Monthly Archives: June 2013

Why the unusual 5-4 split in the Prop 8 case?

Featured image The Supreme Court’s decision in Perry that the parties defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 lack standing did not conform to the usual pattern in cases decided 5-4. Usually in such cases, we see the Court’s four liberal Justices — Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan — voting one way while either four or five of the remaining Justices vote the other. Typically, if only four of these Justices vote together, »

Senate invokes cloture on Gang’s Amnesty Legislation

Featured image The Senate has voted to end debate on the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill. This clears the way for passage. The vote was 67-31. Only 60 votes were required. Below is a list of the 13 Republican Senators who voted with the Democrats (who were unanimous) for cloture. I believe the “yea” vote is grounds for “primarying” every one of them, except for those who, when they last ran »

Understanding the IRS scandal, cont’d

Featured image Bernie Becker’s lead in the important Hill story on the IRS scandal is not fine-tuned: “Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury inspector general.” But Becker’s story adds an important clarification to the attempted obfuscation by Obama’s new IRS chief and congressional Democrats: Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated »

What Does It All Mean?

Featured image I’m not sure I can recall a 48-hour period that has sowed more confusion that the 48 hours just past.  Sandy Levinson, a straight-shooting liberal, says the Court’s gay marriage decisions are judicial camels (a horse designed by committee).  I guess I’ll have to wade through the Court’s two opinions, but I doubt that will help very much. Once again, Justice Kennedy has marred what might be a defensible holding »

Obama’s war on America, cont’d

Featured image The Wall Street Journal carries an interesting story by Kris Maher buried in its Marketplace section this morning. Maher reports that the coal industry is interested in surviving the onslaught of unfriendly regulation the Obama administration has in the works. If you believe that we need power supplied at affordable rates, this may even be of interest to you. Quotable quotes: “Mr. Crutchfield said Alpha and other coal producers will »

On immigration reform, there’s not much distance between Rubio and Ryan

Featured image I just watched Paul Ryan on Sean Hannity’s program (the replay) and there seems to be even less difference than I had supposed between Ryan’s approach to illegal immigration and that of Marco Rubio. Like Rubio, Ryan rejects the idea, pressed on him several times by Hannity, that we should fix the border first before making any adjustments to the status of illegal immigrants. As I understand what he told »

Immigration Debate Speeds Toward a Conclusion in the Senate

Featured image Harry Reid has scheduled a vote on the cloture motion on the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill for tomorrow morning. The vote on the bill’s passage may come as early as tomorrow afternoon. Today, senators debated the bill’s merits, somewhat in the institution’s grand tradition, I think. One of the problems with the bill is that it will place an enormous strain on the nation’s welfare systems. Bob Melendez took »

The IRS Scandal Rolls On

Featured image Despite the press’s best efforts to cover it up–the IRS harassed liberals, too!–problems at the IRS continue to come to light. The Inspector General has reported that some of the agency’s 5,000 credit cards have been used to make inappropriate purchases, like on-line porn and $100 lunches. A more serious development is that another IRS official has taken the Fifth rather than answers questions from a Congressional committee. The latest »

Justice Alito denounces our “arrogant legal culture”

Featured image Justice Alito’s dissent in the DOMA case contains an instant-classic footnote (number 7). I reproduce it below in its entirety, hoping that you will read the whole thing: The degree to which this question [the traditional view of marriage vs. the consent-based view] is intractable to typical judicial processes of decisionmaking was highlighted by the trial in Hollingsworth v. Perry. In that case, the trial judge, after receiving testimony from »

What should the House do on immigration? (UPDATED)

Featured image Paul Ryan said this morning on Bill Bennett’s show that the House will not take up the Senate’s immigration reform bill. Instead, says Ryan, the House will “do a different approach,” with “a border security trigger first.” I assume this means that a border security trigger will precede the legalization of illegal immigrants. I submit that Ryan’s is precisely the wrong approach for the House to take. The Senate has »

White House Hosts Sheikh Who Called for Killing American Troops in Iraq

Featured image Andy McCarthy reports that President Obama’s top national security advisers have just hosted Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah at the White House. In 2004, according to McCarthy, bin Bayyah endorsed a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops and other personnel serving in Iraq. He did so as vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). What is the IUMS? McCarthy informs us: Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi [is] the »

The Supreme Court does marriage [with updates]

Featured image The Court has begun the festivities by holding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The decision was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy writing the opinion. Chief Justice Roberts wrote a dissent, as did Justice Scalia. Scalia says the ruling springs from a “diseased root: an exalted notion of the role of this court in American democratic society.” That’s it exactly. I made this point here, among other places. I’m »

Understanding the IRS scandal

Featured image Obama’s new head of the IRS is one Danny Werfel. Werfel is working overtime to obscure the scandals in which the IRS is enveloped, seeking to persuade credulous reporters that the IRS mistreated citizens on a nonpartisan basis. Thus stories like Alan Fram’s big AP story, picked up by Drudge: “Documents show the IRS also screened liberal groups.” Who is Danny Werfel? Ron Fournier explains that he is Obama’s political »

Obama Gave A Speech: We’re Saved!

Featured image One of the remarkable things about modern liberalism is its confusion of the Word and the Deed.  For many liberals, if they speak about a problem purposively, that problem is tantamount to being solved!  So when it comes to climate change, we can relax, the problem is solved because Obama has given a speech! This thought comes to mind because none other than Al Gore has said that yesterday’s speech »

Obama’s war on America

Featured image If the president of the United States wanted to set America back, he would promote and implement the big plans Obama announced yesterday in his so-called climate-change speech (White House text at the link). The climate is changing, alright. Liberalism is killing us. Picking up one thread of the speech in a quote thoughtfully airbrushed by the New York Times, Obama’s science advisor disclosed one of the speech’s deep thoughts: »

No one left to lie to

Featured image This was the title of a book by Christopher Hitchens about Bill and Hillary Clinton. But we’re approaching the point where the phrase also applies to Marco Rubio. Is there a conservative talk show host with whom Rubio has truly leveled about the Schumer-Rubio legislation? He lied to Mark Levin. He dissembled to Sean Hannity, most recently by claiming that he didn’t vote for certain amendments to improve border security »

The George Zimmerman Trial So Far: A Fiasco For the Prosecution?

Featured image If you are interested in the George Zimmerman trial, in which testimony is now under way, the place to go is Legal Insurrection, where Andrew Branca, a Massachusetts lawyer who authored The Law of Self Defense, is posting a thorough, witness-by-witness commentary on the evidence, with videos of the actual courtroom scene. Branca thinks today’s testimony was “an utter debacle for the prosecution.” In Branca’s view, the witnesses called by »