Will the Supremes Hear Ultimate States Rights Case?

Editor:  Sorry I haven’t been posting much here lately, I’ve been busy at RRW (as well as being distracted as I assume many of you are as well by of demands of just living these days!), but this is very important and I’m not sure how many of you read RRW.

Cross-posted this morning in an effort to find groups that could support the Thomas More Law Center’s legal petition to the Supreme Court.

I know it’s a little hard to believe that there are other things going on in America besides the virus crisis, but here is important news I should have mentioned sooner.

The Thomas Moore Law Center has filed a petition to attempt to get the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Amendment case that has been working its way through the legal system.

The heart of the case is the Tenth Amendment argument that the federal government has no Constitutional power to shift the cost of refugee resettlement onto state governments as it has been doing for decades.

TMLC is looking for other like-minded organizations to file amicus briefs in support of their argument which has far-reaching implications beyond just the refugee program!

Here is their press release from earlier this month.

Thomas More Law Center Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review Tennessee’s Challenge to Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – In what could have far reaching implications for all states seeking to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) collaborating with attorney John Bursch, filed a certiorari petition Monday, March 16 in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The petition asks the Court to hold that the Tennessee General Assembly has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government’s forced state funding of the federal refugee resettlement program. ​

The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) is a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both TMLC and Mr. Bursch are representing Tennessee without charge.

John Bursch, a former Michigan state solicitor general, nationally prominent appellate lawyer and past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, authored the petition for certiorari.

The petition argues that the issues presented in the Tennessee case cut to the core of the Constitution’s protection of states against overreach by the federal government. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to appropriate state funds, contrary to the wishes of the state, to fund a federal program.

According to the petition: “If a state legislature cannot vindicate its rights in court when the federal government picks the state’s pocket and threatens the state if it dare stop providing funds, then federalism is a dead letter.”

The petition seeks to overturn a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which ruled that the General Assembly does not have institutional standing to challenge the constitutionality of the resettlement program. The cert petition does not challenge the federal government’s right to resettle refugees in Tennessee. What it objects to is forcing Tennessee taxpayers to pay the costs of the resettlement.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of TMLC, noted: “From the beginning, opposition to the federal refugee resettlement program has been about protecting Tennessee’s state sovereignty from impermissible federal interference. The federal government cannot simply commandeer state tax dollars to fund a purely federal program to extend benefits to noncitizens.”

Tennessee initially agreed to participate in the federal resettlement program because the federal government promised to reimburse 100 percent of the cost. In fact, Congress crafted the 1980 Refugee Act specifically intending that states not be taxed for programs they did not initiate and for which they were not responsible. As is often the case, however, the federal government began shrinking its financial support to the states and by 1991 eliminated it entirely. Due to the mounting costs the federal government was not covering as promised, Tennessee withdrew from the program effective June 30, 2008. But that didn’t stop the federal financial burden on Tennessee taxpayers. The federal government simply designated Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a non-governmental private organization, to continue the program with state dollars.

Between 2007 and the end of 2019, resettlement agencies pumped more than 15,000 refugees into Tennessee cities and towns. They came from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burma, Central African Republic, Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan 3 and many other countries. They often arrive from United Nations camps in poor health, with no job skills or English-language abilities.

The resulting cost to state taxpayers amounted to tens of millions of dollars. In 2015 alone, the refugee-related Medicaid costs paid by Tennessee tax dollars topped $30 million.

Instead of resolving the merits of Tennessee’s claim, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped the pivotal constitutional issue concerning federalism by ruling that the Tennessee General Assembly lacked standing to bring its lawsuit.

The petition filed on March 16, 2020, argues that this was in error:

“The General Assembly is an institutional plaintiff asserting an institutional injury; the federal government has co-opted the General Assembly’s appropriation power and impaired its obligation to enact a balanced state budget. That is because the federal government can siphon state funds—to help pay for a federal program from which Tennessee has withdrawn.”

TMLC originally filed the federal lawsuit in March 2017 on behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and state legislators Terri Lynn Weaver and John Stevens challenging the commandeering of millions in state taxpayer dollars for a purely federal program.

A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case on the federal government’s motion. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal on the sole grounds that the General Assembly lacked standing. It never reached the merits of the case.

The Supreme Court now has a chance to shed light on the proper role of the states relative to the federal government—which is the bedrock constitutional principle of federalism.

The petition states: “The (Tennessee) General Assembly does not object to the federal resettlement program. It does not even object to the federal government resettling 4 refugees in Tennessee. The General Assembly does object to the federal government reaching its hand into Tennessee’s pocket to pay for the cost of such a program, particularly when the enabling legislation was enacted with the promise to reimburse states for all expenses incurred in this program.”

The federal government mandates that states provide Medicaid to otherwise eligible refugees, or face termination of federal benefits.

Accordingly, the federal government forces Tennessee to continue funding the refugee program by threatening to pull $7 billion in federal Medicaid funding, which represents 20 percent of the state’s total budget.

The argument in favor of the General Assembly’s standing is bolstered by the fact that both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in 2016 in favor of filing a civil lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program. The State Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 467, by a vote of 27-5 while the House voted 69-25 to pass the same resolution.

And without any waiting period they can automatically apply for all welfare programs provided by the State of Tennessee.

Read TMLC’s Petition for Certiorari here. 

If you know any organization that is in agreement with the broad-reaching tenets of the case, please have them contact the Thomas Moore Law Center immediately.  Time is short!

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Can Trump Use Coronavirus to Delay 2020 Election?

With Congress, the Supreme Court, sports leagues, schools, and many businesses and companies across America shutting down, only time will tell if we are being appropriately cautious or engaging in a hysterical overreaction to coronavirus.

