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U.S. Supreme Court (Finally) Takes Another Second Amendment Challenge to a Gun Control Law

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a gun control law for the first time in nearly 10 years. Arguments in the case will likely be heard during the court’s next term, which starts in October.

During the opening decade of the 21st Century, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that many hoped would revitalize the Second Amendment, which had been all but read out of the Constitution by activist lower judges that favored banning or heavily restricting firearms.

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) made abundantly clear that the Second Amendment is a fundamental civil right and should be respected as such by the nation’s courts and public officials.

That did not happen. 

Instead, the rulings seemed mainly to energize the resistance to the right to keep and bear arms both within and without the judicial system. 

Billionaires turned social engineers – most notably Michael Bloomberg – created a new industry around more sophisticated and organized anti-gun efforts. 

Elite universities created research departments entirely devoted to engineering empirical support for gun control and rewriting American history as it pertains the Second Amendment and gun ownership.

The same judges with their same lifetime appointments who refused to acknowledge the obvious import of the Second Amendment’s history and text refused to acknowledge the obvious import of the Heller and McDonaldopinions. 

And one lower court decision after another upheld the most sweeping and oppressive forms of gun control, including bans on America’s most popular riflesbans on magazines used for self-defensebans on dealer sales of handguns to military-aged adultsmandatory handgun licensing fees of $340discretionary licensing for the carrying of firearmslengthy waiting periods to acquire guns, and infeasible manufacturing requirements that effectively ban new models of handguns.

Throughout it all, the high court seemed to have turned its back on the Second Amendment, refusing review in case after case. This sometimes provoked impassioned dissents from justices who believed the Second Amendment was being treated as a “disfavored right” and a “constitutional orphan.” 

Only once in all this time did the U.S. Supreme Court revisit the Second Amendment in an unsigned opinion that summarily reversed, without argument, a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court opinion that upheld the state’s ban on electrically-powered “stun guns.” 

That changed on Tuesday when the high court granted review to the NRA-backed case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. This case concerns a challenge under the Second Amendment and other constitutional provisions to New York City regulations that effectively ban law-abiding handgun owners from traveling outside the city with their own secured and unloaded handguns.

The bizarre and unique nature of this regulation – apparently the only one of its kind in the nation – and the exceedingly thin “public safety” justification for it potentially make the case low-hanging fruit for another positive Second Amendment ruling. 

But whether the Supreme Court will use the occasion to bring lower court defiance of the Second Amendment to heel or simply to rule narrowly on this particular regulation remains to be seen.

The development does, however, underscore the importance to gun owners of President Trump’s appointments to the high court, including Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brent Kavanaugh. 

The latter replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was considered the crucial swing vote in the Heller and McDonald cases. Yet Kennedy’s sustained commitment to a robust Second Amendment was always in question, leading to speculation that neither the court’s pro- or anti-gun blocs had the confidence to take another case.

Unlike Kennedy, however, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are committed originalists, the same mode of judicial interpretation that the late Justice Antonin Scalia used in authoring the Heller opinion. Fidelity to that method and to the court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald are the surest guarantees we can have that the Second Amendment will get the respect it is due by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Left-leaning pundits are already issuing hysterical predictions about what this development means for gun control in the United States. 

May they be right and then some. 

The more sober and mature outlook, however, is a wait-and-see attitude, along with a healthy appreciation of how President Trump’s appointments to the court may finally reenergize a Second Amendment that has been neglected for too long. 

Those appointments would not have happened without the steadfast work of NRA members who understand the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court as the final backstop against infringements of our Second Amendment rights. We may now be on the threshold of realizing the fruits of that labor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Illinois: Bill Introduced to Ban Many Firearms & Accessories

Washington: Anti-Gun Bills Pass Committee, On to Senate Floor

New York: SAFE Act Part 2 on Tap For Coming Week

South Dakota: Senate Passes Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation

Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Sofia Sforza on Unsplash.

A tribute to County Clerk Kim Davis by David Carroll

Throughout the recorded history of mankind, there is no record of any culture having recognized same-sex marriages. It is astounding that five persons in black robes sitting in Washington D.C. can overturn millennia of marriage customs with the stroke of a pen or with fingers on a keyboard.

Not only do they find same-sex marriage permissible under the United States Constitution, but they impose upon the entire country a mandate based upon the 14th Amendment, adopted nearly 150 years ago primarily to protect former slaves in former Confederate states. No framer ever conceived that the Constitution could be so used to twist the institution of marriage.

