Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Court Orders North Carolina Sheriff to Stop Delaying Gun Permits

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 10, 2022: 

Using the Covid pandemic and surging gun sales as an excuse, Mecklenburg, North Carolina, County Sheriff Garry McFadden delayed issuing gun purchase and concealed-carry permits for up to a year. On Monday, the judge for the Superior Court ordered him to stop delaying the issuance of those permits:

After considering the pleadings and other sworn testimony of the parties and after hearing the arguments of counsel, the Court finds as a fact the Sheriff and his office have not issued handgun permits in accordance with the time frames set forth in the applicable statutes.

 

As a result, the constitutional rights of the Plaintiffs to bear arms have been infringed and Plaintiffs are entitled to preliminary relief.

Those plaintiffs include Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC), along with individuals whose rights were violated by the sheriff and his staff.

The judge added:

Furthermore, the Court concludes as a matter of law Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits and are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief … it is therefore ordered that the Plaintiffs’ Motion is GRANTED.

The motion granted now requires the sheriff and his staff:

1.) to process pistol purchase permit applications within the 14 days required by North Carolina statute;

2.) to process concealed handgun permit applications within the 45 days required by statute;

3.) to request mental health records to process concealed handgun applications within 10 days as required by statute; and

4.) to process fingerprints for concealed handgun permits within 5 business days.

GRNC President Paul Valone celebrated the ruling:

In violation of North Carolina law, Sheriff Garry McFadden has been dragging his feet in processing North Carolina pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits, often taking up to a year to issue permits and preventing lawful North Carolinians from buying and carrying handguns for defense of themselves and their families.

 

We believe this order sends a clear message to sheriffs in Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties, among others, that obstructing lawful citizens from exercising the right to keep and bear arms will no longer be tolerated.

 

To ensure compliance by a sheriff who has so far dragged his feet, Grass Roots North Carolina advises anyone whose fingerprints are not taken with five business days of completing a concealed handgun application to contact us immediately.

The ruling fails to address the issue of the infringement built into the statutory law that a citizen of North Carolina be required to get permission in the first place. A person ought to be free to decide whether to purchase, keep, bear, and carry a firearm depending on his own personal circumstances. Where does the Constitution allow or require fingerprinting, a mental-health check, or a “background” check, before a law-abiding citizen can exercise that right spelled out in the Second Amendment?

“This case,” wrote Cam Edwards at Bearing Arms, “is yet more proof that we the people shouldn’t have to obtain a state-issued permission slip before exercising a constitutionally-protected right in the first place.” He added:

Why should our rights be put on hold because our county sheriff is having staffing issues?

 

That’s one thing you never have to worry about with Constitutional Carry.

At present, more than two dozen states allow constitutional carry. Perhaps this ruling in North Carolina will galvanize the state legislature to pass such a measure, make Monday’s ruling obsolete, and take sheriffs of all North Carolina counties out of the picture altogether.

Poll: 54% Think Abortion Should Be Illegal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 5, 2022:  

The latest Fox News poll reflects a pro-life trend that has been growing for years. In a poll completed just before Politico announced the leak of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Monday, Fox reported that a majority thinks abortion should be illegal “all (11%) or most of the time (43%).” Those who think abortion should be legal “is [at] a record low and it’s also the first time the portion saying ‘illegal’ has been above 50% on a Fox News poll.”

The trend favoring the pro-life position has been apparent for years. Back in 1998, Gallup asked, “Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” At the time, 15 percent said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Ten years later, that percentage was 18 percent, and since then it has moved higher, to nearly 20 percent.

According to the Pew Research Center’s latest polling results, 39 percent say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Last June, Gallup found that 52 percent of Americans take a pro-life position on abortion, wanting all (19 percent) or almost all (33 percent) abortions made illegal. That same poll found that only 32 percent of those polled think abortions should be legal up to the moment of birth.

A January 2021, a Marist poll found a majority of those polled were pro-life and oppose all or nearly all abortions. A poll conducted later that year by CBS News reported that 55 percent of Americans say abortion should either be more limited or should not be permitted at all.

A Morning Consult poll conducted last year found that a majority of those polled want abortions to be made illegal either in all cases or only legal in very rare cases such as rape or incest, or when the pregnancy directly affects the life of the mother. Those exceptions constitute less than two or three percent of all abortions, which means, as Steven Ertelt of Life News put it, “Most Americans support making virtually all abortions illegal.”

Another measure of growing opposition to abortion comes from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which reported that since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, states have imposed more than 1,300 restrictions on the procedure, including more than 100 last year alone.

At least one of them — Texas SB 8, the “Heartbeat Law” — made headline news, especially as other states such as Oklahoma and Idaho passed nearly identical laws.

In commenting on the Texas law, former Texas congressman Dr. Ron Paul pointed out that

It is no coincidence that Roe v. Wade came at a time when respect for natural rights of life, liberty, and property, was on the decline.

 

Roe contributed to the decline….

The ultimate solution, Dr. Paul wrote, was to reverse the trend by recognizing that abortion is the taking of an innocent life:

The way to reverse these developments is to restore respect for the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property, of all human beings, both born and unborn.

 

The cause of life is inseparable from the cause of liberty.

It’s taken 50 years, but the trend, and the momentum, is unmistakable. The Supreme Court “leak” is now propelling forward the conversation that states and their citizens must have on the issue. And they’re increasingly moving back to the Declaration of Independence’s crystal-clear statement:

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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Oklahoma to be the First State to Ban All Abortions After Heartbeat

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 29, 2022:  

The moment Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signs two bills into law — expected today — Oklahoma will be the first state effectively to ban all abortions in the state from the moment a heartbeat is detected onward to birth. Sooner State legislators aren’t waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, expected in June, to act.

The state’s Senate passed the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act” — Senate Bill 1503 — on Thursday, which prohibits abortions any time after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Senate also passed House Bill 4327 (after reconciliation) on Thursday, allowing private citizens to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone assisting an abortion. That includes not only the individual performing or attempting to perform an abortion, but also anyone who knowingly “aids and abets” an abortion. That would include anyone paying for the abortion, providing information leading to an abortion, or providing transportation to or from an abortion facility — in other words, anyone who assists in abortion in any way could be sued. If convicted, that individual would pay a fine of at least $10,000 plus other penalties and legal fees.

This mirrors the “Texas Heartbeat Act” — SB8 — that has effectively all but shut down abortions in the Lone Star State.

When combined with previous legislation that Governor Stitt has already signed making performing an abortion a felony (with a $100,000 fine and 10 years in jail), Oklahoma can now boast the most protection for the unborn of any state in the union.

While the previous bill that the governor signed making performing an abortion a felony won’t become effective until later this summer, the two bills on his desk become effective immediately upon signing.

This will effectively shut down the traffic abortion clinics have enjoyed from Texans fleeing that state in order to kill their unborn legally. Before the Texas ban, about 40 women from that state traveled to Oklahoma for abortions. That number jumped to over 240 in October — a 600-percent increase.

Once the bills are signed into law, those deciding to kill their unborn child will have to travel to states that still don’t consider abortion as murder, such as Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, and Arkansas.

Abortion providers are suing to prevent implementation of the Oklahoma felony law and are threatening to sue over the two bills sitting on Stitt’s desk once he signs them. They can see what’s coming, as Nancy Northrup, president for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, noted:

We are asking the state courts to uphold the State Constitution and apply Oklahoma precedent to block these insidious abortion bans before they take effect.

 

Oklahoma is a critical state for abortion access right now, with many Texans fleeing to Oklahoma for abortion care. These bans would further decimate abortion access across the South.

Abortion facilities in Oklahoma are already refusing to schedule abortions for next week in anticipation of Stitt’s signing those two bills into law shortly. Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, said that “we are hopeful that [these bills] will save the lives of more unborn children here in Oklahoma.”

