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SCOTUS Archives – Concerned Women for America

Payback: Abortion Radicals to the Court

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

President Joe Biden is doing everything in his power to pay back his pro-abortion supporters who are enraged following the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, which finally overturned Roe v. Wade, sending the issue back to the states.

 

He recently signed an executive order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to facilitate travel for women who want to have an abortion, in clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter of federal law, as expressed through the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money being used to cover the cost of abortions.

 

But the Left long ago figured out that taking such illegal actions requires judges willing to manipulate the law to make sure the policy choices they cannot get through the legislative process are imposed by judicial fiat, exactly what they did through Roe for so many years.

 

Enter Julie Rikelman, President Biden’s nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit based in Massachusetts. Rikelman is none other than the abortion rights activist who represented the abortion clinic in Dobbs. It doesn’t get more brazen than that.

 

Rikelman has dedicated her life to promoting abortion. She is the senior director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the nation’s most active pro-abortion organization challenging pro-life laws in the states. She was appointed to that position after returning to the organization where she first served as a “Blackmun Fellow.” Justice Blackmun was the author of the Roe v. Wade decision.

 

Needless to say, Rikelman is not an impartial jurist. She is an abortion activist and has been tapped for this position for that very reason. This White House has shown complete contempt for law and justice and the proper role of a judge.

 

President Biden nominated Rikelman after word got out that he might have a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that would have allowed, Chad Meredith, a nominee some considered conservative to be nominated. Radical groups immediately jumped on the White House to get in line. And so they did, nominating Rikelman to appease the mob and showing little regard for the proper role of a judge.

 

This fits with the increasing abortion radicalism of this White House. Recently, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Justices took “an unconstitutional action” in Dobbs. That was right on the heels of calling Justice Clarence Thomas “Justice Thompson,” showing complete disdain for Justice Thomas simply because of his judicial philosophy.

 

Senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee must stand against the Rikelman nomination while raising awareness of the dangers of the continued political weaponization of the processes of justice.

 

We have seen it, not only in the nominations process, but in the Department of Justices’ targeting of parents, in the FBI’s mishandling of critical information about those they favor politically, and more.

 

Senators should use every tool at their disposal to protect the ideas that guard our liberties. The corruption and politicization of justice should be right at the top that list.

Unlawful Attacks on Supreme Court Justices Multiply

By | LBB | No Comments

Even after the attempted assassination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the campaign of harassment at the homes of conservative justices has continued by a tiny but vocal radical crowd. Protesters showed up recently at a restaurant where Justice Kavanaugh was dining.

 

To his shame, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues ignoring these clear federal law violations. Title 18 U.S. Code § 1507 authorizes a fine or even imprisonment to “Whoever … with the intent of influencing any judge … pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge …”

 

But these radicals operate at the urgency of legal, liberal intellectuals. Harvard Law School lecturer Alejandra Caraballo tweeted recently that the justices should be harassed at every turn. “It is our civic duty,” she wrote, “to accost them every time they are in public. They are pariahs. Since women don’t have their rights, these justices should never have a peaceful moment in public again.”

 

Congress, too, is participating. A radical group of Democrats introduced a bill to put “term limits” on Supreme Court Justices. The bill titled the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act of 2022 is blatantly unconstitutional. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states plainly, “The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.” But they have no regard for the Constitution or the rule of law.

 

Their unconstitutional legislation says, “Each justice shall serve in regular active service for 18 years from the date of justice’s commission, after which the justice shall be deemed to have retired from regular active service ….” And it requires the President to nominate new justices “during his first and third years after a year in which there is a Presidential election.”

 

It is a messaging bill, as radicals are so apt at producing. It is part of their strategy to harass and intimidate the justices into submission. It is going nowhere, and even if it did, it would be immediately declared unconstitutional.