I begin with the Bible, but I end with secular law.

For Christians and Jews, the Bible could not be clearer. Homosexual sex is a sin. God destroyedSodom and Gomorrah, which were described in Romans 1:26-27 as steeped in sinful homosexual activity.

In 1 Cor. 6:9, Paul writes: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites … ”

And in 1 Cor. 7:2: “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”

Still, Paul also said in 1 Cor. 5:9-10 (NKJV):

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of the world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since you would need to go out of the world.

Paul recognizes that Christians will keep company with the sexually immoral outside the church, because the world is full of the sexually immoral.  Paul does not advocate the persecution of same-sex relationships, but neither does he approve their celebration.

So that is the Bible’s take.  What about secular law?  Here we have five Supreme Court justices creating a right to state licensure of behavior that mankind, over the millennia, has deemed to be sexually immoral.

Which brings us to the case of Kim Davis. Kim Davis is an elected county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. As county clerk, she issues marriage licenses. Her name goes on each license her office issues. When she was elected to the job, Kentucky law authorized marriage licenses only to opposite-sex couples: one man, one woman.

On June 26, 2015, five of the nine Supreme Court justices turned the Christian world upside down in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the 14th Amendment requires the states to issue licenses for the marriage of two people of the same sex. The plaintiffs in the case brought suit in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, claiming that those states violated the 14th Amendment by denying homosexuals the right to marry each other or to have their marriages recognized when performed in other states.

Kim Davis was not a party to the Obergefell case, but the state of Kentucky was. The Supreme Court held, “The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.”

Immediately after the Obergefell decision, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said, “Effective today, Kentucky will recognize as valid all same-sex marriages performed in other states and in Kentucky.” The Kentucky legislature has not changed the Kentucky statutes. Nor have the people of Kentucky amended their state constitution, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The Kentucky Constitution’s definition of marriage (passed with 75 percent of the vote in 2004) and the Kentucky statute defining marriage as being between one man and one woman were declared unconstitutional. It seems, therefore, that without an act of the Kentucky legislature, Kentucky has no marriage law for anyone, because its statutes are unconstitutional.  Kim Davis viewed it exactly that way. After the Obergefell decision, she decided that her office would issue no marriage licenses to same-sex couples – or to anyone else.

On July 2, 2015, homosexual activists filed a class action complaint in the Eastern District of Kentucky against Kim Davis to force her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  The plaintiffs requested that the court issue a preliminary injunction to force Davis to issue same-sex licenses.

Ms. Davis asserted her right to refuse to issue licenses based upon, among other things, the failure of the Kentucky legislature to act and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Based uponObergefell, the U.S. district judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering Ms. Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. When Ms. Davis refused to obey the preliminary injunction, the judge ordered her to jail. The judge released her only after her deputies promised to issue the licenses.

The remaining debate is over whether Ms. Davis, as a matter of conscience, has a right to refuse to issue marriage licenses that approve something the Bible condemns.

On one hand, Ms. Davis is a state official with a duty to follow the law as determined by the courts having jurisdiction, however ill-founded the law is. This side argues that her proper protest would be to resign rather than issue the license.

(In unrelated news, a Muslim flight attendant is fighting on religious-discrimination grounds the termination of her employment, after she refused to serve alcohol to passengers. She was not under a court order, so she is not going to jail, but she is not resigning either. Will there be consistency in the interpretation of religious conscience?)

On the other side of the debate is the duty of every citizen of conscience to disobey tyrannical laws that are offensive to the constitution as it is reasonably interpreted and understood, notwithstanding any twisting of meaning by five black-robed justices. If public officials must resign rather than disobey laws that are wrong, their positions will be filled by people without the conscience necessary to right these wrongs. And with these people in office, the wrongs will stick around.

Before the Civil War, the state of Wisconsin refused to obey the Fugitive Slave Act. Any state officer was barred from assisting federal officials in the return of escaped slaves. More recently, Washington, California, and Colorado are thumbing their noses at federal drug laws relating to marijuana. The states could simply refuse to obey the law and refuse to appear in federal courts on the subject. This is called “nullification” and is a response that the states can and should make to federal overreach.  For more about this strategy, read Nullification by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Alas, according to the polls, it is a losing proposition in our secular culture to protect the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. More than half of all Americans approve of gay marriage. It is likely that the various legislatures and state constitutions would have eventually succumbed even without the Supreme Court, unless there were a serious religious revival in this country.

