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Climate Change Conservatism Economy Judges Justice Supreme Court Truth

Breakdown: The World Is Measurably Better Since January 2017

Rod Thomson

The largely unreported and to some ironic reality of the past two years is that the world overall is a better, safer, more prosperous place since the swearing in of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016. Better than it was under Barack Obama and better than it was under George W. Bush.

Despite the nonstop onslaught of negative reporting on Trump — 90 percent according to the Media Research Center (there’s been 10 percent positive?) — and the breathless reporting on the government shutdown, the latest Robert Mueller leak or arrest, the Kavanaugh hearing fiasco, fake news such as BuzzFeed’s flat wrong non-story on Trump telling Michael Cohen to lie, the disgusting anti-Christian bigotry associated with the MAG-hat Covington Catholic High School students and so on ad infinitum — Trump’s approval ratings remain right in the range they were when he took office, and ticking upward.

That suggests that the relentlessly anti-Trump, Democratic partisan media is washed out by what his actual policies have so clearly accomplished.

But it also suggests that a lot of Americans — probably more than are reflected in polls, and at least some who support Trump — simply do not feel safe saying to anyone that they realize how much better off the country and the world are. It wasn’t supposed to happen. But the media not reporting something does not mean it didn’t happen.

So here are some of the major areas where the world is demonstrably better off since January 2016:

→ First, the economy, duh! 304,000 jobs in January, blowing out all of the predictions. Manufacturing has burst back in the U.S. when President Obama said those jobs would never return. (Man, that guy was wrong a lot.) GDP growth 50 percent higher than it had been under Obama, even though the recovery is now long in the tooth. This has led to a growing consensus among non-political economists that what has driven the economic renaissance has been tax cuts, massive deregulation, stronger trade policy, tax breaks to lure back offshore capital, and a dramatic rise in oil and natural gas production.

→ The entire federal court system will be far more conservative and constitutional for a generation as Trump’s judicial nominees have been uniformly originalists and conservative…and young. This means that there should be fewer overtly political rulings in which the law and constitution are bent to judges’ political views like a reed in the wind, and more solid rules for governing and living.

→ The dishonest and duplicitous media has been unmasked for the partisans they are. This was unintended, of course, but Americans are better off knowing this (something I have known for many, many years as a former member of the mainstream media.) The media’s vicious partisanship has been widely self-exposed for Americans to see, although many members of the media themselves seem to remain in denial. The vast majority of Americans do not.

China’s systemic cheating on trade agreements and thieving of intellectual properties has been called out and responded to forcefully. Since Trump’s inauguration, an accepted consensus has emerged that China’s actions pose a commercial threat to world trade, to its geographic neighbors and to the security of the United States. Ultimately, we will end up with better, more fair trade that will absolutely benefit American companies and workers, but also will benefit most of the rest of the world, which will be more empowered to demand better, more fair agreements for their companies and workers.

→ Pulling out of the terrorist-enabling Iran nuclear agreement did not result in the end of the world, In fact, the world basically yawned past the regular hyperbolic media coverage. Further, most of the sanctions have been reinstated, including by our European friends, when the media Democrats assured us they could not be. Iran is feeling the pinch. Leashing up the murderous Mullah’s financially makes the world that much safer.

→Similarly, when the U.S. walked away from the essentially worthless, symbolic Paris Climate Accords, the world did not warm and seas did not rise. Actually, the U.S. continues to be a leader in reduction of carbon emissions, largely through the voluntary, innovative private sector.

→ The U.S. showed its promise-keeping resolve for the first time when Trump directed the U.S. embassy in Israel to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — just like Obama, Bush and Bill Clinton had promised to do before him, but never did. The hyperventilating over lighting the Middle East tinderbox never materialized. The normal amount of Muslim terrorism and Israeli military response ensued afterwards as before.