But for those imaginative reporters who see a Russian lurking behind every tree and keep asking me if President Donald Trump can use this pandemic as an excuse to delay the 2020 presidential election, the answer is “no.”

Under our Constitution, the executive branch has no authority whatsoever to delay, reschedule, or otherwise change the federal election in November, much less any of the remaining state primaries. On the other hand, Congress and the states do have that authority.

Congress has no authority over state elections or party primaries other than the requirements under federal statutes like the Voting Rights Act and various constitutional amendments that prohibit states from discriminating or limiting access to the voting process.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

But when it comes to setting the dates for political party primaries or general elections for state officials, including presidential primaries, or how you are able to vote (in-person or by mail), the federal government has no power to dictate the time, place, or manner of those state elections.

State governments can certainly change the dates of their presidential primaries or whatever other state primaries they are holding. In some states such as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia, governors are provided with emergency authority to take such actions without the approval of their state legislatures.

In Florida, for example, the governor has the power under state law to suspend or delay an election by issuing an executive order declaring a state of emergency, although a new election must then be held within 10 days or as soon as practicable thereafter.

That actually happened in New York because of the 9/11 attacks. New York was holding a primary on Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, a political unknown named Michael Bloomberg was running in the GOP primary for mayor of New York City. Polls opened at 6 a.m. but voting was suspended statewide by Gov. George Pataki after the attacks. A new election was held two weeks later.

But the federal government cannot change the date of such state primaries. Given that all 50 states and the District of Columbia allow voters to vote with absentee ballots, which can be easily obtained, completed, and mailed without anyone ever leaving their house, there seems little reason to do so.

The cancellation and delay in the New York primary because of the 9/11 attacks on Election Day itself was an extraordinary event necessitated by unique and tragic circumstances. That is not the current situation.

Congress does have the authority under Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution to step in and change state laws and rules when it wants to with regard to the “Times, Places and Manner” of congressional elections.

Congress has set the date for election of all members of the House of Representatives on the “Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even numbered year.” Federal law sets the same day for the election of U.S. senators whose terms are expiring.

Similarly, under Article II, Section 1, Congress has the authority to set the “Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes, which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

Since it is the Electoral College that selects our president, Congress has the power to determine when our general federal election occurs where voters vote for slates of presidential electors in their respective states.

Congress has set the date for that vote on the same day as congressional elections, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Those electors chosen by voters then cast their votes for president on the “first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.”

None of these federal statutes have any provision allowing the president or any other executive branch official or agency to change the date of the election even in an emergency, whether it is the threat of a disease like coronavirus or a terrorist attack.

On the other hand, Congress does have the authority to do so if both the House and the Senate pass an amendment to these laws and the president signs it into law.

That amendment could either change the date of the election or delegate to the president the ability to change the date under certain emergency conditions, similar to the authority some governors are given under state laws.

But without that happening—and it is highly unlikely given the fact that neither party controls both houses of Congress—we are having a federal election on Nov. 3 no matter what happens with coronavirus.

Originally published by Fox News


Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Moving Against China’s Military for Hacking U.S. Company

As if identity theft alone isn’t enough of a concern for Americans, the Equifax hacking indicates that China’s military wants to weaponize sensitive personal information to undermine U.S. national security.

Three members of China’s People’s Liberation Army have been indicted by the Justice Department in the 2017 data breach of Atlanta-based Equifax Inc., one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies.

The charges include conspiracy to commit computer fraud, economic espionage, and wire fraud.

This was a data breach—a “release of personally sensitive, protected, and/or confidential data”—rather than a security breach, which refers only to the hacking of websites and applications without theft.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

And it was a large one, with the names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of 145 million Americans.

These are not ordinary criminal hackers with a motive to sign up for credit cards using another person’s name. The accused are members of a foreign military branch—the People’s Liberation Army’s 54th Research Institute, which falls under the scrutiny of the Chinese army’s Strategic Support Force.

The Strategic Support Force works on information operations, such as cyberspying, to conduct a form of hybrid warfare that uses diverse elements such as propaganda, economics, and cyberattacks against its adversaries.

The Equifax hack provides the unit with personal financial information that can help the Chinese recruit spies within our national security sector, as well as influence key business and media figures.

Financial information can help intelligence operatives identify those who are susceptible to bribery or other economic pressure, such as former CIA officer Kevin Patrick Mallory, who provided secrets to the Chinese in exchange for money to pay off his mortgage and other debts.

The Chinese have used human intelligence—targets include military forces, defense industrial companies, national security decision-makers, and critical infrastructure entities—to undermine the U.S. strategically and economically.

The Equifax breach could have implications beyond identity theft. The information could be used to target individuals for espionage, bribe, or blackmail.

U.S. national security matters are at stake here. Both the U.S. government and private businesses must take stronger security measures against these acts of theft and espionage.


Lizandro Pieper is part of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Riley Walters is a policy analyst in the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.


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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Who Defines Fundamental Human Rights?

David Carlin wonders if fundamental human rights really can be “discovered” by a majority vote of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

People who (like me and, I suppose, most readers of The Catholic Thing) object to the Roe v. Wade ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 – the ruling that declared that the U.S. Constitution contains a right to abortion – often point out that despite reading the Constitution very carefully, often with a magnifying glass, we can find no mention in it of a right to abortion.

We find rights to freedom of speech and freedom of press and freedom of religion; we find a right to bear arms; we find a right to trial by jury; we find a right to vote; we find a right not to be a slave; we find a right to purchase alcoholic beverages; and so on.  But we find no right to abortion.

Therefore, we conclude that there is no such Constitutional right.  We conclude that the Court invented this “right.”  The Court, by a 7-2 margin, made it up.  It didn’t make it up exactly out of thin air.  No, it made it up out of the very thick air of sexual revolution that was characteristic of the cultural atmosphere of the sixties and seventies.

