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Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Hugh Hewitt: Time to Extend the Reid-Rule Reforms

U.S. Senate

Whether the decline began with the sliming of Robert Bork or the segregationist filibusters of civil rights legislation, the modern U.S. Senate has been on a downward spiral for some time.

What the Senate needs now is an overhaul of its rules, one that preserves the rights of the minority in some cases—key legislation, for example, and perhaps appointments to the Supreme Court—while also reflecting the speed at which the world moves today. Simple majorities on appropriations and time limits on debate over minor nominees are two obvious reforms. They could be traded, for example, for agreement on the high court vacancies and how long those debates should last.

The Senate’s dysfunction is astonishing to Americans who have to make things actually run, who have to do their jobs to keep their jobs. Donald Trump has shrewdly taken aim at the Senate’s vulnerability as an issue. It would be best for both parties to head off change imposed from pressure from the outside with change organically orchestrated from within by those with care for the body and its original design.

It is time to extend what I call the “Reid-rule reforms,” and it’s time to do so now.

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David Davenport: Balancing Religious Rights With Health Care

Compromise

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

Public policy is full of difficult dilemmas, tough cases where there are strong interests on both sides.  Such dilemmas are not usually solved as much as they are managed.

That’s why two federal departments recently expanded the rights of religious employers.  During the Obama years, the federal government had required religious employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans even when contrary to their religious beliefs.  And the government had limited the rights of religious employers to hire or favor people who shared their beliefs.

This action properly swings the pendulum back in favor of religious rights, which are protected by the First Amendment.  Civil rights are also constitutionally protected, which is what creates the tension.  In the end, both rights are powerful, but neither is absolute.

A liberal president pushes too far in one direction and a conservative administration appropriately pushes back.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court may well have to decide how to manage this difficult dilemma.

I’m David Davenport.

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