A New SCOTUS Justice: What Will Change and What Won’t

Who would have thought we’d reach a point in history when the entire purpose of control of the Senate is to confirm judges so that the legislating can all be outsourced to the courts? Yet here we are: a vacancy for the swing vote on the Supreme Court is now the most consequential decision of our time.

Despite the opportunity to move the court to the right, I still believe the best thing for the country and for conservatives would be to push for a grand bargain – taking the key political issues of our time out of the courts and returning them to the political branches. In the long run, it’s the right thing to do, and judicial supremacy, will never be a worthwhile tradeoff for conservative political outcomes. Nonetheless, the Left built this system; now it’s time for them to lie in the bed they made. Trump should leave nothing undone to nominate the most verifiable conservative on the important issues of the day. Democrats will go nuclear on anyone he picks. He will not get brownie points for picking a stealth nominee who is unknown. I agree with those including Mark Levin who believe someone with a well-known philosophy like Mike Lee would make the most sense given the political dynamics of our time.

With that said, how much will really change even if Trump nominates someone like Mike Lee to fill Kennedy’s seat?

Anthony Kennedy wasn’t the only problem

We must remember that, even though we would have a clear 5-4 majority on most issues, there are a number of factors sustaining the judicial Gomorrah into which we have descended. It took decades to descend to the abyss, and we won’t escape it with one more Supreme Court pick.

Several years ago, I listed a dozen reasons why the court system is irremediably broken on political issues and why the judiciary seems to be (recent victories not withstanding) a one-way street and a dead end for conservative political outcomes. Ultimately, conservative justices, to their credit, will always be consistent and intellectually honest. But because of the inconsistency and intellectual dishonesty of the liberal justices, we too often lose politically in the long run. This is why we need to move, in general, toward taking political issues out of the courts.

A number of circuit courts and an endless number of district courts will remain irrevocably anti-constitutional, even if Trump secures two terms as president. There are a slew of new-age “resistance” types on the bench, and no number of conservative judges could counteract their disregard for the Constitution and all legal norms. So long as the other two branches show no signs of pushing back against the forum-shopped nationwide injunctions, the Left will always be able to create jurisprudential and political velocity for their radical ideas and grind our national security, immigration policies, abortion regulations, and election integrity laws to a halt. They control the law schools, all of the big litigators (the ACLU, NAACP, etc.), and direct most of the suits at the court. Thanks to their ability to get insane rulings from lower courts in the first place, they are often able to win in the Supreme Court with a combination of outcomes-based jurisprudence from the four leftists and a quirky principled doctrine from one conservative on a given issue. This is what we saw from Gorsuch in a big immigration case and from Thomas in North Carolina redistricting this past year.

There are times when the Supreme Court stays these radical lower court rulings, but some of them fester for years and are never restrained or overturned. Consider that the radical ruling from Judge Dolly Gee forcing DHS to release so many illegal aliens and causing so much political upheaval has been allowed to fester for three years. Perhaps the most radical decision in recent memory is several lower court judges ruling that it’s illegal for Trump not to violate immigration law and sovereignty and that he must continue Obama’s amnesty. The Supreme Court refused to nip it in the bud, and foreign nationals are still being given Social Security cards against the law.

So how much of this will change with a new pick?

Roberts as the new swing vote?

The 800-pound gorilla in the room after the retirement of Anthony Kennedy is Chief Justice John Roberts. While he still adheres to the Constitution on most big issues, he has notably sided against conservatives on a number of lesser-known cases as well as his egregious decisions on Obamacare, Arizona’s immigration law, and blaming banks for failing blue cities. In addition, he views himself as the guardian of the high court’s institutional integrity and doesn’t want to be seen as shifting the court too far in any direction. The problem is that the court has moved so far to the left on so many issues in recent years, as Scalia warned at the end of his life, and the many lower courts are more radical than ever before. As such, the Supreme Court, in order to return to the Constitution, is going to have to move abruptly in a different direction from the rest of the legal system.

