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Kobach’s Latest Plan to Keep 15,000 Kansans From Voting: Sue the Federal Government

Kansas secretary of state and national voter suppression advocate Kris Kobach has been struggling in recent months to implement a new “proof of citizenship” voter registration requirement that he pushed into law. But now he has a new plan: sue the federal government to make it harder to register to vote with a federal form in his state.

Like a similar Arizona law that was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, Kansas’ law requires those registering to vote to produce documented proof of citizenship beyond the sworn oath required on federal voter registration forms. This has produced an administrative nightmare in Kansas, throwing the voting status of at least 15,000 people who registered with the federal form into limbo.

Kobach’s first plan to fix this was to force the thousands of Kansans who had registered with the federal form to cast provisional ballots in the next election, which would then only count if they showed up later at an elections office armed with a birth certificate or other citizenship document. The state board of elections rejected the plan, which one Republican state senator called “disingenuous at best.”

Kobach then got creative, suggesting that Kansas create two classes of voters, with those who register with the federal form only allowed to vote in federal elections. Voting rights advocates balked.

Now, Kobach has a new plan. Along with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Kobach is suing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to require the federal government to add extra “proof of citizenship” requirements to federal voter registration forms in the two states. Andy Marso at the Topeka Capital-Journal sums up the scheme:

Facing the possibility of legal action over 15,000-plus suspended voter registrations, Secretary of State Kris Kobach struck back by announcing Wednesday his own suit against a federal election commission.

Kobach said at a news conference that he and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, both Republicans, have filed a complaint against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asking that federal voter registration forms issued to residents of their states include state-specific proof of citizenship requirements like the ones on state forms largely responsible for putting thousands of Kansas registrations on hold.

Kobach said the court case is "the first of its kind."

Kansas voters will be best served when the EAC amends the Kansas-specific instructions on the Federal Form to include submitting concrete evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote," Kobach said.

Kobach said the lawsuit would partially preempt a suit being prepared but he American Civil Liberties Union over the suspended registrations.

“It does block many of the arguments the ACLU might wish to raise,” Kobach said.

Kobach explains that he is answering the “invitation” that Justice Antonin Scalia left in his opinion in the Arizona case, in which the justice suggested that Arizona try such a move.

Kobach and the ACLU have disagreed on much when it comes to voting laws, but both he and Bonney said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., invited a lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is pursuant to Scalia's invitation," Kobach said.

Mihet: Chris Christie May Face Divine Punishment For Having 'Declared War' On The Gospel, Helping 'Power of Darkness'

Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet appeared this week on VCY America’s flagship radio program Crosstalk to discuss with host Jim Schneider the New Jersey law barring the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. Mihet’s group has filed a lawsuit to block the law, and he told Schneider that the law is really an attack on Christianity.

Mihet quoted Romans 1:32 about people who gave “hearty approval” to those who are “worthy of death,” saying that “we live in Romans 1:32 times and Gov. Chris Christie perfectly encapsulated the substance of this verse.” He argued that by signing the ban on ex-gay therapy for minors, “Chris Christie has essentially declared war” on the “message of the Gospel.”

The Liberty Counsel attorney also suggested that Chris Christie may face divine retribution for defying God: “The Bible says ‘God will not be mocked’ and I believe that and I believe there are consequences for this type of open rebellion of shaking your fist to the almighty God.”

Mihet agreed with a caller who said homosexuality is a “choice” and a “tendency that needs to be overcome,” adding that “there are thousands and thousands of people who used to be a slave to the homosexual lifestyle but who have been able to come out.” He said that he meets ex-gays “all the time” and “sees the passion with which they speak.”

“It defies all truth and logic and common sense to say that it is something that cannot be changed,” Mihet maintained.

Mihet and Schneider even agreed with a caller who alleged that gay people are possessed by demons who work as Satan minions in the Bohemian Grove.

Caller: I don’t think this is true for all homosexuals by any means but I think a lot of them have actually become demonized, especially those in high places like people in relative leadership in our government. I know a lot of them go to the Bohemian Grove where they do like a casting the care ceremony before Moloch and there’s a lot of sexual perversion there. I think a lot of these people have actually become demonized and they are working for their father who is Satan to promote the one world government.

Schneider: Thank you for your thoughts here today. We have seen situations when people rose up and doing things in opposition to Christ that we saw Jesus respond, ‘you are of your father the devil.’ Certainly we know that these are works of darkness but I so appreciate the verse you shared from Corinthians that reminds us ‘such were some of you.’

Mihet: That’s right. I think the power of the darkness in our time cannot be underestimated, I would caution to say not just with the sin of homosexuality but with any other sin that is elevated and perverted and put ahead of the word of God. We have to cling on to the word of God and the promise that it offers healing and forgiveness for every sin and every lifestyle.

Birther Washington Times Defends Cruz By Attacking Imaginary 'Liberal Birthers'

The Washington Times editorial board baselessly claims this week that “many liberals who not so long ago derided anyone who questioned President Obama’s American birth as a ‘birther’ are asking similar questions now about Mr. Cruz’s eligibility.” The paper fails to name any prominent liberals who have actually made this argument.

