Gary Bauer / Feb. 20, 2016

Goodbye, Nino

The body of Justice Antonin Scalia was brought [Friday] morning to the Supreme Court, where it will lie in repose until his funeral [today]. My heart breaks for his wife, Maureen, their nine children and 36 grandchildren. It is difficult to imagine the Supreme Court without him. He was the court's conservative anchor for almost 30 years.

The body of Justice Antonin Scalia was brought [Friday] morning to the Supreme Court, where it will lie in repose until his funeral [today]. My heart breaks for his wife, Maureen, their nine children and 36 grandchildren. It is difficult to imagine the Supreme Court without him. He was the court’s conservative anchor for almost 30 years.

As the nation says goodbye to this judicial giant, I want to make one brief observation about his impact on the high court. Justice Antonin Scalia authored the decision in the 2008 Heller case. It was a 5-to-4 decision upholding the Second Amendment right of an individual to own a firearm for self-defense. It was reaffirmed in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago, also on a 5-to-4 vote.

In the McDonald case, Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court appointment, Sonia Sotomayor, signed onto a dissent that read in part, “I can find nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history, or underlying rationale … to protect the keeping and bearing arms for private self-defense purposes.”

Obama’s second Supreme Court appointment, Justice Elena Kagan, thankfully has not had the opportunity to rule directly on the Second Amendment. However, she has a long and clear anti-Second Amendment record.

I have no doubt that a third Obama appointee to the Supreme Court would eagerly reverse Justice Scalia’s decision in the Heller case, jeopardizing the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.

Other recent, notable 5-to-4 cases that could be overturned include the Hobby Lobby decision, protecting religious business owners from Obamacare’s contraception mandate, and Town of Greece v. Galloway, which protected the right of local communities of have prayers at town meetings.

In [yesterday’s] Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argue that the American people, through their vote this November, should have a say in the next Supreme Court appointment. I couldn’t agree more.

My friends, the future of the Republic and the values we cherish are at stake. Please make sure all your friends and family members are registered vote.

Pope Francis — Please Call Your Office!

By now you have heard about the controversy between Pope Francis and Donald Trump. When a reporter aboard the papal airplane baited Pope Francis with a loaded question about Donald Trump’s signature issue — building a border wall — the pope unfortunately swallowed the hook. He responded:

“And then a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian… I say only that this man (Trump) is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

Let me say that the reporter who asked Pope Francis the question probably had an agenda. The U.S. media, which left out a lot of the pope’s response, certainly had an agenda.

Having said that, the pope’s remarks seemingly reflect a degree of hostility toward protecting borders, which he has expressed in other ways in the debate taking place in Europe now.

Government is a God-ordained institution whose purpose is to protect the life and liberty of its citizens. Nations that fail to secure their own borders eventually cease to be nations.

Pope Francis can see with his own eyes what is happening in Europe, which is facing a tidal wave of Muslim migrants that threatens to overwhelm the continent. If unchecked, the Vatican will be an island of the Christian faith in a sea of Muslim devotees.

What is even worse is what the Holy Father has avoided saying. Catholic theology and the teachings of Christ clearly embrace the sanctity of life and God’s institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The current president and vice president have elevated the destruction of innocent unborn children to an idol they worship. Meanwhile, they have used their liberal allies on the courts to turn the sacrament of marriage into a mockery.

But Pope Francis has remained silent as to whether these politicians are Christians.

As I understand Catholic theology, the pope is infallible on matters of faith and doctrine, not on the details of border security in a dangerous world.

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