Will John Roberts become the new swing vote with Kennedy’s seat flipped to the right?

There will likely be a wide gulf between cases pertaining to new anti-constitutional jurisprudence percolating in the lower courts and cases that would implicate long-standing anti-constitutional theory. On the former, I believe Roberts will likely remain with conservatives. Therefore, having another reliable vote will give us a 5-4 majority to shut down the shenanigans in the lower courts – at least gradually. But on questions of overturning Roe and Obergefell and other long-standing, bad anti-constitutional precedent that the Left has successfully enshrined into civil rights and the 14th Amendment, I have a hard time believing Roberts consider overturning these precedents.

Four is also a magical number on SCOTUS

Part of conservative frustration with the Supreme Court is that the justices have been slow to reverse some of these off-the-wall opinions from lower courts on critical policy issues. It takes four members willing to grant an appeal in order to consider a case. Clearly, the denial of such appeals in many important cases related to election integrity laws and driver’s licenses for illegals demonstrates that not only Kennedy but also Roberts was unwilling to take up those cases. Again, this is part of his philosophy of trying to avoid the appearance of an activist court. But it takes an activist Supreme Court to actively undo the activist lower courts, who should never officiously intervene in so many of these issues to begin with. It’s not activism to shut down unlawful activism.

This is why a new justice is so important. We will now have four votes to consider these cases without Roberts. And Roberts has enough respect for the Constitution that he’d be hard-pressed to go along with new revolutionary ideas from lower courts, even if he is reluctant to initially take up the cases.

I see a lot of potential for progress on this front on the issues of guns, religious liberty, and codifying the Rainbow Jihad into Title XII of the Civil Rights Act. (For more from the author of “A New SCOTUS Justice: What Will Change and What Won’t” please click HERE)

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With Cartels in Control, There Are No Easy Answers to the Border Crisis

. . .Libertarians, too, are grasping for simple solutions. Over at Reason, J.D. Tuccille suggests that “better smugglers” are the best way to fight Trump’s draconian border policy. “Immigrants and their supporters should give some thought, and effort, to improved smuggling channels that treat migrants better than the existing criminal networks, and offer them a better chance of success,” writes Tuccille. He doesn’t mention the possibility that these new smugglers might find themselves at odds with the old smugglers, whose profits are at stake, or that jumping into Mexico’s migrant smuggling trade as a freelancer carries the risk of, say, being beheaded by one of the cartels.

Tuccille’s facile take is emblematic of the way the media has more or less ignored the role that “criminal networks” are playing in all of this—a role that makes easy solutions impossible. Throughout the border crisis, the media’s attention has been focused on the plight of Central American families and the chaos created by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. Sure, the president likes to exaggerate how many MS-13 gang members are crossing the border, but neither Trump nor his detractors are thinking seriously about the escalating violence and accelerating social collapse now underway in Mexico and Central America, and how crime syndicates are playing into illegal immigration along the southern border. . .

National elections in Mexico are set for July 1, and so far 121 political candidates, most of them running for local office, have been assassinated, along with dozens of their family members. Hundreds more have been attacked. On Thursday, a mayoral candidate in Ocampo, in the western state of Michoacan, was killed outside his residence—the third politician to be killed in Michoacan in just over a week. Federal police responded by arresting the entire town’s 27-officer police force on suspicion of involvement with the murder, another reminder that across Mexico drug cartels have infiltrated local and state police forces, political machines, and major industries. Candidates who speak out against corruption and vow to stand up to the cartels are especially in danger.

The violence is bad enough that the U.S. State Department has issued “do not travel” advisories for five Mexican states—Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas, whose northern boundary runs along the U.S. border from Brownsville to Laredo, Texas. These are the same travel advisories in place for countries like Libya, Syria, and North Korea. For much of the rest of Mexico, including nearly the entire U.S.-Mexico border, the State Department advises Americans to “reconsider travel.”

