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Supreme Court Archives – Concerned Women for America

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.

The Myth of the Neutral State in Matters of Religion

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

Now-retired Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinions in Carson v. Makin, one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest cases clarifying America’s robust religious liberty protections, reveals one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the First Amendment which impairs many people’s judgment in such cases. It is the myth of the neutral state.

 

In comparing religiously affiliated private schools to public schools, Justice Breyer writes that “public schools are religiously neutral.” I was glad I was not taking a sip of my coffee at that moment, or it would have been all over my desk. Can anyone who is aware of what is being taught in our schools seriously argue that schools are “neutral” regarding religious matters?

 

The radical left’s dogma is being imposed much more forcefully than any other religious tenet taught in most American religious institutions. And it’s not even close.

 

In Carson, the state of Maine had enacted a tuition assistance program for children in school districts that do not have a state secondary school. The program allows parents to choose the public or private school their children will attend, and the government would pay the school to help defray the cost. Before 1981, parents could choose any school if they met some basic requirements. But in 1980, the state excluded religious schools with a condition that the schools be “nonsectarian.”

 

The state “considers a sectarian school to be one that is associated with a particular faith or belief system and which, in addition to teaching academic subjects, promotes the faith or belief system with which it is associated and/or presents the material taught through the lens of this faith.”

 

Are not our public schools overwhelmingly associated with a particular “belief system”? In addition to teaching academic subjects, don’t they promote that belief system in any way they can? Have you seen the modern classroom decor? Have you seen the resources they are spending money to bring into the school… 

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.

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.

Grasping at Straws on Dobbs

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

The boorish left is having a full-blown meltdown over the leaked opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and its impending official release by the United States Supreme Court. Justice Samuel Alito’s unassailable, monumental takedown of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s complete lack of constitutional underpinning has them panicked.

 

It is certainly not the result they want. That is the reason for all the screeching, weeping, and gnashing of teeth we have seen in front of the Supreme Court and at the constitutionalist justices’ homes in clear violation of federal law. But the worst part about it is that Roe’s legal reasoning is such a dud that all they are left with is trying to manipulate what they see as the internal soap opera at the Court. Their target, as usual, is Chief Justice Roberts, who they hope can somehow swindle other justices into keeping Roe alive.

 

Politico’s Senior Legal Affairs Reporter Josh Gerstein’s latest “What a Roberts compromise on abortion could look like” is the latest not-so-subtle attempt at this. “It’s a longshot,” says the tagline on the piece, “but court watchers are closely eyeing the chief justice for middle ground on Roe.”

 

Gerstein acknowledges no one wants this middle ground. The pro-abortion side emphatically rejected it at oral arguments. Still, they can dream. Here is how he summarized the feeble argument of this dream opinion: “The central organizing principle for a Roberts opinion is likely to be one he has articulated many times: that the court shouldn’t issue a sweeping decision when a more modest one would do.” …

 

 

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!

You Can’t Undo the Supreme Court Leak

By | LBB, Legal | No Comments

The United States Supreme Court has stayed relatively quiet following the shameful news of the leaked Dobbs draft opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement condemning the leak and calling for an investigation, but we have heard nothing else since.

 

As you know, Concerned Women for America (CWA), though encouraged by the content of the opinion, refuse to engage in any public analysis of its content, believing the ethical breach by someone at the Court, presumably a liberal clerk, worthy of the utmost contempt.

 

In a recent interview, Justice Clarence Thomas tried to put words to the magnitude of the breach, and I think you must be aware of his wise words. He was interviewed by his former law clerk John Yoo at an event in Dallas. He said:

 

“[T]he institution that I’m a part of if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone in you would say that, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.’ There was such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, a belief in what we were doing, that that was verboten. It was beyond anyone’s understanding, or at least anyone’s imagination that someone would do that. And look where we are, where now that trust or that belief is gone forever. When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”

 

The Supreme Court will never be the same. We must reckon with that reality. We don’t even know the extent of this breach yet. Help me pray that the person responsible is exposed convincingly so that they can be severely punished. That would help tremendously. We expected this would be quickly resolved, given how tight things are kept within the Court, but nothing has been announced.

 

The warning is broader than the Court. Justice Thomas said:

 

“I think we are in danger of destroying the institutions that are required for a free society. You can’t have a civil society, a free society, without a stable legal system. You can’t have one without stability and things like property or interpretation and impartial judiciary. And I’ve been in this business long enough to know just how fragile it is.”

 

Most Americans can see that. Both the Court and the Country are in a fragile state. We must proceed with caution and urgency. We need courage. Justice Thomas spoke about that too. “I think a lot of people lack courage,” he said, “like they know what is right, and they’re scared to death of doing it.” He is right, of course. We need help from above, no doubt.

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.

Reason Demands an End to Roe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nance in Newsweek: What Does ‘Woman’ Mean?

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, Judicial Nominations, News and Events, Special Feature | No Comments

Nance’s latest op-ed comes in response to Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s inability to even define “woman” in her confirmation hearings last week. Her insistence that, because she was not a biologist, she was incapable of distinguishing between a male and a female makes one wonder how Judge Jackson will be able to make rulings about the hundreds of laws that acknowledge the differences between male and female—and specifically those meant to protect women.

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

Nance: We Oppose Ketanji Brown Jackson After She is Unable to Define a Woman

By | News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2022
Contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary
Keverett@cwfa.org
(571) 420-2488

Washington, D.C.— Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), the country’s largest public policy organization for women, is asking Senators to oppose the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court after the nominee refused to define what a woman is in a troubling exchange with Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee). Penny Nance, CEO and President of CWALAC, had this to say:

“How can we trust a justice to protect women’s rights when she denies the unique dignity of women? According to Judge Brown Jackson, one must be a biologist in order to do that. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t pass the straight-face test.

“The sort of discrimination women are facing right now— with males displacing females from meaningful competition in direct violation of federal law, when the safety concerns of women in prisons and women’s domestic violence shelters are being ignored, when the sexual exploitation of women continues to expand, and so many other issues— demands judges who take women seriously. Judge Brown Jackson showed a complete lack of wisdom and discernment and instead an embrace of gender theory politics when she chose to deny obvious biological differences between men and women.  Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s question was very simple and deserved a direct answer.  The idea of entrusting someone who has trouble identifying women with a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is ludicrous.  This issue should be nonpartisan. 

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record on abortion, in which she claimed to not know when life begins, while she advocates for groups that promote the termination of early life was troubling already. Another red flag was her refusal to own up to her judicial philosophy, and completely unsatisfactory explanation to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) of her record on child pornography cases.   Her lack of clarity on the nature of victimhood, confusing child pornography with the real victims, the children being exploited, is the last straw.

“We gave Judge Brown Jackson a fair hearing, but we cannot in good conscience remain silent. We call on all Senators to oppose this nomination. They should call on President Joe Biden to withdraw Ketanji Brown Jackson and select another nominee. He considered multiple women for this important position; let him pick a woman who at least knows how to define ‘woman.’”

 

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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

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.

 

Leftists viciously malign Clarence Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Shortcuts on Supreme Court Nomination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Troubling Radical Left Support Drives Ketanji Brown Jackson Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

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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.

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