Through these bills, Oklahomans are declaring that the sanctity of life must be protected. In a world where there are clearly efforts to destroy the foundations of the culture, it’s comforting to know that states such as Oklahoma — along withTexas, Idaho, and others — are defending those foundations.

New York’s Highest Court Rejects Democrats’ Redistricting Gerrymander

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 28, 2022:  

The ruling on Wednesday by New York State’s highest court, its Court of Appeals, tossing the Democrats’ obvious and unconstitutional gerrymander of the state’s voting districts dashed the last chance Democrats had to overcome (or at least mitigate) the Republican Party’s momentum in the November elections. Democrats were counting on the blatant gerrymander of New York’s districts to offset Republican gains from redistricting in Republican states such as Kansas and Florida.

Democrats have a supermajority in both houses of the state’s legislature, and the Court of Appeals’ seven justices were all appointed by Democrats. What could go wrong?

New York has a tawdry history of political gerrymandering that is so offensive that the state’s constitution was amended in 2014 in an attempt to limit, if not eliminate, the ability to stack the deck in favor of the ruling party.

But the high court surprised and disappointed those counting on the gerrymander to give the Democratic Party at least a fighting chance to ward off the coming Republican tsunami in November. From the majority opinion:

During the first redistricting cycle to follow adoption of the 2014 amendments, the IRC [Independent Redistricting Commission] and the legislature failed to follow the procedure commanded by the State Constitution.

 

A stalemate within the IRC resulted in a breakdown in the mandatory process for submission of electoral maps to the legislature.

 

The legislature responded by creating and enacting maps in a nontransparent manner controlled exclusively by the dominant political party — doing exactly what they would have done had the 2014 constitutional reforms never been passed.

 

On these appeals, the primary questions before us are whether this failure to follow the prescribed constitutional procedure warrants invalidation of the legislature’s congressional and state senate maps and whether there is record support for the determination of both courts below that the district lines for congressional races were drawn with an unconstitutional partisan intent.

 

We answer both questions in the affirmative and therefore declare the congressional and senate maps void.

The left-leaning FiveThirtyEight political analysis website said the ruling “just cost Democrats their big redistricting advantage,” adding:

The decision was a huge blow to Democrats, who until recently looked like they had gained enough seats nationally in redistricting to almost eliminate the Republican bias in the House of Representatives….

 

That’s because much of Democrats’ national redistricting advantage rested on their gerrymander in New York.

Under the map created by the Democrat supermajorities and signed into law by New York’s Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul, Democrats were expected to win 22 of New York’s 26 House seats. It didn’t matter that this is way out of proportion with how New York State voters vote. It was designed to give Democrats three more seats in the House and cost the Republicans four seats – a swing of seven. Since the Democrat margin in the House is just five seats, Democrats were looking to New York’s gerrymander to keep the House under Democrat control.

In his revised analysis, Nathanial Rakich, writing for FiveThirtyEight, said:

Now, however, Republicans clearly have the advantage.… I estimate that redistricting currently positions Republicans for a net gain of around four or five House seats and Democrats for a net loss of about four.

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has concluded that it’s all over for the Democrats in November:

The overturned New York Congressional map was widely viewed as an aggressive Democratic gerrymander that likely would cost Republicans 4 seats.

 

At the very least, a marginally fair map would likely return [the House] at least to GOP control. In the current political environment, a partisanly neutral map could give Republicans as many as ten of The Empire State’s 26 seats.

Dave Wasserman, who is affiliated with The Cook Political Report, thinks the ruling will have catastrophic consequences for Democrats in November. On Wednesday he Tweeted:

In a 4-3 ruling, NY’s top court has turned Dems’ 2022 House outlook from terrible to potentially horrific. A court-appointed special master will draw a remedial map, perhaps costing Dems three NY seats they otherwise would have gained & making R[epublican]s clear redistricting winners.

And all because, in New York State, there are Democrat judges who followed the Constitution. As New York Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis said:

Today, New York State’s highest court confirmed the decision by two lower courts and the opinion of editorial boards, good government groups, academics, and voters across the state.

 

I am heartened to see that the judicial system worked and that the will of the people is being preserved.

Federal Judge Ends Challenge to Texas Heartbeat Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 27, 2022:  

In a terse statement, a federal appeals court has dismissed all lawsuits pending against Texas state officials and administrators who have challenged the state’s “heartbeat” law:

Having received the ruling of the Texas Supreme Court that named official defendants may not enforce the provisions of the Texas Heartbeat Act … this court REMANDS the case with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the private enforcement provisions of the statute and to consider whether plaintiffs have standing to challenge.

Put another way, the ruling dismisses all attempts by pro-abortion advocates and providers to overturn Texas’ “Heartbeat Act.” And it requires the lower court to consider whether those bringing those challenges even have legal standing to do so.

In short, this ends the matter: Texas’ “heartbeat” law stands, and will continue to save an estimated 100 babies from being murdered in their mothers’ wombs every day.

The Texas law prohibits Texas officials from enforcing the law but allows private citizens to do so. It empowers them to sue anyone suspected of aiding or abetting an abortion after a heartbeat is detected (usually after six weeks of pregnancy). That would include physicians and their assistants, those providing advice and counsel to a woman considering ending her pregnancy, and those providing transportation to and from the abortion clinic.

The penalties against those providers are tough and have, for all intents and purposes, ended the abortion holocaust in the Lone Star State.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed since the law became effective last September, and 14 of them were filed against Texas Right to Life (TRL). Said TRL President Jonathan Saenz:

This final federal court decision for life leaves no doubt that the Texas Heartbeat Act is the law of the land in the Lone Star State. We are grateful to the federal courts for upholding this groundbreaking law and protecting pre-born babies.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott celebrated the ruling: “Another legal loss for those challenging SB8 — the pro-life law that is saving babies every day.” So did Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, tweeting:

Very proud of my team for bringing win after win for the unborn in Texas! The Texas Heartbeat Act is one of the greatest pro-life laws in the nation, and I’m glad to defend it. Tens of thousands of babies have been saved in Texas because of SB 8 and our victories in court!

One lawsuit — Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson — sought to exploit an opening the Supreme Court allowed back in December: that anti-life challengers could bring action against state licensing officials. That opening has now been firmly shut.

All eyes are now on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, heard by the Supreme Court in December with an expected ruling in June. Optimists are hoping the high court will overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to the states, where it rightfully belongs.

But they could be disappointed, as the Supreme Court is only considering “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”

For now, pro-life supporters are celebrating, as well as thousands of babies who have been saved from the holocaust since the Texas Heartbeat Act became effective last September.

In Blatant Political Move, Biden Administration Demotes Temporary Head of ATF

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 21, 2022:  

With Joe Biden’s poll numbers dropping out of sight and the obliteration of his first nominee to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), progressives were screaming for something good to happen.

The New York Times responded, sounding the death knell for the agency’s present temporary head of the agency, Marvin Richardson, back in January, and on Wednesday the White House confirmed his demotion from temporary director to deputy director.

The timing has everything to do with the November elections. Richardson, a 30-year veteran of the ATF, is due to retire next year. His relationship with the gun industry was professional and cordial. But in today’s toxic political environment, even being black couldn’t save Richardson.

From the Times:

In late January, Marvin G. Richardson, the acting director of the [ATF], told a gathering of weapons manufacturers that the rule banning online sales of [ghost gun parts] would not be completed until June….

 

This infuriated some Biden allies….

 

Progressives see Mr. Richardson’s low-key leadership … as part of the problem.

Richardson was just doing his job. The “ghost gun” initiative has generated the largest-ever response to any ATF anti-gun move: More than 250,000 comments were received in opposition to it during the “public comment” period required before the initiative could become active. Richardson was forced to dedicate 30 ATF employees to go through the comments before he could make the rule permanent.