 

But the point for us is to realize that the attacks on our constitutional structure and the rule of law are in full force, and we must engage them both at the spiritual and policy level. So, pray for the justices, pray against the evil schemes of harassment, and make sure your members of Congress are standing up to protect the crucial institution that is our U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

First Amendment Wins Again

By | News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2022
Contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary
[email protected]
571-420-2488

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which found Coach Joe Kennedy’s constitutional rights had been violated by the school district when he was fired for praying with students after football games, was a victory for the First Amendment of the Constitution.

 

“Americans of faith who believe in the country’s founding principles of liberty are rejoicing once again that the highest court in the land has reinforced the First Amendment that grants freedom of religion and freedom of speech,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest grassroots women’s organization in the country. “Both of these were at risk in this case.

“Government-run schools have tried to shut down people of faith for decades. This is one step back in the right direction to understand that Americans with deeply held religious beliefs cannot be banned from the public square.”

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.

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.

No Shortcuts on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Nomination

By | News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2022
Contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary
[email protected]
571-420-2488

Washington, D.C.— President Joe Biden is reported to be nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to take the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer at the United States Supreme Court. Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, had this to say:

“The U.S. Senate must focus on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record, especially her judicial philosophy and temperament.

“There are serious questions about Judge Jackson’s judicial philosophy, especially being nominated by a President who promised to appoint someone who viewed the Constitution as a “living document.” This is a dangerous view of the Constitution that allows a judge to inject personal policy preferences under the guise of an ever-expanding Constitution that changes according to a majority of nine unelected judges. Does Judge Jackson share the view?

“President Biden said unequivocally he has an abortion litmus test for nominees. He wants judges who look beyond the clear text of the Constitution to uphold and even expand so called abortion rights. The President has been open to his political supporters about his commitment as he sought their support. And, predictably, he has picked the nominee most championed by the far left when other nominees seemed to have more broad support.

“Judge Jackson is being nominated to the highest court in the land, and her record must be reexamined with a much higher standard than in the past. They must explore the thousands of pages in opinions, briefs, speeches, and other writings Judge Brown has authored and also her overwhelming support by radical progressive groups. Everything must be examined. No shortcuts.

“The happy warrior women I represent demand nothing less. We deserve nothing less.”

###

Concerned Women for America is 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

Breyer Retires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sensible Supreme Court Opinion Halts Vaccine Mandate

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

In a “per curiam” opinion, meaning a decision authored by the entire Court, instead of a single justice, the United States Supreme Court granted a stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more workers. The rule, therefore, will not go into effect until the case goes through the entire appellate process.

But the Court’s division can be further assessed by the fact that the three more liberal justices—Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan— dissented from the opinion, and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joined a very strong concurring opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Court’s sensible approach to the issue simply noted that OSHA’s “emergency standard,” which it used here and which circumvents the usual public notice and comment accountability processes, should be used with precision and caution. Instead, the Court notes that the OSHA rule which applies to 84 million workers “requires workers receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and it pre-empts contrary state laws,” works as “a blunt instrument.” It found the exemptions presented (for employees who work outside 100 percent of the time or who work exclusively outdoors, for example) were “largely illusory.” The rule “draws no distinctions based on industry or risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

The Court found those objecting to the rule were “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that [OSHA] lack[s] authority to impose the mandate.”

In doing so, the Supreme Court returns power to the states and the people, where it belongs, because the vaccine mandate goes way beyond establishing a simple workplace standard, as the agency is charged to enact, and into establishing nationwide public health policy. Remember, OSHA has never in its history done anything like this.

And here is where Justice Gorsuch’s concurrence is extremely helpful because it acknowledges what most Americans understand. This administrative mandate is trying to accomplish what President Joe Biden could not get done through the people’s representatives. He is trying to enact something Congress up until now has rejected.

If the people want a vaccine mandate, they could easily demand it from Congress. The reality is most people do not. In fact, the President’s approval numbers have been steadily declining. The latest numbers show him at an all-time low of 33 percent.  Fifty-five percent disapprove of his handling of the pandemic.

That is why President Biden had to work through OSHA to establish this national vaccine mandate. He lacks the necessary support to do it otherwise.

