Janet Porter: Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Could Land Christians In Jail

After holding a press conference yesterday to promote her “restraining order” campaign to stop the federal courts from ruling on marriage cases, Faith 2 Action’s Janet Porter took a few minutes to speak with far-right pastor Wiley Drake about the effort.

Porter told Drake that the things she predicted in her 2005 book "The Criminalization of Christianity: Read This Book Before It Becomes Illegal!” are coming true, and that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, Christians will have to choose between obeying the ruling and going to jail.

“I’m telling you that if the court dares to issue another Roe v. Wade, in this case the Roe v. Wade for marriage, we will not obey it,” she said. “We’ll go to jail if we have to go to jail, but we will not bow to this agenda and violate our beliefs in God.”

“It’s happening in the state of Idaho,” she claimed. “They’re going after pastors in Idaho right now and saying, ‘Unless you oversee, participate in a homosexual wedding, we’re going to put you in jail.’”

Porter was referring to a case in Couer D’Alene in which the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel filed a lawsuit claiming that they could face decades of jail time for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, which did not turn out to be at all true.

This isn’t the first time that Porter has warned that advances in LGBT equality will land Christians in jail. In 2009, Porter warned that an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law would send “ pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech,” a prediction that nearly six years later has not come to pass.

Pat Robertson: Gay Marriage Will Lead To God's Wrath, Turn US Into Sodom

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson warned that if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, Christians in America will soon be “the victims of vicious, vicious attacks,” just like the angels who visited Sodom and were nearly raped by “virulent homosexuals.”

“The angels said to Lot, ‘Get your family out of here because judgment has come down on this town,’ and the fire of God fell on it and Sodom and Gomorrah were extinguished and Lot and his family were barely able to get out to a higher mountain away from the holocaust that ensued,” Robertson said. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting to a point not to accept homosexuality, but homosexuals are now in the ascendency where they are persecuting those who disagree with them.”

Robertson said that America is now turning into Sodom: “I warned about this years and years ago that it was going to happen and it did, it has. What’s next? What’s next is what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is just a question of how soon the wrath of God is going to come on this land.”

Right-Wing Pundits: Obama Persecuting Bachmann With 'End Times' Joke

At the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend, President Obama made a joke about ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann’s repeated refrain that he is bringing about the Last Days, and the former Minnesota congresswoman is not pleased. She and other Religious Right pundits told the End Times outlet WorldNetDaily that the president’s joke was an act of anti-Christian persecution and suggested that people who disagree with Bachmann’s remarks are really denouncing all of Christianity.

“The blood moons of 2014 and 2015 are forewarnings of what is to come in 2016,” author Mark Blitz told WND. “President Obama, I believe, was only half joking when he made his comments.”

Another Religious Right commentator, Carl Gallups, said, “Regardless of how uncomfortable Bachmann’s comments might have made some feel, the biblical fact is that when a nation turns its back on Israel and at the same time celebrates, promotes, and legalizes homosexual marriage it is inviting end of days judgment upon itself.”

Radio host Jan Markell, on whose show Bachmann made the remarks, at least saw the bright side of Obama’s joke, telling WND: “God has His way of getting out a message about the end-of-days scenario.”

“The Bible is filled with exciting information about living life today and in the future, both in this life and in the life to come,” Bachmann told WND. “Any message that brings people closer to God’s wonderful plans for our lives is a good thing.

“God’s word is true and brings freedom and wholeness to all who read it and believe in Him.”

“Rarely has this nation witnessed the kind of hubris, arrogance and callousness as we did at the President’s Correspondents Dinner. President Obama and his left-wing supporters in the media think it is absolutely hilarious that his policies could have fostered in an apocalyptic atmosphere in the earth,” said Richardson, author of New York Times-bestseller “The Islamic Antichrist” and director of the film “End Times Eye Witness.”

“I am rarely offended by good humor, especially upon consideration of the context in which it is spoken. But I think what is unnerving about Obama to so many Christians is his consistent mocking of Christianity, the scriptures, the basic Christian message, and even the Judeo-Christian heritage of America. A quick search on Google reveals the veracity of these concerns,” said Gallups, author of “The Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation.”


Markell said she has known Bachmann for 20 years as a woman whose primary goal is “glorifying God and getting people into the Kingdom.”

“To see her hammered and trashed by the left, and even some on the right such as ‘The Christian Post,’ is very grievous,” said Markell, co-author of “Trapped In Hitler’s Hell” with Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman, which has also been made into a film.

