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PRI Review – July 16, 2018



  • Warning For Judge Kavanaugh
  • A Democrat’s View Of Abortion
  • Roll Back Roe

A Letter To President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Congratulations, Judge Kavanaugh.

And now, brace yourself. And pray hard. There are malevolent forces at large in the land who want to ruin you.

I speak, alas, from experience. I staffed Senate confirmation hearings for hundreds of nominees during the Reagan years. I served on “kill-boards” at Justice, prepping judicial nominees in practice sessions for their real hearings. Virtually every respectable nominee comes to his hearing somewhat nervous, even awed (yes, a few are contemptuous, like the Deep State figures from the Department of Justice and the FBI, but most nominees are respectful.)

Unfortunately, not all senators are.

You might remember 1987, when Robert Bork’s surname became a verb.

Ralph Neas, a Catholic classmate of mine from Note Dame, ran the campaign to destroy Judge Bork. His assault was so effective that Ted Kennedy called him “the 101st senator.” No holds barred – the Senate Judiciary Committee was a free-fire zone. Shoot to kill.

Yes, there were vulgarities then, too –especially when Sen. Kennedy tried to sink Robert Bork in ”the muck of Watergate.” Fake news? Sure – the media hacks celebrated that smear without ever bringing up Kennedy’s abandoning Mary Jo Kopechne to the muck of Chappaquiddick.

For now, Judge Kavanaugh, you are the Left’s Public Enemy Number One. The vulgar vampires of the media will interview childhood neighbors, always looking for slime. They will analyze your high school yearbook. Finding your classmates on social media will be a cinch. And because these swine are lazy, they will let Facebook do their dirty work for them. Which classmates have pages bragging about their abortions? Which ones abound in cesspool language regarding the president? Sooner rather than later faux recollections of your youthful “rigidity,” your “lack of inclusiveness,” and your “racism” will be front page news.

Undoubtedly you had to suffer through classes from left-wing professors at Yale. Rest assured, they will suddenly remember you vividly, not for your stellar academic performance but for your “subtle but endemic” homophobia, your “unwillingness to consider other points of view,” and, of course, your “rude and peremptory treatment of those with whom you disagree.”

Did you have a roommate in college? The New York Times will be glad to send a reporter to sleep with him (or her – hey, this is war!!!) in order to gather unsavory information about your personal habits. The Washington Post will be glad to gather lies – confirmed by two sources! – that they will not retract when exposed, of course.

Did you work in a law firm? For the government? Undoubtedly some of your colleagues were Democrats. You are now serving on an appeals court packed with left-wing judges by Obama. Rest assured, some left-wingers who clerked for those colleagues would be willing to share sordid fabrications with the Fake News magnates.

And that’s only the first wave of the Sewer Tsunami. The second will come when you begin to make the rounds in the Senate.

Many Senate staffers are lazy too. They will rely on information that zealous radicals in the field dig up about you. Don’t you remember how Robert Bork was confronted with an unpaid parking ticket he had received while teaching at Yale? And how Ted Kennedy mocked him for going to work as a private lawyer and make a lot of money?

“Greedy money-grubber! How can we expect such a swine to care about justice for the little people?”

It was only Joe Biden who pointed out that Judge Bork had done so only so he could pay the medical bills of his wife, who was dying of cancer. Ted Kennedy just shifted in his seat and frowned.

The opposition will pore over every word you wrote on the public record. They will also try to procure confidential internal memos from friendly clerks and staff (who will also attest that you are “pompous” and “rude,” of course). And then they will watch you like a hawk – no, like a vulture. Every night opposition staffers will huddle in an obscure Senate conference room and compare what you said today with what you said yesterday. They will then use your own words to try to trip you up, or even to contradict yourself, tomorrow.

And this is important, so listen: You must be wary even of staffers working for senators who support you. Rest assured, many of them consider their positions to be merely a stepping stone to a great career. They know where their bread is buttered – the left side. They will feign confidential support and encourage you to relax and have an actual friendly discussion – and then walk across the hall in the Senate Dirksen Building to feed the vipers on the other side of the aisle.