I salute Kim Davis, not for the rightness of her legal position,  but because she stood up for her Christian beliefs to the extent of being willing to go to jail for them. In the Bible, Daniel refused to worship a statue and got himself thrown into the lion’s den for exercising his religious conscience. The black-robed five have made it perfectly clear that in their brave new world, traditional Christian morality and believing Christians are unwelcome.

ABOUT DAVID CARROLL

David Carroll is an Ohio lawyer who has been practicing for 39 years. His work has included public interest litigation defending Judeo-Christian values, and he has served as chairman of the board for Christian Action Network for over 20 years. Mr. Carroll graduated cum laude from Capital University Law School in Bexley, Ohio in 1976 and has practiced law in Ohio and Arizona.

On Privatizing Marriage: No, Matrimony Is Not Irreducibly Public by Max Borders

Marriage is society’s primary institutional arrangement that defines parenthood. – Jennifer Roback Morse

The idea of marriage privatization is picking up steam. And it makes strange bedfellows.

There are old-school gay activists suspicious that state marriage is a way for politicians to socially engineer the family through the tax code. There are religious conservatives who are upset that a state institution seems to violate their sacred values. Don’t forget the libertarians for whom “privatize it” is more a reflex than a product of reflection.

But they all agree: it would be a good idea to get the government out of the marriage business. Principle, it turns out, is pragmatic.

First, let’s disentangle two meanings for one word that easily get confused. When we say “marriage,” we might be referring to:

A. a commitment a couple enters into as a rite or acknowledgment within a religious institution or community group (private); or

B. a legal relationship that two people enter into, which the state currently licenses (public).

Now, the questions that follow are: Does the government need to be involved inA? The near-universal answer in the United States is no. But does the government need to be as involved as it is in B? Here’s where the debate gets going.

I think the government can and should get out of B, and everyone will be better for it. This is what I mean by marriage privatization.

Some argue that marriage is “irreducibly public.” For Jennifer Roback Morse, it has to do with the fate of children and families. For Shikha Dalmia, it has to do with the specter of increased government involvement, a reinflamed culture war, and a curious concern about religious institutions creating their own marriage laws.

First, let’s consider the issue of children. According to Unmarried.org:

  • 39.7 percent of all births are to unmarried women (Centers for Disease Control, 2007).
  • Nearly 40 percent of heterosexual, unmarried American households include children (Child Protective Services, 2007).
  • 41 percent of first births by unmarried women are to cohabiting partners (Larry Bumpass and Hsien-Hen Lu, 2000).

Does the law leave provisions for the children of the unmarried? Of course. So while state marriage might add some special sauce to your tax bill or to your benefits package, family court and family codes aren’t likely to go anywhere, whatever we do with marriage. This is not a sociological argument about whether children have statistically better life prospects when they are brought up by two married parents. Nor is it a question about gender, sexuality, and parental roles. It’s simply a response to the idea that marriage is “irreducibly public” due to having children. It is not. (I’ll pass over the problem for this argument that some married couples never have children.)

Dalmia is also concerned that “true privatization would require more than just getting the government out of the marriage licensing and registration business. It would mean giving communities the authority to write their own marriage rules and enforce them on couples.”

It’s true. Couples, as a part of free religious association, might have to accept some definition of marriage as a condition of membership in a religious community. But, writes Dalmia, “This would mean letting Mormon marriages be governed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints codebook, Muslims by Koranic sharia, Hassids by the Old Testament, and gays by their own church or non-religious equivalent.” And all of this is could be true up to a point.

But Dalmia overstates the case. Presumably, no religious organization would be able to set up codes that run counter to the civil laws in some jurisdiction. So if it were part of the Koranic sharia code to beat your wife for failure to wear the hijab at Costco, that rule would run afoul of criminal laws against spousal abuse. Mormon codes might sanction polygamy, but the state might have other ideas. So again, it’s not clear what sort of magical protection state marriage conjures.

What about Dalmia’s concern that in the absence of state marriage, “every aspect of a couple’s relationship would have to be contractually worked out from scratch in advance”? Never mind that some people would see being able to work out the details of a contract governing their lives as a good thing (for one, it might prevent ugly divorce proceedings). There is no reason to think that all the functions normal, unmarried couples with children and property have in terms of recourse to “default” law would not still be available. Not only would simple legal templates for private marriage emerge, but states could establish default civil unions in the absence of couples pursuing private alternatives.