“What is there about a godly Christian woman that is so offensive to so many today when they are simply telling the truth as Michele is?”

But two solid weeks of trash talking has accomplished more to get Bachmann’s message out than any single interview on a Christian radio station ever could, Markell said.

“God has His way of getting out a message about the end-of-days scenario. If he has to use a donkey such as the left-wing outfits that have trashed Michele for two weeks, then I thank God for His creativity,” she said. “One way or another, He will get His message out that He is coming soon. I am thankful that Michele Bachmann and I, who have teamed up for many years, can be used in this manner. God is calling all watchmen on the wall.”

Joseph Farah, WND founder, chief editor and CEO, believes Obama’s mocking of Bachmann is just the latest example of his disdain for anyone who actually believes what he reads in the Bible and is willing to discuss it publicly.

“Michele Bachmann, like me, was profoundly impacted by the stunning revelations of the New York Times-bestseller ‘The Harbinger’ by Jonathan Cahn about the way America has been inadvertently re-enacting an ancient script written and played out during the fall of Israel,” Farah said.

“To Obama and most other non-Christians, this is just silly superstitious stuff – the kind of thing you make jokes about for cheap laughs at the White House Correspondents Dinner. But remember who the cheap laughs come from – people who look at what Obama has done over the last six years and see success, progress, achievement, prosperity, wisdom. If that’s what you see in Obama’s America, then you will surely think it’s funny that the nation is threatened by God’s judgment for disobedience and turning from His ways.

“Time will tell who is right – and I don’t think it will be a long time before we know,” Farah added.

“Regardless of how uncomfortable Bachmann’s comments might have made some feel, the biblical fact is that when a nation turns its back on Israel and at the same time celebrates, promotes, and legalizes homosexual marriage it is inviting end of days judgment upon itself,” Gallups added. “The Word of God is clear concerning these matters.”

“Michele Bachmann is absolutely right that the church needs to be like the sons of Issachar who had an understandings of the times so they knew what Israel ought to do,” Biltz said. He said the church needs to “wake up to the times we are in,” as 2016 “will be one of the most pivotal years in prophetic history. The blood moons of 2014 and 2015 are forewarnings of what is to come in 2016. President Obama, I believe, was only half joking when he made his comments.”

Concerned Women For America: Gay Marriage Persecutes Christians

The conservative activists of Concerned Women for America are using familiar right-wing talking points to criticize same-sex marriage rights.

The group’s legal analyst Mario Diaz took to Breitbart yesterday to warn of the possible “criminalization of Christianity” and “the persecution of Christians”:

All the evidence to the contrary, if the Justices still insist on imposing same-sex “marriage” on the nation by judicial fiat, they should also consider the ramifications of such a reckless decision. They will be effectively opening the door to the criminalization of Christianity. At the very least, they will be kicking the door wide open to the persecution of Christians (and other religious groups) who believe marriage to be an institution created by God, which they cannot re-define of their own accord. Christians simply have no choice in the matter.

Therefore, if the Supreme Court magically produces a requirement on the states to support a policy in direct conflict with people of faith, the question is how much pressure is the state going to put on those people to comply with the Constitutional requirement it must now uphold.

As “evidence” of the supposed threat to liberty posed by marriage equality, Diaz cites the termination of Atlanta’s fire chief for distributing to employees as self-published book that included condemnations of homosexuality. He neglects to mention that in Georgia, where this took place, gay marriage is still illegal.

Diaz also cites cases in Oregon and New Mexico involving bakery owners and a photographer who were found to have violated their states’ non-discrimination laws in turning away gay and lesbian couples. Both of those cases also took place before the states legalized gay marriage. 

Penny Nance, the group’s CEO, similarly warned in a press release this morning that if the Supreme Court issues a pro-equality ruling, people of faith will be “forced into submission”:

The issue of marriage is at least as controversial as abortion because, aside from taxpayer funding, which is an entanglement, no one is advocating that people of faith participate unwillingly in someone else’s abortion. If advocates for the redefinition of marriage have their way, people of faith will not only be forced to actively participate — at least via commerce — they will also be penalized by loss of job or other sanctions if they don’t. You see, it’s not enough for them that I tolerate their position. Christians, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and others are to be forced into submission and complicity. And this is the one thing we can never give you. James Madison said, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” We can love you. We can support you as you navigate life. But we cannot — and will not — ever betray our consciences on this or any other matter.

