Tag Archives: Constitution

Michael Medved: A Message to Representative Omar

Imagine if conservatives had attacked freshman Congress member Ilhan Omar by questioning her loyalty to the United States and suggesting that she cared more about her Muslim faith or her Somali homeland than she did about America.

Democrats along with all right-thinking people would have been outraged at the bigoted nature of such an assault, but Omar herself has repeatedly slammed her pro-Israel colleagues on a similarly unacceptable basis. Her most recent comments claim that Israel supporters “push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

This is no more appropriate than prior slanders against Catholic Americans for “allegiance” to the Vatican over loyalty to America, or potential claims against Omar and Muslim colleagues for giving devotion to Islam above the Constitution.

It’s always okay to challenge the judgment of Jewish or Christian supporters of Israel, but it’s never appropriate to question their patriotism.

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Michael Medved: Impeachment Dreams, National Nightmares


Democratic impeachment dreams will inevitably collide with a Constitution that makes removal of a president all but impossible. With the current Senate line-up, Democrats would need to persuade 20 Republicans to join all 47 of them for the two-thirds vote to drive Trump from office.

In 232 years of Constitutional history, no US Senator—not even one—has ever voted to remove a president of his or her own party. What happened to Richard Nixon in 1974? The Watergate crisis climaxed in the midst of a midterm election campaign; a campaign in which the GOP ultimately lost 48 House seats and 5 in the Senate.

In a desperate bid to mitigate looming disaster, Senate leaders begged Nixon to resign. For the sake of his party and his country, he did so. In Trump’s case, elections are nearly two years away and, barring unforeseen, catastrophic revelations, his resignation is inconceivable.

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David Davenport: Popular Vote Power Play


Democrats are frustrated that they have lost the presidency in the Electoral College twice in the 21st century.  But instead of amending the Constitution, they are going to courts and state legislatures.

Four lawsuits claim that votes for the losing candidate in a winner-take-all electoral vote are not counted equally as required by the 14th Amendment.  Of course all the votes are counted at the state level, as the Constitution provides, so this should be a losing argument, but these days who knows?

At the same time they seek to pass the National Popular Vote Bill in state legislatures requiring electors to cast votes for the winner, not of their state vote, but of the national popular vote.

If you want to change the Constitutional requirement of electoral voting, it should be done by a proper amendment, not an end run or a legal power play.

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Lanhee Chen: The “Liberal Lion” and the Future of the Courts


Stephen Reinhardt, who was called the “liberal lion” of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, passed away on March 29th in Los Angeles. During his almost 40 years on the appeals court bench, Reinhardt wrote opinions that struck down the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and overturned Proposition 8, California’s initiative defining marriage as a male-female union.

Reinhardt’s death means that there are now seven vacancies on the notoriously liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. President Trump has an historic opportunity to remake the Ninth Circuit—and the entire federal judiciary. The vast majority of his judicial nominees thus far have been stellar. They will adhere to the rule of law and interpret the Constitution based on the words in it, not the ideas they want to be in it.

The President should continue his good work in this arena.  Doing so will remake federal jurisprudence for decades to come.

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David Davenport: The Lost Art of Political Compromise

Compromise

Among many lost arts in Washington the most problematic is the lost art of compromise.

The dictionary says compromise includes the root word “com” or together with the word promise:  We make promises by coming together.  America learned this early, with the Constitutional Convention full of compromises.

But now members of Congress vote not to find the best solution for the country but the best platform for their next election.   Democrats threatened to shut the entire government over dreamer immigrants, while Trump was willing to see a shutdown over his wall.  And so it goes, politicians standing firm on one issue or another which they believe will get them reelected, and the whole of the federal government is held hostage.

We need more politicians like Ronald Reagan, who told House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “I will take half a loaf today, but I will come back for the other half tomorrow.”

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David Davenport: Power to the States

One encouraging development is that power is leaving Washington, DC and heading to the states. Policy wonks call it devolution, I call it progress.

 

After 15 years of federalizing K-12 education, for example, Washington turned its back on No Child Left Behind and passed a bill returning power over schools to the states.  There’s no need for Washington to act, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says, as a national school board.

 

There’s discussion in Congress that the states should not only manage the trees, plants and flowers in their territory, but wildlife as well, including endangered species.

 

Welfare reform may be the next big issue and any solution is likely to create a larger role for states. Only the marijuana laws are moving the other way, toward Washington.

 

It’s heartening that Washington may finally be reading the Tenth Amendment—that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.  Not everything needs to be a federal case.

 

I’m David Davenport.

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