," said Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood, which operates the sole clinic providing abortions in South Dakota.

"If he chooses to sign it, we will be filing a lawsuit in short order to block it," she said after attending the afternoon debate at the state capitol in Pierre.

Proponents have said the law was designed for just such a court challenge.

The timing is right, supporters say, given the recent appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the high court. The two conservatives could pave the way to a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling said women have a constitutional right to abortion.
Let's review, shall we? The Supreme Court has nine members. It takes five to constitute a majority. Currently the justices whom we know will likely vote to overturn Roe are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Those in support of upholding the right to abortion are John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer.

Those who've yet to rule on the issue are newbies John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

To even begin the process of trying to threaten the legacy of Roe it would require both Roberts and Alito to side with the Court's most conservative members, but then the vote will still be 5-4 to uphold it.

It will still take another vacancy to significantly move the Court to the right. The likely justice to go next is John Paul Stevens. The guy is 86. Replace him with an anti-Roe vote, provided Scalia and Roberts will also be anti-Roe, and then you will see the end to abortion's constitutional protection.

Morons Try to Ambush Scalia

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Malkin and Point of Law bring up Justice Scalia's speech today about foreign influence on American jurisprudence that was aired on C-SPAN. Sadly, quite a few of the spectators attempted to ambush the event by confronting Scalia on irrelevant topics (such as Cheney and hunting) when he specifically called for questions regarding his speech. I'll link to the video when it becomes available. It's unfortunate these clowns make light of a wonderful opportunity to see one of the greatest legal minds in the country give a lecture.

Alito Goes to Work

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

After a month-long hiatus the Supreme Court was back in session today with Sam Alito officially sitting on the bench for the first time.

It was a rather uneventful day for the Court; it ruled unanimously that a hippie cult can use a hallucinogenic tea from Brazil because, as Chief Justice Roberts put it, there's no compelling interest to bar them from using it. They consume the stuff because they say it "brings them closer to God." Well have fun with that then.

The Court also decided today to hear an abortion case next term. It involves a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion, which involves the delivering of a human baby before crushing its skull.

O'Connor was previously the fifth vote in upholding the lower court's decision that struck it down, but now Alito will have the opportunity to join the more conservative justices and bring it back.

Making Plan B Plan A

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's sad that we must talk about underage sex, but wrong to ignore reality:

WASHINGTON - A top federal health official rejected a Democratic accusation Thursday that politics were getting in the way of a decision on whether to permit sales of the morning-after contraceptive pill without a prescription.

Andrew Von Eschenbach, the Food and Drug Administration's acting director, appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee to go over the agency's budget. But much of the Democrats' questioning concerned the FDA's evaluation of the morning-after contraceptive pill, known as Plan B. They say the agency has had more than enough time to reach a decision.

Supporters of over-the-counter sales say ready access to the pill could reduce unintended pregnancies and abortion, but some conservatives fear it would increase teen sex and promiscuity.

The FDA rejected over-the-counter sales in May 2004, telling Barr Laboratories that there wasn't evidence that teens younger than 16 could safely use the drug without a doctor's guidance. Barr resubmitted its proposal but included age limits: Females 16 or older could buy it without a prescription, but younger teens would continue to need a doctor's note.

A high dose of regular birth control, the morning-after-pill can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The sooner it's taken, the better it works.
The key here is unprotected sex. The pill is not a supplement to regular contraception. It should only be used in emergencies when there's a higher risk of pregnancy. But the ultimate question is: will it encourage couples to engage in unprotected sex when they know she can just pop a pill and call it a day?

It Was Still Just an Accident

Despite the media being on death watch, Harry Whittington has a great chance of making a full recovery after the hunting incident that put a pellet in his heart. That of course, would be a good thing and allow us to move on to issues of more importance. The sad news for his vitriolic enemies is that it appears the Sheriff's office has no interest in pursuing the investigation any further.

That Depends on Your Definition of 'Peace'

Friday, February 10, 2006

I haven't spent any time covering the Danish cartoon controversy because it's everywhere and you know all about it, but I must interject here to alert you to the best coverage of the situation, a la Coulter:

As my regular readers know, I've long been skeptical of the "Religion of Peace" moniker for Muslims – for at least 3,000 reasons right off the top of my head. I think the evidence is going my way this week.

So, after verifying that his life insurance premiums were paid up, the editor expressly requested cartoons of Muhammad from every cartoonist with a Danish cartoon syndicate. Out of 40 cartoonists, only 10 accepted the invitation, most of them submitting utterly neutral drawings with no political content whatsoever.

But three cartoons made political points.

One showed Muhammad turning away suicide bombers from the gates of heaven, saying "Stop, stop - we ran out of virgins!" - which I believe was a commentary on Muslims' predilection for violence. Another was a cartoon of Muhammad with horns, which I believe was a commentary on Muslims' predilection for violence. The third showed Muhammad with a turban in the shape of a bomb, which I believe was an expression of post-industrial ennui in a secular - oops, no, wait: It was more of a commentary on Muslims' predilection for violence.

In order to express their displeasure with the idea that Muslims are violent, thousands of Muslims around the world engaged in rioting, arson, mob savagery, flag-burning, murder and mayhem, among other peaceful acts of nonviolence.

Muslims are the only people who make feminists seem laid-back.

