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SCOTUS

That’s Not What the Court Said

By | Florida, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS, Substack | No Comments

The legacy media lies. I hope you know that. They distort the truth and paint everything in the light most favorable to their preferred political desires. In other words, they tell news stories in ways that can help the radical left and the Democratic Party while hurting conservatives and the Republican Party. Do not let yourself be manipulated.

 

This week the Supreme Court released an order in a case called Yeshiva University v. YU Pride Alliance. The headlines as the U.S. Supreme Court took procedural action on the case are all sounding the familiar pro-LGBTQ+ tune synonymous with the leftist legacy media. “Supreme Court Says Yeshiva University Must Allow L.G.B.T. Group as Case Proceeds,” wrote The New York Times. Similar slants were all over the usual leftist newspapers, and commentators on social media took the bait.

 

Only one problem. The Supreme Court has not made any decision on the merits of the case. As I mentioned, they took procedural action. The school has not exhausted all state remedies before asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. There is nothing uncommon about this, and in fact, the Court must be able to manage the enormous number of cases that it is asked to hear. They want lower courts to do the right thing and dispense of cases correctly below. They are hoping the same is done in this case….

 

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!

No Freedom Without Prayer

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

We are a nation born of the radical idea that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That is why liberty and freedom flourished in our nation against all odds. That fundamental appeal to the authority of our Creator, above and beyond earthly governments, levels the playing field among selfish human interests.

 

It is a plea to a higher authority above raw human power, and it necessarily affirms every person’s intrinsic, equal value. It stands squarely against the inevitable attempts of our broken nature to establish one class of individuals above another. These attempts have existed throughout time. They were undoubtedly palpable at the nation’s founding. We still have them today. And they will continue.

 

Eternal vigilance is a prerequisite for sustained freedom in this world.

 

The recent religious liberty win in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is an excellent example of the efforts needed to preserve liberty in America in the coming years. Increased hostility toward Christ and His teachings is leading our culture to some bizarre conclusions that will devastate our future if they are allowed to take root.

 

At the same time that our culture insists on promoting the early sexualization of our children in schools, with drag queens promoted as the best role models, here, in this case, a Christian coach had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to defend his unalienable right to pray silently after school football games. He is apparently not the type of role model our kids need.

 

Drag queens, fantastic role models; humble, praying, Christian coaches, horrible-no-good-intolerable role models, according to today’s woke school officials.

 

Like Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority to uphold Coach Kennedy’s First Amendment rights, pointed out, in the system’s view, “the only acceptable government role models for students are those who eschew any visible religious expression.”

 

Thankfully, the United States Supreme Court has stopped the targeting of our Christian faith for now. However, the attitude that persisted in this injustice for almost seven years against Coach Kennedy still dominates our public educational institutions. And our federal courts, let’s not forget that. The targeting of Coach Kennedy was approved by both the district and the appellate courts.

 

We have so distorted the Constitution throughout the years that public officials actually believed, and again, the lower courts went right along, “not only that it may prohibit teachers from engaging in any demonstrative religious activity, but that it must do so in order to conform to the Constitution.”

 

This is, of course, absurd given our nation’s founding, but anti-Christian forces have used the so-called “separation of church and state” extra-constitutional mantra so often for so long that this misconception of the First Amendment in schools is widespread. Here the Court helps clarify that this misunderstanding of law cannot shield school officials from their intolerant practices. “[T]he only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech,” the Court wrote. “The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

 

Religious speech is speech. It should be afforded all the constitutional protections traditionally applied to any other speech. Instead, for years, it has been particularly targeted because it is religious. This boggles the mind when one considers that, if anything, religious expressions were singled out in the Constitution as perhaps worthy of heightened protection. As the Court wrote:

 

In the name of protecting religious liberty, the District would have us suppress it. Rather than respect the First Amendment’s double protection for religious expression, it would have us preference secular activity. Not only could schools fire teachers for praying quietly over their lunch, for wearing a yarmulke to school, or for offering a midday prayer during a break before practice. Under the District’s rule, a school would be required to do so.

 

That double protection the Court references was also a crucial part of the opinion because, for years, some have tried to pit the free exercise and the establishment clause against each other, but instead, “the Clauses have ‘complimentary’ purposes, not warring ones where one Clause is always sure to prevail over the others.”

 

The school district here thought it needed to choose between the two. The Court explained: “[T]the District effectively created its own ‘vise between the Establishment Clause on one side and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses on the other,’ placed itself in the middle, and then chose its preferred way out of its self-imposed trap.”

 

The school officials were simply mistaken, as they are so often. “And in no world may a government entity’s concerns about phantom constitutional violations justify actual violations of an individual’s First Amendment rights.” This should have been apparent, especially for the judges reviewing the cases. “We are aware of no historically sound understanding of the Establishment Clause that begins to ‘mak[e] it necessary for government to be hostile to religion’ in this way,” the Court wrote. There is none. The courts below did not cite one either.