There is no reason to think that all the functions normal, unmarried couples with children and property have in terms of recourse to “default” law would not still be available. 

Indeed, if people did not like some default option — as they might not now — there would be better incentives for couples to anticipate the eventualities of marital life. People would have to settle questions involving cohabitation, property, and children just as they do for retirement and for death. Millions of gay couples had to do this prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. Millions of unmarried couples do it today. The difference is that there would be a set of private marriage choices in a layer atop the default, just as people may opt for private arbitration in lieu of government courts.

In the debates leading up to marriage equality, an immanently sensible proposal had been that even if you don’t like the idea of hammering out a detailed contract with your spouse-to-be, simply changing the name of the entire statutory regime to “civil unions” would have gone a long way toward putting the whole gay-marriage debate to bed. The conservatives would have been able to say that, in terms of their sacred traditions and cultural community (as in A), “marriage” is between one man and one woman. Gay couples would have to find a church or institution that would marry them under A. But everybody would have some equal legal provision under the law to get all the benefits that accrue to people under B. You’d just have to call it a “civil union.”

And that’s fine as far as it goes.

But I like full privatization because “marriage” is currently a crazy quilt of special privileges and goodies that everybody wants access to — unmarried people be damned. But marriage should confer neither special favors nor goodies from the state. We can quibble about who is to be at the bedside of a dying loved one. Beyond that, marriage (under definition B) is mostly about equal access to government-granted privileges.

Not only does the idea that marriage is irreducibly public represent a failure of imagination with respect to robust common law, it also resembles arguments made against privatization in other areas, such as currency, education, and health care. Just because we can’t always envision it doesn’t make it impossible.

Max Borders

Max Borders

Max Borders is the editor of the Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

VIDEO: What’s A Constitution Among Friends? by Stephen Limbaugh

In the much-anticipated new installment to the “new voices” video series from D’Souza Media, Stephen Limbaugh gives a whimsical take-down of how liberals read the Constitution.You must see this musical satire on liberal jurisprudence!

Watch now:

Keep an eye out for more “new voices” videos on DineshDSouza.com in the coming months. In the meantime, watch some more of Stephen’s videos and connect with him on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

AMERICA book in paperbackDinesh D’Souza’s latest #1 New York Times best selling book is “America,” a rebuttal of the progressive shame narrative of American history, now available in paperback for the first time!

Supreme Court: No More Lifetime Appointments by Doug Bandow

Democrats and Republicans alike have turned Supreme Court appointments into a partisan slugfest. No wonder: while the judiciary has long been described as the least dangerous branch of government, the court has become instead a continuing constitutional convention. Just five votes can turn the Constitution inside out.

The latest Supreme Court term was seen as a shift to the left. The high court rewrote Obamacare to save the president’s landmark legislation to socialize American health care and completed a social revolution by nationalizing gay marriage. These decisions set off a flurry of promises from Republican Party presidential candidates to confront the judiciary.

Extreme Measures

Jeb Bush said he would only appoint judges “with a proven record of judicial restraint,” even though previous presidents claiming to do the same chose Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and John Roberts, among many other conservative disappointments.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for judicial retention elections. Such a change at the federal level would require a constitutional amendment, though it would mimic the practices of some 20 states. Even more controversially, Cruz suggested that only those whose case was brought before the justices had to respect Supreme Court rulings.

Extreme measures seem necessary because a simultaneously progressive and activist judiciary has joined the legislature and executive in forthrightly making public policy.

Should Justices Serve for Life?

The influence of judges has been magnified by their relative immunity from political pressure. Although the courts sometimes follow the election returns, in many cases — such as abortion and gay marriage — judicial decisions have short-circuited normal political discourse.

That fact alone makes judicial appointments important. Their significance is magnified by judges’ life tenure.

Lose the battle over filling a Supreme Court slot and you may suffer the consequences for decades. Gerald Ford’s unelected presidency merits little more than a historical footnote, but his Supreme Court legacy long persisted through Justice John Paul Stevens, a judicial ideologue hostile to liberty in most forms. Republicans going back to Dwight Eisenhower publicly lamented the evolution of their appointees, and every one of them made at least one choice that ultimately advanced a big-government agenda. Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts fill that role today.

