“It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression … that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.” —Thomas Jefferson (1821)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Kennedy’s retirement has Democrats in a bipolar panic.
- Leftist librarians denigrate Laura Ingalls Wilder for “racism.”
- Feminists think the U.S. is a dangerous place for women.
- Why empowered, intelligent women should be conservative.
- If the (brown) shirt fits…
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
Justice Anthony Kennedy announced yesterday his much-anticipated retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been a pivotal fifth vote on the Supreme Court since his 1987 appointment by Ronald Reagan. This week’s SCOTUS decisions make clear just how important his vote has been on some issues.
We applaud Justice Kennedy’s decision to retire, unlike Bill Clinton’s now 85-year-old nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noted for snoring while on the bench. Replacing Kennedy with a conservative nominee would significantly impact those decisions, but the likelihood that Donald Trump will get one more nominee appointed will help seal the Court’s makeup for a decade or more.
Democrats are outraged that Trump will nominate and the Republican Senate will confirm an “originalist” from Trump’s list of nominees.
By “originalist,” Republicans mean one who will abide by his or her oath “to support and defend” our Constitution and the Rule of Law it enshrines. Democrats prefer judges who take their marching orders from leftist political handlers and who subscribe to the errant notion of a so-called “living constitution” — one that would be, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
Jefferson noted that a Supreme Court in the hands of such jurists would constitute a “Despotic Branch”: “The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their, own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
Attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the next Supreme Court nominee, much as Democrats have endeavored to undermine the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) insists that calling for a vote before the upcoming midterm elections is the “absolute height of hypocrisy.”
According to Schumer, “[Republicans] should follow the rule they set in 2016, not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year.” But that was not the rule.
Schumer is claiming the GOP has refused to allow nominees in an election year. He is referring to the March 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia ahead of that year’s presidential election.
But as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake observes, “Democrats are protesting too much. The GOP did argue in 2016 that a Supreme Court vacancy shouldn’t be filled until after voters had their say in the coming election, but their argument was about who gets to nominate the justice — not who gets to confirm him or her. It was about presidential election years, not midterms.”
There was precedent for delaying a Supreme Court nomination ahead of a presidential election.
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made plain, “We’re following the Biden rule. And Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1992, in a presidential election year. He said the Senate should not act on filling a Supreme Court vacancy if it had occurred [in a presidential election year]. … So, all we’re doing … is following a long-standing tradition of not filling vacancies on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year.”
The Post’s Blake concludes, “Whatever you think of the justification offered to block Garland, it was clearly in reference to presidential election years, not midterms.”
Indeed, Democrats have set the precedent on such appointments.
On May 10, 2010, Barack Obama nominated leftist Elena Kagan to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. That was a midterm election year when Democrats were anticipating (and were handed) significant losses in the House and Senate. She was confirmed ahead of that midterm election by the Democrat-controlled Senate and assumed office August 6, 2010.
So a Senate confirmation of a nominee in a midterm election year violates no rules or traditions.
In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set another precedent, invoking the so-called “nuclear option” rule change to end the filibuster for judicial nominees — the only way he was going to get Obama’s nominees past Republicans with such a thin Democrat Senate margin.
At the time, McConnell actually warned Reid that his “simple majority vote” precedent would come back to haunt him. “You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” declared McConnell. And in 2017, it certainly did come back around, with the Trump nomination and Republican Senate appointment of Neil Gorsuch, after Trump’s unanticipated election.
For his part, McConnell will go down in history as the most consequential Senate leader in the early 21st century.
While Donald Trump is again pleading for an end of the legislative filibuster, McConnell says, “The votes aren’t there to change it. They just aren’t there. … I don’t think the legislative filibuster, which has been around for a long time, is a problem. And it does, I think, generate on many occasions kind of a bipartisan solution, and I don’t think that’s always bad for the country.”
Republicans will likely affirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee ahead the Court’s next term in October.
But that is going to be a rallying call for both Republicans and Democrats.
In my morning (mourning in this case) fundraising appeal from DNC Chairman Tom Perez, he exclaims, “If there was ever any question whether the November elections would be the most important of our lifetime, Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court should remove all doubt. There’s never been a more important moment to show you stand with Democrats.”