Rick Scarborough: We Need An Anti-Gay Martin Luther King, Jr.

Writing today in WorldNetDaily, conservative pastor Rick Scarborough once again compared support for gay rights to past public approval of segregation, insisting that he nonetheless believes “that the majority of Americans know in their hearts that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are morally wrong.”

Gay marriage, Scarboroguh wrote, will lead to the end of “religious freedom and freedom of speech,” if not the end of America itself.

Scarborough added that he and “millions” of other opponents of gay rights are prepared to “respectfully refuse to acknowledge” a Supreme Court ruling on marriage rights that they disagree with: “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, we will view any attempt to enforce such a ruling as unjust, and our duty to the Constitution, more importantly, our duty to our God, will force us to disrespect it.”

I’m not surprised that some recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans now say they approve of same-sex marriage. We have heard a steady drumbeat for the past decade of a one-sided national discussion on the subject. But there was also a time when the majority of Americans approved of separate restrooms and classrooms for our fellow black American citizens. The majority is not always right.

When considering the outcomes of polls on this issue, one must ask, “Who wants to be labeled a bigot for declaring what their heart truly believes about sodomy and ‘alternative lifestyles’?” I believe that the majority of Americans know in their hearts that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are morally wrong.

Attempts to redefine marriage are a rejection of God and the Bible. The genius of America and religious freedom is – you don’t have to accept or believe any of what I have just written. You can choose to reject it all and make your own alternative truth.

But you cannot change what God has spoken and verified in nature. Many have tried, and history documents their folly.

In the past, stating such a position was known as practicing religious freedom and freedom of speech, both constitutionally protected rights – rights which of necessity will be sacrificed if the high court approves same-sex marriage.

To the members of the Supreme Court I say: There are tens of thousands of people of faith, in fact, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, whose faith and conscience will not allow them to respect any decision that fundamentally rejects their God, His Word and the natural order. If a majority of the court redefines marriage, thousands of Christians will respectfully refuse to acknowledge such a ruling has jurisdiction over their lives.

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, we will view any attempt to enforce such a ruling as unjust, and our duty to the Constitution, more importantly, our duty to our God, will force us to disrespect it.

Staver: Impeach Supreme Court Justices Who 'Go Off The Farm' On Marriage

In an interview with Iowa-based conservative talk radio host Steve Deace on Friday, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said that he supported Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over marriage cases, but added that he also doesn’t think it’s a “state right” to rule on the issue.

“Same-sex marriage is not a state right, any more than it a right of the United States Supreme Court or the federal courts to do this,” he said. “It’s no more a states’ rights issue than is changing the natural created order of anything.”

“For example,” he continued, “slavery is not a states’ rights issue…No, the issue of slavery is something that transcends state borders. I don’t all the sudden become confused about male and female when I drive into California from a neighboring state of Texas. It’s the same in California as it is in Texas, as it is in New York, as it is in Iowa, everywhere around the world has been the same. It is not the right of the state, any more than it is the right of the federal courts or the Supreme Court to redefine the natural created order of marriage.”

Staver told Deace that “there’s a lot of remedies” Congress can pursue to “rein this out-of-control judiciary back to its intended purpose,” including dissolving lower federal courts that rule in ways lawmakers dislike on marriage and impeaching Supreme Court justices who “go off the farm” on the issue.

“There’s only one court that’s ever required by the United States Constitution,” Staver explained, “the Supreme Court of the United States. No other lower federal courts of appeals or district courts are required, they’re at the will of Congress. Congress created them, Congress can do away with them.”

“Congress, as this particular piece of legislation is proposing, can limit their jurisdiction,” he continued.
“Congress can also impeach justices of the United States Supreme Court that go off the farm. They should exercise the right of impeachment when these justices or judges become legislators, activists, ideologues rather than umpires calling the shots as the balls and strikes goes over the plate. When they do that, they need to exercise their authority to impeach.”

“When the people lose trust in the courts, the courts lose their authority,” he added. “Congress can simply resist these unjust laws coming from these courts and reign this out-of-control judiciary back in its intended position.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/27/15

  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Fox & Friends attacks Miami’s history-making black woman cop because she could be a flag-hating Muslim.
  • Jamie Raskin @ Salon: Scalia and Roberts don’t know best: Here’s how we take our politics back from reactionary court and billionaire donors.

