Showing posts with label defending the Constitution from the tyranny of the majority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label defending the Constitution from the tyranny of the majority. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Race May Be Used As One Of Multiple Factors In College Admissions, SCOTUS Rules

...and to think, fellow conservatives pinned their hopes on getting rid of affirmative action on a mediocre student....
For the last several years, supporters of affirmative action have awoken every day justifiably fearing that the courts would bring race-conscious university admissions policies to a swift end. The 2006 appointment of Justice Samuel Alito gave conservatives a solid majority on the Supreme Court, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, the closest thing the Court has to a swing voter on issues of race, has not historically been sympathetic to affirmative action.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which the Supreme Court decided on Thursday, was the vehicle opponents of affirmative action chose in order to kill the programs. And, as this case proceeded through one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the country and then, to two separate trips to the Supreme Court, it looked likely that affirmative action was on its death bed. Worse, for defenders of race-conscious programs, Justice Elena Kagan was recused from Fisher, so Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death appeared unlikely to change the outcome in this case.

At yet, affirmative action will survive. As ThinkProgress quipped shortly after the second round of Supreme Court oral arguments in Fisher, Justice Kennedy spent the entirety of this litigation playing the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts from Rob Reiner’s classic film The Princess Bride. In that film, the Dread Pirate keeps a captive alive, telling him each night that “I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” Yet in the end, the pirate does not kill his captive, instead turning over his ship and his title to the new Dread Pirate.

As it was in the movies, so it was Thursday in the Supreme Court — sort of. Though Kennedy appeared likely to kill affirmative action at many turns throughout this case, he cast the key fourth vote to uphold it over the dissents of his three most conservative colleagues. But, while Fisher is a victory for affirmative action, it is only a partial one. Kennedy’s opinion makes it clear that universities have a high and ongoing burden if they want to maintain affirmative action programs. It could also potentially inspire a rash of harassment suits targeting these programs. (Think Progress)
Background: The plaintiff in this case, Abigail Fisher, had applied to the University of Texas back in 2008 and was denied admission, which - given the fact that, according to most news reports, she was a mediocre student at best - should've ended the case right there...unfortunately, Fisher, who is white, decided to sue the university system on the grounds of discrimination, arguing that Texas's admissions program was in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Now, Texas's admissions program for UT-Austin (a/k/a the University of Texas) is a two-step process...first, the university allows any student across the state of Texas who graduates in the Top 10% of their high school graduating class (the state's Top-10 rule) admission to the university irrespective of race. Afterward, any open positions remaining in each year's freshman class are filled according to UT-Austin's pre-Top 10 admissions policy, which - among other things - takes in race as one of several factors.

The crux of the case wasn't with the Top-10 part of the university's admissions policy but with the other part of it, where race does play a factor (the reason it doesn't in regards to the former is because that rule, as extablished by Texas law, applies across-the-board irrespective of race). Now, I have no problem with race being used as a factor in admissions so long as it doesn't go against the Court's Bakke decision, which is at present the gold standard for how race should be used as a factor (i.e. not as the prevailing factor in admissions but as one of multiple factors in the admissions process).

So, why was this case important? Had Fisher won here, it would've wreaked havoc on admissions policies across the country as supporters of the plaintiff here could've used it as a cudgel to hammer back at not only the Bakke decision but on the whole idea of equal protection under the law; in addition, as I intimated earlier, Abigail Fisher is no Allan Bakke; unlike Bakke, who was a stellar student by all accounts denied entry based on race, Fisher was, at best, a 3.5 GPA student who tried to get in simply because she was white and got into fit of pique over the fact that, in this case, the university rightfully did the correct thing and didn't admit her.

That said, the issue of whether race should be a factor in university admissions isn't over by any means; from what I've read, the plaintiffs' attorneys have said that they intend to seek out other students around the country affected by similar policies...all I can say here is - besides good luck - is that before you try to use the 14th Amdt. as a cudgel against these policies, pick a better student to attempt the effort with.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

House Democrats Stage Sit-In Over Gun Control Debate

Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere out in the hinterlands - or trying to stay out of this week's oppressive heat wave - you're probably aware of the on-going sit-in protest being staged by House Democrats over guns and gun control and all that....I'm of two minds here: On the one hand, given how sclerotic Congress can be most times, I honestly don't blame House Dems' for doing this; unlike their Senate counterparts, who at least got a vote (4 votes in fact, all of which failed), House rules effectively scotch this, so you can imagine how they're probably feeling.

