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Mario Diaz, Esq.

Steady as the Enemy Panics on Abortion

By | Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Let darkness squelch and screech at the loss of the sacrifices they value. The violent among them will stir up the multitudes to fulfill their vision and protest that the innocent are no longer as expendable. The undiscerning mob is sure to follow whichever way the wind blows, tossed to and fro — used, abused, and ultimately discarded.

 

They shall fail. The end of Roe is yet to be at the appointed time.

 

Remember how we have gotten to this point. Our almost 50 years of struggle against the evil of abortion centered not on legislation or legal battles but on prayer.

 

He who is able to give life and give it more abundantly told us that, as He reminded us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John. 10:10). Darkness has its nature. It will act according to it. The desperation and hopelessness they feel will make them do irrational things.

 

But the people of God shall stand firm and take action (Daniel 11:32). Prayer is action.

 

Therefore, pray.

 

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is making our Dobbs prayer guide available to you through this link.

 

Scripture tells us that we are “able to stand against the schemes of the devil” by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We stand:

 

    1. Having fastened on the belt of truth,
    2. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 
    3. As shoes for our feet, we put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace,
    4. We take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one,
    5. We put on the helmet of salvation,
    6. And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The promised result is that we will “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Steady, then. We know where our hope is laid.

 

The leaked opinion is indeed promising—inspiring even. It states simple truths as it lays out Roe’s unethical, unconstitutional foundations. But we cannot reward the malicious tactics that have been used to release it to the public. So, we will wait until the official word from the Court, and then we will celebrate with thanksgiving to God, shining a light that darkness may flee.

 

The statement from CWA CEO and President Penny Nance, following the breaking news, laid out this righteous vision:

 

“The betrayal of trust we have witnessed today at the United States Supreme Court by what is reportedly the malicious leak of a private draft of the Court’s Dobbs opinion is outrageous.  

“This appears to be another attempt by the Left to intimidate the justices to uphold a law that is clearly unconstitutional. On the contrary, these tactics should only embolden the Court to stand firm on law and principle. Chief Justice John Roberts must take charge of his court and issue this decision as soon as possible, sending a clear message that the Court will never be intimidated.

 

“The hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America remain prayerful and cautiously optimistic as we work to provide loving alternatives to the violent ending of a human life through abortion.”

Amen.

Boston Violates First Amendment by Targeting Christian Flag

By | Case Vault, LBB, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

All nine justices of the United States Supreme Court agree in Shurtleff v. City of Boston. The city violated the First Amendment rights of Harold Shurtleff, the director of Camp Constitution, by refusing to allow him to fly the Christian Flag at a public pole where the city allowed private groups to fly their flags indiscriminately.

 

“The most salient feature of this case is that Boston neither actively controlled these flag raisings nor shaped the messages the flags sent,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his majority opinion as the Court concluded what Boston was engaging in was not government speech. “Boston told the public that it sought ‘to accommodate all applicants’ who wished to hold events at Boston’s ‘public forums.’” Except for those pesky Christians.

 

Thankfully, the Court 9-0 (though using different rationales) declared, “Boston’s refusal to let petitioners fly their flag violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” The Court correctly stated, “When the government does not speak for itself, it may not exclude private speech based on “‘religious viewpoint’; doing so ‘constitutes impermissible viewpoint discrimination.’”

 

Breyer’s majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. They were also three concurring opinions. One by Justice Kavanaugh, a second by Justice Alito joined by Thomas and Gorsuch, and a third by Justice Gorsuch joined by Justice Thomas.

 

Justice Kavanaugh, concurring, made clear this case only got to the Supreme Court “because of a government official’s mistaken understanding of the Establishment Clause.” We should also add that many judges share the mistaken view, also. But as Kavanaugh writes, “Under the Constitution, a government may not treat religious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class.”

 

Justice Alito’s concurrence agrees with the Court’s ultimate conclusion but disagrees with the majority’s analysis. And with good reason. Justice Alito rightly points out that some of the “tests” the majority uses to answer the question here, like “the extent to which the government has actively shaped or controlled expression,” can actually be used by bad actors to discriminate against those with whom it disagrees. But that, too, would be an impermissible violation of the First Amendment.

 

Justice Alito smartly advocates for a more precise and robust definition of government speech, which, after all, is the only organism restricted by the First Amendment. “Government speech,” he writes, “is thus the purposeful communication of a governmentally determined message by a person exercising a power to speak for a government.” Furthermore, after establishing that government speech is at issue, “the government must establish it did not rely on a means that abridges the speech of persons acting in a private capacity.” This is the type of clear definitional guidelines that will help judges around the country administer justice in a much fairer way. Let us hope Justice Alito’s test finds wide acceptance in the years to come.

 

Finally, Justice Gorsuch writes a concurring masterpiece on what is known as the Lemon test. This is an approach that Concerned Women for America  has asked the Court to overturn on many occasions. As he wrote, “Lemon ignored the original meaning of the Establishment Clause, it disregarded mountains of precedent, and it substituted a serious constitutional inquiry with a guessing game.”