Ron Paul Stars In Oath Keepers Militia Film By Far-Right Filmmaker

Former Republican congressman and onetime presidential candidate Ron Paul is starring in a new film about the threat of martial law in America which includes calls to join the extremist Oath Keepers militia. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers supporter Elias Alias, firebrand preacher Chuck Baldwinradical Arizona sheriff Richard Mack and far-right gun activist Larry Pratt are also featured in the James Jaeger film “Midnight Ride.”

Paul, the father of Kentucky senator and current presidential candidate Rand Paul, previously appeared in Jaeger’s films Fiat Empire, Original Intent, Spoiler and Molon Labe. As we’ve previously reported, Jaeger’s group has a long history of publishing tirades against Jews (and their alleged involvement in child murder) and 9/11 truther theories.

Jaeger believes Israel was involved in the 9/11 attacks and he recently compared the state of Israel to ISIS: “Is it thus any surprise that when Zionists call for a Jewish state (ISRAEL) and Arab-Muslims call for an Islamic State (ISIS aka ISIL) there is going to be massive and endless conflict?”

One article he links to on his site, “Are Jews Conspiring to Take Over the World?,” says that while it may be a fraudulent document, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion “accurately describe much of what is happening in our world today.”

Alias hailed Jaeger’s latest film as “a very classy showcase for the Oath Keepers [sic] mission, to the promotion of our ‘Ten Orders We Will Not Obey,’” a reference to the militia group’s conspiracy-theory-laden manifesto about disarmament, nullification and concentration camps. He added that “Oath Keepers is helping James Jaeger fund the production of this important film, and the film will feature Oath Keepers in many ways.”

This post has been updated.

PFAW Telebriefing Unpacks Legal Issues and Real-World Implications of Marriage Cases

As the Supreme Court prepares for arguments about the right to marry, PFAW Foundation Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin says our country may be “on the verge of a historic breakthrough.”

On Thursday, PFAW hosted a telebriefing for members and supporters on this historic moment in anticipation of oral arguments in the Supreme Court marriage cases (Obergefell v. Hodges) next week. PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker moderated a conversation among affiliate PFAW Foundation Senior Fellows Jamie Raskin and Elliot Mincberg as well as People For supporters who called in to join the discussion.

In the telebriefing, Raskin and Mincberg unpacked some of the questions before the court — not only whether states can prohibit same-sex couples from marrying or refuse to recognize marriages from other states — but also the implications of the various types of reasoning the justices may use to reach their decision.

They also reflected on the remarkable social transformation our country has seen on the rights of LGBT people. Raskin remembered that the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision, which upheld the criminalization of “sodomy,” came out while he was in law school. With the Court’s steady march away from that kind of legal reasoning, he said, “there’s no going back from here.”

Mincberg pointed out that, unfortunately, the backlash has started before the Supreme Court even decides the cases. With “right to discriminate” legislation pending in more than a dozen states and a handful considering “marriage refusal” bills, it’s clear that the far Right is already forging ahead with a nationwide push to undermine the expanding rights of LGBT Americans.

Call participants shared some great questions and opinions, including a retired pediatric doctor who asked why the principles accepted by the medical community to take care of your patients rather than question or judge them have not been accepted by the political community as well.

Listen to the full telebriefing here:


Fox Pundit: Maybe Gays 'Want To Destroy Christians' & 'Force All Of Us Out Of Our Homes'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes spoke with American Family Radio today about an Oregon judge’s proposal to fine Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who were convicted of violating the state’s non-discrimination act when they denied service to a lesbian couple who wanted to order a wedding cake.

Furious, Starnes wondered if LGBT rights supporters will try to “force all of us out of our homes” and “destroy Christians.”

It really is frightening to know that you could just be minding your own business in your own store or shop and all of the sudden LGBT activists come in and you find yourself in the middle of some sort of a lawsuit. You know, the Kleins have already lost their bakery, they don’t have $135,000. And as a result of this fine they could lose this home. You really have to step back and ask yourself: What is it that the LGBT activists, what is it that these government officials want? Do they want to destroy Christians? Do they want to force all of us out of our homes? Do they want to say, ‘If you’re a Christian, if you follow Christ, the teachings of Christ, you are not qualified to own a business or run a shop in the state of Oregon?’ Is that what they are trying to say?