In yesterday’s editorial, subtitled “Now a new version of ‘birtherism’ settles on the left,” the Times echoes Sean Hannity’s attack on imaginary liberal questioners of the Canadian-born Cruz’s eligibility.

Of course, the whole story is ironic since the birther movement centers around a conspiracy theory — backed by a majority of Republicans — that Obama was born abroad, probably in Kenya, and is therefore not eligible to be president even though his mother was an American citizen. Since Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father, birthers are now quickly trying to backtrack.

The Washington Times editorial defending Cruz is especially ironic since one of the conservative newspaper’s top columnists, Jeffrey Kuhner, wrote a 2011 column arguing that Obama was not born in the US and is consequently an illegitimate president:

If Mr. Obama was not born in America, then it would serve as the final damning indictment of the establishment media’s complicity with the Democratic Party. Not only would it bring the Obama presidency down, but the entire liberal power structure as well.

Moreover, it would spark a constitutional crisis. The Constitution is absolutely clear that to be president one has to be a “natural born citizen.” Therefore, every major initiative implemented during the Obama administration - the health care overhaul, the massive stimulus package, the government takeovers of the auto companies, big banks and insurance firms, the sweeping anti-carbon regulations, allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military, the nearly unprecedented expansion of state power, the new START Treaty - would be invalid and possibly illegal. It would drive a stake through the heart of Mr. Obama’s regime, triggering impeachment and his removal from office. This is why liberals ferociously insist that the birth issue must be buried at almost any cost.



The birth issue is slowly casting a shadow over Mr. Obama’s presidency; it threatens to undermine public confidence in his legal and moral authority to govern. Several states are pushing to pass laws compelling future presidential candidates - including Mr. Obama - to fully disclose all documents proving their natural born citizenship status. This desire for greater political transparency and accountability is healthy.

It is time Mr. Obama came clean. At a minimum, if he does not reveal his birth certificate, he cannot - and should not - be allowed to run for a second term.

Fischer: Gay 'Jim Crow Laws' Mean 'Christians Are The New Blacks'

Bryan Fischer is incensed at the New Mexico Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that a wedding photography business violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing its services to a same-sex couple. The American Family Association spokesman called on the business, and others, to file countersuits and “fight fire with fire” by alleging that preventing them from discriminating against customers is religious discrimination.

“Essentially what this court has done and what the Obama administration has done with this abortifacient mandate is that they have turned Christians into Dred Scott,” Fischer claimed, arguing that the New Mexico court “said that Christians have no rights which this court is bound to respect. So to me this looks like Jim Crow is alive and well, we’ve got Jim Crow laws right back in operation, Christians are the new blacks.”

Watch:

Struggling Anti-Immigrant Group Turns on Its Members With Frowny Face, Passive-Aggressive Plea

As the Atlantic’s Molly Ball reported yesterday, the anti-immigrant movement’s attempts to rile up its supporters in opposition to the Senate’s immigration proposal this summer have been largely an embarrassing bust.

The anti-immigrant group ALIPAC stepped up yesterday and took its members to task, sending out an email with the subject line “Uh Oh, Illegals Got the Best of Us Yesterday :(

The group had sent out an appeal asking its members to send a message of support to Tennessee Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who gained notoriety over the weekend for telling an 11-year-old girl at a town hall meeting that her father should be deported, provoking enthusiastic applause from his tea party supporters.

“We are not sure what went wrong but we asked all of you to take some very simple steps to fight back against Amnesty yesterday but unfortunately only 1,600 of the more than 40,000 on our e-mail lists, plus the more than 130,000 on our social media would take 5 minutes to act!,” ALIPAC president William Gheen writes. “Thus, we are forgoing what we planned to do today to send you this request once more. Please respond to all ALIPAC activism requests.”

Subject: Uh Oh, Illegals Got the Best of Us Yesterday :(

Friends of ALIPAC,

We are not sure what went wrong but we asked all of you to take some very simple steps to fight back against Amnesty yesterday but unfortunately only 1,600 of the more than 40,000 on our e-mail lists, plus the more than 130,000 on our social media would take 5 minutes to act!

The illegal alien supporters racked up over 82,000 views on their copy of this video and pommeled Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) with angry calls for taking the stance that you and most Americans want him to take!

Thus, we are forgoing what we planned to do today to send you this request once more. Please respond to all ALIPAC activism requests. Taking less than 5 minutes to do this could have a big impact!

Step 1: Visit this link and watch this video please. If you have a YouTube account then vote thumbs up and make a comment...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrCjL...LDdM1ow3oHZY1w

Step 2: Call the number for Congressman Scott DesJarlais provided on the top of the video and thank him for standing up against Amnesty for illegal aliens. Tell him you plan to support him for his stance and his courageous actions in this video. DesJarlais has heard from angry illegal alien supporters, now he needs to hear from you!

Step 3: Share this video by forwarding emails, making posts on blogs and forums, and on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Big thanks to the 1,600 of you who took the actions we requested yesterday seriously. Hopefully, the 95% of you who took no action will respond today!