 

The historical discussion especially is worthwhile in Gorsuch’s concurrence; I commend it to you. Here is a taste (citations omitted):

 

As a close look at these hallmarks and our history reveals, “[n]o one at the time of the founding is recorded as arguing that the use of religious symbols in public contexts was a form of religious establishment.” For most of its existence, this country had an “unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life.” In fact and as we have seen, it appears that, until Lemon, this Court had never held the display of a religious symbol to constitute an establishment of religion. The simple truth is that no historically sensitive understanding of the Establishment Clause can be reconciled with a rule requiring governments to “roa[m] the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine.” Our Constitution was not designed to erase religion from American life; it was designed to ensure “respect and tolerance.”

 

It is a critical discussion that accentuates his clear thinking on religious liberty issues.

 

This is a great win that envisions even greater protections for religious freedom for decades to come—a great development for all Americans regardless of religious belief.

 

Prayer at the Supreme Court

By | News and Events, SCOTUS, Uncategorized | No Comments

One of the great evangelists of the Nineteenth Century, Dwight L. Moody, famously said, “The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe.” The reality of those words came to life for us this week as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist., where the government punished a Washington State high school football coach for the sole fact that he took a knee at midfield to say a brief, personal, private prayer after football games. For that, Coach Joe Kennedy was fired.

With everything going on in the world, can you imagine our government is concerned with one coach praying privately at midfield after football games? Think of how desperate our youth are for good role models. Think of how many men need father figures to teach them the life skills needed to be good citizens.

Think of how many objectionable things public schools are not only allowing but encouraging inside public classrooms. Yet, a fleeting, private prayer is beyond the pale, apparently.

CWA General Counsel Mario Diaz and CWA Director of Government Relations Alexandra McPhee with Coach Kennedy and his wife.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has stood firmly in support of Coach Kennedy and our constitutionally protected religious freedoms throughout the years, and we were proud to lift our voice in support today as we prayed in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., while arguments where being heard inside the courtroom.

We are thankful that Paul Clement, the veteran constitutional appellate advocate, presented Coach Kennedy’s case on behalf of First Liberty. He was superb.

Much of the argument centered on government “coercion,” as if the government were, through the coach, forcing students to pray. But this complete fiction by the state is impossible to reconcile with the facts as presented. Clement exposed the point using an analogy:

[T]hink about what happens when a player gets injured on the field. I mean, it’s common practice at all levels of the game, public school, private school, you take a knee. The coach takes a knee. The players take a knee. Many of them presumably are praying for the player’s health. Some of them are not. Some of them are –have their own religious traditions. But none of that is coercion, not in a real sense, and none of it violates the Establishment Clause.  

It really is that simple. Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked about a similar hypothetical pressing on the limits of government control, “[T]he question is, how far does that go? The coach does the sign of the cross right before the game. Is that –could a school fire the coach for the sign of the cross right before the game?” The answer was revealing. Richard Katskee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who argued the case for the school district, said candidly that “if the coach is doing it while not making himself the center of attention at the center of the field, it’s perfectly fine.” Justice Kavanaugh expressed his frustration with such a frivolous argument. “I don’t know how we could write an opinion that would draw a line based on not making yourself the center of attention as the head coach of a game.”

In rebuttal, Clement drove home some of the facts of the case that make the school district’s religious retaliation very dangerous. Coach Kennedy was reprimanded for his conduct (his prayer) in two specific games where, to the surprise of many listening to the arguments, no one (no player) joined him in that prayer. If that was supposed to be a form of coercion, it was not very effective.

The other side tried to argue the case should be sent back to the lower court, yet again delaying what should be a resounding defeat. Clement appealed to the Court with a powerful example:

[M]y client has already waited six years to get his job back. And if you imagine the parallel for this is a race case where the lower courts, both lower courts, said the sole reason the government acted was because of race. But yet, we think it’s okay because there’s this compelling interest. If this Court took that case up and said there’s nothing to the compelling interest, it wouldn’t send it back down to see if there was some other reason when the courts had already found the sole basis for the action was on the basis of race. Here the record is clear, two courts that didn’t agree with much of what we said, said the sole basis for the government’s reactions –actions here were religion. That is not something that should stand.

It shouldn’t. Let us pray that the Supreme Court vindicates Coach Kennedy and protects religious freedoms for all Americans, regardless of faith. A decision is expected by the end of the Court’s term in June.

Reason Demands an End to Roe

By | Dobbs, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, Substack | No Comments

A young wife and her husband were enthusiastically awaiting the birth of their first baby. It was a girl. They had already done a big baby shower with family and friends; they had bought all the furniture and decorated the room— a beautiful retreat of yellow and pink. They had faithfully kept every doctor’s appointment and attended all the classes, learning everything about what to expect when you’re expecting. They had even named her: Mary Beth.

But at 28 weeks (7 months), mom confesses she was not ready. She is just too young and not mentally and emotionally prepared to be responsible for another human being. So instead, she wants to have an abortion.

