Category Archives: Federalism

UPDATED (10/14): No Notes, No Nonsense: The Genius Of Amy Coney Barrett

Argument, Constitution, Democracy, Federalism, Intelligence, Law, Reason, The Courts

After hysterical preludes, Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, questioned Amy Coney Barrett. I feared Barret’s tart tones—the American woman’s gravelly, vocal fry of a voice—would drive one to distraction, but she’s brilliant. Barrett looks disarmingly sweet and girly, but her replies are gloriously pointed and cerebral.

Advisory opinions are prohibited on the Court, Judge Coney Barrett teaches, as she explains a “concrete” as opposed to a “procedural” or “abstract” injury to the plaintiff. Her duty, as she sees it, is to address “concrete” wrongs, only, and in accordance with democratically-enacted law.

To the question of, “Why fight the Affordable Care Act, Amy Coney Barrett answered: “Ask the litigants. I don’t know.” Genius, because her replies are meta: They nail down the role of the SCOTUS in the federal scheme.

No doubt, Amy Coney Barrett will be the best mind on the SCOTUS! Her analytical reasoning—construction of an argument, the way she seals it logically, her preference for higher-order, principle- and process-oriented thinking, makes Kagan, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Alito and Breyer pale by comparison. (Roberts is oriented toward administrative thinking; he has the mind of a functionary of the managerial State. As I pointed out in 2005, “Roberts is flummoxed by first-principle quandaries,” whereas first principles is Coney Barrett’s thing.)

For obvious reasons, Sonia Sotomayor was left off my just-cited list of SCOTUS justices whom Amy Coney Barrett easily usurps. An affirmative action baby (her term for herself), Sotomayor was advised to read children’s classics and basic grammar books during her summers, to get up to speed on her English skills at Princeton University. READ.

UPDATE (10/14):

Lots of cringe-worthy cliches and schmaltz came with the “quizzing” by Joni Ernst of Amy Coney Barrett. On being a mom, advice to young girls, exercise, role models. There is not daylight between Republican and liberal women, when it comes to this mushy drivel.

American Justices Should Be Less Notorious, Even Anonymous

America, Celebrity, Federalism, Justice, Law, Pop-Culture, The Courts

About the stardom Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a quiet, reclusive and rather thoughtful jurist, achieved, the Economist writes:

AT THE TIME of her death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg featured on more than 3,000 pieces of memorabilia which were for sale on Amazon.com. Fans of “Notorious RBG” could buy earrings, mugs, babygrows, fitness manuals and Christmas decorations (“Merry Resistmas!”), all bearing her face.
something has gone wrong with America’s system of checks and balances. The United States is the only democracy in the world where judges enjoy such celebrity, or where their medical updates are a topic of national importance. This fascination is not healthy.

The Supreme Court is not elected. Yet its power is ultimately founded on the trust and consent of Americans who believe that its decisions are impartial and grounded in law, not party. The more brazenly parties attempt to capture it as the choicest political prize, the less legitimate it will be. Imagine that a court judgment determines who wins November’s election. …

There is a better way. America is the only democracy where judges on the highest court have unlimited terms. In Germany constitutional-court judges sit for 12 years. If America had 18-year non-renewable terms, each four-year presidency would yield two new justices. It would end the spectacle of judges trying to game the ideology of their successor by choosing when they retire. And it would help make the court a bit less central to American politics—and thus more central to American law. Justice Ginsburg was a great jurist. A fitting tribute to this notorious judge would be to make her the court’s last superstar. ?

The problem is that the entire federal system is broken, in tatters. It’s now down to brute-force tactics, to winning. Bader Ginburg knew it. “In her dissents she sometimes appealed to Congress to correct the law.” She didn’t necessarily think it was SCOTUS’ role.  (See: Obituary.)

At heart she was still what she had always been, a judicial minimalist. She was stunned by the lack of caution in the Roe v Wade ruling of 1973 that legalised abortion; though she certainly approved of the outcome, reform should have come through state legislatures, where it was slowly starting to appear. She was shocked too when the court, while upholding Obamacare, found it illegal under the commerce clause of the constitution; that had been Congress’s domain since the 1930s. In her dissents she sometimes appealed to Congress to correct the law and occasionally, to her delight, it did.

SEE: “How to make American judges less notorious: Supreme Court judges should be term-limited

1807 Insurrection Act Was Good Enough For T. Jefferson. So, Bring It.

Constitution, Crime, Federalism, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Law, States' Rights

Face it. The US Constitution is a dead letter. The American Constitutional scheme—federalism—exists only in as much as to allow outlaws within and without government to hurt the law-abiding.