On the other hand, whatever happened to due process rights? Last time I checked, one didn't lose their constitutional rights (including the right to purchase and keep firearms) except under limited circumstances...and given how error-ridden the Terror Watch & No-Fly Lists are said to be at present, there have to be due process protections here or its' a slippery slope down a path that no American wants to go.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Donald Trump Issues Veiled Threat Towards WaPo, Jeff Bezos Over Negative Coverage

....alright, Trumpiots, remind us again why he should be the 45th President of the United States?
Skip to 13:15 of the clip below. I’m going to guess that this interview was conducted after WaPo reached out to him for comment yesterday on their new story about “John Miller.”
Peter Suderman said everything that needs to be said about this. Nothing in the campaign to come will top Trump’s debate statement about issuing illegal orders to the military for sheer authoritarian creepiness — I hope. But a would-be president hinting that tax and antitrust problems might befall a company owned by a guy whose newspaper has been running stories he doesn’t like is up there with what he said about tightening libel laws for second place. To this day, you’ll see references from time to time on conservative blogs to a joke Obama told early in his presidency about getting the IRS to audit his political enemies. That joke lost its humor after we found out who Lois Lerner is; it’s used today as evidence that Obama’s mind always held a seed of thuggishness that grew and flowered in his second term. Now here’s Trump implying the same thing, without the humor. Had O said this about some right-wing media mogul whose publication had been critical of him, conservative media would be in a frenzy over “gangster government” trying to intimidate its critics into silence. Because it’s Trump, most righty media won’t care. If nothing else, that’s at least true to the revanchist spirit of Trump’s nationalist movement. If the left’s going to abuse government to intimidate its political enemies, why shouldn’t we? “Small government” is for chumps. This is war.
Meanwhile, enjoy Donald Trump, of all people, slamming a billionaire for using his tremendous influence over the media to advance his own political interests. Is that his real beef with Bezos? That Bezos had to pay to gain the power to shape media coverage that Trump, the expert showman, has enjoyed for free for the past year? Bezos paid $250 million for one paper; Trump’s wrung $2 billion in gratis promotion out of the full spectrum of television media over the past 11 months alone. (Go figure that WaPo, with a forthcoming book on Trump, wants to monetize public interest in him the way every other media outlet in America does.) Maybe what you’re seeing here on some level is a master manipulator’s disdain for an amateur.
Fitting that it happened on Hannity’s show, too. You’ll notice that the host, a long-professed enemy of big government and scourge of Obama’s abuses, doesn’t utter a peep as President Trump puts Bezos on notice. In hindsight, what percentage of “conservative” complaints about policy and statism during the tea-party era were really just wallpaper for the cultural resentments unleashed by Trump? Ninety? (Hot Air)
 Long story short: a few months back, Donald Trump - back when there was viable GOP opposition to the Narcissistic-in-Chief - opined that we should open up the libel laws so that he could sue anyone who wrote anything negative about him. Now, anyone with a modicum of common sense - which wouldn't include Trumpiots, by the way - knows that Trump's peddling bullshit of the rankest order, but hey, if it deflects attention from him, why not?

Anyway, fast forward to this week, when the Washington Post - owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos - published a front-page article alleging that Trump once masqueraded as a PR flack named John Miller back in the early 90's...cue the faux outrage from Trump and his media ass-kissers at Fox News over it and you can imagine where this one's gonna' go, especially after the Washington Post rightfully defended itself over the "Donald Trump is PR flack John Miller" article.

Here's the problem for Trump: under most libel law standards, Donald Trump would have a very hard time getting a libel suit to succeed against WaPo because Trump is a public celebrity and under most interpretations of libel law, anyone in the public sphere cannot sue for libel unless whatever is written about them is a deliberate falsehood, which by most accounts the WaPo article doesn't meet (in other words, its' a legit article). However, it offers, as the Boston Globe points out, a glimpse into what a Trump presidency would look like...hint: its' authoritarian, to say the least.