Dad earnestly pleads with her to no avail. “It’s my body,” came the answer.

“Is an abortion even legal so far along in a pregnancy,” he thought? Yes, one quick Google search informed him that there are no limits even for late-term abortions in their home state of New Jersey. He quickly found a clinic’s website offering the service and explaining a third-trimester abortion procedure, but he could not bear to finish reading the short description. He even explored legal options but has no recourse.

So, on a day they were supposed to go to another doctor’s visit and see their baby girl on the latest sonogram, mom will instead drive to an abortion clinic to “terminate her pregnancy.”

Such is the state of abortion policy in our nation. It is part of the wretched legacy of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that invented a constitutional right to abortion…

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Catastrophic Day 2 for Ketanji Brown Jackson

By | Breyer, Judicial Nominations, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Early in the second day, the focus of the hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson’s (KBJ) nomination to the United States Supreme Court was on a concerning pattern that has emerged where KBJ has given low sentences to defendants in possession of child pornography. Having given ample room for KBJ to explain her thought processes in these cases, we can say the explanations we heard were simply unsatisfactory.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who had given KBJ the specific cases he was interested in, drilled down on one particular case that illustrates the problem. The clip is long, but it is eye-opening, I commend it to you in its entirety:

It is troubling, no doubt. Again, she was given time to prepare to answer questions about those specific cases, so to try to obfuscate the issue with a lack of record is not reasonable. The concern is compounded by the fact that Democrats have denied the Republicans’ requests to release the records from KBJ’s time in the Sentencing Commission.

Even Judiciary Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) seemed to agree with Sen. Hawley that the case was unacceptable and suggests it is Congress fault. He suggests that they need to pass a law to prevent judges like KBJ from enacting sentences like she did in that case. Watch:

Her performance devolved from there. She could not answer Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) when he asked her when does life begin, even though her advocacy for pro-abortion groups is well established. How can someone who doesn’t know when life begins fairly decide when life can be terminated?

The issue was explored further by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) who got some incredible confessions out of KBJ as she tried to distance herself from the language she approved of in a brief she cowrote calling pro-life advocates a “hostile, noisy crowd of ‘in-your-face’ protesters.” She apparently didn’t really mean it. She was just “lawyering,” you know. Take a look at this troubling exchange. Take special note of her admission that the Constitution says nothing about abortion, even as she apparently supports the Court in making up such rights by judicial fiat.

But the lowest point of the evening came when Sen. Blackburn tried to address the issue of gender with KBJ. The nominee could not even provide a definition of what is a woman. Apparently, one needs to be a biologist to define the term. Take a look for yourself:

How is a justice supposed to stand up for women’s rights if she cannot even tell you what a woman is? Her non-answer is revealing.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has been at the hearings, monitoring closely every second. We have given her a fair hearing. But the bottom line after day two is that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson simply cannot be trusted. Therefore, how could she be entrusted with a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court in the land? There are still a couple more days of hearings, but the damage she has done today seems too much for anyone to overcome.

Stay tuned.

Ketanji Brown Jackson – Judge or Policy Maker?

By | Breyer, Judicial Nominations, LBB, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

The first day of the hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s (KBJ) nomination to the United States Supreme Court is over. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee got an opportunity to make opening remarks, and then we heard the opening statement from KBJ.

In his opening remarks, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) set up the hearings well by addressing why nomination hearings have become so controversial. Judicial activists taking on the role of legislators has much to do with it. Here is the clip:

This is the central question to assess in looking at this nomination. Will she be the type of justice that sees her role as one who brings “progress” to the law, pushing legal interpretation beyond the text of the law and the Constitution in order to implement policies that they personally believe are important.

Roe v. Wade is the classic example of the justices reaching beyond the text of the Constitution in order to implement changes they personally deem important. KBJ’s support for abortion “rights” is alarming, and it is one area that we hope we can hear more about during the hearings. Note the difference. The support of the policy is not the issue. The use of legal interpretation as a way to promote social or cultural change is the crux of the matter.

The Court is primed to hear some crucial cases in the coming years in which this type of judicial philosophy will be crucial to the protection of our liberties. We were grateful for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) for bringing up some the issues of parental rights and women’s rights during her opening remarks. Here’s that important clip:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) also raised some important questions regarding KBJ’s work as a trial judge deeply involved with sentencing matters. He listed several concerning cases related to the very sensitive issue of child pornography. As Sen. Hawley ended his opening remarks, we look forward to hearing the nominee’s explanation in the next few days.

Finally, we were glad Sen. Cruz heard our request for some accountability on the incredible injustice done to Justice Kavanaugh and the numerous blatant violations of Senate procedures committed for purely partisan reasons. This fact should never escape conservative senators’ minds going forward until some accountability is implemented.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is at the hearings right now meticulously monitoring this nomination and will have updates for you throughout the week as we get into the question and answers portion of the hearings which we hope will help to shed more light on the concerns about the type of justice KBJ would be.

Conservatives Should Demand Respect on KBJ Nomination

By | Breyer, Judicial Nominations, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

“I’m going to remember this,” he vowed.

