(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch released previously unseen USDA videos revealing a compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program requiring USDA employees to bang on tables, chanting in unison “The pilgrims were illegal aliens” while being instructed to no longer use the word “minorities,” but to replace it with “emerging majorities.” Judicial Watch received the videos pursuant to a May 18, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The sensitivity training sessions, described as “a huge expense” by diversity awareness trainer and self-described “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances, were held on USDA premises. The diversity event is apparently part of what USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack described in a memo sent to all agency employees as a “new era of Civil Rights” and “a broader effort towards cultural transformation at USDA.” In 2011 and 2012, the USDA paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for their part in the “cultural transformation” program.
USDA Training Administrator, Vincent Loran, in an October 10, 2011, email previously revealed by Judicial Watch, asked Betances for a copy of a training video vowing to keep it secret. “It will not be used for or show [sic] in any way shape or form,” Loran promised. Nevertheless, Judicial Watch was able to obtain the video. Highlights from the video of the taxpayer-financed diversity training include:
USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 1 – “If you take a look at all of you here and you think about your salaries and your benefits and what you have left undone – plus my fee – plus the expense of the team that putting the video together, this is a huge expense.”
USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 2 – “I want you to say that American was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders. I want you to say, ‘The pilgrims were illegal aliens.’ Say, ‘The pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’” Betances also asked the audience, “Give me a bam,” after these statements, to which the audience replied in unison.
USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 3 – “By the way, I don’t like the word ‘minorities.’ How about ‘emerging majorities?’”
The complete video is available here:
“This USDA diversity training video depicts out-of-control political correctness,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “Can someone please explain how any of this helps USDA employees to better serve the American taxpayer? This video further confirms that politically-correct diversity training programs are both offensive and a waste of taxpayer money. No wonder it took over half a year to obtain this video from the Obama administration.”
As reported by Fox News in October, 2012, Judicial Watch first broke the news of the USDA compulsory sensitivity training program based upon information it obtained in response to a FOIA request. That request was prompted by a tip provided to the organization by a USDA whistleblower.
Judicial Watch also previously uncovered information revealing that in April 2011, the USDA had treated 300 of its employees to a taxpayer-funded ‘tasty celebration’ of dishes from around the world, salsa dancing lessons from Vincent Loran, and a rap performance by a USDA employee who shared his feelings on human differences.
Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said Sunday that forensic experts had not concluded their autopsy report, but that it was “clear” the head injury caused her death.
There is no evidence of rape, and she was found wearing the same clothes she had on the day she disappeared.
There is also no evidence of drugs, or that she was involved in any kind of trafficking.
Sierra’s family remains in Turkey, searching for answers to her brutal murder.
Her husband, Steven Sierra, had the grim task of identifying her body.
Her children will not be told of her death until he returns to the United States.
NTV, a Turkish broadcaster, says 15 people have been detained for questioning in the case.
Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, was last heard from on Jan. 21, the day she was to fly home. Her disappearance attracted a lot of interest in Turkey, where the disappearance of tourists is rare, and Istanbul police had set up a special unit to find her.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the body of a woman was discovered Saturday evening near the remnants of ancient city walls and that police later identified it as Sierra’s.
The agency said she was found with a head wound and a blanket near her body. She was wearing jeans, a jumper and a jacket, and still had her earrings and a bracelet.
Sierra, whose children are 9 and 11, had left for Istanbul on Jan. 7 to explore her photography hobby and made a side trip to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Munich, Germany. She had originally planned to travel with a friend, but ended up traveling alone when her friend canceled.
She was in regular contact with friends and relatives, and was last in touch with her family on Jan. 21, the day she was due back in New York. She told them she would visit Galata Bridge, which spans Istanbul’s Golden Horn waterway, to take photos.
The body was found not far from the bridge and near a major road that runs alongside the sea of Marmara. Here tourists often photograph dozens of tankers waiting to access the Bosporus strait.
On Saturday, police stopped traffic there as forensic police inspected the area.
Anadolu suggested Sierra may have been killed at another location and that her body may have been brought to the site to be hidden there.
It was not clear if a Turkish man Sierra had exchanged emails with during her stay in Istanbul was among those being questioned. He was detained for questioning Friday, then released. Turkish news reports said Sierra had arranged to meet the man on Galata Bridge, but he reportedly told police the meeting never took place.
Shortly after her body was discovered, a woman came forward and told police she had seen a white car parked near the city walls as she was driving there the night of Jan. 29, Anadolu reported. She said a man was trying to remove “something” from the car.
“At that moment, I noticed a woman’s hand,” Anadolu quoted the woman as telling reporters after talking with police. The agency said she declined to give her name.
Sierra’s husband, Steven, and her brother, David Jimenez, traveled to Istanbul to help search for her. Sierra’s mother, Betzaida Jimenez, said Saturday that she couldn’t talk about the case when reached in New York.
Shortly after Sierra was reported missing, Turkey set up a special police unit which scanned hours of security camera footage in downtown Istanbul in search of clues. A Turkish missing persons association joined the search, handing out flyers with photos of Sierra and urging anyone with information to call police.
While break-ins and petty thievery are common in Istanbul, the vast and crowded city is considered relatively safe compared to other major urban centers. Sierra’s death was unlikely to have a significant impact on tourism, a large component of the Turkish economy.