 

Instead, they relied on the infamous Lemon test, which “called for an examination of a law’s purposes, effects, and potential for entanglement with religion.” The test has long been criticized for fundamentally distorting the original meaning of the First Amendment.

 

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has long joined that chorus of criticism, asking the Court to abandon it. As the Court held, “the ‘shortcomings’ associated with this ‘ambitiou[s],’ abstract, and ahistorical approach to the Establishment Clause became so ‘apparent’ that this Court long ago abandoned Lemon and its endorsement test offshoot.”

 

Lemon is dead. Justice Gorsuch’s straightforward treatment leaves no doubt for lower courts. “In place of Lemon and the endorsement test, this Court has instructed that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted by ‘reference to historical practices and understandings.'”

 

Under that standard, it is clear that “in this case Mr. Kennedy’s private religious exercise did not come close to crossing any line one might imagine separating protected private expression from impermissible government coercion.”

 

Of course, some will still find offense at any public expression of faith—especially the Christian faith. But “[o]ffense. . . does not equate to coercion,” and the Court puts that “hecklers veto” to rest masterfully.

 

Naturally, Mr. Kennedy’s proposal to pray quietly by himself on the field would have meant some people would have seen his religious exercise. Those close at hand might have heard him too. But learning how to tolerate speech or prayer of all kinds is “part of learning how to live in a pluralistic society,” a trait of character essential to “a tolerant citizenry.”

 

Ordinarily, the Court would spend some time describing the different standards of review, but this case was so clear that the Court said, “it does not matter which standard we apply. The District cannot sustain its burden under any of them.”

 

This is a strong opinion that we hope can help lower courts and even school officials better understand the constitutional burdens they bear when dealing with sincere religious exercises going forward. They would be wise to train their instincts towards accommodation.

 

As the Court concluded, “Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head.” Well said.

SCOTUS

Super-Duper Supreme Court Term

By | Case Vault, Legal, SCOTUS | No Comments

Remember when some tried to sell Roe as “super-duper” precedent? Well, it didn’t work. Roe is gone (all praise be to God!), but we have been indeed left with something “super-duper”—this Supreme Court term. It was just superb.

 

It all starts with Dobbs, of course (and that would be more than enough to celebrate), but it went beyond that, and I wanted to take a moment and celebrate with you each victory by presenting to you a short summary of the term’s most amazing top 5 wins!

 

  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization— The Court declared unequivocally that the United States Constitution does not and has never conferred a right to abortion. Therefore, the Court spent much time discussing the grave errors in the Roe and Casey framework before formally overruling them and returning the authority to states to be free to protect unborn life in the best way they see fit.

 

  • Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson— Just before the Dobbs case was argued, the Court heard a challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act. The state law prohibits most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected through an ultrasound, but it has no state law enforcement mechanism, only private enforcement action. The pro-abortion side wanted the Supreme Court to intervene to stop the law, but the Court correctly refused to intervene. The practical result was that almost 8,000 babies were saved in the first three months after the law went into effect.

 

  • Shurtleff v. City of Boston— A unanimous Court here agreed that the First Amendment rights of Harold Shurtleff, the director of Camp Constitution, were violated by the city of Boston when it refused to allow him to fly the Christian flag at a public pole that the city had made available for private groups to fly different kind of flags indiscriminately.

 

  • Carson v. Makin— The Court held Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for generally available tuition assistance payments to parents who lived in a district that did not operate a secondary school of their own violated the parent’s First Amendment free speech rights. Parents are free then to use the money to send their kids to any school they want, treating all schools, secular or religious, equally, instead of targeting religious schools for discrimination.

  • Finally, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District— the Coach Kennedy case, as most of you know it. Coach Kennedy was unjustly fired for silently praying at midfield after football games. The Supreme Court has now made official the fact that he was fired, not only unjustly but unconstitutionally. What a sweet victory for this man and his family, who have fought for almost seven years to protect our religious liberty rights. The Court held that both the free exercise and free speech clauses of the First Amendment protect an individual’s right to engage in a personal religious observance. The Court said, “The Constitution neither mandates nor permits the government to suppress such religious expression.”

 

Can we stop and thank God for His goodness, mercy, and grace? All of these are part of just one Supreme Court term. We can expect more! The Constitutional imbalance we have been living (and suffering) under is slowly being straightened back to a more faithful and impartial application of justice. We are sure to reap the blessings of these actions for decades to come.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving that Roe is No More

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

As the deer pants for the water,

So we have longed to see

Your righteousness restored, oh Lord

With the demise of abortion on demand in our land.

