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Mario Diaz, Esq.

The Mainstreaming of Child Sexual Exploitation

By | Defense of Family, LBB, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

The so-called transgender moment that followed the celebration of homosexual behavior is giving way to an even darker effort to normalize child sexual exploitation. The Daily Wire report of an 11-year-old dancing on stage at a gay bar, simulating stripping, while even getting money from adults in the audience, is nothing short of that, the sexual exploitation of children.  From the story:

On December 1, an 11-year-old boy dressed in drag danced on stage in a sexual manner at a gay bar in Brooklyn, NY, called 3 Dollar Bill. The child, Desmond Napoles, was dressed as a Gwen Stefani-lookalike — full drag makeup, a blonde wig, and crop top included — as he bounced around onstage to No Doubt’s “Like a Girl” and collected dollar bills from male adults viewing the number.

The written account was disturbing enough, but I was not prepared to see the actual footage of this perversion. Here it is as it was featured on the Ben Shapiro Show:

 

 

We should weep for a country and a people that find this acceptable. It is utterly frightening to know it is happening in our country — we are that people.

Friends, the Church cannot stay silent while the mainstreaming of sexual exploitation continues to spread around us.  Most people know deep inside this is a terrible development, yet they remain silent, perhaps fearing the cultural cost. Therefore, it is up to you and me, as believers in Truth, to speak out. We are those who have counted the cost and have chosen to still follow Christ. We must stand and speak light into this darkness.

Let us be despised, that God may be glorified.

Children should not be sexually exploited for any reason. This may be a radical statement in this day and age, but it is true. And we must shout it from the rooftops at every turn. It is not liberating or empowering to affirm gender confusion in children for the sake of affirming the rightness of the lifestyle and worldview of adults.

We must identify this as exploitation because the focus of these efforts is the adults who promote it. The pride and self-centeredness of man, this idolatry of the self, is at the center of this movement. It is not scientific or logical or compassionate.

What we are witnessing actually affirms the Scriptures, even while many proport to be breaking out from under its grip. There is a darkening of the mind that occurs when we turn to worship the creatures rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-32). That is what our generation has chosen — to pursue personal appetites without regard to the common good. “If it feels good, it must be right” is a foolish philosophy. That its popularity continues to grow guarantees us a fool’s harvest. We reap what we sow. And we have sown unrighteousness for far too long for us to expect anything different than what we are seeing today.

Therefore, we must be prepared to be that voice crying out in the wilderness for repentance. We must fight the good fight of faith, that the next generation may turn from our wicked ways and desire to live by faith. But it all starts with our voice. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:27).

So, let us speak then, brothers and sisters. Boldly and faithfully. The time is near.

Scouting Dishonor Takes Its Course

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

When I was a boy scout, I looked up to men who represented for me the ideals of what it means to be a man. The words of the oath we took meant something. We said, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” That’s what I wanted to be. I thought we all wanted that. I knew everyone failed, I was not confused about that. But I thought we were committing to making this high standard our aim –it was a worthy one.

But the group formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America has dishonored that oath continually and progressively for decades.  They made sure every young member knew there was no meaning behind that oath. What the heck is “morally straight” anyway, right?

Their cowardice has taken its course. The Wallstreet Journal reports they are contemplating bankruptcy “as it faces dwindling membership and escalating legal costs related to lawsuits over how it handled allegations of sex abuse.” A few months ago, they were even sued by the Girl Scouts.

Their dwindling membership is a good thing. Now that my son is old enough for scouting, we joined Trail Life USA. Here is an organization that is again reclaiming that aim abandoned by the so-called “Scouts BSA.” Trail Life’s motto (“Walk worthy”) means something. Because of that commitment to truth, their oath is something onto which our children can hold. It reads: “On my honor, I will do my best to serve God and my country; to respect authority; to be a good steward of creation; and to treat others as I want to be treated.”

That is for what I want my son to strive. I want him to serve God, above all. And increasingly, in our day and age, this will mean that he will have to reject the culture’s demand of surrender of his sexuality in every sense of the word. The culture preaches autonomy, that you are in control of your life – mind, body, and spirit. This lie leads to ruin, as the “Scouts BSA” exemplifies.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that we are ultimately not in control. The number one quarterback prospect for the NFL knows that he is one play away from never taking another snap. You can go to sleep tonight and never wake up again. This is a fact of life. You are not in control.

That reality is borne out in Scripture, of course. We have a Maker (Gen.1:1). We were created (Gen. 1:26). Male and female He created us (Gen. 1:27). We were made for a purpose (Eph. 1:4). We are to love God above all and our neighbors as ourselves (Lk. 10:27). We are to respect authorities (Ro. 13:1). We are to be good stewards (Gen. 2:15).

All of it sounds a lot like that simple oath I learned as a child. It was and is a simple restatement of reality. A reality that will be borne out in our lives whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. As the man who jumps out of the window to prove the laws of gravity do not exist, so our lives will attest to these ancient truths when it is all said and done whether we acknowledge them or not.

For America (Day 99)

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments


All hail King Jesus!
All hail Emmanuel!
We thank You, Lord,
For the glorious day of Your coming.

You have been and continue to be
Through every season of life —
Through joy and pain, feasting and need —
God with us! We praise Your name!

In wisdom, You chose us
To be Your instruments at this moment,
In this place, for this generation,
To preach repentance and salvation to all peoples.

Give us boldness in the face of many trials.
Do not let us shy away from the good news of the Gospel,
However many shameful attacks come our way.
Be to us our shelter and refuge.

