The Hill: Senate Intelligence Committee chief Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has decided to postpone the panel’s confirmation vote on White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan’s nomination to become CIA chief.
The California Democrat ordered the delay after committee members requested the White House provide more information on its armed drone program and last September’s terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Fox News: The Senate Intelligence Committee will delay voting to confirm John Brennan as CIA director as the panel’s Democratic chairwoman demanded Wednesday that the White House turn over more details about lethal drone strikes on terror suspects and last September’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left the U.S. ambassador there and three other Americans dead.
Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said the vote likely will be pushed off until late February.
In a statement, the California Democrat said senators need to see more classified legal opinions that justify using the unmanned spy planes to kill Al Qaeda suspects overseas, including American citizens. The Obama administration last week released two of nine classified Justice Department memos outlining the legal reasoning to Feinstein’s committee just hours before Brennan’s confirmation hearing in front of the panel.
Feinstein said the memos are necessary “in order to fully evaluate the executive branch’s legal reasoning, and to broaden access to the opinions to appropriate members of the committee staff.”
The White House declined to comment Wednesday.
Feinstein and other lawmakers are considering creating a special court to review strikes against U.S. citizens. In 2011, drone strikes in Yemen killed three Americans: U.S. born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and al-Qaida propagandist Samir Khan.
Last week, Brennan defended the strikes in his confirmation testimony, but also said he welcomed more discussion on the controversial program.
“American citizens by definition are due much greater due process than anybody else by dint of their citizenship,” Brennan told Feinstein’s committee.
The Senate and House Judiciary committees also want to see the documents, and other lawmakers are pressing the White House for more for information on the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi the killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
(Reuters) – Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities along the Suez Canal where dozens of people have been killed over the past four days in protests that his allies say are designed to overthrow him.
Seven people were shot dead and hundreds were injured in Port Said on Sunday during the funerals of 33 people killed there when locals angered by a court decision went on the rampage as anti-government protests spread around the country.
A total of 49 people have been killed since Thursday and Mursi’s opponents, who accuse his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood of betraying the revolution that ousted long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, have called for more demonstrations on Monday.
“Down, down Mursi, down down the regime that killed and tortured us!” people in Port Said chanted as the coffins of those killed on Saturday were carried through the streets.
Mursi, who was elected in June, is trying to fix a beleaguered economy and cool tempers before a parliamentary poll in the next few months which is supposed to cement Egypt’s transition to democracy. Repeated eruptions of violence have weighed heavily on the Egyptian pound.
In a televised address, he said a nightly curfew would be introduced in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez, starting Monday.
Several hundred people protested in Ismailia, Suez and Port Said after the announcement, in which Mursi also called for a dialogue with top politicians. Activists in the three cities vowed to defy the curfew in protest at the decision.
“The protection of the nation is the responsibility of everyone. We will confront any threat to its security with force and firmness within the remit of the law,” he said, offering condolences to families of the victims.
In Cairo the newly appointed Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was ejected from the funeral of one of the police officers who died during Saturday’s clashes in Port Said, according to witnesses and police sources.
A police officer at the funeral said many of his colleagues blame the interior minister for the deaths of at least two policemen during Saturday’s clashes as he did not allow the police there to carry weapons and were only given teargas bombs.
The violence has exposed a deep rift in the nation. Liberals and other opponents accuse Mursi of failing to deliver on economic promises and say he has not lived up to pledges to represent all Egyptians. His backers say the opposition is seeking to topple Egypt’s first freely elected leader.
Distancing itself from the latest flare-ups, the opposition National Salvation Front said Mursi should have acted far sooner to impose extra security measures that would end the violence.
“Of course we feel the president is missing the real problem on the ground which is his own polices,” spokesman Khaled Dawoud told Reuters. “His call to implement emergency law was an expected move given what is going on, namely thuggery and criminal actions.”