William Gheen and The ALIPAC Team

Focus On The Family Praises Ex-Gay Therapy, Wonders If Chris Christie Approves Of Adultery

Tom Minnery , head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, criticized Gov. Chris Christie for signing a bill barring the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. He told Stuart Shepard that ex-gay therapy is “common and there is a history of them working well, many people have lost their confusion about sexuality as a result of them to the good.”

Minnery also feared the society is making kids think they are gay when they are not, increasing the need for the discredited pseudo-scientific practice: “As society prides itself on putting homosexuality on a pedestal you can see how more and more young people might think they are gay, might think they are lesbian, but what they are probably is just confused and need precisely the kind of help that the governor by signing this law says they cannot have and that’s a tragedy.”

Later, Shepard wondered if Christie, who said he didn’t consider homosexuality to be a sin, urged reporters to ask him “if immorality is okay, are you okay with adultery? Is that what you’re saying, what sins and which ones are out, Gov. Christie?” “Someone ought to ask that question of his wife, what about adultery,” Minnery added.

(HT: Michael Allen)

Pratt and Solomon: Obamacare Will Force Gun Owners to Undergo Electro-Shock Therapy

On a recent episode of the Talk to Solomon Show, Gun Owners of America executive director and actual influential person Larry Pratt played a sort of conspiracy-theory Mad Libs with host Stan Solomon, which resulted in the conclusion that Obamacare will force gun owners to undergo electro-shock therapy against their wills.

Solomon started off the conversation by reading from a Fort Myers, Florida News-Press story about a surge of people with severe depression or bipolar disorder seeking out electro-shock therapy treatment from a local hospital. He took this and ran with it, predicting that the government will soon force gun owners who resist home invasion to undergo the treatment.

Pratt agreed, saying, “I think part of that is what we’re seeing in Obamacare. This is going to be what you’re talking about several times over.”

Pat Robertson's 700 Club Can't Decide If Mormons Are Christian Or Not

Last year, Pat Robertson not only claimed that God revealed to him that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election and be a successful two-term president, but also hailed the high-profile Mormon as an “outstanding Christian.”

Even though Robertson, who also appeared at a rally with the failed presidential candidate, called Romney a Christian, his own Christian Broadcasting Network lists Mormonism as a non-Christian cult.

In fact, today on the 700 Club, Robertson’s co-host Terry Meeuwsen interviewed an ex-Mormon about the differences between her former faith and Christianity.

Robertson, of course, wouldn’t be the only Religious Right figure to equivocate on Mormonism in the service of larger political goals.

For example, many Religious Right activists who have denounced Mormonism also claim that Glenn Beck is a Christian who really isn’t really a Mormon.

Kirk Cameron even began his movie about God’s role in American history by interviewing Beck, even though Cameron once made an entire documentary attacking Mormons, warning that they will “end up in Hell forever.”

Pratt: NSA Surveillance Will Force Us to Become 'Literal' Bomb-Throwers

On the latest episode of the Talk to Solomon Show, Gun Owers of American director Larry Pratt and his unhinged pal Stan Solomon start out having fun with words and end up threating to become "literal" anti-government "bomb-throwers."

In an episode of the Talk to Solomon show posted yesterday, Pratt and Solomon get very excited about the prospect of Sarah Palin running for Senate in Alaska (something that Palin herself has shown no public interest in).  Pratt tells Solomon that Palin would be a much-needed “bomb-thrower” in the Senate, at which point Solomon interejects with a clarification to the NSA, which he believes might be “monitoring” his publicly available show: “By the way, NSA, if you’re monitoring our show, that was just a manner of speech, ‘bomb-throwers.’ We’re not Muslim morons. We’re not Democrat idiots. We’re actually intelligent life forms, so drop dead.”

Pratt, however, evidently thinks Solomon is being too cautious: “Well, if they keep listening in on our conversations, who knows when it might become literal instead of a figure of speech.”

Troy Newman Threatens Civil Disobedience To Counter Obama's 'Totalitarian State'

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue is obviously not a fan of the decision to name Planned Parenthood affiliates in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire as “navigators” that will aid people purchasing health insurance plans through new exchanges. In a LifeSiteNews story which suggested “Planned Parenthood employees could abuse” tax information in order “to harass their ideological enemies,” Newman floated “civil disobedience” as possibly “the only solution for an increasingly totalitarian state.”

The anti-choice outlet also quoted Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), who said that the navigators grant would help Planned Parenthood “continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business” and repeated the false claim that the IRS deliberately leaked the National Organization for Marriage’s tax information.

Planned Parenthood employees will soon have access to a vast federal database of sensitive information, including the Social Security number, tax form, bank account, and medical records of every single American citizen as the president seeks their help in implementing ObamaCare.

Consumers purchasing health insurance through health care exchanges will speak to “navigators,” whose job is to help them find the best coverage and determine if they are eligible for a federal subsidy.



Others are concerned Planned Parenthood employees could abuse their access to sensitive information to harass their ideological enemies. The National Organization for Marriage saw its tax forms leaked to a gay rights organization and later printed on The Huffington Post by a full-fledged IRS employee.

“We may have come to the point where civil disobedience might be the only solution for an increasingly totalitarian state,” Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, told LifeSiteNews.com. “I'm resolved to not comply with the invasion of privacy and taxation without representation.”



