The Constitution’s Week in Review – 27 Feb 16

The Constitution’s Week in Review – 27 Feb 16Posted by On

Constitution – General.

Here’s a recording of a webinar I presented on 22 February for Christian Financial Concepts. The topic: “Which Constitution? America’s Critical Choice.” CFC’s website holds a vast library of recorded webinars on a variety of topics. Take a look; we all have much to learn.

Article 2. Natural Born Citizen Clause (to be continued until it is definitively settled).

Amazingly, I have nothing new to report this week.

Article 3. Replacing Scalia

It’s interesting what people find in video archives. Here’s future Vice-President Joe Biden in June 1992, which I remind you was right in the heart of the presidential election between incumbent George H. W. Bush, and challengers Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot. Biden argued that during a period of divided government (i.e. different parties in control of the Congress and White House) the President should be as interested in the “advice” of the Senate as much as he is its “consent” over Court nominations. Biden complains of President Reagan trying to cast the Court in his ideological mold. He insists that the Senate retains a right to investigate the ideological frame of a nominee. He insists the senate has no obligation to confirm any nominee of the President. He complains that the President’s desire to create an ideological court is an “original sin.” He complains about using Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for assessing a nominee. He affirms (starting at 38:17) the tradition of not confirming a nominee during a presidential election   He confirms twice (at 39:00 and 41:11) that no justice has ever been confirmed in the summer or fall of an election year. While Biden points out that in our history only five Justices have been confirmed during an election year (when their vacancies occurred very early in the year), “Senate consideration of a nominee [for a vacancy that occurs in the summer or early fall of an election year] is not fair to the President, the nominee, or to the Senate itself.” Amazing stuff, these old videos.

Names are starting to pop up (or be leaked) concerning Scalia’s replacement. The name at the top of a list I recently came across (see next item) is Judge Sri Srinivasan of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (Scalia’s old haunts). This article warns that all might not be as it seems with Judge Srinivasan.

Meanwhile, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, whose name I had not seen on any lists, has announced that he is not interested. It appears that President Obama was actually considering nominating a Republican – now that would be interesting. It would certainly place the Republican-controlled Senate in a bind over whether or not to hold confirmation hearings.

Here’s a short PowerPoint presentation, sort of an overview of the whole “Scalia Replacement” situation, that I constructed to facilitate a discussion at my church last week.

Jury Nullification.

The topic of Jury Nullification comes up from time to time. The Institute on the Constitution has a whole course devoted to the topic. Now we learn that Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor may actually be in favor of the doctrine. She thinks “There is a place [for it],” without describing the location of that “place.” Maybe the “wise Latina” is indeed wise after all. Anyone who expects they might be called for jury duty should take IOTC’s course.

Government Accountability.

I hope everyone realizes that if they had been a government employee and had done what Hillary Clinton appears to have done with classified information, they would have been fired, fined and possibly jailed long, long ago. Yet the sad saga continues, as additional emails are released which once contained highly classified information, including up to the Special Access Program (SAP) level.

First Amendment.

A small victory in a First Amendment case we’ve reported on in the past. In 2013, St. Francis Xavier Parish hired Colleen Simon as Director of Social Ministries knowing she was in a lesbian relationship. The Director of Religious Education at the time had told Simon that her sexual orientation and marriage to another woman wouldn’t be a problem. New leadership seemed to confirm that view. But when her orientation became public via a magazine article which mentioned where she worked, the diocese fired her. She sued. Now the Circuit Court

of Jackson County, Missouri, has agreed that “the court could not interfere with the diocese’s decision.” It appears there will be no appeal since the diocese settled the remaining issue of the case out of court.

I’ll be the first to admit that the diocese handled this whole affair horribly; giving Simon the appearance that all was well, until her relationship and association with the diocese became public, was unethical. But the court made the right decision; when courts decide to step into church employee hiring/firing decisions, they have crossed a line they shouldn’t. Crossing a constitutional boundary in order to punish the diocese for their inept action would have only made the situation worse.

 Constituting America 90-Day Study

I hope everyone is enjoying Constituting America’s 90-Day Study as much as I am. Here’s one of the essays, covering one of my favorite topics: the election of 1800.

Upcoming Events.

Constitution Seminar for kids – 5 March. Youngsters ages 10-14 in the Tidewater, Virginia, area are encouraged to attend a seminar on the U.S. Constitution from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, 5 March at the Foundation for American Christian Education on Portsmouth Blvd. Held in partnership with Constituting America, the seminar focuses on the book by Juliette Turner: “Our Constitution Rocks.” Juliette will address the class live via Google Hangouts. There is a nominal charge of $5 per student and a box lunch will be served. Every student will receive a copy of “Our Constitution Rocks,” a pocket Constitution, and other informational materials. Email gary@constitutionleadership.org to register.

Constitution Seminar for adults – 26 March. Mark your calendars; I’ll be holding a Constitution Seminar for adults on Saturday, 26 March from 9am to 6pm here in York County, VA. Space will be limited. Cost is $30 per adult, which gets you a 150-page student workbook, pocket Constitution, 150-page workbook and a whole lot of Constitutional knowledge. Email gary@constitutionleadership.org to register.

Constitution Seminar – 16 April. On Saturday, 16 April, I hope to be in the Valley Forge, PA, area presenting another Constitution Seminar in conjunction with WFYL Radio. Valley Forge was CLI’s inaugural 1-day seminar, the success of which lead me to adopt the format as my standard. Save the date if you live in that area; details later.

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Week in Review

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