The little darlings brandish placards with typical Religion of Peace slogans, such as: "Behead Those Who Insult Islam," "Europe, you will pay, extermination is on the way" and "Butcher those who mock Islam." They warn Europe of their own impending 9-11 with signs that say: "Europe: Your 9/11 will come" - which is ironic, because they almost had me convinced the Jews were behind the 9-11 attack.

The rioting Muslims claim they are upset because Islam prohibits any depictions of Muhammad – though the text is ambiguous on beheadings, suicide bombings and flying planes into skyscrapers.
Read the rest of this gem here.

Every Racist is a Republican

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

According to Kos: "every racist is a Republican." I think it's sad really, that the most prominent liberal blogger plays the race game. So every racist is a Republican, Kis? New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagan who called for a "chocolate city" is a Republican? Senator Robert Byrd, formally of the KKK and user of the term "white nigger" is a Republican? The Democrats who were caught opposing Court of Appeals nominee Miguel Estrada saying he was "especially dangerous, because . . . he is Latino"," are Republicans?

Racism is a product of ignorance, not political parties. Racists can be Democrats. Racists can be Republicans. Like money, race isn't a party issue. According to Kos it is. But what does he know? He specializes in winning elections for Democrats, a rarity ever since he came onto the political scene.

Wake me up in November when they fail miserably again.

How is She Governor of Kansas?

Monday, February 06, 2006

From Alaska to Wyoming:

TOPEKA - Reloaded and trying to avoid a repeat of last year, gun advocates have returned with a bill that would let qualified Kansans carry hidden firearms.

This year's legislation is almost identical to the proposal Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed last year. And, unless the bill changes, her aides said, it's likely to get blocked again.

But some legislators think the upcoming election could put more pressure on Sebelius to sign Senate Bill 418. The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee is expected to move the proposal to the Senate floor Tuesday.

Even if Sebelius vetoes the bill this year, Rep. Candy Ruff said, backers of the bill will work to secure enough votes to override a veto. A two-thirds vote of both the Senate and the House is necessary to override a veto.

"This is a bill that's going to become law one way or another," Ruff, D-Leavenworth, said. She is a leading supporter of the proposal.
This is important legislation for the people of Kansas who wish to take advantage of their right to self-defense. At a time when disgruntled employees go postal and thugs shoot up gay bars for no good reason the ultimate authority to defend you is you. If only this country had more good Democrats like Candy Ruff.

Shocker: Alito Isn't a Robot; Sides With Liberals on First Day

Thursday, February 02, 2006

With all the harping coming from the Left about Alito bringing his own agenda to the Supreme Court, and the nonstop assurances that he was a "right-wing extremist" who never sided with the little guy, Justice Alito voted in his first decision on his first day on the Supreme side with the little guy:

New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservatives Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.

Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.

An appeals court will now review Taylor's claim that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, a claim also used by two Florida death-row inmates that won stays from the Supreme Court over the past week.

Scalia and Thomas have consistently sided with states in death penalty cases and have been especially critical of long delays in carrying out executions.

Taylor was convicted of killing 15-year-old Ann Harrison, who was waiting for a school bus when he and an accomplice kidnapped her in 1989. Taylor pleaded guilty and said he was high on crack cocaine at the time.

Taylor's legal team had pursued two challenges — claiming that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment and that his constitutional rights were violated by a system tilted against black defendants.
So Alito isn't a robot. That's good, but now I'm curious as to why he would uphold the stay of execution. The defendant's case is extremely weak; Taylor pled guilty and admitted he was on crack. It doesn't matter to me that he's black and his victim was white, he committed two separate heinous crimes on a young girl who thought she was going to school that day.

If there's ever a case to pull the switch, this is it.


CNN's Netscape News linked to this post as its featured blog. I am honored to receive the attention and welcome any new readership that may result from the exposure.

Malkin sticks it to Ted Kennedy, the Senator who embarrassed himself along with many other Democrats these past few weeks.

Defeated Opposition Groups Weakened But Still Kicking

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's done. Judge Alito is now Justice Alito and it couldn't have come at a better time. Opposition groups, to their creidt, are licking their wounds are gearing up for a future fight. You gotta' respect that kind of of persistence. While many groups are still asking for donations to defeat Alito's confirmation and ordering you to fax your senators, People for the American Way has released this statement that shows how delusional they are:

Tuesday's 58-42 vote to confirm Samuel Alito represents the second highest number of votes against a confirmed Supreme Court nominee in the nation’s history. But moral victories are not sufficient. Progressives must work to ensure that soon there will be a progressive Senate that better represents the values and beliefs of a significant majority of the American people.
If PFAW is really concerned about the majority of Americans, then why did they oppose a nominee who was heavily favored by a majority of Americans?! Ah, but we didn't hear anything about poll numbers from these guys, because that would mean admitting their staunch opposition to a favorable nominee.

NARAL is also looking to the future, but this blog post from their official website has a critical flaw in it's logic:
If the Alito nomination teaches us anything, it's that we have to take back the Senate. Senator Obama of Illinois said it best this weekend: "There's one way to guarantee that the judges who are appointed to the Supreme Court are judges that reflect our values. And that's to win elections."

That's our plan - it's getting the numbers back on our side in the Senate and electing pro-choice senators wherever we can.
But that would mean winning elections, which requires votes from actual people, and we all know how hard it is for Democrats to win elections. Predictably, they're going to campaign this year that judges like Alito won't be confirmed when they're in power, and as a result the American people will hand them a resounding defeat.