During the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Sen. Lindsey Graham galvanized conservatives everywhere when he stood up against the injustices being committed against “a good man.” He spoke for millions of Americans who were outraged by the unjustified antics they were witnessing in the Senate Judiciary Committee when he called the hearings “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

Conservatives want that fire back as the Senate considers Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court — not only from Graham but from all conservative senators.

Are they going to put up with the same malicious shenanigans by liberal radicals with this nomination? Some Democrats have already started to accuse GOP senators of racism before the hearings have even started. Conservatives should not put up with it. Not after Kavanaugh…

Click here to read Mario’s op-ed as featured exclusively on The Western Journal.

 

An Uninspiring State of the Union

By | News and Events | No Comments

President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address described another world, not the one you and I are experiencing. The best of it was on Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine, where everyone wanted to stand in support of the Ukrainian people. But even there, he positioned himself as if he had been tougher than we all know he has been. He said nothing about the fact that we are still buying oil from Russia. He said nothing about increasing oil production at home.

And it was all downhill from there. At times the President seemed to be still fighting the ghost of the past Administration. He was even booed for it at one point.

In his fantasy, the economy is booming. He will give money to everyone without raising taxes for the middle class. Noting that Americans are tired of the nonsensical and arbitrary COVID restrictions the Biden Administration was pushing, all of a sudden no one needed masks in Congress for this address. Just days before the State of the Union, the Centers for Disease Control changed its tune. Science!

After the Democrat-supported defunding the police movement was universally rejected by most Americans, now President Biden wants everyone to believe the Democrats have always been for funding the police.

He will do something about the border; you are apparently to ignore your lying eyes.

It all felt like make-believe. Even the centerpiece of his Administration, abortion and promotion of LGBTQ+ interests, only merited passing lines. Not at all reflective of his practical agenda. His radical base will not be happy.

It is good news for those of us fighting for liberty and freedom. The polls are showing the president’s agenda is not popular. It is entirely outside the mainstream. So, they presented some fantasy agenda that bears no resemblance to what every day Americans are living.

He concluded by yelling that he was going to “save democracy.”

Okay.

It felt flat, though the President surely spoke like he thought he was saying something momentous. In a word, it was uninspiring.

A Frank Response

Governor Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) delivered the response and brought a dose of reality to the night. She said, “We shouldn’t ignore what happened in the runup to Putin’s invasion. Waiving sanctions on Russian pipelines while eliminating oil production here at home. Focusing on political correctness, rather than military readiness.”

She pleaded for a robust, confident American foreign policy but transitioned to the situation at home, saying, “We cannot project strength abroad if we’re weak at home.”

“The President and Democrats in Congress have spent the last year either ignoring the issues facing Americans or making them worse. They were warned that spending would lead to soaring inflation. They were told that their anti-energy policies would send gas prices to new heights. But they plowed ahead anyway.”

She spoke for millions of moms when she said:

Americans are tired of a political class that’s trying to remake this country into a place where an elite few tell everyone else what they can and cannot say—what they can and cannot believe. They are tired of people pretending the way to end racism is by categorizing everybody by their race. They are tired of politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let government control their kid’s education and future.

And she exposed the hypocrisy that has plagued the ruling class during the pandemic, saying Americans are “tired of the theater — where politicians do one thing when the cameras are rolling and another when they believe you can’t see them. Where governors and mayors enforce mandates but don’t follow them. Where elected leaders tell their citizens to stay home while they sneak off to Florida for sun and fun — where they demand that your child wear a mask, but they go out maskless.”

Reynolds’ statement brought the realism Americans deserve at such a crucial point in our history. It was hopeful in that it showed that at least some elected officials are listening to parents’ concerns.

Even though it also reminded us that the night really marked only the first year of President Biden’s term.

God help us.

 

Leftists viciously malign Clarence Thomas

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Justice Clarence Thomas has done well for himself.  He is in no need of defense by anybody.  His life and work are inspiring by any measure.  But the despicable, racially motivated, coordinated media attacks against him and his family are so unfair that even a slight appreciation of justice would compel a reasonable person to speak.

His professionalism and honor play a part, too, so that reasonable observers can appreciate that in shining a light on the praiseworthy work of the good justice and the nefarious motives of his critics, one speaks for him who “cannot speak for himself,” given the seriousness with which he takes the oath he took.

What pushed me over the edge to add my voice to those decrying the media smear machine against Justice Thomas and his family was a loathsome sentence written by a Washington Post “reporter” that described Justice Thomas as “the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives.”  It’s been a week, and I cannot shake it.

Can you imagine the deep prejudice that’s required among not one, but a group of writers and editors to publish a sentence like that in a “respectable” newspaper?  They can try to correct it all they want, but the animus that produced such a vile sentiment is alive and well at the Post.

Click here to read Mario’s op-ed as exclusively featured on American Thinker.

No Shortcuts on Supreme Court Nomination

By | Breyer, Legal, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

President Joe Biden has announced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer at the United States Supreme Court. I will have more for you on Judge Jackson’s record in the coming weeks, but right now it is crucial for us to keep our senators accountable for their essential constitutional role of “advice and consent.” There should be no shortcuts allowed for President Biden’s nominee.  

All senators should ensure they can have a private, in-person meeting with Judge Jackson to get a sense of her judicial philosophy, her character, and judicial temperament. It is not enough to examine the record on paper. This private meeting allows the senator to assess the nominee at a deeper level, without the theatrics and remarks prepared for the cameras.

President  Biden has said, “The people that I would appoint to the Court are people who have a view of the Constitution as a living document.” This is deeply disturbing. The judicial philosophy that believes the Constitution is a living document that changes with the times creates judicial activists who also believe unelected judges are the ones who get to choose these arbitrary constitutional changes. It is the judicial philosophy of personal policy preferences.

Does Judge Jackson ascribe to that judicial philosophy? Presumably, she does because President Biden selected her. So, senators should get that answer face to face and assess her judicial philosophy beyond the coached answer they are likely to get in the hearings.

President Biden has said that he wants someone with “an expansive view of the Constitution.” Does Judge Jackson share that progressive view that essentially destroys the Constitution by making it malleable to the latest political trends?

Is she committed to a particular policy position on abortion? Again, President Biden has said plainly that he does have a litmus test on abortion.

Unlike conservative nominees who are always asked to be faithful to the text of the Constitution as written, President Biden wants commitment on particular issues, so Judge Jackson should answer those questions. It is up to senators to ask those critical questions.

They must ask about her overwhelming support from radical leftist groups.

The current political climate will demand strategic engagement from you and me on this nomination because senators tend to be pragmatic. They could, seeing the numbers in the Senate, relegate this nomination to the backburner allowing the nominee to sail through, without proper vetting, thinking others are doing their due diligence. Do not allow them to do that. Demand that they be active participants in the vetting process of this nominee every step of the way.

Full Senate engagement is needed to stand up for our values beyond just senators on the judiciary committee. No stone should be left unturned.

The Constitutional standard must be defended beyond political and pragmatic calculations.

Troubling Radical Left Support Drives Ketanji Brown Jackson Choice

By | Breyer, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Three choices were reported to be at the top of President Joe Biden’s list of possible Supreme Court nominees. Judge Michelle Childs appeared to have more broad support, even among some Republicans. But the radical left demanded Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Predictably, they got their wish.

The radical group, Demand Justice, who shamefully had trucks around Washington, D.C., asking Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, along with other radical groups like MoveOn and Indivisible, had called for Judge Brown in no uncertain terms. The move prompted Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) to say, “The radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”

So, who is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson? Here is a basic rundown.

She was born in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 1970. She is 51. Last year, she became a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, taking the seat left vacant by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Even then, she had strong Republican opposition, being confirmed by a 53-44 vote. Only three Republican Senators, Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), voted in favor.

Before that, she was a judge at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., after being nominated by President Barack Obama and was the Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. She also clerked for Justice Breyer after graduating from Harvard Law School.

After her clerkship with Justice Breyer, Judge Jackson went to work for Goodwin Procter, a large law firm out of Boston, where she helped write an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief representing NARAL Pro-Choice America, the League of Women Voters, and the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts, among others. The case was McGuire v. Reilly, a 2001 case where she supported a law targeting pro-life advocates trying to counsel women at abortion clinics.

Her pro-choice advocacy work has earned her the support of Big Abortion, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the National Women’s Law Center. They are confident she will be willing to circumvent the Constitution to promote abortion “rights.”

The same can be said for the endorsements of pro-LGBTQ groups, like the Human Rights Campaign, who are pushing the boundaries of laws protecting women in sports, women’s shelters and prisons, and multiple other areas.

Her commitment to labor unions has also been held as an important asset, especially when comparing her to other nominees. She was cheered for her enjoining an executive order by President Trump that sought to hold federal employees accountable. She was later overruled unanimously by a D.C. Circuit panel that included an Obama appointee. But this seems to boost her credibility among activists looking for judges who will be “progressive” in their ruling, despite what may be required by the text of the law and judicial procedure.

There are concerns about her religious liberty commitments, also. At her D.C. Circuit hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) asked her about her involvement with a Christian school. Though she said she believed in religious liberty, she felt the need to distance herself from the Christian teachings relating to marriage that were referenced. This is an area that the Senate must fully explore.

The full review of her record is just starting, so we will have much more to come. But the preliminary report must be concerning for all freedom-loving Americans who want judges who will show the judicial restraint envisioned by the Constitution, instead of judges who interject themselves on every political and socially controversial issue with which “we the people” have vigorous disagreements to push their personal policy preferences.

U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

By | Breyer, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Experience

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States Sentencing Commission Vice Chair
  • Assistant Federal Public Defender, Appellate Division
  • Law Clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Education

  • JD., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996
  • Supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review
  • B., magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992

Involvement

  • Board of Overseers of Harvard University
  • American Law Institute
  • C. Circuit Historical Society
  • United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission

Notable Cases

  • Fed. of Gov. Employees, AFL-CIO v. Trump – unanimously reversed by the D.C. Circuit for ignoring clear jurisdictional requirements to enjoin an executive order by President Donald Trump seeking to make it easier to hold federal workers accountable.
  • Make the Road New York v. McAleenan – unanimously reversed by D.C. Circuit. Judge Neomi Rao would have gone further and dismissed the case, believing Judge Jackson overstepped the bounds set by Congress, saying, “One of the few checks on the independent judiciary comes from Congress’s ability to set the jurisdiction of the inferior federal courts.”
  • Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn – ordered White House counsel to President Donald Trump, Don McGahan, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election saying, “The primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.”
  • McGuire v. Reilly— authored an amicus brief representing Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the National Women’s Law Center, among other radical groups in supporting a “buffer zone” law that targeted pro-life advocates wishing to counsel women in front of abortion clinics.

Click here for a .PDF version of this one pager on U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

A Prayer for Ukraine

By | International, News and Events, Prayer | No Comments

A people suffer at the hand of a tyrant, Lord,
The innocent trapped among the unjust ambitions
Of those who seek power and dominance
So, we come to You for guidance and help.

For You are a Just Judge, Sovereign Father,
You hear the cry of the poor and desolate
And abhor the proud and haughty.
Let Your swift judgment unfold over all the earth.

Bring to light what is unknown
That Your name be praised among all.
Do not let evil men get away with their oppression
Of the humble and displaced.

We pray against this unjust war in Ukraine.
We pray for peace and order and fruitfulness.
We pray for a miraculous unfolding—a frustrating
That turns all meant for evil, for good.

We rejoice at the thought,
Recognizing Your holy signature in such themes—
Over and again, throughout history
The wicked fail, only You prevail.

Let it be so yet again, Lord.
Help us to speak boldly and in truth
To lift our voices in prayer and denunciation
Exposing the dark works of unrighteousness,

And coming to the aid of those who are in need,
The children, and women, most vulnerable of all.
We pray that hope may increase, for it never fails—
Not when You are it, our Hope. Be that for Ukraine.

Amen.

Indefensible Roe –The Spiritual Track

By | Indefensible Roe, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Publications, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Thank you for reading. Throughout the Indefensible Roe series, we have explored how the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that opened the door to the more than 62 million babies killed in abortion in the U.S. since 1973 has no basis to stand on today as the Supreme Court reexamines its validity in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Supreme Court’s meddling in abortion policy has been a complete failure—a betrayal of the most fundamental principles of liberty. We have discussed how Roe and its supporting cases are indefensible legally, as a matter of policyscientifically, and today we explore perhaps its most tragic failure: the spiritual one.

Though some may be tempted to dismiss this aspect of the discussion as somehow outside the bounds of the legal/policy discussion, I submit to you that the injustice of abortion strikes at the heart of the legal case. As Aquinas put it, an unjust law is no law at all, but a sort of violence:

Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence. (Summa Theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.)

Further, the social consequences of the spiritual atrophy our country has suffered in the last 50 years, following the selfish, deathly path of abortion, have brought our country to the brink of self-destruction.

Look around. We are not a healthy nation.

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Shining a Light on Education

By | Education, LBB, News and Events | No Comments

I believe it was Voltaire who said, “Common sense is not so common.” Such is the case for the educational bureaucracy suffocating our children’s future with their sociological experiments in public schools. Parental involvement and transparency seem like common sense requirements to any successful public-school program, but not according to the radicals who so often have taken over education in our cities and states. They are hurting our kids, putting on them unnecessary burdens to satisfy their personal cravings while actively shielding themselves from accountability by keeping parents in the dark.

The age of Tik Tok has exposed how a disturbing number of teachers use their classrooms for self-affirmation, with many planning their “coming out” as LGBTQ+ as teaching exercises, or tricking students into pledging to the LGBTQ+ flag, or incentivizing them to attend Antifa rallies for classroom credit, or promoting Critical Race Theory (CRT) themes to shame white students about their “privilege.” The list is endless.

The curriculum and books assigned are often chosen to support these same radical ideas. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (Republican) recently brought attention to one book being used. In a recent interview, she quoted from the “memoir-manifesto” called “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by the self-identified “non-binary” author George Johnson. The scene she mentioned describes a graphic and disturbing sexual act between two cousins, both male. I will not quote the passage as it is too graphic, but, just so you get a taste, it starts with, “You told me to take my pajamas, my pajama pants … You then took off your shorts, followed by your boxers.”

There are hundreds of books like this in our K-12 school libraries all over the country. Some may be in your child’s school. But you are kept in the dark by design.

The answer to the works of darkness is always light. This is the invitation that Paul gives us in Ephesians 5:11 to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

In that spirit, I want to highlight for you one effort that every state should take up. These are efforts to require school curriculum, resources, and training materials to be posted and easily searchable to the public online. If your state does not have this law, I encourage you to approach your elected state representative or senator with the idea. Christopher Rufo at the Manhattan Institute, who has been an important voice exposing the CRT tentacles in our society, has a model bill called “A Model for Transparency in School Training and Curriculum,” which can be a useful starting point.

