Friday, July 6, 2018

What a Difference a Week Makes

From The American Spectator:
At the beginning of last week the left was gathering steam. Their sudden discovery of family life, of the inhumanity of breaking up Latino families at the Texas border, of denying Latino children their sacred right to sit in a cell with their law-breaking parents, all seemed a sure winner for Democrats in this year’s forthcoming elections. Then too the Democrats discovered what they thought were vote-getting possibilities when the celebrated Red Hen restaurant denied service to Sarah Sanders, the President’s mouthpiece — forget about how Democrats have for years been very approving of the penalizing of bakers for refusing to serve wedding cakes to homosexual clients. The early part of last week was a promising time for the party of the jackass.

Then came, July 2. The lefties had had time to think about what had taken place during the last part of last week. The Supreme Court decided that in California it was unconstitutional to force pro-life groups to distribute pro-abortion information on their premises. The Court further ruled that unions could not force non-union members to pay union fees, which by the way were then passed on to the Democratic Party. What is more, the Court decided that President Trump’s travel ban was constitutional. In the case of the first two decisions the Court decided in favor of the First Amendment. To which Justice Elena Kagan replied the Court had been “weaponizing the First Amendment.” The Court’s majority made up of five Republicans might have retorted that all the Court was doing was enforcing the First Amendment against leftist encroachments, encroachments that, in the cases of the anti-abortion advocates and the bakers, had become flagrant.

To cap all these signs of freedom’s rebirth in the Great Republic came the charnel news on Wednesday from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s office. He was going to rest his 81-year-old bones. He was retiring. Panic has struck the left-wing community. President Trump was free to nominate a conservative. Well, what have I been telling the left-wing brethren and — I guess we can say — sisteren? For years I have been arguing that as they go further and further left with their projects they enlarge the nation’s conservative and independent vote. That is precisely what has happened. America is not ready for a left-wing dictatorship. We have seen Cuba and Venezuela and we do not like what we see.

Yet the left is not responding as their liberal ancestors once responded. They are not moving to the center. They are becoming more ideological. They are adopting socialism. Yes, in the middle of the President ‘s economic revival the left is adopting that economic system that is even being shed by the Europeans. Their theoretician, the Hollywood filmmaker Michael Moore, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, called out his storm troopers over the weekend. He will bring “a million” of them up to the U.S. Capitol and surround the building to keep Republicans from voting on Justice Kennedy’s replacement. And Senator Kamala D. Harris has called for street protests like the street protests that decorated some 700 cities last weekend. How winning a demonstration was that! (Read more.)
The case for Amy Coney Barrett. From First Things:
Selecting Kennedy’s replacement could turn out to be one of the current administration’s most consequential tasks. A Court that seemed likely, after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016, to shift in a “liberal” direction could well embrace a more “conservative” approach, not only to statutory and constitutional interpretation, but also with respect to its own role in our government, our policies, and our culture.

Because candidate Trump compiled and released a list of his potential nominees to the Court, and because as president he not only chose Scalia’s replacement from that list but has affirmed that Kennedy’s replacement will come from it as well, journalists and citizens alike feel confident about the names, resumes, and records of the leading contenders. One jurist who is consistently mentioned by all the mentioners is my friend and longtime colleague, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

I met Barrett more than twenty years ago, when she came to Washington, D.C. after graduating with highest honors from Notre Dame Law School to clerk for one of the country’s most distinguished federal judges, Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During the 1998-99 term of the Supreme Court, Barrett and my wife, Nicole Stelle Garnett, clerked together—the former for Scalia and the latter for Justice Clarence Thomas. (As I heard several times from other Justices’ clerks that year, Barrett was widely recognized as—after Garnett, of course!—one of the most talented and intelligent clerks in the building.) After her clerkship, I helped recruit Barrett to the small but heavy-hitting Washington, D.C. law firm where I worked, and a few years later I was delighted to welcome her as a faculty colleague at my adopted home and her alma mater.

Judge Barrett is my colleague, friend, and neighbor. She is the godmother to one of my daughters, and we have children who have been friends since birth. I know her scholarly and professional work well; I have observed her speak and teach; I am familiar with her generosity in her academic, local, and parish communities. Barrett is careful, conscientious, civil, and charitable, and blessed with an unusual combination of decency, grace under pressure, kindness, rigor, and judgment. If nominated and confirmed, she would be an outstanding justice, committed to the rule of law and to the faithful performance of her judicial duty. (Read more.)
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