Indeed, as the Globe piece points out, Trump has long hinted at going after Bezos for his ownership of the Washington Post, alleging that Bezos is using the paper as a political tool to attack Trump...well, here's a newsflash, Mr. Trump: in a free society, that's one of the roles the media is supposed to play, the role of a watchdog over our political chattering classes. In most cases, they do a pretty good job (albeit w/a liberal bias most days). His threat agst Bezos - namely using the DOJ's anti-trust division to go after him - goes well beyond authoritarian because it also serves as an act of intimidation against both WaPo and other major newspapers of note, a way of saying, "if we can after them, we can come after you".

At best, this should be - like his not wanting to release his tax records - an automatic disqualifier for President....at worst, it is yet another example of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Conservative Writer Pens Anti-Trump Statement

.....I've never read any of writer Brad Thor's novels, but after reading this, I might just begin to. Quoting from Thor's FB page in full (because trying to boil it down into small parts wouldn't do it justice)...
Dear friends: I have taken a stance, which I know is unpopular with some of you, and which I feel I owe it to you to fully explain.
Throughout history, charismatic figures have appeared at critical moments in time. Some of these figures have advanced their nations. Some have set them back. Only with the benefit of hindsight is mankind able to make the final judgment.
I have long been a fan of the saying - History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. In other words, history leaves clues; lessons that we can all benefit from.
We are stewards of our Republic and as such, our greatest responsibility is not to ourselves, or any political party, but to the next generation of Americans. We must work tirelessly to see to it that they inherit a freer, stronger, safer, more prosperous nation than was handed to us.
To truly fulfill that obligation we must be selfless, and above all, we must be informed. We must understand the mechanics of politics, economics, and the framework that has allowed the United States to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.
As an American, my greatest allegiance is to liberty. As long as there is liberty, no task is insurmountable, no challenge too overwhelming. As long as there is liberty, anything is possible.
The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.
Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly - to learn from. At great personal and professional expense, I have grown more vocal over the years about the need to reduce the size of government and place in office fellow citizens guided strictly by the Founding documents.
I have spoken on television, radio, and in front of civic organizations. I have campaigned for candidates, marched in Tea Party rallies, and was the man who drove Andrew Breitbart to Madison, Wisconsin to speak alongside him on the capitol steps in defense of Governor Scott Walker. From taking back the United States House in 2010, to taking back the Senate in 2014, we have won battle after battle for liberty. In so doing, we have placed principled, limited government Americans in office. We knew the war wouldn’t be won overnight, but rather that it would be won over time. We have been steadfast, resolute, and successful.
But in the opinion of some of our fellow Americans, we have not been quick enough. Rather than continue to fight, a plurality of voters in the Republican primary has decided to drop an atom bomb on Washington, D.C. That atom bomb is Donald Trump.
And so I come to my explanation. When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails - completely. In fact, he has not only failed to ever stand for liberty, he has repeatedly worked to undermine it. From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) - throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.
Regardless of what he says now, Donald Trump has a history. That history is the clearest indication of how he would govern as president. No matter how badly Americans want to “blow up” Washington, they absolutely must consider who, and what, arises from the embers of that destruction.
After voters drop that atom bomb, what happens next? Herein lies my greatest concern. What will become of liberty under a Trump administration? Will it grow? Will it recede? Will it vanish altogether?
Our Founders realized that the normal course of history is despotism – the control of the many by the few. That is why the Founding documents sought to constrain government. They also counted on Americans to choose wisely those whom we sought to install in office. Too often we have failed in selecting the best among us.
Donald Trump is not the best among us, nor is Hillary Clinton. They are both incredibly flawed human beings whom we should be equally ashamed of. Neither would advance the cause of freedom. Both would take us – not to that shining city on a hill of which President Regan spoke - but into the murky valley below. Never have I seen America faced with having two such poor choices for president.
With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism. In Hillary Clinton, I also see multiple character flaws, but I see them as a belonging not to a potential despot, but rather to a conniving, self-serving, progressive politician who believes in lining her own pockets and enlarging/increasing the state and its power.
The two are reprehensible – but completely different. One threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it. Growing up, a wonderful nun repeatedly told me that kindness could only be expected from the strong. When Donald Trump mocked the disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski – he showed himself to be not only weak, but also lacking in compassion.
Trump’s position that he is a Christian, but has never asked for forgiveness – coupled with his incessant bragging – not only further shows that he is weak, but that he also lacks humility. Strength, compassion, and humility are necessary in any leader – but especially so in the person who would occupy the highest and most powerful office in the world. Just look at what the absence of those qualities has done over the last seven years. 
My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he possesses – in spades. Authoritarianism. Confident people do not bully and demean others. That is the realm of the weak and insecure. Confident people also do not threaten others, especially not their fellow citizens.
Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.
In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty. In fact, Donald Trump has never even spoken about liberty. Neither has he spoken about the Constitution and the Founding documents. This is an absolute first in the history of the United States. Instead, Donald Trump talks about hiring the “best people” and making the “best deals.” This, though, isn’t what made America great, and it certainly isn’t what will return America to its prominence.
The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers – limited, Constitutional governance – an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.
Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future. But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.
As a Constitutional conservative, I take solace in, and guidance from the words of Alexander Hamilton, who in the election of 1800 said, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”
I value all of you as friends, readers, and fellow patriots. There is much at stake for our Republic. Be informed, be selfless, and vote your conscience. I will not hold your decisions against you.
None of us knows the future. But I ask that all of us look to the past. Only by doing so can we safeguard liberty and chart the most well-reasoned course forward. (Brad Thor, 10 May 2016)
...all I can say here is, "Well said, sir...well said indeed."