“The navigator grants would further enable Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, to continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business,” Congresswoman Diane Black, R-TN, said.

Faith and Freedom Coalition Warns Democracy No Longer Exists As A Result Of Gay Marriage Cases

Faith and Freedom Coalition executive director Gary Marx has written a column for the Christian Post in which he claims that the Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 have made our democracy only an illusion. After accusing the court of “dismantling American democracy” in their gay rights decisions, Marx lambastes the justices for turning America into “a nation where democracy is a mere visual effect used to spawn a perception of self-rule that no longer ultimately exists.”

“The Supreme Court has now served notice to liberty advocates that it is game on,” Marx writes. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans favor marriage equality, he claims that “traditional marriage activists” actually “vastly outnumber their opponents” and will prevent the court’s attempt “to trump the political will and wisdom of its citizens.”

If there was any doubt that the Supreme Court of the United States continues to vastly overextend its powers in ways that are dismantling American democracy and liberty, this summer's decisions striking down a core component of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and remanding California's Proposition 8 should settle the question.

How great is this threat? Put it this way: No component of American liberty or democracy is inherently safe if, as it did earlier this week, the highest court in our land is permitted to trump Constitutional principles and the political will of the American people with a progressive political and social agenda rooted in neither.



The stakes in this current cause could not be much higher. When a portion of the Supreme Court can flippantly toss aside the political will of the people on issues that are rightfully empowered to the people to decide, as this Court now has done, we no longer reside in a nation guided by our people and laws. Rather, America becomes a nation where democracy is a mere visual effect used to spawn a perception of self-rule that no longer ultimately exists.

This is the bad news for liberty loving Americans. But the Supreme Court's rulings bring good news too. Contrary to the image depicted in mainstream media, the American people are awakening to the reality of its elitist, progressive courts – and it is a reality, as Justice Antonin Scalia properly argued in his dissenting view on DOMA, that is "jaw dropping". In striking down the will of elected Members of Congress and a President of the United States (with DOMA) and the people of California (with its Proposition 8 ruling), the Supreme Court has now served notice to liberty advocates that it is game on. That is a calling that the American people will surely answer.

Additionally and importantly, the rulings in no way settle much of anything as it relates to the future of traditional marriage. DOMA may be no longer, but we at the Faith and Freedom Coalition intend to work with its advocates and a growing grassroots movement of Americans who support its principles, to ensure its basic tenets are otherwise upheld. The rulings also will certainly further inspire the efforts of traditional marriage activists, who now vastly outnumber their opponents, to work to elect state and federal legislators who will defend the treasured and traditional definition of marriage while ensuring that the nation's courts no longer serve to trump the political will and wisdom of its citizens.

Linda Harvey Says HIV Cases Among Youth Will Increase Thanks To Ex-Gay Therapy Ban, Chris Christie

Mission America’s Linda Harvey predicts that cases of HIV will rise among New Jersey youth as result of a bill signed by Gov. Chris Christie that bars the use of ex-gay therapy on minors, warning that the law will be exploited by “HIV-infected predators.” Harvey accused Christie of backing “the gay-stapo” and “fascist left-wing schemes” that are “keeping some adolescents locked into homosexuality,” which she said is a “byproduct of early sexual exposure or molestation.”

“If 12-year-olds are indoctrinated at school into thinking they are homosexual and end up the victims of advances by HIV-infected predators, maybe the governor is not too concerned,” Harvey continues. “If New Jersey HIV incidence relating to homosexual practices continues to rise among youth, perhaps he can point to some other factor.”

Gov. Christie just did their bidding for the third time in affirming anti-child, pro-homosexual actions against minors in New Jersey. He signed A 3371, a bill that bans pro-heterosexual counseling for minor children, alleging that “experts” have made a valid case for keeping some adolescents locked into homosexuality. Any alternative advice is sure to send an adolescent on a course of self-destruction, so the narrative goes.



But New Jersey is all about muscle, as teacher Viki Knox learned several years ago. Viki, you may recall, voiced her concerns on Facebook about pro-homosexual promotion to her students and within two days was the subject of intense TV coverage, New York Times stories and all the media firepower the “gay-stapo” was able to launch. Homosexual militants stood outside Union High School with bullhorns demanding her job, and they got it when she was suspended.

Chris Christie chimed in on Viki’s dilemma. He called her Facebook comments “disturbing,” not a good example for someone in an influential position, and he used it as an opportunity to call for more accountability by teachers. “I would like to see an examination of how that teacher conducts herself in the classroom,” he said.

Instead of praising a teacher who showed genuine concern for her students, including moral integrity, Christie piled on someone already the subject of a vicious smear campaign.

So now Christie favors teens being denied the opportunity to overcome homosexual desires, which are not inborn but often the byproduct of early sexual exposure or molestation. No science has found a gay gene, but Christie said he believes people are born this way and that it’s not a sin.

There are only a few reasons why an alleged “conservative” politician supports such fascist left-wing schemes. Perhaps Christie doesn’t really have much of a heart for kids. If 12-year-olds are indoctrinated at school into thinking they are homosexual and end up the victims of advances by HIV-infected predators, maybe the governor is not too concerned. If New Jersey HIV incidence relating to homosexual practices continues to rise among youth, perhaps he can point to some other factor. Not his fault.