Justice Gorsuch wrote:

The central question we face today is: Who decides? No one doubts that the COVID–19 pandemic has posed challenges for every American. Or that our state, local, and national governments all have roles to play in combating the disease. The only question is whether an administrative agency in Washington, one charged with overseeing workplace safety, may mandate the vaccination or regular testing of 84 million people. Or whether, as 27 States before us submit, that work belongs to state and local governments across the country and the people’s elected representatives in Congress.

That power belongs to the people, said the Supreme Court today—to those most immediately accountable to them. The concurrence noticed that “a majority of the Senate even voted to disapprove OSHA’s regulation.” Therefore, it seemed reasonable to conclude “the agency pursued its regulatory initiative only as a legislative ‘work-around.’”

With this decision, the Court re-affirms what it has said in the past, that major questions of doctrine with broad effects on the public are left to the people’s elected representatives, and that they must make it very clear when they are giving such broad power to an agency. The concurrence said this rule, known as the “major questions doctrine”:

[E]nsures that the national government’s power to make the laws that govern us remains where Article I of the Constitution says it belongs—with the people’s elected representatives. If administrative agencies seek to regulate the daily lives and liberties of millions of Americans, the doctrine says, they must at least be able to trace that power to a clear grant of authority from Congress.

And even then, the concurrence suspects that such an intrusive mandate brought through the backdoor of an administrative agency might run afoul of the “nondelegation doctrine,” which “ensures democratic accountability by preventing Congress from intentionally delegating its legislative powers to unelected officials.”

Justice Gorsuch concludes:

On the one hand, OSHA claims the power to issue a nationwide mandate on a major question but cannot trace its authority to do so to any clear congressional mandate. On the other hand, if the statutory subsection the agency cites really did endow OSHA with the power it asserts, that law would likely constitute an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.

Whatever your view of the COVID vaccine in general, it should be encouraging to all to see the Court protecting the Constitutional structures that guard our liberties in this way. As Justice Gorsuch put it, “The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so.”

The rule will be halted for now, but the case will continue. As we await further proceedings let us pray for a wiser, more honest, and unifying approach to fighting the pandemic going forward.

Supreme Court Releases Opinions in Texas Abortion Law Cases

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

As we discussed recently, the state of Texas presented a novel problem to the United States Supreme Court by enacting a law prohibiting abortions after a heartbeat is detected, but giving the right of enforcement to private citizens and not to any state official. Today, the Court handed down its opinion dismissing most of the claims but preserving the challenge going forward. Here is a short summary.

When abortionists sought to challenge S. B. 8, the Texas Heartbeat Act, they really had no one to sue because no state official is charged with its enforcement and no private citizen had sued. Still, they tried to push the legal envelope by suing a whole host of people, including state judges or state law clerks, the attorney general, some licensing officials, and even a potential private citizen defendant in an effort to enjoin the law and prevent it from going into effect.

The United States also tried to intervene, given its radical pro-abortion stance under President Joe Biden. That was the easy part (United States v. Texas). Its claim was summarily dismissed by the Court (8-1), as expected, with only Justice Sotomayor dissenting. The United States simply has no business interfering with this state law and basically seeking an unprecedented injunction against all persons in the country. Their effort would break with the most fundamental principles of federalism in our Constitution.

The more interesting challenge (Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson) is a bit more complicated. In its opinion, the Court wanted to stress first what it was not deciding. “In this preliminary posture, the ultimate merits question, whether S. B. 8 is consistent with the Federal Constitution, is not before the Court,” said Justice Neil Gorsuch who wrote the majority opinion.

He summarized, “The Court concludes that the petitioners may pursue a pre-enforcement challenge against certain of the named defendants but not others.” So, who can be sued? Well, not court officials: “Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, named defendants Penny Clarkston (a state-court clerk) and Austin Jackson (a state court judge) should be dismissed.” Not the attorney general: “Texas Attorney General Paxton should be dismissed.” And not a private citizen prematurely (an affidavit showed he had no intention to sue): “The sole private defendant, Mr. Dickson, should be dismissed.”