Monday, March 21, 2016

John Banzhaf Is An Idiot

Past "...Is An Idiot Winners".....
Joining the above is George Washington School of Law Professor John Banzhaf, who, for some strange reason, thinks that we should sue all the anti-Trump protesters rather than simply arrest them whenever they disrupt a Trump rally. Now, besides being one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard for how to deal with civil disobedience, it also smacks of a broad-brushed chilling effect on the whole idea of civil disobedience in the first place....and what is a "chilling effect", you might ask? This:
In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction. The right that is most often described as being suppressed by a chilling effect is the US constitutional right to free speech. A chilling effect may be caused by legal actions such as the passing of a law, the decision of a court, or the threat of a lawsuit; any legal action that would cause people to hesitate to exercise a legitimate right (freedom of speech or otherwise) for fear of legal repercussions. When that fear is brought about by the threat of a libel lawsuit, it is called libel chill. A lawsuit initiated specifically for the purpose of creating a chilling effect may be called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or more commonly called; a "SLAPP suit." (Wikipedia)
Now, think about that above...and then wrap this bit of Banzhafian logic around your dome....
Suing protesters - "Suing the Bastards" - may be the most effective way to help deter illegal protests, says Banzhaf, noting that slap-on-the-wrist criminal fines usually aren't very effective, especially since it sometimes also helps give illegal protesters a soap box to air their grievances in criminal trials. (PRLog)
....
Only 3 arrests, with slap-on-the-risk fines, for creating a 10-mile backup in Arizona Saturday is likely to encourage, rather than discourage, more Anti Trump Protesters – like so many similar cause-driven students on campus – to engage in criminal acts inconveniencing if not endangering others, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has a more effective remedy.
Banzhaf, who popularized the “Sue the Bastards” slogan, and helped obtain law suits against those who illegally blocked traffic at NYC’s George Washington Bridge, now suggests “Sue the Disruptors.” He says that citizens stepping up to protect their own rights – even if only in small claims court if necessary – by bringing civil torts actions against illegal disruptors is a far more effective way of discouraging these criminal conspiracies than the criminal law itself. (Value Walk)
Those are chilling effects above in that it would deter most all acts of civil disobedience from occurring for fear of lawsuits (the SLAPP effect there) and give those in power even more of a reason to sometimes act like absolute jerks; I mean, if you could sue your political opponents or those merely critical of you, wouldn't you do that? Now, to be fair, Banzhaf cites the Sea Shepherd lawsuits, where they were fined over $2.5 million for illegally disrupting Japanese whaling efforts....there's just one problem there: setting aside the whaling part, those acts occurred in international waters where the laws can downright murky; what Banzhaf is proposing involving all-but-stamping down on the free speech rights of Americans....even those who commit acts of civil (or sometimes, uncivil) disobedience.

For instance, under the Banzhaf Doctrine here, people across the South could've easily sue MLK and other civil rights leaders for disrupting their rights and according to Banzhaf, they would've been in the right. Now how fucked up is that bit of logic? Banzhaf's kind of thinking, if carried out to its' logical - and scary - conclusion, could easily lead to a culture of fear and self-censorship as people, worried about being sued over acts of civil disobedience, begin drawing themselves inward rather than going outward into the world.