Biden’s first nominee, David Chipman, went down in flames thanks to his odious anti-gun position. Biden’s second, Steve Dettelbach, is cut from the same cloth, and his Senate confirmation is increasingly unlikely.

So, in a signal to progressives, Biden and his handlers decided Richardson was expendable. In an exclusive, Stephen Gutowski, writing for the pro-Second Amendment blog The Reload, detailed what he learned from his contacts inside the agency:

The reshuffling was announced by Richardson on a conference call on Monday, which left many ATF officials surprised and dismayed….

 

“The news that he was being replaced came as a shock to most of us within the agency,” one ATF official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Reload.

Richardson was too friendly with the firearms industry, according to the Times. He had worked hard to maintain cordial relations with the industry for a very good reason: Many good tips on potential violators came from gun dealers. Said one of Gutowski’s sources:

A lot of the tips that we would get on illegal firearms activity from straw purchasers to traffickers came from dealers.

 

The reality is just a very, very small percentage of gun dealers are bad. So, those partnerships are important, and Marvin really did a good job at nurturing those relationships….

 

The fact that he has those relationships may not have sat well with the current administration. And I’m sure that that might’ve helped them push him out.

Indeed, the Biden administration is intending to weaponize the ATF against those very gun dealers, hoping to put many of them out of business for even the most minor infractions of the agency’s rules.

As far back as October 2020, Lawrence Keane, general counsel for the firearms trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), saw what was coming in the event Biden somehow won the White House:

The Biden-Harris ticket will weaponize the ATF against retailers to close them down for even minor errors in inspections….

 

Kamala Harris … has vowed to turn the ATF from an agency which assists family-owned retail businesses to stay within the overwhelming labyrinth of federal and state laws and regulations to one that carries a heavy hammer and will shutter federally licensed retailers for minor administrative errors.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the U.S. attorney for the district of Arizona, Gary Restaino, will take Richardson’s place until such time as a permanent director is confirmed.

The move could be costly politically. As Ed Morrissey noted in Hot Air:

Put the optics of demoting one of the few black agency heads there are in the Biden administration, and it’s a recipe for embarrassment and chaos, if not disaster.

Kentucky Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Pro-life Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 18, 2022:  

Five days after Kentucky’s Democrat Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the most protective pro-life bill in the country, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature overturned it. The state’s house voted 76-21 on Wednesday and the state’s senate followed later the same day, voting 31-6, to quash his veto.

The override allowed the law to become effective immediately, with Reuters declaring that it “makes Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established [a mother’s] right to end a pregnancy.”

The law models the Mississippi abortion law that is pending before the Supreme Court — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The high court will rule on “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional” with its decision due in June.

Many are expecting the high court to restrict the right to abortion, and a number of states, including Kentucky, are enacting laws to reflect the high court’s anticipated ruling. Dobbs is an opportunity for the Supreme Court to reverse its 1973 decision and allow the states to make their own decisions, as the Constitution allows (see the Ninth and 10th Amendments).

Kentucky’s law is unique, however, in that it demands accountability among abortion providers in the state that simply cannot be met, and so, for all intents and purposes, abortion is dead in Kentucky.

In his veto message, Kentucky Governor Beshear complained that the bill contains no exceptions or exclusions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest and that it makes certain demands of the state to implement, among other things, an electronic database for all abortions, but without providing the funding for it. He also expressed his opinion that “House Bill 3 is likely unconstitutional.”

Both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have filed suits against the law. ACLU Communications Director Samuel Crankshaw said the law “inserts politics into medicine, aggressively sidelines science in healthcare, and threatens the wellbeing of Kentuckians.” He didn’t mention the death sentences being rendered on the unborn by mothers with “unwanted pregnancies” and the abortion providers assisting them.

The new law requires that a pregnant woman must be examined in person by a doctor before being given abortion pills (it is estimated that half of all abortions in Kentucky are caused by those “kill pills”). It also requires physicians performing abortions to maintain hospital admitting privileges close to where the abortion is to be performed.

Without funding, the bill’s requirement that the state’s Board of Pharmacy certify providers writing prescriptions for those pills can’t be implemented. Furthermore, the law requires the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services to create three new full-time positions (along with the new database), and establish public reporting requirements. But there’s no funding in the law for these either.

Kentucky is the latest state to enact pro-life bills in anticipation of a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court. The Texas “heartbeat” law was followed by similar bans in Mississippi, Arizona, South Dakota, Idaho, Florida, and Oklahoma.

The veto power granted in the states’ constitutions, as part of the “separation of powers” doctrine unique to the American Republic, has just operated to save the lives of unborn babies in Kentucky. May other legislatures facing governors who are attempting to thwart the will of the people through the veto power have similar success.

Georgia 25th State to Pass Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 13, 2022:  

When Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law Senate Bill 319 — aka the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act — on Tuesday, he said:

SB 319 makes sure that law-abiding Georgians … can protect themselves without having [to obtain] the permission of the state government.

 

The Constitution of the United States gives us that right, not the government….

 

People don’t have to carry if they don’t want to. But this is a constitutional authority that people have, and they certainly shouldn’t have [to get] a piece of paper from the government to be able to legally carry a firearm.

Kemp also signed into law Senate Bill 218 ensuring that citizens from other states who already have their concealed-carry licenses will also enjoy the same right in Georgia.

The law is effective immediately, and will save gun owners the $75 license fee and the ignominy of having to undergo a mental-health check as well as a background check. This has another advantage: No background check means no entry into the recently revealed national gun registry that the ATF has been keeping under wraps for years.

Georgia’s anti-gun politicians tried to block the bill by using old, outdated, and weak arguments. Democrat State Representative Kimberly Alexander intoned, “This legislation will … allow individuals with a criminal history who purchase a gun through a private sale to legally carry a hidden, loaded weapon in our communities.”

Alexander is correct: once an individual has paid his or her debt to society, their Second Amendment-protected right is restored. She is incorrect by intimating that they will cause an increase in gun violence upon their release, for at least two reasons: They may have reformed their behavior while incarcerated, and the new law would no doubt dampen any enthusiasm they have to return to their old ways simply because their search for a “soft target” — an unarmed citizen — is now going to be much more difficult.

Another anti-gun Democrat, State Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler, ranted:

The governor is signing away lives [with] this bill. It is a sad day in Georgia when we have to watch legislation enacted that we know will cause harm, as this will….

 

He wants more guns on the streets, and the shameful outcome of that is more gun violence.

Both complaints are without merit, and John Lott’s research has proved it. The founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, Lott noted in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Several dozen peer-reviewed academic studies show there’s no evidence of any uptick in gun crimes linked to concealed carry laws, and most show violent crime declines.

 

Research also shows that murder rates fall even more when states move to Constitutional Carry laws.

When Lowndes County, Georgia, Sheriff Ashley Paulk was asked about the impact SB 319 might have in his county, he responded:

I don’t expect that [it] will have a big impact around here. The criminals don’t care — they’re going to get their weapons anyway — and a law-abiding citizen with a weapon won’t make trouble.

Lott agrees: Firearms violations among police officers are extremely low, as would be expected. But among those “law-abiding citizens” who now are free to carry without first being forced to get permission, firearms violations are one-seventh — 2.4 per 100,000 versus 16.5 per 100,000 — that of the police.

The real change will be in the behavior of criminals already on the streets seeking soft targets. They are now facing an existential question in their line of work: Is my target armed, or should I find another less-risky means of gain?

With half the states in the union allowing their citizens the freedom to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment, just how long will it take for the others to grant the same freedoms to their citizens?

At the moment, Florida and Nebraska are on the verge of passing similar laws, with South Carolina right behind. This is allowing the Second Amendment to occupy the place the Founders of the Republic intended: the anchor securing the others in the Bill of Rights.