Black Americans are enjoying an employment resurgence like that not seen since before the disastrous implementing of the Great Society. While overall U.S. unemployment hit a 50-year low in Trump’s second year, joblessness among black Americans has set a modern record as well. Black employment has risen about 1.3 million under Trump to hit a record 19.3 million in October. Now this clearly started before Trump, but that it accelerated this long into a recovery is fairly remarkable.

Russian aggression against Ukraine and other small neighbors has been held in check as the U.S. has sent arms and supplies to the Ukraine and stiffened the response to Russian belligerence. The tough talk had already been backed by missile attacks against Russian mercenaries in Syria and Russian-backed Syrian allies. Using the big stick once or twice means carrying it around becomes a deterrent — not a joke as with the previous president. The crossing of any red line is obviously not going to be acceptable and Russia knows that.

→ Trump’s forceful efforts to denuclearize North Korea resulted in a one-one-one summit with President Kim, and second one coming up. It started with tough talk, followed by the movement of U.S. naval and air power off the coast. It’s ended so far with the self-destruction of some of North Korea’s nuclear facilities and no more of the missile tests that had become common under Obama.

→ Most of our European allies in NATO have been weak and sometimes duplicitous on defense, refusing to live up to their promise on minimal military expenditures to help defend themselves from Russia. Trump again talked tough. Considering he had pulled out of the Paris climate accords and the Iran agreement, European leaders worry he could follow through on NATO threats. They have accordingly increased their defense spending by a combined $100 billion now so far — strengthening free countries against tyranny.

ISIS decapitated.

There are plenty more. But this hits the highlights. By all the evidence, it is unarguable, even by the Orange Man Bad crowd, that the world is better off now than two years ago.

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Kavanaugh Supreme Court Truth

Maybe Democrats Won On Brett Kavanaugh After All

Rod Thomson

New U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been exactly what many of us who preferred other potential high court nominees, such as Amy Coney Barrett, thought he would be — avoiding controversy and hewing too closely to stare decisis, making legal decisions based on previous legal rulings rather than the wording of the law.

And it’s possible that the dirtiest, meanest, most reprehensible of all confirmation hearings may have made him even more hesitant to take on the most controversial issues of our time — particularly the kingpin of them all: abortion.

This was revealed again Monday when the Supreme Court declined to accept two lower-court rulings that blocked states from cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood — what seems like an eminently states’ rights issue. In that decision, Kavanaugh joined one moderate justice and all of the Court’s liberal justices in letting the lower court ruling stand.

It kind of makes a farce of all the shrill hysteria about how Kavanaugh was going to return women to back-alley, coat-hanger abortions. Of course, the whole hearing and surrounding leftist circus was a sham from beginning to bitter end — including threats to try to impeach Kavanaugh.

The Washington Post reported:

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not join the court’s three most conservative members in calling to accept the cases. Justice Clarence Thomas rebuked his colleagues for what he said was a dodge, attributing it to their aversion to taking up the issue of abortion that lurked in the case.

“Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty,” Thomas wrote. “If anything, neutrally applying the law is all the more important when political issues are in the background.”

Thomas’s dissent from the court’s decision to pass on the case revealed a split among the court’s five conservatives: Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Neil Gorsuch signed on to the statement. Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. did not.

Four justices are required to vote in favor of accepting a case. So essentially, Kavanaugh was the deciding vote, and he went with moderate Roberts and the liberals on the court.

So much hysteria in September. So little need.

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Louisiana and Kansas announced plans to end funding for Planned Parenthood through Medicaid after an anti-abortion group released videos in 2015 that revealed Planned Parenthood executives laughingly discussing the sale of baby parts. Both were challenged in Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast and Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

The two cases raise the issue of whether individuals receiving Medicaid — which is dispensed through each state — have a right to challenge a state’s decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Five lower courts said the recipients of Medicaid do, while one said they do not.

Typically when there is a split at the appeals court level, the Supreme Court will take the case to make the final ruling. Justice Clarence Thomas was clearly frustrated when he wrote his dissent on the decision.