The younger generation had discovered sexual freedom, which to be complete required freedom of abortion; and so seven of the nine old men of the Court (no women in those days) decided to show that they too, despite their advanced corporeal age, were young in spirit.

We conclude also that once the Court decided it has the authority to make up a right to abortion, thereby amending the Constitution in a manner that bypasses the amendment process spelled out in the Constitution itself (Article V), it could make further illicit amendments by “finding” other nonexistent rights.  For instance, it could find a right to homosexual practice (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003; a 6-3 ruling).  And it could find a right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015; a 5-4 ruling).

Unless the Court changes its ways (which it might if it has a stable conservative or “originalist” majority), we expect that in the not-too-distant future it will “find” in the Constitution a “right” to polygamy, a right to be euthanized, and a right to be transgender.

Those on the other side, the liberal side, however, who deplore our literal and narrow-minded reading of the Constitution, those who hold that we have a “living” Constitution – enthusiasts for abortion and homosexuality and transgenderism and euthanasia – can argue that un-Constitutional “rights” we object to actually are alluded to in the Constitution.

Where?  In the Ninth Amendment, which says: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  Without question, this sentence implies that there are at least a few other rights, perhaps many, besides those enumerated.

So there you have it.  All human rights (or “fundamental human rights” as we are now in the habit of calling them) are protected by the Ninth Amendment.  If abortion or same-sex “marriage,” or euthanasia is a human right, then these rights are implicitly contained in the U.S. Constitution.

Now, I agree that all human rights are protected by the Ninth Amendment.  For example, if there is a fundamental human right to ride a horse down Main Street while totally naked, then this right (let us call it the Lady Godiva rrght) is protected by the Ninth Amendment.

But who decides what is, and what is not, a fundamental human right?  Judicial liberals seem to believe that this decision should be made by the Supreme Court – or more exactly by five or more members of the Court.

In 2015 the Court decided by a 5-4 margin that same-sex marriage is a fundamental human right.  This seems awfully odd.  I would have supposed that X would count as a fundamental human right only if mankind generally had so decided, or at least the American portion of mankind.  And it would not be enough for all Americans to decide that X is a fundamental right by a narrow margin; an overwhelming margin would be required.

And not merely an overwhelming margin on this or that particular day or year, but an overwhelming margin for a long, long time, perhaps for centuries.  Or so it seems to me.

But judicial liberals tell me I’m wrong.  They think a 5-4 Supreme Court majority is sufficient to establish X or Y or Z as a fundamental human right.  And then they appeal to the principle of stare decisis to argue that, once X or Y or Z has been established as a fundamental human right, it can never be dis-established.

This gives liberals a great tool for enacting whatever may be their public policy agenda – not through legislatures but through courts.  Would you like America to have a $100 per hour minimum wage?  Well, if you can get a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court to declare that workers have a fundamental human right to be paid $100 per hour, then everybody will have to be paid at least $100 per hour.

This is a far-fetched example, I admit.  But there are many other potential examples that are not at all far-fetched.  In fact they are waiting just around the corner.  Like polygamy.  Like euthanasia.  Like transgenderism.

I’m an old man, and I’ve been living in the USA for a long, long time.  I should feel at home here by now.  But I feel on some days that I’m a stranger in a strange land.  On those days, I find it hard to believe that a majority, probably a large majority, of my compatriots seem to agree that fundamental human rights can be discovered by a 5 to 4 vote of a panel of judges – something that seems to me to be an utter absurdity.

Ah well.  This is perhaps one more bit of evidence that I have lived past my expiration date.  Take me off the shelf.


David Carlin

David Carlin is a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

VIDEO: The Vortex — The Last Chance


No one in America who really, deeply cares about the future of the United States misses the point that what people on both sides are actually voting on is the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For decades, and largely while political conservatives — including a hefty number of Catholics — were asleep at the switch, the Marxist Left was implementing a takeover of the country through judicial fiat. The Left resorted to the courts because they could not get done what they wanted through state legislatures. So, in an effort to usurp the will of the people, they populated the nation’s elite law schools with social radicals, some of whom, after decades, were able to rise high in positions within the federal judiciary.

By the time political conservatives caught on to the plan, it was too late. The Left sufficiently controlled the courts, including the Supreme Court, to force its will on the people. Once something becomes legal, in people’s minds, it tends to be more readily viewed as acceptable, even moral. Even formerly controversial issues take on an air of respectability, and opposition to them now becomes seen as narrow-mindedness.

But the composition of the High Court — the ages of various justices — brought the issue to a head in the 2016 presidential election. It was almost a certainty that the court could shift to the right, even marginally, if Trump was elected. So while the Left was alarmed, the Right was ecstatic at the possibility. After decades and decades of hard, grinding, thankless work, the possibility was coming into focus that Donald Trump in the White House might finally hand the brass ring to the cause of political conservatism.

And the issue was abortion. If Hillary were to win, it would be game over, potentially forever. And recall, during the 2016 race, there was already one vacancy on the court — the seat of Antonin Scalia — a conservative seat. Securing that seat with a liberal, as Obama had nominated in the person of Merrick Garland, would have been the death-knell.

Fast forward to 2020 and a rapidly aging, in-poor-health Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. As one expert told Church Militant, “The old gal will last one year. She isn’t going to last five.” If Trump wins re-election it is virtually guaranteed that he will replace Ginsburg, one of the most Marxist-minded, pro-abortion, anti-God justices ever to sit on the bench.

But here’s a question — something to consider: If the court tips from its current 5–4 to 6–3 conservative bent — or even possibly 7–2 — before Trump’s second term is over, and then would overturn Roe v. Wade, what would happen?