Lifetime tenure has other consequences. The appointment process is endlessly arbitrary, as judges hang on, irrespective of advancing age. Although instances of obvious infirmity are few — the last clear Supreme Court case was William O. Douglas, who served more than 36 years before retiring in 1975 — outcomes should not be affected by actuarial tables. A gerontocratic court differs dramatically from the society on behalf of which its members purport to speak. The lack of turnover also may deaden court debate, reinforcing established patterns of thinking.

Life tenure is enshrined in the Constitution and rooted in history. The justification for lifetime appointment is to insulate the courts from transient political pressures. Some such protection is necessary if judges are to feel free to make unpopular decisions upholding the nation’s fundamental law.

Yet, judicial independence does not require lack of accountability. Judges are supposed to play a limited though vital role: interpreting, not transforming, the law. The dichotomy of activism versus restraint is the wrong prism for viewing judges. They should be active in enforcing the law, striking down legislation, and vindicating rights when required by the Constitution. They should be restrained in substituting their policy preferences for those of elected representatives.

When jurists violate this role, as do so many judges, they should be held accountable. Unfortunately, many of the proposed responses are more dangerous than the judges themselves. For instance, limiting court jurisdiction or impeaching errant jurists, oft proposed in the past, provides obvious opportunities for abuse. Worse is Cruz’s idea that most people should ignore the Supreme Court. Where government branches collide, someone must have a final say, or else the result will be enduring political conflict and limited legal legitimacy.

Ignore the Court?

More important, Cruz would presumably not want politicians to ignore court rulings with which he agreed. After all, as originally conceived, the judiciary was tasked with the critical role of holding the executive and legislative branches accountable, limiting their propensity to exceed their bounds and abuse the people. For instance, Alexander Hamilton imagined independent courts playing a “peculiarly essential” role to safeguard liberties and being an “excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body.” Indeed, he contended, the judiciary would “guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals” from “the people themselves.”

Thomas Jefferson argued that judges would provide a “legal check” on political majorities. James Madison, often viewed as the father of the Constitution, predicted that

independent tribunals of justice will consider themselves in a peculiar manner the guardians of [Bill of Rights guarantees]; they will be an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive; they will be naturally led to resist every encroachment upon rights expressly stipulated for in the constitution by the declaration of rights.

Of course, all too often the judiciary fails to fulfill this role today. No less than the presidents and congressmen, judges have become avid advocates of statism. Jurists as well as politicians should be held accountable. Unreviewable power is always dangerous.

Throw the Bums Out?

Some 20 states have implemented Cruz’s second idea, of retention elections. Few judges are defenestrated, but on occasion, the results are dramatic. Three decades ago, California voters ousted three state supreme court jurists who had effectively repealed the death penalty. In 2010, Iowa voters defeated three state supreme court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage.

National judicial elections, however, would be far more problematic. Should the decision be made via national vote or by a majority of state votes? Moreover, it is hard to believe that Americans who today choose their president based on 30-second television spots would pay serious attention to esoteric legal issues and make the fine distinctions characteristic of legal and constitutional analysis. Worse, judicial votes might reinforce the reigning political consensus, allowing majorities to remove justices most prepared to enforce the constitution against those in power. Unfortunately, further politicizing the judiciary would be an uncertain means of counteracting the problem of a politicized judiciary.

There is a better alternative.

The Solution: Fixed Terms

The Constitution should be amended to authorize fixed terms for federal judges. Perhaps one term of 10 or 12 years for Supreme Court justices, though Federalist Society founder Steve Calabresi suggested 18-year terms. Another option would be a renewable term of 6 or 8 years. Staggering terms would ensure every president at least a couple of appointments. Mixing short and long terms would expand diversity.

Such an approach would offer several advantages. While every appointment would remain important, judicial nominations would no longer be as likely to become political Armageddon. The new justice’s service would be bounded with his exit from office already set, and another appointment would be due a couple of years later.

Term limits also would ensure a steady transformation of the court’s membership. New additions at regular intervals would encourage intellectual as well as physical rejuvenation of the court. No longer would justices attempt to desperately hang on in order to outlast a president of another party. Law rather than health would determine the pace of judicial appointments.

Most important, fixed terms would establish judicial accountability. Justices still would be independent, largely immune to political retaliation for their decisions. Thus, if so inclined, they still could “resist every encroachment upon rights expressly stipulated for in the constitution by the declaration of rights.”

Nevertheless, abusive judges would no longer serve for life. Elective officials could reassert control over the court without destroying the judicial institution. There would be no court-packing, a la Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as transformation would take time, over two or three presidencies.