In 2008, an Italian artist, Pippa Bacca, was raped and killed while hitchhiking to Israel wearing a wedding dress to plead for peace. Her naked body was found in a forest in northwest Turkey. A Turkish man was sentenced to life in prison for the attack.
“Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants’ accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes.” -PBN
Politicians, pundits and private citizens have been sounding off on Barack Obama’s new push for gun bans, but what do the professionals whose job it is to use guns in the protection of their nation, their fellow countrymen and themselves say?
The soldiers say first it’s important to define the issue and set the record straight.
“The terms ‘assault weapon’ and ‘assault rifle’ are often confused,” they say. “According to Bruce H. Kobayashi and Joseph E. Olson, writing in the Stanford Law and Policy Review, ‘Prior to 1989, the term ‘assault weapon’ did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of assaults rifles.’”
The Green Berets, who use the weapons, point out the M4A1 carbine is a U.S. military service rifle – it is an assault rifle.”
“The AR-15 is not an assault rifle. The ‘AR’ in its name does not stand for ‘Assault Rifle’ – it is the designation from the first two letters of the manufacturer’s name – ArmaLite Corporation. The AR-15 is designed so that it cosmetically looks like the M4A1 carbine assault rifle, but it is impossible to configure the AR-15 to be a fully automatic assault rifle. It is a single shot semi-automatic rifle that can fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute depending on the skill of the operator. The M4A1 can fire up to 950 rounds per minute. In 1986, the federal government banned the import or manufacture of new fully automatic firearms for sale to civilians. Therefore, the sale of assault rifles are already banned or heavily restricted!”
Likewise, they say, a ban on “high-capacity” magazines would be irrelevant, pointing to the shooting by Eric Harris at Columbine High School as proof. The letter explains that when the first weapons ban was adopted in 1994, manufacturers retooled their products to meet the requirements of the law.
“One of those ban-compliant firearms was the Hi-Point 995, which was sold with ten-round magazines. In 1999, five years into the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Columbine High School massacre occurred. One of the perpetrators, Eric Harris, was armed with a Hi-Point 995. Undeterred by the ten-round capacity of his magazines, Harris simply brought more of them: thirteen magazines would be found in the massacre’s aftermath. Harris fired 96 rounds before killing himself.”
And, underlying the issue, the letter says, is the Constitution’s assurance of protection for the “sacrosanct” right of self-defense.
“Our Constitution established a system of governance that preserves, protects, and holds sacrosanct the individual rights and primacy of the governed as well as providing for the explicit protection of the governed from governmental tyranny and/or oppression,” they say..
They write that it is easy to blame guns, but weapons aren’t really the problem. Civilized society already proves it, they contend.
“We cite the experience in Great Britain,” they write. In 1987 was the Hungerford massacre that killed 18, and the government followed with a 1988 law banning semi-automatic guns. But eight years later, a “disturbed” man murdered 16 children and a teacher the Dunblane school. Immediately the law was amended to ban “all private ownership of handguns.”
Somehow, criminals apparently didn’t get the message, the letter suggests.
“Despite having the toughest gun control laws in the world, gun related crimes increased in 2003 by 35 percent over the previous year with firearms used in 9,974 recorded crimes… Gun related homicides were up 32 percent over the same period. … Gun related crime had increased 65 percent since the Dunblane massacre and implementation of the toughest gun control laws in the developed world,” the letter says.
“In contrast, in 2009 (5 years after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired) total firearm related homicides in the U.S. declined by 9 percent from the 2005 high,” the letter says, citing FBI statistics.
Since gun bans don’t really impact violence, what is the issue at hand?
“The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny,” the Green Berets say.
“Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants’ accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes. At the beginning of our own nation’s revolution, one of the first moves made by the British government was an attempt to disarm our citizens. When our Founding Fathers ensured that the Second Amendment was made a part of our Constitution, they were not just wasting ink. They were acting to ensure our present security was never forcibly endangered by tyrants, foreign or domestic.”
But school shootings are horrible and need to be addressed, they write.
“First, it is important that we recognize that this is not a gun control problem; it is a complex sociological problem. No single course of action will solve the problem.”
The military veterans say local schools should make their own decisions and plans.
“Most recently the Cleburne Independent School District will become the first district in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns. We do not opine as to the appropriateness of this decision, but we do support their right to make this decision for themselves.”
Further, those individuals with diagnosed conditions that impact their ability to make decisions can be addressed with programs of treatment.
“In each of these mass shooting incidents the perpetrator was mentally unstable,” the Green Berets says
Firearms safety programs in schools could help, and a repeal of laws making them gun-free zones should be considered by local officials.
Also, the violence in video games needs to be addressed.
“”War and war-like behavior should not be glorified. Hollywood and video game producers are exploiting something they know nothing about. General Sherman famously said, ‘War is hell!’ Leave war to the professionals,’” the letter says
“This is our country, these are our rights. We believe that it is time that we take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than abdicate that responsibility to someone else under the illusion that we have done something that will make us all safer. We have a responsibility to stand by our principles and act in accordance with them. Our children are watching and they will follow the example we set,” they write.
Publisher’s Note: 40 years and over 55,000,000 life ending murders aka “abortions” ago Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton both became victims of fraud. An anniversary should be a joyous celebration, sadly they are not always. It is not a celebratory memory, but it does mark the anniversary of tens of millions of murders of the most precious of us. This marker is a reminder of how vile and evil the blood lusting liberal left are. Monsters do exist. Liberals have made murder of the most innocent “legal” by fraud and lies. You will find at the center of liberal’s evil goals, two pawns, two innocent pro life women who never sought abortions.