Anti-Gay Activists Warn Supreme Court of 'Tyranny' & God's 'Wrath Upon America' Following Marriage Decision

In a press conference today in front of the Supreme Court, Faith 2 Action’s Janet Porter gathered a who’s who of radical anti-gay activists and “ex-gays” to deliver “restraining orders” to the Supreme Court demanding that the justices not hear arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

Far from a far-right pipe dream, Porter’s bill to block federal courts from ruling on marriage was introduced last week by Rep. Steve King in the House and Sen. Ted Cruz in the Senate. “We have appealed to Congress to restrain the judges, and the good news is Congress has heard our cry,” Porter said.

The activists, including Scott Lively, Peter LaBarbera and Bill Owens, also announced that they were filing a motion asking Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan to recuse themselves from the case because they, in Lively’s words, “deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies.”

Ginsburg and Kagan, Lively charged, “have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics by elevating the importance of their own favorite political cause of gay rights above the integrity of the court and of our nation.”

Porter distributed to attendees copies of her new anti-gay documentary “Light Wins,” which features a number of GOP politicians and conservative activists claiming that the institution of equal rights for LGBT people will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity,” a theme heard throughout the press conference.

Greg Quinlan, an “ex-gay” activist, echoed the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins , saying a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality “will bring open season on Torah Jews and biblical Christians, and it will definitely bring open season on those of us who left homosexuality.”

Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas, a Roy Moore acolyte who has been advocating for a bill in his state barring the use of funds to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples if the state’s marriage ban is struck down, declared that gay marriage is “not a marriage, it’s a mirage, because it’s counterfeit, it’s a lie, it’s untrue.”

A decision in favor of marriage equality, he warned, “would force individuals to have to condone, accept, even celebrate sexual immorality among certain elements of the population and teach it to the children.”

“It would criminalize Christianity,” he added. “The pastors would be forced to have to marry those of the same-sex.”

Peter LaBarbera, the head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality declared that the Supreme Court is “poised to nationalize a historical anomaly, so-called marriage based on a sexual perversion, as a constitutional right.”

“A nation cannot simultaneously honor God and codify sexual sin as a supposed civil right,” he said, adding that “apparently the ‘T’ in LGBT stands for ‘tyranny.’”

Bill Johnson, a former state official with the American Family Association who now runs the American Decency Association, warned that a decision favorable to marriage equality would invite God’s "wrath upon America:

Meanwhile, Wiley Drake, a pastor who has prayed for President Obama’s death, was filming the whole event, at one point turning around to tell reporters that America has a Christian “birth certificate.”

“Our nation has a birth certificate. The president doesn’t, but our nation does.”

Scalia and Roberts Don’t Know Best: Here’s How We Take Our Politics Back from Reactionary Court and Billionaire Donors

This piece, by PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin, was originally published by Salon.

If you take away Prohibition (the 18th Amendment) and its repeal (the 21st), most of our constitutional amendments since the original Bill of Rights have expanded the voting rights and political equality of the people.

Our post-Reconstruction amendments have abolished slavery (the 13th), provided for equal protection of the laws and required reduction of states’ congressional delegations if they disenfranchise eligible voters (the 14th), denied states the power to discriminate in voting based on race (the 15th) and shifted the mode of election of U.S. Senators from the legislatures to the people (the 17th). They have passed woman suffrage (the 19th), given residents of the federal district the right to vote and participate in presidential elections by casting electors (the 23rd), abolished poll taxes in federal elections (the 24th) and lowered the voting age to 18 (the 26th).

Moreover, many of these amendments have directly responded to Supreme Court decisionsdenying the political rights of the people.  For example, the 19th Amendment overturned the Court’s decision in Minor v. Happersett (1875), which held that Equal Protection did not protect the right of women to vote, affirming precedents finding that women’s proper place is in the domestic sphere.  Similarly, the 24th Amendment banning poll taxes in federal elections overturned the Court’s 1937 decision in Breedlove v. Suttles upholding such taxes.

But if you listened only to some of my colleagues in the legal establishment, you might never know that our unfolding Bill of Rights is a dynamic chronicle of the democratic struggles of the people for participatory political equality nor would you know that the people have often had to override reactionary decisions of the Supreme Court in the process.

A lot of lawyers today react with horror to U.S. Reps. Marc Pocan and Keith Ellison’s excellent push for a constitutional amendment to establish an affirmative and universal right to vote against recurring state efforts to disenfranchise people.  And a lot of academics were aghast last summer when every Democratic United States senator supported a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United, McCutcheon v. FEC (2014) and Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (2011).