Another possibility is Christie really believes all this and is a woefully ignorant product of East Coast group-think. But he could also be running in fear of the “gay” lobby. Yes, they are vicious. Yes, they may try to ruin your life. Yes, they distort the facts, scream over imagined slights and use outright lies to further the cause.

Erik Rush Links Obama to Oklahoma Murder

In his WorldNetDaily column yesterday, Fox News regular Erik Rush linked President Obama to the murder of an Australian baseball player in Oklahoma. Rush began his column by making the false claim that “three black youths” were behind the shooting. Rush isn’t alone in fudging the facts about the race of the alleged shooters: the fact that one of the three suspects is white hasn’t stopped right-wing outlets including Fox News, The Daily Caller and WorldNetDaily from using a phony photo to claim all three suspects are black. But for Rush, the Oklahoma murder—and a stabbing in Queens— is all part of an Obama-led race war.

It’s reaching near-epidemic proportions, but the press is still failing to report on the uptick in black-on-white crime in America. Some will be familiar with the accounts of violent black-on-white crime reported by WND of late, several of which have been incredibly brutal and gruesome.

Last Friday, 22-year-old Australian Christopher Lane was gunned down by three black youths in Duncan, Okla. The crime is not being reported as racially motivated, despite the fact that the assailants deliberately chose an upscale, predominantly white neighborhood. Neither is the stabbing attack on 17-year-old Natasha Martinez in Queens, N.Y., being classified as racially motivated, even though this one might be the work of a serial assailant. I imagine the lack of coverage could be due to the fact that Martinez has a Latino surname and appears white, whereas George Zimmerman (who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin) has an Anglo surname but identifies as Latino. If that appears convoluted and nonsensical, that’s only because it is.



Like many of the audacious and bizarre practices of the Obama administration, the idea that it would be deliberately engaging in fomenting racial tension is incomprehensible to the average American specifically because the concept is so audacious and bizarre. Yet, we know that the Obama Justice Department was involved in materially supporting anti-Zimmerman protests within days after Martin’s killing, and that Obama has long-standing ties to black radical organizations such as the New Black Panther Party (NBPP).

There’s little doubt that such parties knew they had an advocate in their corner from the moment Obama was inaugurated; thus, they became far more vocal. While the president’s tone has been conciliatory (except for the occasional slip), his rhetoric remains in the same vein as that of a black activist, albeit more refined. In the meantime, the economic woes of blacks have increased along with the rest of America, and black-on-black crime is at an alarming high; now, they’re being told that racist whites with guns are stalking them in the night.



Whether naïveté, ideology, stupidity, or a combination thereof on the part of the press is to blame for its complicity, the fact is that this plays into the hands of the Obama administration and the radical left at large. Also incomprehensible in the minds of average Americans is the notion that these campaigns of division (race being only one) are ultimately intended to bring about a degree of civil unrest that will superficially justify the use of force on the part of the administration.

Remember, this is the president who, in 2008 advocated for a “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded [as the military].”

And all the people cheered …

The Weekly Standard’s Selective History of the DC Circuit

The Weekly Standard has a long piece in its latest print issue defending Senate Republicans’ threat to filibuster President Obama’s three nominees to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It’s no surprise that the Standard is backing Republican obstruction, but the extent to which they must dance around the facts in order to do so is remarkable.

The piece, written by Adam J. White, a former clerk of ultra-conservative Reagan nominee and now senior D.C. Circuit judge David Sentelle, gives an extensive history of the D.C. Circuit…but leaves out a few major details.

Here are the highlights of the Weekly Standard’s selective history of the D.C. Circuit.  

1. What Caitlin Halligan filibuster?
    
White incorrectly notes that President Reagan had seven D.C. Circuit nominees confirmed during his two terms in office (he actually had eight nominees confirmed) and correctly notes that President George H. W. Bush had three. But he doesn’t quite explain the reason that only one of President Obama’s nominees has so far been confirmed to the court:

Later that year, the president finally made two nominations for the court—former New York solicitor general Caitlin Halligan and respected Supreme Court litigator Sri Srinivasan—but he made no substantial effort to secure their confirmations before the 2012 election. After his second inauguration, the Senate unanimously confirmed Srinivasan; the White House withdrew Halligan’s nomination, at her own request.

White neglects to mention that President Obama’s first nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Caitlin Halligan, didn’t just “withdraw” from consideration – she was nominated five times when Republicans kept refusing to allow the Senate to vote on her nomination and actually forced the Senate to send the nomination back to the White House.  She also faced multiple Republican filibusters based on completely made-up charges in a nomination struggle that lasted two and a half years. The idea that nobody made any effort to get Halligan confirmed is as preposterous as the explanations Republicans seized on to justify prohibiting the Senate from voting on her nomination.