“What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood,” he wrote. “It is true that these particular cases arose after several states alleged that Planned Parenthood affiliates had, among other things, engaged in ‘the illegal sale of fetal organs’ and ‘fraudulent billing practices,’ and thus removed Planned Parenthood as a state Medicaid provider.”

But Thomas went on to explain this was not an abortion issue. At stake are the rights of individuals under a major federal law.

“…these cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act. Resolving the question presented here would not even affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to challenge the states’ decisions.”

Still, Roberts and Kavanaugh ducked it. There will be more opportunities. But the trendline is not good.

If the Democrats takeaway is that even when they cannot stop a nominee they can scar the person into less conservative action, nominations will become even worse — if possible.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Judges Supreme Court Truth

New Supreme Court Session Shows Need For Legislative Override

By Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

With the advent of October, comes the start of the Supreme Court’s session. As the Court enters the session with only eight members, there is no tiebreaker. If there is an equal vote, then the lower court’s decision will stand.

And there is no shortage of cases awaiting it.

Weyerhauser Co. v. US Fish and Wildlife questions the Endangered Species Act and the owner’s right to challenge the designation of private land as critical habitat. In Madison v. Alabama, the court is asked whether the Eighth Amendment allows for a state to execute a prisoner who can’t remember his or her capital offense because of mental disability. And Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, asks whether the ruling in Williamson County Regional Commission v. Hamilton Bank requiring that property owners exhaust state court remedies prior to being reviewed in federal court should be overturned.

Overall, there are 20 cases slated for consideration in the October docket. Many of these cases will have a big impact on our rights, our liberties, and upon the future interpretation of our Constitution and statutes.

While most of us enter this latest Supreme Court session with thoughts of the impending judicial nomination, the circus it has become, and the impact these proceedings will have on the Court’s future, the greater question remains unaddressed; namely the role of the Court and the checking of its power.  

In a discussion with Judge Gregory Maggs hosted by the Supreme Court Fellows Program, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke of his conscious effort at checking his own ability to influence the future interpretation of the Constitution by reminding himself that it was someone else’s Constitution he was writing on. Christopher Scalia, the late-Justice Antonin Scalia’s son, related his father’s concerns of how much of what the modern Court does rightfully belongs in the legislature. And Sen. Ben Sasse echoed the sentiment in between circus performances at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Hearing last week.

Once again we enter a Supreme Court session under the effects of the Court’s power grab in Marbury v. Madison. Indeed, Justice John Marshall’s determination that it was up to the Supreme Court to decide what was constitutional and what was not is at odds with the views of many of the Framers.

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George Washington, in his Farewell Address, warned of the importance of changing the Constitution through the amendment process and not by usurpation as the latter was the “the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” And Thomas Jefferson (who was not a Framer of the Constitution) warned that allowing judges to be the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions “would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy,” and cautioned that such an arrangement would have never been accepted by the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  

So, we enter another session with the balance of power skewed in the direction of the judiciary. To a great extent, every law passed by Congress is essentially a trial balloon floated to see if it passes muster before a board of appointed reviewers. Literally, the nature of our liberties hangs at the unchecked hands of the Court, which in today’s environment is able to overturn practically any rule, statute, ordinance, or law at its whim, and when it does so on constitutional grounds, there is nothing the other branches can do about it other than capitulate.

Such a power is at the very least disconcerting and inconsistent with a government that is designed under the construct calling for a balance of powers between three co-equal branches of government.  

And once again, we are faced with the question of what to do about it. Yes, one answer is to get better judges. But hiring great people to work within a certain branch of government is not a check on that branch’s power. The real solution is to create an external impediment on the branch. In this case, it is a step that should have been implemented in the nineteenth century in direct response to Marshall’s opinion.  

The most logical correction is a legislative override amendment.

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Under this provision, a supermajority of the legislature would be able to override an opinion of the Court and keep a statute operational. The override provision has been adopted by Canada, Israel, the European Union, and Australia, among others, and it is one proposed by Madison himself to Thomas Jefferson when the latter penned a draft of the Virginia Constitution.

