Beating Down Bill Bennett

Friday, September 30, 2005

The civil rights dogs are once again barking and this time it's at a favorite target of the theirs, Bill Bennett. The supposed racist comment was made when Bennett and a caller to his radio show were chatting about Steven Levitt's popular book, "Freakonomics," which says that the high popularity of abortion after Roe v. Wade resulted in the slaughtering prevention of potential criminals being born, and thus helped reduce the crime rate.

Bennett decided to run with it, and said the following:

It's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could--if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.
Wow, what a whole bunch of nothing to get worked up about! Somehow this is being perceived as racist, because Bennett implied that blacks have a higher crime rate than whites, thereby if we eliminated all future black men we'd have a lower crime rate.

There is nothing bigoted about that statement. If you wanted to be racist you would say that with all things being equal blacks are more likely to commit crime than whites. The truth is that all things aren't equal, ergo blacks are more likely than whites to be born in poorer urban cities where they're more likely to be predisposed to crime. If it were theoretically possible to abort every black fetus then it is true the overall crime rate would decline, because inner-city violence would fall when the 18-24 demographic becomes nonexistent. The Hamptons would hardly feel the effect.

But if you were to put one black and one white together in the same environment, neither would be more likely than the other to become a criminal. Bennett understood this reality but apparently believed everyone else did too and felt he didn't need to labor through the disclaimer.

The fact that he followed through with "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do" exonerates him from the charge that he wants to suppress the black population, let alone abort it. Conveniently his critics are leaving out that last line when calling him a racist.

Naturally the spineless Bush administration has condemned the remarks, and it's no surprise Press Secretary Scott McClellan quickly distanced the president from Mr. Bennett.

The Waiting Game

Thursday, September 29, 2005

First, I must congratulate John Roberts having recently been sworn in by acting Chief John Paul Stevens to be the next chief justice of the Supreme Court. I wonder what was going through the mind of the longest serving justice who had to swear in a rookie who was placed immediately above him on the court.

With that milestone behind us all eyes turn to Bush's next pick; the all-important replacement for swing voter Sandra Day O'Connor. Word is Bush plans to wait until next week to make his selection, and the reason is beyond me.

The top headline this week is Tom DeLay's criminal indictment, an event that could turn out to be a devastating blow to the GOP. But it's a story that could easily be washed away if Bush were to announce his nomination of, say, Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen to the Supreme Court as early as tomorrow.

I don't know what's up with Tom DeLay. Conservatives are crying conspiracy while liberals are crying criminal. I'm tired of this partisan fighting. All my energy is focused on the courts. If DeLay gets convicted then he'll get what he deserves. If anything critical develops I'll discuss it, but until then it's a subject you can turn to CNN for.

As for the courts, Democrats are not playing around. With a margin of 78-22, Roberts' confirmation vote was narrower than both of Clinton's picks combined, and any investigation into Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveals an "extremist" just as much as any conservative Bush could pick. Scalia passed through flawlessly without so much as a single 'nay' vote.

Is a filibuster fight looming? Time will soon tell.

We're Running Out of Clocks to Turn Back

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A writer for USA TODAY compares us pro-lifers to Osama bin Laden in this wonderful Tuesday column:

Without questioning the integrity of those who believe that life begins at conception, the struggle to overturn Roe v. Wade can also be viewed as an attempt to turn back the clock on women's freedom. Opposing such a reversal isn't a matter of thinking abortion admirable, but of accepting the magnificent revolutionary principle that no man has a right to tell any woman what she can or cannot do with her body.

Attempts to interfere with another citizen's liberty are worthy of Osama bin Laden, not of Americans.
We'll I'm glad Ralph Peters is sticking up for the opposite sex by calling us out as the terrorists we truly are. After all, why fight the terrorists abroad when there are plenty of us pro-lifers here in the United States to apprehend?

