Saturday, September 26, 2020

Barrett and the Triumph of Phyllis Schlafly

New York magazine reports:
Barrett is the beneficiary of decades of right-wing activism, much of it carried out by women who not only rejected feminism but sought actively to bring it down low. In her religious conviction and her status as an accomplished but anti-feminist woman, the judge recalls Phyllis Schlafly, who died four years ago this month. Barrett was still a toddler when Schlafly and her militant housewives vanquished the Equal Rights Amendment. But to the left, Barrett is a familiar specter: a traitor to her sex. We are all living in Schlafly country now. Barrett’s nomination is only the latest evidence. The border separating mainstream conservative politics from the fringe was never all that robust, but in 2020, it is invisible. Schlafly’s far-right, anti-feminist ideology has taken over the Republican Party. ... Liberals haven’t always grasped that lesson. That unfortunate reality was dramatized in Mrs. America, FX’s recent series about Schlafly’s rise to relevance. ... Schlafly never quite made it out of the kitchen, either. She died on the outskirts of power, and never held office. Her organization, Eagle Forum, is dwarfed by Christian right groups with more money and better connections. But we’re still living with her ideas. Schlafly endorsed Trump just before her death, ... Schlafly, famously, was no housewife, and Barrett is even more of a career woman. Conservative women with professional lives often invite accusations of hypocrisy: The label dogged Schlafly from the 1970s until the end of her life. But liberals don’t help themselves or any of their causes by taking the right-wing’s bait. Something deeper and more threatening than hypocrisy is at work. Schlafly was a pioneer for women. She uncovered the great loophole. For her successors in the Christian right, there is now one acceptable way to take a piece of male authority for themselves, and it runs through professional anti-feminism. The Schlafly track is about power, not ideological purity. Barrett may become its greatest success — a culture warrior almost without equal.
It is funny how this liberal magazine can say that Phyllis "was no housewife" right after saying that she "never quite made it out of the kitchen". The article is correct that Barrett is a beneficiary of the movement that Phyllis led.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Unpacking the Court

The Phyllis Schlafly Report By John and Andy Schlafly

Even before the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg created an opening for President Trump to place a third Justice on the nine-member Supreme Court, Democrats were planning to take control of the courts next year. Their dreams include “packing” the Supreme Court with a one-time infusion of six additional justices, as Franklin Roosevelt tried to do in 1937.

FDR’s court-packing plan failed when the president was rebuked by his own Democrat-controlled Congress. He was never able to push things through Congress after that, and struggled even to obtain public support for World War II until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Kamala Harris is still smarting that she was unable to stop Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Court last year. Along with fellow Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harris tried to derail the nomination with an unproven, absurd accusation of misconduct from 35 years earlier when the future judge was still in high school.

All Democrat-appointed justices on the Supreme Court have voted in lockstep in recent years, always in favor of entrenched liberal interest groups. They always hear petitions from Planned Parenthood and its allies, while turning down 99% of the petitions for review by other parties.

With the media on their side, the four Democrat-appointed Justices were able to forge a majority on several key issues by peeling off a Republican justice to join them, be it John Roberts or Neil Gorsuch. But that game will be over with confirmation of another Trump nominee to the Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died one day after Constitution Day, the 233rd anniversary of the day when Washington, Madison, and Hamilton completed their long summer of hammering out the structure of our government. Today that same Constitution is an obstacle to Biden-Harris as they seek to turn our Nation into a one-party state like California, which elected Kamala Harris as its senator.

Even before Ginsburg passed away, Democrats were clamoring for unconstitutional goals such as statehood for Washington, D.C., abolishing the Electoral College, and adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution 40 years after the deadline for its ratification expired. The Harris Administration, as Kamala referred to it in light of Biden’s declining mental capacity, needs a majority on the Supreme Court to achieve those goals.

D.C. Statehood, which Nancy Pelosi has already rammed through the House and could get through the Senate if Democrats win a majority there in November, violates at least two provisions in the Constitution. Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) called this legislation “farcical” because it is so clearly unconstitutional, and this bad idea should be dead-on-arrival in the courts.

President Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court, which no first-term president has achieved in a half-century, will protect our Constitution and break the liberal influence over it. This achieves a long overdue result of unpacking the Court and freeing it from those who want to rewrite our laws, rather than applying the Constitution as they should.

Now with only three justices voting together for liberal causes and without the sympathetic pull toward the late Justice Ginsburg, the dynamic suddenly changes to a Court that will interpret the law like an impartial umpire, as it should. It becomes a new ballgame of calling balls and strikes, as Phyllis Schlafly wrote in 2004 in her seminal book The Supremacists.