In a nutshell, once the Court issues an opinion, Congress would have four years to override it through a supermajority vote of about 60%. In such instances, the law would remain operational despite the opinion of the Court. At the very least, such a provision would have a chilling effect on activist judges. It would send legislation back to Congress for consideration and debate, and it would allow a ruling inconsistent with the will of the vast majority of the American people to be nullified.

If there is one thing the Kavanaugh nomination proceedings teach us is that the Supreme Court is as political a body as any other. Knowing this, then why ought it be given full reign on the interpretation of the nation’s governing document?  

The question we must be asking ourselves is, to whom does the Constitution belong?

If the Constitution of the United States belongs to the Supreme Court, then we have no right as citizens to tinker with the Court’s opinion on the document’s interpretation. But if the Constitution belongs to we the people, which I believe it does, then we must demand an instrument by which we may overrule the opinions of errant judiciary, i.e. a legislative override.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Courts Kavanaugh Supreme Court Truth

Republicans Need To Grow A Spine In Kavanaugh Confirmation

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold hearings regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Monday, very late and suspiciously timed by Sen. Diane Feinstein after she had the letter for eight weeks.  Judge Kavanaugh is eager to answer the allegations and speak to their falsities. 
 
Now, in a not-so-unexpected twist, the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, through her attorney, has communicated to the Judiciary Committee that she will not appear unless an independent FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh is undertaken.  
 
Blasey’s request is complete and utter nonsense.  

First, there is no crime for the FBI to criminally investigate as the statute of limitations has long run out. Second, the FBI has already conducted its investigation of Judge Kavanaugh in support of the hearings. For the FBI to go back and investigate this allegation is a wasteful exercise in futility, particularly in light of there being no prospects for criminal sanctions.  

Third, Blasey is coming forward, as a citizen, with information she feels is necessary for the Committee to consider. As such, it is up to the Committee to consider her testimony, at its discretion, based on the credibility and relevance of the information cited. It is certainly not up to Blasey to dictate the terms by which the Committee reviews her information. Once she provides her information, the Committee would then act in whatever manner it felt appropriate.
 
Fortunately, thus far, Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has reassured the public and Blasey that the Committee will hold a hearing to consider her testimony on Monday, September 24; a hearing to be held publicly or privately, however Blasey likes. Chair Grassley should not deviate from that position. 

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At this point three things are becoming increasingly evident. First, the charges Blasey is bringing against Judge Kavanaugh are looking like a sham designed only to disrupt the progression of the confirmation process; a process that appears to be otherwise unavoidable. Second, the Democrats are demonstrating their desperation in their quest to delay the confirmation of a perfectly qualified candidate for the Supreme Court. And third, this is yet another example of the gross disregard the Democrats will demonstrate to the sanctity of the law and the Republic if they ever regain power.  
 
The time has come for the Republicans to stick to their guns and demand adherence to procedure and decorum. First, the Committee must continue with its plans to have Blasey testify on Monday.  If Blasey does not do so, then the Senate must immediately move for a vote on confirmation on Tuesday. Adhering to this plan will result in the confirmation of a conservative judge to the Supreme Court in time for the upcoming judicial session. More importantly, moving in this manner will help preserve what little respect there remains for the institutions that make up our Republic; institutions that today’s Democrats are all too eager to destroy for their own political gain.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Democrats Leftists Supreme Court Truth

Democrats Blow Up Future Confirmations, #MeToo Is Collateral Damage

Rod Thomson

The current strategy being employed by Democrats to stop President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has already probably damaged the #MeToo movement.

But worse, if successful the strategy will make future Supreme Court confirmations nastier and uglier and turn them into brief, brute force actions by the party in power. The merit of the candidate will become irrelevant.

The #MeToo movement at one point had so much potential to return male-female relationships to a safer, more responsible, less promiscuous condition than what has been trending since the 1960s. That has probably been lost now by Democrat’s use of a tactic that almost worked with Anita Hill’s unfounded 1991 accusations in the “high-tech lynching” attempt against Justice Clarence Thomas.