It is also the Anniversary of a continuing Farce & Denigration of Our US Constitution and the manipulation of our Supreme Court Judicial System.
How and why?
Due to two false precedents, illegal ones at that. It is indeed a historical fact, though incredulously still not a widely disseminated one, that both the plaintiffs in Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton proceeded on with their pregnancies and gave birth to their babies prior to the courts rulings on their matters making the Supreme Court’s decisions irrelevant and moot. In addition, the plaintiffs’ attorney(s) in both cases allegedly used their names and previous conditions (pregnancies) to obtain standing without their knowledge or consents. “Roe” didn’t learn of the case’s outcome until reading it two years later in the newspaper and “Doe” had no knowledge that a case had even been filed, heard and ruled on, using her name! They are both Pro-Life and are Proponents of the Right to Life for ALL unborn children.
Roe’s attorney Coffee and Weddington never had her appear in court or for that matter explain that an abortion would end the life of the unborn baby. Norma McCorvey (Roe) was duped. The story of Sandra Cano (Mary Doe) here.
Mary Doe was Sandra Cano she says, “Little did I know, going to the Legal Aid was going to result in being a Plaintiff in abortion, which is something I’ve never been for, I’ve been against, I never sought an abortion, never sought to be a plaintiff in this case. I was in the dark about it for a long, long time. I think the public knows more about the case than I do. I was never a participant.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling in both cases were based upon cases which no longer existed and which were brought about via fraudulent and dubious means. Both cases rulings resulted in the violation of the most basic Constitutional Right of any future child’s right to exist, not for those two children but for the millions who never had a chance to be heard. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Charters of Freedom here.If you’re pregnant or know someone who is and are thinking about an abortion, do some research, talk to some people, we hope these links will help, may God bless you.-PBN
Good afternoon, Chairman Brownback and Senator Feingold, and thank you very much for inviting me to testify before you and your subcommittee on this important subject.
I am Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The Ethics and Public Policy Center is a think tank that for three decades has been dedicated to exploring and explaining how the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and this country’s foundational principles ought to inform and shape public policy on critical issues.
The Ethics and Public Policy Center’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture, which I direct, explores the competing conceptions of the role of the courts in our political system. This program focuses, in particular, on what is at stake for American culture writ large—for the ability of the American people to function fully as citizens, to engage in responsible self-government, and to maintain the “indispensable supports” of “political prosperity” that George Washington (and other Founders) understood “religion and morality” to be.
1. Why re-examine Roe v. Wade?
Why are we here today addressing a case that the Supreme Court decided 32 years ago, that it ratified 13 years ago, and that America’s cultural elites overwhelmingly embrace? The answer, I would submit, is twofold.
First, Roe v. Wade marks the second time in American history that the Supreme Court has invoked “substantive due process” to deny American citizens the authority to protect the basic rights of an entire class of human beings. The first time, of course, was the Court’s infamous 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)). There, the Court held that the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which prohibited slavery in the northern portion of the Louisiana Territories, could not constitutionally be applied to persons who brought their slaves into free territory. Such a prohibition, the Court nakedly asserted, “could hardly be dignified with the name of due process.” Id. at 450. Thus were discarded the efforts of the people, through their representatives, to resolve politically and peacefully the greatest moral issue of their age. Chief Justice Taney and his concurring colleagues thought that they were conclusively resolving the issue of slavery. Instead, they only made all the more inevitable the Civil War that erupted four years later.
Roe is the Dred Scott of our age. Like few other Supreme Court cases in our nation’s history, Roe is not merely patently wrong but also fundamentally hostile to core precepts of American government and citizenship. Roe is a lawless power grab by the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional act of aggression by the Court against the political branches and the American people. Roe prevents all Americans from working together, through an ongoing process of peaceful and vigorous persuasion, to establish and revise the policies on abortion governing our respective states. Roe imposes on all Americans a radical regime of unrestricted abortion for any reason all the way up to viability—and, under the predominant reading of sloppy language inRoe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, essentially unrestricted even in the period from viability until birth. Roefuels endless litigation in which pro-abortion extremists challenge modest abortion-related measures that state legislators have enacted and that are overwhelmingly favored by the public—provisions, for example, seeking to ensure informed consent and parental involvement for minors and barring atrocities like partial-birth abortion. Roedisenfranchises the millions and millions of patriotic American citizens who believe that the self-evident truth proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence—that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to life—warrants significant governmental protection of the lives of unborn human beings.
So long as Americans remain Americans—so long, that is, as they remain faithful to the foundational principles of this country—I believe that the American body politic will never accept Roe.
The second reason to examine Roe is the ongoing confusion that somehow surrounds the decision. Leading political and media figures, deliberately or otherwise, routinely misrepresent and understate the radical nature of the abortion regime that the Court imposed in Roe. And, conversely, they distort and exaggerate the consequences of reversing Roe and of restoring to the American people the power to determine abortion policy in their respective States. The more that Americans understand Roe, the more they regard it as illegitimate.
Reasonable people of good will with differing values or with varying prudential assessments of the practical effect of protective abortion laws may come to a variety of conclusions on what abortion policy ought to be in the many diverse states of this great nation. But, I respectfully submit, it is well past time for all Americans, no matter what their views on abortion, to recognize that the Court-imposed abortion regime should be dismantled and the issue of abortion should be returned to its rightful place in the democratic political process.