Tamaulipas is so dangerous right now that the interim governor of Nuevo Laredo, which sits directly across the Rio Grande from Laredo, has warned his citizens not to try to travel to the United States through Tamaulipas, and especially not through the town of Reynosa, across the river from McAllen, Texas. The official warning came a day after gunmen believed to be associated with the Gulf Cartel ambushed marines with the Mexican Navy three times in Nuevo Laredo, killing one and injuring 12 others. According to Mexican officials, the gunmen wore marine uniforms and drove vehicles with government markings. The ambushes only stopped when the marines called in a helicopter gunship for support. (Read more from “With Cartels in Control, There Are No Easy Answers to the Border Crisis” HERE)

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What Ultimately Took Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain Wasn’t Mental Illness. It Was Something Worse

. . .Every human being must at some time confront the same disease that claimed Anthony, Kate, Robin, and every other person who takes his or her life: meaninglessness. Why are we here and is this life worth living? It’s a sobering thought. . .

There is a reason trauma victims, combat survivors, and celebrities are so vulnerable to suicide. Victims of abuse and witnesses to war are exposed to a depth of humanity that many of us never get to. The lowest lows show us just how depraved and hopeless this world can be.

As Kate, Anthony, Robin, and so many other entertainers show, even giving joy to others, in the end, is not enough. So in the end, why bother? How can we not be defeated when we set our eyes on the brokenness of this world? The answer: to fix our eyes on another world. The writer C.S. Lewis famously said that, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” If we believe this life is all there is, the darkness will blind us to the majesty and beauty of life.

Suicide is the tragic, but reasonable response to being confronted by life’s reality with no salve of deeper meaning to bandage the wound. This is why a life without God, no matter how grand, will always leave our hearts unfulfilled.

So please, take medication. Talk to your family. Go get treatment. Your life is precious to God and the people around you. It is worth fighting for. But no matter what help those things bring, our hearts only find true peace when they live for the one who created them. I wish my friends Kate and Anthony had felt that peace. (Read more from “What Ultimately Took Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain Wasn’t Mental Illness. It Was Something Worse” HERE)

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Clinton Emails: What the IG Report Refuses to Admit

Despite the sprawl of Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s 568-page report on the Clinton-emails investigation, there is precious little discussion of the most important issue: The Justice Department and FBI’s rationale for declining to prosecute Hillary Clinton. I believe this is intentional. The inspector general’s message is: “Despite pervasive political bias and investigative irregularities, which I have comprehensively documented, rest assured that nothing too terrible happened here.” . . .

In explaining themselves to the IG, Obama Justice Department and FBI officials contended that the make-or-break issue in the case was whether they could prove mens rea — criminal state of mind. In this instance, that involved former secretary of state Clinton’s knowledge and intent regarding the unauthorized transmission and retention of classified information. Investigators say it dawned on them at a very early stage that they could not. Hence, they urge, their decisions to allow the election calendar to impose a time limit on the investigation, to limit the amount of evidence they considered, to be less than aggressive in obtaining evidence, and to draft an exoneration of Clinton months before interviewing her (and other key witnesses), were entirely reasonable. . .

A comprehensive critique of the investigators’ approach would have described the evidence they chose not to weigh. That would have been consistent with other parts of the report, in which Horowitz dilates on the minutiae of investigative techniques the agents and prosecutors eschewed.

A detailed description of the grossly improper communications system Clinton established would have illustrated that she knew full well the risk she was running. A large percentage of the secretary of state’s job involves classified matters. We are not talking merely about the exchange of documents marked classified but, more commonly, constant deliberations about sensitive intelligence in classified documents, briefings, and conversations. Clinton’s willful concoction of a home-brew communications network — not a harried official’s occasional, exigent use of private email for official business, but her rogue institution of a private, non-government infrastructure for the systematic conduct of State Department business — made the non-secure transmission and storage of classified information inevitable.