Pondering that possibility, and even planning for it to some degree, the Left is arming itself and speaking openly of rebellion. It seems not that far-fetched that the same crowd that starts fires on college campuses when conservative speakers arrive and violently riots in the streets under the banner of Antifa would have little compunction about making blood run in those same streets if the Court toppled abortion. Current whispers of civil war might become louder than just whispers.

If that happens, if something like that — even on a somewhat limited scale — were to occur, it would, by definition, become a noble cause: the defense of innocent life.

There is not an honest man or woman walking who does not know that the Left supports child-murder. That is the central motivating issue around which all of American politics have evolved since the days of Ronald Reagan. That has been the central issue of the attempt to unseat Donald Trump for going on three years now, even up to the relative Marxist-media hype surrounding the coronavirus scare.

This is relative to what, you may ask? It’s relative to the swine flu epidemic that went on for more than a year under Obama and killed thousands of Americans. Nothing was done by the media giants in that case like is being done now. They have seized on a serious issue and are perfectly happy to use it to try and destabilize Trump — they’ll try anything to destabilize him — and it’s all because abortion is always playing in the background.

Abortion is and has been the topic that has been responsible for shaping the national debate for more than 40 years. It caused the bedlam surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh hearings — even the pounding on the doors of the High Court once he was confirmed. It was the admitted issue when New York Sen. Chuck Schumer hurled his invective and threats against both Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch — actually threatening them —for which he never apologized. The case he was talking about? Abortion.

But this is what pro-lifers need to note, and note hard: Given the rapidly changing demographics of the country — an essentially morally rudderless young population, opposed to religion and unfamiliar with natural law, this election is the last chance to secure and lock down a pro-life court. Pro-life voters will simply be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of the socialist-loving lefties by 2024.

In the midst of all this — with everything on the table — do not look to the U.S. bishops to make this point. Too many of them are registered Democrats themselves and do not possess supernatural faith. They are enamored with the Party of Death — even child-killers who are baptized Catholics they love schmoozing with.

The marriage between political conservatives and theologically orthodox Catholics has brought this moment to reality. It has been a gigantic, uphill struggle — a fight for the ages — and is now the last great clash over the future direction of the nation we will see in our lifetime. The Right has arrived at a point of equal footing, or at least as equal as it’s ever going to get. The victory must be secured and it must be secured now, because the moment will never arrive again as long as any of us are breathing.

In 233 days, we will know our future.

Pray, fast and act like you’ve never done before.

It is your solemn duty before the Lord of Life.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Our Throw–Away Marriage Culture

Society today believes in instant gratification. We’re encouraged to chase our dreams and do whatever we want. As a result, we’ve changed the way we look at relationships. Couples might shack up together or rush into marriage without giving it a second thought.

Divorce rates are high, and the impact on families is even higher. In this post, we’ll look at how our throw-away attitude toward marriage is affecting family life.

Marriage is a Sacred Institution

What a lot of people forget is that marriage is a sacred institution. That’s not hard to understand. How could it be sacred with shows like The Bachelor being aired? The idea that you can not only find your perfect mate in such a charged setting over such a short period is ludicrous.

Unfortunately, it also gives couples the idea that marriage is easy. Considering that the average marriage lasts just eight years and only 33% of couples make it to their 40th anniversary, this is a false idea.

Unfortunately, getting divorced is as simple as getting married these days. If you don’t like your partner, you get a divorce.

Around 150 years ago, things weren’t quite that simple. If you wanted a divorce, you had to prove that your spouse had done something wrong. Divorce was far less prevalent then. If you were divorced, it caused quite the scandal.

Today, the situation is quite different. Everybody knows someone who is divorced. It’s become something of a social norm. And, unfortunately, it’s the family that suffers.

Why is Divorce Bad?

We’re not suggesting that people should stay in horrible marriages. If there’s abuse or infidelity involved, then it makes sense to remove yourself from the situation. What we’re concerned about, though, is the cavalier attitude toward divorce. We’ll use an example to illustrate the point.

Debbie and Andrew meet and fall in love. Debbie has a son from a previous relationship. Six months later, Debbie falls pregnant, so they get married. Things go okay for a while after the baby’s born. Then things go downhill.

Living with a new-born and a young child isn’t easy. Money is tight, and the couple fights a lot. Eventually, they want nothing more to do with one another and get divorced. Their son is just a year old.

What they’re forgetting is that their decision also affects the lives of both boys. The eldest child is upset because he’s never known his father. The youngest is too small to realize what’s happening.

Now, say that these two marry other people and have more kids. Debbie’s now got three kids with three different fathers. Whose rules do the kids abide by? Who do they see as their father? How do they move on to successful relationships without strong role models to grow up with? How do all the various parents work together for the good of the children?

Final Notes

Our throw-away culture is destroying the very idea of the nuclear family. Perhaps it’s about time that we start teaching our kids that happiness is something that you work toward. It’s not something that’s dropped into your lap.

If we can start to teach our children to honor good, old-fashioned family values and the importance of commitment, we’ll go far.

Click Here for our Divorce Statistics Infographic URL: https://legaljobsite.net/divorce-statistics/

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Muslim Stabs Four Random People. But Relax, Cops Say ‘Zero Evidence’ It’s Terror-Related

It’s funny how so many Muslims with “mental health issues” go on stabbing sprees, but shhhh – you’re not supposed to notice that. My latest in FrontPage:

It is insufficiently understood how much Leftist willful ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat deform our response to it; a recent incident in Australia shows yet again how dangerous this denial really is. The Age reported Thursday that a man named Mohammad Ibrahim “stabbed four people, killing two, in random, ‘senseless’ attacks across the city’s inner-east.” But there’s nothing whatsoever to be concerned about: “Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said there was ‘zero evidence’ to suggest the attacks were terrorism related. Ibrahim had no criminal history and was estranged from the mother of his child.”