The amendment, backed by the vast majority of Americans and a surging national campaign that 16 states and more than 650 cities and towns have joined, would restore the people’s power to stop CEOs from spending corporate treasury wealth on political races, to impose reasonable campaign finance limits such as caps on aggregate contributions, and to develop public financing laws with matching grants that help empower poorer candidates to be heard over the roar of big money.

Yet we are constantly invited to believe that, however much big money comes to dominate our politics and control public policy, we must never touch our Constitution. It must be hidden away in the attic where it will be tended by wise Supreme Court justices and law professors who know that the people’s constitutional values will always be inferior to those of the judiciary and the experts.  This attitude betrays our progressive democratic heritage and Thomas Jefferson’s important warning:

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc [sic] of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment . . . . But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.

The country’s most prolific voting rights scholar and blogger, Richard Hasen—a colleague and friend of mine—is the most recent legal academic to pour cold water all over the movement for a constitutional amendment to rebuild the statutory wall protecting democratic elections from the flood of plutocratic and corporate wealth.  This is the wall that has been mostly demolished by the Roberts Court in both Citizens United and the McCutcheon decision.

While Citizens United turned every corporate treasury in the country into a potential political slush fund, McCutcheon wiped out all aggregate limits on federal campaign contributions so that tycoons can now max out to every incumbent Member of Congress–plus all their opponents!  The top half of the top 1 percent can now pretty much bankroll all federal campaigns, which is one reason why run-of-the-mill Republican millionaires and bundlers are complaining to the Washington Post that they have been bypassed in the nation’s wealth primary by “multi-multimillionaires and billionaires.” The bottom half of the top 1 percent is getting a sense of what it is like to be a political spectator in the country’s exclusionary wealth primary.

The Post also reports that public anxiety about plutocracy is becoming a key issue in the presidential election—not just among Democratic activists for whom it is “red meat,” according to Professor Hasen, but for Republicans and Independents too—pretty much everyone who lacks the strategic advantages of Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. Earlier this month, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also pointed to the need for a constitutional amendment to fix the damage done by Citizens United.  Indeed, if you don’t think the accelerating takeover of our politics by big money affects public policy in the real world, you may or may not be an academic, but you are definitely too innocent to be let out of the house by yourself.

In launching her 2016 campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared a “big fight” to fix “our dysfunctional political system” by getting “unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment,” and I say good for her. Given Clinton’s legislative and political experience and her own prodigious navigation of our money politics, she obviously knows how the Roberts Court’s magical transformation of for-profit business corporations into political membership groups has completely distorted politics in the Citizens United era.  Of course, some of the Republican presidential candidates are charging her with hypocrisy for seeking to change the plutocratic political system that shapes her campaign, along with everyone else’s, and sullies everyone who touches it.  But this is predictable and pedestrian.  The nihilistic enemies of reform prefer nothing systemic to change just so long as they can keep denouncing Hillary Clinton.

Thankfully there is no talk of hypocrisy in Hasen’s critique, but still all Clinton gets from him is a lot of negative energy.  First, he faults her for not trying to fix “the nation’s disclosure laws,”  which is strange because she supported the Disclose Act, which U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen introduced and which Republicans killed, and she has always championed disclosure.  It is also strange because Clinton is clearly treating a constitutional amendment as a last resort in a struggle against a runaway faction of five plutocrats on the Supreme Court.  If I am reading her correctly, Clinton wants unaccountable corporate money—which is now spent by CEOs in our political campaigns on a secret basis and without any consumer, shareholder or citizen control over it—to be subject to public regulation “even if it takes” a constitutional amendment. That doesn’t sound so reckless to me.

For Hasen, it seems sufficient to work for years or decades to mandate disclosure of the billions of dollars in corporate money coursing through the veins of the body politic, and then leave things at that.  He is afraid that actually restoring the power of Congress to impose “reasonable” and viewpoint-neutral limits on corporate political expenditures would be subject to an effective judicial veto through reinterpretation by “a conservative majority on the Roberts Court” and therefore useless.  Well, it is also the case that the addition of the words “equal protection” to the Constitution were effectively nullified through reinterpretation by a Jim Crow Supreme Court between Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education(1954).  But does that make passage of the Fourteenth Amendment a bad idea?  The Supreme Court has been a conservative and reactionary institution for most of our history, but that is precisely the reason for the people to write our Constitution in a way that advances and protects strong democracy. Having the right constitutional language in place may not be sufficient to constrain the reactionary elitism of the Supreme Court, but it is certainly necessary.