These are big prices to pay to try to stop the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President’s Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. This is particularly true because the allegations are deeply suspicious — almost unbelievable. Here’s why:

The source is transparently partisan. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is highly partisan, opposed to Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Court and the subject of her own scandals. She is caught up in her own China-gate controversy as apparently a long-time staffer close to her was a Chinese spy for decades, during which time she and her husband made millions of dollars through Chinese investments. She’s also lied about gun background checks and school shootings and so much more. So she lies for political advantage.

The timing is transparently political. Even though the accusations were given to Feinstein in July, and she spent hours publicly and privately grilling Kavanaugh in the past two months, she did not go public with the information and forward it to the FBI until one week before the vote — after it was clear that Kavanaugh had the votes.

The accuser is transparently political. Christine Blasey Ford is a leftist California professor, registered Democrat and anti-Trump ‘resistance activist.’ Despite scrubbing her social media accounts, her activism is well-known and documented. She hired (or more likely, someone hired for her) left-wing attorney Debra Katz to represent her political interests, produced some dubious supportive material including a supposed lie-detector test, and set everything in order before going public. That’s political staging.

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The allegation is transparently contrived. First, of course, it’s always possible the accusation is true. But there is a lot counter to that possibility. The claim is that 35 years ago, as 17 year olds in high school, Kavanaugh and Ford were at a party with lots of drinking and that he sexually harassed her and assaulted her. She filed no criminal report at the time or since. She has not persuaded anyone — yet — that she told another person at the time about the supposed attack. She “can’t remember” whose house the party was at. She “can’t remember” the date or reason for the party. She “can’t remember” any specifics that could be actually documented and investigated. The one person she says was in the room, a friend of Kavanaugh’s, says her tale never happened.

Further, 65 women who have worked with Kavanaugh over decades signed a letter saying this sounds nothing like him, or anything they have ever seen from him.

So this appears transparently set up as a trigger to bring in the “Me Too” activists, now that the Code Pink antics did not work. The strategy is clear. Borking has not worked. So Thomasing will be tried.

This may have some impact on Kavanaugh’s confirmation with only a one-vote Republican majority in the Senate — particularly when very small people such as Sen. Jeff Flake are still in the Senate for a few more months. He seems bent on doing anything to hurt Trump, regardless of what is best for the nation. (What is in the cactus in Arizona, anyway?)

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But the big picture is two-fold.

First, if this works, Supreme Court nominations will become more brutal, more ugly, more smearing and nasty. The Democrats are much better at this than Republicans, who have continued to not play the same game and generally allowed Democratic presidents their nominees. But that will likely change, and that is terrible for the country and the Supreme Court.

Expect nominations to be pushed through or blocked by brute force. There will be shortened committee hearings and quick confirmations by the party in power. Or never a hearing for the party out of power. Everything will be party-line.

Second, the #MeToo movement had hit leaders of the political left particularly hard, from Hollywood to the mainstream media. It opened the door to returning to a time when men respected women more and women were less sexualized. That would have been a healthy direction for both men and women.

But instead, it is more likely to start dying away now, just used as a political tool when convenient, and the Harvey Weinsteins and Matt Lauers of the world will slowly return to their ugly ways.

This is all a big price to pay to stop a qualified, constitutionalist judge from being seated on the Supreme Court.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Democrats Judges Supreme Court Truth

An Unconscionable Display Of Mockery In The Senate

by Dr. Julio Gonzalez

“An unconscionable, gross, and utter disregard for the institution of the Senate and for the dignity of the Chamber, if there is any such dignity left.”  

This is how I characterize the circus that was the opening of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee.

From the very outset, the proceedings played out like a pay-per-view freak show. No sooner had Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, begun calling the meeting to order than the mockery of the confirmation process began. Immediately, Sen. Kamala Harris in an out-of-order rant unbecoming of a grade school student council member, much less a sitting senator, yelled at Grassley, demanding that he delay the proceedings due to the prior night’s release of 42,000 pages of documents relating to the Judge.  

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., immediately followed with disruptors in the crowd joining in by yelling and screaming at the Republican members of the Committee.  

The mood at the dais, which initially appeared to be somewhat relaxed, turned deathly somber as the Democrats continued their disorderly, staged rants, with contributions from Sens. Cory Booker and Mazie Hirono.

I have been watching and participating in legislative proceedings, both at the state and federal levels, for over two decades. Never have I seen a more despicable disregard for the decorum of the United States Senate, nor a greater disrespect for the conduct of the work of serving the American people, than what took place during these hearings.  

Let’s be perfectly clear. Like him or not, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an extremely capable judge with an impeccable record of service to this country and to the American people. His pursuit of justice centers on an unmitigated regard for the written law and for the strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.

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I understand that there are many who wish that someone with such a strict interpretive philosophy of the founding documents and statutory language not be admitted entry to the Supreme Court of the United States. But such is not the standard by which a determination is made in considering a presidential nominee.  

The Constitution of the United States is very clear on this matter. It is the President who has the authority to nominate members to judicial appointment, “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Despite the efforts of the disruptors and Democrats in yesterday’s hearing, it is not up to the Senate to determine the philosophical makeup of the Supreme Court of the United States. That is up to the people of the United States through their election of the President; in this case, Donald J. Trump.  

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 76 spoke specifically to this point:

“To what purpose then require the cooperation of the Senate? I answer that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. (emphasis added). It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of a favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connections, from personal attachment, or a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.”

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is neither the result of a spirit of favoritism, of family connections, or of personal attachment; nor is Kavanaugh a man of unfit character selected from State prejudice. Rather, by all accounts, after review of decades of public work, of over 300 judicial opinions, and of more documents than were available for the last five judicial nominees combined, Judge Kavanaugh demonstrates himself to be an upstanding character of impeccable judgment and standing within his geographical and professional communities.

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If the Senate has any regard for its place in American governance, or of the role afforded it by the Constitution of the United States, it would see no viable choice but to approve this nomination; and the Democrats, rather than making a mockery of themselves and of our political system, should acknowledge this.

Yesterday’s display of nonsensical, cheap, political comedy is quite simply the result of one thing, and one thing only: the squeals of pain and immaturity displayed by a political faction intent on keeping its most valuable legislative player, the Supreme Court of the United States, from being removed from the game of inappropriately legislating.  

Over the past 100 years, the progressive-infested Supreme Court has single handedly cut down legislation and social norms to suit its agenda. It has done so under the guise of judicial interpretation, but always with an aim at undercutting the legislature’s will, and in so doing, the will of the people of the United States. The fact that this oligarchical monopoly is coming to an end is the source of great angst amongst the liberals in the Senate, but ultimately, it is not in their hands to decide.  

That decision fell upon the people of the United States, and they chose Donald J. Trump.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Constitution Supreme Court Trump Truth

Trump And GOP Win-Win With Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh

Rod Thomson

President Trump’s announcement Monday of District of Columbia federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court creates a likely win-win for Trump and Republicans.

But while the Democratic/media establishment talking points were well lined up ahead of whoever was the nominee, the reality is that there is almost nothing Democrats can do about it. Thanks to Sen. Harry Reid’s short-sighted power play changing the rules on how judges are confirmed when he was Majority Leader, it now only requires 51 votes — or 50 votes plus the Vice President — to approve Kavanaugh.

The Republicans are at 51 in the Senate right now. So both pro-choice Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, would have to vote against Kavanaugh. But they have both already voted for him to be on the appeals court, one step below the Supreme Court. They both voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch last year. The likelihood of them voting against him now is remarkably thin.

But there is more to the Democrats’ hurdle of blocking Kavanaugh.

