Gorsuch Will Not Shift The Balance Of Power On The Supreme Court As Much As You May Think

Neil Gorsuch And Donald Trump - Public DomainOn Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would nominate Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gorsuch currently serves on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate when he was appointed to that position by President George W. Bush in 2006.  Gorsuch appears to have some strong similarities to Antonin Scalia, and many conservatives are hoping that when Gorsuch fills Scalia’s seat that it will represent a shift in the balance of power on the Supreme Court.  Because for almost a year, the court has been operating with only eight justices.  Four of them were nominated by Republican presidents and four of them were nominated by Democrats, and so many Republicans are anticipating that there will now be a Supreme Court majority for conservatives.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple, because a couple of the “conservative” justices are not actually very conservative at all.

For example, it is important to remember that Scalia was still on the court when the Supreme Court decision that forced all 50 states to legalize gay marriage was decided.  Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberal justices in a majority opinion that Scalia harshly criticized.  So with Gorsuch on the court, that case would still have been decided the exact same way.

Sadly, even though Kennedy was nominated by Ronald Reagan, he has turned out to be quite liberal.  In the past, not nearly enough scrutiny was given to justices that were nominated by Republican presidents, and a few of them have turned out to be total disasters.

And let us also remember that Scalia was still on the court when the big Obamacare case was decided.  Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices in a decision that was perhaps one of the most bizarre in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For some reason, Justice Roberts was determined to preserve Obamacare, and if you read what he wrote it is some of the most twisted legal reasoning that I have ever come across.

As someone that was once part of the legal world, let me let you in on a little secret.  Most judges simply do whatever they feel like doing, and then they will try to find a way to justify their decisions.  So if you ever find yourself in court, you should pray that you will get a judge that is sympathetic to your cause.

Fortunately, Gorsuch appears to be one of the rare breed of judges that actually cares what the U.S. Constitution and our laws have to say.  In that respect, he is very much like Scalia

Gorsuch is seen by analysts as a jurist similar to Scalia, who died on Feb. 13, 2016. Scalia, praised by Gorsuch as “a lion of the law,” was known not only for his hard-line conservatism but for interpreting the U.S. Constitution based on what he considered its original meaning, and laws as written by legislators. Like Scalia, Gorsuch is known for sharp writing skills.

“It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives,” Gorsuch said on Tuesday at the White House event announcing the nomination in remarks that echoed Scalia’s views.

One of the most high profile cases that Gorsuch was involved with came in 2013.  That was the famous “Hobby Lobby case”, and it represented a key turning point in the fight for religious freedom.  The following comes from CNN

In 2013, he joined in an opinion by the full Court of Appeals holding that federal law prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from requiring closely-held, for-profit secular corporations to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

And although a narrowly divided 5-4 Supreme Court would endorse that view (and affirm the 10th Circuit) the following year, Gorsuch wrote that he would have gone even further, and allowed not just the corporations, but the individual owners, to challenge the mandate.

Donald Trump said that he wanted a conservative judge in the mold of Scalia, but I think that he was also looking for someone that he could get through the Senate.

And considering the fact that Gorsuch was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2006 will make it quite difficult for Democrats to block him now.  Gorsuch has tremendous academic and professional credentials, and he will probably have a smoother road to confirmation than someone like appeals court judge William Pryor would

Trump may have favored Gorsuch for the job in hopes of a smoother confirmation process than for other potential candidates such as appeals court judge William Pryor, who has called the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.”

But Pryor is still reportedly on the short list for the next spot on the Supreme Court that opens up, and by then the rancor in the Senate may have died down.

If Gorsuch is confirmed, what will this mean for some of the most important moral issues of our time?

As for abortion, even if Gorsuch is confirmed I do not believe that the votes are there to overturn Roe v. Wade.  But if Trump is able to nominate a couple more Supreme Court justices that could change.

But even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would not suddenly make abortion illegal.  Instead, all 50 states would then be free to make their own laws regarding abortion, and a solid majority of the states would continue to keep it legal.

The analysis is similar when we look at gay marriage.  If the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states was overturned, each state would get to decide whether gay marriage should be legal or not for their own citizens.  And just like with abortion, it is likely that only a limited number of states would end up banning gay marriage.

So the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court appears to be a positive step, but it does not mean that we are going to see dramatic change when it comes to issues such as abortion or gay marriage any time soon.

But at least Gorsuch can help stop the relentless march of the progressive agenda through our court system.  So in the end we may not make that much progress for right now, but at least the liberals won’t either.

Erdogan’s Staged Coup Has Resulted In A Purge Of 50,000 Teachers, Judges, Soldiers And Government Officials

Erdogan Staged Coup - Photo by Kemal5105Barack Obama’s “friend” in Turkey is a deeply corrupt radical Islamist dictator that has just staged a coup to consolidate his grip on power.  As I have reported previously, 1,845 “journalists, writers and critics” have been arrested for “insulting” President Erdogan over just the past two years, and a couple of years ago he had a monstrous 1,100 room presidential palace built for himself that is 30 times larger than the White House.  With each passing day, more evidence emerges which seems to indicate that the recent “coup” was a staged event meant to enable Erdogan and his allies to eliminate their enemies and solidify their stranglehold over the nation.  At this point the number of victims of “Erdogan’s purge” has hit 50,000, but the final number will not be known for quite some time.

Of course there is a possibility that the coup was not staged, but if it wasn’t staged it was the worst military coup that I have seen in my entire lifetime.  As Fox News has pointed out, not a single high level member of government was killed or detained…

Among the questions being asked are why coup plotters didn’t execute the most basic steps in seizing power, like securing Erdogan and other top officials. Not a single member of his cabinet and inner-circle AKP party leadership was detained. Nor did coup plotters effectively take control of TV, radio and internet outlets. The government TRT station and CNN Turk were for a time occupied by alleged coup plotters, who quickly retreated as the putsch fell apart.

It is being reported that soldiers that took part in the coup claimed “that they thought that they were taking part in military exercises”, and those running the “coup” allowed Erdogan’s plane to fly across the country without incident.  Here is more from Fox News

Coup plotters also failed to secure most airports and other transportation hubs, didn’t occupy or attack Erdogan’s $600 million presidential palace, and failed to intercept his plane before, during or after he flew from one of the country’s busiest and most accessible airports back to Istanbul. This despite the supposed active participation of top generals in Turkey’s Air Force, which maintains a fleet of F-16 aircraft easily capable of tracking, intercepting or – if it came to it – shooting down Erdogan’s plane.

There were opposition soldiers that did occupy Ataturk International Airport for a short time, but they suspiciously left just in time for Erdogan’s plane to land.

So much about this supposed “coup” absolutely stinks, and that includes the fact that lists of judges, teaches, soldiers and government officials to be rounded up after the coup appear to have been prepared ahead of time.  This is so obvious that even the EU commissioner in charge of Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, is commenting on it…

It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage,” Hahn said.

I’m very concerned. It is exactly what we feared.”

So far, at least 50,000 people have been rounded up or stripped of their positions since the coup.  The following breakdown of “the purge” comes from the BBC

  • 6,000 military personnel have been arrested, with more than two dozen generals awaiting trial
  • Nearly 9,000 police officers have been sacked
  • Close to 3,000 judges have been suspended
  • Some 1,500 employees of Turkey’s finance ministry have been dismissed
  • 492 have been fired from the Religious Affairs Directorate
  • More than 250 staff in Mr Yildirim’s office have been removed

Not included in that list are 15,200 education workers and 1,577 university deans that were just sacked

But while Turkey’s press is already mostly under Erdogan’s control, it is the educational witch hunt fallout that is far more troubling, and just as expected over the past hour we have gotten a glimpse of just how extensive the Turkish’s president cleansing of secular society will be, when the state-run Anadolu news agency reported that Turkey’s ministry of education has sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday’s failed coup.

Even more shocking, Anadolu reports that Turkey’s Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of all 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them.  Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.

In addition, the teaching licenses of 21,000 teachers there were employed at private educational institutions have been revoked.

In one fell swoop, Erdogan is eliminating as much institutional opposition to his leadership as he possibly can.  And not only is he stripping them of their jobs and arresting many of them, CNN is reporting that he actually wants to push for the death penalty for anyone that has any connection to “treason”…

Turkey’s President refuses to rule out the death penalty for thousands of people arrested after a failed military coup Friday, despite warnings that reintroducing capital punishment could dash Turkey’s chances of joining the European Union.

Speaking through his translator in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the failed military coup a “clear crime of treason.”

The Turkish people have made it clear they want death for the “terrorists” who plotted the coup, Erdogan said in his first interview since the July 15 attempt.

Erdogan has been a radical Islamist throughout his entire political career, and his goal has always been to transform Turkey from a highly secular society into a highly Islamic one.

Sadly, now he has the power to do just that.

So what does the future hold for people of other faiths in Turkey?  Well, we may have gotten some clues on the night of the alleged “coup”

During the night of 15 July, unidentified assailants broke the glass panels in the door of the Malatya Protestant Church. The pastor, Tim Stone, said he thought someone with a grudge against the church had taken advantage of the general unrest.

Meanwhile, in Trabzon, on the northern coast, around 10 people smashed the windows of the Santa Maria Catholic Church, where in 2006 a priest, Fr. Andrea Santoro, was murdered. The attackers tried to break into the church, but a group of Muslim neighbors drove them away, before contacting a priest.

And as Erdogan continues to transform into a Turkish version of Adolf Hitler, he is putting his nation’s membership in NATO in jeopardy.  The following comes from the Telegraph

In an ideal world, it would be in everyone’s interests for Mr Erdogan to cease his efforts to turn Turkey into an Iranian-style Islamic republic, thereby allowing Turkey to retain its place at Nato’s top table. But if he really is determined to pursue his radical Islamist agenda, then Nato will have no option but to rid itself of its troublesome Turkish ally.

What is happening in Turkey right now is truly chilling.

A country that is already a member of NATO and that was supposed to become a member of the European Union is rapidly becoming a hardcore radical Islamic dictatorship.

Let us keep a close eye on these developments, because ultimately they could have tremendous implications for Europe and for the entire Middle East in the years ahead.

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