The Front, formed late last year when Mursi provoked protests and violence by expanding his powers and driving through an Islamist-tinged constitution, has threatened to boycott the parliamentary poll and call for more protests if its demands are not met, including for an early presidential vote
Mursi had invited 11 political parties, including Islamist, liberal and leftist groups, along with four top politicians to a meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT)to work out a basis for a fruitful dialogue that would resolve the political crisis, according to a statement from his office.
The Front said it will meet earlier on Monday to discuss the invitation.
But some of the Front’s top leaders had already announced their position. Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist politician and former presidential candidate who was one of the four invited by Mursi, said he would not attend Monday’s meeting “unless the bloodshed stops and the people’s demands are met.”
Sabahy’s Popular Current movement said in a statement the protests are due to economic and political problems that need to be addressed by policies and not through “security solutions”.
Front leader Mohamed ElBaradie described the dialogue “a waste of time” on his Twitter account.
State television said seven people died from gunshot wounds in Port Said on Sunday. Port Said’s head of hospitals, Abdel Rahman Farag, told Reuters more than 400 people had suffered from teargas inhalation, while 38 were wounded by gunshots.
Gunshots had killed many of the 33 who died on Saturday when residents rioted after a court sentenced 21 people, mostly from the Mediterranean port, to death for their role in deadly soccer violence at a stadium there last year.
A military source said many people in Port Said, which lies next to the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula, possess guns because they do not trust the authorities to protect them. However it was not clear who was behind the deaths and injuries.
In Cairo, police fired teargas at dozens at protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs in a fourth day of clashes over what demonstrators there and in other cities say is a power grab by Islamists two years after Mubarak was overthrown.
In Ismailia city, which lies on the Suez Canal between the cities of Suez and Port Said, police also fired teargas at protesters attacking a police station with petrol bombs and stones, according to witnesses and a security source there.
Most of the deaths since Thursday were in Port Said and Suez, both cities where the army has now been deployed.
Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch in Cairo said a state of emergency reintroduced laws that gave police sweeping powers of arrest “purely because (people) look suspicious”.
“It is a classic knee-jerk reaction to think the emergency law will help bring security,” she said. “It gives so much discretion to the Ministry of Interior that it ends up causing more abuse which in turn causes more anger.”
The opposition Popular Current and other groups have called for more protests on Monday to mark what was one of the bloodiest days of the 2011 uprising.
Anti-Mursi protesters who have been camped out in Tahrir Square for weeks also demonstrated against Mursi’s move to impose a state of emergency, reviving memories of Mubarak’s era when emergency codes were in place for three decades and used to crush dissent and detain people without charge.
Protesters say Mursi has betrayed the revolution’s aims.
“None of the revolution’s goals have been realised,” said Mohamed Sami, a protester in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the cauldron of the uprising that erupted on January 25, 2011 and toppled Mubarak 18 days later.
“Prices are going up. The blood of Egyptians is being spilt in the streets because of neglect and corruption and because the Muslim Brotherhood is ruling Egypt for their own interests.”
Clashes also erupted in other streets near the square. The U.S. and British embassies, both close to Tahrir, said they were closed for public business on Sunday, normally a working day.
The army, Egypt’s interim ruler until Mursi’s election, was sent back onto the streets to restore order in Port Said and Suez, which both lie on the Suez canal. In Suez, at least eight people were killed in clashes with police.
Many ordinary Egyptians are frustrated by the violence that have hurt the economy and their livelihoods.
“They are not revolutionaries protesting,” said taxi driver Kamal Hassan, 30, referring to those gathered in Tahrir. “They are thugs destroying the country.”
(Additional reporting by Shaimaa Fayed in Cairo and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Christopher Wilson)
UPDATE: Obama and his masses conducting evil against the states.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp’s rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska’s governor on Tuesday approved a plan for part of the line running through his state.
“We don’t anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year,” said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision by that deadline. Full post
God Bless Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman! TransCanada just got final approval to build its pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta all the way to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Done.