Five Democrat Senators are running for re-election this November in traditionally red states that Trump won by double digits. Five more are running in states Trump won by smaller margins, including Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson in the polls for that Senate seat. (Although Nelson pre-emptively said he would vote against whoever was the nominee — so much for advise and consent.) Their re-elections hinge on being seen as centrists willing to work with the President. But the #resistance wing of the Democratic Party will be firing endless barrages at Kavanaugh and pushing every Democrat Senator to vote against him while hoping to flip one or two Republican votes. Highly unlikely.

It’s a bad position for these five Democrat incumbents: Joe Manchin, W.V; Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.; Jon Tester, Mont.; Claire McCaskill, Mo. and Joe Donnelly, Ind. If they stay centrist in appearance and vote to approve Kavanaugh then their odds of re-election improve, but Trump and the GOP (and America) win the new Supreme Court Justice going away. If they cave to their liberal base, then Trump-supporters in their states will be more fired up to come out and work against them, perhaps costing them their re-elections. Also good for Trump and Republicans.

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It is just a very long shot that Democrats and two Republicans could stop this nomination. The timing of this fight is beneficial for Trump and the GOP.

It’s also imperative to appreciate the historicity of this moment, the opportunity laid before the President and his supporters.

Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch has proven to be everything conservatives could want as Gorsuch showed his metal as a Constitutionalist judge, opining based on the U.S. Constitution and establishing a firm, traditional American understanding in his first cases issued two weeks ago. In every one, he was solidly in the line of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he replaced.

But now, with the nomination of Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump and Republicans have the opportunity to cement a pro-Constitution, pro-traditional American majority on the Supreme Court for the first time in generations. This is not a conservative vs. liberal breakdown in the sense of normal politics, as the media simplistically paints it, but a Constitutional vs. political activist court division. Political conservatives want originalist, textualist judges even if they do not rule on an issue the way conservatives want. Liberals want judges who act as a third law-making body, pushing a progressive agenda.

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Kennedy was a swing vote on cases, sometimes with the Constitutionalist wing and sometimes with the progressive activist wing. But he himself was not a Constitutionalist. He flopped all around absent a grounding legal philosophy, depending on his personal views of the issue, not the law.

Kavanaugh can replace Kennedy as a strong originalist like Gorsuch and cement the Constitutionalist majority.

From all conservative Trump supporters to all Never-Trumper conservatives: You’re welcome.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Constitution Founders Government States Supreme Court Truth

Supreme Court Rediscovers States Rights, But…

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

In a baby step back toward protecting reserved state powers, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a 25-year-old federal law called The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The Act was originally signed into law in 1992 to target organized markets for sports gambling.  This federal law was not a flat ban on sports-gambling schemes, but only a law that prohibited States from permitting sports gambling by State law.

In an opinion written by Justice Alito, the majority of the court decided this law was a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. Alito says, “The legislative powers granted to Congress are sizeable, but they are not unlimited. The Constitution confers on Congress not plenary legislative power but only certain enumerated powers. Therefore, all other legislative power is reserved for the States, as the Tenth Amendment confirms.” The Tenth Amendment limitation is referred to by the court as the “anti-commandeering doctrine.”

The people of New Jersey want to legalize sports gambling but PASPA makes it illegal for States to legalize any “sports gambling schemes.” The people of New Jersey argued that this federal law infringed upon the State’s sovereign authority. The State relied upon two cases; New York v. US (1992) and Printz v. US (1997) that struck down federal laws that imposed improper regulatory powers upon the States. In Printz v. US, the Supreme Court used Federalist Papers 39 as support for their opinion in which James Madison explained:

“[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a NATIONAL one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.”

In these cases, the Supreme Court recognized that there are separate and independent jurisdictions that exist within the two sovereign spheres of government; the State and the Federal. When the power has not been delegated to the Federal government, that power remains with the State and outside of the Federal government’s power to impose laws upon the State. Following this same standard, established by the Tenth Amendment in the Constitution, Justice Alito and the majority recognized the State’s authority to regulate gambling lies within the sovereign realm of the state’s authority and that Congress directing state legislatures to prohibit sports gambling is not an enumerated power delegated by the Constitution to the federal government. Alito wrote:

“The anti-commandeering doctrine may sound arcane, but it is simply the expression of a fundamental structural decision incorporated into the Constitution, i.e., the decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States.”