You must watch every word. Consider the Senators: that’s what they do, isn’t it? Remember Mitt Romney in 2012? Some left-wing twit complained that he wasn’t answering her questions. He said (more or less), “you get to ask your questions, I get to give my answers.”

Commit that to memory.

Then comes the hearing. Or, rather, the hearings. Like the Stasi in East Germany, they will try to tire you out, badger you, surprise you, confuse you, lie to you. They will even smile as they attempt to insert the poisoned stiletto. They will scour the countryside for another third-rate loser like Anita Hill to slander you. Be prepared.

Your enemies on that dais will use every wicked wile to conjure up an Achilles heel. Remember, they are pirouetting for the biggest audience they’ve ever had – millions will be watching. They are there for themselves, not for you. You have got to be there for yourself, not for them.

Surprise question from left field? There’s a pitcher of water in front of you. Use it. Pour it into your glass (tell the committee clerk to make sure there’s always an extra one that’s empty), slowly. Take a sip. Those ten seconds of silence will seem like an eternity, but it will put you in charge and give you time to give a considered answer, rather than a stunned reaction to their slur.

The pressure will rise. Democrats will move to postpone a vote in the Judiciary Committee. They will undoubtedly filibuster your confirmation vote on the floor. That will go on for weeks.

Be careful! Just because your hearings are over doesn’t mean they’ve stopped watching and listening. They will follow your every move. Screaming viragos in pink hats will confront you on the street. Minority staffers will shout vulgarities at you in the Senate corridors. Some harridan will try to stick her face in yours and scream.

It’s all a setup. Their cameras will be rolling. One false move, one unstudied word, and they’ve “gotcha!”

Keep your cool. Keep your cool. Their hatred is hot – your cool will douse it like a waterfall pouring down on the Wicked Witch of the East.

And pray. Don’t forget to pray – and ask your friends to pray. I recall one judicial nominee who was ultimately confirmed by one vote in the Senate. He was amazed when he learned, years later, that a group of women in a faraway state had been fasting and praying for him all day every Monday for months.

You will ultimately be confirmed. Congratulations! But remember – a new monster will confront you. The lust for power – the libido dominandi, the ancients called it.

That temptation will last a lifetime. Don’t stop praying!

 

Segment Two

 

With the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, PRI Review presents the views of David Carlin, a Democrat who was once the Majority Leader of the Rhode Island State Senate. Mr. Carlin has written several books on the Catholic Church, always informed by his unique point of view.

The title to his article is “The Left (Prematurely) Freaks Out,” and appeared in the online version of Crisis Magazine.

Mr. Carlin:

President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, and the American political-cultural Left has freaked out.  They have freaked out for many reasons, among them that this nomination may mean, at least for a few decades, a retreat from the idea that we have a “living” Constitution.  In plain English, this is the noxious idea that the Supreme Court is free to legislate from the bench – or more to the point, is free to amend the Constitution.

If you read the Constitution according to its more or less plain meaning, it is not, and was never intended to be, a “living” thing.  Instead, it is a social contract first written in 1787 and amended many times since then.  It is not a thing analogous to a vegetable or animal, which develops in a natural way. Rather, it is akin to a building that adds rooms or knocks down walls according to the wishes of the owner of the building.

But the more immediate reason for the freak-out is that the Left fears, indeed it is terrified, that putting the Trump nominee on the Court will sooner or later result in an overturn of the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973, the notorious ruling that “found” a “right” to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.

Roe was one of the worst rulings in the history of the Supreme Court, in the same league with Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson; and a Court with Kavanaugh on it may well decide to acknowledge this.  If Roe is overturned, the question of abortion goes back to the states.  Each individual state will be free to permit abortion without restriction, permit it with restrictions, or ban it.