The Supreme Court has become as consequential as the presidency in making public policy. Indeed, contrary to their originally envisioned role, judges have become as likely as politicians to push to expand state power and limit individual liberty. It is necessary to find a way to impose accountability while preserving independence. Appointing judges to fixed terms would simultaneously achieve both objectives.


Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

SCOTUS Re-trial on Marriage Issue? It’s Possible if GOP doesn’t Cave In…

It’s not completely over yet. But a group of treacherous and cowardly Republican politicians are standing in the way. A new fight is on, and everyone’s help is needed.

Prominent pro-family figures, some GOP presidential candidates, and hundreds across the country are pressing Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to formally file for an appeal hearing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 “gay marriage” ruling handed down on June 26.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg performs a same-sex “marriage” on August 31, 2013.

She told the Washington Post, “I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship.” [Fox News photo]

According to the Court’s published rules, within 25 days of a ruling a party can ask the Court for a “rehearing” of a case on pertinent issues that would merit an appeal. The issue of “merit” here is that Justices Kagan and Ginsburg – both of whom ruled “for” same-sex marriage — were clearly required by Federal law to recuse themselves from this case.

Kagan and Ginsburg’s actions and statements mandate recusal

The right of impartial court proceedings is the very basis of the entire American system of justice – from the lowest court to the Supreme Court.  Thus, federal law 28 U.S. Code § 455 states:

Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

During the year prior to the Supreme Court case, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburgand Elena Kagan publicly performed same-sex “weddings.” At one such event, Ginsburg told people that the acceptance of same-sex “marriage” reflected “the genius of our Constitution.” Ginsburg also told Bloomberg Business News that she thought that  Americans were ready for gay marriage.

Kagan’s aggressive advocacy for LGBT “rights” goes back to her years as Dean of Harvard Law School (2003-2009), and is thoroughly documented in our MassResistance report.

Supreme Court Justices are usually scrupulous in avoiding the appearance of impropriety. They regularly recuse themselves from cases based on relatively mundane issues, such as comments they’ve previously made, involvement by relatives in peripheral issues, and past employment. Kagan has recused herself from several cases involving the government because she served as Solicitor General. But this case clearly is very emotionally connected to the worldview of Kagan and Ginsburg.

Earlier attempts to bring up recusal – ignored by our side’s legal team

This case, Obergefell v Hodges, originated in Ohio, but is also a consolidation of cases in Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky – the other states in the Sixth Circuit. Thus, all four states have standing to act.

The actions of Kagan and Ginsburg immediately raised the ire of the pro-family movement. In the months preceding the April 28 hearing of the case before the Court, numerous groups tried desperately to bring up the obvious need for their recusal.

But the legal team preparing to argue the case and the attorneys general for the four states involved all adamantly refused to take any action on it. On behalf of several groups, constitutional attorney Andy Schlafly even drew up a Motion for Recusal that the legal team or the attorneys general could use. But they all ignored it.

We recall speaking with a well-known legal writer connected to the case about it in March. He made it clear that they were all afraid – afraid of antagonizing the Justices, afraid of looking unprofessional, afraid of the backlash. When pressed, he gave contrived reasons why they shouldn’t even try it, and dropped the subject.

Finally, the day before the April 28 Supreme Court hearing, the Foundation for Moral Law filed its own Motion for Recusal of Ginsburg and Kagan which laid out the issue in detail. It was followed by another Motion for Recusal filed by pro-family activist Dr. Steven Hotze.

Procedurally, it’s practically unheard of for someone not officially connected with the case to file such a motion. And although apparently the documents were eventually processed, it’s not known whether the other Justices are even now fully aware of Kagan and Ginsburg’s actions.

The Court’s rules for filing a motion for a re-hearing

The Court’s “same-sex marriage” ruling was announced on June 26. There is a 25-day window for further action (ending on July 21), if our side choses to file.

In a situation where important facts were not brought up and a re-hearing of a case is merited, the Supreme Court provides a method for it. Rule 44 of the “Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States” reads:

Any petition for the rehearing of any judgment or decision of the Court on the merits shall be filed within 25 days after entry of the judgment or decision, unless the Court or a Justice shortens or extends the time.

… The petition shall be presented together with certification of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel) that it is presented in good faith and not for delay.

… A petition for rehear­ing is not subject to oral argument and will not be granted except by a majority of the Court, at the instance of a Justice who concurred in the judgment or decision.