Horowitz’s fleeting conclusion that the decision not to charge Clinton was rational and not necessarily motivated by political considerations hinges on the assumption that the intent evidence truly was as sparse as the FBI and Justice Department described it. Of course the decision to decline prosecution was defensible, if not incontestable, if one accepts that false premise. And Horowitz does not just accept the premise; he treats it as a background assumption, writing as if there’s no other conceivable way to look at the case. (Read more from “Clinton Emails: What the IG Report Refuses to Admit” HERE)

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Opinion: Today’s Campuses Are Worse Than Sodom and Gomorrah

British philosopher G.K. Chesterton predicted in 1926 that the “next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality…. The madness of tomorrow is not in Moscow but much more in Manhattan.” Philosopher C.S. Lewis, the foundation for whose conversion to Christianity (from atheism) was born of reading Chesterton’s books, once observed, “Sex is not messed up because it was put in the closet; it was put in the closet because it was messed up.” And just recently, at an early April conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, University of Virginia (UVA) religious studies Professor Vigen Guroian complained of higher education’s hypocrisy. Pointing out that colleges do in fact act in loco parentis, heavily policing alcohol and drug use, he asks why they also don’t police promiscuity. The short answer: When a heresy holds sway it becomes orthodoxy, at least for a time — and you don’t question orthodoxy.

Yet forget about policing promiscuity. Today’s colleges actually encourage it to a point of almost making Sodom and Gomorrah look saintly. Consider that the Ivy League’s Yale University hosted rapper Elizabeth Eden Harris, who goes by the moniker “cupcakKe,” at its April Spring Fling celebration. One student commentator called her emanations “sins, not songs” and “musical porn, plain and simple,” as she “sings about violent sex, oral sex, and having genitalia ‘like I’m eight,’” reports an April 11 College Fix headline. The details are even worse, but I’ll spare you.

Two days earlier, the College Fix reported that the “University of Tennessee at Knoxville is hosting ‘Sex Week’ [April 6 through 12] at which students will learn about a wide variety of sexual practices and topics,” including a class “titled ‘Butt Stuff 2.0: The Pegging,’” which we’ll not describe here. The Fix also informs, “Other events during the week include an art exhibit titled ‘Send Nudes ;),’ a cabaret show, and a workshop about ‘Black Liberation through Sexual Pleasure.’… Workshops such as ‘Masturbation Nation,’ ‘Trans Convo Starter Pack,’ ‘Tinder and Tea,’ and the ‘Science of Abortion’ are also on the schedule.”

Far from the above being an outlier, university Sex Week events are common today. For example, Campus Reform reported four years ago that the “University of Chicago is kicking off Sex Week 2014 with a ‘Lascivious Ball’ in which students will not be required to wear clothing.” In 2015, the College Fix informed that “Harvard University will soon mark its annual ‘Sex Week’ observance, which this year features a workshop on how to navigate sex involving bondage and sadomasochism in the dorms — complete with whips and floggers.” And in March, the publication told us that the “annual ‘Sex Week’ at Northwestern University will feature a Chicago-based dominatrix named ‘Lady Sophia’ who will teach the students various BDSM practices.” (Read more from “Opinion: Today’s Campuses Are Worse Than Sodom and Gomorrah” HERE)

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There’s a Reason Liberals Are Always so Angry

Have you ever wondered why rage seems to be “all the rage” with liberals these days? Every time you turn around there’s another march for this or protest against that; recycled chants about how something “has got to go,” and a fawning media all too happy to report it as if it were news. It’s not news, of course, it’s a mass temper tantrum by political activists still unhappy their fellow Americans chose to reject Hillary Clinton in 2016. But there’s more to it than that, something strategic is at play.

Have you ever stubbed your toe and cursed in front of someone you otherwise would never consider using that kind of language in front of? Or gotten so mad while trying to fix something that you’ve ended up slamming it and making it worse? It’s likely you’ve done this or something similar because of one simple fact: emotion overrides logic.

When you’re angry or when you’re scared you aren’t thinking straight, you’re acting on emotion. That’s the state liberals have been keeping their base in since Donald Trump won the presidency.