Be to us the source and aim;
Open the eyes and ears of our hearts
That we may be sensitive to Your voice.
It is You Whom we seek to please.

To that end, help us break through our selfishness.
Change our desires to match Your will on every count;
Help us praise You in every season,
Bringing peace and joy wherever we are.

What more do we need, if we have You?
We are rich — You have blessed, and blessed, and blessed.
We receive with thanksgiving and a humble heart,
And we pray You allow us to give, and give, and give.

To love You above all and our neighbor as ourselves,
This is our only aim. For we know, in this,
All the law is fulfilled. And in obedience
We seek to live all the days of our lives.

Help us to impact our community,
Not with flattering words, or pretext for greed,
Nor seeking our own glory, but with gentle hearts
Help us proclaim Truth.

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 98) – A Prayer for the New Congress

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments


Holy Father, we pray for the new Congress.
Even now as they prepare, we pray a blessing over them.
Grant them wisdom and a sense of duty, honor, and
The desire to love You above all and their neighbors as themselves.

As iron sharpens iron, let each member sharpen one another
For the good of their families, their constituents, and the country.
Stomp out the pride that is always at our door,
Calling us to the selfish pleasures that lead to division and much pain.

Let prayers ring in every chamber with much thanksgiving,
Recognizing our complete dependence on You for all that we do.
May the Scriptures be searched daily among all the staff,
As it contains the way of justice and righteousness and life.

May they be quick to hear and slow to speak;
Open their eyes that they may see when they are being manipulated
By those seeking their own self-interests to the detriment
Of those who are most vulnerable among us.

We pray for a culture of life to flourish on Capitol Hill.
We pray the enemy’s deception, when it comes to abortion, be broken.
Let the evil that is in darkness be exposed,
That we may care for the least of these.

We pray for policies that support the family
As the unit You created for human flourishing.
Help our congressmen discern what is best
Beyond what is merely popular, yet detrimental.

Help us, as citizens, to provide constructive support,
To do more than merely complain and yell.
Help us to hear one another.
We pray against those inciting violence and division.

Placing our whole trust in You, Sovereign Maker of all,
We rest in Your merciful peace, and in faith
Ask all these things in the name of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

CWA Files Brief on Important Religious Liberty Case

By | Hawaii, LBB, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

Phyllis Young operates the “Aloha Bed & Breakfast” out of her home, renting about three rooms to guests in Hawaii. The house is a four-bedroom house that is not sectioned off. Guests are treated as part of the family during their stay.

For these reasons, as a Christian, Phyllis applies the same rules to guests that she would to family members. She does not facilitate sexual relationships outside of marriage as defined by her Christian beliefs. This means that she would not rent one room to unmarried couples or those in a same-sex relationship.

When two women in a same-sex relationship sought to rent a room with her, Phyllis declined, and they filed a complaint with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission for sexual orientation discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, representing Phyllis, argued that Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which makes sexual orientation discrimination unlawful, did not apply in this situation because of the nature of the business (renting only three rooms in her primary residence).

The Constitution also protects the free exercise of religion so that Phyllis should have the right not to promote behavior that her faith teaches is immoral. She should be able to conduct her small business in a way that can respect her deeply held religious beliefs.

As we have seen in other cases, the lower courts have ordered Phyllis to violate her Christian beliefs if she wants to make a living. This is a plain violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Americans should be able to operate a business according to their deeply held religious beliefs and without being compelled to endorse a government-approved view that contradicts those.

That is why Concerned Women for Americas has joined a brief asking the United States Supreme Court to take the case and reverse the lower court’s decision penalizing Mrs. Young for refusing to condone that which is contrary to her faith. In it, we argue:

Mrs. Young, the homeowner, acted out of her religious conviction that renting a single room to other than a married husband and wife would engage her in facilitating and endorsing immoral sexual conduct. She not only held a sincere belief to that effect, well buttressed by Biblical teaching, but her action in refusing quarter to the unmarried and same-sex cohabitants was conduct protected by the First Amendment’s prohibition of state interference with her free exercise of religion and with its similar prohibition of interference with her freedom of assembly, which incorporates the right not to associate with those engaging in behavior with which one disagrees.

The brief was filed alongside the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation, and the Pacific Justice Institute sending a strong message to the Court of the importance of the religious liberty interests and concerns at play.

Please continue to pray for this case and the justices as they consider this case in the coming weeks.

For America (Day 97) A Prayer for our Veterans

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments

Precious Father, praise and honor to Your name.
How thankful we are for freedom and peace!
It is a grace we do not deserve;
It has been paid at the highest price.

We lift up our veterans to you,
The few who have sacrificed for so many.
We pray for their health and well-being;
Be with them in their struggles and pain.

May they never feel alone;
We know their unique scars can lead to isolation.
Help us to remember their affliction and stir us
To act on their behalf.

Help us to give back with whatever we have.
Though it is not enough, united we can truly be
Your hands and feet (as You command) to these
Who reflect Your sacrifice.

We lift up their families —
Wives, husbands, sons, daughters. …
Bless them, for they, too, had to endure
For the love of neighbor, alongside their loved one.

We thank you for our veterans’ example.
Help us live up to their standard
Of honor, excellence, commitment, and sacrifice.
Help us to put others first, as they have.

Lord, we need more men and women like them!
Help us to be engaged
In the work of preserving freedom,
For we know it is never free.