Obama rejected the broader[Keystone XL] plan, saying the pipeline needed to be rerouted around Nebraska’s sensitive Sand Hills region. For that project, TransCanada needs presidential approval because it crosses an international border. The shorter portion only requires permits from state and federal agencies. TransCanada said the final of three permits it needed from the Army Corps of Engineers had been approved. The line from Cushing will help relieve a bottleneck at the Oklahoma refinery.
The governor approved a revised route for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline which his office said would avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
“Construction and operation of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, with the mitigation and commitments from Keystone would have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska,” he wrote in a letter to Obama and Clinton.
The decision on final approval now rests with the Obama administration. The State Department is expected to decide within the next few months whether to permit the project to go forward — Heineman’s approval puts Obama in a difficult political spot.
The president had previously cited the Nebraska’s concerns about the pipeline as a key obstacle to approving the pipeline. At the same time, the president was able assuage the concerns of major environmental groups who not only voiced concern about the potential impact of a spill but also the emissions created by extracting and refining oil from what are known as oil sands in Canada.
After Obama in his inaugural address pledged to take action on climate change, the Sierra Club said it was “heartened” by Obama’s remarks and again urged the administration to reject “the dangerous tar sands pipeline.”
But supporters — including some in the president’s own party — have downplayed the environment impact and stressed the economic benefits the pipeline could bring. The pipeline is backed by the unions, and has been heavily promoted by Canadian officials. In Heineman’s letter, the governor said construction in Nebraska would yield $418 million in economic benefits.
Asked about the Nebraska governor’s decision Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney noted the State Department was still reviewing the issue.
“There are stages in this process. … I don’t want to get ahead of that process,” Carney said.
There are other hurdles beyond the federal government’s approval — needed because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border. A state court case has challenged the law that gives Heineman the power to approve such plans.
The American Petroleum Institute hailed the Nebraska decision Tuesday as a major step.
“Another major hurdle has been cleared,” API Executive Vice President Marty Durbin said. “With the approval from Nebraska in hand, the president can be confident that the remaining environmental concerns have been addressed.”
The governor said the new route would avoid the sensitive Sand Hills region, though would “cross” a vital aquifer. The governor expressed confidence that enough protections were in place to allow the project to go forward.
Publisher’s Editorial: 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.
M. Katherine Orts writing/reporting for USDefenseLeague.com PushBackNow.com in conjunction with WorldWideBroadcaster.com “Pushing Back Tyranny With Truth” for the Glory of God in Jesus Name!
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.
May The Lord Jesus Christ Richly Bless Charlie Daniels and those whom he loves. He is a True American Patriot. -PBN
When the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter, makes a ruling in a case they first look for precedent, in other words to see if there has been a court decision rendered on the same subject in the past and usually defer to the old decision in ruling on the case.
The greatest teacher in life is experience; it only takes one time of burning your fingers on a hot stove to know that you never want to touch another one.
The next greatest teacher is observation, paying attention to someone else’s experiences and profiting from their wins and losses, trials and errors.
In my generation I have seen the rise and fall of fascism, communism, different experiments in socialism and the kind of downright social and fiscal foolishness that leads to what has recently happened in Greece.
There is an old saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
There is at this time a huge debate in our nation about the private ownership of firearms. The president and the anti-gun crowd claim they do not want to do away with private ownership, that they only want to modify the existing laws having to do with assault weapons -which can be construed as anything in your gun cabinet of any heavy caliber – and clips for semiautomatic weapons holding more than 10 bullets.
I submit to you that what is going on here is the first assault on private gun ownership
They will take what ever they can get now and continue to chip away until all you can legally own to protect your family with is a baseball bat.
Did you know that one of the major reasons the Japanese did not attempt to land troops on the American coast during World War Two is because they knew that Americans owned guns and would fight tooth and nail for every inch of shore line.
Hitler disarmed Germany, Stalin disarmed Russia, and Mao disarmed China.