A further discussion of Rule 44 can be found HERE. The main purpose of the rule is to bring up pertinent issues that the Court may not have considered in the case. It is not often utilized, and to our knowledge it has never been used for a recusal issue. But recusal is definitely a preeminent issue of this case.

Focus is on Ohio Attorney General to file for re-hearing

It immediately became clear in the four states involved with this case, though dominated by Republicans, the officials had little interest in pursuing this further, despite the gross injustice of the case and the general outrage among millions over it.

So a few days after the ruling, national pro-family activist Janet Porter called together a few dozen of the top pro-family groups and activists (including MassResistance) to get it started.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appeared to be the most obvious choice to file it. He can act without permission of the Governor, he has a pro-family background, and several members of Janet’s group know him personally and could likely meet with him. A former US Senator, DeWine lost his seat in 2007 after supporting some oppressive pro-gay legislation, angering his conservative base. He apparently got the message. It’s widely rumored that he’s preparing to run for Governor.

On May 1, Janet’s group contacted DeWine. At least one of them spoke to him by phone. The Foundation for Moral Law emailed him a letter outlining the situation in detail. Governor Mike Huckabee sent him an email urging him to file the appeal as did several others. We were told that Rick Santorum also called him.

Fight back against cowardliness – put on the pressure!

Unfortunately, DeWine has reacted initially with some hostility. Despite the universal outrage among his base about the “same-sex marriage” ruling, he seems most interested in distancing himself from any further confrontation. When asked about a possible re-hearing by the press, his spokesman bluntly told the Columbus Dispatch “We do not plan on filing a motion.” And he may have more personal concerns. We’ve been told that some key players in the GOP are homosexual, and he doesn’t want to ruffle any more feathers on this issue. He clearly needs to be more interested about what’s best for the country.

Everyone needs to get involved. Take five minutes.
PLEASE CONTACT DeWine’s office!
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine: 800-282-0515
Email: mary.mertz@ohioattorneygeneral.gov  (his assistant)

Tell him: “File the motion for a Supreme Court re-hearing!”
Let him know that if he capitulates on “gay marriage” he can expect your opposition in any political race he runs in again.

Please tweet this out on your Twitter account (copy and paste):
@OhioAG please file a Motion for Rehearing Obergefell v. Hodges immediately! #nullifySCOTUS http://hrefshare.com/8b3cd

Personal meeting with DeWine on Friday. On Friday, July 10, a group of Ohio activists is meeting with DeWine personally. We suspect that he will be read the riot act. Perhaps DeWine does not realize how much of an emotional issue this is to his conservative base. Perhaps he does not remember that in 2004 the Ohio Marriage Amendment passed by 62%, despite being vastly outspent by the other side. Does he want to be another Mike Pence (the Republican governor of Indiana who capitulated on the religious freedom bill, and likely will never get elected again)? We’re sure much of that will be brought up.

As bad as DeWine seems, it’s not looking too good in the other states. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan has issued an immediate statement of capitulation and full compliance, instructing state officials to amend the marriage license for use by county clerks. He’s also said he’ll veto any “religious freedom” legislation unless it includes adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state civil rights law. (And this is from our “friends”!)

We have until Tuesday, July 21. We’re also looking at a second try with officials in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Why is this important?

Given the super-charged political nature of this particular Supreme Court ruling and the general arrogance of the majority of the Court regarding their power to vastly re-define the Constitution, the likelihood of this ruling being reversed in a re-hearing is not great. But filing this motion for a re-hearing is still very important.

First, it will “officially” bring the issue of Kagan’s and Ginsburg’s failure to recuse themselves (in violation of federal law) into the public spotlight. Right now, it’s relatively buried in motions and various news articles.  And it will reinforce understanding of the overall illegal nature of this ruling.

Second, it spotlights the overall illegitimacy of today’s Supreme Court, its overtly un-Constitutional approach to shaping our laws, and its illegal power grabs far and beyond what was intended by the Founders.

Ultimately, this ruling – like the abortion ruling in 1973 and so many others – must be conscientiously ignored, dishonored, and violated by all good Americans. It starts with this.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of John Becker, 30, of Silver Spring, Md., waves a rainbow flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press.

Where is the Homeland for Christians?

With the rise of persecution, perhaps its time to call for a national homeland for Christians!

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When the Feds Demand Same-Sex Marriage, What Will Our Bishops and Pastors Do? [+video]

The New Totalitarians Are Here

Jonathan Cahn’s Warning on America’s Turning Away from God

On April 29, 2015, members of Congress, Christian leaders and people of faith joined together to honor President George Washington as a man of Christian faith in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. At this event Jonathan Cahn,  author of “The Harbinger“, spoke about what Washington stood for and how America has turned away from God.