If we just wait around for new justices to change things and fail to directly engage this constitutional question in the public arena, we can expect to see the few remaining bricks of campaign finance law flattened by the Right and the Court, including base limits on individual  contributions, the Tillman Act’s century-old ban on corporate contributions to federal candidates, the rules against “coordinated expenditures” between candidates and independent spenders, and the limits in 29 states on making campaign contributions during legislative sessions–all of them clearly at odds with the absolutist dogmas of the Right: that political money is political speech, that business corporations are First Amendment-protected political (and religious!) associations, and that the only kind of political corruption we can acknowledge and regulate are quid pro quo transfers tantamount to bribery.

But Hasen, finally, calls a constitutional amendment a “political nonstarter” because of the difficulties of passage.  But here he ignores not only the success that popular movements have had in inscribing democratic values in the Constitution throughout our history, but also the way that serious constitutional movements can reshape the terrain of American politics with or without final passage and ratification.  For example, the heroic movement for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s not only led to widespread adoption of state constitutional amendments and significant federal statutory changes advancing the equal rights of women but also helped shock the Supreme Court into action to apply “heightened scrutiny” to official gender-based discrimination under Equal Protection doctrine.  Constitutional movements can change the mind of the Court.

Whether or not we summon up the two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states needed to pass a strong new anti-plutocracy amendment, the movement for such an amendment is essential to change the degraded assumptions of the Citizens United era.  It will open up space for revival of the Disclose Act, for consideration of the “Shareholders United” legislation that I and other legislators have been advancing at the state level, for progress for small-donor plans like Congressman John Sarbanes’ Government By the People Act, and for an honest debate about Citizens United, which turned on its head two centuries of conservative understanding of what a corporation is.

Even if the best we can hope for is some modest new disclosure rules and a few new Supreme Court justices who tilt towards democracy over plutocracy, as Hasen advises Hillary Clinton, these outcomes are far more plausible and likely with a lively popular constitutional movement on the ground than the defeatist attitude that the Supreme Court always knows best.


Pat Robertson: Forgive Husband's Gay Affair Unless He's A 'Habitual Homosexual'

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson told a viewer to forgive her husband of 11 years who cheated on her with a male friend from church. The viewer explained that her husband said he was drunk and that the affair was a mistake, and she asked Robertson for advice on how to handle the situation.

“Well, hey, drunk, he didn’t know what he was dealing with,” Robertson said. “She says, ‘Should I forgive?’ Of course you should. If he were this way all the time, if he’s a habitual drunk, if he’s a habitual homosexual, if he’s a habitual philanderer, then by all means take a hike. But one time, 11 years, don’t throw all of that away.”

Pat Robertson: God Can 'Straighten Out' Your Gay Daughter At Summer Camp

When a “700 Club” viewer asked Pat Robertson today how she can convince her daughter, who recently introduced her to her girlfriend, to “give up the LGBT lifestyle,” the televangelist told the viewer to “pray that God will straighten her out” because it may be a phase she’s going through.”

“A little teenage girl doesn’t know what dress she’s supposed to wear much less what kind of sex she’s supposed to be,” he said, seemingly confusing sexual orientation with gender identity.

Robertson then lamented the purported “pressure” to be gay: “There’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it. I don’t know what to do, maybe get her in a camp, a Christian camp in the summer where they are really on fire for the Lord and maybe she will straighten things out.”

Tony Perkins Just Lies On 'Face The Nation,' Insists He Never Called For SCOTUS Impeachment

Time and time again, conservative figures have one message for right-wing media outlets and a completely different one for the mainstream press. Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council president, gave us the latest example of this phenomenon during an appearance on “Face the Nation” this Sunday to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court marriage case.

Last week, as we first reported here on Right Wing Watch, Perkins told conservative Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage rights would lead to “open season on people of faith" and agreed with Mickelson's suggestion that Supreme Court justices who vote in favor of marriage equality be impeached.

But when Schieffer asked Perkins about those comments on Sunday, he had a very different answer, flatly denying that he had ever called for the impeachment of justices who favor marriage equality.

Via RawStory:

Unfortunately for Perkins, we have the audio of him saying exactly that.

