Judiciary

Federal Court rules cross unconstitutional

Here we go again.

The radically liberal 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court and found that a San Diego war memorial, shaped in the form of a cross, is unconstitutional, simply because it is on public land...which would constitute a government endorsement of religion.

Really?  Just curious, but does anyone really believe our government "endorses" religion?  How could a government that sanctions the killing of a million or so unborn babies every year be said to "endorse" religion?

From the story:

Capping a legal dispute brewing since the late 1980s, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court decision that threw out a legal challenge to the hilltop cross brought on behalf of Jewish war veterans.

The three-judge panel concluded in its 47-page opinion that the U.S. "district court erred in declaring the memorial to be primarily nonsectarian and granting summary judgment in favor of the government and the memorial's supporters." ...

The appeals court, recognizing volatile feelings generated on both sides by the case, wrote that America's war veterans can and should be honored, "but without the imprimatur of state-endorsed religion."

National Day of Prayer ruled "unconstitutional"

Here we go again...  In what would surely be a surprise to the Founding Fathers who gave us our Constitution, a federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the National Day of Prayer is "unconstitutional".

Officially, the day has been recognized by the federal government since 1952 when it was established by Congress.  And each year, on the 1st Thursday in May, Presidents have issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation encouraging Americans to pray.  So how did we end up with this court ruling?  The usual; more atheists.  In this case, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, complaining that it violates the separation of church and state.

In her decision, the judge stated:

"It goes beyond mere 'acknowledgment' of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,"... "In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience."

Gay marriage case on the federal court track

Supporters of gay marriage in California have now taken their case against that state's marriage amendment to federal court.  At issue is California's Proposition 8, in which voters in 2008 voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Given that this is now a federal case, it will start out in district court, then - no matter who wins or loses - will be appealed to the (liberal) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the US Supreme Court.

In the end, it's not just California's Prop 8 that's at issue, but it will be the definition of marriage in all fifty states.  In other words, what the pro-gay marriage crowd is looking for is the gay marriage equivalent of Roe vs. Wade, where the Supreme Court steps in and sweeps aside citizen passed laws all across the country and short circuits the political process all together.

From the Baptist Press:

Sotomayor vows to guard the constitutional henhouse

In her bid to pooh pooh conservative fears (brought on by her judicial record) that she can't be relied upon to apply the law, instead of being a judicial activist, Sotomayor vowed "fidelity to the law" and told the Senate that she had not advocated for policy since she became a judge.

Of course, "advocating" for policy isn't necessary when you can "set policy", as she herself admitted that the Court of Appeals does.  And presumably she would know, since she's on the Second Circuit for the Court of Appeals.

In her statement to the Senate, she said:

"In the past month, many senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law," Judge Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The task of a judge is not to make the law - it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court."

Time for the GOP to adopt the "Schumer Doctrine" on judges

It seems that every time we have a contentious judicial nomination process, especially for the Supreme Court, a great fuss is made over not asking certain questions.  More to the point, we're told that nominees should not answer questions that could disclose how they may rule on certain issues in the future.

Hogwash.

The problem with this notion is that the federal judiciary has grown ever more powerful over the years versus our other branches of government.  Further, the Supreme Court is held to be the final arbiter of what the Constitution actually "means" at any given point in time - information that's surely useful to the people that document is meant to govern.

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Sotomayor's problems on gun rights and abortion

It seems that the more information that becomes public on Sonia Sotomayor, the more cause for concern Americans would seem to have about the possibility of her sitting on the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment.

During the past few weeks, she's made the rounds in the Senate, paying courtesy calls to various senators so they can "get to know her".  Of course, this is part of the usual PR plan for pretty much every Supreme Court nominee, regardless of party.  But as she's made these visits, she appears to be raising some eyebrows on some pretty important issues.

When it comes to gun rights, she seems to have some hostility to the Second Amendment, or at least the way in which the vast majority of Americans interpret it.

After her meeting with Senator Jim DeMint, he stated that she was "unwilling to say the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right that applies to all Americans, which raises serious questions about her view of the Bill of Rights".

Indeed, in the case of "Maloney v. Cuomo", she and her fellow appellate court judges ruled that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to state or local governments - an opinion that's in direct contrast with the view of the current Supreme Court in last year's "Heller" case, where it ruled that the Second Amendment provided all Americans with an individual right to keep and bear arms.  Given that the case was decided by a one vote margin, her thinking on this issue is very, very important.

Republican opportunities in the Sotomayor nomination

When it comes to the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Republicans have an opportunity to do something that would benefit both themselves and the nation.   That is, they should use the process as a chance to hold forth on the meaning of the Constitution and the proper role of the judiciary in our political system and society.

Three main areas are ripe with opportunity for Republicans if they have the nerve to play hardball.

First, the notion that "empathy" should play any role in American justice.

Obama previously stated that he wanted judges that had "empathy" when it came to how they made their decisions. But empathy is merely a euphemism for justifying politically liberal results.

Latest poll

I noticed that in the "latest poll" the results of 'what is most important to you' are headed in the right direction, but I think we should focus on the one specific area that controls the rest.

THE JUDICIARY!!!!

If we fail to maintain a favorable majority in the judiciary all other efforts will be moot. Like it or not, the judiciary is the governmental branch that controlls the direction of the Nation. It wasn't designed that way but has mutated to the present abboration of the Constitution.

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