Biden to Take Another Shot at Nominating an Anti-gunner to ATF

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 7, 2022:  

The last time Joe Biden nominated a left-wing anti-gun ideologue to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the nominee’s virulent anti-gun position sank his nomination into oblivion.

According to Politico’s inside sources, Biden’s going to try again: same ideology, different name. Politico said that, according to “multiple people” inside the White House, including “one official within the Senate Democratic Caucus,” Biden will officially nominate Steve Dettelbach. He served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2016.

Dettelbach has the right (i.e., left) credentials: Graduating from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, he was nominated by then-President Obama in 2009 to his U.S. attorney position. This no doubt was a payoff for his work in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, for which he provided legal assistance and advice. Following Obama’s election, Dettelbach served as a legal advisor to his transition team.

He was a candidate for the office of Ohio’s attorney general in 2018 and lost, but in the process revealed where he stands on issues relating to private gun ownership: No one should own an “assault-style” rifle, and everyone buying a firearm anywhere from anybody at any time needs to undergo a background check first. That background check would then be added to the recently revealed secret registry that the ATF has been keeping, now totaling nearly one billion records.

If confirmed, Dettelbach would go along with the Biden administration’s stated determination to weaponize the ATF against private gun owners and dealers, especially gun dealers.

Given the labyrinthine minefield of current regulations under which gun dealers operate, there would be no forgiveness even for minor errors, mistakes, or infractions. Lawrence Keane, general counsel for the firearms trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), warned in October 2020:

The Biden-Harris ticket will weaponize the ATF against retailers to close them down for even minor clerical errors in inspections.

 

This is a promise Senator Kamala Harris made from the campaign stage.

 

She has vowed to turn the ATF from an agency which assists family-owned firearm retail businesses to stay within the overwhelming labyrinth of federal and state laws and regulations to one that carries a heavy hammer and will shutter federally licensed retailers for minor administrative errors.

When Biden’s first nominee to head the ATF, David Chipman, went down to defeat, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted: “His defeat is a win for the Constitution — and a crushing flow for Joe Biden.”

Dudley Brown, founder and president of the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR), was pleased to learn that the White House had dropped Chipman down its memory hole:

Chipman … could not garner enough support in the U.S. Senate to make it through the confirmation process.

 

David Chipman’s nomination to lead the ATF was a slap in the face to gun owners across the country. Now, thanks to pro-gun grassroots, we’ve put Chipman back where he belongs: at home.

But, warned Brown:

We know … Biden will prop up another anti-gun pawn in the near future.… We [must] stand ready to oppose their unconstitutional actions.

Brown and his nearly five million members, along with Gun Owners of America, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and other Second Amendment supporters, will once again need to push back against Biden’s second effort to weaponize the ATF with another anti-gun radical.

Biden is expected to make the official announcement during National Police Week, May 11-17.

Indiana the 24th Constitutional-carry State. Three More States Right Behind

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 4, 2022:  

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law on March 21 his state’s permitless carry bill that had passed both the state’s House and Senate overwhelmingly.

That makes 24. And the third state so far this year.

On March 10, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a similar bill into law. This was followed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who signed a constitutional-carry bill into law on March 14.

Georgia is next, as a similar bill passed both state houses last Friday and will arrive shortly on Governor Brian Kemp’s desk for signing.

Said Kemp earlier, “The Constitution should be our carry permit, and I look forward to signing a Constitutional Carry measure this year to enshrine hardworking Georgians’ ability to protect themselves and their families in Georgia law.”

National Rifle Association (NRA) Chairman Wayne LaPierre told Fox News:

The success of the carry movement in America cannot be denied at this point. When Gov. Brian Kemp signs this landmark legislation, half of America will protect the right to carry as an inherent and inalienable right.

Two more states — Florida and Nebraska — are on the brink of passing laws protecting their citizens’ right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, without first having to get permission to do so.

South Carolina is right behind, with conservative, pro-constitutional Republican majorities in both state houses. Constitutional-carry bills failed to pass last year, but pressure is building on Governor Henry McMaster to urge the legislature to bring such a bill to his desk for signing.

Tennessee already has a “partial” constitutional carry law in place, but it only applies to handguns, and legislators in the Volunteer State are itching to amend it to include long guns. What’s in place, according to John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, is “not real constitutional carry,” and his group is lobbying to expand the present law.

It should be noted that not a single state has repealed a constitutional-carry law, nor has there been a single move in any state to consider such a move.

It should also be noted that arguments against such laws consist primarily of worries that more firearms will mean more gun violence. But that has simply not been the case. According to the Crime Research Prevention Center (CRPC), firearms violations by police officers are very low — about 16.5 for every 100,000 police officers. For citizens who already have a permit, the rate is even lower: 2.4 per 100,000.

Further research by the CRPC reveals that gun violence drops as private gun ownership increases. As John Lott, founder of the CRPC, noted in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Several dozen peer-reviewed academic studies show there’s no evidence of any uptick in gun crimes linked to concealed carry laws, and most show violent crime declines.

 

Research also shows that murder rates fall even more when states move to Constitutional Carry laws.

That makes sense, as the people who benefit the most from carrying a firearm are the most likely to be victims: They are “overwhelmingly,” wrote Lott, “poor Blacks who live in high-crime urban areas.”

As states increasingly remove infringements from the right to keep and bear arms, it becomes increasingly difficult for tyrants to turn the American Republic into a dictatorship. To succeed, they must first disarm every private owner of his firearms. At present, the momentum is heading in the other direction.

The Second Amendment was never about duck hunting. It was always about keeping the government in check.

A quote from Adolf Hitler bears repeating:

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.

 

History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.

War in Ukraine Reminds Americans of Need for Second Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 31, 2022:  

The day before the Russian invasion, Ukrainian citizens suffered under some of the most severe gun-ownership restrictions in the world: One had to be 21 to buy a shotgun and 25 to own a rifle. Handgun ownership was banned altogether.

A background check was required, along with a mental exam, the payment of a fee, taking a gun-safety class, and owning a government-certified gun safe for storage.

The process was designed to impede approval, which often took months and usually resulted in permission being denied.

That same day — February 23, 2022 — the Ukrainian parliament passed a law allowing Ukrainians to buy all the firearms they wanted. President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted:

We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.

It has been reported that between 10,000 and 25,000 fully automatic rifles were snapped up by Ukrainians that same day.

As English writer Samuel Johnson once famously said, “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” 

 

From the NRA’s institute for Legislative Action:

Anti-gun commentators — Joe Biden among them — often mock the idea that an armed populace poses any obstacle to a modern military force. But some are now singing a different tune, now that ordinary Ukrainians are taking up arms in response to [the] Russian invasion.

From the Firearms Policy Coalition:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unequivocally reinforces the importance of the right to keep and bear arms beyond defense against single attackers and reminds Americans that the Second Amendment is as relevant today as ever.

From Bearing Arms:

Better late than never. This is a “break glass in case of emergency” moment, which is why the country’s parliament is … willing to reverse decades of restrictions and allow citizens the ability to carry firearms.

From Gun Owners of America:

Severe gun control policies infringed on the right of Ukrainian citizens to keep and bear arms until the very moment a nuclear world superpower launched its ground invasion.

 

Now it’s up to the government to pass out as many fully automatic weapons as it can … [so] that civilians might successfully repel a Russian invasion.

From Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms:

While we’ve seen reports that the Ukraine Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has voted to ease restrictions allowing civilians to carry arms outside their homes, in our country this has been the constitutional law of the land since our nation was founded.

 

The right of the people to keep and bear arms has protected this country since the beginning, and what is happening right now in Ukraine should be a lesson to all of those who push for citizen disarmament and a ban on private gun ownership how perilous that would be….