No other than Thomas Jefferson, an august constitutional authority if ever there was one, passed the 1807 Insurrection Act.

“Jefferson, to his credit, says I’m not going to act unless the Constitution says I can act,” says Fea. “The Federalists take a much broader view of the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t outright condemn it, then it’s OK.”

Jefferson stuck to his principles and in December of 1806 asked Congress to pass a bill “authorising the emploiment of the land or Naval forces of the US. in cases of insurrection.” This legislation, known as the Insurrection Act, would take another three months to become law.

Do it, Mr. President. Better late than never. Quell these bloody riots. Some skulls need cracking.

It was early in June that POTUS promised to protect American life, liberty and property forsaken, by invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act. Oh yes, “There’s this long tradition of” deploying the military to protect only countries the US invades, so this would be a departure from the imperial tradition.

Now, amid the razzmatazz of the Republican National Conference (RNC), being floated again is the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act to perform the negative duties of saving American lives and livelihoods. “Idea”? It’s more like a constitutional obligation hitherto ignored.

The police, whose first duty is to uphold the negative rights of the citizens, appear to believe they serve not the citizens but local mob bosses like Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, and her crooked police chief, Carmen Best. The latter, who seems to worry more about the weave on her head and eyelashes than about the working people of the city, commanded her compliant and cowardly police officers to desert their posts and the people they swore to protect.

READ: “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism

NEW COLUMN: Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism

Constitution, COVID-19, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Donald Trump, Federalism, Individual Rights, Natural Law, Paleolibertarianism, States' Rights

NEW COLUMN IS “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism.” It appeared on WND.COM and on the Unz Review. And is currently featured on American Greatness.

An excerpt:

… The police, whose first duty is to uphold the negative rights of the citizens, appear to believe they serve not the citizens but local mob bosses like Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, and her crooked police chief, Carmen Best. The latter, who seems to worry more about the weave on her head and eyelashes than about the working people of the city, commanded her compliant and cowardly police officers to desert their posts and the people they swore to protect.

Another Black Lives Matter stooge—all-round coward and oath-of-office violator—is Paul Pazen, police chief of Denver, Colorado. He stands complicit in standing down so as to enable the violent attack on author and activist Michelle Malkin.

Ms. Malkin, the scrappiest, bravest woman in America, was physically assaulted at a “Back the Blue” rally, in Denver, Colorado, on July 21. Police were present all right. They watched on as a bulldyke with a baton advanced on a little Braveheart of a lady, who screamed her lungs out in fury, not in fear.

But the boys in blue for whom Michelle stood up, stood down.

Inspired by scenes of wanton destruction openly enabled by elected authorities and their private militia—the police—Chris Cuomo of CNN minted a new phrase for the kind of “peaceful protesters,” who physically struck the diminutive Ms. Malkin and are destroying structures across the country: “Inequality riots.”

“Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto”: Another morally corrupt celebrity, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat from New York, has made the Jean Valjean Argument from Bread: Rioters are hungry. Indeed, there are some “heartbreaking videos of starving New Yorkers stealing bread from … a Chanel flagship store on Fifth Avenue.”

The same scenes played out in thousands of cities across the country. Worst of all have been Portland, in Oregon, and Seattle in Washington State.

So, finally, President Trump has sent in the cavalry. The president launched “Operation Legend.” “Announcing a surge of federal law enforcement in American communities plagued by violent crime,” Trump added that he had “no choice but to get involved.”

This paleolibertarian supports the president’s belated defensive actions to launch a counter-terrorism operation with the aim of crushing a violent insurrection against law-abiding America.

It is essential to take back the streets, and to quit misnaming a repulsive specter that is neither democratic nor peaceful.

Upholding rights to life, liberty and property is a government’s primary—some would say only—duty.

Belatedly, and in furtherance of the violation of individual rights, Democrats frequently rediscover American federalism. (In fairness, to promote their political agenda, Republicans are as opportunistic about deferring to the division-of-power bequeathed by the Founders. Rather than mandate facemasks to save people from dying and killing others; Republicans have left local leaders to supervise the killing fields of COVID.)

The reason the president’s domestic counter-terrorism operation is warranted is because the people’s rights to life, liberty and property are being systematically violated.

And natural rights antedate the state apparatus. Federalism is an excellent principle, but it is not a religion. …

... READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN IS “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism.” It appeared on WND.COM and on the Unz Review. And is currently featured on American Greatness.