To one degree or another, modern liberals have always used fear and anger to motivate their voters. After 9/11, Democrats ran on variations of “Republican policies are making us less safe.” With the terror attacks of that September morning still fresh in people’s minds, that was not designed to inspire.

To hear liberals tell it, this country is fundamentally racist and killing the planet. They, however, are the gatekeepers of fixing it all. (Never mind the fact that cities where they’ve had complete control for generations – Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. – are used for backdrops for movies about post-apocalyptic futures because they require so little set construction.) (Read more from “There’s a Reason Liberals Are Always so Angry” HERE)

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Kashuv: We Need to Stop School Shootings and Here’s How

More than three months have passed since a deranged teenager came into my high school and killed more than a dozen of my classmates. Yet the same old discussions keep going on and on and on — despite the fact that the people having these discussions keep saying something needs to change.

Many of the most vocal activists aren’t actually interested in change. They continue pushing the same old tired ideas in the same old tired way, but expecting a different response. Their only solution is gun control, which the American people have rejected for decades. They’ve got the media convinced, they’ve got celebrities convinced, and they’ve got billions of dollars at their disposal to saturate social media in ads in hopes that people will become convinced that their ideas are the right approach. . .

We need to get real about mental health care in this country. Affordable, accessible mental health care is essential. A person who would inflict the level of terror we’ve seen so far is sick — and he needs help. Yet, in America, it’s hard to get help. Access to mental health care needs to be easy, affordable, and prioritized.

We all need to be educated on the warning signs of a person in crisis. The refrain is the same after each one of these incidents — the shooter was a loner, someone who scared people, a person who was already on police radar. It’s only practical that we educate communities on recognizing the signs of an at-risk person, and teach them actionable steps to take.

We should take school security seriously. Gun-free zone signs don’t help. It’s absurd to think that they do. We protect our state houses, our sporting venues, and our concert halls with security. Why don’t we do the same for our children? (Read more from “Kashuv: We Need to Stop School Shootings and Here’s How” HERE)

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In 2018 GOP Primaries, Anti-Establishment Means Pro-Trump

There’s a popular meme in conservative political Twitter: “Establishment Always Wins.” Observing the results of recent primary elections, including Tuesday’s contests in eight states, it is apparent that at this moment, the meme is true and the Republican establishment is prevailing over more conservative candidates.

So far in the 2018 primary cycle, only one incumbent House Republican with a moderate voting record has been defeated by a conservative primary challenger. Most GOP incumbents, even the ones who voted for atrocious pieces of legislation like the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, are sailing through Republican primaries unscathed. The pattern held Tuesday night, as no incumbent Republican was defeated in a primary — though Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., was forced into a runoff election because she did not win 50 percent of the vote in her first-place finish.

Conservatives are faring slightly better in open primaries, but only slightly. The Texas delegation is poised to shift to the right, as House Freedom Caucus-friendly candidates like Chip Roy have won Republican primaries in safe districts where more moderate Republicans are retiring. Last night, Freedom Caucus-endorsed candidate state Rep. Yvette Herrell won her primary in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. But in New Jersey, conservative Steve Lonegan lost to self-described “moderate” John McCann. In past primaries this year, conservatives lost in two open House seats in Indiana, two open seats in Ohio, and the open seat in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District vacated by Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. (F – Liberty Score® ).

There is, sadly, nothing like a Tea Party wave to knock out incumbent Republicans with conservative challengers in 2018 — a fact that may seem surprising after President Donald Trump’s dominating anti-establishment 2016 presidential campaign. Where are the voters who decided to block establishment figures like Jeb Bush from the 2016 GOP nomination?

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told the New York Times his theory is that “people are starting to realize that the anti-establishment thing is kind of a luxury we can’t afford right now.” However, Congress’ abysmal approval rating and the prevalence of Republicans running on Trump’s “drain the swamp” message seems to show voters are as fed up as ever with the Washington status quo. So why are Republican incumbents winning primaries when they are a part of this failing status quo? Counterintuitively, it’s because Donald Trump is the president.