 

Our Second Amendment was enshrined in the Bill of Rights by men who had just fought a war for independence. They returned to their homes from battlefields, not from some deer hunting camp.

The right to keep and bear arms has never been about shooting ducks, but about protecting our right as citizens of the greatest nation on earth to defend our homes and families immediately against the kind of international outrage now unfolding in eastern Europe.

 

From John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center:

A lot of these countries have laws left over from the Communist era when gun ownership was basically banned. In the Ukraine, less than 2 percent legally owned a gun until the invasion. Then 18,000 fully automatic rifles were handed out in one day.

Even the far-left media outlet Occupy Democrats reversed itself. It tweeted:

Ukraine’s Interior Minister announces that 10,000 automatic rifles have been handed out to the civilians of Kyiv as they prepare to fight tooth and nail to defend their homes against Putin’s invasions. RT (retweet) if you stand with the brave Ukrainian People!

Putin failed to learn a valuable lesson from another tyrant bent on enslaving people: Adolf Hitler. On the same that day France surrendered to his Nazi blitzkrieg, June 25, 1940, he ordered his generals to draw up a plan to invade and subjugate Switzerland. The plan, called Operation Tannenbaum, which called for 11 German divisions and 15 more Italian divisions — between 300,000 and 500,000 troops — was drawn up but never implemented. As Michael Peck, writing for The National Interest, explained why:

The Axis would have faced formidable opposition. As with Sweden, Swiss neutrality was an armed neutrality.… All Swiss men were liable for conscription, and all were issued with rifles that they kept at home in case of mobilization.

 

For a nation of just four million people, the Swiss could have mustered an army as large as 850,000 strong. Largely mountainous Switzerland, where German tanks would have been useless, would have been a tough nut for blitzkrieg to crack.

States Preparing for a “Post-Roe,” “Pro-life” America

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 25, 2022:  

Numerous states are preparing for an America where the contentious issue of abortion is properly and constitutionally returned to the states to resolve. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute (named after the former president of Planned Parenthood with which it was once affiliated) is lamenting the expected outcome of the case before the Supreme Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

A favorable ruling in Dobbs would not only uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion law, but would also likely overturn the court’s finding in Roe v. Wade that a mother somehow has a constitutional right to murder her child while in her womb.

Guttmacher laments:

In 2021, state legislatures set an alarming record of 108 abortion restrictions enacted in 19 states. With the fate of Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance at the U.S. Supreme Court, 2022 is shaping up to be even more devastating for abortion rights….

 

Already, a number of state bills have grabbed headlines for proposing outrageous and shocking abortion restrictions … [and] other restrictions and bans … are moving quickly through some state legislatures.

At least 12 states have already enacted so-called trigger bans that would instantly prohibit abortion if the high court does in fact overturn Roe and/or returns the issue to the states to resolve.

Lawmakers in Arizona, Florida, and West Virginia have adopted, or are about to adopt, laws similar to Mississippi’s. Idaho has adopted one similar to Texas’s “heartbeat” law. Four states — Tennessee, Alabama, and West Virginia — have gone further by amending the state constitutions, declaring that there is “no right to abortion.”

Two other states — Kentucky and Kansas — have constitutional amendments pending voter approval later this year. Iowa will vote on a “no right to an abortion” ballot measure in 2024.

Kansas is a rare situation. The state’s supreme court has ruled — as has the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade — that somehow, buried in the Kansas state constitution, there is a right of a mother to murder her unborn child. That has made the Sunflower State a “destination state” for the abortion industry frustrated over abortion restrictions imposed in other states.

So, even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe and returns the issue to the states, the Kansas state supreme court would still allow the murder of the unborn to continue.

The reasoning of the Kansas state supreme court follows that of the high court:

Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights provides: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

 

We are now asked: Is this declaration of rights more than an idealized aspiration? And, if so, do the substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy?

 

We answer these questions, “Yes.”

Here’s how the Kansas high court came to that conclusion:

Included [in Section 1] is the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination.

 

This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy. Although not absolute, this right is fundamental.

 

Accordingly, the State is prohibited from restricting this right….

This is how a court creates law from the bench — by ignoring the right of the fetus to enjoy the same rights as a post-partum baby. The court ignores the fact that the fetus is a human. Instead, it’s a blob that somehow only gains those rights by being born. Pre-born, it may be discarded.

What’s encouraging in the Kansas case is the grassroots effort to pass an amendment overturning the state high court’s dictum. Said Kansans for Life director Danielle Underwood, “Kansas is in a unique position regardless of what happens at the federal level.” So she, along with the Kansas Catholic Conference and Kansas Family Voice, are mounting an effort to inform Kansans on the issue. And that includes more than 1,000 churches:

We’re mobilizing the largest grassroots effort in Kansas history. We are working through over 1,000 churches in the state and making sure we get the word out to Kansans about what is at stake….

 

Now it is up to the people of Kansas to make sure we do our part to ensure Kansas does not remain a destination state for abortions.

 

This is “all hands on deck.”

Of all institutions that should be supporting the right to life, churches should be leading the way. After all, the Sixth Commandment declares, “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13).

Trump-appointed Judge Pushes Back Against Biden’s Immigration Policy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 24, 2022:  

A Trump-appointed federal judge on Tuesday tossed part of the Biden administration’s immigration agenda as spelled out by his DHS (Department of Homeland Security) secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. District Judge Michael Newman ruled that the Biden administration exceeded Congress’ explicit instructions and instead replaced them with “discretionary” authority as to whom the DHS and its enforcement arm, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), would target for deportation.

In touting his new policy, Mayorkas told CBS News: “For the first time ever, our policy explicitly states that a non-citizen’s unlawful presence in the United States will not, by itself, be a basis for the initiation of an enforcement action.”

Mayorkas was referring to the “guidance for the apprehension and removal of noncitizens” that his department issued last September:

The federal government officials have broad discretion to decide who should be subject to arrest, detainers, removal proceedings, and the execution of removal orders … therefore, we need to exercise our discretion and determine whom to prioritize for immigration enforcement action….

 

The fact [that] an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way.

In other words, they’re here illegally, but that isn’t sufficient cause to deport them. The DHS/ICE must answer the question “whether the noncitizen poses a current threat to public safety.” A simple conviction for committing a crime isn’t enough to send them home, said Mayorkas in his September 30, 2021, memorandum:

Our personnel should not rely on the fact of conviction [of a crime] … alone. Rather, our personnel should, to the fullest extent possible … review the entire criminal … record to learn the totality of the facts and circumstances of [the conviction] ….

There could be mitigating and extenuating facts and circumstances that militate in favor of declining enforcement action [against such “removable noncitizens”].

Judge Newman didn’t buy that. In the lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of the states of Arizona, Montana, and Ohio, they contended that Mayorkas and his department “skirted Congress’s immigration enforcement mandates … [declaring instead] that seemingly mandatory statutes must be read flexibly to permit efficient law enforcement.”

Wrote Newman:

At bottom, that is what this dispute is about: can the Executive displace clear congressional command in the name of resource allocation and enforcement goals?

 

Here, the answer is no.

To buttress his case, Newman quoted a small portion of a landmark Supreme Court case, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer:

In the framework of our Constitution, the President’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.

Accordingly, Newman enjoined enforcement of the offending portions of Mayorkas’ guidance.

The rest of the quote from Youngstown is helpful in more fully understanding the vital connection between the separation of powers and individual freedom:

In the framework of our Constitution, the President’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.

 

The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad.

 

And the Constitution is neither silent nor equivocal about who shall make laws which the President is to execute….

 

The Constitution did not subject this lawmaking power of Congress to presidential … supervision or control.…

 

The Founders of this Nation entrusted the law-making power to the Congress alone in both good and bad times.

The Founders did this for two reasons: they knew the true dark nature of man, and they knew that the only way for individual citizens to enjoy freedom was to limit severely the powers of government run by sinful and power-hungry men.