The mainstream media is quick to report any kind of gun violence but omit the stories where lives have been saved by legally owned guns in the hands of good citizens and the stories are many and varied all across the country.
Let’s look at some precedent:
In 1997, many Aussies were forced to give up their privately owned firearms. Over 630,000 were turned in to be destroyed as part of a “buyback plan” by the Australian government. Total cost of the buyback? $500,000,000.
One year later, here were the results:
Homicides nationwide: Up 6.2%
Assaults nationwide: Up 9.6%
Armed robberies nationwide: Up 44%
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms went up 300%.
Five years later, a “continued modest decline” in homicides was noted, but what has gone up in the land down under over the past few years is the number of assaults. Overall, assaults are up 40% and sexual assaults are up 20%.
Across the pond, Great Britain passed a handgun ban in 1998. Ten years later, many British “bobbies” are armed for the first time because of the amount of illegal guns in the hands of criminals.
Have you read about gun bans resulting in more gun violence or seen it on the television news?
Do you think it’s newsworthy?
America, no matter what Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the far left in America say, they want your guns.
NEW YORK — A New York police detective shot and killed an unarmed man, whose hands, a witness said, were on the steering wheel of his Honda, after he had been pulled over early Thursday for cutting off two police trucks on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the authorities said.
The shooting, which occurred at 5:15 a.m., was the latest in a series of episodes in which police officers fatally shot or wounded civilians. While the Police Department had explanations in the other instances, it could not immediately provide one for the shooting on Thursday.
The detective, Hassan Hamdy, 39, a 14-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Service Unit, fired one bullet through an open window of the car, which his squad had just pulled over with the help of a second police vehicle. The bullet struck the driver, Noel Polanco, 22, in the abdomen. He was declared dead less than an hour later at New York Hospital Queens.
Hassan Hamdy is a Muslim name. Family, friends and authorities are still trying to determine why an NYPD detective fatally shot and killed an unarmed driver on the Grand Central Parkway on Thursday.
Detective Hassan Hamdy, identified by police as the officer who fatally shot Noel Polanco, 22, was one of several officers named in a 2007 brutality lawsuit by a Queens grandmother and her grandson who said they were terrorized by police after being subjected to an illegal search of their home. The suit was settled for $235,000.
Fred Lichtmacher, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said the NYPD moved swiftly to settle the case out of court. Under the terms of the settlement, the officers admitted no fault or liability for the incident.
“The city was very anxious to get rid of this,” Lichtmacher told The Huffington Post. “I never got to see what the cops’ records were like.”
Attempts to reach Hamdy for comment were unsuccessful.
A spokeswoman for New York City’s legal department said Hamdy did not appear to be a “major player” in the Queens brutality case. But the city also said that Hamdy was named in another civil rights complaint that the city settled for $291,000 in 2001, and that details of that case were not immediately available.
According to police officials, Hamdy was one of two officers who approached Polanco’s car after he was pulled over at around 5 a.m. Thursday for speeding and driving erratically near LaGuardia Airport. After Hamdy approached the driver’s side, he fired his gun into the car, striking Polanco in the abdomen. Polanco died about an hour later after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Polanco had been a specialist in the New York Army National Guard since 2008, according to a military spokesman.
Initial statements by the police indicated that Polanco was shot after he ignored a command to keep his hands in the air and reached under his seat. No weapon was recovered from the car.
But Diane DeFerrari, a bartender sitting in the front passenger seat of Polanco’s car, has contradicted the police account, telling news outlets that Polanco had his hands on the steering wheel at all times during the stop.
DeFerrari described the officers who made the traffic stop as aggressive, saying they screamed obscenities and extended the middle finger toward the car before Polanco pulled over. She said Polanco had no time to reach under the seat before being shot.
“All you had to do was pull him over, ask for license and registration and take him to jail. There was no reason for this innocent kid to be killed,” she told CBS News.