It may be that these attacks were not terrorism related. But the fact that Ibrahim had no criminal history establishes nothing. There was a point in every jihad terrorist’s life when he had no criminal history.

Likewise, the fact that Ibrahim was estranged from the mother of his child also establishes nothing about whether or not his attacks were terrorism related. Many men are estranged from the mothers of their children and yet do not go on stabbing sprees of random people. Some men also are jihad terrorists and are simultaneously estranged from the mothers of their children.

The perspicacious Commissioner Weir continued: “There’s nothing to indicate at this early stage that this is anything other than a random act of senseless violence.”

Maybe there isn’t. But the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014: “So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

Now Commissioner Weir may be right: that call or something like may not have had anything to do with Ibrahim’s actions. But what if it did? In that case, how would what he did look any different from a “random act of senseless violence”? If his stabbings of random people were an act of jihad, as we have seen so very many times before, Ibrahim wouldn’t be carrying an ISIS membership card. He need not have had contact with any ISIS members to have heard about that call and decided to heed it.

The Age added: “Police revealed Ibrahim spoke to them in 2018 about his concerns that IS operatives from Mildura were out to kill him. He wasn’t taken in for an assessment at the time but was flagged on the police system as potentially having a mental health issue.”

Maybe Mohammad Ibrahim does have a mental health issue. But the fact that he thought that the Islamic State was out to get him does not in itself prove that he is some “moderate” who would never undertake violent jihad himself. And no one ever seems to ponder why it is that so many Muslims with mental health issues somehow get the idea that stabbing random non-Muslims on the street is the thing to do. To consider such a question, of course, would be “Islamophobic” on its face, and “Islamophobia” is the one vice that law enforcement and intelligence officials are determined to avoid at all costs.

Has the whole world lost the ability to think clearly? Will this incident be investigated properly, with examination of all contingencies? Almost certainly not. Today’s political and cultural climate, not just in Australia but all over what has up until recently been known as the “free world,” makes that virtually impossible.


“Nigeria has fully become a killing field of defenseless Christians”: Muslims murder 350 in first months of 2020

Iran: Islamic scholar says coronavirus is man-made weapon “against the Shi’ites, the Muslims, and the Iranians”

Hindu pilgrims from Pakistan refuse to go back, seek Indian citizenship under CAA

Fiction in a Time of Lies

Mulling the End of Iran’s Mullahcracy

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Andrew Gillum Entering Rehab After Miami Hotel Meth Incident

Failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum revealed on Sunday that he is entering rehab after being discovered last week in a Miami hotel room with a male escort and bags of meth, naked and too drunk to explain himself to police officers.

Gillum, who claimed he had merely drunk too much at a friend’s wedding earlier in the day, said in a statement Sunday night that the incident was “a wake-up call for me” and that he had decided, after conversations with his family and deep reflection, to seek help in rehab.

“Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse,” he said, pledging to work to “heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person. I want to apologize to my family, friends and the people of Florida who have supported me and put their faith in me over the years.”

If Gillum, who is married with three children, comes out as gay in light of this incident, he will be celebrated and exonerated by the left, though he will have destroyed the lives of his wife and children in the process.

Andrew Gillum

14 Known Connections

On a variety of key issues, Gillum:

  • strongly favors the expansion of Obamacare as a step toward a government-run, single-payer healthcare system;
  • strongly favors government-enforced affirmative action policies designed to compensate nonwhites and women for the effects of past and present discrimination;
  • strongly favors the implementation of a pathway-to-citizenship for illegal aliens;
  • strongly opposes Voter ID laws as racist schemes that are designed to suppress minority voting; and
  • believes that the availability of guns should be severely restricted, even for law-abiding citizens who have never been convicted of a crime, and that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee Americans the right to possess a firearm.

To learn more about Gillum, click on the profile link here.

Search our constantly growing database of the left and its Agendas

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Abortion: No Right to Choose for Nurses, No Choice for Mothers

Swedish nurses’ conscience case rejected by European Court of Human Rights.

Ellinor Grimmark and Linda Steen, two Swedish nurses who have been denied midwife posts for refusing to carry out abortions, have now lost their legal bid to take Sweden to court for violating their beliefs after they took their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The nurses argued that being denied employment due to their beliefs against abortion was an illegal breach of their rights to freedom of religion and conscience. Despite this, the ECHR “declined to take up the case, with a panel finding that Swedish authorities acted lawfully.” (‘Swedish anti-abortion nurses lose court battle’, Telegraph, March 14, 2020).

Most people think of nurses as trained in the vocation of saving lives, but now, apparently, they must be trained in taking lives. Somewhere along the line this has become normal, since we used to have just “nurses” and now we have “anti-abortion nurses”.

Ms Grimmark and Ms Steen have been fighting their corner for four years, and it might be thought that the ECHR, founded to protect human rights, would look favourably on their case. But although the right to freedom of conscience is a recognised human right respected in all civilised nations, Europe’s highest court refused them a hearing.

The decision was described by religious freedom group ADF International – which has been supporting the pair – as a “dangerous departure from the Court’s purpose in protecting fundamental freedoms.” Ms Grimmark said:

“I chose to become a midwife because I wanted to help bring life into this world. I cannot understand why the Swedish government refuses to accommodate my conscientious convictions. I am now working in Norway, where my conscience is respected, but no-one can explain why Sweden cannot do the same.”

Rather than defending the right to conscience, however, the Swedish Association of Midwives defended the authorities’ right to refuse Ms Grimmark work, its president, Mia Ahlberg, telling the BBC that upholding her challenge might result in, for example, a Jehovah’s witness refusing to perform a blood transfusion: “It’s part of our professional competence – so the employer had a right to say ‘you cannot work here.”