Democrats are openly frustrated that their political base is not as energized by the importance of the Supreme Court as the conservative base is. Dating back to the notorious rulings of the Warren Court in the 1950s and 1960s, grassroots conservatives have long been aware of how much damage an activist court does, and how important it is to elect a president who appoints good judges.

Trump has accomplished more in his first term than prior Republican presidents achieved in two terms on this all-important issue. As others dithered about whether to fill the sudden vacancy left by RGB passing away, Trump acted boldly and decisively in declaring that he would fill it immediately.

With that masterstroke, it feels like 2016 again, as Trump steps on the accelerator while the media tries to catch up with him. Trump wiped away the tiresome negative publicity about COVID-19, rioting, and California wildfires, and took charge in a breathtaking way.

The contrast between him and “Basement” Biden becomes clearer. Biden’s prior statements in favor of filling a vacancy in a presidential year and his refusal to identify whom he would name to the Supreme Court exposes him as the inept, bumbling two-facer that he is.

Biden himself has criticized the suggestion of packing the court which his Leftist supporters rush to now. It is time to unpack the High Court and end the control that the Left has had over it, and President Trump is keeping America great by doing so.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Trump Judge Nixes ‘New Normal’

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

A Trump-appointed judge has finally stood up against the senseless continuing shutdowns by Democrat governors. Federal judges had been going along with totalitarianism at the state level until Monday, when federal judge William Stickman declared that a Democrat governor has acted irrationally.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s never-ending shutdown blocks outdoor rallies by the Trump campaign in the state which may decide the outcome of the presidential election, and has prohibited attendance at other gatherings, too. Prior attempts to restore freedom, including a lawsuit appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and efforts by the Republican-controlled legislature, had failed.

But those on the side of freedom did not give up, and they finally achieved a legal breakthrough in federal court in Western Pennsylvania, where 8 out of 10 active judges were appointed by Trump. There the University of Pittsburgh is playing football, while Penn State’s Nittany Lions have been sidelined by the Big 10 conference.

Judge Stickman observed that the shutdown order by Gov. Wolf was supposedly necessary to “flatten the curve” and protect hospital capacity against an overflow of patients. No such overflow ever happened and yet the unjustified shutdown continues.

Plaintiffs challenged Gov. Wolf’s restrictions as violations of the First Amendment freedom of assembly, and both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Judge Stickman held in their favor on all of the above in a brilliant 66-page decision which disavows the overly deferential approach taken by other Republican-appointed judges.

“The fact is that the lockdowns imposed across the United States in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented in the history of our Commonwealth and our Country. They have never been used in response to any other disease in our history,” Judge Stickman held.

Indeed, Judge Stickman traced the origin of the shutdowns, not merely the virus, to China itself, which he pointed out does not protect individual liberties as we do in the United States. The lockdown approach spread like a domino effect from Wuhan, and “were unheard of by the people of this nation until just this year,” he pointed out.

Gatherings of more than 25 persons indoors and more than 250 persons outside have been prohibited for months in Pennsylvania. This has impeded the ability of President Trump to hold his massive rallies in this all-important state of 20 Electoral College votes.

“Congratulations Pennsylvania,” tweeted President Trump in response to the news that Judge Stickman had struck down its Democrat governor’s restrictions. The Pennsylvania Governor has vowed a swift appeal to the Third Circuit, but he will be greeted by more Trump-appointed judges there.

Short-term restrictions amid an emergency may be entitled to some deference, Judge Stickman wrote, but “that deference cannot go on forever. It is no longer March. It is now September and the record makes clear that Defendants have no anticipated end-date to their emergency interventions.”

He rejected the governor’s invocation of the anachronistic 7-2 decision of Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), which is often cited by supporters of mandatory vaccination because it allowed Massachusetts to compel the vaccination of a minister against smallpox. As the judge pointed out, that decision predated the vast expansion of individual rights in the 20th century.

In 1905 the government could infringe on many individual rights, such as freedom of speech, and later denied the right to own gold, which would be unthinkable today. And the Supreme Court carefully limited its decision in Jacobson by saying that government overreach on vaccination should still be checked by the courts.

Judge Stickman rejected the overly deferential standard of the 115-year-old Jacobson decision. He pointed out that “the ongoing and indefinite nature of” of Democrat Gov. Wolf’s actions “weigh strongly against application of a more deferential level of review.”

He found persuasive a recent opinion by Supreme Court Justice Alito, joined by Justice Thomas and Trump-appointed Justice Kavanaugh, when they objected to the Court’s refusal to grant an application for relief to a church in Nevada. “We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility,” Justice Alito wrote.