After Mickelson went on a rant about how Congress should attempt to strip the court of its jurisdiction on marriage and “impeach [their] sorry keisters,” Perkins responded: “I don’t disagree with you, I think you are absolutely right.”

In fact, Perkins has also predicted that there will be a full-scale revolution if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.

Montana Activists Clinch a Victory Against Big Money in Politics

Last week, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed into law a sweeping campaign finance reform bill that represents a major bipartisan victory in the movement to get big money out of politics.

SB289 – the Montana Disclose Act – will require dark money groups to report their spending on state political races. The bill is a much-needed update to Montana’s campaign laws, and will help provide Montana voters with more information on the groups behind the political attack ads they see every election cycle.

During the state legislature’s debates on SB289, Montana PFAW members and other local activists lobbied their representatives, calling state representatives and urging them to support  greater transparency in Montana’s politics. While signing the bill, Gov. Bullock announced that the state finally has a law “that mandates that every penny spent in our elections will be disclosed.”  

“When it comes to Montanans as individuals having control of our elections, this is the most significant day in the last 112 years since Montanans passed the Corrupt Practices Act,” said Bullock.

SB289 passed with bipartisan support in both the State House and Senate. Montana’s victory is yet another indicator that big money’s threat to our democracy transcends party affiliation – and that money in politics is really only a partisan issue in Washington, DC.


Marco Rubio: 'Ridiculous And Absurd' To Believe Gays Have Constitutional Right To Marry

While his campaign touts his outreach to gay Republicans, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network this weekend that anyone who believes that gay people have a constitutional right to marriage have a “ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. Constitution.”

“There is no federal constitutional right to same sex-marriage,” Rubio said, before criticizing gay rights advocates for supposedly trying to shut down debate over the issue.

It doesn’t exist. There is no federal constitutional right to same sex-marriage. There isn’t such a right. You would have to really have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex. There is no such constitutional right. Can a state decide to change their laws? Yes, but only through the political process, not through the court system and that’s what is happening now.

The advocates of same-sex marriage refuse to go to the legislatures because they can’t win that debate, they don’t want to have a debate in society. They want courts to impose it on people and they are not even satisfied with that. They have now gone further. They want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters. It’s very simple. This is not a policy against anyone. I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that has existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

Jim Garlow: Marriage Equality Ruling Would Make Supreme Court 'The Laughingstock Of Historians And The World'

At today’s March for Marriage, Pastor Jim Garlow offered a lengthy explanation for why he believes marriage equality is wrong, asking the audience to repeat several Hebrew words found in Genesis before rearranging the letters to make the word “fire,” which of course proves that if you allow marriage equality you are going to Hell.

“You mess with the definition of marriage, and you burn, you’re toast, you can’t win that one,” he said.

This explanation is so obvious, he said, that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality this year, it will soon become a “laughingstock” for having promoted the “ridiculous” idea of legal marriage for gay and lesbian people.

“Quoting from the Broadway musical, I would say this to the Supreme Court,” he said. “‘Your arms are too short to box with God.’ You can’t mess with Him. You can’t change the definition of marriage. If you try, they will laugh at you in 25 or 50 years. This Supreme Court, if they try to change that definition, they’ll be laughed at, they’ll be scoffed at. ‘How ridiculous was this notion?’ And this whole concept of so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ will be on the ash heap of history and the Supreme Court will be the laughingstock of historians and the world. They cannot change what God has established.”

Mat Staver: 'No Choice' But To Disobey Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

Speaking at the National Organization for Marriage’s March for Marriage today, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver repeated his frequent comparison of a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality to the infamous Dred Scott decision, declaring that he would have “no choice” but to disobey such a “lawless” decision.

Staver, who has recruited hundreds of anti-gay activists to sign onto a pledge to disobey a high court ruling in favor or marriage equality, told the crowd, “As someone who’s argued before the United States Supreme Court, I have great respect for this court, but have no respect and cannot respect a lawless decision.”

Saying that like Dred Scott, a decision in favor of marriage equality would be “contrary to the natural law of God,” Staver said, “As much as I’m an attorney and I respect the rule of law, I also respect the higher law. And when an earthly law collides with the higher law, we have no choice to obey the higher law.”

“Marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” he added. “As a policy matter, any other union says that God’s design is flawed. As a policy matter, any other union says that boys don’t need fathers and girls don’t need mothers.”

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