The present ruling may not be enough to keep Biden and his DHS secretary from finding other ways to exceed congressional authority, but it does light the way to understanding what is, as Newman wrote, “at bottom” in the fight for liberty: the limitation of government through the separation of powers.

Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Adopts “Originalist” Position on the Constitution

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 22, 2022: 

Joe Biden’s appointee to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, knew she would be pressed hard for her views on the Constitution: Is it, in her opinion, a “living” document, subject to judicial “interpretation?” Or is it to be interpreted in light of what its authors intended at the time they wrote it?

So, she tried to head off the question by answering it in advance. In her opening statement to the Senate Judicial Committee as her confirmation hearing began on Monday, she said:

I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.

If she is confirmed she will take this oath:

 I, Ketanji Brown Jackson, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

 

So help me God.

On Tuesday, the second day of her confirmation hearing, Jackson reiterated her fealty to originalism:

The adherence to text is a constraint on my authority — trying to figure out what those words mean, as they were intended by the people who wrote them….

 

I’m not importing my personal views or policy preferences. The entire exercise is about trying to understand what those who created this policy or this law intended.

She expanded on her position by specifically rejecting the theory that the Constitution is a “living document” that must be adjusted to changing times and circumstances:

I do not believe that there is a living Constitution in the sense that it’s changing and it’s infused with my own policy perspective or the policy perspective of the day.

 

Instead, the Supreme Court has made clear when you’re interpreting the Constitution, you’re looking at the text at the time of the founding, and what the meaning was.

Perhaps this is a ploy, to disarm Senators ready to challenge her judicial philosophy. By answering the question before it is asked, it puts those Senators on the defensive. If they press the matter, Jackson is free to remind them that she already answered the question.

Is she really a conservative? A black conservative, in the mold of Justice Clarence Thomas? If so, then she will greatly disappoint the far-left liberal group Demand Justice, funded with dark money through the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which itself is funded in part by George Soros and his Open Society Foundations. It was Demand Justice that provided Jackson’s name to Joe Biden and pushed him to nominate her over another equally qualified but more moderate candidate, Michelle Childs.

Jackson provided a clue in her opening remarks on Monday. She looked back fondly on her days as a law clerk for liberal Justice Stephen Breyer:

On the day of his Supreme Court nomination, Justice Breyer said: “What is Law supposed to do, seen as a whole?

 

“It is supposed to allow all people — all people — to live together in a society, where they have so many different views, so many different needs, to live together in a way that is more harmonious, that is better, so that they can work productively together.”

By contrast, French political philosopher and economist Frédéric Bastiat, author of The Law, first published in 1850, wrote:

The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over all.

This should answer the question: Will Jackson, if confirmed, be another Stephen Breyer, as expected? Or will her term as justice on the high court surprise and anger those who thought she was in their liberal, “living constitution” camp?

One senator on the committee, Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), isn’t persuaded. She has hinted that she will grill Jackson about her real agenda and her real judicial philosophy:

I can only wonder: What’s your hidden agenda? Is it to let violent criminals, cop-killers and child predators back to the streets? Is it to restrict parental rights and expand government’s reach into our schools and our private family decisions?

 

Is it to support the radical left’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court?… Is it your personal hidden agenda to incorporate critical race theory into our legal system?

 

These are answers that the American people need to know.

Jackson’s confirmation hearing is likely to extend into the middle of April before the committee issues its vote to confirm, or not.

Christian Middle-school Teacher Sues School Board for Religious Discrimination

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 17, 2022:  

A math teacher at Fort Riley (Kansas) Middle School found herself the target of an effort to remove all Biblical references to sexuality in the school last spring. As the school board running the Geary County School District, where her school is located, decided to move toward gender “fluidity,” Pamela Ricard pushed back. A Christian, Ricard refused to call her students by whatever first name they chose and instead continued to call them either “Miss” or “Mister,” depending on their biological sex.

For that she was suspended for three days last April. When negotiations failed to resolve the matter, she sued the board on Monday.

She has enlisted the assistance of Josh Ney, a partner in the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group, who explained the basis for the suit:

Our suit contends that schools cannot force teachers to promote novel views about gender fluidity and ever-expanding pronoun categories without regard to the First Amendment or due process.

 

Throughout her career, Ms. Ricard has consistently treated every student in her classroom with respect and dignity; unfortunately, the school district has not treated Ms. Ricard with similar good faith or basic fairness.

When Ricard was initially disciplined, the board hadn’t completely sold out to the “woke” ideology, so it found her in violation of the district’s “generic” policies related to “diversity and inclusion.”

Later, as the board solidified its stance against the traditional cultural and Biblical understanding of two sexes and two sexes only, it issued its command:

Society has historically utilized “he/him” when identifying biological males and “she/her” when identifying biological females….

 

Employees should be aware and make an effort to utilize the pronouns an individual requests to be identified by.

 

This will assist in the prevention of discrimination and harassment. This appropriate usage of pronouns also contributes to a culture of unity and inclusivity.

Ricard, who has taught math at Fort Riley Middle School since 2005, refused to bend to the shifting winds of morality. Her lawsuit spelled out her position:

Ms. Ricard is a Christian and holds sincere religious beliefs consistent with the traditional Christian and Biblical understanding of the human person and biological sex.

 

Ms. Ricard believes that God created human beings as either male or female, that this sex is fixed in each person from the moment of conception, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual person’s feelings, desires, or preferences.

 

Any policy that requires Ms. Ricard to refer to a student by a gendered, non-binary, or plural pronoun (e.g., he/him, she/her, they/them, zhe/zher, etc.) or salutation (Mr., Miss, Ms.) or other gendered language that is different from the student’s biological sex actively violates Ms. Ricard’s religious beliefs.

Her suit deplores any requirement that she take a position counter to her faith, for a culture that shifts with each change in the wind and weather:

Under District policies, all teachers must now refer to each student — both in and out of class — using whatever names or pronouns the student claims reflect his or her particular gender identity on any given day.

 

The District now demands this of Ms. Ricard even though the concept of gender identity is entirely subjective and fluid, even though the number of potential gender identities is infinite (with ever expanding options currently available), and even though the number of potential pronouns has likewise exponentially multiplied in recent years — all for the purpose of lending credence to cultural ideas Ms. Ricard does not share or wish to advance that are contrary to her core religious beliefs.

The policies promoted by the school board are bad enough. To require that a Christian adopt them, under pain of punishment, is worse:

Defendants have retaliated against Ms. Ricard for exercising her First Amendment rights, including her right not be compelled to engage in particular speech or expression, have violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, have violated the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, have deprived her of due process and equal protection of law, and have breached their contract with her.

 

Thus, this action concerns the denial of Ms. Ricard’s fundamental and clearly established rights under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

As Ricard herself said, “No public school teacher should be forced to contradict [his or her] core beliefs in order to teach math to middle schoolers. I treat all students with respect, but the district has rejected any attempts to find a compromise that respects students without violating my convictions.”

This is a skirmish in the larger war against the cultural foundations of the American Republic. At bottom, that war revolves around this question: “Is the Bible the Word of God and the rule for His creation, or isn’t it?” As Scripture Itself says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).

In Pamela Ricard’s case, she can sue. And so, she is.

Omnibus Spending Bill Contains Anti-gun Measures

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 14, 2022:  

Buried in the omnibus spending bill that hurriedly passed both the U.S. House and the Senate last week were two provisions that no doubt delighted anti-gun groups: expanded enforcement of the NICS background-check system and the recruitment of local and state officials to enforce federal gun-control laws.

The measure that passed the House earlier in the week arrived at the Senate at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. By 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, 68 Senators had voted for it under pressure to avoid a government shutdown.

Anti-gun Democrats saw their opportunity to stuff these two provisions into the bill, and they took it.

The first “insertion” is the “NICS Denial Notification Act of 2022”:

Reporting of background check denials to State authorities:

 

If the national instant criminal background check system … provides a notice … that the receipt of a firearm by a person would violate [the law], the Attorney General shall … report [this] to the local law enforcement authorities of the State … within 24 hours.

The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) scarcely had time to ferret out the offending language before warning its members of its danger:

Over 95 percent of all NICS denials are false positives, which means [that] all local and state police would be required to investigate law-abiding citizens when they’re wrongly and unconstitutionally denied the right to purchase a firearm.… This constitutes a serious expansion of federal gun control.

It especially endangers women, said NAGR’s executive director, Dudley Brown:

We will find ourselves in a situation where law-abiding women who need to arm themselves for self-defense get wrongfully denied a firearm purchase when the National Instant Check System [NICS] wrongfully flags them, and then [they] find themselves being investigated by the cops for doing nothing wrong.

This is bad enough. But the second “insertion” compounds the flagrant violation of the Constitution. Called the “Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Cross-Deputized Attorneys,” it allows the attorney general of the United States to

appoint … local prosecutors and qualified attorneys working for the United States government to serve as special assistant United States attorneys for the purpose of prosecuting violations … and deputize State … and local law enforcement officers for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives [ATF] in responding to and investigating violations.

In other words, this “insertion” violates states’ rights, and any sanctuary laws that states may have erected to keep federal law-enforcement officials from entering and enforcing laws the states consider to be unconstitutional.

The bill is more than 2,700 pages long, thus ensuring that hardly any representative or senator had time to read it before voting on it. And it neatly precluded any response from Second Amendment advocates such as the National Association for Gun Rights or Gun Owners of America to rally their members in protest.

It’s another example of how Congress passes laws the people don’t want.

Second-grader Chastised for Preaching the Gospel to her Classmates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 9, 2022:  

A second-grade student attending North Hill Elementary School in Des Moines, Washington, has been sent to the principal’s office 10 times since the first of the year for witnessing to her classmates on the school’s playground.

When the parents contacted the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the public-interest law firm sent a letter to the principal reminding him of the student’s First Amendment-protected rights, and suggesting that unless the harassment stopped they would be filing suit.

The principal responded by telling ACLJ that the student was scaring her classmates with talks of Satan and hell. She offered religious tracts which some of her classmates took home with them, resulting, as the public-relations officer for the school district told CBN News, in “Multiple parents complain[ing] about their children coming home with religious pamphlets.”

The PR officer filled in the blanks: During playtime the student would stand on a playground table and preach the Gospel. School officials told her she couldn’t “tell other children they’re going to hell and that [she] must stop distributing what the school considers to be unacceptable religious materials.”

The principal said she would be allowed to distribute religious materials but only if the staff decides they’re appropriate.

The ACLJ was astonished after learning from the parents that their daughter was being stopped at the schoolhouse door and having her backpack searched for those “unacceptable religious materials”:

We were astonished when we were first contacted by a second-grade student’s parents who said their little girl had been sent to the principal’s office at North Hill Elementary School no less than 10 times since January 1st for witnessing to classmates on the playground.

 

But it only gets worse. Not only were they scolding her for talking about Jesus to her classmates outside of instruction time, but they were stopping her at the entrance to the school every morning to inspect her backpack and remove any Christian tracts!

 

Her mother witnessed this exchange one morning when dropping her daughter off and immediately confronted the principal. The principal told her that her child is not allowed to pass out tracts or crosses to students because it is upsetting parents, and the school wanted her to confirm that there were no tracts in her daughter’s backpack every morning before dropping her off from now on.

 

Christian tracts were being treated as contraband, as if speaking about Jesus were an illicit drug.

The ACLJ is prepared to defend the student if the school doesn’t back down, declaring that Supreme Court precedent supports her right to share the Gospel with her classmates:

It is well-settled Supreme Court precedent that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969). [Under that ruling] students are free to express their religious views while at school, which includes sharing Bibles, Christian tracts, and crosses.

Since 1969, Tinker has often been cited in cases such as this one. Although the court at the time of the ruling was considered one of the most liberal in judicial history, the majority opinion, penned by Justice Abe Fortas, is comforting:

First Amendment rights … are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.

 

This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.

In this constitutional republic, wrote Fortas, freedoms come with certain inevitable risks. The alternative is tyranny where no expression outside of what the state declares is allowed:

In our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression.

 

Any departure from absolute regimentation may cause trouble.

 

Any variation from the majority’s opinion may inspire fear.

 

Any word spoken, in class, in the lunchroom, or on the campus, that deviates from the views of another person may start an argument or cause a disturbance.

 

But our Constitution says we must take this risk … and our history says that it is this sort of hazardous freedom — this kind of openness — that is the basis of our national strength and of the independence and vigor of Americans who grow up and live in this relatively permissive, often disputatious, society.

If the Highline School District, where North Hill Elementary School is located, decides to accept ACLJ’s challenge, it will have to show that the student’s behavior “materially and substantially interfere[s] with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school,” according to the Tinker ruling.

ACLJ has given the school district until March 14 to respond. The New American will report on any developments in the case.

Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio Could Soon Allow Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 8, 2022: 

Indiana’s General Assembly is likely to pass “constitutional carry” legislation this week, perhaps as soon as today, making it the 23rd state to do so once Republican Governor Eric Holcomb signs it into law.

The law would allow any Hoosier aged 18 and older to carry a firearm without first having to obtain government permission. It’s called “constitutional” as it reflects the Second Amendment guarantee that exercising such a right may not be “infringed” by government.

The bill’s author, Representative Ben Smaltz, said his bill “levels the playing field” by allowing the state’s citizens to carry openly or concealed, adding:

House Bill 1077 gets us to a place where the law-abiding citizen is not required to go through a process of asking permission, submitting to government investigation, supplying their fingerprints to enjoy a right that is constitutional at the federal level and constitutional at the state level.

On March 5, the Georgia Senate passed a similar bill, removing the need for Georgians to obtain a permit before being able to carry a firearm in public.

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill last week that would grant the state’s citizens the freedom to carry a firearm without first obtaining permission. It now heads to the full Senate for approval and then on to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for her signature.

On March 3, Ohio’s General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill eliminating the need for Ohioans to get a concealed-carry permit — the House by 57-35, and the Senate by 24-8. That bill now heads to Governor Mike DeWine for signing into law.

The momentum is all in favor of such legislation. Vermont has never had any such requirements thanks to its carefully worded Constitution. A synonym for “constitutional carry” is “Vermont carry.”

In 2003, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski signed a constitutional carry bill into law; Arizona followed suit in 2010. Wyoming passed similar legislation in 2011, followed by Maine and Kansas in 2015. Four more states passed constitutional carry laws in 2016: West Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, and Missouri. New Hampshire and North Dakota joined the lengthening list of states removing the permission requirement in 2017, while South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky followed suit in 2019.

Arkansas joined the constitutional-carry crowd in 2020, followed by Utah, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Texas in 2021.

CNN took note of the accelerating move toward constitutional carry, noting that similar legislation is now pending in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Nebraska. Michigan and Louisiana are also lining up behind the move toward permitless carry. CNN complained that such a law somehow “protects criminals,” claiming further that such freedom will lead to a rise in violent gun-related crime.

Not so, wrote John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. In fact, those carrying firearms are much less likely to be convicted of a gun-related crime than even police — 12 times less likely, in fact:

Permit holders nationwide are incredibly law-abiding. Police officers are extremely rarely convicted of firearms-related violations, but it still happens, at a rate twelve times more often than for permit holders.

The case for constitutional carry is persuasive:

The people who benefit the most are those who live in high-crime urban areas;

 

None of the states which have passed constitutional carry laws have reconsidered them, or even held a single hearing questioning the decision;

 

The citizens resisting tyranny in Ukraine provide unassailable evidence of the efficacy of the private ownership of firearms; and

 

Where firearms are prevalent violent crime predictably and consistently declines.

The Second Amendment is overcoming its status as a “second-class” right. Next on the agenda must be repeal of the oppressive Gun Control Act of 1968 and then the National Firearms Act of 1934.

New York State Attorney General Suffers Setback in Effort to Dissolve NRA

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 4, 2021:  

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who called the National Rifle Association (NRA) a “terrorist organization” with a “poisonous agenda” during her election campaign in 2018, was rebuffed in her attempt to have the group dissolved altogether.

Judge Joel M. Cohen chided AG James for overreaching:

The Attorney General’s claims to dissolve the NRA are dismissed.

 

Her allegations concern primarily private harm to the NRA and its members and donors, which if proven can be addressed by the targeted, less intrusive relief she seeks through other claims in her Complaint.

 

The Complaint does not allege that any financial misconduct benefited the NRA, or that the NRA exists primarily to carry out such activity, or that the NRA is incapable of continuing its legitimate activities on behalf of its millions of members.

 

In short, the Complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the “corporate death penalty.”

 

Moreover, dissolving the NRA could impinge, at least indirectly, on the free speech and assembly rights of its millions of members. While that alone would not preclude statutory dissolution if circumstances otherwise clearly warranted it, the Court believes it is a relevant factor that counsels against State-imposed dissolution, which should be the last option, not the first.

In other words, Judge Cohen accused James of massive overreach in her attempt to close down the NRA altogether over the alleged, and as-yet unproven, misbehavior on the part of the group’s top officials.

Not surprisingly, James, on the day she filed suit, claimed that politics or her personal animosity against the NRA had nothing to do with her complaint: “This is not a question of the moment that I’ve been waiting for. This is a question … of following the facts and applying the law.”

Of course.

She began the investigation into the NRA’s alleged misconduct within a month of taking office in January 2019, an investigation involving dozens of lawyers and investigators in her office and costing taxpayers millions of dollars. In August 2020, she filed the infamous lawsuit, 169 pages long, detailing what she and her task force found: that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre

has exploited the organization for his financial benefit, and the benefit of a close circle of NRA staff, board members, and vendors.

 

Contrary to his statutory duties of care, loyalty and obedience to the mission of the charity, LaPierre has undertaken a series of actions to consolidate his position; to exploit that position for his personal benefit and that of his family; to continue, by use of a secret “poison pill contract,” his employment even after removal and ensuring NRA income for life; and to intimidate, punish, and expel anyone at a senior level who raised concerns about his conduct.

 

The effect has been to divert millions of dollars away from the charitable mission, imposing substantial reductions in its expenditures for core program services, including gun safety, education, training, member services and public affairs.

And then, in a non sequitur, she claimed that La Pierre and his cohorts cost the group millions of dollars, as a result:

During the period 2015 to 2018, the NRA has reported a reduction in unrestricted net assets by $63 million.

In her humble opinion, therefore, she asked the court to dissolve the NRA, use its remaining liquidated assets to reimburse injured parties, and ban the guilty parties from ever running another charity in New York State:

As a result of these persistent violations of law by the Defendants, the Attorney General seeks a finding by this Court that the NRA is liable to be dissolved … based upon the NRA’s pattern of conducting its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, abusing its powers contrary to public policy of New York and its tax exempt status, and failing to provide for the proper administration of its trust assets and institutional funds; because directors or members in control of the NRA have looted or wasted the corporation assets, have operated the NRA solely for their personal benefit, or have otherwise acted in an illegal, oppressive or fraudulent manner.

 

The Attorney General requests that this Court determine … that the interest of the public and the members of the NRA supports a decision to dissolve the NRA.

James is disappointed in Cohen’s rebuffing of her request, but relishes the opportunity to pursue the defendants: “We are disappointed that the judge ruled against the dissolution portion of the case [but] are considering our legal options with respect to this ruling. We remain committed to enforcing New York law regardless of how powerful any individual or organization may be.”

Her campaign promise to attack the “terrorist organization” with its “poisonous agenda” will continue despite the court’s rebuff.

Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Faces Uphill Confirmation Battle

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 25, 2022:  

Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal judge currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the Supreme Court on Friday. If confirmed she would replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring in June.

A liberal judge replacing a liberal justice. Senate confirmation of her should be an afterthought. After all, the so-called “conservative advantage” on the high court would remain in place, 6-3.

The White House exulted:

President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law.

 

He also sought a nominee — much like Justice Breyer — who is wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty.

 

And the President sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people.

It confirmed that Jackson is a bonafide liberal with all the proper credentials:

She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

 

After law school, Judge Jackson served in Justice Breyer’s chambers as a law clerk.

She is a social justice warrior:

Judge Jackson served as a federal public defender from 2005 to 2007, representing defendants on appeal who did not have the means to pay for a lawyer.

And she is a black woman, meaning that she falls into the category that Biden said he would draw from for his Supreme Court pick:

If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

In addition, she has written opinions savaging the Trump administration, including ruling in December denying President Donald Trump’s claim that executive privilege protected White House records from being handed over to the House’s January 6 witch-hunt committee.

The nomination is clearly political, designed to shore up sagging support among women, minorities, and soft Democrats.

Missing from the White House statement was any mention of the enormous hill her nomination must climb before she takes Breyer’s seat next October. First, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has announced all-out war against her confirmation. Said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel:

Maybe the only promise Joe Biden has kept is his pledge to nominate a liberal, activist judge to the Supreme Court. Ketanji Brown Jackson is exactly that: a radical, left-wing activist who would rubberstamp Biden’s disastrous agenda.

 

By picking Jackson, Biden put far-left special interests ahead of defending Americans’ rights and liberties.

 

The Republican National Committee will make sure voters know just how radical Jackson is and remember at the ballot box in November.

That assumes Jackson gets that far. Her ties with Democrat “dark money” funding groups like Demand Justice are likely to provoke inquiry into that connection. Demand Justice is a left-of-center advocacy group that put her on their “select” list of potential nominees for Biden to consider. It applauded Biden’s selection on Friday, saying that “Jackson would bring more experience as a trial court judge than any sitting Supreme Court justice.”

Demand Justice, formed in 2018 and financed by “dark money” [money from unlisted and untraceable donors] from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, opposed the confirmations of Trump nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and advocates for court packing — adding additional seats to the high court to be filled by Demand Justice-approved nominees.

Sixteen Thirty Fund, which the liberal Atlantic calls “the indisputable heavyweight of Democratic dark money,” is primarily funded by four billionaires, including George Soros through his Open Society Foundations.

Judge Jackson will certainly be asked if she plans to recuse herself when Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard arrives at the high court in October. As a current member of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers, she has direct and intimate ties to the defendant in that case. As National Review noted:

The Senate should … probe Jackson on her role in and approval of Harvard’s policy of race discrimination which has led to vastly disparate effects on the admission rates for Asian students compared to African-American students with comparable academic records…

 

The Senate will be wholly justified in grilling Jackson to find out whether she supported Harvard’s policy of race discrimination in her role on its Board of Overseers.

 

This is not a hypothetical question about a future case, which she could reasonably decline to answer; it is a question about her own record, and it goes to the core of whether she is committed to equal justice under the law for people of every race and ethnicity.

When Biden nominated her for her present position last spring three Senate Republicans jumped the fence and joined Democrats in confirming her. Provided with this additional evidence of racial discrimination by a justice “who,” according to the White House, “is committed to equal justice under the law,” those three, and any others considering confirming her to the high court, might just conclude that her confirmation has become too high a hurdle too to overcome during the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings.

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann