Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Senator McConnell Deserves a Very Nice Thank You Note


President Trump will tell us next week who his pick will be to serve as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. When he does so, he ought to send a thank you note to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

After all, he’s the reason the President now has a second nominee to the High Court, after he led the GOP effort to oppose the nominee that President Obama put forward during his last year in office. And it’s McConnell who has insisted that the Senate vote on Trump’s forthcoming nominee before the midterm elections—making it extremely difficult for Democratic Senators up for reelection from states that Trump won in 2016, like North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana—to vote against the president’s nominee.

McConnell doesn’t often get credit for the hard work he does, but he should. Conservatives are on the precipice of another major victory because of the Senate Majority Leader.

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America: The Best Hope of Mankind


This is Hugh Hewitt for Townhall.com.

As we continue the long days of summer and of celebrations like the Fourth of July or family vacations, it is important to keep in mind that across large parts of the world the idea of either freedom or leisure much less both is so far off as to be the stuff of legend. For us, it’s a “taken for granted” annual ritual.

We are so blessed that we often simply forget to count those blessings and marvel at their largely uninterrupted enjoyment for 200-plus years. No, we are not a perfect nation, not even close, but we are the best hope of mankind, exceptional for all of our history and ever more so as the world collapses in so many places into abject barbarianism.

Our political leaders and our courts may disappoint. Our common culture may disparage our uniqueness, but the facts of history do not lie.

In the face of our many imperfections, we should all give thanks for living in this time and in this country.

I’m Hugh Hewitt.

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Jerry Bowyer: A Banner Session for the First Amendment


SCOTUS 2018 is shaping up as the “free speech” session of the court.

Masterpiece Cake ruling upheld the free speech rights of a cake decorator who did not want to decorate a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.

The court sent a case back to a lower court involving a florist who did not want to create a floral display doing the same thing. Then there was the NIFLA decision—regarding the pro-life crisis pregnancy centers—where the court overturned a California law which compelled them to essentially advertise for abortion.

In Justice Kennedy’s opinion, the law forced them to “convey a message contrary to their deepest convictions.”

Each one of these cases was litigated by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has emerged as the most important First Amendment group in the nation.

It’s a banner session for the First Amendment.

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Hugh Hewitt: What a June


This was the best June in many years for originalists. The Supreme Court rejected a couple of invitations to throw itself into the thicket of redrawing district lines in different states drawn originally as the Constitution provides by state legislatures.

The court upheld the free exercise and free conscience rights of a baker and a florist who had declined to use their art and craft in the celebration of same-sex marriages which they could not endorse on religious grounds.

And of course, the court ended the right of public employee unions to collect tens of millions of dollars in fees from their members for use in political work with which their members disagreed.

It was the best June in years and at the end of it, Justice Anthony Kennedy retired and left President Trump a vacancy to fill this summer.

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Michael Medved: Even When You Disagreed, You Had to Admire Him


When Charles Krauthammer died last week, tributes poured in from colleagues and fans of very ideological persuasion. It’s hard to think of another contemporary commentator or journalist who inspired such widespread, bi-partisan, affectionate regard.

What earned him this special place in the worlds of media and politics?

First, Krauthammer’s columns unmistakably reflected his character—brilliant, reasonable, witty, warm and utterly sincere.

Second, the public marveled at his heroic personal story: a quadriplegic from age 21, he never allowed his physical limitations to interfere with his positive, passionate life. In today’s world, even when you agree with a politician it’s commonly hard to respect him.

But with Krauthammer, even when you disagreed with him, you had to admire him.

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David Davenport: National Lessons from California Election Reform


This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

California lives on the edge of change. A few years ago, the Golden State adopted two big changes to its elections:  Open primaries in which voters choose candidates from any party, and a top-two primary where the top two finishers qualify for the general election, regardless of party. The idea was to elect more moderate candidates.

The results are coming in and it isn’t working. The 2018 primaries shows that Republicans still want to vote for Republicans and Democrats for Democrats. People don’t cross party lines looking for an idealized moderate candidate.

Plus: The unintended consequence is often no real choice in a general election. In 2016, two liberal Democrats ran for the Senate and in many state legislative races, there are either two Democrats or two Republicans.  

Worse, candidates have gamed the system to face a weaker opponent later. 

Beware election reforms from California.

I’m David Davenport. 

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