Judge Stickman criticized the Democrats’ “one-size fits all approach,” whereby the “vast diversity of the Commonwealth” of Pennsylvania is treated identically by the shutdown. Pennsylvania “has dense urban areas, commuter communities servicing the New York metropolitan area, small towns and vast expanses of rural communities,” over which the “virus’s prevalence varies greatly.”

Democrats’ shutdown orders have created “a topsy-turvy world where Plaintiffs are more restricted in areas traditionally protected by the First Amendment than in areas which usually receive far less, if any, protection.” Penn State football and the entire Nation should applaud this decision against shutdowns that infringe on our fundamental rights.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Biden-Harris Would Loot the Midwest

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

While California’s raging wildfires have sent smoke billowing as far away as Kansas, the Biden-Harris ticket would extend its political power to the Midwest, too. California politicians have been looting middle America and the placement of Kamala Harris as the shadow president would pick midwesterners’ pockets even further.

California already controls the House of Representatives through Nancy Pelosi as its Speaker. The San Francisco-based Pelosi effectively holds the purse strings for our entire Nation and can shut down the government until she gets what she wants.

On the other side of the Capitol, both California Senators sit on the powerful Judiciary Committee, where they brutally harangued Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh prior to his confirmation in 2018. Dianne Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator and one of its most influential members.

Electing the Biden-Harris ticket would accomplish a trifecta by placing a liberal California politician in the White House, too. Given Joe Biden’s declining capacity, it would effectively put the fringe Leftists who run the San Francisco-based Big Tech industry in charge of the entire nation.

Ouch to the Midwest if this happens. Already California politicians have been transferring wealth and jobs away from the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic boosted Big Tech by forcing people to rely more on the internet, while hurting auto manufacturers who had to close their factories and suffer declines in sales.

Radical environmentalists would extend their reach if Democrats win in November, and they have already been forcing the transfer of billions from the heartland to California. Biased global warming regulations, which penalize some pollution in favor of others, have caused Detroit automakers to pay billions to the electric car maker Tesla as regulatory credits.

California is home to the wealthiest corporations in the world, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and now Tesla, whose stock market value is higher than all the other automakers combined. Michigan’s auto industry should not be compelled to transfer billions of dollars to Tesla based on misguided regulations about climate change.

The batteries required for electric cars cause as much pollution as traditional cars do, but with different toxins. Batteries require rare metals which are mined in ways detrimental to the environment, and both the manufacturing and disposal of batteries pollute our scarce water supplies more than traditional cars do.

West Virginia voters have gotten the message about how radical environmentalists cost them jobs, and Trump carried that formerly Democrat state by a whopping 42% in 2016. Ohio voters, too, have awakened to the harm caused by the liberal elite to their economy, and Trump carried it by 8% last time.

Next door, Pennsylvania faces many of the same energy issues as West Virginia and Ohio. A Chamber of Commerce study estimates that 609,000 jobs in Pennsylvania depend on fracking, and that it would increase the cost of living there by $4,654 annually if fracking were prohibited, as Kamala Harris promised last year.

Joe Biden, or “Hiden” as Trump calls him for hiding out for months in his home during the coronavirus pandemic, was born and raised in Pennsylvania and enjoys a few percentage-points advantage based on that. But the economic harm to be caused by stopping Pennsylvania’s burgeoning energy industry could become a 10-point issue on Election Day.

Another way Californians tax the Midwest is through litigation, where liberals forum-shop to file in federal court in San Francisco in order to obtain a Democrat-appointed judge. That is what plaintiffs’ attorneys have done in looting the 120-year-old midwestern company Monsanto, now owned by Bayer.

The lawsuits over Roundup, Monsanto’s effective weed killer used widely by farmers and homeowners, are taking more than $12 billion from workers and shareholders located predominantly outside the jurisdiction of California’s courts. That money enriches liberal attorneys, and some of it goes into politics to defeat Republican candidates for office.

When Kamala Harris was California’s Attorney General, she aggressively harassed out-of-state companies to force them to make enormous payments for having made the mistake of selling products in the liberal state. In 2016, she shook down Volkswagen for a shocking sum of $14.7 billion. She then allocated $2.7 billion of that to “a trust fund for environmental mitigation projects,” which finances environmentalist groups to look for the next target to shake down.

Many of those targets are midwestern companies that provide much-needed manufacturing jobs in the heartland. President Trump has added more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs to our economy after Obama-Biden caused hundreds of thousands of such jobs to be lost, which Biden defiantly said would never come back.