The Left really enjoys using that "turn back the clock" nonsense because it sounds so grave and ominous, but the reality is that overturning any court decision -- Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board -- has no effect on the clock which remains fixed. The only way it could be "turned back" is if the legislature passed a law restricting what would no longer be protected by the Supreme Court. It is almost uniformly agreed in the political science community that in the unlikely event of a Roe reversal, the chances of a state passing a complete ban on abortion would be ridiculously small. Those of us hoping for a correction simply want such matters in the hands of accountable lawmakers, not high priests in black robes.

But that hasn't stopped the hysterical liberal lobbies from painting a doomsday picture in the minds of the public. And what bothers me most is how they try to rationalize the validity of Roe. The worst argument you can make is that laws restricting abortion would be "telling a woman what she can or cannot do with her body."

It's absolutely insane to suggest women (and men for that matter) have impalpable rights to their bodies. If so then every drug law would be unconstitutional. Every prostitution, vagrancy, and anti-strip club law has to be considered encroachment on a woman's "right" to do all those things to which the Constitution is completely oblivious.

At 18 a woman is a legal adult, so therefore any laws prohibiting her from possessing or consuming alcohol is as good as the state "telling a woman what she can or cannot do with her body."

No such right to absolute impunity over oneself exists. Stop pretending one does.

The Constitution Works Just Fine, Thank You

Thursday, September 22, 2005

While lecturing to hundreds at the New York City Bar Association, one of the worst Supreme Court justices in modern history defended the use of foreign law in American jurisprudence and would like the next confirmed justice to be an activist who would "advance" desired American laws.

She also said she doesn't like the idea of being the only female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, now that O'Connor has retired and is waiting to be replaced by Bush's next choice.

But when making this decision, "any woman will not do," Ginsburg warned.

There are "some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women's rights," Ginsburg told her audience.

Well yeah, the best woman for the job would not "advance human rights" or "women's rights" or any rights. Judges aren't supposed to advance, promote, flaunt, or do anything with any laws unless it's ruling on the constitutionality of them.

Continuing, Ginsburg stressed that the president should appoint a "fine jurist," which is surprising considering I expected her to recommended a judge like herself.

"I have a list of highly qualified women, but the president has not consulted me," Ginsburg revealed last night.

Thank God. Our country does not need another ACLU-type Ruth Bader Ginsburg "advancing" or perverting our laws, a task the Constitution delegates to the Legislative Branch and only that branch.

During the question-and-answer session President Clinton's biggest mistake defended the application of foreign law to American cases.

"I will take enlightenment wherever I can get it," she said. "I don't want to stop at a national boundary."

Which is why Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have never been confirmed justice in the first place. Let us recall the oath Ginsburg took -- as well as the other six justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court -- prior to becoming one of the most powerful judges in the country:

"I, (state name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the
same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. SO HELP ME GOD."
As you can clearly see for yourself, judge's allegiance is to the Constitution and nothing else. Apparently Ginsburg feels she has the authority to transmogrify the role of the Supreme Court justice according to her own whims whenever convenient. For that she is extremely dangerous.

It's now the job of the president to make sure Ginsburg's voice becomes a minuscule one when the next justice is confirmed.

Democrats Content With No One

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is rolling the political dice - and in my opinion screwing his party over - by coming out in opposition to the appointment of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

If many Democrats join Reid in opposing this likable and well-qualified candidate, Republicans will be able to make the case that any nominee put forth by President Bush would be opposed, therefore it wouldn't matter who he nominates next; including a solid originalist like the feared Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen.

And with everyone on both sides of the aisle clamoring for Bush to replace a woman with a woman, Brown and Owen are perfect choices to fill the spot while at the same time providing an additional bonus for conservatives looking for the president to tilt the Supreme Court (probably drastically) to the right.

Many political scientists and court observers believe Roberts will have no noticeable impact on the bench, as he's a conservative replacing a conservative. In fact, if he plans to uphold Roe v. Wade then the elevation of Roberts will be a move to the left, hardly something we expected from the man who promised to nominate someone in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia.

With every branch of the federal government in Republican hands, Democrats don't have a lot of negotiating room, and would score a major victory if an anti-Roe judge was replaced with one who would uphold the precedent. Such a case would mean three liberal justices would have to resign for there to even be a slight chance for a Roe v. Wade reversal in the near future.