Trump, as president, is the de facto head of the Republican Party. Whenever he uses his bully pulpit to declare that his administration wants to drain the swamp, the perception he creates among Republican voters is that the whole party is trying to drain the swamp. In politics, perception is reality. If a Republican running for Congress declares support for the president (virtually all of them have), then the perception among voters is that this candidate wants to drain the swamp.

In this way, in Republican primary contests in 2018, voters are identifying the anti-establishment candidates as the candidates who are most pro-Trump or the ones Trump supports.

Tuesday’s election results bear this out. The one Republican incumbent in trouble, Roby, is facing backlash because during the 2016 election, she declared she would not vote for Trump in the general. In the race where conservative Lonegan lost, his moderate Republican opponent deployed a brutal ad accusing Lonegan, a 2016 Cruz supporter and “free the delegates” activist during the Republican National Convention, of being anti-Trump. The ad featured clips of the president referring to Lonegan as a “loser.”

The big surprise of the night happened in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, where 69-year-old attorney Seth Grossman came out of nowhere to win a four-man race with an underfunded campaign. Grossman ran an unabashedly pro-Trump campaign, adopting the president’s positions on immigration, supporting repeal of Obamacare’s mandates, teaching “what made America great in our schools again,” and stopping “obstruction and fake impeachment charges” against Trump. Running as the most pro-Trump candidate worked, and he shocked observers by winning the primary with double digits over the closest runner-up.

Republican primary voters are not looking for conservatives to challenge the GOP establishment in this cycle. They are looking for candidates who support President Trump’s agenda, because that agenda is perceived as the anti-establishment agenda.

The danger here lies in the fact that moderate and liberal Republican incumbents are being re-nominated in GOP primary contests even though they do not support Trump’s mission of draining the swamp. And disappointingly, President Trump continues to endorse failing-grade Liberty Score® incumbents like Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who have spent their careers in Washington D.C. creating the status quo voters elected Trump to disrupt. (For more from the author of “In 2018 GOP Primaries, Anti-Establishment Means Pro-Trump” please click HERE)

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Analysis: Supreme Court’s Gay Cake Decision Just Kicks the Can Down the Road in the Conflict Between Religious Liberty and Homosexual “Dignity”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of cake maker Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Justice Kennedy wrote the decision for the Court, joined by six other justices, both liberal and conservative. Justices Gorsuch and Alito concurred, Justices Thomas and Gorsuch concurred, Kagan and Breyer concurred, and Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented.

There is very little principled analysis in any of the Court’s five opinions except for that of Justice Thomas, who concluded that Phillips was denied his freedom of speech.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion focused mainly on the despicable treatment Phillips received in front of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In particular, Justice Kennedy noted that the Commission ruled against Phillips for his refusal to bake a pro-gay cake, but ruled in favor of three other bakers who refused to bake anti-gay cakes.

The significance of the majority opinion is nicely summed up in its last paragraph: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

In other words, this decision is essentially confined to his facts — ruling for Jack Phillips because the Colorado commission was openly hostile towards Phillips’ religious beliefs. Every future case involving such a state “public accommodations” law, however, will be a balancing act, conducted by federal judges, pitting homosexual “dignity” against sincere religious beliefs.

Justices Kagan and Breyer, though joining the majority, wrote separately to state their belief that there were good legal reasons for the state Commission to have reached different opinions in the pro-gay and anti-gay cake cases. Justices Gorsuch disputed that notion.

Next, Justice Thomas wrote separately to address Phillips’ Free Speech claim, since the majority had resolved the case solely on a Free Exercise basis. Thomas claimed that wedding cake baking is an inherently expressive activity, and to force someone to bake a certain wedding cake forces them to express themselves in ways they may find offensive. Importantly, Justice Thomas challenges the notion that the most important thing in the case is the protection of the “dignity” of homosexuals. He noted that “Concerns about ‘dignity’ and ‘stigma’ did not carry the day when this Court affirmed the right of white supremacists to burn a 25-foot cross … conduct a rally on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday … or circulate a film featuring hooded Klan members who were brandishing weapons and threatening to ‘Bury the n….’”