The probable outcome is that hardcore liberal states will permit abortion with few if any restrictions, while hardcore conservative states will ban it with few if any exceptions. Sadly, states with big Catholic populations (e.g., New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California) will probably retain abortion on demand, while those states that severely restrict abortion will be states in which conservative Protestantism is dominant (e.g., Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota).  Utah (Mormon) will, of course, restrict abortion.

If you live in Alabama and you want an abortion, you may have to take a bus to New York and rent a motel room for a few days.  When the Democrats once again get control of both houses of Congress plus the White House (something that will eventually happen), the federal government will probably seek to pay for the bus plus the motel for the poor pregnant Alabama girl.

Why does the Left care so much about abortion?  Why do they regard it as absolutely horrible that abortion may not continue to be (what it never should have been) a Constitutional right?  Is it because they themselves frequently become pregnant in an accidental and undesired way?

No, that doesn’t happen very often.  Leftist pro-abortion ideologues are usually intelligent and mature people, and when they have sexual relations and don’t want pregnancy to result they are careful to use contraception.  Except for the abortion industry (e.g., Planned Parenthood), which makes money on each abortion, pro-abortion people get no personal gain from abortion.  They believe in it as a matter of principle.

They are true believers, and what they believe in isn’t simply abortion.  It is something broader and deeper than that; it is a culture of sexual freedom.  To maintain that culture, of course, you have to have contraception that is readily available, inexpensive, and effective.  But it will never be 100 percent effective, and so you will also need legalized abortion as a backup.  Without legal abortion, the culture of sexual freedom will be jeopardized.

Just as the demand for abortion rights is part of a bigger thing – the culture of sexual freedom – so the culture of sexual freedom is itself part of a bigger thing, namely the culture of absolute personal liberty, both sexual and non-sexual. Truly radical leftists believe that the individual person should be free to do whatever he or she wishes – provided the acting person does no obvious harm to others.

They dream of a “state of nature” resembling that of Hobbes except that the lawless persons living in this ideal state will behave in an amiable way. Instead of human life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” it will be social, prosperous, pleasant, humane, and lengthy.

These truly radical leftists are, of course, almost all atheists, for if God exists – a God who is in some way the author of moral laws – humans will not be truly free (as they understand freedom).  To be truly free or morally “autonomous” (to use a word that is favored by leftists), we must be free to “create our own morality.”

There is, then, a leftist worldview (or quasi-religion), which begins with atheism, leads in turn to moral freedom, which in turn leads to sexual freedom, and ultimately to the right to abortion.  If Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court threatens a right to abortion, leftists fear that their whole worldview is threatened.  No wonder they are freaking out.

Their fear of catastrophe is exaggerated, I believe, though I wish it were not.  I wish a Supreme Court justice, simply by reading the Constitution in a “non-living” way, could reverse the campaign to de-Christianize America.  But I don’t think this will happen.

To the degree that abortion is no longer legally available, the Left will likely redouble propaganda efforts about using contraception.  Kids will be taught this in school (many already are). Public service announcements on TV will remind us.  Liberal clergy will tell us that contraception is a Christian duty. Parents who don’t teach this to their children will be looked on as bad parents.

It’s heartening that abortion will finally be restricted for decades. But that’s only the first skirmish in a much larger battle.

 

Segment Three

 

HV WB Let’s Roll Back Roe v. Wade

Kennedy Vacancy on the Supreme Court Provides Historic Opportunity

Two score and five years ago, seven Supreme Court justices, in a brazen act of judicial activism, read into the Constitution an invented right to abortion on demand. In Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Court wiped away dozens of state laws protecting the right to life for the unborn child. Since then, abortion has taken the lives of more than 60 million unborn children America. Every day, the death toll continues to rise.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court offer us a unique opportunity to correct this tragic decision. America can once again ensure that the fundamental and inherent right to life for everyone is protected in our nation’s judicial system.

Over the years, Justice Kennedy has sometimes sided with the Court’s conservative bloc in upholding limited restrictions on abortion. However, he has voted with the Court’s liberal bloc in upholding and preserving Roe v. Wade, in saving “Obamacare,” and in inventing a right to “gay marriage.”