2. What ideological agenda?

White mocks progressives for suggesting that “the D.C. Circuit is reflexively, ideologically antiregulatory”:

Similarly, those who seize on the court’s rejection of a single EPA rule, in EME Homer City, as evidence that the D.C. Circuit “has morphed into a hotbed of activist judges” (as a blogger for the liberal American Constitution Society put it) lack any sense of perspective. The same D.C. Circuit has affirmed the vast majority of the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas regulations, a regulatory program that far exceeds the cross-state air pollution rule at issue in EME Homer City in terms of cost and scope. Again, whether one agrees or disagrees with the decisions, they offer no plausible basis on which to suggest that the D.C. Circuit is reflexively, ideologically antiregulatory.

Perhaps he should read these words by Bush nominee Janice Rogers Brown, who last year took the opportunity of a routine case about the milk market to unleash a broad invective against the government’s power to regulate commerce, in which she accuses courts that uphold government regulation of putting “property at the mercy of the pillagers”:

America’s cowboy capitalism was long ago disarmed by a democratic process increasingly dominated by powerful groups with economic interests antithetical to competitors and consumers. And the courts, from which the victims of burdensome regulation sought protection, have been negotiating the terms of surrender since the 1930s.

Civil society, once it grows addicted to redistribution, changes its character and comes to require the state to feed its habit. The difficulty of assessing net benefits and burdens makes the idea of public choice oxymoronic. Rational basis review means property is at the mercy of the pillagers. The constitutional guarantee of liberty deserves more respect - a lot more. [internal quotations and citations removed]

And it’s not just words. This skewed interpretation of the Constitution has led the D.C. Circuit’s Republican-nominated judges to issue any number of anti-worker, anti-consumer opinions, including the recent one holding that requiring companies to inform employees of their rights under the law violates the free speech rights of employers.

3. What Bush nominees?

White closes with a repeat of the Republican talking point that there is no need for the vacancies on the D.C. Circuit to be filled, no matter who is nominated to fill them. He repeats the claims of right-wing activist Carrie Severino that “several” anonymous current D.C. Circuit judges have said that the court’s vacancies don’t need to be filled. (It would seem that these are the same anonymous judges that Sen. Chuck Grassley claims to have polled after he had already concluded the seats should be eliminated.)

Furthermore, a According to Carrie Severino in National Review Online, several of Judge Garland’s  colleagues anonymously informed the committee that “the Court does not need additional judges” to handle its workload. “If any more judges were added now, there wouldn’t be enough work to go around.”

Although Sen. Grassley trotted out the anonymous quotes during a Senate hearing, he conspicuously refused to include the responses he got to the questionnaire he’d secretly sent to DC Circuit judges in the public record. The thing is, actual, non-anonymous authorities have come out to say that yes, the D.C. Circuit’s seats do need to be filled. Citing the court’s uniquely challenging caseload, former D.C. Circuit judge Patricia Wald wrote an op-ed (under her own name!) calling for the confirmation of both of the then-pending nominees and for the full staffing of the court. “There is cause for extreme concern that Congress is systematically denying the court the human resources it needs to carry out its weighty mandates,” she wrote.

Even Chief Justice John Roberts has explained that because of its unique place in the justice system, the D.C. Circuit’s workload cannot be compared to that of other federal courts.

White goes on to claim that the anonymous claims that no more judges are needed “are confirmed by the federal judiciary system’s official data.” But his numbers aren’t exactly right. He claims that the court now has 17 judges hearing cases – in fact that number is 14: eight active judges and six judges who have taken semi-retired senior status.

The judges’ anecdotes are confirmed by the federal judiciary system’s official data. Since 2001, the court has added four judges (to “replace” four who took senior status). In that same period of time, the court’s workload has remained virtually constant: 1,319 pending cases in March 2001, 1,315 in September 2012. The nation’s courts face many genuine personnel shortages; the federal judiciary formally designates some courts as “judicial emergencies,” a list published on the judiciary website (and linked by the Justice Department’s own website). The D.C. Circuit is nowhere among them; with 17 judges now hearing cases, it has by far the lightest “per capita” appellate caseload in the country.

The points of comparison that White picks in an attempt to illustrate the court’s supposedly consistent caseload are misleading, at best.   The fact that the court had 1,319 pending cases in March 2001 and 1,315 in September 2012 is meaningless for the current debate. 

Instead, let’s look at the caseload in the spring of 2003 when Republicans supported the confirmation of George W. Bush nominees John Roberts and Miguel Estrada to the 9th and 10th seats. Two years later, Republicans successfully pushed to confirm Janet Rogers Brown and Thomas Griffith to the 10th and 11th seats, when there were 1,313 pending cases. Fast forward to today, when the GOP is claiming that no more than eight judges are needed on the D.C. Circuit, and the court has 1,456 pending cases. That is a whole lot more cases for a whole lot fewer judges to process.

4. What obstruction?

White concludes by saying that there is “no reason for the Senate to accelerate its own review or confirmation” of the three D.C. Circuit nominees:

The D.C. Circuit does not “need” President Obama to appoint more judges. President Obama wants to appoint more judges. As a matter of presidential prerogative, that is a perfectly fine reason to nominate judges—but it is no reason for the Senate to accelerate its own review or confirmation of nominees.

The thing is, nobody’s asking the Senate to confirm these nominees in the dark of night. Each is getting a public hearing and answering pages of written questions from senators. What the Senate GOP is threatening to do is deny these nominees up-or-down votes for reasons having nothing to do with the nominees themselves. White provides no justification for filibusters of these nominees who the president has used his “presidential prerogative” to nominate.
 