2. Roe v. Wade
In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the Court addressed the constitutionality of a Texas statute, “typical of those that have been in effect in many States for approximately a century,” that made abortion a crime except where “procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” Id. at 116, 118.The seven-Justice majority, in an opinion by Justice Blackmun, ruled that the Texas statute violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (which provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”). The Court ruled that the Due Process Clause requires an abortion regime that comports with these requirements that the Court composed:
“(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician.
“(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.
“(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” Id. at 164-165.
Merely describing Roe virtually suffices to refute its legitimacy. One of the two dissenters, Justice Byron White—who was appointed by President Kennedy—accurately observed that Blackmun’s opinion was “an exercise of raw judicial power” and “an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review.” 410 U.S. at 222 (combined dissent from Roe and Doe v. Bolton).
Here are typical criticisms of Roe—from liberals who supporta right to abortion:
“What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure. Nor is it explainable in terms of the unusual political impotence of the group judicially protected vis-à-vis the interest that legislatively prevailed over it.… At times the inferences the Court has drawn from the values the Constitution marks for special protection have been controversial, even shaky, but never before has its sense of an obligation to draw one been so obviously lacking.” John Hart Ely, The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade, 82 Yale L.J. 920, 935-937 (1973).
“One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” Laurence H. Tribe, The Supreme Court, 1972 Term—Foreword: Toward a Model of Roles in the Due Process of Life and Law, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 1, 7 (1973).
“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible.” “Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the almost 30 years sinceRoe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.” Edward Lazarus, The Lingering Problems with Roe v. Wade, and Why the Recent Senate Hearings on Michael McConnell’s Nomination Only Underlined Them, Oct. 3, 2002 (at http://writ.corporate.findlaw.com/lazarus/20021003.html). (Mr. Lazarus was a law clerk to Blackmun and describes himself as “someone utterly committed to the right to choose [abortion]” and as “someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather.”)
“[Roe’s] failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations…. Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.” Archibald Cox,The Role of the Supreme Court in American Government 113-114 (1976).
Roe ”is a lousy opinion that disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply.” Benjamin Wittes, Letting Go of Roe, The Atlantic Monthly, Jan/Feb 2005.
The defects of Justice Blackmun’s majority opinion in Roeare manifest and legion. A brief review of lowlights is nonetheless warranted:
Blackmun’s rambling world-history tour of “man’s attitudes toward the abortion procedure over the centuries,” 410 U.S. at 117, wanders from the ancient Persian Empire to the position of the American Public Health Association in 1970 and of the American Bar Association in 1972. Yet, even apart from how unreliable and misleading Blackmun’s tour has been shown to be, it fails to address squarely the most relevant history—the state of abortion regulation at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. As then-Justice Rehnquist’s dissent points out, as of 1868 “there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion,” including the Texas statute the Court struck down in Roe. See 410 U.S. at 174-175 & n. 1.
Blackmun’s opinion modestly states:
“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” 410 U.S. at 159.
But while feigning not to decide the question of when a human life begins—a question that is in fact rather simple as a matter of biology—the Court in essence ruled illegitimate any legislative determination that unborn human beings are deserving of protection from abortion.
A critical step in Roe is the bare assertion, unsupported by any argument or authority, that the “right of privacy” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” 410 U.S. at 153.
In explaining the abortion regime that he was inventing, Blackmun stated:
“This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day.” 410 U.S. at 165.
This language openly reveals that Roe is a policymaker’s balancing of considerations, not an authentic judicial interpretation of the Constitution.
3. Doe v. Bolton
The same day that the Court decided Roe, it rendered its decision in Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973). As the Court said in Roe, Roe and Doe “are to be read together.” Roe,410 U.S. at 165. Doe presented the question whether Georgia’s abortion legislation, patterned on the American Law Institute’s model legislation, was constitutional. 410 U.S. at 181-182. Among other things, the Georgia statute provided that an abortion shall not be criminal when performed by a physician “based upon his best clinical judgment that an abortion is necessary because [a] continuation of the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman or would seriously and permanently injure her health.” Id. at 183. In the course of upholding this provision against a challenge that it was unconstitutionally vague, Justice Blackmun’s majority opinion determined that the
“medical judgment [as to health] may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment.” Id. at 192.
It is not entirely clear what Blackmun’s garbled discussion is intended to mean. The predominant assumption appears to be that Blackmun was construing the Georgia statute’s health exception in accord with what he regarded as its natural legal meaning (or, alternatively, in a way that he thought necessary to salvage it from invalidation on vagueness grounds). Under this reading, the authority thatRoe purports to confer on states to “regulate, and even proscribe, abortion” after viability is subject to the loophole ofDoe’s health exception. See, e.g., Women’s Medical Professional Corp. v. Voinovich, 130 F.3d 187, 209 (6th Cir. 1997)(“Roe’s prohibition on state regulation when an abortion is necessary for the ‘preservation of the life or health of the mother’ must be read in the context of the concept of health discussed in Doe” (internal citation omitted)). Because the practical meaning of this loophole would appear to be entirely at the discretion of the abortionist, it would swallow any general post-viability prohibition against abortion.