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It is refreshing to see the Supreme Court return to this fundamental and essential truth; that the States are independent sovereigns and the federal government can only lawfully exercise powers that have been properly delegated. This Court also recognized the constitutional principle of the sovereignty of the States in NFIB v. Sebelius when Chief Justice Roberts, writing the majority opinion said:

“In the typical case we look to the States to defend their prerogative by adopting ‘the simple expedient of not yielding’ to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace federal policy as their own.  The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.”

Although this is just a small step, Alito and the majority court may be steering the federal government back in the proper direction; one not only required by the Constitution but also by those who wrote it.  Alexander Hamilton makes this very clear in Federalist #78:

“There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.”

Hamilton is explaining in this text that for a federal law to be valid, it must not only comply with the text of the Constitution, it must also be consistent with the “tenor of the commission under which it is exercised.” The Constitution requires adherence to the intent of the drafters as well as the words of the document. In a display of adherence to this intent, Justice Alito quotes the Declaration of Independence and Madison’s Federalist #39 in his majority opinion to once again remind the people and their Congress that the States are sovereign.

“When the original States declared their independence, they claimed the powers inherent in sovereignty — in the words of the Declaration of Independence, the authority ‘to do all…Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do’…the States…retained ‘a residuary and inviolable sovereignty.’”

However, one point Alito seems to miss in his opinion is that the power to regulate gambling is not a power that is delegated at all to the federal government. He claims that “[c]ongress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.” In this broad assertion of power, Alito actually sides with Justice Ginsberg and the dissent; that the federal government is realistically unlimited in its exercise of power. Justice Thomas, in his concurring opinion, is the only Justice who denies this assertion of unlimited authority:

“Unlike the dissent I do “doubt” that Congress can prohibit sports gambling that does not cross state lines.”

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Indeed, you may search the entire text, you may scour the writings of the drafters of the Constitution, but you will never find an authority delegated to the federal government to regulate such activity. The assumed authority to do so comes from an interpretation of the Commerce Clause, in which the federal government stretches the meaning and application way beyond the “tenor of the commission” of the Constitution. As Madison explained in 1792, during the Cod Fishery debate, the clauses within the Constitution are not powers delegated at all; they are merely explanations of “the purpose of the powers which are delegated.” These clauses were never intended to be boilerplate blank checks written to Congress to create whatever law they could somehow justify. Madison issues a very stern warning against using these clauses for that purpose.

“…for if the clause in question really authorizes Congress to do whatever they think fit…it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.”

What Alito suggests is that the powers of the federal government are not limited by the Constitution, but by mere will enforced by interpretation of clauses. Alito seems to only differ from the dissent in policy but not in principle. However, as Alito does assert in his opinion, the Tenth Amendment is very clear: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” However, his final statements seem to assert that there are no reserved powers that rest within the States.

What Alito is really saying is that all power exists within the federal government and anything the feds choose not to use, is then “available” to be exercised by the States. Alito’s claim then becomes the very manifestation of Madison’s warning, transmuting the limited nature of the federal government to one that is limited only by its own interpretation and desire for power. Alito is not supporting a Constitutional Republic, but an unlimited federal kingdom that grants permissions to its vassal colonies — the states.

There should be no doubt as to the limited authority of the federal government. There should be no doubt as to the reserved powers and sovereignty of the States. Both are well documented within the Constitution and in the drafters’ explanations of the Constitution. However, this fundamental and essential principle necessary for the existence of our Constitutional Republic still eludes too many of our justices who claim the federal government can regulate the lives of the citizens in whatever manner they choose, as long as they can create an articulate justification and manipulate the Constitution, irrespective of the tenor in which it was written.

It is a step in the right direction to see the Court once again asserting the Sovereignty of the States.  However, what is the real difference between the majority and minority opinions when they both support an unlimited congressional authority over the people and left over power for the States?

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


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