That the Swedish midwives’ president is unable to distinguish between a blood transfusion, vital for saving life, and an abortion, which takes human life, is disturbing enough, but it’s of a piece with the attitude of her counterpart in the UK.

In 2014 Glasgow midwives Connie Wood and Mary Doogan went all the way to the Supreme Court to defend the right of midwives not be involved in abortion, only to discover two years later that the Royal College of Midwives’ president, Professor Cathy Warwick, had given the RCM’s backing to abortion provider BPAS’s campaign for all legal restrictions to be removed from abortion – without consulting thousands of midwives.

With the upper echelons of the medical profession seemingly taken over by abortion advocacy, the impression can be given that abortion has the blessing of medicine – a “trusted brand”.

And with the highest human rights court in Europe no longer interested in human rights – at least, human rights with which they disagree – it does not bode well for a young mother’s case to be able to keep vigil outside an abortion clinic and offer help to women attending the clinic.

Alina Dulgheriu this week lost her bid for the Supreme Court to hear her case against Ealing Council for imposing a Public Spaces Protection Order around an abortion facility in West London.

Ms Dulgeriu feels an obligation to offer the kind of help which she herself gratefully accepted when she was sacked by her employer and abandoned by her boyfriend. She is now the mother of a six-year-old daughter. She is considering taking her case to the ECHR, and Laurence Wilkinson, Legal Counsel for the London branch of ADF International, which is providing her legal support, commented:

“In refusing permission to appeal, the Supreme Court has denied Alina the opportunity to argue her case before the highest court in the country and failed to recognise the human rights violations caused by the Order. Free societies must be free to discuss even ideas some consider controversial rather than simply criminalising them. Evidence shows that hundreds of women – like Alina – have accepted the help offered by peaceful pro-life groups outside abortion facilities.”

Despite all the rhetoric about freedom and choice, not only must nurses fight for the right to conscience regarding abortion, but anyone who publicly disagrees with it or attempts to offer positive alternatives will be silenced if they try to do so in the place that really matters – outside the clinic, at the last minute.

No wonder a quarter of pregnancies in the UK now end in abortion. But instead of wondering if enough help is in place for these women, their desperate decisions have been greeted as a triumph for choice.

In politics, in government, in the media and in the health sector, and most especially in feminist circles, abortion has become the idea that is too big to fail, even when women themselves reject it.


Ann Farmer

Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002).

RELATED ARTICLE: Schumer Exposed the Democrats’ Abortion Extremism

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Professor, Punished for Not Using Preferred Pronouns, Appeals After Judge Dismisses Case

A professor at an Ohio university is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that he contends compels him to say something he doesn’t agree with.

“Professors don’t give up their First Amendment freedoms simply by choosing to teach,” said Travis Barham, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal aid group that represents the professor.

Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, says he was “illegally disciplined” by his employer because he chose not to adhere to a male student’s insistence on being referred to with female titles and pronouns.

“Dr. Meriwether received a written warning … threatening him with ‘further corrective actions’ if he does not start expressing the University’s desired message,” Barham said in an email to The Daily Signal, adding:

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

These further corrective actions could include suspension without pay or termination. He is still employed at Shawnee State University, though he has this black cloud hanging over his head all the time. This punishment is illegal because it violates his First Amendment rights.

On Nov. 5, 2018, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on Meriwether’s behalf, maintaining that he should not be forced to use feminine pronouns and titles for a male student.

“Public universities have no business trying to force people to express ideological beliefs that they do not hold,” Barham told The Daily Signal. “Dr. Meriwether remains committed to serving all students with respect, but he cannot express all messages or endorse all ideologies.

“When the university tried to force him to do this and then punished him for exercising his rights, it violated the First Amendment,” Barham said.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott threw out the lawsuit Feb. 12, and Alliance Defending Freedom announced Thursday that it is appealing her decision.

Dlott, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, is senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that Meriwether is being robbed of his constitutional rights.

“Compelling a university professor to utter scientific falsehoods in the name of a political ideology is un-American,” Kao said. “The Constitution protects the freedom to speak according to one’s conscience. It must be protected on controversial issues like transgender ideology if diversity of thought and intellectual integrity are to be preserved.”

Jonathan Butcher, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for Education Policy, said in a written statement provided to The Daily Signal that “students and professors should be allowed to speak freely on public policy issues of the day and not fear reprisal from the university based on positions the school has decided to take on such topics.”

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.


Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

RELATED ARTICLE: Boomer, Meet Millennial: Examining the News Through a Multigenerational Lens

A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

FLORIDA: Friend of Democrat Andrew Gillum found in Miami hotel is a Gay Porn Star [Video]


The story of Democrat Mayor of Tallahassee gets worse by the day. It now appears that the man who Gillum was with in a Miami hotel is not only a self proclaimed gay porn star but also a male escort from the “Rent Men” website. Erin Coates a reporter from The Western Journal published the following video in a column titled Gillum’s Overdosed ‘Friend’ Was Actually a Gay Sex Worker: Report.

Coates reports:

More details about former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost the Florida gubernatorial race in 2018, and the “inebriated state” he was found in early Friday morning have been released.

Gillum was found in a Mondrian South Beach Hotel room in Miami Beach with Travis Dyson, a 30-year-old who identifies himself as a “pornstar performer,” according to WPLG, which cited his profile on a gay male escort website called Rent Men.

The news outlet also said Dyson had shared videos of himself with a muscular man identified as his boyfriend on social media, but his Instagram page appears to have been taken down as of Saturday morning.

Read more.