If swing voter Kennedy can be replaced with a solidly pro-life justice, it would be the first time since Roe that a majority of Supreme Court justices would respect the limits that the Constitution places on the federal courts. The most vital of those limits lies in the Bill of Rights itself. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the states and to the people the responsibility to defend life that Roe usurped and then abdicated in one of history’s most vivid examples of legislating from the bench.

A new constitutional majority on the Court would provide a unique opportunity, the first in a generation, to significantly roll back Roe—or perhaps even vacate it entirely, returning the abortion issue to the states.

President Trump has indicated that he will select a nominee to replace Justice Kennedy from a list of judges he began compiling during the 2016 campaign. The President told reporters on June 29th that he has narrowed that list down to some five to seven judges, at least two of whom are women. The President has also indicated that he plans to announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Monday, July 9.

During the final debate of the 2016 election, the President made a famous promise: “I will be appointing pro-life judges” he said. “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on,” then overturning Roe v. Wade “would happen automatically in my opinion.”

Let’s face it. Whoever President Trump nominates on July 9th to replace Justice Kennedy will face intense opposition. Pro-abortion advocates are keenly aware that Roe v. Wade is hanging by the frayed thread of a single seat on the court – and Justice Kennedy has now vacated that seat.

Last year Republicans used a precedent established by Democrat leader Harry Reid to change Senate rules. That change allowed Justice Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court on a simple majority vote. But Republicans can afford to lose only one vote if no Democrats join them. Republicans hold a razor thin 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Arizona Senator John McCain has been away from the Senate floor since December while he undergoes cancer treatment. So today the GOP’s majority stands at a slim 50-49.

Who are the Republican “undecideds”? Well, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska often side with the left on abortion. Last year they voted against a bill that would have not only repealed much of Obamacare, but also denied taxpayer funding to abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Collins has already stated that she will not vote for a Supreme Court nominee that would overturn Roe v. Wade. “I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend.

Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski says she’s “undecided.” Fair enough, we don’t yet have a nominee.  According to the New York Times, Murkowski has indicated that “she will consider a nominee’s view on the abortion rights case, but that it alone would not be a litmus test for her choice.”

Even so, Murkowski has taken a defensive stance to any potential appointee, stating in a press release last week that “There is no doubt that the President’s nominee to succeed Justice Kennedy can expect exacting scrutiny from the Senate and that is the standard I will apply in evaluating the nominee.” According to Murkowski’s official statement, Justice Kennedy “did right by the Constitution.”

Well, in 1992, Justice Kennedy voted to keep Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Does Ms. Murkowski think that he “did right” by doing wrong?

Are there any “swing” Democrat senators? Well, Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Joe Donnelly (IN) – are running for reelection in states comfortably won by Trump during the 2016 election. All three voted to confirm 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, after several of their Democrat colleagues scathingly attacked her Catholic faith. How will they vote this time? The folks back home had better let them know how important that support will be.

Should a president try to pin his nominee down? After all, although President Trump promised during the campaign to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, the President has indicated that he would “probably not” be asking potential nominees about whether they would vote to overturn Roe. “They’re all saying don’t do that, you don’t do that, you shouldn’t do that” Trump told Fox News last Friday, “but I’m putting conservative people on.”

Clearly, no judge with the proper “judicial temperament” will predict how he might rule on future cases. In fact, when Judge Antonin Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, he said he wasn’t even going to talk about Marbury v. Madison – a vital case decided in 1803 ­– let alone anything that came afterwards. And Scalia was confirmed by a unanimous Senate.

We all know that respect for the fundamental and universal right to life is an essential qualification for a Supreme Court justice ­– indeed, for any public official. But history has shown that, while being pro-abortion has been a sine qua non for justices appointed by Democrat presidents, Republican presidents have not fared so well.

When Reagan became president, he didn’t have the legal support of groups like the Federalist Society to give his administration guidance on judicial nominees. That organization was founded by two young law students, Dave MacIntosh and Steve Calabresi, in 1982. It has since grown into a true powerhouse.