A third passenger, off-duty police officer Vanessa Rodriguez, 29, was asleep in the backseat, police said.
The shooting is under investigation by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Division. “The public can be assured that the investigation will be full, fair and complete,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown said his office would not comment on the specifics of the case until the investigation was concluded.
Court records do not indicate whether Hamdy was disciplined by the NYPD for his involvement in the 2007 brutality incident.
But according to Dorothy Garcia, 74, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Hamdy was one of several officers who broke down her front door in pursuit of her grandson, who they mistakenly believed was involved in a violent crime.
Garcia identified Hamdy after being shown his photograph by reporters on Friday.
“They stormed up. They were screaming,” Garcia said. She answered the door and the officers demanded to see her grandson, Tyrell Garcia, who was then 23.
When Ms. Garcia refused to let them in her house without a warrant, Hassan and the other officers began forcing their way into the house, she said. The officers broke down the door and chased after Tyrell, who hid in a neighbor’s garage.
According to the lawsuit, the teen surrendered and walked out of the garage peacefully, but was thrown to the ground and beaten by officers. A police dog was allowed to bite him repeatedly, the complaint said.
Several minor criminal charges were filed against Garcia for fleeing the police, but were later dropped, said Lichtmacher, the attorney. Garcia was cleared of any involvement in the crime that prompted the initial search.
“They were extremely aggressive with very little information,” Lichtmacher said. “They had no warrant. It was a very strange incident.”
Lichtmacher, who frequently represents plaintiffs in brutality cases against the NYPD, said he was unaware of Hamdy’s specific role in the 2007 incident. But he said it was unsurprising to see Hamdy involved in another event involving allegations of unjustified use of force.
Hobby Lobby is a respected and very successful business that is privately owned by a family who have sought to honor God in their personal lives and in their business. Their generosity to missions, to the relief of poverty around the world, to Christian education, and to their employees is legendary and exemplifies the kind of business principle that should be applauded and appreciated.
in Brooklyn, New York ruled that various Roman Catholic entities in the New York area had legal standing to pursue their challenge to the so-called “HHS Mandate,” a series of federal regulations requiring virtually all employers to pay for their employees’ contraception, sterilization, and early abortion-inducing drugs. read more
Last Friday, the Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. and the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) said that they filed a devastating legal brief supported by hundreds of pages of evidence, asking a federal judge to find the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) liable to five of its former clients for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a release to the media today, AFLC stated:
“The legal brief demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that CAIR is a criminal organization that deceptively holds itself out to the public as the nation’s largest Muslim-American civil rights organization.”
“The brief and supporting evidence were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in two companion cases, Saiyed v. CAIR and Lopez v. CAIR, in which David Yerushalmi is lead counsel. The brief and supporting evidence overwhelmingly demonstrate that CAIR was involved in a massive criminal fraud and cover-up that injured numerous client-victims who had looked to CAIR for legal assistance, yet the CAIR “attorney” allegedly handling their cases was in fact not an attorney.” – Photo: Alex Wong/ Getty Images read more
Publishers Note: The PBN staff are faith filled, we believe in the Grace of God, we also understand the penalty for the lost. Here is an atheist perspective of Islam WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE -PBN
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the election gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.
In a statement, the Republican freshman said “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results” but not enough to change the outcome, giving the race to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy.
“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West said. read more
The Republican Party made an agreement 30 years ago with the Democrat Party regarding voting integrity. That agreement is not to pursue potential voter fraud. If you are not rip roaring mad and ready to sling every RINO out of the party by now, read this and you will be!
In 1982, the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) entered into a consent decree (the “Decree”), which is national in scope, limits the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the prior court’s approval. Full decree in PDF RNC DNC Voter CoIntegrity Agreement.
Has the Republican Party committed suicide? Is USA two-party system in it’s death throws? Every state better step up and utilize the assets afforded in the 10th Amendment, before we lose that too. Our constitution is being burned and replaced by over 1500 Obama administration executive orders.