Jerry Iannelli and Jessica Lipscomb from the Miami News Times reported:

According to the documents, police responded to a cardiac-arrest distress call just before 1 a.m. at the Mondrian South Beach. When two officers from the Miami Beach Police Department arrived at the luxe hotel on West Avenue just north of 11th Street, they noted that Miami Beach Fire-Rescue was on scene treating a man for a possible drug overdose, but that the man, identified as Travis Dyson, was in stable condition.

The officers stated that the third man involved in the incident, Aldo Mejias, had lent Dyson his credit-card information to rent a hotel room yesterday afternoon and that the two were supposed to meet later that day. Mejias told the officers that he arrived at the hotel room around 11 p.m. and that Dyson opened the door and then immediately collapsed on a bed and began vomiting. Mejias said he began giving Dyson CPR and called 911.

Mejias told police Gillum was inside the hotel room “under the influence of an unknown substance.” Mejias said that while he was performing CPR on Dyson, Gillum was vomiting in a bathroom. Officers said that they tried to speak with Gillum but that he was “unable to communicate due to his inebriated state.”

Read more.

It appears, as more information comes available, that Andrew Gillum is in fact a decadent Democrat. Among the more noteworthy endorsers of his 2018 gubernatorial campaign were Senator Bernie Sanders and the activist groups Democracy For America and Our Revolution. Gillum’s organization, supported by the Florida Democrat Party, is an effort to get out the Democrat vote in 2020. Gillum’s his dangerous organization FLORIDA FORWARD ACTION remains in operation.

RELATED ARTICLE: A Nazi drug’s US resurgence: How meth is making a disturbing reappearance

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FLORIDA: Drunk Andrew Gillum Caught Up in Meth OD Incident

Failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was reportedly involved in a suspected crystal meth overdose on early Friday at a Miami Beach hotel.

The Miami Beach Police report that officers found Gillum in a West Avenue hotel bathroom, vomiting and too inebriated to speak. Two other men, who some sources claim were naked, were also in the hotel room; one of them possibly overdosed on crystal meth, baggies of which police discovered in the room.

“I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends,” Gillum said in a statement. “While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines. I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement. I’m thankful to the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts. I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time.”

Florida dodged a bullet when Republican Ron DeSantis defeated radical leftist Gillum to become Governor.

Andrew Gillum

14 Known Connections

Notably, on Gillum’s watch, the city of Tallahassee and its surrounding Leon County metro area had been plagued by the highest crime rate in Florida for each of Gillum’s four years in office up to that point. In 2017, Tallahassee experienced more murders than in any previous year in its history.

In October 2018, newly uncovered text messages and email records showed that Gillum, during an August 2016 trip to New York, had accepted a high-priced ticket to the popular Broadway show Hamilton from Mike Miller, an undercover FBI agent who was investigating government corruption connected with Tallahassee, where Gillum was mayor. Gillum responded to the release of the documents by stating, “The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men.”

To learn more about Gillum, click on the profile link here.

Search our constantly growing database of the left and its Agendas


Andrew Gillum linked to meth overdose incident in Miami hotel, police reports state

Andrew Gillum Involved in Alleged Crystal-Meth Incident in Miami Beach

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Florida Man’s Life Ruined Because of False ‘Red Flag’ Laws

Watch the below video – this is what is happening under Florida’s Red Flag Law, SB 7026. and its unconstitutional Risk Protection Orders (RPOs).  Fifty four Republican Representatives voted for this terrible law and all but 6 FL Senators did the same.

QUESTION: Have you asked the Clerk of Court from your county how many of the RPOs issued resulting in ex parte seizures without Due Process were overturned or vacated the after the seizure hearing 14 days later?

Who is being held accountable when these reports to LE of someone being a threat are found to be lies?

Steven Linne for Florida House posted the video titled “Red Flagged – SB7026” below on YouTube.

© All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Understanding the Constitution

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. It is what politicians, military personnel, law enforcement, judges, federal employees, and legal immigrants are sworn to uphold, e.g., “…and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.” It was created in 1787, ratified in 1788, and made effective in 1789. Since then it has become the model by which other countries have re-invented their government.

The first three words of the Constitution are, “We the people,” to indicate it was written to serve the interests of the people of the country, not a monarch or dictator.

The Constitution was produced by the second Continental Congress, but was preceded in 1781 by the Articles of Confederation, the first true constitution of the country. The weakness in this document was the lack of a strong central government, giving more power to the states instead.


There are essentially two parts to the Constitution:

  • The Main Body – specifying the mechanisms of the government.
  • Amendments – specifying the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people, and changes made to the Main Body. The first ten amendments are referred to as “The Bill of Rights.” This was a clean way to separate the two parts of the Constitution, thereby making it easier to ratify the overall document. Whereas there have been some changes made to the Main Body, the Amendments have changed more frequently over the years. There have been 27 Amendments made to the Constitution, with the 21st used to repeal prohibition (the 18th amendment).

The Main Body defines the responsibilities of the three “separate but equal” branches of government:

  • The Executive Branch – as represented by the office of the President, along with the various agencies and departments controlled by the President’s cabinet.
  • The Judicial Branch – representing the Supreme Court and lower federal courts.
  • The Legislative Branch – represented by the Congress and responsible for passing laws in conformance to the Constitution. Interestingly, the Congress is referred to as “bicameral,” meaning there are two separate chambers; the House of Representatives (the lower House), and the Senate (the Upper House). Whereas the House is generally regarded as lawmakers from all walks of life, the Senators are typically senior politicians who offer advice and confirm presidential appointments.

These three branches offer “Checks and balances” over each other so one branch doesn’t become stronger than the others. For example, The Executive Branch nominates judges for the Supreme Court and lower courts, but the nominees must be approved by the Senate. The Senate must also approve the President’s nominees for cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, military leaders, and other agency appointments. Without this approval, the people cannot serve.