But the Court leaves open “other defendants (Stephen Carlton, Katherine Thomas, Allison Benz, and Cecile Young), each of whom is an executive licensing official who may or must take enforcement actions against the petitioners if the petitioners violate the terms of Texas’s Health and Safety Code, including S. B. 8. Eight Members of the Court hold that sovereign immunity does not bar a pre-enforcement challenge to S. B. 8 against these defendants.”

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented from this last pronouncement, saying he would have dismissed the case against “all respondents, including the four licensing officials.”

It also declared “petitioners may bring a pre-enforcement challenge in federal court as one means to test S. B. 8’s compliance with the Federal Constitution. Other pre-enforcement challenges are possible too; one such case is ongoing in state court in which the plaintiffs have raised both federal and state constitutional claims against S. B. 8. Any individual sued under S. B. 8 may raise state and federal constitutional arguments in his or her defense without limitation.”

So, the bottom line is that the challenge to this law will continue as to the allowed defendants.

It is important to note that Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, expressed considerable frustration with the law in concurring in part and dissenting in part. He wrote, “Texas has employed an array of stratagems designed to shield its unconstitutional law from judicial review.”

It seems clear the Chief views the law as an attack on the Court itself. “The clear purpose and actual effect of S. B. 8 has been to nullify this Court’s rulings … Indeed, ‘[i]f the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery.’[] The nature of the federal right infringed does not matter; it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake,” he wrote.

We will have to wait for a further challenge to see where the more conservative justices land on the issue.

As I mentioned before, this problem is of the Court’s own making, by injecting itself into the political abortion debate. Texas is simply trying to protect life, which most of its citizens demand, and trying to work within the arbitrary and dubious parameters the Supreme Court has set up. The best way for the Court to guard its legitimacy would be to reverse Roe and Casey in the Dobbs case, and then states like Texas would be free to protect life, without having to come up with innovative ideas to appease the Supreme Court’s personal preferences.

Three Takeaways from Today’s Dobbs Oral Arguments

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

Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the most important pro-life case of our lifetime: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As hundreds of pro-life supporters rallied outside the courtroom (outnumbering the other side by a considerable margin!), inside the Justices heard arguments from the state of Mississippi, the Jackson abortion clinic, and the United States Solicitor General.

Here are the top three takeaways:

1-    Institutional Legitimacy was the Liberal Side’s Theme

Justice Stephen Brayer led the charge for the liberal side of the Court on this point. He quoted Casey and argued that to overturn Roe and Casey “Would subvert the Court’s legitimacy.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who blatantly and embarrassingly acted as an advocate for the pro-choice side instead of a justice of the Supreme Court, suggested the Court would not survive “the stench” of overturning Roe.

She’s obviously grown used to the fetor of more than 60 million babies aborted since 1973.

In the liberal side’s warped view, to overturn Roe would be a political action, but to impose abortion on demand on all Americans was not. They kept expressing concerns over the politicization of the Court as if it were not seen as activist in favor of abortion right now.

Mississippi’s State Solicitor General Scott Grant Stewart made clear that Roe and Casey had no grounding in the constitutional text and that the continued upholding of erroneous precedent is in fact more of a threat to the Court’s legitimacy…

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!

Indefensible Roe – The Legal Track

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

As that great bulwark of honesty Buddy the elf would say, Roe “sit[s] on a throne of lies.” This series will expose many of them in the spiritual, scientific, cultural, moral, and policy realm. But we start this endeavor with the most pressing deception as far as it concerns the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming considerations of the Dobbs v. Whole Women’s Health Organization case: the legal one.

It is a plain statement of fact that the U.S. Constitution has nothing to say about abortion. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. In fact, the fallacy of Roe is so deep, that the Court did not just invent the right to abortion, it actually based its decision to invent it on another “right” that appears nowhere in the Constitution. In an earlier case (Griswold v. Connecticut), the Court had “recognized” a new right to privacy that it now magically expanded to cover the right to abortions.