Democrats claim they're "sending a message" to the president by giving Roberts a hard time, saying that this tough battle only means a tougher one for a more controversial choice that conservatives are desperately pleading for.

I won't be surprised if Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin and the rest of the hard-left in the Senate vote "no" on Roberts, but it dilute whatever legitimacy they have in the future when they take the same action against a true conservative who's just around the corner.

When All Else Fails, Impeach!

John Nichols of The Nation demonstrates quite a leap in his logic:

When pressed, Roberts suggested that only in extraordinary circumstances--when the precedent has proved to be "unworkable" or "difficult to apply"--should the Court even consider overturning settled law.

Since the Roe v. Wade precedent has survived basically intact through three decades of legal and legislative assaults, and since it has not proved to be unworkable or difficult to apply, Roberts has effectively promised the Senate--under oath--that he will not seek as the Chief Justice to outlaw abortion or other reproductive rights.

These senators should also make it clear that, if John Roberts turns out to be the judicial activist that some fear, and if that activism takes the form of an attack on what he has described as "settled" law, then they will move the impeachment resolution immediately.
What Nichols fails to understand is that Roberts described how the Supreme Court should go about handling precident; not how he will personally handle the matter. Roberts did not - in any way, shape or form, tell the judiciary committee how he was going to rule on the matter if given the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Moreover, the "unworkable" and "difficult to apply" standards are as subjective as you can get, and are precisely what judges are supposed to mull over, not congressmen! Impeaching a judge based soley on his findings is a direct violation of the Consitution, which gives the Supreme Court independent judiciary power.

What nerve Nichols has bringing up "activism" when he is the guiltiest of all parties, suggesting senators should resort to threats and blackmail.

What Students Dread Most About School: The Pledge!

Friday, September 16, 2005

"Anonymous" attempts to set the record straight on the pledge and its finding to be unconstitutional:

Lets be serious about this Two things;

First: There is no speech that is more coerced than the pledge of allegiance. If you can think of something, I would very much like to hear it, but it seems to me that to the extent that the First Amendment protects us from coerced/compelled speech (See West Virginia v. Barnette)
The problem with this argument is that "Anonymous" failed to explain how "no speech is more coerced than the pledge..." Sure we can come up with plenty of hypothetical scenarios about how a class full of patriotic students indirectly intimidates the lone naysayer, but until we see widespread reports of embarrassed students you can't walk around toting this myth while demanding your argument be credited.
Second: The Establishment clause does not simply protect us against the government 'establishing' religion. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Court determined that the requirements were 1) That the law have a secular purpose ; 2) That the law not advance or inhibit religion; and 3) that the law not foster 'excessive entaglement' (sic) with religion. This is the current test of the Establishment Clause, no matter what Justice Thomas wants it to be.
Actually Justice Thomas is in the perfect position to reinterpret the Establishment Clause, but that's neither her nor there.

The problem here is that "Anonymous" assumes "under God" is a religious reference in this context. By now, it is safe to say the pledge is a tradition, with philosophical principles; not religious. The purpose of the pledge is to pay homage to our nation; not a monotheistic God.

Just as Judge Roberts had to answer truthfully "so help you God" at his Senate hearings, and just as you had to make a sales transaction yesterday using currency imprinted with "In God We Trust," we are reminded on a daily basis that in this great nation we ultimately answer to a power far greater than any human on the planet. Whether it be the Pope or President Bush, something exists above them, even if it's the atheist or engine-design interpretation of the universe.

This is not a religious debate, and I fully expect the newly revamped Supreme Court to fix it.

I Like America Without Gwyneth Paltrow

Almost two years ago I wrote a column criticizing the mother of Apple for calling Americans "over-patriotic" and for falling in line with the typical Hollywood elitist America-bashers. It was only a matter of time before she felt compelled to speak again on the matter.

While being interviewed for a Toronto newspaper, the eccentric actress responded to another article by the same author with: "I totally agreed with it. I feel like we're really in trouble. I just had a baby and thought, 'I don't want to live there (America).'"