The Congress may pass laws, but the Supreme Court ultimately determines if the legislation conforms to the Constitution. If it does not, it can be dismissed.

The Congress must secure the President’s signature to enact legislation. Without the signature, the legislation is “vetoed” from being placed into law. The Congress can overturn the President’s veto by securing a 2/3 percent vote in both chambers of Congress. This is difficult to do, but has been done.

This is but a small sampling of the “checks and balances” at play in the Constitution. There are many more. Nothing like these “checks and balances” had been tried before. All of this is a a testament to the brilliance of the founding fathers who devised the Constitution. It is hard to imagine a team of lawyers in today’s world who could produce such a document with such eloquence and conciseness.

Ratifying the Constitution became a problem as antagonists challenged many clauses within the document. To overcome this problem, a series of articles were produced and distributed by newspapers throughout the country explaining the virtues of the various parts of the document. This was referred to as “The Federalist Papers” and written by James Madison (later to become the 4th President of the United States), Alexander Hamilton (later to become the 1st U.S. Treasury Secretary), and John Jay (later to become 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), all under the pseudonym “Publius.”

The Constitution has been with us for well over 200 years and has withstood the test of time. Is it perfect? Of course not, there are some items that should be revisited, such as term limits for politicians, a balanced budget, changing the length of our electoral process, and more. But overall, the Constitution has served us well.

It is genius. Sheer genius.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right podcast and column are republished with permission. © All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

A Day in the Senate with the Born-Alive Act

Hadley Arkes: For Democrats, abortion is a “right” that extends beyond pregnancy and entails nothing less than the right to kill a child born alive. 

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act finally came before the Senate in the last days of February. This was the sequel to the Act passed in 2002, the Act that sought to cast the protections of the law on babies who survived abortions.

As the readers of this column know by now, that bill sprang from a proposal I had written for the debating kit of George H.W Bush in 1988.  By the time it was put in legislative form, the penalties were dropped, in part to avoid a veto from President Clinton (in 2000), but in part also to make the bill a pure “teaching” bill.”

The bill would break out to the public news that most people would find jolting.  Most people did not know that under Roe v. Wade and its companion case of Doe v. Bolton, the right to abortion would extend through the entire length of the pregnancy – and even when a child survived the abortion.

It turned out that there were far more of these babies surviving than we had known at the time.   But it was the mass of killings taking place in the abattoir of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia that brought a new attention to the problem – and offered the moment to act.

With the support of Trent Franks of the Judiciary Committee in the House, I joined with some accomplished friends to draft a new bill, to restore the penalties that had been dropped from the original bill.  That move has made the difference for the Democrats – and further illuminated the landscape.

People curiously forget that when the original bill was enacted in 2002, the Democrats were in control of the Senate.  They did not like the bill, but they were willing to vote for such a modest measure carrying no penalties, especially if they could do it with a voice vote, with no one going on the record.

That is what makes it disingenuous for Democrats now to say that the bill isn’t needed because we already have a law that forbids the killing of  a child who survives an abortion. What comes into play now is an old aphorism of Lord Bracknell, roughly translated in this way: that “it would be superfluous to make laws, unless those laws, when made, were to be enforced.”

To add serious penalties, civil and criminal, for the killing of the child is finally to take this legislation seriously as legislation.

And when that was done, the dramatic change in the Democrats could  then be read in a vote so startling that even the Republicans seem struck dumb in how to deal with it.  With Republicans in control of the House, the new Born-Alive Act was brought to the floor in September 2015, when it passed  248-177.  It was brought again in January 2018, when it passed 241-183.  Every voting Republican voted for these bills, and every Democrat but five or six, voted in opposition.

And now, with the bill in the Senate, every Republican voted for it, along with three Democrats, while every vote in opposition came from Democrats, holding the line.   The bill garnered 56 votes, but short of the 60 needed to overcome the Democratic filibuster.

The Democrats had arrived at the most radical position yet on the matter of abortion – so radical that the Republican managers of the bill, along with President Trump, still haven’t quite figured out how to express it.

The matter was blurted out, almost in passing, by Sen. Patty Murray from Washington. She remarked that “Republicans are peddling a ban that is blatantly unconstitutional.”  That is, this move to protect children born alive is incompatible with that “right” proclaimed in Roe v. Wade. For virtually all Democrats now in Congress and national politics, that right to abortion is a right that extends beyond pregnancy itself and entails nothing less than the right to kill a child born alive.

That is the ground now on which the question should be called and fought out in the presidential election.  But President Trump hasn’t apparently grasped this gift that has been given to him.

And yet, neither has the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who persistently failed to draw out the meaning of what his colleagues on the other side were revealing. Twenty years ago Sen. Rick Santorum asked Sen. Barbara Boxer  to offer the earliest moment when a newborn child could be protected by the law, and she said “when you bring your baby home.”

That answer became a source of embarrassment, as Boxer could never explain her way out of the problem. At every turn Sen. Sasse has passed up the chance to draw his colleagues into colloquies of this kind.  That would not affect the vote, but the confrontation could draw the attention of a wider public.

Twenty years ago, the beloved Henry Hyde was astonished that the National Organization of Women would come out so strongly against this modest bill.  But the other side knew that we were asking what was different about that same child five minutes earlier, before it was born – but then five days, five months earlier.

Hyde’s happy bewilderment revealed a state of affairs that still holds:  the other side understands this bill better than some of our own allies, because it understands the principle that lies at the heart of the thing.


Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding. His most recent book is Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law. Volume II of his audio lectures from The Modern Scholar, First Principles and Natural Law is now available for download.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.