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

Liberty Counsel Files Brief in Boston’s “Christian Flag” Controversy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 23, 2021:  

In Liberty Counsel’s brief filed at the Supreme Court last week, it claimed that Boston’s denial of Camp Constitution’s request to fly the Christian flag violated both the First and the 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

When Camp Constitution applied to raise a flag during its flag raising event [on September 17, 2017] to celebrate the civic contributions of Boston’s Christian community, during the week of the national recognition of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the City denied the request without viewing the flag solely because it was called “Christian” on the application.

Such a denial, said the brief, “conflicts with [the Supreme Court’s] precedents holding that speech restrictions based on religious viewpoint or content violate the First Amendment.”

There are three flagpoles in front of Boston’s City Hall. One of them flies the city’s flag (which depicts the City Seal, containing the inscription SICUT PATRIBUS, SIT DEUS NOBIS — “God be with us as He was with our fathers”). But frequently the city will allow outside groups to fly their own flags from it to celebrate various events.

Camp Constitution wanted to fly the Christian flag for about an hour while some pastors and the founder of the camp made brief presentations about the Christian influence on Boston’s history.

It was expected to be a slam dunk. After all, at no time in the previous 12 years had any of the 284 requests from other groups to fly their flags been denied. But, said Hal Shurtleff, the founder of the camp, “when our application was denied because we wanted to fly the Christian flag, we just simply could not let this go.” He said that it was the word “Christian” that forced the denial. Said Shurtleff, “The fact that we called it the Christian flag was anathema [to the city]. Our application was denied, and we called off the celebration.”

And they filed suit. With the help of Liberty Counsel they appealed lower courts’ support of Boston’s decision, which claimed that somehow the “government speech” being exercised by the city in its denial was not covered by the First Amendment. 

But the Bunker Hill flag to commemorate the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill was allowed to be displayed, which is virtually identical to the Christian flag (except for reverse color schemes and a pine tree in the upper left corner).

 

In announcing the filing of the brief, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said:

Liberty Counsel looks forward to presenting this nationally important case to the Supreme Court. It is indisputable that Boston denied the private flag raising solely because the application contained the word “Christian” before the word “flag.” It was this single word that resulted in the first censorship of a private flag raising application after 12 years with no denials.

 

Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted is unconstitutional. This case will have a national impact. Religious viewpoints must not be excluded from the marketplace.

That is exactly the point made by the brief:

The City’s reason for denying Camp Constitution’s flag raising event was precisely and only because the City deemed the flag objectionable, because it was called a “Christian Flag” on the application, even though Camp Constitution’s purpose — to commemorate the contributions of one of Boston’s diverse communities to the City and the Commonwealth — otherwise fit perfectly with the City’s permitted subject matters according to the City’s purposes for allowing flag raisings.

 

The flag’s appearance was not objectionable to [the city], but the flag’s description as “Christian” on the application triggered the denial.

 

If the flag had not been described as “Christian,” [the city] would have approved it.

 

Because viewpoint discrimination is prohibited in a designated public forum, the City’s exclusion of Camp Constitution’s flag for its Christian viewpoint was unconstitutional.

Oral arguments begin before the high court in January with a decision expected to be rendered in June 2022.

Conservative Appeals Court to Hear Vax Mandate Lawsuits

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 17, 2021:

Thirty-four lawsuits were brought in all 11 courts of appeal as well as the D.C. court opposing the Biden vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. Under law they had to be consolidated into one court, and the court that “won the lottery” yesterday was the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This bodes well for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which placed a temporary “stop” order on the Biden mandate. If the Sixth Court considers all that the Fifth Circuit uncovered, the three judges looking at all 34 lawsuits should have an easy time of it in making that temporary order permanent.

Of course, the Biden administration will demand that the full Sixth Circuit court hear the case if the three-judge panel rules against it. And if the full court affirms the ruling by the three judges, then the Biden attorneys will likely appeal to the Supreme Court. In short, this is the just the beginning of the battle over what the Constitution says, and what the Biden administration thinks and wishes that it says.

Of the 27 judges sitting on the Sixth Circuit (which oversees district courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee), 20 of them were nominated by Republican presidents: six by Trump, eight by Bush II, three by the elder Bush, and three by Reagan. The others were nominated either by Clinton or Obama.

The Fifth Circuit made clear the perfidy the Biden administration engaged in to justify its unconstitutional mandate. Judge Engelhardt wrote:

After the President voiced his displeasure with the country’s vaccination rate in September, the Administration pored over the U.S. Code in search of authority, or a “work-around,” for imposing a national vaccine mandate.

 

The vehicle it landed on was an OSHA ETS [emergency temporary standard].

The judge footnoted the source backing up his claim:

On September 9, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s tweet that stated, “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”

That should suffice for the Sixth Circuit three-judge panel to bring closure to the matter and affirm the Fifth Circuit’s decision. But Judge Englehardt also questioned the timing, and the hypocrisy. First of all, he wrote, OSHA had initially declined to use its ETS powers back in June 2020, declaring that it was “not necessary” to “protect working people from occupational exposure to infectious disease.” But once the Biden attorneys decided to use the agency’s ETS power to inflict its mandate on the people, it changed course.

And what hypocrisy. Wrote the judge:

The Mandate’s stated impetus — a purported “emergency” that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to — is unavailing as well.

“Unavailing” is a nice way the judge had of saying “empty,” “trivial,” and “worthless,” as well as completely unpersuasive.

Judge Engelhardt said that OSHA should have used its ETS power “delicately,” because it is an “extraordinary power” that Congress granted (illegally, but that’s another matter) to the agency back in 1971 under President Nixon.

But, no, wrote the judge:

But the Mandate at issue here is anything but a “delicate exercise” of this “extraordinary power.”

 

Quite the opposite, rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly “grave danger” the Mandate purports to address.

Ryan Bangert, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, one of many public-interest law firms bringing those 34 lawsuits, said, “The Biden administration’s decision to mandate vaccines through an OSHA emergency rule is unlawful and compels employers like our clients to intrude on their employees’ personal health decisions.”

Patrick Hughes, president and co-founder of Liberty Justice Center, which also has clients contesting the mandate, said:

This mandate represents the greatest overreach by the federal government in a generation. It is illegal and unconstitutional, and we are committed to ensuring that it never sees the light of day.

May the Sixth Circuit’s three-judge panel, its full court if necessary, and the Supreme Court upon appeal, all see the Biden vaccine mandate the same way.

Crime, Biden Drive Down Americans’ Demand for Stricter Gun Laws

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 17, 2021:

As violent crime rises along with anti-gun rhetoric from the Biden administration, so does Americans’ pushback against more gun control. On Wednesday, Gallup reported that “stricter gun laws [are now] less popular in the U.S.”

Americans’ demand for stricter gun laws has fallen to the lowest point since 2014. The demand for stricter gun laws peaked at 67 percent — two out of three people — in 2018 following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. Today, barely half of those polled by Gallup think stricter gun controls are needed.

Not surprisingly, most support for more gun laws comes from Democrats, at 91 percent. Among Republicans, however, support for more Second Amendment infringements has fallen by nearly 12 points since 2019, to just 24 percent. Among independents, support for more gun controls has declined by an astonishing 19 points, to 45 percent.

When asked about their desire for a total ban on all handguns (“Do you think there should be, or should not be, a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by police and other authorized persons?”), support for such a ban dropped to 19 percent, an “all-time low,” said Gallup, “and down six points in the past year.” Gallup failed to mention that support for a total handgun ban has declined by 10 full percentage points since 2019, according to its results.

Gallup explained:

The latest drop in support for a handgun ban is largely attributable to political independents.

 

Currently, 14% of independents think there should be a ban on handguns, which marks a 16-point decline since 2019, including nine points since 2020.

 

Even fewer Republicans, 6%, favor such a ban, while 40% of Democrats do.

Diminishing support for a total handgun ban is also attributable to the current occupant of the White House. Back in July, President Biden told a town hall meeting:

The idea that you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 30, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous.

 

I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.

And, according to Gallup, that’s one of the reasons Americans continue to push back. It should be remembered that support for banning all handguns began to decline after Congress passed the “Clinton Gun Ban” (a.k.a The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993). In 1991, it peaked at 43 percent, and stands at 19 percent today.

Congress understandably has not passed any new gun laws under Biden. Such legislation has now replaced Social Security as “the third rail” of politics.

OSHA to Use “Whistleblowers” to Enforce Biden Vaccine Mandate

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 16, 2021: 

The Occupational and Safety Administration (OSHA) has fewer than 2,000 enforcers to cover the estimated seven million businesses employing 84 million workers impacted by Biden’s vaccine mandate. Doing the math, Michael Maharrey, the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, calculated “it would take them 160 years to inspect every business … just one time. That’s why [OSHA] will have to rely on snitches to have any hope of enforcing the vaccine mandate.”

That’s exactly what OSHA plans to do. OSHA’s former chief of staff, Debbie Berkowitz, admits that “there is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers’ doors, or even calling them. They’re going to rely on workers … to file complaints.”

They’re also going to be doing “spot checks” of businesses, and when one is found to be in violation, it will be headline news in order to keep other businesses in line.

Call them betrayers, canaries, snitches, squealers, stool pigeons, or whistleblowers, this is the weak link in OSHA’s enforcement chain. As Maharrey noted, “Here’s the dirty little secret they don’t want you to know: partnerships and ‘team efforts’ don’t work when half the team quits.”

For the moment, at least, OSHA has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS [emergency temporary standard] pending future developments in the litigation.” The Fifth Circuit issued a temporary injunction against OSHA, and then reaffirmed it on Friday.

Today a lottery will take place to determine where all the challenges that have been brought against OSHA by multiple states in 11 of the 12 circuit courts will be resolved. Federal law requires that when “multiple petitions for review of a single agency’s order are filed in at least two courts of appeal” a lottery must take place to determine which court will adjudicate the matter.

The Federalist, No. 46, written by “Publius” (James Madison), directly addresses the issue: What happens if the court rules that OSHA does in fact have the authority to enforce Biden’s vaccine mandate?

He wrote:

The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone….

 

[When] the members of the federal government will be dependent on the members of the state government [for enforcement] … the state governments must clearly have the advantage….

Twenty-seven state governments have already brought lawsuits against OSHA. As Madison noted:

Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in a particular state … the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people, their repugnance and perhaps refusal to co-operate with the officers of the [federal government] … would form … very serious impediments, and where the sentiments of several adjoining states happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.

That is how the author of the Constitution, looking ahead 230 years to today, would handle the problem of OSHA: Just say no. Even if the courts say OSHA is legitimate, and its ETS is legal, those 27 states could still just say no.

As Maharrey wrote: “If employees refuse to tell on their coworkers and employers, and if states refuse to help enforce the vaccine mandates, the vaccine mandates won’t be enforced.”

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms Order Halting OSHA From Enforcing Vax Mandate

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, November 14, 2021: 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed its “stay” order against OSHA on Friday. Last week, OSHA finally issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) ordering businesses with more than 100 employees either to, in Judge Kurt Englehardt’s (a Trump appointee) words: “take their shots, take their tests, or hit the road.”

The day after OSHA issued its ETS, the Fifth Circuit shut it down, finding “cause to believe there were grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.” On Friday, the court reaffirmed its stay order against OSHA and explained why.

First of all, OSHA declined to issue an ETS back in June 2020, declaring that it was “not necessary” to “protect working people from occupational exposure to infectious disease, including COVID-19.” Now, surprisingly, OSHA has reversed itself.

Second, wrote Englehardt, “in its fifty-year history, OSHA has issued just ten ETSs. Six were challenged in court; only one survived.”

Instead of assuming that OSHA’s creation in 1971 was a legitimate use of legislative power and then moving on to question the validity of its ETS, Englehardt wrote:

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created OSHA, was enacted by Congress to assure Americans “safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.”

 

It was not — and likely could not be, under the Commerce Clause and nondelegation doctrine — intended to authorize a workplace safety administration in the deep recesses of the federal bureaucracy to make sweeping pronouncements on matters of public health affecting every member of society in the profoundest of ways.

He notes that the “’nondelegation doctrine’ constrains Congress’s ability to delegate its legislative authority to executive agencies (“The Constitution provides that ‘[a]ll legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States’ … and we have long insisted that ‘the integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordered by the Constitution’ mandate that Congress generally cannot delegate its legislative power to another Branch.”)

The very fact that he brings up the existential question of OSHA’s constitutionality is comforting to those who take the Constitution and its constraints against federal power aggrandizement seriously. 

He goes on to question the constitutionality of the mandate:

 

On the dubious assumption that the Mandate does pass constitutional muster — which we need not decide today — it is nonetheless fatally flawed on its own terms.

 

Indeed, the Mandate’s strained prescriptions combine to make it the rare government pronouncement that is both overinclusive (applying to employers and employees in virtually all industries and workplaces in America, with little attempt to account for the obvious differences between the risks facing, say, a security guard on a lonely night shift, and a meatpacker working shoulder to shoulder in a cramped warehouse), and underinclusive (purporting to save employees with 99 or more coworkers from a “grave danger” in the workplace, while making no attempt to shield employees with 98 or fewer coworkers from the very same  threat).

 

The Mandate’s stated impetus — a purported “emergency” that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to — is unavailing as well.

 

And its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.

Judge Engelhardt also blew the cover on just why OSHA was picked to do the dirty work of the Biden mandate:

After the President voiced his displeasure with the country’s vaccination rate in September, the Administration pored over the U.S. Code in search of authority, or a “work-around,” for imposing a national vaccine mandate.

 

The vehicle it landed on was an OSHA ETS.

The judge footnoted the source backing up his claim:

On September 9, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s tweet that stated, “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”

The judge went on to explain just how the “workaround” would work:

The statute empowering OSHA allows OSHA to bypass typical notice-and-comment proceedings for six months by providing “for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect upon publication in the Federal Register” if it “determines (A) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (B) that such emergency standard is necessary to  protect employees from such danger.”

Englehardt saw through the scam:

Courts have uniformly observed that OSHA’s authority to establish emergency temporary standards … “is an ‘extraordinary power’ that is to be ‘delicately exercised’ in only certain ‘limited situations.’”

 

But the Mandate at issue here is anything but a “delicate exercise” of this “extraordinary power.”

 

Quite the opposite, rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly “grave danger” the Mandate purports to address.

Accordingly, wrote the judge:

On November 6, 2021, we agreed to stay the Mandate pending briefing and expedited judicial review. Having conducted that expedited review, we reaffirm our initial stay.

Good for the circuit’s three-judge panel! Two of them are Trump appointees and the third was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. It does matter whether the Constitution means what its Founders meant it to say, or whether it can be “flexed” to meet “current exigencies.” Biden Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says the constitution must “flex”: “What we know very clearly is that when people get vaccinated … the more lives we can ultimately save.”

Even if it takes an unconstitutional mandate to force everyone to get the jab.

The Story of “Navy SEAL 1,” One of 23 Plaintiffs in Complaint Against Biden Over Vax Mandate

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 12, 2021:

In another lawsuit filed against President Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, 23 plaintiffs complained to the Middle District Court of Florida that their requests for religious exemptions from Biden’s vaccine mandate were denied, thus violating their First Amendment rights, among others.

The plaintiffs included Navy SEAL 1 and 2, two Lieutenant Colonels, an Army Ranger, a National Guardsman, and several federal civilian contractors, among others.

No names were provided in the lawsuit, but the backgrounds of each were provided in the 120-page lawsuit. The story of “Navy SEAL 1” reveals the character and integrity each possesses, along with the courage needed to “buck the system” with this lawsuit.

Liberty Counsel represents them and noted in its lawsuit that

Plaintiffs are United States Armed Forces servicemembers, federal employees, and federal civilian contractors who face a deadline under [Biden’s] Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate … that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs, and have been refused any religious exemptions or accommodation.

They are facing

pressure and abuse … and disciplinary actions have already commenced for some….

 

Defendants are threatening these military heroes with dishonorable discharge for even requesting a religious exemption from COVID-19 shots.

 

Dishonorable discharge is worse that a criminal conviction for these service members because it is a badge of disgrace that follows them for the rest of their lives.

The lawsuit declared

Having sacrificed everything to defend America and its citizenry — and while carrying the images and sounds of war with them throughout their lives — America, the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” would betray them with the worst punishment of dishonorable discharge. And for what cause?

 

Simply because they seek an accommodation from the COVID-19 shots on account of their sincerely held religious beliefs. [Emphasis in original.]

Navy SEAL 1 serves well as an example of the 23 individuals willing to risk it all to challenge the vaccine mandate:

Plaintiff NAVY SEAL 1, United States Navy, is a citizen of the State of California currently stationed at a United States Naval facility in California.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 has requested an exemption and accommodation of his sincerely held religious objections to the Secretary’s mandate that all United States Armed Forces personnel accept and receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of remaining in their sworn posts.

 

NAVY SEAL 1’s request for a religious exemption and accommodation was denied, and he was immediately removed from his position in the United States Navy.

Liberty Counsel provided the court with his background and achievements while serving:

Special Operations Chief NAVY SEAL 1 enlisted in the Navy in 2009 and wanted to serve his country to the best of his ability.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 sought to and became a Navy SEAL. He received training from 2009 starting and finishing BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) and SQT (SEAL Qualification Training) with class 278.

 

He deployed to Afghanistan from December 2011 to September 2012, and received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a combat “V” (valor) for his actions during deployment, along with a combat action ribbon.

 

NAVY SEAL 1’s second tour was to the Philippines in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, working under Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF), and receiving an Army Commendation medal.

 

For his third tour, which was outside of his usual deployment cycle and thus 100% voluntary, NAVY SEAL 1 volunteered to augment SEAL Team Seven during the height of the Mosul, Iraq clearance from February to April 2017.

 

During NAVY SEAL 1’s fourth tour, in Iraq from August 2017 to March 2018, NAVY SEAL 1 was the acting assault lead, putting him in charge of a platoon level force to execute the tactical direction of the platoon chief, and he earned a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a “C” (Combat).

 

His most recent tour was to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from March to September 2020. For his leadership setting up, organizing, and executing a large joint close air support (CAS) and combat search and rescue (CSAR) exercise, NAVY SEAL 1 received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. This robust exercise included units from 5 different countries and over 15 assets.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 also received awards for his time spent at training commands. His first tour was at TRADET-1 as the SOUC (Special Operations Urban Combat) Lead Petty Officer from December 2014 to June 2016. He received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Award for his efforts there.

 

His second training command tour was as the Lead Chief Petty Officer of the Navy’s only Joint Close Air Support school. For his efforts in synchronizing joint assets and providing mission critical qualification training for creating Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) he received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Award.

Navy SEAL 1 is also a Christian. As Liberty Counsel explained,

Plaintiffs [including Navy SEAL 1] sincerely hold religious beliefs that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that they are to glorify God with their bodies lays the foundation for everything they do, consume, or inject into their bodies.

 

From this foundation they make studied and reasonable decisions about what is good and what is not good or may not be good for their bodies.

 

To knowingly abuse their bodies by engaging in a dishonorable act, or consuming or injecting a substance that will or may produce adverse consequences, is a sin against God.

 

This belief and other sincerely held religious beliefs are foundational to all their decisions and actions and are not limited to aborted fetal cell lines.

 

Plaintiffs [including Navy SEAL 1] have sincerely held religious beliefs that the Holy Spirit — through prayer and the revelation of Scripture — guide them in all decisions they make in life.

 

Plaintiffs [including Navy SEAL 1] have sincerely held religious beliefs that Jesus Christ came to this earth, died on the cross for their sins, was resurrected three days later, and that when He ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His believers and to guide them in all aspects of their lives.

This is anathema to Navy SEAL 1’s commanding officers, as Liberty Counsel explained:

On September 7, 2021, NAVY SEAL 1 submitted to the United States Navy a request for religious exemption from the Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate as an accommodation of his sincerely held beliefs.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 articulated to his commander that he has and exercises sincerely held religious beliefs that compel him to abstain from receiving any of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 met with his unit’s Chaplain, who reviewed his request for a religious exemption and accommodation and found that NAVY SEAL 1’s request was sincere.

 

NAVY SEAL 1’s Chaplain forwarded NAVY SEAL 1’s request to the command.

 

After review, NAVY SEAL 1’s request for a religious exemption and accommodation was denied, and he was preemptively removed from his position as Platoon Chief.

 

NAVY SEAL 1 faces potential court martial, dishonorable discharge, and other life altering disciplinary measures for exercising and seeking accommodation of his sincerely held religious beliefs against COVID-19 vaccination.

As a result of the denial, Navy SEAL 1 and the other plaintiffs “face the unconscionable choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or facing court martial and dishonorable discharge from their faithful service to the nation,” according to the lawsuit.

They are “suffering irreparable injury,” claims the lawsuit,

By being prohibited in their constitutionally and statutorily protected rights to the free exercise of their sincerely held religious beliefs….

 

By being forced to choose between maintaining the ability to feed their families and the free exercise of their sincerely held religious beliefs….

 

By being stripped of their rights to equal protection of the law and being subjected to disfavored class status in the United States Armed Forces….

 

[and by facing] the prospect of irreparable medical injury as a result of the Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.

The plaintiffs demand that the court issue a temporary restraining order and that Biden and the other named defendants “immediately comply … so that each individual has the option to accept or refuse administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.” Biden and the others “will immediately cease in their refusal to consider, evaluate, or accept Plaintiffs’ requests for exemption and accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Time is running out. Navy and Marine Corps servicemembers have until November 28 to become fully vaccinated, or suffer the consequences.

Unless the court intervenes.

5 Navy SEALs Sue Biden, Department of Defense for Religious Discrimination Over Vaccine Mandates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 11, 2021:  

In addition to having every one of their requests for a religious exemption from the Navy’s COVID vaccine mandate denied, 35 Navy SEALs were harassed, intimidated, and threatened for even making those requests.

On Tuesday, they filed suit against President Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, and the U.S. Department of Defense. They are being represented by the public interest non-profit First Liberty Institute (LFI).

Mike Berry, general counsel for LFI, minced no words: The denials are universal, deliberate, intentional, and represent an effort to purge the Navy of Christians:

The fact that the government has not granted a single religious exemption from the vaccine mandate shows that the Biden Administration does not care about religious freedom. Instead, this appears to be an attempted ideological purge.

 

Forcing a service member to choose between their faith and serving their country is abhorrent to the Constitution and America’s values.

 

After all these elite warriors have done to defend our freedoms, the Navy is now threatening their careers, families, and finances. It’s appalling and it has to stop before any more harm is done to our national security.

After filing their requests and having them universally denied, Berry explained what happened next:

When they inquired about seeking religious accommodation for the vaccine, the Navy informed many of the plaintiffs that they could face court-martial or involuntary separation if they don’t receive the vaccine. Each of their religious exemption denials appear to be identical, suggesting the Navy is not taking their requests seriously.

A purge of the Navy of Christians seems far-fetched, but LFI’s 38-page lawsuit dispels any doubt about that intention. The Navy had to violate not only the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, but the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act, Department of Defense regulations, and the Department of the Navy’s own regulations in doing so. The complaint called these denials “unlawful, contrary to law, and arbitrary and capricious.”

Excerpts from the lawsuit:

 

The Navy communicated to Plaintiffs that failure to comply with the Navy Vaccine Mandate by the established deadline — November 28, 2021, for active duty, December 28, 2021, for reserve — will result in immediate adverse consequences, which may include: court-martial (criminal) prosecution, involuntary separation, relief for cause from leadership positions, removal from promotion lists, inability to attend certain military training and education schools, loss of special pay, placement in a non-deployable status, recoupment of money spent training the service member, and loss of leave and travel privileges for both official and unofficial purposes….

 

A Navy spokesperson recently admitted that “multiple religious accommodation requests related to the COVID vaccine mandate have been adjudicated and none have yet been approved”….

 

Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs forbid each of them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons based upon their Christian faith as revealed through the Holy Bible and prayerful discernment.

 

Multiple Plaintiffs hold the sincere religious belief that all life is sacred, from conception to natural death, and that abortion is the impermissible taking of an innocent life in the womb.

 

As a result of their sincerely held religious beliefs regarding life and abortion, multiple Plaintiffs are unable to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines due to what they believe and understand is a connection between these vaccines and their testing, development, or production using aborted fetal cell lines.

 

Plaintiffs believe that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine that was tested, developed, or produced using aborted fetal cell lines would force them to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by causing them to participate in the abortion enterprise, which they believe to be immoral and highly offensive to God.

The plaintiffs hold that their bodies are the temple of God:

Multiple Plaintiffs hold to the sincere religious belief that the human body is God’s temple, and that they must not take anything into their bodies that God has forbidden or that would alter the functions of their body such as by inducing the production of a spike protein in a manner not designed by God….

 

In accordance with their sincerely held religious belief, multiple Plaintiffs carefully monitor what they take into their bodies, and they are compelled to avoid anything that adversely alters or may modify their bodies’ natural functions in a manner not designed by God.

Many of the SEALs received a formal “COVID-19 Vaccination Administrative Counseling/Warning” that states, “Per MANMED 15-105, special operations (SO) duty personnel (SEAL and SWCC) who refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine based solely on personal or religious beliefs will be disqualified from SO duty.”

They will also be declared “medically disqualified” and therefore “non-deployable” for the very missions for which they have been trained.

The lawsuit spells out the violations of the various laws and constitutional guarantees that the Navy performed to excise the plaintiffs from service for their Christian beliefs and ends by demanding “a declaratory judgment [by the court] that Defendants’ vaccination policies … violate Plaintiff’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution … [and] under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … [and] under the Administrative Procedure Act.”

It demanded “an order declaring unlawful and setting aside Defendants’ vaccination policies” along with actual and other money damages “for the violation of Plaintiffs’ rights,” including back pay, legal fees, and “all other further relief to which Plaintiffs may be entitled.”

If the court grants those demands, the immediate threat will have been thwarted. But the main threat remains: The U.S. military has been so infiltrated by secular and anti-God sentiments among its highest ranks that full cleansing and restoration won’t happen as the result of a single favorable court ruling.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney Concedes to Truck Driver in Upset Victory

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 11, 2021:  

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, conceded on Wednesday that he lost his reelection bid to truck driver and political novice Edward Durr. It was an upset victory that made headlines across the land and likely sets the stage for a dramatic Republican victory in the midterm elections in November.

Sweeney blamed his loss on a “red wave” that cost him the election. What really cost him the election was the 12,000 new voters who made their voices heard last Tuesday, erasing Sweeney’s lead and providing Durr with the additional 2,298 votes he needed to win.

Sweeney’s delayed concession, more than a week after the election and nearly a week after the Associated Press called the race for Durr, caused many to wonder if election fraud was afoot in New Jersey — that a recount would somehow miraculously rescue Sweeney from defeat.

But the four-percent margin was too much to overcome, and Sweeney, a long-time politician dating back 20 years and considered a major “power broker” in the state, finally conceded on Wednesday: “I, of course, accept the results. I want to congratulate Mr. Durr and wish him the best of luck.”

It wasn’t luck, unless luck is defined as the providential conjunction of the right man recognizing the right time and seizing the opportunity.

Durr says of himself:

I believe in God. I am hard working, trusting and very loyal. I believe in fiscal responsibility, transparency, and lower taxes … We have taxed the people to the verge of death….

 

I also support the Second Amendment.

That second point is important. Back in 2015, an effort from Second Amendment supporters to remove Sweeney from office over his infringement of their rights failed. But his anti-gun record remained resonant with New Jersey gun owners.

 

It also helped that, after serving more than 10 years as president of the New Jersey Senate, he had accrued to himself a mantle of superiority. Said Durr:

 

It was the combination of a governor [Phil Murphy] who acts like a king, and a senate president who acts like a court jester and does nothing.

 

That made it very easy to convince people they were not being paid attention to. And when they got ignored, they got angry.

Money didn’t matter. Durr spent $153 in winning the primary. In total, he spent between $8,000 and $9,000, compared to Sweeney’s campaign spending more than $600,000.

Because of his job as a truck driver for a local furniture company, he could only go door-to-door on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. On Saturdays and Sundays he walked six to eight hours — so much so that his feet hurt. Said Durr: “Trust me, plenty of days I did not feel like walking. It was too hot, my ankles and my feet hurt — I’m not a young man anymore [he is 58], and I have gout, and plantar fasciitis — it was a hard thing.”

But it was worth it:

It allowed me the opportunity to talk to every person I could possibly talk to, and understand what they were feeling, and get the pulse.

Durr takes positions that warm the hearts of conservatives. He calls himself a “constitutional conservative” and advocates for cutting taxes — income, corporate, state, and property. He says that “abortion is wrong and should be stopped” and is a supporter of Texas-style “heartbeat” laws.

He’s also a fan of conservative media: “I watch a lot of Greg Gutfeld, Newsmax and One America.” He listens to Dan Bongino and Steven Crowder. He watches Mark Levin’s Life, Liberty and Levin on Sunday nights.

The main issue in the campaign was rights, said Durr:

The main issue was rights. People talk about how New Jersey has the highest taxes, and we’re the worst state for business, with high debt, and so on.

 

But the bottom line is rights. It’s family.

 

When someone is messing with your family, you’ll do anything. The governor was messing with people’s families. When you mess with somebody’s job, their livelihood, their home, their children — people just won’t take that.

Durr tapped into the growing discontent among voters over what Democrats are doing to the country. With Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s near-death experience thanks to an unknown Republican challenger, analysts, pollsters, and commentators are considering Durr’s victory a harbinger for Republicans and a bad omen for Democrats a year from now.

As Durr himself noted:

It didn’t happen because of me. I’m nobody. I’m absolutely nobody. I’m just a simple guy.

 

It was the people. It was a repudiation of the policies that have been forced down their throats.

Texas to Amend Constitution to Prohibit State Restrictions on Churches

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 8, 2021: 

Among the eight amendments Texas voters approved last Tuesday was Proposition 3, a “prohibition on limiting religious services or organizations amendment.” After already having passed both houses of the state legislature, voters approved it 62 percent to 37 percent.

Under previous powers, Texas cities including Dallas, Denton, El Paso, and Lubbock shut down religious services in March and April 2020 in response to the COVID pandemic. Texans were outraged when, for example, local police surrounded a parking lot of a church where worshippers were holding outdoor services during the shutdown.

Proposition 3 adds an entire section to the Texas state constitution:

This state or a political subdivision of this state may not enact, adopt, or issue a statute, order, proclamation, decision, or rule that prohibits or limits religious services, including religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and places of worship, in this state by a religious organization established to support and serve the propagation of a sincerely held religious belief.

It provided no exceptions. No repeat of a COVID pandemic or its equivalent in the future. As a result of Tuesday’s elections, Texans massively supported the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They likewise supported the 14th Amendment: “[no] State [shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

State Representative Scott Sanford, along with every other Republican in the House, explained his vote supporting Prop 3:

Churches provide essential spiritual, mental, and physical support in a time of crisis. Closing churches not only eliminated these critical ministries and services, but it violated their religious freedom, guaranteed by our laws and Constitution.

State Senator Donna Campbell explained her support:

When the restrictions were put on the church, it crossed the line from what we could do, which was buy groceries, and what we couldn’t do, which was worship as we want to worship.

Pastor John Greiner of the Glorious Way in Houston said: “The church should be the place where people go to get healed … they should be free to close if that’s what they want to do, but I don’t think the government should impose that upon any group at all.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch put the matter well. In a related ruling, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, decided in 2020, he wrote:

 

The First Amendment protects religious uses and actions for good reason….

 

What does it mean to tell an Orthodox Jew that she may have her religion but may be targeted for observing her religious calendar?

 

The right to be religious without the right to do religious things would hardly among to a right at all.

On Tuesday, Texas voters made certain that neither the state nor any of its political subdivisions would ever cross that line again, putting grocery shopping ahead of worshipping the Creator of the Universe, seeking His sustenance and comfort during a time of crisis.

The Second Amendment Had a Very Good Day on Wednesday

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, November 6, 2021:  

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments on Wednesday in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and, based on the questioning by a number of the justices, supporters of the Second Amendment are likely to claim a victory.

The question to be resolved is “Whether [New York] State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

Robert Nash and Brandon Koch brought the case after they were denied such licenses. The New York law reads that they must “demonstrate a special need for self-protection [which is] distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.” The bureaucrats said they didn’t, and denied their applications.

This was despite the fact that Nash, for example, proved himself to be a person of exemplary character who had taken some gun-safety classes and had proved himself confident and capable in the handling of a firearm; and despite that fact that there had recently been a string of robberies in his neighborhood. The state officials denied their applications, ruling that there was no “special” proof that Nash and Koch were endangered more than any others in the general population.

When they sued, the lower court ruled that the denials were proper since the applicants “did not face unique or special danger to their lives.” On appeal to the Supreme Court, Nash and Koch declared that “The Second Amendment makes the right to carry arms for self-defense the rule, not the exception, and fundamental rights cannot be left to the whim of local government officials.”

The high court justices were tough on the defendants in the initial round of oral argument. Chief Justice John Roberts, probably the weakest link in the chain, was surprisingly supportive of the plaintiffs. He told the lawyers defending New York’s law, “The idea that you need a license to exercise the right [to bear arms], I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights.”

That should be heartening to those who have long claimed that “one doesn’t need permission to exercise a right.”

 

Justice Alito tripped up the defense over twisting history. Here’s the exchange:

Justice Alito: I’m going to give you an example, which is … troubling. I can see how it would slip through. I’m not accusing you personally of anything.

 

But, on page 23, you say that in founding-era America, legal reference guides advised local officials to “arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed”….

 

So I looked at this manual, and what it actually says is “You shall arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed offensively.”

 

And somehow that word “offensively” got dropped –

 

Ms. Underwood [defense attorney]: Well, our –

 

Alito: – from your brief.

 

Ms. Underwood: I will –

 

Alito: Do you think that’s an irrelevant word?

Alito went on to explain that by leaving out that word it changed the entire meaning, showing that that quote doesn’t support gun control at all.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh heard the state’s argument and told them, “That’s just not how we do constitutional rights, where we allow basic blanket discretion [to government bureaucrats] to grant or deny something.”

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, weighed in on the case in an op-ed published in Newsweek on Wednesday. He said that if you think Nash and Koch had it tough in New York, try getting a concealed-carry license “in California and six-other ‘may-issue’ states where officials can turn down requests for a carry permit for any reason, or for no reason at all.”

Lott pointed out that rarely are permits granted to ordinary citizens in those states but “when permit decisions rest solely with judges and bureaucrats, the few people who [do] get permits … often have special connections.… Those without connections, more often women and minorities, get the short end of the stick.”

In San Francisco, for example, Lott told of a woman with a court protective order who wasn’t able to get a permit, but the local sheriff’s personal lawyer did. In New Jersey, a man was denied a permit even though he was threatened and robbed at gunpoint in the past, and currently carries a lot of cash in his job servicing ATM machines.

Lott pointed out that “may carry” laws in those states “stop almost everyone [from getting a permit]. Only about 1 percent of adults in may-issue states have a permit to carry. In the other 42 states, 10.8 percent of adults have a concealed handgun permit.”

And those who do carry concealed are among the lowest risk individuals as they “are convicted of firearms-related violations at one-twelfth the rate at which police officers are convicted.”

Even Ian Millhiser, writing for the anti-gun Vox, said that “the NRA had a very good day in the Supreme Court” on Wednesday. After reviewing the oral arguments and the justices’ questions, he concluded that “the case is likely to end with the curtailment of states’ ability to regulate where people can carry guns.”

Tom Knighton, writing for BearingArms.com, said:

It was clear from the questioning that, while it’s unlikely we’ll see all rules restricting the carrying of a firearm overturned, we will probably see something like “shall-issue” becoming the law of the land….

 

More importantly … people in states like New Jersey and California are going to score wins … when we get the ruling on this next year, I expect they’ll be able to get a permit.

He added:

I also expect to see crime begin to drop as criminals start hearing about more and more people carrying firearms.

The war against guns will continue. As long as permission is still needed in some form or fashion to exercise the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment will remain a second-class right.

A Dozen States Suing OSHA’s Mandate Overreach; DOL Claims It’s “Not a Mandate”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 5, 2021:  

Almost immediately after OSHA issued its long-awaited “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) on COVID vaccine mandates affecting millions of American workers, two things happened: 1) a dozen states began filing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the mandate; and 2) Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who oversees OSHA, said, “It’s not a mandate.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis led off by declaring on Thursday that it was filing a lawsuit challenging the mandate, calling it “unlawful” and unconstitutional:

We started [at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020] with 15 days to slow the spread, and now its “get jabbed or lose your job.”

 

We’re supposed to be a government of laws, not a government of men. This OSHA rule is 500 pages [from] a government bureaucracy … that is being run by executive edict [and] not a government bound by constitutional constraints.

 

The State of Florida will immediately challenge the OSHA rule in court because it’s inconsistent with the Constitution and not legally authorized through Congressional statutes.

 

There is no federal police power and the federal government cannot unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation.

 

Individuals should make informed choices about their own healthcare. It is important to stand up for people’s individual ability to make decisions for themselves.

Walsh begged to differ. On CNN, he told Wolf Blitzer:

This is not a mandate … it’s a process of getting people vaccinated. And if people choose not to be vaccinated, they get tested. It’s that simple….

 

This is not a mandate. It really is about how do we get the American workforce safe.

Those 500 pages reveal that Walsh is caviling. A summary of the new OSHA mandate declares that:

Employers will be required to determine the vaccination status of each employee and keep records showing each employee’s vaccination status for the federal bureaucrats;

 

Employees will be required to provide “prompt notice” when they test positive for COVID-19, and then employers must “remove” the employee from the company workplace and not allow them to return until they have met certain criteria;

 

For those employees refusing to be vaccinated they must, at their own expense, be tested for the virus on at least a weekly basis, and they must wear a mask indoors or while driving with another employee on company business.

All of this is unconstitutional, says Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (which represents two private businesses suing OSHA):

This new rule is illegal and unconstitutional. It circumvents the normal legal process … to claim emergency power to impose a mandate on American business.

At this writing, at least a dozen states are filing, or have filed, lawsuits challenging OSHA on those same grounds — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich: “When faceless government bureaucrats dictate what you must inject into your body, that’s the furthest thing in the world from a safe workplace. The government doesn’t get to be your nanny, and it’s certainly not your doctor.”

 

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb agrees:

This is an overreach of the government’s role in serving and protecting Hoosiers.… This federal government approach is unprecedented.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds added:

Biden’s plan pits Americans against Americans … forcing them to choose between making a living or standing up for their personal beliefs.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt expanded:

The federal government does not have the authority to unilaterally force private employers to mandate their employees get vaccinated or foot the bill for weekly testing.

To review: Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Ergo, OSHA itself is unconstitutional and therefore anything it promulgates in the form of an “emergency temporary standard” is also unconstitutional.

Nowhere among the few enumerated powers granted the federal government in Article I, Section 8 can one find anything to do with mandates, healthcare, or vaccinations.

And just to be sure that the federal government doesn’t attempt to overreach, there’s the 10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It is healthy to see an awakening by so many states and their citizens about how important those limitations and restrictions on federal power are. For years and decades, most citizens just assumed that the Constitution would restrain the federal government, thus allowing them the freedom to get on with their lives, enjoying their liberties, and pursuing their individual definitions of happiness. With the Biden incursions threatening all of these freedoms, the Constitution is now enjoying a resurgence of interest and respect as it remains the final bulwark against tyranny in the name of fighting a virus.

A quote ascribed to the first president of the United States, George Washington, provides the warning:

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

Ohio Bill Bans Abortions From the Moment of Conception

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 5, 2021:  

Two Ohio state representatives — Jena Powell and Thomas Hall — filed a bill on Tuesday evening that goes further than Texas’ SB8 or “heartbeat” law: it bans all abortions in the state, period.

It’s House Bill 480 but is better known as The 2363 Act in honor of the 2,363 babies who are killed through abortion every day in the United States. Powell wants to bring that number down to zero:

Since the constitutional fiction of Roe v. Wade has prevented communities from protecting our youngest children for the past fifty years, a new and bold approach is needed.

That “bold approach” includes this language: “no person shall purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion,” with abortion defined as actions that seek “to terminate the pregnancy of a woman … [knowing that they] will … cause the death of the unborn child.” An unborn child is defined as an individual human being “from fertilization until live birth.”

The 2363 Act utilizes the enforcement mechanism from the Texas heartbeat law: it allows “any person” other than a state or local official or employee to bring a civil suit against anyone performing, or assisting in performing, an abortion in the state. Civil penalties are allowed of $10,000 or more, just as in Texas.

The goal, said the bill’s cosponsor Thomas Hall, is to “end abortion in Ohio and across America.” At present 33 members of the 99-member State house have co-sponsored the bill which will next be referred to a House committee for further consideration. Republicans hold a 64-35 majority in the House.

The bill has struck fear into abortion supporters, confirming that other states would offer “copycat” bills similar to if not identical to Texas’s Heartbeat Law. Said Elizabeth Nash, an associate at Guttmacher Institute which supports the legal fiction of Roe v. Wade: “One key part of Texas’s vigilante anti-abortion law was to provide a roadmap for other states, and we are seeing that now as Ohio is following in Texas’s footsteps.”

Warned Nash: “Should Ohio adopt a total abortion ban, it would utterly dismantle abortion access in the state … [resulting in] an insurmountable burden for many, particularly those facing systemic oppression including those with low incomes, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals.” She didn’t explain just how same-sex couples would be negatively impacted by the bill if it became law.

 

At least 10 other states are preparing similar legislation, including Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri.

 

Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced a bill last week — Preventing Vigilante Stalking that Stops Women’s Access to Healthcare and Abortion Rights Act (PVSTSWATHAARA, presumably) — that would, if passed, allow criminal charges to be filed against anyone bringing a civil lawsuit under Texas’s Heartbeat Act.

While PVSTSWATHAARA at present has little chance of passage the same cannot be said of a federal law that has already passed the House of Representatives — the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). That bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the present occupant of the Oval Office, would strip all powers of the states from making such laws as that in Texas and proposed elsewhere.

It would overturn those laws already on the books and prevent new anti-abortion (pro-life) laws from being passed by the states. It would, in simple terms, guarantee abortion on demand. WHPA has 48 co-sponsors in the Senate, all Democrats except Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

This makes the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Mississippi law, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization more important than ever. At issue in that case is “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” If the high court rules that they are, then many other states will follow behind Texas and Ohio in efforts to prevent the murder of unborn children in the wombs of their mothers in their states.

Alabama Latest State to File Lawsuit Against Biden Vaccine Mandates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 3, 2021: 

The lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday is just the latest in an increasing number of efforts to restrain the federal government over its COVID vaccine mandates. Marshall said the mandates are “flagrantly unconstitutional” and represent “contemptible infringements on individual liberty, federalism, and the separation of powers.”

Nowhere among the few enumerated powers given to the federal government in Article I, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution is found anything that gives the government the power to issue or enforce such mandates. The founders made sure that, if not enumerated, such powers are reserved “to the states respectively, or to the people.” (See 10th Amendment).

Marshall is ready to file another lawsuit if Biden issues a “private sector” mandate.

The flurry of recent efforts to restrain the federal government began on October 25 when Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed an executive order demanding that her state’s agencies do not comply with the federal mandates. The language was clear:

Effective immediately, no agency, department, board, commission, or other entity within the executive branch of state government shall … seek to impose a penalty on any business or individual for noncompliance.

Ivey was defiant, writing:

The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

 

Alabamians — and Americans alike — should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not forced by government….

 

I am adamantly opposed to federal mandates related to the COVID-19 vaccine and adamantly opposed to state mandates related to the COVID-19 vaccine, plain and simple.

 

As long as I am your governor, the state of Alabama will not force anyone to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

On October 28, Missouri Governor Mike Parsons signed an executive order with similar purposes. Said Parsons:

When President Biden announced his initial plans to force unconstitutional vaccine mandates, we immediately began aligning state resources for legal action. While we hoped the Biden Administration would recognize these mandates as the abuse of authority that they are, they have not, and we must now use every tool we have available to fight this federal intrusion.

He defended the Constitution:

The Constitution and its historical interpretations clearly leave public health decisions to the states. The federal government has no authority to issue COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The Biden Administration acting alone to dictate and mandate health requirements represents the kind of federal power grab the founding fathers warned us against.

On October 29, 10 states filed a lawsuit jointly against the mandates:

We [the States of Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming] bring this action to challenge [the Biden administration’s] use of federal procurement statutes to create sweeping new power to issue decrees over large swaths of the U.S. economy and take over areas of traditional state power.

The 10 plaintiffs relied on the separation of powers built into the Constitution to prevent such overreach:

Through Executive Order 14042, President Biden has arrogated to the Executive Branch the unilateral power to mandate that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated.

 

This power grab is sweeping in its scope. Employees of federal contractors constitute one-fifth of the total U.S. workforce. And the mandate goes so far as to demand vaccination even from employees who work entirely within their own home.

 

That is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.

Some applaud the Founders with uncommon foresight in crafting the Constitution in such a way as to limit the powers of the federal government. On the contrary, they knew the nature of man. As British historian Lord Acton famously said, “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Ben Moreell, an author at the Acton Institute, wrote in 2010 of what citizens in 2021 are now seeing flowering in Washington, D.C.:

 

The more restrictions and compulsions [a governor, a president, a czar] imposes on other persons, the greater the strain on his own morality. As his appetite for using force against people increases, he tends increasingly to surround himself with advisers who also seem to derive a peculiar pleasure from forcing others to obey their decrees….

 

If the benevolent ruler stays in power long enough, he eventually concludes that power and wisdom are the same thing. And as he possesses power, he must also possess wisdom.

 

He becomes converted to the seductive thesis that election to public office endows [him] with both power and wisdom. At this point, he begins to lose his ability to distinguish between what is morally right and what is politically expedient.

Doctor Sues University Over Vaccine Mandates, Claiming Violation of 14th Amendment

This article appeared online at  TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 1, 2021:

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a physician and professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California-Irvine’s School of Medicine (UCI), was first placed on “investigatory leave” after refusing to get vaccinated. He is now suffering under “unpaid suspension.”

On October 18 he filed suit in District Court, claiming that UCI has violated his rights under the 14th Amendment:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall … deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law … nor deny to any person … the equal protection of the laws.

Kheriaty complains in his suit that UCI not only deprived him of due process but also denied him equal protection by its issuing of its vaccine mandate.

He and his family caught the virus and recovered. He now has natural immunity. He makes the case that his natural immunity is as good as, or is likely even better than, the immunity gained from taking the vaccine. Accordingly, he should be allowed to continue his work on campus. Nevertheless, writes Kheriaty, “UCI has told [me] that [I] cannot return to [my] teaching position unless [I] receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Thus, he is being discriminated against:

UCI is treating [me] differently by refusing to readmit [me] to campus when other individuals who are considered immune to the virus are being admitted back simply because their immunity was created by a vaccine….

 

This policy is illogical.

It’s also unconstitutional.

Kheriaty says that UCI’s refusal to readmit him to campus unless he receives a vaccine is an equal protection violation:

The right of individuals to their bodily integrity, which includes the right to refuse medical treatment, has long been recognized as one of the fundamental liberty rights afforded under due process.

 

By forcing [me] to receive a vaccine [I do] not want or need, and that may cause harm, in order to be treated equally as other individuals who are also immune, UCI’s Mandate implicates [my] substantive due process rights.

It’s also irrational:

[I am] already naturally immune to the virus. [I am] therefore less likely to infect other individuals than are people who have been vaccinated.

 

As a result, requiring [me] to be vaccinated in order to return to campus is irrational.

Accordingly, he is asking the court to declare UCI’s mandate unconstitutional as to the naturally immune, and preventing UCI from enforcing its mandate, along with “other and further relief” as the court deems “just and proper.”

Kheriaty made his case in an op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal back in June. He declared that all mandates being announced “are unprecedented — and unethical. Never before have colleges insisted that students or employees receive an experimental vaccine as a condition of attendance or employment.”

Especially galling to the doctor was that, for those under the age of 30, “the risks of serious morbidity and mortality are close to zero.… No sensible understanding of herd immunity can justify forcing vaccinations on healthy young adults who are at minimal risk of hospitalization or death from Covid, especially those who already had Covid.”

In light of such logic, science had to be replaced with propaganda, said Kheriaty in an interview with the Catholic World Report (CWR). When he first started investigating the use of vaccines it seemed reasonable to recommend them to those at the highest risk, such as the elderly with comorbidities. He told CWR, “Let’s offer it to people who are at risk … to people who want it … [who are] willing to take the risk of unknown long-term issues.”

But decisions were made to force everyone to take the vaccine. Since the science didn’t support them, propaganda was used instead:

We’ve seen the ramping up of propaganda. There’s a difference between public health messaging that takes complex science and simplifies it for mass consumption — how do we give people accurate information in a way that they can understand, which is what we should be doing.

 

[But if] you start with a behavior outcome that you want — a needle in every arm — the messaging is geared toward getting that outcome at all costs.

 

Very quickly you find yourself engaged in propaganda because it’s not about conveying accurate information, it’s about only conveying information that will give you a particular behavioral outcome.

In his interview with CWR, Kheriaty said “religious exemptions have to be accepted. That’s a constitutional right. It’s a basic human right. Someone with pro-life convictions [like me] could come to the determination that under the circumstances they can’t in good conscience take this vaccine because of its connection to aborted fetal tissue.”

In addition, said Kheriaty, “The initial trials were very short, especially for a vaccine. They were only three months long [and] then they were halted.”

When asked what he thought it would take to put an end to the vaccine mandates, Kheriaty responded:

Ultimately, I think the thing that’s going to stop these vaccine mandates are just people on the ground refusing to comply. We’re starting to see that. That’s going to have more immediate and perhaps more profound effect than what happens in the courts.

85 Battleground Districts Tipping Republican, Says NRCC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, October 30, 2021:

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) reported last week the results of its latest poll of 1,000 voters taken the week before. The result is bad news for Democrats.

Of the 435 congressional districts, just 85 of them are “swing” or “battleground” districts: As they go, so goes Congress. After tabulating the results, the NRCC said, “It’s not just that the Biden honeymoon is over. Voters are now having ‘Biden remorse’ due to the Democrats’ incompetence.”

Some observers might disagree with the word “incompetence,” replacing it with “deliberate intention to destroy the Republic.” Nevertheless, the poll’s results show, no matter how it is viewed, as potentially catastrophic for the Democrats in the midterms next November.

Biden’s overall job approval rate has flipped. In July, the NRCC poll showed 51 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving. Now, it has reversed: 51 percent of those polled disapprove of the job he is doing, while just 45 percent approve. For the record, that’s an astonishing 12-percent swing in just three months.

In generic balloting — Republicans versus Democrats in each district — Republicans now lead Democrats 43 percent to 40 percent, a swing of six percent since July.

The surprising news is that nearly all of this unhappiness with Biden and the Democrats is coming from independent and “swing” voters — Hispanic and college-educated white voters. Even though college-educated white voters tended to vote for Biden in 2020, they have switched, now favoring Republicans 43 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, however, the swing is even greater: Republicans are leading Democrats by eight percentage points.

On issues important to those polled, border security (or lack thereof) tops the list, ahead of the economy. When asked which party “can best handle these issues,” those polled gave the Republicans the advantage: 54 percent to just 27 percent who thought Democrats could do a better job.

When it comes to the economy — making the country prosperous, job creation, and inflation — those polled also gave the advantage to the Republicans. On the economy, 47 percent said Republicans could do a better job that the Democrats (35 percent). And on inflation — rising prices and the consequent higher cost of living — 43 percent of those polled said Republicans would do a better job than Democrats (36 percent).

Again, the real difference is among independents. The fear that government is “doing too much” is reflected by 62 percent of them. Among all voters polled, they are persuaded that Democrat policies will not only raise their taxes (57 percent), but also their cost of living (66 percent).

A majority (58 percent) believe that the Democrats’ move to defund local police has caused crime to increase, while they trust Republicans to keep their communities safe from crime more than Democrats, 45 percent to 32 percent.

The NRCC poll squares with other recent polls showing growing dissatisfaction with Biden and the Democrat Party. The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows 52 percent of voters disapproving of Biden’s job performance, with the latest poll from Grinnell College shows 50 percent disapproving.

A poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates revealed that nearly six out of 10 voters say America is on the wrong track, led by independents at nearly one of out three (66 percent). Remarkably, one out of five 2020 Biden voters now disapprove of the job he is doing. Noted McLaughlin: “Talk about buyer’s remorse!”

Even Democrat pollsters are coming to the same conclusion. A poll commissioned by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that focused on battleground states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Nevada — showed Biden’s approval rating coming in at a dismal 41 percent, with 52 percent disapproving.

The history of midterm elections reveals that when the president is under water with the voters, the president’s party loses seats in Congress. With Biden so much further underwater than any of his Democrat predecessors, losses in November for the Democrat Party could be catastrophic — so devastating that some are saying the party won’t recover from the disaster for a decade.

It’s the Democrats’ own doing. It’s intentional. That may explain why they are proposing such outrageous — to say nothing of unconstitutional — policies and pushing to get them through Congress while they still have a chance. They can read the tea leaves as well as Republicans: This could be their last chance for a while to impose their totalitarian will on the country.

Pro-gun Group Asks Appeals Court to Reject Texas Heartbeat Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 28, 2021:  

Erik Jaffe, an attorney who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, crafted a request on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to consider and then rule against the Texas “heartbeat” law, SB 8. His strongly worded request — a writ of certiorari — explained that the issue at hand isn’t abortion, but the way the Texas law has prevented its citizens from exercising a so-called constitutional right.

As long as the Supreme Court persists in claiming that abortion is a “right,” then states are duty-bound to enforce those rights against infringement, says Jaffe.

The Texas law, warns Jaffe, if it is upheld, would serve as encouragement for other states to use the Texas example to infringe on other rights, such as those guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

He wrote:

Texas’s novel scheme for infringing upon and chilling the exercise of the right to abortion under the Court’s Roe and Casey decisions while seeking to evade judicial review, if allowed to stand, could and would just as easily be applied to other constitutional rights….

If Texas’s scheme … is successful here, it will undoubtedly serve as a model for deterring and suppressing the exercise of numerous [other] constitutional rights.

Indeed, the anti-gun state of New York has already begun:

New York is already experimenting with private enforcement of anti-gun laws … and will gladly incorporate the lessons of this case … to suppress the right to keep and bear arms.

Other states, targeting those and other rights, will not be far behind.

Anti-gun states would be quick to adopt the Texas model against the Second Amendment, wrote Jaffe:

While New York has only started down the path of subcontracting enforcement of constitutionally suspect laws to private parties, Texas has aggressively expanded upon the model by deputizing virtually all private persons to legally threaten citizens exercising or assisting the exercise of what is, at least for now and unless the Court says otherwise, the rights it established in Roe and Casey.

To the extent this tactic is effective at evading or outright blocking preenforcement review … it will easily become the model for suppression of other constitutional rights, with Second Amendment rights being the most likely targets of such suppression.

For those who believe that election fraud put Joe Biden into the White House, Jaffe said states could “declare that protests about elections are felonious threats to democracy and may [legitimately] be dispersed with deadly force (by private citizens only, of course).”

 

Jaffe’s line of reasoning, and, by extension, the reasoning of the Firearms Policy Coalition, is faulty. Just because the Supreme Court, in a ruling that many today still consider highly controversial, says that a “right” to abortion exists in the U.S. Constitution, doesn’t make it so. The Constitution does not give the federal government any authority over matters such as abortion. Such regulatory power, in this instance, belongs to the states. The right to keep and bear arms, however, is clearly protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

 

Article VI of the Constitution states that laws made in pursuance of the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. Laws not made in pursuance of the Constitution are therefore null and void. The states properly have the authority to regulate abortion. The federal government does not. On the contrary, states to do not have the authority to enact gun-control laws.

States nullifying federal overreach are fully within their constitutional rights. States enacting legislation that violates the Constitution are not. Therefore, if New York or any other state decide to enact more gun control legislation, for any reason, such an action is unconstitutional and should be treated as such. It would be much like states refusing to implement federal immigration laws, as immigration and naturalization is something the federal government is given authority over.

If a right is conjured and not among those enumerated in the Bill of Rights, then states not only have no responsibility to resist infringements of it, but should do everything in their power to neuter its enforcement. Powers not specifically given to the federal government are instead reserved to the states, or to the people. Accordingly, states are the ones under the U.S. Constitution, to determine the validity of abortion versus the sanctity of life.

The solution, of course, is for the Supreme Court to declare that its previous decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided and place the issue back onto the states where it properly belongs. The high court will have that opportunity starting in December when it hears oral arguments in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Data Supporting ABC’s Gun-violence Narrative Dreadfully Flawed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 27, 2021:  

As part of ABC’s ongoing propaganda series about gun violence in the United States — “Rethinking Gun Violence” — the liberal media outlet relies heavily on data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Its bias is obvious from the very start. In a recent ABC News piece Ivan Pereira states that “Mass shootings have dominated the headlines, conversations, and political debate around America’s gun violence problem for decades.” That is because the mainstream liberal kept media has made it so.

He errs by claiming that gun violence is “perpetrated in many cases with military-style rifles [which] have become a symbol for … America’s obsession with guns.” This makes America an “anomaly … a wealthy country with an endemic gun violence issue and the seeming inability to solve it.”

As John Stott and others have proven, most gun violence occurs in inner cities run by Democrats, and involves handguns that are readily available in spite of onerous restrictions on gun ownership. Pereira and ABC News ignore this. The “problem” is the gun, and they want to “solve” it.

One way to solve it is to blow that “problem” out of all proportion. So, wrote Pereira, “We developed a Gun Violence Tracker to help illustrate the daily toll of gun violence in America in partnership with the independent, nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA).”

GVA purports to be independent, and therefore utterly reliable. But digging into its history, one finds that GVA grew out of the work of Slate.com’s 2013 study of deaths by gun violence. Slate, of course, is one of the more vociferous opponents of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

The effort was taken over by Michael Klein, the founder of the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation.

So much for being independent and free of bias.

 

From its website, one learns that GVA is an online “archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500 law enforcement, media, government, and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near real-time data about the results of gun violence.” Pure of heart, it claims that GVA “is an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.”

 

Of course, its real purpose is to provide “information [that] will inform and assist those engaged in discussions and activities concerning gun violence, including analysis of proposed regulations or legislation … GVA is not, by design, an advocacy group.”

It doesn’t need to be. By providing data useful to groups and agencies bent on ultimately removing lawfully owned firearms from the citizenry, it can claim its purity.

But, as AWR Hawkins points out at Breitbart, “Gun Violence Tracker pads the numbers.” And those numbers come from GVA.

GVA is clear about its bias:

Gun Violence describes the results of all incidents of death or injury or threat with firearms without pejorative judgment within the definition.

 

Violence is defined without intent or consequence as a consideration.

 

To that end a shooting of a victim by a subject/suspect is considered gun violence as is a defensive use or an officer involved shooting.

 

The act itself, no matter the reason is violent in nature.

To be clear, says GVA, if a gun is involved, it is called gun violence. If someone squeezes a trigger, and the incident appears somewhere in the media or the government, it is counted. GVA explains:

Our definition of gun violence is intended to be fully inclusionary of disparate elements of gun related incidents … in that, all types of shootings are included, whether OIS [officer involved shooting], accidental, children shooting themselves, murders, armed robberies, familicide, mass shootings, DGU [defensive gun use], Home Invasions, drivebys and everything else.

Through October 27, GVA reports that there have been 36,786 deaths from all causes. Of those, 19,800 were suicides, or 54 percent. And even that number is suspect. Explains GVA: “Suicides are collected through the CDC and, because of privacy and CDC policy, they are only available as an aggregate number, without detail.”

So, of the alleged 36,786 deaths by gun violence, only 46 percent are listed as “homicide/murder/unintentional/DGU [Defensive Gun Uses].” The takeaway is this: whenever GVA is used as a source for independent, unbiased, reliable data on so-called gun violence, one may be certain that the data is wrong. Flawed data in = flawed conclusions out. Caveat emptor.

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Cook County’s taxes on guns and ammunition Are Unconstitutional, 6-0

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 25, 2021:

In a remarkable decision, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled 6-0 that the taxes enacted on firearms and ammunition by Cook County in 2012 and 2015 are unconstitutional, both under the U.S. Constitution and the Illinois Constitution.

The October 21 ruling is remarkable because the court’s decision was unanimous. It’s remarkable because Illinois is arguably one of the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment states in the union. It’s remarkable in that it obliterates the county’s stated purpose that these taxes somehow have anything to do with reining in rampant gun violence, especially in Chicago.

The weekend before the ruling came down, Chicago suffered 22 of its citizens being shot, four fatally. The weekend after the ruling, 29 Chicagoans were shot, three fatally. So much for Cook County’s argument that taxes on firearms and ammunition would have any perceivable impact on gun violence in the Windy City.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote that the $25 tax on the purchase of a firearm imposed by Cook County in 2012, and the tax on the retail sale of ammunition (five cents on each centerfire cartridge and one cent on each rimfire cartridge purchased) imposed three years later

violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution … [and] the Illinois State Constitution….

 

We agree that the ordinances impose a burden on the exercise of a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment … [that] they do directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to acquire a firearm and the necessary ammunition for self-defense.

Secondarily Justice Theis noted that Cook County deliberately and intentionally imposed those taxes on firearms and ammunition, calling them “a special object of taxation.” This, she wrote, also violated the Illinois State Constitution’s prohibition under its “uniformity” clause.

Justice Theis never used the word “infringed,” which appears in both the U.S. and the state constitutions:

Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

 

The Illinois State Constitution: “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Instead, she consistently used the word “burden,” which is a synonym for infringe, including “afflict,” “depress,” “encumber,” “handicap,” “hinder,” and “impede.” Synonyms for “infringe” include “breach,” “contravene,” “encroach,” “intrude,” and “trespass.”

For those readers still struggling to understand the founders’ use of “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” in the Second Amendment, the following might prove helpful. It describes the freedom to read books:

A well-educated citizenry, being necessary to the culture of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

All of which is entirely lost to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who issued this nearly incomprehensible statement following the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, apparently blaming the state’s epidemic gun violence on bullets:

It is no secret that gun violence continues to be an epidemic in our region. Addressing societal costs of gun violence in Cook County is substantial and an important governmental objective.

 

We continue to maintain that the cost of a bullet should reflect, even if just a little bit, the cost of the violence that ultimately is not possible without the bullet.

 

We are committed to protecting County residents from the plague of gun violence with or without this tax.

 

Massive Spending Bills Stalled by Just Two Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 21, 2021:  

Two Democrat senators are standing in the way of passing Biden’s “legacy”: a vast “infrastructure” bill that has little to do with repairing the nation’s physical infrastructure; and another even larger “social infrastructure” bill that in essence is socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ fondest dream.

The two senators — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have taken different stands in opposition.

Manchin thinks the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” bill is too costly, and wants to cut it by more than half, to just $1.5 trillion. He also wants to keep the Hyde Amendment in place — the law Congress passed that prevents U.S. taxpayers from funding abortions. He claims that passage in its present form would turn the United States into an “entitlement mentality” culture increasingly dependent upon the government for everything.

Manchin has threatened to leave the Democrat Party if he doesn’t get his way. His staff leaked his plans to the far-left Mother Jones on Wednesday, which Manchin conveniently denied on Thursday. Mother Jones stands by the story: Manchin has given the Democrat leadership a week to agree to his demands or he’ll become an “American Independent.”

When Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Manchin in an op-ed, Machin created headlines by touting his “small government” position: “Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending, and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that.”

For the record, according to the Freedom Index published by The New American, which rates politicians based on their adherence to the Constitution, Sanders sports a lifetime voting record of 28 out of 100, while Manchin’s lifetime rating is identical: 28 out of 100.

Sinema, whose lifetime Freedom Index rating is even worse — 17 out of 100 — on the other hand has no problem with spending huge amounts of money the government doesn’t have. Her problem is she doesn’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.

The proposed tax increases would include raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, and the top individual income tax rate from 37 percent to nearly 40 percent. It would up the top capital-gains tax rate as well, and impose a “mark to market” strategy under which owners of unrealized wealth would be forced to liquidate part of that wealth to pay the taxes.

The bills encompass most of the Green New Deal — massive incentives to reward energy projects designed to fulfill the Democrats’ objective of making the U.S. economy dependent on wind, sun, and water no later than 2030. There would also be massive penalties for present energy generators — power plants and the like — who don’t kowtow to the new green agenda.

They include massive expansions of the present Medicaid and Medicare welfare programs, an increase in the child tax credit to low-income families, increases in paid leave, and free tuition to community colleges.

At present, Sinema (who isn’t up for reelection until 2024) is the primary roadblock. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer needs every Democrat senator to vote for these bills — a single defection would doom them. And he’s getting plenty of heat for not being able to force either Sinema or Manchin to recant, and to go along. Following a meeting with Schumer on Wednesday, New Jersey Democrat Representative Bill Pascell expressed his anger, not at Sinema or Manchin, but at Schumer: “He’s the leader over there. Pelosi has carried the total burden and the other guy [Schumer] has picked up the pieces. That’s it.”

The clock is working against the Democrats. If the negotiations, which are ongoing, fail to uncork the two-headed bottleneck by the middle of November, for all intents and purposes Biden and the Democrats will have lost. There will be no “legacy” spending bill on which to hang their political futures’ hats in the upcoming midterms.

Biden’s cratering in the polls isn’t helping, either. And if the economy reels under the attacks from the White House, it could seal the doom for the Democrats in November of 2022, as most voters are “pocketbook” voters who care little about the Democrat agenda.

Without this legacy to tout, as Ezra Klein noted in The New York Times, the “Democrats are sleepwalking into catastrophe.” This was reiterated by Ian Ward, writing in Politico: “the party’s platform [is] leading Democrats down a path toward political obscurity.”

All thanks to the political maneuvering of two liberal Democrats who refuse to go along to get along.

Abbott Violates Constitution in Pushback Against Biden’s Unconstitutional Vaccine Mandates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 20, 2021:

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart on Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he wanted to “set the counterbalance” against the Biden administration’s executive order demanding that employers with more than 100 employees be vaccinated.

He told Breitbart:

I had to stand up and protect those freedoms of people not wanting their bodies basically invaded by a vaccine that they do not want….

 

I talked to too many Texans around the entire state, who were literally crying because they faced either losing their job or compromising their own values and safety by getting the vaccine.

 

One of the catalysts behind my action was to ensure that people would not be losing their jobs.

Abbott’s “action” first revealed itself in June when he signed into law a bill that said that “a business in this state may not require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer’s COVID-19 vaccination … to gain access to, or to receive service from, that business.” At that time, Abbott declared that “Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits.”

That, of course, violates the right of a business owner to determine, on his own, whether such “documentation” would be required of his customers.

Abbott compounded his error on October 11 by issuing an executive order declaring that “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination [demands].” The June law still allowed businesses to require that their employees be vaccinated, but his October ruling violated that right as well.

When Amanda House, Breitbart’s host of the interview, asked Abbott about his legal strategy in “counterbalancing” Biden’s executive order, he said:

Neither the President of the United States, nor the federal government, have any legal authority — any constitutional authority — to issue their vaccine mandate.

 

Throughout the history of the United States of America, it has been governors in states that have been in charge of [the] health and safety of the people who are residents of those states, not the federal government….

 

[It] is part of the governor’s job … to ensure that the freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution … are going to be protected.

Abbott, who obtained his Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1984, apparently didn’t learn, or perhaps forgot, that by taking his oath of office as governor he committed to upholding the Constitution of the United States as well as the Constitution of the state of Texas. The federal Constitution specifically grants lawmaking power in Article 1 to Congress alone, and not to the executive branch. The Constitution of Texas grants lawmaking power in Article 3 to the state legislature, and not to the governor. And if there is any conflict between state and federal law, the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution sorts it out:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land.

So, Abbott violated his oath of office by issuing an edict that only the state legislature can make. And then he violated private property rights and freedom of association rights of business owners in his executive order.

As Jacob Sullum wrote in Reason: “Abbott’s order is just as objectionable as the pending federal rule demanding that private companies with 100 or more employees require them to choose between vaccination and weekly coronavirus testing.… Abbott’s order … is no less outrageous than … Joe Biden’s plan to dictate employers’ vaccine policies.”

A vastly better and more effective — and Constitutional — way Abbott could have protected his citizens from an overweening federal government would have been for him simply to declare Biden’s forthcoming executive order as “null and void” in the state of Texas, noting that it was not “made in pursuance” of the U.S. Constitution.

 

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