Under an alternative reading, Blackmun’s language should be understood merely as construing the Georgia statute and not as speaking, directly or indirectly, to the meaning of the post-viability health exception in Roe. See, e.g., Voinovich v. Women’s Medical Professional Corp., 523 U.S. 1036, 1039 (1998) (opinion of Thomas, joined by Rehnquist and Scalia, dissenting from the denial of certiorari) (“Our conclusion that the statutory phrase in Doe was not vague because it included emotional and psychological considerations in no way supports the proposition that, after viability, a mental health exception is required as a matter of federal constitutional law. Doe simply did not address that question.” (emphasis in original)).
4. Myths about Roe
Myths about Roe abound, and I will not strive to dispel all of them here. One set of myths dramatically understates the radical nature of the abortion regime that Roe invented and imposed on the entire country. Roe is often said, for example, merely to have created a constitutional right to abortion during the first three months of pregnancy (or the first trimester). Nothing in Roe remotely supports such a characterization.
A more elementary confusion is reflected in the commonplace assertion that Roe “legalized” abortion. At one level, this proposition is true, but it completely obscures the fact that the Court did not merely legalize abortion—itconstitutionalized abortion. In other words, the American people, acting through their state legislators, had the constitutional authority before Roe to make abortion policy. (Some States had legalized abortion, and others were in the process of liberalizing their abortion laws.) Roe deprived the American people of this authority.
The assertion that Roe “legalized” abortion also bears on a surprisingly widespread misunderstanding of the effect of a Supreme Court reversal of Roe. Many otherwise well-informed people seem to think that a reversal of Roe would mean that abortion would thereby be illegal nationwide. But of course a reversal of Roe would merely restore to the people of the States their constitutional authority to establish—and to revise over time—the abortion laws and policies for their respective States.
This confusion about what reversing Roe means is also closely related to confusion, or deliberate obfuscation, over what it means for a Supreme Court Justice to be opposed toRoe. In particular, such a Justice is often mislabeled “pro-life.” But Justices like Rehnquist, White, Scalia, and Thomas who have recognized that the Constitution does not speak to the question of abortion take a position that is entirely neutral on the substance of America’s abortion laws. Their modest point concerns process: abortion policy is to be made through the political processes, not by the courts. These Justices do not adopt a “pro-life” reading of the Due Process Clause under which permissive abortion laws would themselves be unconstitutional.
5. Planned Parenthood v. Casey
In 1992, the Supreme Court seemed ready to reverse Roeand to end its unconstitutional usurpation of the political processes on the abortion question. Instead, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992),Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter combined to produce a joint majority opinion so breathtaking in its grandiose misunderstanding of the Supreme Court’s role that it makes one long for the sterile incoherence of Blackmun’s opinion inRoe.
In Casey, the Court relied on the combined force of (a) its “explication of individual liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause and (b) staredecisis to reaffirm what it described as (c) the “central holding” of Roe. 505 U.S. at 853. Each of these elements warrants scrutiny.
The core of the Court’s explanation of the liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause is its declaration, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” 505 U.S. at 851. This lofty New Age rhetoric should not conceal the shell game that the Court is playing. What the Court’s declaration really means is that the Court is claiming the unconstrained power to define for all Americans which particular interests it thinks should be beyond the bounds of citizens to address through legislation.
Even with this infinitely elastic standard, the authors of the joint opinion are not ready to assert that Roe was correctly decided. Instead, they rest their reaffirmation of Roe on an understanding of stare decisis, and of the role of the Court generally, that betrays a remarkably profound confusion. I cannot quote the full discussion, but these passages are all too typical:
“Where, in the performance of its judicial duties, the Court decides a case in such a way as to resolve the sort of intensely divisive controversy reflected in Roeand those rare, comparable cases, its decision has a dimension that the resolution of the normal case does not carry. It is the dimension present whenever the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” 505 U.S. at 866-867.
“To all those who will be so tested by following [the Court], the Court implicitly undertakes to remain steadfast, lest in the end a price be paid for nothing. The promise of constancy, once given, binds its maker for as long as the power to stand by the decision survives and the understanding of the issue has not changed so fundamentally as to render the commitment obsolete.” 505 U.S. at 868.
“Like the character of an individual, the legitimacy of the Court must be earned over time. So, indeed, must be the character of a Nation of people who aspire to live according to the rule of law. Their belief in themselves as such a people is not readily separable from their understanding of the Court invested with the authority to decide their constitutional cases and speak before all others for their constitutional ideals. If the Court’s legitimacy should be undermined, then, so would the country be in its very ability to see itself through its constitutional ideals. The Court’s concern with legitimacy is not for the sake of the Court but for the sake of the Nation to which it is responsible.” 505 U.S. at 868.
It is probably not possible to improve on Justice Scalia’s devastating responses to the joint opinion’s bizarre assertions:
“The Court’s description of the place of Roe in the social history of the United States is unrecognizable. Not only did Roe not, as the Court suggests, resolve the deeply divisive issue of abortion; it did more than anything else to nourish it, by elevating it to the national level where it is infinitely more difficult to resolve. National politics were not plagued by abortion protests, national abortion lobbying, or abortion marches on Congress, before Roe v.Wade was decided. Profound disagreement existed among our citizens over the issue—as it does over other issues, such as the death penalty—but that disagreement was being worked out at the state level.” 505 U.S. at 995.
“Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of Justices to this Court in particular, ever since. And by keeping us in the abortion umpiring business, it is the perpetuation of that disruption, rather than of any pax Roeana, that the Court’s new majority decrees.” 505 U.S. at 995-996.
“The Imperial Judiciary lives. It is instructive to compare this Nietzschean vision of us unelected, life tenured judges—leading a Volk who will be ‘tested by following,’ and whose very ‘belief in themselves’ is mystically bound up in their ‘understanding’ of a Court that ‘speak[s] before all others for their constitutional ideals’—with the somewhat more modest role envisioned for these lawyers by the Founders.
‘The judiciary . . . has . . . no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will but merely judgment . . . .’ The Federalist No. 78.
“Or, again, to compare this ecstasy of a Supreme Court in which there is, especially on controversial matters, no shadow of change or hint of alteration … with the more democratic views of a more humble man:
‘[T]he candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, . . . the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.’ A. Lincoln, First Inaugural Address (Mar. 4, 1861).” 505 U.S. at 996-997.
While abandoning Roe’s trimester framework, the Caseyjoint opinion then reaffirmed what it characterized as Roe’s central holding: “a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.” 505 U.S. at 879. It also stated that it reaffirmed Roe’s holding (which, as discussed above, apparently was to be read with Doe’s malleable definition of health) that even after viability abortion must be available “where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” Id. In addition, it adopted a subjective and amorphous “undue burden” standard for assessing incidential abortion regulations before viability. Id. at 878.
6. Stenberg v. Carhart
The Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, provides special insight into the Court’s abortion regime. That case presented the question of the constitutionality of Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion.
This case crossed my mind five months ago as my daughter was being born and her head was first starting to emerge.
Pardon me as I briefly describe what partial-birth abortion is: It’s a method of late-term abortion in which the abortionist dilates the mother’s cervix, extracts the baby’s body by the feet until all but the head has emerged, stabs a pair of scissors into the head, sucks out the baby’s brains, collapses the skull, and delivers the dead baby.
According to estimates cited by the Court, up to 5000 partial-birth abortions are done every year in this much-blessed country.
In the face of a division of opinion among doctors over whether partial-birth abortion is sometimes safer than other methods of abortion, the Court, by a 5-4 vote, deferred to the view of those who maintained that it sometimes is and invalidated the Nebraska statute banning it.
I don’t have much else to say about this case. I don’t dispute at all that its result can reasonably be thought to be dictated by Roe and Casey. And I certainly don’t contend that what partial-birth abortion yields—a dead baby—is any different from what other methods of abortion yield.
I would instead merely submit that this case ought to make manifest to any but the most jaded conscience the sheer barbarity being done in the name of the Constitution in a country dedicated—at its founding, at least—to the self-evident truth that all human beings “are endowed by their Creator” with an unalienable right to life.
Despite the fact that the abortion issue was being worked out state-by-state, the Supreme Court purported to resolve the abortion issue, once and for all and on a nationwide basis, in its 1973 decision in Roe. Instead, as Justice Scalia has correctly observed, the Court “fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics” ever since. In 1992, the five-Justice majority in Casey ”call[ed] the contending sides [on abortion] to end their national division by accepting” what it implausibly claimed was “a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” Thirteen years later, the abortion issue remains as contentious and divisive as ever.
As Justice Scalia suggested in his dissent in Casey, Chief Justice Taney surely believed that his Dred Scott opinion would resolve, once and for all, the slavery question. But, Scalia continued:
“It is no more realistic for us in this case, than it was for him in that, to think that an issue of the sort they both involved—an issue involving life and death, freedom and subjugation—can be ‘speedily and finally settled’ by the Supreme Court, as President James Buchanan in his inaugural address said the issue of slavery in the territories would be.… Quite to the contrary, by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.
“We should get out of this area, where we have no right to be, and where we do neither ourselves nor the country any good by remaining.” 505 U.S. at 1002.
As increasing numbers of observers across the political spectrum are coming to recognize, Justice Scalia’s prescription in Casey remains entirely sound, both as a matter of constitutional law and of judicial statesmanship. If the American people are going to be permitted to exercise their authority as citizens, then all Americans, whatever their views on abortion, should recognize that the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional power grab on this issue must end and that the political issue of whether and how to regulate abortions should be returned where it belongs—to the people and to the political processes in the states.
This is only the beginning of the fascist state of an Obama Nazi Islamic Nation. Children have constitutional rights, not just adults. Every kid should take a bubble pistol or water pistol to school next week. 1st amendment right, use it or lose it. Everyone, must raise their voices regarding this story, please share profusely. If this doesn’t make you ready to rise up, get the frig out of our USA! -PBN
What are your thoughts?
MOUNT CARMEL — The family of a kindergarten student in Northumberland County is thinking about filing a lawsuit after their five-year-old was suspended from school. The family’s attorney says she was suspended because she threatened to shoot herself and a classmate with a Hello Kitty bubble gun.
A pink Hello Kitty bubble gun is the reason a five-year-old girl was suspended from kindergarten at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School. Her family’s attorney says she was at her school bus stop last week when she told a classmate she was going to shoot her and herself with the bubble gun…a gun she did not have with her. People in the community can’t believe it.
“It’s just bubbles. It can’t harm anybody. It’s not hard and won’t puncture anything or harm anybody in any way,” Kayla Nash of Shamokin said.
According to the family’s lawyer, district officials at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School questioned her for three hours without her parent’s knowledge. She was suspended for ten days for making terroristic threats.
“I would be very upset about that. They should have called the mother right away. My son is 13. If he got called into the office I would want to know right away,” Michele Krah of Mount Carmel said.
“It’s only a bubble gun. For a five-year-old. To give them a ten-day suspension. That’s horrible,” Ray Scott of Mount Carmel said.
The Hello Kitty bubble gun is similar to this one except it’s pink and has a picture of Hello Kitty on it. It is considered a toy. When you pull the trigger, it shoots out bubbles.
The family’s lawyer says a psychologist examined the girl and said she was not a danger to others, so district officials reduced the suspension from ten days to four days.
Mount Carmel’s superintendent told Newswatch 16, “We don’t comment on issues involving staff or students because of confidentiality.”
“I know they’re trying to I guess ban stuff like that at school but obviously I don’t think bubbles would hurt any child…except get them wet,” Diane Bressi of Mount Carmel said.
The family’s attorney says the incident will go on her permanent record, which the family will fight. He says the family is also considering suing the Mount Carmel Area School District.
Gun advocates and opponents nationwide may be arguing over school security and whether teachers should be armed on campus. But in Wisconsin — where children as young as 10 years old are encouraged to grab a gun and shoot a deer — one community is embracing its hunting heritage by gearing up to host a gun show in a high school gym.
All things gun related have drawn increased scrutiny since the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 21 children and six educators dead. Nonetheless plans for the show at Cornell High School this weekend have barely ruffled feathers in the city of about 1,400 residents in northwestern Wisconsin.
The state has a long tradition of hunting deer, black bear, wild turkeys and most recently wolves. More than 633,000 hunting licenses were sold for a nine-day deer hunt in late November.
“During school hours we have a zero-tolerance policy for guns and weapons of any kind, but this will be on the weekend,” Mayor Judy Talbot said. “I’ve not been approached by anyone saying anything negative about the gun show.“
Federal and state law bars guns in school settings under most circumstances, but there are provisions in federal law that allow guns with the permission of school administrators, said Steve Gibbs, the district attorney in Chippewa County. The National Rifle Association is pushing for armed security guards to be installed in schools.
Paul Schley, Cornell School District superintendent, said he received emails from five Wisconsin residents living outside Cornell who expressed disappointment that the show was taking place on school grounds. He responded that the school gym is the largest venue in town and is often used for community events, including an earlier gun show that ran without a hitch.
“We don’t look at what your event is, we just look at the availability of the facility,” he said. “We don’t discriminate on who uses our facilities.“
Furthermore, the gun show could boost the city’s economy. Organizer Marv Kraus expects 1,000 to 1,500 people to travel to Cornell to attend the show.
At least one local resident was upset about the show, suggesting its timing could put children at risk.
David Hugh, 33, said he has nothing against guns and is himself a hunter and military veteran but that he can’t understand why anyone would bring guns into a school on Sunday when students will return to the same building the following day.
“They could have done it during the summer. I’m not saying don’t have it, I’m just saying pick a different time, maybe when school isn’t in session,” said Hugh, who has a niece at the high school and a 5-year-old stepdaughter who attends elementary school in the district. “They don’t allow tobacco on campus, they won’t allow alcohol on campus, and yet they’ll allow guns on campus?“
Hugh said he didn’t complain to any officials because he didn’t think it would make a difference.
Gibbs said dealers would account for all inventory before they left, noting that none of them would want to leave behind a firearm they could sell for thousands of dollars.
“It’s like having a diamond show — you’re not going to misplace a diamond,” he said.
Sixty miles to the southwest, pastor Doug Stolhand prepared to host the Menomonie Sportsmen’s Expo and Gun Show at Menomonie Alliance Church later this month. Stolhand said one of his goals as pastor was to build bridges in the community and introduce more people to God. What better way to connect than over a pastime that drives the community?
“There really hasn’t been any pushback. We’re in a place where hunting is a part of life — men hunt here, women hunt here, kids hunt here,” he said. “We have people for whom deer season provides their meat for the year.“
Gary Thompson, organizer of the show in Menomonie, said he braced himself for complaints but received none.
“I really thought that somebody, some anti-gun person, would say something. I don’t know, you’ve just got crazy people on any side of anything,” he said. “But we have a large hunting community here. They’re not hard-core fanatics, they’re not huge activists. They’re just sportsmen, they’re hunters.“
The Founders of this nation understood that there exists individual inalienable rights and our American government was formed with the sole purpose of safeguarding those inalienable rights. As a nation we are unique in this purpose for government, and the Founders demanded that all office holders swear an oath to ‘protect and defend’ these rights enumerated in our Constitution. The Founders understood the basic concept that government is not the source of rights; that self defense is an inalienable right the Second Amendment guarantees; that each citizen is guaranteed the tools necessary to defend their life, family, or property from aggression, whether from an individual or a government. -RD Skidmore
I went deer hunting with my father for the first time when I was only ten, duck hunting at 13 and pheasant by 15. The current approach to violence being taken by those in Washington may endanger my ability to do the same things with my children and you with yours.
Sure, for now, they are going after those evil “assault weapons” which are nothing of the sort. But even if they confiscate every one of those firearms, some crazed lunatic will use a bolt action gun or non-”assault weapon” and kill just as many and that will be the call to go after even those more commonly used to hunt game. If the line is not drawn here, there may never be a line from which we can defend our rights.
Firearms like the AR-15 are now very commonly used to hunt. Many use the “evil” AR-15 and Mini-14/30 to hunt feral hogs that are tearing up much-needed farmland and to put down coyotes that endanger game and livestock. The truth is that in the hunting world, those guns do far more good than evil and the truth must be used to create reason in the debate.
Our second amendment rights were written down and agreed to, not because our founders had some naive idea of how firearms would evolve, but because they knew that power-hungry ideologues would some day seek to slowly enslave the people. It has happened before in so many countries, the same way, little by little until the people had no way to defend themselves.
Evil people will do horrendous things – we cannot stop them. Laws cannot stop them. Only a narcissistic populace can be led to believe that they or their government have the power to stop evil. A thinking people realize that evil exists and will use any means necessary to carry out terrible deeds. Only citizens with the means to defend themselves and others can belay such things.
The tragedy in Newton is a prime example. While an evil man happened to use a firearm to cause such pain, remember that he could as easily have killed his mother with a bat and used the car he stole to plow through the bus line at the school to have the same effect. Would we then outlaw cars? Of course not. We would look to the source of the problem, not the weapon used in the crime.
For the political elite, the answer is laws. Make this illegal or that illegal, as if the evil-doer gives any care to what is or is not legal. Adam Lanza didn’t care that he illegally murdered his mother, that stealing the guns was illegal, that possessing them was illegal, that stealing her car was illegal, that bringing the guns to a school was illegal, that murdering children and teachers was illegal or that suicide was illegal. Everything that happened was already supposedly prevented by laws on the books – but they failed as they always will.
Consider the legislation that Feinstein, Biden, Obama et al are planning to push. Make a certain firearm illegal, stronger laws against firearms on school grounds, laws against magazines – none would have stopped Adam Lanza. He broke a slew of laws to commit his horrific crime. How would one or two more matter?
The guns did not cause Adam Lanza to kill anyone. There were warning signs, actions not taken and mis-steps made along the way by everyone that knew him. The wake-up call should be that we, as a society, don’t know how to deal with people like him before they commit these atrocities. Why not?
The news is focused on his tactics and tools, not his motivation and the failures by so many to prevent his spiral into darkness. America can do better.
The easy thing is to blame the inanimate object – the weapon. Explosives, firearms, knives, clubs and vehicles would already be considered illegal if used in a crime, but they still are used to kill. Should we outlaw all those things or just begin to understand the cause and admit that sometimes evil happens.
If every gun owner does not decide that all guns are rightful and only humans are evil, then all guns will some day be labelled evil. At that point, even your field over-and-under shotgun will be considered a dark and unnecessary thing.
It is against the law to incite violence. Let’s stand together and insist that those who are inciting gun violence be arrested now. Call your Reps now!
CNN and the gun grabbing media are now calling for Alex Jones to be shot the day after his heated appearance with Piers Morgan.
In a segment on Piers Morgan’s CNN program, sports columnist for the Daily Beast, Buzz Bissinger, shockingly states:
“I don’t care what the justification is that you’re allowed in this country to own a semi-automatic weapon – much less a handgun. But what do you need a semi-automatic weapon for? The only reason I think you’d need it is, Piers, challenge Alex Jones to a boxing match, show up with a semi-automatic that you got legally and pop him.”
Abby Huntsman (Huffington Post) : “I’d love to see that… [laughter] in uniform.”
Piers Morgan: “I’ll borrow my brothers uniform.”
The other guests laugh and say they’d like to see it. Without a doubt, this amounts to a veiled threat.
Earlier in the episode, another guest expressed hope that Alex Jones’ children would not be killed, which Jones’ says terrorized his children and family as they watched on from home.
CNN Guest Says Kill Alex Jones! FPS Russian Executed
This call to violence from those demanding gun control is nothing new.
LOGANVILLE, Ga. — A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety Friday.
The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar.
But the man eventually found the family. read more
The Bill – Investors must put up $1 million for a visa, but if they invest in a rural area or one with high unemployment, that is reduced to $500,000. Based on a deal forged by Leahy it was in stasis because President Bush said it was “riddled with corruption”. As soon Barack Obama came into office, he must have said it was good because it was full of corruption.
Development is good, but not at the risk of letting jihadists buy their access into the USA.
The detestable and despicable Patrick Leahy (picture right) has Visas For Sale – Our Founding forefathers did not want to create an elitist society. The truth is, that is just what the left want, a society were workers and makers provide for them and the users and takers. USA, it is truly time to put our foot down. Unfathomable that Leahy could be a successor to the obama “throne” after Biden and Boehner as president pro tem.
We think that there may be more than is openly shared about Mr. Leahy’s finances as well. Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org – The Center for Responsive Politics, Leahy’s net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $49,007 and $210,000. That averages to $129,503.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.00. read more
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
The killing of young children at their school will be linked by many pundits to the availability of guns. Still others will blame the violent act on some pathology or childhood trauma. Some may even blame the Hollywood culture with its disregard for humanity, on which human bodies are seen being dissected nightly on network TV. Virtually no one will call what occurred in Newtown an act of evil. –William Murray
Twitter suspended us after we were repeatedly attacked by liberals for our pro 2nd amendment stance.
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. – James Madison
The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. – Samuel Adams
Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged school districts to review their plans to ensure they are prepared to respond to incidents such as the horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday. read more