Finally, Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor wrote espouse their apparent belief that the most important bedrock principle in American law is the tenet that “Gay persons may be spared from ‘indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.’”

In essence, the Supreme Court kicked the can down the road in its failure to provide a clear ruling whether the First Amendment prohibits the application of a state law prohibiting discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation to a Christian cake baker or other businessman who refuses service celebrating same-sex marriage.

It was good to see that Justice Kennedy gave the radical homosexual political movement a dose of their own medicine of Romer v. Evans, reversing the ruling of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against a Christian baker on the ground that the Commission was motivated by overt hostility to the baker’s Christian faith. In an opinion that only Justice Kennedy could have written was the lesson that Thumper’s mother taught — “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” One wonders how the case would have come out if the Colorado Commission had not been overtly hostile to Jack Phillips.

Indeed, the several opinions issued by the Court in this case are written self-consciously nice. In contrast to the bloody battlefield of Obergefell, the justices collectively held back their ammunition, calling for tolerance, fairness, and neutrality, hoping by their surface collegiality to inspire a gentler spirit within which to paper over an unresolvable conflict that the Court itself has created and imposed upon the American people. The Court’s call for “neutrality” however, abandons its duty to say what the law is.

The best can be said about this decision was what Justice Thomas noted in conclusion, “it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.” However the Masterpiece decision certainly provides little guidance for how future cases will be decided. The decision does not even resolve the Arlene’s Flowers case, which remains pending on a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court.

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The Vindictive Gay Couple in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Richly Deserved to Lose

Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding.

I wish I could say the ruling was a huge win for the First Amendment. All I can say is that it was not necessarily a loss for the First Amendment. A win would have been a decision affirming an individual’s right to operate his business, and create art, in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs. The 7-2 decision passed down by the Court this morning does not offer any precedent so sweeping or important as that. Instead it finds, in this specific case, that the baker’s rights were violated because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed open hostility to Phillips’ religious convictions. But what if they were more subtle in their hostility? What if a Christian business owner is targeted by cleverer bullies? What about all of the other Christian business owners who have been legally penalized for refraining from participating in gay weddings? This decision has nothing to say on any of those questions. This salvo from the fascist gay Left was blocked, but there is nothing stopping them from firing another round. And then another. And then another. The fight continues.

But even if the Court basically punted on the broader questions, it is still good to pause and appreciate the fact that the innocent victim won in this case and the vindictive bullies lost. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission clearly bullied Phillips and sought to punish him for his religious views, even at one point comparing his cake refusal to the Holocaust. They have now been thoroughly humiliated, and I imagine they will face considerable backlash from their fellow liberals for squandering a golden opportunity. This is all worth celebrating. . .

Remember that Jack Phillips was well known for his devout Christian beliefs before that fateful day when Mullins and Craig walked in the door. Phillips would regularly refuse to create customized cakes for events he found morally problematic. Yet, of all the bakers in the area, these two gay men just so happened to seek the services of the one baker who was so orthodox that he wouldn’t even make Halloween cakes. It does not take much of a logical leap to see that this was quite intentional.

It is said that Phillips “refused to serve” Mullins and Craig. That’s not true. He offered to sell them any item in the store. He would have even sold them a wedding cake. The only thing he would not do — could not do – was customize one. So, the gay men could have simply purchased a standard wedding cake. Or they could have left the store and gone to literally any other bakery in the state. Decent human beings would select either of those two options. But Mullins and Craig are not decent human begins. They opted for option three: set out on a years-long process to utterly destroy Jack Phillips, take down his business, and impoverish his family. (Read more from “The Vindictive Gay Couple in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Richly Deserved to Lose” HERE)

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