And in case you were wondering, Perez went on to outline the Demos’ 2018 midterm strategy hot buttons: “If you believe in a woman’s right to choose and a worker’s right to bargain, health care is a right for all, a Muslim ban is fundamentally un-American, equality for LGBTQ people, Dreamers should be able to stay, climate change is an urgent threat to our economy, our environment, and our children’s future, we should make it easier for people to vote, not harder, help elect Democrats in November.”
Fortunately for Republicans, 10 Democrat senators are defending seats in states that Trump won in 2016, and for some, that will soften their lockstep vote on Trump’s nominee.
One of America’s most beloved authors, who is widely credited with leading the development of children’s literature, has had her name removed from an award that was created in her honor 65 years ago. The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) recently decided that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writing expressed “anti-native” and “anti-black” sentiments and therefore her name must be expunged. A statement on the ALSC website reads, “This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness.”
Once again the specter of the Left’s politically correct intolerance is raised in opposition to the history and unique experiences of Americans and to purge any vestiges of appreciation or celebration of those historical perspectives. Wilder wrote of her childhood and her experiences, but she was no racist. The irony here is that in the name of “inclusiveness” the ALSC is excluding any portrayals of America’s past that it finds offensive. And the saddest part is the fact that the ALSC seems unwilling to recognize the fact that characters in Wilder’s beloved novels are themselves seeking to understand and navigate an ever-changing and developing world.
Oh, and by the way, these are the same librarians indoctrinating young children with books about “two mommies” and the like.
Dedra McDonald Birzer notes the irony in National Review, “The rejection of the author and the rejection of her semi-autobiographical novels produce the same result: In favor of safe spaces and trigger-free zones, this country’s professional librarians seek to destroy the literary heroine that millions of American girls (and boys) identified with and aspired to emulate. In doing so, they seek to destroy us all and re-make us in their own image, based on their core values of inclusivity and responsiveness, rounded out by respect (properly placed, of course) and their version of integrity. Join me in being naughty on the inside (one of my favorite aspects of young Laura’s character) by refusing to accept the Association of Library Services to Children’s version of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We know better.”
This past weekend, the women of Saudi Arabia — a nation known for its extreme application of Sharia law — were freed from a driving embargo. Yes, driving. And that’s pretty mundane compared to other rules that, if broken, allow for severe punishment. According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s 2018 edition of “the world’s most dangerous countries for women” — which it calls an “experts’ survey” — Saudi Arabia ranks fifth, surpassed in oppressing women only by India (1), Afghanistan (2), Syria (3) and Somalia (4). All of these nations treat women as scourges, slaves and sex objects, and they should be near or atop the list.
So what’s the U.S. doing sitting at number 10 — just five positions below a nation like Saudi Arabia? That’s not a joke. After Pakistan (6), the Democratic Republic of Congo (7), Yemen (8) and Nigeria (9), these “experts” declare the U.S. the 10th most dangerous country in the world. As The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness writes, “Issues such as female genital mutilation, arranged marriage, rape as a weapon of war, honor killings, and maternal mortality haven’t stopped. Rather, leading ‘experts’ in their fields appear to have lost any perspective, categorizing the U.S. as almost as dangerous as Nigeria, where Boko Haram militants kidnap, rape, and sexually exploit women and girls.”
She also observes that areas like South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mauritania, North Korea, Iran, China and Myanmar are “notably missing from the Reuters list.” Says Harkness: “If living in the United States is more dangerous for women than living in a country where boy’s and men’s bodies are used to create bonfires while women are raped and baby girls are grabbed by the leg and thrown into the fire to burn, then forgive me — I must be missing something. As far as I was aware, women in the U.S. face injustices, but we still have equality before the law. The same can’t be said for these nine other countries, or the dozens of others that didn’t make the list of most dangerous countries for women.”
According to Reuters, “The survey was taken after the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment went viral in October last year as Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, some dating back decades. Hundreds of women have since publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct and thousands have joined the #MeToo social media movement to share stories of sexual harassment or abuse.” Is the Weinstein situation egregious? Absolutely. But as Harkness appropriately responds: “Harvey Weinstein, after all, does not equate with Boko Haram.” Sadly, most Western feminists have absolutely no idea what systemic oppression actually looks like.
- Trump reportedly has five frontrunners to replace Anthony Kennedy on Supreme Court (The Washington Times)
- House rejects second GOP immigration bill (The Hill)
- States sue Trump administration over separation of immigrant families (Reuters)
- Dem congressman: Illegal minors at detention center “didn’t seem to be distraught” (CNS News)
- DHS asks military for space to house 12,000 migrant family members (NBC News)
- FBI agent grilled over texts in long, closed-door hearing (The Hill)
- Trump/Putin summit set for Helsinki, Finland on July 16 (CBS News)
- Again, don’t trust; verify: North Korea appears to be rapidly upgrading nuclear site (The Daily Wire)
- To ensure “safe place for everyone,” Facebook purges 10,000 accounts (The Western Journal)
- Humor/not humor: As Justice Kennedy retires, nation takes moment to thank God Hillary Clinton not president (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Price transparency key to saving Medicare and lowering the debt (Manhattan Institute)
- Policy: Seven Social Security myths (E21)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Why Empowered, Intelligent Women Should Be Conservative — Women are trending Democrat, but there are many reasons to reconsider that shift.
- If the (Brown) Shirt Fits… — The hateful vitriol of the American Left is reminiscent of a hateful vitriolic 20th century leader.
- Video: The Unhinged Left in 2018 — The GOP has an effective campaign ad using Democrats’ own words and actions against them.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Tony Perkins: “If you’re wondering how important the next justice will be, look at the Supreme Court term that just ended. During this 2017-18 session, The Washington Times points out, ‘there have been a dozen 5-4 decisions where Justice Gorsuch sided with the conservative majority. By contrast, during the court’s last term with a full nine-justice court, the 2014-2015 term, there were only four 5-4 decisions from the conservative majority that included Scalia.’ Those are razor-thin margins on issues of major significance to most Americans. Just this week, the justices decided three cases on free speech by a single vote. As liberals increasingly turn to the courts to accomplish what they can’t legislatively, it’s more important than ever to have men and women on the bench who understand and respect the Constitution.”
Predictions: “Their blue wave is really sputtering pretty badly. The red wave is happening.” —Donald Trump
World’s smallest violin: “The breakdown in civility and our politics occurred when a sitting President couldn’t even get a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee for 8 months. Not when someone couldn’t eat at Red Hen.” —Ben Rhodes, whose former boss, Barack Obama, lived, breathed and fomented disunity
Here we go: “I don’t think the Democrats should allow even meetings to occur for Trump’s nominee to fill this vacancy by Justice Kennedy. I think they have to fight eye for an eye for what happened in ‘16, where the Republicans led by Mitch McConnell refused to even consider or meet with Merrick Garland. I think if the Democratic leadership under [Chuck] Schumer allows this to go forward, they’re going to have a huge problem with the Democratic base.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
Infighting: “Dr. Martin Luther King warned us about people like Chuck Schumer. He said it wasn’t the Ku Klux Klan and white citizen counselors who were the obstacles towards justice. It was people calling for 'civility’ and people that were telling us when to protest and at what time and how to protest.” —Women’s March co-chair and leftist activist Linda Sarsour
Self-reflection? “A lot of poison has been poured down America’s throat since that 2016 campaign started. So it’s hard to pour poison down other people’s throat and not have some of it come back up and bubble up.” —Bill Clinton (Of course, that’s not so much repenting as simply blaming Trump.)
Just shut up already: “I need to not react to the raw pain of having to relive something that happened 20 years ago, and I need to be aware that, unfortunately, there are still millions of people every day who face objectification, disrespect, discrimination and sometimes outright abuse in the workplace, on the street, and at home.” —Bill Clinton
Disgusting: “Stock up on abortions now. Roe v. Wade is gone.” —"comedian" Michael Ian Black on Kennedy’s retirement
And last… “All last week Democrats were crying with outrage over inhumane treatment of migrant children. Today they’re crying with outrage at the idea they might not be able to kill unborn children. And here I thought Democrats cared about the children!” —Liz Wheeler
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher