Commentary

Mohler: Constitutional Drama 5-5-15

The arguments over same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court were exactly what we thought they’d be: a major day of constitutional drama with the issue of same-sex marriage at the center. Justice Anthony Kennedy–widely assumed to be the swing vote–appeared to be questioning from two contradictory directions:  challenging the authority of the court to redefine marriage at one point and then identifying the injustice of not allowing same-sex couples to wed.

One point iterated again and again was that marriage, for thousands of years, has been exclusively between a man and a woman. Justice Kennedy said, “The word that keeps coming back to me is ‘millennia.’” He pointed out that same-sex marriage has only been legal in the United States for about a decade, saying “I don’t even know how to count the decimals.” Chief Justice Roberts summed it up well when he said to the counsel for the pro-same-sex marriage side, “You are not seeking to join the institution. You are seeking to change the institution. Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts.

 

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Medved: The Wrong Candidate To Reform Big – Money Politics 5-4-15

In the rocky roll-out of her campaign, Hillary Clinton has listed four goals for her presidency: expanding opportunity for the middle class, strengthening families and communities, confronting foreign threats, and somehow breaking the connection between money and politics.

“We can fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all,” she promises, “even if that takes a constitutional amendment.” This last announced goal represents a cynical bid to deflect attention from the big money that Hillary herself has pocketed by exploiting her power and prominence; the Clintons have accumulated at least $140 million since leaving the White House.

And speaking of “unaccountable money,” the Clinton foundation recently acknowledged more than $2 million dollars of unreported foreign donations, as Hillary faces serious conflict-of-interest charges. When it comes to the issue of money’s corrupting role in politics, it would be hard to imagine a less suitable crusader for reform.

 

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Mohler: Justice Scalia Warned Us 5-1-15

The recent arguments before the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage marked one of the most important days in the constitutional history of the United States of America. It was one of the most important days in the moral history of our nation as well. In their presentation of oral arguments before the High Court: Two questions are on the table. The first question is whether or not the Constitution guarantees a right for same-sex people to get married in all 50 states. The second question is whether the Constitution requires a marriage declared to be legal in one state to be recognized in all 50 states.

The high court will not rule on this issue until the last business day in June, at which time a victory for gay marriage is widely  expected. Let’s not forget that we were warned about this. Justice Antonin Scalia said back in his dissent in 2013, “no one should be fooled. It’s just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” And that other shoe may well drop in June.

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Medved: Inequality Up, But So Is Happiness 4-30-15

A prominent researcher at Cal Tech reports surprising data contradicting common liberal assumptions that inequality brings misery. Gaps between rich and poor grew dramatically during the recession but Steven Quartz reports “the percentage of Americans who say they are thriving has actually increased.” What’s more, “happiness inequality” has gone down: men have no longer report less happiness than women, while the differences between blacks and whites are also smaller. With inequality, how have happiness and satisfaction simultaneously increased? Professor Quartz cites definitions of status, but there’s a simpler answer: most people don’t evaluate their own lives by focusing on others who have more.

Compared to 30 years ago, All Americans have more choices—even the poor own cars, air-conditioners, home entertainment centers, and often send their kids to community college or even four year universities. The key to happiness isn’t enforced equality—it’s economic growth and the additional choices that come with it.

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Hewitt: A Deep GOP Field 4-29-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

In this long run-up to next year’s contest, 16 of the men and women who are seriously thinking of running for president have been on the other side of the microphone from me at least once—some multiple times—since the New Year. Using last names, in alphabetical order, they are: Bolton, Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Santorum, Trump and Walker.

There has never been as deep a GOP field, full of experienced and able communicators, executives, thinkers and showmen. The debates in which I will get to participate will need stadium seating for the candidates and lots more time than the customary 90 to 120 minutes, if all are to be given a chance to opine on the key issues of the campaign. In today’s media saturated world, “funny” and “relaxed” are almost the highest compliments that can be earned after “serious and informed.” Most of these candidates are all of those things. Touch, timing, charm and charisma—never have such hard-to-define qualities mattered so much. And rarely have they been this abundant.

 

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Hewitt: You Thought it Couldn’t Happen Here 4-28-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

Author, attorney and veteran of Iraq, David French has written a must read piece in National Review on the unseen persecution of Wisconsin conservatives by the public employee unions of the badger State acting through state prosecutors. Detailed in French’s article, titled “Wisconsin’s Shame” are the now infamous tactics of a Wisconsin prosecutor to criminalize conservatism in the Badger State. The police raids, the threats and demands that lawyers not be contacted, the now five years of raids, interrogations, court proceedings and litigation bills that have attempted to crush supporters of Scott Walker under the innocuous title of a “John Doe” investigation. French details it all—and it is sickening. He highlights the court challenges that could bring an end to this assault on the First Amendment.

David French has provided the best summary yet of what happens when the state itself becomes an actor in the political debate and uses its power to crush opponents.  You thought it couldn’t happen here.  Well it did.  In Wisconsin, of all places.

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Mohler: Chimps Get Their Day in Court 4-27-15

Rachel Feltman, writing for the Washington Post, reported last week that a New York judge has “granted two chimpanzees a writ of habeas corpus.” Feltman explains, “The judge hasn’t ruled that the two chimps who live in a Stony Brook University lab need to be released. The decision only means that the chimps have the right to fight their detention in court.” Let me just state the obvious. These chimps are not going to argue their case in court. These chimps didn’t file any legal documents. These chimps have not hired attorneys. These chimps are represented by attorneys who have decided to represent a firm that claims to represent the chimps.

This leads to one of the great issues of worldview confusion in our day: namely, the constant temptation to come up with some way to blur the distinction between human beings and other creatures. The confusion has been and will continue to be deeply subversive to human dignity.

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