The Court is not even sure where this right to privacy comes from; it recognizes different theories. But wherever it came from, it is surely meant to cover abortion; it promises us. Here is how Justice Harry Blackmun, who shamefully wrote the Roe majority opinion, put it:

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

And just like that, 185 years after the Constitution was officially ratified on June 21, 1788, the Court gives birth to a new right to abortion with no legal underpinning whatsoever…

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!

Your Voice in the Biggest Abortion Case of Our Lifetime

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

The Concerned Women for America (CWA) Legal Studies Department is proud to report that we have completed your amicus (friend of the Court’s) brief in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the United States Supreme Court.  

From the outset, we let the Court know we are representing you, and we make clear the values for which you stand. “CWA believes abortion harms women, men, their families, and the nation and actively promotes legislation and public education to support women in crisis pregnancies and address the harms caused by pro-abortion policies,” we write on our Statement of Interest. And we conclude saying, “CWA believes it is false to suggest women need abortion to have equality. Moreover, we affirm women are not a monolithic group assenting to a homogeneous worldview on any policy issue so that this honorable Court benefits from hearing and giving value to a broad range of women voices in cases such as this one.” 

We present three basic arguments: (1) states should be free to make a reasonable determination about abortion policy that places a higher value on the life of mothers and their unborn children, (2) the Court has undervalued the state’s interest in women’s health by failing to give the proper weight to the physical, psychological, emotional, and even spiritual harms abortion has had on women’s lives, and finally (3) the Court should give proper weight to the views of a wide range of women’s voices, including those who reject the Court-created “right” to abortion. 

The first argument is simple. The Court’s abortion jurisprudence has no foundation in our Constitution and has therefore been predictably unreliable and inconsistent. We write: 

Advances in science and our understanding of the process and interests involved in the abortion decision today should push the Court not only to reconsider the definition and timing of viability but the factual underpinnings from Roe that it left standing in Casey. The time has come for the Court to rectify the constitutional error of Roe’s quasi-legislative analysis. States should never be prevented from presenting the evidence which undergirds their legislative reasoning as they fight to withstand a constitutional challenge to its laws in areas where the Constitution envisions them having ample freedom to engage based on well-established federalism principles.  

The lower court, in this case, did not even allow the state of Mississippi to show the scientific evidence on which it relied to enact the law at issue. The state’s interest in women’s health was front and center; therefore, we write of the great injustice of the court barring this evidence, “As a women’s organization, amicus considers the omission of the evidence for the state’s interest in the mother’s health from consideration at the pre-viability stage, for example, a grave misuse of the Court’s jurisprudence that the Constitution in no way prescribes.” 

The Constitution’s framework is key to our argument because, though the question before the Court concerns viability, the Court’s abortion jurisprudence problem is much more profound. We conclude: “Though not strictly necessary to resolve this case, the Court’s fundamental problems in this area of law go all the way back to Roe and Doe. To fully vindicate the constitutional principles involved requires an honest reversal.” 

Second, we argue, “Women’s interests should never be irrelevant in the abortion context at every stage of pregnancy, including at the pre-viability stage.” Period. “Amicus represents mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and friends who have seen the devastation that abortion can have on women’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual lives.” We go on to present some of the studies of the mental health risks associated with abortion and let the Court know, “Any interpretation of viability that forces courts to exclude the consideration of women’s health, not only before choosing to have an abortion but also after that choice, as the lower court decreed here, should not be upheld.”  

And finally, third, we go to CWA’s roots. Pro-abortion women do not represent all women. They do not even represent most women. Pro-life is pro-woman. “[A] new AP-NORC poll found that, ‘most Americans say abortions should generally be illegal during the second and third trimester,’” we report, “One would never guess this by looking at the Court’s abortion precedent.” 