But a number of states have similar legislation in the works — Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, among others.

Transparency is the key. No longer should school bureaucracies be able to shield bad actors within our education system, as they have done for years.

But rest assured that school bureaucracies will not give up that power easily. It must be demanded. By you and me.

Diaz: First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice Could Be… a Man?

By | Legal, News and Events | No Comments

President Joe Biden has made clear he will keep his promise to elect the first black woman to the Supreme Court, following Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement. But in a curious tweet announcing he will pick someone with excellent qualifications, he said, “And they will be the first black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”

Mario Diaz, Esq., Concerned Women for America’s Legal Counsel, lays out his arguments that the first black Supreme Court justice could actually be a man in his Daily Signal piece.

Breyer Retires

By | Breyer, LBB, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

I was done writing my newsletter piece to you when the news broke. Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. That changes things a bit.

No official word from the Supreme Court, though, which is interesting and suggests someone talked without authorization. It immediately brought memories of these radical groups in Washington, D.C., driving trucks saying “Breyer Retire” all over town, trying to bully him into submission. The Left is so eager to see him gone that they even messed up his announcement. Usually, the justice who is retiring gets to announce it himself. He must not be happy.

Whatever the case, the radicals got their wish. Breyer is retiring, they have the majority in the U.S. Senate, and President Joe Biden gets to appoint whomever he wants.

Except, that is not entirely true. President Biden made a pledge. During the 2020 presidential debate in South Carolina, when his campaign was struggling to get off the ground, then-presidential candidate Biden promised that, if elected, he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court. “Not a joke,” he emphasized with his usual common-man style.

As told through different reports, the story of the pledge behind the scenes is not about sincere, ordinary person concerns for the country but about raw politics, as you might have guessed.

The story goes that candidate Biden desperately needed the endorsement of one of the most influential figures in South Carolina, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who had also been the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Without his endorsement, the whole campaign could tank. Clyburn asked him not only to commit to appointing the first African American woman but also to pledge it publicly during the debate.

According to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who wrote the book “Lucky,” Clyburn was so frustrated when he didn’t hear candidate Biden say the pledge publicly that he went backstage during one of the breaks to put pressure on him. “Don’t you leave this stage without doing it,” he is reported saying.

And so, he did. Now, President Biden is locked into a very narrow pool of candidates, not based on professional qualifications and merit, but on identity politics. Sad to see the judicial nominations process reduced to these sorts of calculations.

Given that, some names are already floating around. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was recently elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is said to be the second-highest court on the land, is the first name you will hear. She is a former clerk of Justice Breyer.

California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger has also been mentioned, as well as South

Carolina U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs and NAACP attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.

For our part, we must add this nomination to our prayers as we continue to lift up the Court on the upcoming Dobbs decision. As CWA President Penny Nance said in her statement on Justice Breyer’s resignation, let us pray for President Biden that he may use this opportunity to unite the country, instead of further alienating half, to appease the most extreme elements of his party.

“The president has a chance to finally unify the country with a consensus nominee, breaking away from the shameful and vile tactics we have experienced in recent Supreme Court nominations,” Penny said.

Let us pray as one for that as we await an official announcement. And stand by, ready to lift our voices for justice.

Indefensible Roe – The Cultural Track

By | Indefensible Roe, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Publications | No Comments

The detrimental effects of Roe on American culture are too numerous to catalog. But the denial of the humanity of the unborn sits at the root of it all.

Today, as we commemorate the 49th March for Life, protesting the harrowing Roe v. Wade 1973 decision that invented a constitutional right to abortion, let us consider why culturally speaking, Roe is indefensible.

Few would deny the fact that we are living in contentious times. We are a divided nation. Many are shouting, but few are listening. It is not mere disagreement. We are way past that. The people who stand opposite you, in many circles, are not even worthy of consideration. They are a sort of sub-human.

If this seems shocking to you, just consider the way we are treating each other on the topic of the COVID vaccines. Radio shock jock Howard Stern recently said on his popular radio show, “If it was up to me, anyone unvaccinated would not be admitted to a hospital.” And he is, unfortunately, not alone. But, again, I’m really not talking about the vaccine issue here, but about the warped mentality that would say to his neighbor, if I had my way, “all hospitals would be closed to you. You’re going to go home and die,” over a health policy disagreement.

Facts have nothing to do with it. Your side or my side is all that matters. Facts will be accommodated accordingly. Take a look at this example…

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

Drama at Supreme Court on Texas Abortion Law Case

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Texas | No Comments

If there is drama at the U.S. Supreme Court these days, you can rest assured that Justice Sonia Sotomayor is at the center of it. And when the issue in the case is protecting unborn babies, you already know the side for which she fights. So here is why you are hearing so much about her and what the U.S. Supreme Court did in the Texas abortion law case.