That's fine, Mrs. Paltrow, but then why are you here so often enjoying your film career? It's amazing how this privileged rich woman could view America so negatively, and yet there are those of us in this country with much less fortune who'd never dream of saying anything to that effect.

Hopefully Not on Roberts' Watch

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As the country waits for the next chief justice to be confirmed, another judge reminds us judicial activism is alive and well and will continue to be for as long as Carter's and Clinton's judges sit on the bench:

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday in a case brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of.
Because the Supreme Court of the United States failed to rule decisively, I can understand Judge Karlton's bondage to the ruling of the ridiculous 9th Circuit. On a note of caution however, Karlton's ruling is misleading; children are never "coerced" into saying the pledge. You are free to abstain. You are free to not pledge allegiance.

I fully expect the 9th Circuit to reaffirm their own ruling when it reaches them on appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn it with John Roberts as chief and someone else in O'Connor's spot...that is if the current hearings ever end and Bush gets to nominate a second judge.

On This Sept 11

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Today we remember the attacks on America by Islamic fanatics exactly four years ago. It's been a good day, however, and we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic. The NFL kicked off week 1 of what should be an exciting season, the death toll from Hurricane Katrina so far is about 9,500 less than first predicted, and we look forward to the beginning of John Roberts' Senate hearing tomorrow.

We have learned today that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, will not ask Roberts whether he would vote to overturn that pesky Roe v. Wade decision.

To demand a yes or no answer on issues like abortion would of course show no respect for the Supreme Court as an institution, which depends of testimony from the different parties before rendering a decision on any given case. Justices should not begin the day already knowing how they will vote, regardless of what kind of reality it may be.

Specter will, on the other hand, ask Roberts if a right to "privacy" exists in the Constitution, and because it doesn't then the question should be an easy one to answer - unless he (most likely) decides to cleverly sidestep his way around the question the same way Ruth Bader Ginsburg did all throughout her hearing.

Judges Must Act On Abortion Cases

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A reasonable law requiring minors to seek parental consent before having an abortion is threatened because religious judges are putting their beliefs before the law. As with over-the-counter birth control, religion in the workplace has taken center stage and is capable of doing major damage.

Back in June of this year a pregnant teenager walked into the Memphis, Tennessee courthouse, saying she wanted an abortion. Judge John McCarroll refused to hear the case and said he would recuse himself from any others like it, citing strong aversion to abortion.

"Taking the life of an innocent human being is contrary to the moral order," the judge wrote. "I could not in good conscience make a finding that would allow the minor to proceed with the abortion."

Well that's nice of the judge to consider the wellbeing of the unborn child, but on that particular day another child -- the girl seeking an abortion -- didn't get her day in court and lost out on justice.

Like it or not, the Supreme Court invented a right to abortion, and Roe v. Wade will remain the definitive law of the land until the court takes it upon itself to reverse the landmark 1973 ruling. Unless Bush picks a stellar right-winger to replace Justice O'Connor and then one more in the future, I wouldn't expect such a change anytime soon.

But even though the High Court assures us that somewhere in the Constitution the evisceration of unborn children is made clear, several laws have been passed over the years in many states restricting the procedure that is best illustrated by Comedy Central's South Park.

One such edict is a law 19 states have adopted requiring minors to get a parent's permission before they can have an abortion. In extreme cases such as incest, or parental abuse, or whatever other situation liberals seem to believe is a mainstream occurrence, the minor can ask a judge for permission to go under the knife.

But only four of the nine judges on the Shelby Circuit Court -- where McCarroll sits -- hear such abortion cases because the others have recused themselves in similar fashion.

This is also taking place in Alabama and Pennsylvania, and if the trend continues one can expect such recusals to take place in the other states as well, making it a difficult challenge for women expecting judicial access.

This is not a safe trend for judges to follow. Unlike the over-the-counter birth control fiasco where patrons can take there business elsewhere, we the people depend on the courts for justice and simply can't shop around until we find a desirable outcome.