The hundreds of thousands of women amicus represent want to stress that women do not need abortion as a measure of equality. Women have intrinsic dignity and value, regardless of abortion public policy. The fact that men do not give birth is not something they see as a flaw but a feature of the beautiful way women are created—the imago Dei. Being mothers is not to women’s detriment, despite its many challenges. Women celebrate the diversity of our Creator and therefore affirm our dignity, aside from abortion. Amicus affirms the dignity of every woman, including unborn women. 

That is just a sample, but you can access the full document here. We are confident this brief is something you can be proud of, as we stand together before the Supreme Court and proclaim the truth with honesty and respect. 

It is an honor to serve you in such a way. 

High Court Term Closes with Momentous First Amendment Defense, A CWA Win

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

This week, on the last day of the Court’s 2020 term, the United States Supreme Court gave us a significant First Amendment victory in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, and Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta. In a 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and remanded the cases, concluding, “California’s disclosure requirement is facially invalid because it burdens donors’ First Amendment rights and is not narrowly tailored to an important government interest.”

The decision is a major victory for the First Amendment, for us at Concerned Women for America (CWA), since we submitted a brief supporting the Petitioners, but more importantly, it is a victory for freedom.

California’s requirement for charities to file major donor lists was a blatant attempt at political intimidation, which would have been exploited maliciously in today’s cancel culture environment. Thankfully, the Supreme Court recognized it for what it was and declared it unconstitutional.

There was some disagreement among the justices about the standard of review to be applied in this case. The Chief Justice argued for an “exacting” scrutiny standard, which would be lower than the traditional “strict” scrutiny, which is the highest the Court applies. In the case of an exacting scrutiny standard, the law does not have to be the “least restrictive” means for the government to accomplish its purposes, but it does mean that it has to be “narrowly tailored.”

This law was blatantly not “narrowly tailored,” so it was declared unconstitutional.

Though we agree with Justice Thomas, who argued in his concurrence that in review of a law that so blatantly burdens First Amendment rights, the higher strict scrutiny standard should apply; Justices Alito and Gorsuch were right in writing that this law was so egregious it fails either standard.

Justices Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan dissented.

The Court recognized that the law “casts a dragnet for sensitive donor information from tens of thousands of charities each year, even though that information will become relevant in only a small number of cases.” Juxtapose that with the risks involved in today’s day and age, and the danger is hard to ignore.

“The petitioners here, for example, introduced evidence that they and their supporters have been subjected to bomb threats, protests, stalking, and physical violence,” the Chief Justice wrote. And continued, “Such risks are heightened in the 21st century and seem to grow with each passing year, as ‘anyone with access to a computer [can] compile a wealth of information about’ anyone else, including such sensitive details as a person’s home address or the school attended by his children.”

This recognition is significant. Cancel culture is a cancer that has overtaken our culture by storm, and the Court needs to recognize it here. California, of course, tried to downplay this issue at oral arguments, boasting of its intent to keep the information private, even when the evidence showed they had violated that privacy in multiple ways.

You are sure to hear this ruling reported as a “conservative Court” acting on behalf of conservatives. A New York Times tweet read, “Breaking News: The Supreme Court rejected California’s requirement that charities report the identities of major donors, siding with conservative groups who said the disclosures could lead to harassment.” This is fake news, as we’ve come to expect. They are manipulating this decision for political gain.

The reality is this was an unusual case where most charitable organizations from both the left and the right were in agreement, standing against California’s radicalism. As the Court noted, “The gravity of the privacy concerns in this context is further underscored by the filings of hundreds of organizations as amici curiae in support of the petitioners. Far from representing uniquely sensitive causes, these organizations span the ideological spectrum, and indeed the full range of human endeavors.”

Yes, this was the rare case where CWA stood alongside the American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations, conservative and liberal. Good to see the Court take notice and concluding, “the Attorney General’s disclosure requirement imposes a widespread burden on donors’ associational rights. And this burden cannot be justified on the ground that the regime is narrowly tailored to investigating charitable wrongdoing or that the State’s interest in administrative convenience is sufficiently important.”