As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Please watch this important lesson about America’s past with a warning to America and its leadership:

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UH-OH! Could A States’ Rights Battle Be Emerging?

This is a call for State governments to assert themselves. States Rights was/is a big issue in the South and the Southern Cross battle flag kind of stood for that.

Michael Patrick Leahy for Breitbart Writes:

A new Rasmussen Poll indicates that a growing number of Americans want state governments to tell the Supreme Court to get out of the business of rewriting laws and telling American citizens how to live their lives.

In a new poll, Rasmussen reported the percentage of Americans who want states to tell the Supreme Court it does not have the power to rewrite the Affordable Care Act or force sovereign states to authorize gay marriages has increased from 24 percent to 33 percent after last week’s Constitution-defying decisions by the court.

A closer look at the poll results indicates that popular sentiment for state defiance of the federal government extends beyond just the Supreme Court’s latest decisions.

“Only 20% [of likely voters] now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty,” the Rasmussen Poll finds. “Sixty percent (60 %) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead,” it adds.

“Take this regulation and shove it,” and “take this grant and shove it,” are two additional battle cries which appear to resonate with a growing popular sentiment, especially in “flyover country,” those 38 states outside the dozen in which President Obama won more than 56.2 percent of the vote in 2012.

(In descending order of support for Obama, those twelve states are: Hawaii, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maine. Arguably, three additional states where President Obama won between 54 percent and 56.2 percent of the vote in 2012 could be added to this list: Washington, Oregon, and Michigan.)

CONTINUE READING HERE:

Time for the States to Declare Independence From the Federal Government – Breitbart

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Allen West Republic.

The Media’s Rush to Judgement on the Supreme Court and “Gay Marriage”

NBC News cites a poll: “Majority Wants Supreme Court to OK Same sex Marriage.” Why the clamor to tell Supreme Court what to do? When has the majority ever been on the right side morally? Favor for such unions was strong among the young (73%) while opposition came from 68% conservatives or seniors opposed it. Notably absent was the “In-God-We-Trust” views of Christians. Why not poll them?

The media eagerly publish secularizing reports by scientists suggesting millions or billions of years for earth’s development, while they are silent on our Christian heritage and the #1 best-selling book of all times with its #1 personage who divided history into BC and AD.

Speaking of end-times, Christ said it would be “as the days of Lot” when destruction fell on the day Lot left Sodom. From the 1st and 2nd chapters of the Bible we see that God blessed the unions of male and female—He even performed the first wedding!

With the world in a crisis over many issues, this is not a good time for social experiment that goes against what our parents taught us. Can’t we see that our educational system is failing when it’s mostly the young who favor same-sex marriage while those who are older (and maybe know better) oppose it?

It’s time for Christians to weigh in on this issue. The National Day of Prayer is tomorrow. When Elijah prayed, judgment fell on Israel, and the nation turned back to God. God says He doesn’t change. What’s wrong with us? Can’t we turn the TV off and get serious about the alternate lifestyles of sin that TV encourages? Or is sin too bad a word to use for our secular society where everything else goes?

Tomorrow on our National Day of Prayer, why not tell God, Hey—we’re in a mess and unless you do something, we are lost. Please do whatever You see as needful—Thank You!

RELATED ARTICLE: Former Federal Judge Says: “U.S. Supreme Court Justices who Performed Same Sex Marriages Should Recuse or Be Impeached”

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling offers more information at his website, http://ChooseABetterDestiny.com and his book, Apocalypse 2015 is available here free until Saturday, May 9.

Why There’s No Right to Gay Marriage in 6 Short Video Clips

On Thursday night, Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, participated in a debate about gay marriage. The Heritage Foundation Video Team assembled some of the key moments and exchanges from that debate here.

What true marriage equality is:

There are good arguments on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate:

Ever feel like the only difference between the New York Times and Washington Post is the name? We do.

Try the Morning Bell and get the day’s most important news and commentary from a team committed to the truth in formats that respect your time…and your intelligence.

Giving equal dignity to gays and lesbians doesn’t require redefining marriage:

Why does it matter if there’s both gay marriage and straight marriage?

Talking about Mark Regnerus’ studies about children and same-sex marriage:

On plural marriages:

Watch the full debate:

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