If obtaining help from the courts become too difficult, then the possibility of being denied due process becomes a reality and the law will find itself under heavier scrutiny from those seeking to have it rendered unconstitutional.

This is not just about abortion, and what we think of it, and whether it should be easy for minors to experience the thrill of it. It's about giving parents the right to control their kids for as long as they're minors. Without this instrumental law 15-year-olds will be able to march into Planned Parenthood clinics to get their fetuses forked with no questions asked.

Without such laws, minors would still be unable to get body piercing, tattoos, and a ballot card, yet they'd have unobstructed access to invasive medical surgery that leaves mental scars for life.

Should 13-year-olds be able to make such decisions on their own?

Aren't parents better suited to determine what's best for their own child than a deadly pill-hawking Planned Parenthood representative?

The parental notification law is the best anti-abortion measure we've got right now, and we can't afford to lose it. In the last presidential election Florida voters overwhelming passed our own statewide measure, Amendment One, by more than 65% with 4,639,635 votes. Every county, even the Democratic bastions, voted "yes" to give parental rights to the parents.

Only liberal nutcases voted against it; comfortable with allowing 12 and 13-year-old girls to make their own potentially life-threatening decisions. Naturally the fringe Left has been all over it, from the ACLU to Planned Parenthood and the radical feminists. We don't need to give them another reason to attack a sensible law.

Judges, religious or not, need to recognize that they are in fact judges, and it is their job to serve without letting personal biases get in the way. If your personal religious beliefs hinder your ability to make a ruling, then it is only fair that you step down and let someone take your place who doesn't have that problem.

Farewell Chief

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The well revered Chief Justice who oversaw a conservative shift on the Supreme Court over the last 33 years will be missed, and now Bush must scramble to find a replacement before the Court convenes this year. Here is what Ann Coulter had to say on Rehnquist's passing:

FINAL VICTORY: REHNQUIST RUINS MEDIA'S LABOR DAY WEEKEND - Chief Justice William Rehnquist ends a stellar career of annoying liberals by calling reporters and editors back to work Saturday night to prepare emergency reports on his untimely demise. Clear, concise, almost always right, the Chief Justice was the molecular opposite of Sandra Day O'Connor. God bless Chief Justice Rehnquist. Americans will miss him.
I had much respect for Rehnquist, whose judicial philosophy was unvarying throughout his three decades on the bench. He was a champion for states' rights and his written opinions were almost always clear and concise.

With the hurricane disaster still plaguing the gulf coast President Bush has a long road ahead of him and must find time to appoint a replacement. Just think, if the Supreme Court convenes in October without a chief, the job will be temporarily filled by 85-year-old John Paul Stevens.

Who Jesse Jackson Should Really Blame

Friday, September 02, 2005

It didn't take long for the usual suspects to blame President Bush, who right now is currently dealing with one of the worst disasters in American history.

BATON ROUGE, La. - Racism is partly to blame for the deadly aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, calling President Bush's response to the disaster "incompetent."

"Today, as the President comes to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi for his ceremonial trip to look at the victims of the devastation, he would do well to have a plan more significant than a ceremonial tour," Jackson said Friday.

Jackson also said the news media has "criminalized the people of New Orleans" by focusing on violence in the city.
Instead of dismissing the violence as an exaggeration of the media, the racist Jesse Jackson and the entire Black Caucus should be boisterously condemning the looters and rioters -- mostly black in a city that's mostly black -- who have done an excellent job impeding the progress of the rescue effort.

It's been almost five days since Hurricane Katrina ravished the Gulf Coast and until now hardly any food or water made it to the desperate residents. Much of the blame should be put on the slow response from the National Guard and federal officials, but it doesn't help when relief workers and doctors are getting shot in the head by snipers.

It doesn't help when looters clean out Wal-Marts.

It doesn't help when cops clean out Wal-Marts.

It doesn't help when thugs are robbing boats and caravans at gunpoint.

Jesse Jackson needs to either shut the hell up or acknowledge the brave efforts of those currently trying to bring relief to cities where many residents are using bullets to keep them out.