Help us do our part to pass stories
Of their sacrifice to the next generation,
To teach and inspire them to understand
What love, freedom, and liberty entail.

Help the next generation to see
These must live in word and deed;
That faith without works is dead,
So we must strive to live to serve.

Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq

Women and The Kavanaugh Effect

By | Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Forget about a blue or red wave. What we saw in the Senate races last night was the Kavanaugh Effect. After the fundamentally unjust treatment of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his nomination to the Supreme Court, most Americans have sent a clear signal through the midterms that this sort of abuse of power will not be tolerated. And conservative women led that effort.

As of this writing, three Democrat incumbents have lost their Senate seat: Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Each loss is directly related to their Kavanaugh “no” vote.

We know this because Concerned Women for America (CWA) state leaders in all three states led efforts to get them to do the right thing and warned them of the importance of their vote for conservative women.

In an August 7, Kansas City Star op-ed Bev Ehlen, CWA of Missouri state director, wrote:

Concerned Women for America of Missouri, the organization I lead, was proud to stand with Gorsuch, and we were terribly disappointed that Sen. Claire McCaskill decided to stand against him. … The good news is that McCaskill will get a second chance to do right by Missourians with the recent retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Will she listen to Missouri, or will she continue to do what her party in Washington dictates? If she listens to Missouri, she will vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. …

Bev was one of CWA’s most active leaders during the Kavanaugh nomination and throughout the elections. CWA Legislative Action Committee’s (CWALAC) “Women for Kavanaugh” bus tour visited the state and ran billboards. CWA of Missouri members contacted McCaskill’s office all throughout the nomination, and Bev even came for the hearings and visited the senator’s Washington, D.C., office. McCaskill did not heed the call of conservative women. She voted to oppose Justice Kavanaugh, and conservative women held her accountable. She lost her re-election bid.

The same script played out in North Dakota. As Real Clear Politics highlighted, CWA of North Dakota state director Linda Thorson delivered a similar message to both of her senators, emphasizing how vital it was for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s reelection bid. She said, “They should reject political partisanship once again and vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, especially, who is in a toss-up fight against Rep. Kevin Cramer, would benefit from rejecting the political machinations of her party’s leadership in Washington and stand with the people of North Dakota.”

North Dakota was, once again, an energetic stop in CWALAC’s “Women for Kavanaugh” bus tour. CWA of North Dakota members called and wrote emails asking Sen. Heitkamp to do the right thing and vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. She did not. And she is now the former senator from North Dakota.

In Indiana, NPR told the story after joining our bus tour in Indianapolis:

On a sunny afternoon last week in Indianapolis, a bus bearing a giant picture of Kavanaugh’s face pulled up in front of the state Capitol. After climbing off the bus, Janae Stracke, national field director with Concerned Women for America, told local activists she wants them to put pressure on Donnelly to support Kavanaugh, whom she calls “the next great justice.”…

Concerned Women for America is working with local activists like Susie Moore, a volunteer who is asking friends and neighbors to call or write Donnelly’s office and ask him to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. Moore said she’s opposed to abortion rights and concerned about what she sees as an erosion of religious freedom. She said the well-being of “future generations” is at stake in this fight.

But Sen. Joe Donnelly lost, so you know he did not listen to the voice of conservative women.

That is not all. Former Republican Governor Rick Scott in Florida is also set to take out incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, who also voted against Justice Kavanaugh, ignoring the voice of thousands of conservative women who called for an end to the mob mentality that was destroying an honest man’s reputation without due process. CWA of Florida state director Terri Johannessen noted how the energy among conservative women increased exponentially following the Kavanaugh hearings.

Scott, on the other hand, capitalized on the opportunity, saying, “Judge Kavanaugh has been a fair and brilliant judge, one of our nation’s very best. He should be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.” The margin was small, which is why there will be a recount (as mandated by state law), but all indications are that Nelson also will lose his re-election bid to the Kavanaugh Effect.

One Democrat incumbent did listen to the voice of conservative women asking him to stand up to the mob mentality that was plaguing the Senate during the Kavanaugh hearings. His name is Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia – “coincidentally” another stop for the Women for Kavanaugh Bus Tour.

He voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. He won.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Election Night Recap: Judges, Judges, Judges

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

The one thing that doesn’t change one bit after the tonight’s election results is that the great work that President Donald J. Trump is doing to confirm constitutional judges at every level of the federal courts will continue for the next two years.

This is great news. The foundation that President Trump and the Republican leadership in the Senate, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are building will pay dividends for our Republic for many years, even decades after the President is out of office.

President Trump broke the record for appellate judges confirmed in the first two years of the presidency with 29. He also confirmed 53 district level judges and, of course, two excellent Supreme Court Justices.

The new senate will elect new leadership, which might mean a new Chairman in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If Sen. Grassley decides to step down from that role (I certainly hope he doesn’t!), the post is expected to go to Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) who was one of the big heroes in defense of Justice Kavanaugh, so we can expect the same type of commitment to the confirmation of judges going forward.

It is worth noticing that the Kavanaugh effect was also palpable tonight.  Some of the biggest surprises of the night were losses directly related to the injustice committed against now Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Both Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) and Heidi Hietkamp (D-North Dakota) voted against Justice Kavanaugh, ignoring the majority of people in their state who wanted them to support due process, instead of succumbing to the radicals calling for a presumption of guilt. They paid a heavy price.

As of this writing, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), who also voted against Kavanaugh, is also in trouble, although the race is too close to call at the moment.

On the other hand, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) who ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh, despite of the pressure radical liberals inflicted on him, won big.

The message is clear. The voters rejected the mob mentality that tried to destroy an honorable man in the name of political power.

This is very good news for our political discourse going forward.

On the other hand, the Democrats are expected to regain control of the House of Representatives, as of this writing (10:53pm). This was expected, given the historical precedent of mid-term elections.

They will be pushed, no doubt, by the radical left to spend considerable time on an agenda to investigate and derail President Trump. We must be prepared to stand up against such an approach. And insist that they attend instead to the people’s business.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Election Day

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

What does this day mean
For those who trust in You anyway?
The year is twenty eighteen
Still, You are King as yesterday.

Tomorrow too shall fall in line;
The world’s ideas will, in the end, collapse.
But those who remain in You, the Vine
Know no, “what if,” “maybe” or “perhaps”.

We enter confidently the booth.
They never lose who trust in You–
The Door, the Way, the Light, the Truth.
Blessed is He who makes all things new.

For we were once lost, bitter and afraid;
Looked for our identity in politics.
Yet, none of it our hearts persuade
Until we faced that blessed crucifix.

A lovely passion then springs forth,
A love for God and neighbor.
We know ourselves, we know our North,
Chains broken, we freely labor.

To spread the Good News of the Savior,
His life, His death, His resurrection to promote
With every word blurt out and our behavior–
Whether we eat, write, work, and yes, vote.

That is what this day is all about.
Another opportunity to preserve
The wisdom some try to blot out,
But we are committed to conserve.

To the glory of the One true God
Who created all that’s seen and not
Who comforts us with staff and rod,
Our sinful lives with His Son’s bought.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

For America (96) – A Prayer for the Election

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments

Oh Lord, to rest in Your Sovereign grace;
This is our aim.
So, in faith, we work at steady pace
Inviting You to ignite a flame

That light may in darkness shine;
That warmth may our hearts align;
That truth may be recognized;
Our voices harmonized.

In that spirit, be with us as we vote;
Give us courage, give us wisdom, give us hope.
May apathy be far from us;
Help us cut through all the fuss.

Keep our hearts steady in Your love as we navigate
The latest “newsy,” juicy outrage.
Help us keep our eyes up above,
Never intimidated by the mob.

We pray for leaders who will fight
For all that is good and true and right;
Who know Your Word is not a footnote;
For these, we pray and work and vote.

We ask that we may live in peace,
Trusting You above all, more than anything.
Let all quarrel amongst neighbors cease
May You alone be declared King

That we may sing the new song of salvation;
That joy may reign in our streets and homes and nation.
Give us also the strength and courage to correct
All our mistakes, for we know we are not perfect.

These things we ask with hearts full of thanksgiving,
Knowing the impossible is real when we trust
Him Who is most loving and forgiving —
The One, the Christ, our Lord, the Just.

In whose name we pray,
Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Christian Bakers Still Fighting for Freedom at the Supreme Court

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

The Masterpiece Cakeshop case was a great win for liberty. But Colorado’s blatant hostility towards people of faith was so egregious that it made the case somewhat easy and, therefore, narrow in scope.  The fundamental question of whether the Constitution protects the right to operate a business according to one’s faith is still somewhat unanswered by the Supreme Court.

That is why this week, Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon, have appealed the $135,000 penalty for “emotional damages” imposed on them for refusing to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. They have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, asking them to take the case and address head on the issue behind these cases: the government’s insistence that it can compel citizens, under threat of law, to create goods with a message contrary to their religious beliefs.

The state is forcing Christian businesses to choose between their faith and their livelihoods. But the Constitution stands squarely against that. It expressly protects expression, regardless of how popular the view is at any given moment. And that is all that has changed with regards to same-sex marriage. Christian beliefs have not changed. What has changed is cultural acceptance of it. And now they want to punish people of faith for believing what they have always believed.

Government is not remaining neutral, as it must, on questions of faith, but it is showing a dangerous hostility towards religion that goes to the heart of constitutional protections.

Jack Phillip of Masterpiece Cakeshop is the prime example of this. Even after his win at the Supreme Court, he has been forced now to sue the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for their continued crusade against him. After his win at the Supreme Court, the Commission ruled again that he was in violation of the states “non-discrimination law” for refusing to create a custom-made cake for a woman celebrating her gender transition.

Jack and other Christians like him are the targets of a well-funded, coordinated attack against religious freedom from pro-LGBT groups. The Catholic News Agency recently catalogued some of the money being spent to demonize people of faith who refuse to go along with the politically correct narrative of the day. It reported on the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, for example, a San Francisco-based foundation reporting half a billion dollars in its coffers, which targeted Masterpiece Cakeshop specifically.

The Haas, Jr. Fund gave $200,000 to the National Center for Lesbian Rights for a campaign to “educate the LGBT community” about the importance of the case, and $100,000 to the Equality Federation Institute for the same purpose. It gave $100,000 to the Movement Advancement Project, a key LGBT strategy and communications think tank funded by Colorado entrepreneur Tim Gill, “to develop and test ads and other tools to educate and engage the LGBT community” about the case.

Another $100,000 went to the ACLU Foundation for its LGBT & HIV Project “to coordinate a public education campaign around the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case,” while $34,500 went to the Horizons Foundation to “help LGBT Leaders and organizations prepare for a unified response to the Masterpiece Supreme Court decision.”

As you can see, the battle to protect our religious liberties is very much alive, and we must stay diligent.  The other side is committed to curtailing our religious liberties no matter the cost. Please pray for these important cases and other similar ones around the country.  As you know, Concerned Women for America’s legal team will be engaged bringing the voice of conservative women before the courts, and we are already working to develop the briefs for these cases. But part of the hard work necessary to win must be done by you and me personally as we engage others to gain a proper understanding of religious freedom. A lot of money is being spent to demonize people of faith, so we cannot let up. We will not. We will remain faithful to God and His Word, until the day of His return.

Good: Atlanta to Pay $1.2 Million for Egregious Religious Liberty Violation

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

The story of Kelvin Cochran is one that should never be forgotten. The former Atlanta Fire Chief was fired because of his faith — not in some oppressive country around the world, but here in the old “US of A.”

 

 

The good news is that the city of Atlanta has now settled the case, agreeing to pay Chief Cochran $1.2 million for their egregious violation of his First Amendment rights. The district court in Georgia had found the city’s arbitrary policy to be unconstitutional, saying:

This policy would prevent an employee from writing and selling a book on golf or badminton on his own time and, without prior approval, would subject him to firing. It is unclear to the Court how such an outside employment would ever affect the City’s ability to function, and the City provides no evidence to justify it.

I want to thank those of you who have been praying for Chief Cochran and his family, made calls, and signed our petitions to stand up for religious freedom. There is no question your voice had an impact on the outcome of this case and will continue to help us defend religious liberties for years to come.

Never forget that the ideology that made this unjust firing of an excellent employee and an honest man possible is still very much alive at the highest levels of government. We must continue to be engaged and call these incidents for what they are: anti-Christian bigotry.

Just this week, a judicial nominee was attacked for being associated with the very group (the Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF])who defended Chief Cochran in this case. ADF is a Christian organization and, as you know, in the eyes of the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) that makes them a “hate group.”

This is a great victory for religious freedom, no doubt! We must take the time to thank God for His grace and goodness in allowing us such victories.

But we must also remain on guard, shining the light of freedom and faith at every turn. The upcoming election is yet another opportunity and also a challenge for us to engage our brothers and sisters on the importance of these issues, encouraging them to stand up for what they believe.

Here is what Tanya Ditty, state director of Concerned Women for America of Georgia, who stood hand in hand alongside Chief Cochran, had to say on the new development and the next steps that are needed to make sure this injustice does not happen again:

Former Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed, and his administration created a hostile work environment for people of faith. Kelvin Cochran was targeted by Mr. Reed and ultimately fired for simply writing a book based upon his Judeo-Christian beliefs. Kelvin Cochran never wavered in his faith in the midst of outright religious and workplace discrimination.  Kelvin has always handled himself with dignity and honor. Justice has been served in the form of a $1.2 million settlement.   CWA of Georgia calls on the City of Atlanta to revisit its discriminatory employment policies so to ensure all its employees are able to come to work without the fear of religious discrimination or job loss.

Legal Case Against Kavanaugh Incredibly Weak

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

Rachel Mitchell, Division Chief of the Special Victims Division for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona, sent a devastating memo to Republican senators delineating her independent assessment of Dr. Christine Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. She concludes:

In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.

Click here to see the report in its entirety.

Kavanaugh Hearing Update Day – 3

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

Today’s update of Kavanaugh’s outstanding performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee must start with the debacle that was Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) as they questioned the nominee late last night.

To sum, it was all fluff and no substance. Sen. Booker decided to question Kavanaugh on emails from the Bush White House that the nominee could not access (more on that drama later).  One particular email Sen. Booker focused on as particularly ominous actually showed Judge Kavanaugh agreeing with Sen. Booker that racial profiling shouldn’t be used. But the pompous way and mysterious circumstances of the whole exchange, where the email couldn’t be shown were all very dramatic.

It was clear Sen. Booker was there to make a point and was not interested at all on anything Kavanaugh had to say. The ironic thing is that Kavanaugh has shown through his record that he has been one of the leading voices advocating for minorities in the legal field.

Here is a bit of what he said about his efforts to help get more minority law clerks:

“Justice Thomas and Justice Brayer were testifying before the Appropriations Committee, and they were asked about minority law clerks and the lack of them at the Supreme Court. And they said, in essence, we’re hiring from the lower courts. And I remember reading that and thinking, well, I need to do something about that. I’m the lower court. I’m one of them. So, after that, I thought what can I do? And I didn’t just sit there. I went and thought what can I do, and I started on my own going to the Yale Black Law Students Association every year starting in 2012. I think I’m the only judge who has done something like that, or one of the few. And I just cold-called them, cold-e-mailed them and said I’d like to speak about minority law clerk hiring because I’m told there’s a problem there. And I showed up the first time wondering how it would go, and I explained, and I got a good crowd from the Black Law Students Association. And I said we need more law clerks. There’s a problem. Let me tell you how to do it. Here’s why you should clerk, and here’s how you clerk. Here are the classes you should take and the things you need. And I gave them my phone number and e-mail and said call me any time if you want to help. And it was a big success.  I got a lot of e-mails after that. I helped students. I help students get clerkships with other judges. One of them recently finished the Supreme Court and thanked me for starting him on that road…  I’ve continued to encourage African American law clerks, but not just encouragement. I’ve given them help and advice and been a source of counsel… I tried to be very proactive on that, including my own court hiring where there are only networks that prevented women and African Americans and minorities from getting clerkships, I have been very aggressive about trying to break down those barriers and be very proactive on that.”

Sen. Booker should be highlighting these great efforts, lifting Kavanaugh up as a model for other judges to follow. Instead, he was blatantly disparaging Kavanaugh’s record with unsubstantiated innuendo to make him look as if he didn’t care about civil rights.

Sen. Harris was also incredibly disappointing in her questions. She was very aggressive, and you can tell she came out “for blood,” so to speak. But, substantively, she delivered very little.  The most telling exchange came when she dramatically asked Judge Kavanaugh over and over, “Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer?”

As you might expect, Judge Kavanaugh was apprehensive and said he didn’t think so and he would need to see who works there.  But Sen. Harris was stern: “Be sure about your answer, sir.”

The social media commentary was ratcheted up a hundred-fold. What did she know? She went so far as to tell him, “I think you’re thinking of someone, and you don’t want to tell us.”

But as The Los Angeles Times reported, there was no big reveal. It was all a show and it, “failed miserably.” So miserably, the law firm itself had to respond that they had no idea about what she was talking. “There have been no discussions regarding Robert Mueller’s investigation between Judge Kavanaugh and anyone at our firm,” a spokesman told CNBC.

What a dud.

The amazing thing, though, was the incredible demeanor and grace with which Judge Kavanaugh treated all of them. After more than 12 hours of questioning and answering questions with very few breaks, he was still in good spirits to the very end.

And today it was more of the same. Judge Kavanaugh started and remained in that same spirit of cordiality and respect towards all there.

Which brings us back to more of Sen. Booker’s antics. While complaining about the emails that he couldn’t show yesterday to the Judge because they were marked “Committee Confidential,” which meant he would need to discuss them with the Judge at the private session they had today, Sen. Booker revealed he was defying Senate rules and the committee to release the emails publicly. He was engaging in an act of “civil disobedience,” like Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’m saying I’m knowingly violating the rules,” he said dramatically, referring to the moment as his “Spartacus moment,” if you can believe it.

Only the documents he was releasing as an act of public disobedience had already been opened to the public the night before after a simple request was made. A statement from the George W. Bush’s record representative read, “We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to. We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public.”

And so, the hearings went on. The histrionics (which seems like an appropriate term) will surely continue. But Judge Kavanaugh was magnificent. There is no other way of putting it.

Tonight, they will conduct a private session with the judge and tomorrow several outside groups will speak in support and against his nomination. But his work is done—largely mistake-free.

Kavanaugh On His Way to Confirmation – Hearing Update Day 2

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

The stark contrast between Judge Kavanaugh and his detractors was in full display on the second day of hearings for his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. As senators started their first round of questioning, Judge Kavanaugh was engaging and approachable. He dealt evenly with those senators who questioned him most forcefully, as with those who praised his exemplary record.

His message was clear and concise. It can be summarized by this one statement to Sen. Hatch (R-Utah), “If confirmed to the Supreme Court, and as a sitting judge, I owe my loyalty to the Constitution. That’s what I owe loyalty to. The Constitution establishes me as an independent judge, bound to follow the law as written, the precedents of the Supreme Court as articulated, subject to the rules of stare decisis, and I would do so.”

Loyalty to the Constitution is what is desperately needed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In discussions with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), he described what makes a good judge. He talked about being independent and impartial, and also about someone who takes the law as written. He talked about treating every litigant with respect, judicial temperament and work ethic, among several factors.

Here is a clip where he described a judge that is a judicial activist. He said it is, “[S]omeone who lets his or her personal or policy preferences override the best interpretation of the law.”

 

On the other hand, the vulgar detractors continued to interrupt, disrupt and embarrass themselves with complaints about anything and everything but Kavanaugh’s record.

Having failed miserably yesterday with their own efforts to disrupt the hearings from their seats in the committee, some Democrat Senators, thankfully, decided to greatly reduce (more on this later) their obstructionist tactics to disrupt the committee hearings.

That is not to say they were focused on Kavanaugh’s record. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), for example, decided it was appropriate to ask Kavanaugh about the Federalist Society and the types of policies Kavanaugh would enact for the selection of judges. He asked him about the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Judicial Crisis Network. He was appalled that some groups spend money on ads supporting judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. I was glad to hear Judge Kavanaugh point out that he and his family had seen a lot of ads opposing his nomination too. But, of course, that was not Sen. Whitehouse’s concern – the ones supporting him are the real problem.

In the end, Judge Kavanaugh proved, as Neil Gorsuch did at his hearings, he was the smartest man in the room. He was in his element, discussing the proper role of a judge, precedent, the Constitution and the many cases he has decided. Through it all, he was humble and in good spirits, despite the long hours that would start to weigh on anyone.

Bottom line is, Judge Kavanaugh is on his way to confirmation.

I said I’d have more on the fact that the shenanigans from Democrats being mildly reduced. Here is some of what transpired outside the hearing room where Democrats continued to pounce because they cannot stop the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) objected to a routine request that the Judiciary Committee be allowed to meet beyond the two-hour limit that is required by Senate Rules while they are in session.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was then forced to adjourn the Senate for the day, preventing senators from doing their jobs.

Schumer made it clear he was protesting the fact that they haven’t received all documents related to Kavanaugh.

It bears repeating that Sen. Schumer, within minutes of President Donald Trump’s announcement of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination vowed to oppose him with everything he had. He literally needed no documents to make up his mind.

Not to mention the fact that, as noted in the hearings yesterday, the more than a half million pages of documents the Committee received for Judge Kavanaugh is more than the number of pages they received for the last five Supreme Court nominees combined.

Brett Kavanaugh Shines on Day 1

By | Kennedy, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Radicals tried everything they could to steal this moment from Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They failed.

After Kavanaugh’s opening remarks (text and video below), the picture that emerges following Day 1 of Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing is one of a decent, intelligent, humble man with an unquestionable record that is more than qualified to serve as the 114th justice of the United State Supreme Court.

The man the American people met today bears no resemblance to the histrionics of radical groups fighting against the wind.

Please take the time to read and see the remarks for yourself.  Note his statement on the role of a judge:

A good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy explained in Texas v. Johnson, one of his greatest opinions, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because “the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.” Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.

He also said spoke of his faith and his service to others:

Throughout my life, I have tried to serve the common good, in keeping with my Jesuit high school’s motto, “men for others.” I have spent my career in public service. I have tutored at Washington Jesuit Academy, a rigorous tuition-free school for boys from low-income families. At Catholic Charities at Tenth and G, I serve meals to the homeless with my friend, Father John Enzler. In those works, I keep in mind the message of Matthew 25 — and try to serve the least fortunate among us. I know I fall short at times, but I always want to do more and do better.

Here is the video and transcript of his opening remarks:

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the Committee. I thank Secretary Rice, Senator Portman, and Lisa Blatt for their generous introductions. They are patriots who represent the best of America. I am humbled by their confidence and proud to call each of them a friend.

Over the past eight weeks, I have witnessed first-hand the Senate’s deep appreciation for the vital role of the American Judiciary. I have met with 65 Senators, including almost every Member of this Committee. Those meetings are sometimes referred to as “courtesy calls.” But that term understates how substantive and personal our discussions have been. I have greatly enjoyed all 65 meetings. In listening to all of you, I have learned a great deal about our country and the people you represent. Every Senator is devoted to public service and the public good, and I thank all the Senators for their time and their thoughts.

I thank President Trump for the honor of this nomination. As a judge and as a citizen, I was deeply impressed by the President’s careful attention to the nomination process and by his thorough consideration of potential nominees. I am also very grateful for his courtesy. At the White House on the night of the announcement, the President and Mrs. Trump were very gracious to my daughters, my wife, and my parents. My family will always cherish that night—or as my daughter Liza calls it, her debut on national television.

As a nominee to the Supreme Court, I understand the responsibility I bear. Some 30 years ago, Judge Anthony Kennedy sat in this seat. He became one of the most consequential Justices in American history. I served as his law clerk in 1993. To me, Justice Kennedy is a mentor, a friend, and a hero. As a Member of the Court, he was a model of civility and collegiality. He fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary. And he was a champion of liberty. If you had to sum up Justice Kennedy’s entire career in one word … “liberty.” Justice Kennedy established a legacy of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

I am here today with another of my judicial heroes … my mom. Fifty years ago this week, in September 1968, my mom was 26 and I was 3. That week, my mom started as a public-school teacher at McKinley Tech High School here in Washington, D.C. 1968 was a difficult time for race relations in our city and our country. McKinley Tech had an almost entirely African-American student body. It was east of the park. I vividly remember days as a young boy sitting in the back of my mom’s classroom as she taught American history to a class of African-American teenagers. Her students were born before Brown versus Board of Education or Bolling versus Sharpe. By her example, my mom taught me the importance of equality for all Americans—equal rights, equal dignity, and equal justice under law.

My mom was a trailblazer. When I was 10, she went to law school at American University and became a prosecutor. I am an only child, and my introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing arguments on my dad and me. Her trademark line was: “Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?” One of the few women prosecutors at the time, she overcame barriers and was later appointed by Democratic governors to serve as a Maryland state trial judge. Our federal and state trial judges operate on the front lines of American justice. My mom taught me that judges don’t deal in abstract theories; they decide real cases for real people in the real world. And she taught me that good judges must always stand in the shoes of others. The Chairman referred to me today as Judge Kavanaugh. But to me, that title will always belong to my mom.

For twelve years, I have been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. I have written more than 300 opinions and handled more than 2,000 cases. I have given it my all in every case. I am proud of that body of work, and I stand behind it. I tell people, “Don’t read what others say about my judicial opinions. Read the opinions.” I have served with 17 other judges, each of them a colleague and a friend, on a court now led by our superb chief judge, Merrick Garland. My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent. In deciding cases, a judge must always keep in mind what Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 83: “the rules of legal interpretation are rules of common sense.”

A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy explained in Texas versus Johnson, one of his greatest opinions, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because “the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.” Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.

As Justice Kennedy showed us, a judge must be independent, not swayed by public pressure. Our independent Judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. In our independent Judiciary, the Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The Justices on the Supreme Court do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. If confirmed to the Court, I would be part of a Team of Nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player on the Team of Nine.

Throughout my life, I have tried to serve the common good, in keeping with my Jesuit high school’s motto, “men for others.” I have spent my career in public service. I have tutored at Washington Jesuit Academy, a rigorous tuition-free school for boys from low-income families. At Catholic Charities at Tenth and G, I serve meals to the homeless with my friend Father John Enzler. In those works, I keep in mind the message of Matthew 25—and try to serve the least fortunate among us. I know I fall short at times, but I always want to do more and do better.

For the past seven years, I have coached my daughters’ basketball teams. I love coaching. All the girls I have coached are awesome. And special congratulations to the girls on this year’s sixth-grade CYO championship team: Anna, Quinn, Kelsey, Ceane, Chloe, Alex, Ava, Sophia, and Margaret. I love helping the girls grow into confident players. I know that confidence on the basketball court translates into confidence in other aspects of life. Title Nine helped make girls’ and women’s sports equal, and I see that law’s legacy every night when I walk into my house as my daughters are getting back from lacrosse, or basketball, or hockey practice. I know from my own life that those who teach and coach America’s youth are among the most influential people in our country. With a kind word here and a hint of encouragement there … a word of discipline delivered in a spirit of love … teachers and coaches change lives. I thank all of my teachers and coaches who got me to this moment, and I thank all of the teachers and coaches throughout America.

As a judge, I have sought to train the next generation of lawyers and leaders. For 12 years, I have taught constitutional law to hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty. I am grateful to all my students. I have learned so much from them. And I am especially grateful to the dean who first hired me, now-Justice Elena Kagan.

One of the best parts of my job as a judge is each year hiring four recent law school graduates to serve as my law clerks for the year. I hire the best. My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. A majority of my 48 law clerks have been women. More than a quarter of my law clerks have been minorities. And I have had far more African-American law clerks than the percentage of African-American students in U.S. law schools. I am proud of all my law clerks.

I am grateful for my friends. This past May, I delivered the commencement address at Catholic University Law School. I gave the graduates this advice: Cherish your friends. Look out for your friends. Lift up your friends. Love your friends. … Over the last 8 weeks, I have been strengthened by the love of my friends. I thank all my friends.

I am grateful to have my family behind me. My mom rightly gets a lot of attention. So a few words about my dad. He has an unparalleled work ethic, and the gift for making friends with everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. We are both passionate sports fans. When I was 7, he took me to the 1972 NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium just two miles from here—upper-deck Section 503, Row 3, Seats 8 and 9. When I was 17, we sat in the same seats for the 1982 NFC Championship Game. In 1995, when I was 30, we were at Camden Yards together when Cal Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game and broke Lou Gehrig’s seemingly unbreakable record. And so many other games with my dad. A lifetime of friendship and memories, forged in stadium seats over hot dogs and beer.

My daughters Margaret and Liza will be in and out of this hearing room over the next few days. In the time since you last saw them at the White House, I am pleased to report that Margaret has gotten her braces off and has turned 13. As for Liza, well, I tell her every night that no one gives a better hug than Liza Kavanaugh.

Finally, I thank my wife Ashley. She is a strong West Texan, a graduate of Abilene Cooper Public High School and the University of Texas at Austin. She is now the popular town manager of our local community. This has not exactly been the summer she had planned for our family. I am grateful for her love and inspiration. Ashley is a kind soul. She always sees the goodness in others. She has made me a better person and a better judge. I thank God every day for my family.

Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the Committee, I look forward to the rest of the hearing and to your questions. I am an optimist. I live on the sunrise side of the mountain, not the sunset side of the mountain. I see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone. I am optimistic about the future of America and the future of our independent Judiciary. I revere the Constitution. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case. I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich. I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American Rule of Law.

Thank you.

Kavanaugh Hearings Update – Day 1 Morning Session

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

It was a contentious start to the Kavanaugh hearing after Democratic members came ready to disrupt the hearings, not to talk about Judge Kavanaugh’s record. As reported by Kasie Hunt of NBC News, “Democrats plotted coordinated protest strategy over the holiday weekend and all agreed to disrupt and protest the hearing,” she wrote in a tweet.

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) and Sen. Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) led the charge right out of the gate, asking for the meeting to be canceled. They spoke out of order and continued to disrespect every senator there and, frankly, those of us watching.

And they went on and on, whining about how they needed more documents for a nominee they’ve already vowed to oppose. NBC broke the news that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had led a phone call about the coordinated obstruction and that they were executing it.

The attack was designed to complement the disruption in the gallery of radical leftist groups crying, “Don’t take away my health care.” It was embarrassing to watch.

But this is what we’ve come to expect now from the liberal side. The extremely radical “Women’s March” announced they are committed to disrupting the Kavanaugh hearings “every few minutes.” They are not interested in common sense and dialogue. It doesn’t matter that Judge Kavanaugh’s record does not fit the narrative they are selling. This is all part of their “resistance” to the imagined evil they despise which bears no resemblance to reality.

The reality is that they cannot stop Judge Kavanaugh. That’s why they are becoming hysterical.

That is also what we must remember. After all their antics, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who displayed enormous patience throughout the day, was able to get opening statements going, and many were able to address the true aim of the hearings.  In his opening statement, Grassley said:

Our legal system’s success is built on judges accepting that their role is limited to deciding cases and controversies. A good judge exercises humility and makes decisions according to the specific facts of the case and according to the law.

A good judge never bases decisions on his preferred policy preferences.

A good judge also has courage, recognizing that we have an independent judiciary to restrain government when it exceeds its lawful authority.

As President Andrew Jackson said, “All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.”

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees are an important opportunity to discuss the appropriate role of judges. As I see it, and I expect many of my colleagues will agree, the role of the judge is to apply the law as written, even if the legal result is not one the judge personally likes.

As Justice Scalia was fond of saying, if a judge always likes the outcomes of cases he decides, he is probably doing something wrong. I don’t want judges who always reach a “liberal” result or a “conservative” result; I want a judge who rules the way the law requires.

Judges must leave the lawmaking to Congress.

The committee took a break after Sen. Ted Cruz’ opening statement (11 opening statements overall). We expect the remaining 10 senators to make their remarks and then for the nominee to be introduced.  Finally, we will be able to hear the opening statement from Judge Kavanaugh himself.