That, frankly, is not a world we should live in; I, for one, would rather see a world like this, with people free to speak their mind & engage in acts of civil disobedience....
...than one with idiots like him...
....pushing lawsuits that would forever chill free speech rights in this great republic of ours...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Vox Rebuttal: Gun Control Propaganda Debunked

Quoting: A thorough debunking of the propaganda presented by Vox in their video on gun control and "mass shootings" in the U.S.

....once again, Steven Crowder knocks it out of the park.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump On Protester: "I'd Really Like To Punch Him In The Face"

You know, the more I read this, the more unkind thoughts that come to mind here....
Las Vegas (CNN) - Donald Trump unleashed tough rhetoric against his rivals as well as a protester at a Monday night rally, the eve before the Nevada caucuses.
"I'd like to punch him in the face," Trump said, remarking that a man disrupting his rally was escorted out with a smile on his face. "He's smiling, having a good time."
The GOP front-runner also ratcheted up his attacks on Sen. Ted Cruz, calling his Republican presidential rival "sick." (CNN)
....with all due respect, Mr. Trump, fuck you and fuck your supporters very much. #NeverTrump

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

As Easy As Pie...


.....two thoughts here: (1)with all due respect, I already have an ID card, Mr. President; its' called the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution...and (2)sir, you can take your Chicago-style gun control and shove it up your Chicago-style ass!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ted Cruz Knocks Down A Dreamer...

....quoting RedStateYesterday the DNC sent a plant to a Ted Cruz campaign event in Storm Lake, Iowa. The woman, Ofelia Valdez, is an illegal immigrant who is here under Obama’s DACA program. She asked, in a quavering voice, what was clearly intended to be a gotcha question of Cruz that was designed to make him look bad. I think Cruz knocked his response out of the park:

Valdez: As a DACA holder myself, I worried about whoever comes next to the presidency and what’s going to happen to people like us. . . I think of myself as part of this community and you know, first day of presidency, you decide to deport, you know, people like myself, you know, it’s just very difficult to process. 
Cruz: Well listen, I would note, if you’re a DACA recipient, that means that you were brought here illegally, and violating the laws has consequences. And one of  the problems with our broken immigration systems is that it is creating human tragedies. . . but I can tell you what the law is in every country on earth. If I illegally emigrate to England, or Germany, or France, or China, or Mexico and they catch me, they will deport me. That’s what every country on earth does. And there’s no reason that America’s laws should have less respect than the laws of every other country on earth. We should welcome people who come following the laws but there are consequences for breaking the law. And that is part of what makes America the nation that we are. 
....as much as I don't care for Senator Cruz at times, I'll be damned if I don't agree with the man on this one; laws have consequences and we should not reward those who violate the country's immigration laws, even if they were brought here as children.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Should The Senate Block President Obama's Next Supreme Court Justice?

The answer to this question should be an emphatic yes....why?
  1. There's ample precedent for Republicans to do this; it has been eight decades since a Court vacancy has been filled in a presidential year (and no, Anthony Kennedy's confirmation does not count as he was nominated in 1987, not 1988) and on multiple occasions the Senate has seen fit to deny presidents of both sides the chance to nominate a successor
  2. Let the people decide. While Democrats will bleat and moan about the Senate not upholding the Constitution's Advise & Consent clause, the simple fact remains that the American people are in the process of choosing who their respective nominees for President should be (and subsequently, who the next President will be). In this instance, the American people should get the final voice on who Antonin Scalia's successor should be, not a lame-duck president who's going to be gone in a year or so
  3. The hypocrisy of Senate Democrats gives Senate Republicans ample reason to block Obama's next appointment. Don't believe me? Just ask Chuck Schumer & Harry Reid what their views were back in 2007 during the last 18 months of the Bush-43 administration; if it was good enough then, why is it not good enough now?
  4. Elections have consequences. Remember Barack Obama's infamous words back in 2009? Well, while the president has won two elections (2008 & 2012), Republicans won two elections as well (the 2010 & 2014 mid-terms) and in 2014, the voters spoke clearly, sweeping nine Democrats out of the Senate and giving Republicans a majority for 2015; on top of that, they gave House Republicans their largest majority since the late 1920's. Indeed, elections...have....consequences.
  5. Why give Obama another opportunity to demonstrate hyper-partisanship and flout the Constitution? Someone should really remind the President that back in 2006, he filibustered the nomination of Justice Samuel Alito, demanding a 60-vote threshold for the justice's confirmation; at the very least, Senate Republicans should remind him at every opportunity. In addition, they should also use the occasion to remind Americans of how the president has flouted the Constitution at every available opportunity, using his pen to get around Congress in areas such as war, immigration, the environment and so forth, regarding the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue as nothing more than a speedbump to his 'fundamental transformation' of America that he promised back in 2008; since he paid little heed to Congress, why should Congress let him get the next nomination?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why We're Losing Liberty

Quoting: Was the Constitution written in a way that was designed to protect freedom and limit the government's size? Has it been effective in doing that? And what's the Supreme Court's record when it comes to protecting our rights? Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, answers these questions and more.