Trump’s group of potential nominees has been vetted by seasoned lawyers who closely follow the opinions of every court in the country – both federal and state. Early on, Ronald Reagan didn’t have that crucial support. He appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the court because Chief Justice William Rehnquist liked her. Apparently they had gone to Stanford Law school together. Moreover, Barry Goldwater supported her because she was from Arizona.

By 1987, pro-lifers had grown up – but so had pro-abortion forces. President Reagan nominated D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Bork  to the Court in 1987, but Bork was met with a savage campaign by the left. Frankly, he had been warned, but he was unprepared for that vile hostility. Senator Ted Kennedy led the battle in the Senate, assailing Bork for going into private practice so he could pay the medical bills of his wife, who was dying of cancer. Even Joe Biden found that over the top.

But Kennedy needed outside support, and he found it in Ralph Neas, a Catholic Notre Dame graduate.  Neas was the most effective pro-abortion activist of his generation. His legacy – Mr. Justice Kennedy – has lasted for over thirty years.

Mr. Neas’s pivotal role demonstrates what one dedicated man can do to change history – for better or for worse.

President George H. W. Bush nominated Justice David Souter because Souter was promoted in a deceptive campaign run by two key players – pro-abortion Republican Senator Warren Rudman and White House adviser John Sununu. These amoral players supported Souter as a “favorite son” because they were all from New Hampshire.

On such flimsy ground is history made.

But the fix was in. Sure enough, Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter all voted to uphold Roe v. Wade in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, an unpleasant surprise to pro-lifers at the time who had been hopeful that, with six new Republican-appointed justices to the bench, Roe would be overturned.

Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas, also Republican appointees, voted to overturn Roe, but Roe was preserved. The result? Tens of millions more unborn lives lost in the quarter-century since.

Kennedy’s damage continued into 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. He provided the fifth vote to overturn a Texas law. That reasonable measure required abortion clinics to comply with state standards for ambulatory surgical centers and required abortionists to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital in the event of a medical emergency.

But now Kennedy is retired. Many conservative commentators have lauded all 25 of President Trump’s potential nominees. Should we be concerned?

The president has to be very careful here if he is to fulfil his pro-life promises.

For instance, in. case heard in 2012, Diane Sykes, a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, voted against defunding Planned Parenthood in Indiana, even though Planned Parenthood was accused of refusing to report cases of rape and sex trafficking.

One stark fact underlies every judicial nomination. According to Article III, Section 1, Federal Judges are appointed for life. Once confirmed, even the most dedicated pro-life appointee will be subject to unprecedented pressure.  Members of the court have great power, but many have huge egos to match. They keep one eye on public popularity and another on their place in the history books. Not all of them keep an eye on the Constitution.

In fact, Chief Justice Earl Warren, appointed by President Eisenhower in 1953, got his job in exchange for his critical support of Eisenhower in the 1952 GOP nominating convention. Justice William Brennan, Eisenhower’s next appointee, got his job because Ike’s Attorney General confused Brennan with another New Jersey judge who was a true constitutionalist.

On a golfing trip to northern Wisconsin after he retired, Ike complained that both Warren and Brennan had “lied through their teeth” when interviewed by the president. Ike called them his “two biggest mistakes,” but they changed constitutional history.

So we have to be careful. Yes, the President’s nominee, if confirmed, might well shape the course of the Supreme Court for decades to come. The court will undoubtedly hear at least one direct challenge to Roe – probably sooner than later. Regardless of how well-vetted the nominee is, there is simply no guarantee of his or her performance, once confirmed.

Pro-life conservatives have been deceived in the past with nominees that continued to uphold the tragic Roe decision. We cannot—we dare not—squander this opportunity again. Truly the lives of countless of the unborn are on the line. This present moment represents a unique opportunity to ensure that right to life for all is respected and protected through law. The President must make good on his promise to appoint solidly pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.

This has been PRI Review from pop.org. Thanks for listening.

 

 

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