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index declined to include the California company Tesla, which sent its stock spiraling downward. California environmentalists, through Biden-Harris, are likewise not worthy of controlling the White House.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Importing Third World Medical School Graduates

Scientific American op-ed
Every year, more than 4,000 foreign graduates of international medical schools come to the United States for a residency program. They rarely return home to serve the countries that raised and educated them. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 graduates from U.S. medical schools each year are blocked from becoming doctors because there are not enough residency programs for them to enter, and they cannot practice medicine without this training experience. A further 2,000 American graduates of international medical schools are also denied the opportunity to practice medicine in the U.S. for the same reason. As COVID-19 has inevitably spread to developing countries, this policy will come to be seen for what it is: robbing developing countries of their desperately needed medical professionals. This must stop, even though American medical care benefits from being able to take the best doctors for ourselves.
Note how this is only presented as an argument for America to change American policy to benefit other countries. A better reason is that America should be taking care of its own citizen. If an American citizen completes medical school and wants to become a licensed physician, he should be shut out by a scheme to import foreigners to take his place.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Mail-In Voting: Return to Sender

The Phyllis Schlafly Report By John and Andy Schlafly Unlike school, the election or reelection of the president cannot be delayed, because its timetable is written into the Constitution. It’s too late now to change the procedures by which our ballots will be cast and counted, and “return to sender” should apply to the proposal to elect our president by mail.

Electing the president involves tens of thousands of officials in 50 states and over 4,000 counties, not to mention the massive volunteer army of citizens who staff over 100,000 polling places. Adherence to proper procedure is a vital safeguard as we select a single person to exercise what the Constitution calls “the executive power” of the United States.

With so much riding on the outcome, we must resist the pressure by Democrats to use COVID-19 as a pretext to change the process at the last minute. Despite the pandemic, sports leagues have not changed the rules by which hits, runs, errors, touchdowns, extra points, goals, and other game-winning events are measured and tabulated.

Even Democrat-leaning columnists are beginning to recognize that it is just not feasible for the widespread use of mail-in ballots in this election, as some have called for. Partly it is a question of scale: our election system was not built for 100 million ballots to be sent out to eligible voters and then mailed back and tabulated in the short time available.

Nor is there any way for millions of mail-in ballots to be counted fairly and accurately enough for Americans to accept the candidate who declares victory in such an untested process. No system ever works perfectly the first time it is used, but the winner will be entitled to the keys to the White House, the nuclear “football,” and the appointment of judges for the next four years.

Over 200 lawsuits have already been filed, mostly by Democrats, in a well-funded effort to change various aspects of the process by which the upcoming election will be conducted. Here are a few examples, but there are many more in the pipeline that could affect the outcome.

In Texas, the Democrat county clerk of massive Harris County (Houston) announced plans to mail absentee ballot applications to all 2.2 million registered voters. The Republican state attorney general filed suit to stop that plan because state law limits absentee ballots to persons with health disabilities or other good reasons for not casting a ballot in person at a polling place.

In Iowa, two Democrat county clerks were sending ballot applications in which critical voter information was “prepopulated.” In other words, the registered voter’s personal information (including voter ID number) was already filled in, ostensibly for the voter’s convenience.

Judges in the two counties, Linn (population 200,000) and Woodbury (population 100,000), issued separate rulings last week putting a stop to that practice, which could have allowed someone other than the voter to submit a prepopulated ballot application. Both judges ordered their county clerks to issue new absentee ballot applications with blanks to be fully completed by the voter as state law requires.

In both counties, the clerks had repeated the Democrats’ mantra that precautions are unnecessary because voter fraud is virtually non-existent, but as Judge Patrick Tott of Woodbury County pointed out, “it is also the type of fraud that is almost impossible to detect.”

“From a practical perspective,” Judge Tott continued, “once fraud has occurred it will already likely be too late. Sending out absentee ballot requests with all the information that a person that intends to commit fraud would need certainly does not limit the likelihood of fraud taking place, but would likely help to facilitate it.”

Linn County Judge Ian Thornhill separately observed: “It is implausible to conclude that near total completion of an absentee ballot application by the auditor is authorized under Iowa law where the legislature has specifically forbidden government officials from partially completing the same document.”

As the two Iowa decisions illustrate, legitimate absentee ballots require a high degree of time and attention by both the voter and the county clerk (or auditor, as the county official is called in Iowa). Most counties are unprepared to cope with a surge in absentee ballots, and most voters are likewise unprepared to cope with the amount of paperwork required to vote absentee.

Mail-in voting is too complicated for too many voters. There are too many ways in which a careless voter can spoil his ballot, causing it to be rejected by election officials, with no time to fix or cure the mistake.

Many voters would run out of time to complete the process of requesting and casting an absentee or mail-in ballot. According to a recent survey by the New York Times, 35 states do not allow enough time to request, receive, and return a mail-in ballot.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.