If you remember, last time, the Supreme Court dismissed most of the challenges against the law but left the one against the medical licensing officials to go on. That is the case the Fifth Circuit was to consider when Texas asked that the question of whether the medical licensing official can enforce the law if it is violated be sent to the Texas State Supreme Court for clarification as to what the state law allows. The Fifth Circuit allowed that to proceed. This makes sense because the case deals with state law, not federal law.

The pro-abortion side objected to this because it would cause a delay in the proceedings while the law is still in effect. So, they went back to the U.S. Supreme Court and asked it to intervene to stop the case from going to the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied the request, making no judgment, but simply allowing the proceedings to continue.

That’s where the pro-abortion advocates at the Supreme Court led by Justice Sonia Sotomayor lost it. They dissented with much fanfare, saying, “The Fifth Circuit should have immediately remanded this case to the District Court, allowing it to consider whether to issue preliminary relief.” Imagine all these babies being born in Texas. Preposterous, in their view. It is a disaster as far as Justice Sotomayor is concerned. She wrote, “This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies. I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee.”

Aside from the forceful pro-abortion advocacy of Justice Sotomayor, supported by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, not a lot has happened in the case. It is still ongoing. Texas may still lose in the end. The ruckus you read about in the media is the early signs of desperation from the pro-abortion side.

It is a preview of what we can expect when the Dobbs decision is handed down if it does not live up to their abortion on demand for any reason up to birth dreamland.

CWA Stands for Religious Freedom and the Christian Flag at the Supreme Court

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Today, Concerned Women for America (CWA) was proud to stand for the Christian principles of our founding in an important First Amendment case before the United States Supreme Court. Annabelle Rutledge, National Director of CWA’s Young Women for America program, delivered an impassioned speech (below) in front of the Court as they heard oral arguments in Shurtleff v. Boston.

 

Statement by Annabelle Rutledge
National Director
Concerned Women for America’s Young Women for America
Delivered January 13, 2022, at the United States Supreme Court
Shurtleff v. Boston Oral Arguments Rally

Good morning everyone

My name is Annabelle Rutledge from Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy organization for women in the nation. I serve as the national director of CWA’s Young Women for America project, which is training the next generation of young women on the Christian and constitutional principles that are the foundation of our liberties and freedoms.

I stand here on behalf of hundreds of thousands of women who want to see an end to the pernicious hostility towards religion that has become all too common in our day and age. If we are being honest, the hostility we see in many cases is directed specifically at Christians.

Many Americans fail to realize that the very foundations of the liberties they enjoy sprout out of Biblical soil. Therefore, in attacking religion as a whole, and Christianity more specifically, they work against their own interests, against their own liberty.

This case is a prime example that sometimes the loudest voices crying for diversity and tolerance are the most intolerant of diversity when that diversity is also inclusive of people of faith with whom they disagree.

The City of Boston has a worthy goal for its flagpole policy in its city hall plaza. The city explained that it wants “to create an environment in the City where everyone feels included and is treated with respect.” Except that “everyone,” according to the City of Boston, does not include Christians—we are apparently the right kind of people to exclude.

The city’s website further explains their policy this way, “We also want to raise awareness in Greater Boston and beyond about the many countries and cultures around the world. Our goal is to foster diversity and build and strengthen connections among Boston’s many communities.”

Accordingly, LGBTQ+ communities are loudly celebrated, their flag displayed with pride, no pun intended. Likewise, flags with Muslim themes from countries other than our own are welcomed with open arms. “Yay, diversity!”

But the flag that represents the faith of the very people who founded the City of Boston (the Puritans) that flag is just not welcomed. For Boston, diversity stops at Christianity’s doorsteps.

Needless to say, this nonsensical policy stands in clear violation of the First Amendment to our Constitution, which states plainly, as applied to the states, that the city “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” In targeting religious speech and somehow saying it is unworthy of the same protections afforded other types of speech, the city violates the most basic principles of justice and fairness, not to mention the essence of our First Amendment.

As we pointed out in our brief before the Court, the city’s attempt to differentiate between religious organizations and civic organizations fails to recognize the nature of our faith. By their very nature, religious organizations are civic organizations. Our concern for the poor and needy, for the weak and oppressed, and for justice and righteousness cannot be contained to the four walls of a building. Call that building a church or call it what you want.

Our faith is a living faith. We are called to go and love our neighbors. We cannot do otherwise.

That faith gave birth to many of the freedoms we enjoy. The faith that is at the root of the City of Boston, whose very city flag contains its motto in Latin words that read, “God be with us as he was with our fathers.”

Fitting, since from the founding of our country, churches have been the most important civic institution, bringing incredible progress. It is why the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 declared that “religion, morality, and knowledge [were] necessary to good government.”

The words of John Adams also stand as a similar reminder when he said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Religion and faith are not only compatible with our Constitution; they are indispensable to its proper understanding.

We are confident the Supreme Court understands this, and we expect a unanimous Court to send a clear message by striking down this unconstitutional policy.

Thank you.

Click here for a PDF version of the statement.