This may sound weird, but in most ways I agree with Professor George...but, there are two points that I think the good professor forgets: (1)the Bill of Rights were meant to compliment the Constitution by extending its' protections to the people and (2)that sometimes the judiciary must step into the proverbial breach whenever either - or both - of the other branches of government overstep their bounds, whether it be at the federal lever or at the state level.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Why The Recent Obama Immigration Defeat Is A Big Deal

A few days ago, the Obama Administration was handed a defeat in its' efforts to provide amnesty to several million illegal immigrants (a/k/a "the Dreamers") via executive order instead of through the constitutionally-required manner of legislative action...now, despite the media's spin, this was a huge victory for the rule of law, so says Hans von Spakovsky over at the Heritage Foundation's The Daily Signal.

How, you might ask? Quoting...
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed the Obama administration a huge defeat this week.
It denied the government’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of President Obama’s immigration amnesty program. This is not a decision on the merits of the lawsuit filed against the administration by the 26 states. But it certainly does not bode well for the administration’s case since in today’s 2-1 decision, the 5th Circuit concluded that “the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal of the injunction.”
The panel also denied the government’s request to narrow the nationwide scope of the injunction so that it only applied to Texas and the other states in the lawsuit.
The court concluded that “partial implementation of [the president’s program] would undermine the constitutional imperative of ‘a uniform Rule of Naturalization’” contained in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, as well as “Congress’s instruction that ‘the immigration laws of the United States should be enforced vigorously and uniformly’” that is outlined in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. (The Daily Signal)
That one line above - "a uniform Rule of Naturalization" - is the key here: one of the bulwarks of the American system of jurisprudence and rule of law is that the law should apply to everyone equally and that there should be no favorites played here; to quote Michael Connelly's Det. Harry Bosch, "Everyone counts or nobody counts."

The problem w/Obama's executive actions (both the 2012 and 2014 actions) in question are that they subvert the very rule of law he purports to uphold in that they play favorites; they allow those who are here illegally to effectively skip past all other immigrants here in the U.S. who has played by the rules and are here legally; all the 3-judge panel's decision did - besides putting a halt to Obama's amnesties - is that it will give them a full hearing before the 5th Circuit and given how the panel ruled, it wouldn't surprise me if the Circuit Court puts a stop to Obama's executive orders, giving a victory once more for the rule of law in this country.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College

Quoting Prager University: Right now, there's a well-organized, below-the-radar effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless. It's called the National Popular Vote, and it would turn our presidential elections into a majority-rule affair. Would this be good or bad? Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross explains.

As flawed as the Electoral College can be at times, the Founding Fathers' so feared mob rule (the "tyranny of the majority") that they put in place the system we know as the Electoral College to ensure that, at the end of the day, the broadest possible coalition a candidate could achieve would win the day rather than a brute majority, which as history has tragically shown at times, can be at best a fickle bigot and at worst a recipe for oppression and tyranny in its' own right.

What makes the Electoral College an effective system for electing Presidents? Well, there's a couple of reasons. For starters, it prevents urban areas from completely dominating U.S. elections, which national popular vote schemes such as the National Popular Vote would institute, not by amending the Constitution as the Founders' intended but via' legalistic end-runs between states. It also preserves the federal nature of the country in that the United States is a union of states where each state's opinion matters just as much as the next state's opinion; it also protects the historic role that the states have had in federal elections in that candidates have to pay attention to the states 'lest they risk losing that state's electoral votes. If there's one thing that the Electoral College does, though, it encourages the stability of the two-party system here in the U.S. and protects the office of the president through turbulent times when regional interests may dominate for a period of time; neither of those things are present in multi-party systems, even in the most stable of those such as in Canada and the United Kingdom.