 

This was a seemingly impossible task,

The world told us.

“Abortion is our right,”

They screamed, as millions of babies died.

 

For fifty years Roe hung

Like an evil dark cloud of judgment

While many mocked You and Your Word

As approving of such barbarity.

 

But we, the remnant, had faith in You,

In justice and truth.

We drank the tears of repentance for our nation

And prayed diligently, without ceasing.

 

We hoped in God alone,

Therefore, we know our redemption

Was secured. Those who trust in You

Are never disappointed!

 

Thank You, Father!

Thank You, Jesus, the Son!

Thank You Holy Spirit, for guiding us!

All glory to You.

 

As hard as we have worked,

To see this day of joyful deliverance,

We know it was not our efforts,

But the Lord’s grace. Amen!

 

Grace, grace!

God’s grace!

That grace that pardons and cleanses within,

Grace that is greater than all our sins.

 

Even the great sin of abortion

Melts away— as far as the East is from the West

Your grace removes our transgression

And gives us hope for the future.

 

Now, we pray peace in our land, Lord.

Calm the hearts not set on you,

Let not the Enemy use and abuse

Any more women in the cause of death.

 

Help us to care for all mothers

And their children, born and unborn.

Help us to trust and pray, even more,

Until the day of Your return.

 

Amen.

Justice Restored—Roe Overturned

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

“Down goes Roe.” You could almost hear it from inside the U.S. Supreme Court (in that iconic Howard Cosell voice). And just as Cosell said of George Forman, the pro-life movement “is as poised as can be.” Justice demanded an end to Roe. Justice, we got.

 

In a stunning 6-3 masterclass opinion delivered by Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Barrett, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring in judgment (but saying he would not go so far as to overturn Roe and Casey), the Court simply holds: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

 

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

 

“The critical question is whether the Constitution, properly understood, confers a right to obtain an abortion,” the Court wrote. First, the Court acknowledges the obvious, “The Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion,” and turns at once to the many theories that have been offered throughout the years to manipulate the constitutional text and read a right to abortion into the Constitution. “Roe held that the abortion right is part of a right to privacy that springs from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments,” the Court explains. Casey shifted that and “grounded its decision solely on the theory that the right to obtain an abortion is part of the ‘liberty’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.”  Still, others tried the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

It is refreshing to see the Court refuse to play the usual pro-abortion games in law and instead conclude, “regulations and prohibitions of abortion are governed by the same standard of review as other health and safety measures.” …

 

Please, click here to read the rest of this column as featured on American Thinker.

The Right Kind of Victims

By | Dobbs, LBB, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Substack | No Comments

The establishment media portrays the radical left as caring for “victims” in many contexts, but the reality is that they are laser-focused not on defending but on victimizing the right kind of people. For them, pro-life, pro-family, conservative Americans are the right kind of victims. Violence against them is understandable and even desirable.

 

But worse than merely the media portrayal is the fact that the federal government, under the Biden-Harris Administration, is entirely controlled by the radical left. They, too, ascribe to this warped philosophy. That is why the spectacle of January 6 is worthy of a multi-million-dollar investigation and media focus. In contrast, the attempted assassination of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice must be buried. One goes after the right kind of people. According to the left, both the January 6 investigation and the attempted assassination against Justice Brett Kavanaugh are going against those who deserve to be punished.

 

Attacks on abortion clinics in the past were intolerable and taken seriously. The FBI and DOJ were quickly mobilized. The full resources of the federal government were invested in protecting those injured. They were the wrong kind of victims…

 

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!

Supreme Leak— A Law Clerk’s Perspective

By | Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments

By Alexandra McPhee, CWA’s Director of Government Relations

 

Working as a judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court of Virginia remains one of the greatest experiences of my personal and professional life. I had the privilege to work under the tutelage of Justice D. Arthur Kelsey and learned immensely from his wealth of experience. I especially enjoyed the fellowship and the opportunity to learn with my co-clerks, who were women deeply committed to their faith and to their clerkship duties.

 

I thought of them as I processed the news of the unethical leak of the Dobbs decision at the United States Supreme Court this week. I remember the great weight I felt as a clerk for the responsibility that I and all judicial employees had to protect confidentiality within the court. Throughout my clerkship and for a period after it, the court set the high expectation to refrain from behaving in any manner that undermined public perception of the court’s impartiality. That included disclosure of any nonpublic information or internal deliberations. This is crucial to the proper administration of justice.

 

It saddens me that the recent events brought U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to a point of referring to a “betrayal” within the Court. He is right, of course. It is inexcusable. The leaker accomplished absolutely nothing. He or she hurts their cause and the institution of the Court.

