The Democratic Party of No Takes on the Supreme Court

There was a time when bipartisanship had a place in Washington, D.C., especially as it related to nominations to the Supreme Court.

In July 1993, Democratic President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsberg to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. She was approved unanimously by both the Democrats and Republicans on the Judicial Committee, even though she was – and continues to be – an extreme liberal in her rulings.

The following year in July 1994, Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to be an Associate Justice. Like Bader Ginsberg, he was approved by an 18-to-0 margin. Every Republican approved his nomination.

All of that changed a decade later under a Republican administration.

When Republican President George W. Bush nominated Stephen Roberts in September 2005 to be Chief Justice, he was only approved by a 13-to-5 margin. All ten Republicans on the committee approved him, but only three of eight Democrats approved the nomination (Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Herb Kohl of Wisconsin; and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin).

Samuel Alito’s January 2006 nomination was even more contentious. While all ten Republicans approved his nomination, none of the eight Democrats voted in favor of him. Zero percent.

The Republicans have never uniformly voted against Democratic presidential Supreme Court nominees including Sonia Sotamayor in July 2009 (6-to-1 against) and Elana Kagan in July 2010 (6-to-1 against). But the Democrats would be absolutists and do it again under Republican President Donald Trump in April 2017, with all nine Democrats opposing Neil Gorsuch.

The Democratic Party of No has promised to take a similar stance for the replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy. Left wing-radical Senator Elizabeth Warren has been calling on Republicans to vote against an “extremist” Trump nominee. Quite a bizarre and telling comment from an extreme liberal senator and after Justice Gorsuch proved himself to be a more moderate than either Bader Ginsberg and Sotamayor.


Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Democrats have become so disoriented in the far left fringe, that even moderate Conservatives are considered unacceptable extremists. Democratic President Barack Obama noted that his party had run off the rails after the 2016 presidential loss saying that “Democrats are characterized as coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks.” It is not a characterization. It has become a fact.

Here are the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee (and their GovTracks ideological score, with 0.0 being the most extreme liberal, 0.5 being a perfect moderate and 1.0 being a full conservative) who will consider the nominee to replace Justice Kennedy:

  • Diane Feinstein (0.18)
  • Patrick Leahy (0.23)
  • Dick Durbin (0.17)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (0.19)
  • Amy Klobuchar (0.38)
  • Christopher Coons (0.39)
  • Richard Blumenthal (0.16)
  • Mazie Hirono (0.18)
  • Cory Booker (0.21)
  • Kamala Harris (0.14)

As seen above, almost all of the Democrats on the committee are extreme liberals with the exceptions of Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. They are the the keys to a rationale bipartisan review of the Supreme Court nominee. Contact Senator Coons and Senator Klobuchar to let them know of your desire to have a thoughtful – not knee-jerk – review of this most important position.

“I am part of First.One.Through, a group of people dedicated to a thoughtful and honest review of issues in the hopes of bettering our society.

I am writing in regards to your role on the Judiciary Committee. Republicans have NEVER unanimously rejected a Democratic president’s nominee, while the Democrats have done that for each of the last two Republican nominees. I ask that you fight the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party of No and give a thoughtful hearing to the Supreme Court nominee. My sincere thanks.”


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Weddings are Religious Affairs

On December 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The court will decide whether a baker has the right as a matter of religious freedom to not create a customized wedding cake for a homosexual couple, or whether turning down such clients is a matter of discrimination against gays.

Colorado baker Jack Phillips

The case will have Americans confront an issue that it has been pressing in the wrong direction for many years: the government should have NO ROLE in weddings, even while it maintains documents on marriages. The government should limit its involvement to a single legal document as to the selection of a civil partner and no more.

Judeo-Christian Society versus Freedom of Religion

American politicians have long stated that the country’s laws were based on the ethics and morals of Judeo-Christian teachings. But while American laws were established with such inspiration, a fundamental principle of American society is the separation of church and state. Nothing can be made more clear than the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The core of this amendment is that US laws cannot infringe on a person’s practice of their religion.

Religious Limits on Marriage

There are some laws found in the Bible that limit certain relationships, including bans on incest and homosexuality. For the first two centuries of America’s existence, the law of the land followed the Judeo-Christian ban on these two marriages. However, due to American society’s more accepting attitude towards homosexual relationships, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit gay marriages in June 2015. The ban on marriages between family members still remain.

The US lawsuit that brought about the legalization of marriage was filed because of American law that prevented the plaintiff, Jim Obergefell, from putting his name on the death certificate of his late husband. He was completely correct in being outraged that US law prevented him from doing so.

But our society has been making the wrong arguments in its defense of gay marriage, in advancing a bad set of arguments forcing a baker to create a cake against his religious sensibilities.

Religious Ceremonies versus Civil Documents

The US legal system uses many civil documents, including birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates. They are simple legal notices that must be filed to keep an appropriate record of people in the United States.

Anyone should be free to fill out these documents in a manner that fits their personal beliefs without ANY intervention by the government. That means that the government cannot object to someone naming their child Mohammed any more than two women filing a marriage certificate. (The government should also be prohibited from banning a civil union between siblings or close family members, which it still does).

Put simply, it should not be up to the government to put its Judeo-Christian founding above the principle of a separation of church and state.

In a similar vein, the government should not be able to infringe on people’s practice of religion.

Just as the government should not be allowed to ban the practice of circumcision (the Jewish custom of a bris when the boy is eight days old), it cannot interfere in a wedding ceremony.

Bris/Baptism/Wedding versus Civil Documents

There are certain life events that are religious in nature, where the participants use a priest or rabbi to officiate the ceremony. They often hold the event in a church or synagogue and invoke God’s name and recite prayers. Baptisms and weddings are such occasions.

US laws do not much care about the nature of the religious ceremony. While a priest may declare the couple to be man-and-wife, the legal system still requires a civil marriage certificate to be filed. It is that legal document that falls under the government’s purview, not the wedding itself.

Similarly, a rabbi may name a child in the synagogue at a child’s bris. But the parents must still fill out paperwork in the courts declaring the child’s legal name.

Ceremony and Party Participants

Should everyone be compelled to participate at a bris? Of course not. A photographer should not be compelled to take pictures at a bris just because she takes pictures at baptisms.

Should a baker be forced to design a custom wedding cake for homosexuals or an incestuous couple which goes against his religious beliefs? Absolutely not. It is every vendor’s right to not actively engage in a religious service to which he doesn’t subscribe.

In the case of Masterpiece Cake, the baker made clear that he would sell any ready made item in the store to any person who walked in, regardless of sexual orientation. However, Colorado law compelled him to design and create a cake against his religious beliefs. While that activity does not reach the level of a priest officiating the ceremony, it stands well above the electric company’s providing power to the event. The latter is “blind” to the religious ceremony, and the activity would be identical if the event were a convention. The baker crafts his cake for the ceremony.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: “no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” The converse is just as true, that no person should be compelled to violate their religious beliefs.

To actively compel a person to engage in a religious practice – and a wedding ceremony is a religious practice – is wrong. And overturning the Masterpiece Cake Colorado ruling would have no impact on homosexual couples filing for government-approved civil unions.

It is time to clearly delineate between religious ceremonies and legal documents, and to give both gay people and those that have religious objections to gay marriage the freedoms they all deserve.


Related First.One.Through article:

The Baker and Government Doth Protest Too Much

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

Black People are Homophobic

Pride. Jewish and Gay

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