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Opposition to Private School Vouchers

The annual PDK/Gallup poll records the highest level of opposition to private school vouchers in the survey's history.
PFAW

CIS Wonders Why 'Handsome Illegal' in Zuckerberg Ad Wants Path to Citizenship

The Center for Immigration Studies was not taken with the ad that Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us put together profiling Alejandro Morales, a DREAMer who wants to serve in the Marines:

CIS fellow David North wrote in a blog post yesterday entitled “That Handsome Illegal Wanting to be a Marine – Tell It to the President!” that Morales should just give up on a roadmap to citizenship. North grants that Morales is “handsome, and frankly admirable,” but argues that instead of fighting for citizenship, the DREAMer should push for the Pentagon take advantage of a loophole in federal code and allow him to serve in the military without granting him any sort of legal status.

“If the DREAMers really want to enlist, and feel thwarted, why aren't they demonstrating outside the Pentagon, or the White House?” he demands.

Remember that handsome, and frankly admirable, young illegal who wants to be a Marine? The one in the Mark Zuckerberg TV ad reported on by my colleague Jerry Kammer?

The impression from the ad is that the nation needs to pass the omnibus immigration "reform" bill so that he can enlist.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no need for a 1,200-page piece of legislation, involving the admissions of millions of people a year as immigrants and nonimmigrants, to bring the young man and the Marines together.

The Secretary of Defense currently has the power, under law, to deem that it is "in the national interest" to issue a ruling allowing an illegal, or a bunch of them, to enlist in the services. The legal citation is here. So, if the DREAMers really want to enlist, and feel thwarted, why aren't they demonstrating outside the Pentagon, or the White House?

Rios: Media Coverage of Greenwald and Quinn Represents 'The Perversion of Normalcy'

Conservative talk show host Sandy Rios today described how she is upset about recent media stories on Kim Catullo, New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn’s wife, and David Miranda, reporter Glenn Greenwald’s partner who was held for almost nine hours by British authorities at Heathrow airport.

“We have a mayor and a first lady—I can’t even find the language for that,” Rios commented about Quinn and Catullo, before ranting that “Glenn Greenwald has a gay partner and his gay partner David Miranda was detained at Heathrow and it’s like the world has ended.” “We are accustomed to the perversion of normality, we are getting so used to it in our headlines,” Rios lamented.

“It’s just amazing to me the power of the homosexual movement and the interest in the sex lives in all of these people.” Rios said we should “operate as individuals” and gay people should not “parade” their homosexuality.

Steve King: 'Cantaloupes' Comment Just Like Complimenting Bodies of 'Olympic Athletes'

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) continued to defend his assertion that the vast majority of young undocumented immigrants are drug smugglers “with calves the size of cantaloupes,” telling Mike Huckabee today that his remarks were no different than complimenting the body of an Olympian.

The Iowa congressman said there was nothing inaccurate or wrong about his claim that “for every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” insisting that “if I offended anybody I didn’t do a very good job of it, but it should’ve been offensive perhaps to drug smugglers but no one else.”

“They’re not just making one trip across the border with 75 pounds of marijuana but it is multiple trips,” King said, “they’re in physical shape for that, just like you can see in an Olympic athlete, that would be obvious to us and I don’t think that would be denigrating.”

He went on to claim that immigration reform legislation “guarantees the permanent destruction of the rule of law, at least with regard to immigration, as far as I can imagine into the future.”

Phyllis Schlafly's Totally Coherent Defense of North Carolina's Voter Suppression Law

In a WorldNetDaily column today, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly comes to the defense of North Carolina’s new voter suppression measure with classic Schlafly logic. The new law is not politically motivated and won’t keep Democrats from voting, Schlafly claims…before adding that the law’s main virtue is that it is politically motivated and will keep Democrats from voting.

Schlafly starts out her argument by claiming that the notion that the state’s new photo ID requirement will disproportionately disenfranchise largely Democratic voting groups is “absurd” because “the poorest members of society can obtain photo ID to get taxpayer-funded handouts”….and then immediately contradicts herself by declaring “the real reason the left wants to make sure that individuals without voter ID are allowed to vote is because they are expected to vote for Democrats”:

Liberals make the absurd claim that requiring photo ID is discriminatory because some minority groups may be unable to provide proper ID. But government-issued photo identification can be obtained by anyone at very low cost.

We already need photo ID, aka a driver’s license, to drive to work, which is rather important to most people. Welfare recipients are required to show photo ID to receive money in many states, and we haven’t heard any gripes about ID discrimination.

If the poorest members of society can obtain photo ID to get taxpayer-funded handouts, they should be able to do likewise for voting. The real reason the left wants to make sure that individuals without voter ID are allowed to vote is because they are expected to vote for Democrats.

Schlafly then takes on the North Carolina law’s reduction of early voting days, including eliminating Sunday early voting, which she happily admits is a response to the popularity of early voting among Democratic voters:

The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

She is especially upset that the Obama campaign (or the “Obama technocrats”) ran a successful early voting get-out-the-vote effort, or, as she puts it, “identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote”:

The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.

But early voting’s sins, according to Schlafly, go beyond being successfully used by Democrats. In fact, she says, early voting “is actually contrary to the spirit of the U.S. Constitution”:

Early voting is actually contrary to the spirit of the U.S. Constitution. Article II states, “the Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes, which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Federal law sets the date for national elections on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

But that isn’t all! Schlafly -- who happens to be the recipient of the 2011 Citizens United Lifetime Achievement Award--  claims that early voting actually “increases the influence of big money spent on campaigns.” Not only that, she says, but it “increases opportunities for ballot fraud” because, she claims without any evidence, poll watchers aren’t present during early voting:

Early voting increases the influence of big money spent on campaigns because it requires candidates to campaign, to spend and to buy expensive television ads over additional weeks. Early voting increases opportunities for ballot fraud because the necessary poll watchers we expect to be on the job at polling places on Election Day can’t be present for so many days.

Schlafly wraps up her argument by declaring that North Carolina’s voter suppression law should “cheer up” conservatives  as they work to restrict reproductive choice, cut unemployment insurance and Medicaid and mandate the teaching of cursive so that “kids will now be able to read letters from their grandmothers”:

In 2012 the Democrats were so sure that North Carolina was a happy hunting ground for their votes that they held their National Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama. North Carolina promptly responded by voting down same-sex marriage in a referendum and then passing a bunch of good laws. So cheer up, conservatives.

In addition to the helpful new voting laws, North Carolina passed stricter regulations on abortion clinics, ended teacher tenure, cut unemployment benefits, blocked the expansion of Medicaid and (despite the scorn of propagandists for the national takeover of education by Common Core) mandated the teaching of cursive writing. Maybe that’s why the liberals are so angry: Kids will now be able to read letters from their grandmothers.

Case closed.

Charisma Magazine Asks Chris Christie: What If Child Predators Preyed On Your Son?

Anti-gay activists are furious that Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill barring ex-gay therapy for minors, and pastor Larry Tomczak penned an open letter to the New Jersey governor in his Charisma magazine blog. Tomczak, upset about Christie’s “unconscionable” decision to “capitulate to the gay agenda,” said the governor should reflect on his own “battle with overeating and endangering your health through poor nutritional choices” and realize that he shouldn’t affirm the gay “lifestyle” and its “frightening consequences.”

He goes on to ask Christie what he would think if older men preyed on his teenage son, who, as a result, “found himself temporarily confused and traumatized.” Tomczak said that after such experiences as a boy his “parents and pastors and counselors” had “early on set me on the path to normal heterosexual sexual understanding.”

Tomczak said that after such experiences as a boy his “parents and pastors and counselors” had “early on set me on the path to normal heterosexual sexual understanding.”

“I close this appeal by directing you to our Founding Fathers,” Tomczak writes. “They honored a Judeo-Christian belief system and upheld the Bible as their source of wisdom for life, laws and legislation.”

Young people today face challenges in the realm of sexuality that are unparalleled in our history. When you and I were growing up with our Roman Catholic training, we never faced the avalanche of pornography and celebration of homosexuality prevailing in the media, schools, government and entertainment there is today.

Multitudes of young children and teenagers are wrestling with sexual identity as they come of age. To capitulate to the gay agenda and stonewall providing options for those who are asking for them really is unconscionable. And since you pride yourself on being very up front and to the point, I'd like to submit to you that your three points are completely inconsistent with what should be your Roman Catholic and Christian worldview.



While parents, counselors and all of us should express understanding regarding people's upbringing and pain, we cannot release people from taking personal responsibility for their actions to do what is moral and right. Your well-publicized battle with overeating and endangering your health through poor nutritional choices probably makes this easy to comprehend.



Here's the deal: Are we really helping young people by reinforcing the prevailing notion that people are born gay—stuck to be this way for the rest of their life? And yes, there are pretty frightening consequences to this lifestyle that folks had just better accept



Gov. Christie, among your four children is a young teenage boy. Since you are known for your bluntness, can I share in a transparent manner some things that happened to me when I was his age and then ask a closing question?

As a young teen, two male teenage relatives tried to seduce me into sexual experimentation with gay sex. Additionally, I had a homosexual pick me up once while hitchhiking, and he offered me money to come to his apartment for an enema. (I was 13 and clueless as to what that was.) In a relatively short time, I jumped out of that car!

To this very day, I am grateful to God for parents and pastors and counselors who early on set me on the path to normal heterosexual sexual understanding. I knew right from wrong. I was able to discern, when faced with something that the Bible said was "unnatural" and "shameful" (Rom 1:24-27), what was the right thing to do.

Gov. Christie, I beseech you to step back and take a fresh look at this law. Think about your children. Think about the future of our nation. Think about how we can best prepare young people for a healthy and successful life. If your son when through what I did, found himself temporarily confused and traumatized, what kind of counsel—honestly—would you want him to hear?

Many believe you have aspirations for the presidency. I close this appeal by directing you to our Founding Fathers. They honored a Judeo-Christian belief system and upheld the Bible as their source of wisdom for life, laws and legislation.

Will you?

Respectfully submitted and upholding you and your family in my prayers, I remain,

Larry Tomczak
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