 

Maybe this person thought that the benefit of fleeting press coverage outweighed the cost of long-term broken trust. Worse yet, perhaps they sought to intimidate the very justices and institution they serve. As result, the American people are being thrust into unfair speculation and innuendo that have the potential to undermine justice for years to come.

 

That is not to take anything away from this important decision that looks like it will go the right way, that is, according to proper constitutional standards. Abortion is a tragedy every time. The judicial stranglehold on pro-life legislation has enabled the destruction of more than 62 million unborn lives since the Court decision in Roe v. Wade that erroneously created a constitutional right to abortion.

 

That is why it is time for Roe to go. Its reversal will once again give proper meaning to the words engraved above the Court’s front entrance: “Equal Justice Under Law.”

 

One of the unofficial slogans at Concerned Women for America (CWA) is the Book of Esther’s use of “for such a time as this.” It was a call for Queen Esther to consider whether she had been placed in that specific place and time to bring about the change that could save her people. She received the prompt in circumstances where her obedience meant risking her life, much less her livelihood.

 

We believe the Lord has given us the same prompt today regarding deliverance for the unborn. Women like CWA founder Beverly LaHaye—who took on the challenge to answer God’s call and speak for the unborn—know that there is a price to pay. The hundreds of thousands of conservative women across this country who support us today understand the risk of speaking truth in today’s day and age. They understand that this week’s breach of trust is disheartening, but they are resolute. They have worked for such a time as this.

 

Nothing can interrupt the divine plan for justice for the unborn or the women that the Lord is willing to use to see that end.

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.

Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to the Supreme Court

By | News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS | No Comments

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2022

Contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary

[email protected]

571-420-2488

Washington, D.C. — Moments ago, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by a vote of 53-47. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), said:

“The hundreds of thousands of women I represent are disappointed in the outcome of this nomination. At every turn during the confirmation process, Judge Jackson demonstrated an unwillingness to be truthful about women and the law. How can we trust a judge to protect women’s rights, when she can’t define the word ‘woman’?

“Judge Jackson also refused to be forthright about her judicial philosophy—perhaps the most important criteria for us as we look at the qualifications for a Supreme Court Justice.

“Despite multiple opportunities to justify her consistent under-sentencing of criminals in child pornography cases, Judge Jackson failed to give a satisfactory rationale that explained her sentencing choices. And with Democrats refusing to release the full records of her time at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the American people are left with more questions than answers. No nominee should be approved with such a troubling record.

“Inexplicably, and most frustrating of all, the Senate did not utilize the full time available for debate to discuss the negative consequences of this nomination. There is just no excuse for that.

“Having said that, we are thankful for the Senators who stood strong and voted against the nominee and intend to make sure that our supporters are fully aware of their senators’ performance on this crucial nomination.”

###

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the Nation’s largest public policy organization for women; we are dedicated to promoting Biblical values and Constitutional principles. More information is available at ConcernedWomen.org

Senators Disappoint Millions of Women by Voting to Confirm KBJ

By | News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS | No Comments

For media inquiries, contact:  
Katie Everett
(571) 420-2488
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) denounces the actions of Sens. Collins (R-Maine), Murkowski (R- Alaska), and Romney (R-Utah):  “Concerned women across the country want to know how you can stand up and defend the truth about women by supporting  Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is not willing to be truthful about women and the law. This is a matter of judicial philosophy. Faced with the Biden agenda and a Democrat party that rejects our status, women today are looking for champions. You have disappointed millions of American women.”

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.

Nance: Joe Biden’s Commitment to Diversity Just a Virtue Signal

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

President Joe Biden has announced his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and has received widespread acclaim and praise for nominating the first African-American woman to the nation’s highest court. Few have mentioned that in 2005, then-Senator Joe Biden almost single-handedly destroyed the career and reputation of an accomplished, brilliant jurist who also happened to be an African-American woman.

Read the latest piece from Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America‘s CEO and President.

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.

 

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

Penny Nance statement on Justice Breyer’s retirement

By | Judicial Nominations, News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS | No Comments

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the country, had this to say on the retirement announcement of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Stephen Breyer:

“Justice Breyer’s announcement comes as no surprise to those of us engaged in the policy, political arena. The Democrats are facing a potentially disastrous midterm election, and the left has been aggressively, and very publicly, pushing for his retirement—to their shame honestly.

“We are thankful for Justice Breyer’s service and have shown respect for him, even when we vehemently disagree with his judicial philosophy.

“But the radical left does not care. And it is that same boorish crowd we hope President Joe Biden can resist in making his nomination.

“He needs a win; we can all see that. But I hope he has learned from his recent defeats in the Senate that the radical lefts’ insistence on alienating half the country to get their way is a losing strategy.

“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.

“No matter what, CWA’s army of happy warrior women is ready and eager to speak up for truth and justice to prevail on this nomination, against any and all odds.”

 

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