After dozens of members of the Republican National Committee went on a trip to Israel sponsored by a notorious hate group that has repeatedly claimed that that Jewish Americans have no First Amendment rights and argued that Jewish immigrants should be forced to convert to Christianity, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are now taking part in a visit to Israel organized by an organization with similar views.
The Family Research Council announced in an email to members today it is organizing an Israel tour with Santorum and Jindal, two likely Republican presidential candidates, along with End Times author Joel Rosenberg.
Jindal and Santorum’s decision to travel to Israel with FRC may raise eyebrows, given the group’s history of making dismissive comments about American Jews and expressing hope that Jews in Israel will convert to Christianity, a central theme of certain End Times narratives.
FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin said last year that Jews who convert to Christianity are “fulfilled Jews,” claiming that missionary efforts should focus on Israeli Jews, who can learn from their Arab Christian neighbors:
Boykin has rebuked anyone who dares criticize his attempts to convert Jews to Christianity:
Boykin also slammed Jewish Americans for largely backing Democrats, claiming that they don’t realize that Adolf Hitler was actually a leftist: “If you look at Hitler, one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”
Like Boykin, FRC President Tony Perkins, for his part, once attacked the “Jewish lobby” for its ties to Democratic elected officials, lamenting that Democrats “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.”
The FRC is also well-known for its extreme anti-gay views. For example, Perkins believes that gay rights supporters are planning a holocaust of Christians and are quite literally pawns of the Devil. As we’ve previously reported, Perkins has “defended Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ bill and connected homosexuality to a whole host of evils, including death, sexual assault, depression, suicide, government population control, and child abuse. He has even compared homosexuality to shootings, kidnappings and alcoholism.”
Such remarks aren’t that surprising, as the FRC is unabashed in its support for the criminalization of homosexuality and once had a spokesman say he wanted to “export” gay people from the U.S. since “we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”
This post has been updated
In what is becoming an annual tradition, the American Conservative Union has accepted the sponsorship of an organization led by a white nationalist.
Metro Weekly reported yesterday that the Log Cabin Republicans attempted to sponsor the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, but were rejected. Although the ACU disputes the story, in the past it has repeatedly excluded the now defunct gay conservative group GOProud. [UPDATE: Log Cabin Republicans report that they have been offered a speaking slot at CPAC, while they will "continue working toward full sponsorship of future CPACs."]
At the same time, the ACU has repeatedly allowed white nationalists to present at and sponsor CPAC. In 2010, CPAC welcomed the sponsorship of the John Birch Society. In 2012, it hosted a panel on the “failure of multiculturalism” featuring John Derbyshire, Peter Brimelow and Robert Vandervoort, three of the most unabashedly racist voices on the Right, who were joined by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa. Vandervoort shared the stage on another panel with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the GOP’s most influential anti-immigrant strategists. Then, in 2013 and 2014, Vandervoort’s group ProEnglish was a sponsor of the conference.
This year, it appears that ProEnglish is once again sponsoring CPAC. Although the group is not listed on the event’s website, it is included on a longer list of sponsors on the event’s mobile phone app.
UPDATE: Here is a screenshot showing that ProEnglish will be sponsoring a booth at CPAC's exhibit hall, at a cost of $4,000:
Along with leading ProEnglish — a nativist group founded by John Tanton that seeks to establish English as the official language of the U.S. — Vandervoort has a background as a white nationalist leader. The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights reported in 2012 that Vandervoort was “the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois”:
During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
Vandervoort's position at ProEnglish is not surprising, given his familiarity with the Nativist Establishment. He and several Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance members attended a March 22, 2005 Federation for American Immigration Reform meeting at the Lincoln Restaurant in Chicago. At a November 13, 2004 FAIR "Midwest Immigration Reform Summit" in Rosemont, Illinois, Vandervoort attended and passed out leaflets to the crowd announcing a local American Renaissance event.
IREHR has more on Vandervoort here.
Although ProEnglish stays away from the outright white nationalism of Vandervoort’s past, it thrives on nativist fear-mongering. In 2013, ProEnglish ran a nasty anti-immigrant ad against South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, which featured the voice of a woman “translating” a message from an “illegal immigrant”:
In addition to ProEnglish, CPAC has welcomed the sponsorship of anti-gay groups including the Family Research Council, theNational Organization for Marriage, Eagle Forum and Tradition, Family and Property, which at last year’s CPAC distributed a pamphlet depicting GOProud as a rainbow-colored beaver gnawing through the social issues leg of the conservative movement.
Last month, David Barton spoke at the First Baptist Church in Eastland, Texas, where he added a new wrinkle to his claim that the Bible dictates how the government is to operate by declaring that the Bible explicitly prohibits governments from taking on debt.
As "proof" of this, Barton cited Deuteronomy 15:6-8:
For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
"The Bible tells us, Proverbs 22:7, that the borrower is servant to the lender," Barton said. "See, the Bible is real clear: stay out of debt. You lose your freedom when you get into debt. Well, that applies for individuals, it applies for families, it applies for churches, it applies for states, it applies for the nation. God doesn't want you in debt, which is why Deuteronomy 15:6 says your nation is not to go into debt. Here we are. That's not a political issue, that's a biblical issue. God spoke about that a long time before America ever existed":
Apparently, the Founding Father never got the message.
Barton then went on to repeat his absurd claims that "the Bible absolutely condemns the estate tax," that Jesus hates the capital gains tax, and that the Bible prohibits the use of progressive taxation.
Citing a fabricated quote from “The Audacity of Hope,” which she claims may have actually been written by Bill Ayers, BarbWire columnist Sher Zieve writes today that President Obama is bent on “destroying the USA and replacing its legal citizens with Muslims and other illegals, in order to create a new country of his making.”
According to Zieve, Obama plans to flood the country with Muslim immigrants in order to build his own caliphate.
“Everything Obama and the Islamo-Nazi new world order is now doing is designed to implement the ‘Final Solution’ for the USA, … that of the North American Caliphate which Obama plans to head,” Zieve said.
Obama is destroying the USA and replacing its legal citizens with Muslims and other illegals, in order to create a new country of his making.. Logic requires rational reasoned thought…not emotion and false premises. Thus…I shall attempt to explain it to them for yet one more time. The rest of you—Conservatives specifically–understand perfectly well what’s going on.
Obama Syndicate: Christians are responsible for Islamic Violence and their own deaths! Although they haven’t said it–outright–yet, the Obama syndicate members seem poised to soon say that Christians are actually responsible for their own beheadings and burning of the adults and children..many of them infants. Obama recently said that Christians have done horrible things, too. But—and it’s a big one—he had to go back to the over-a-thousand-years-ago Crusades to make his case. The Crusades were in effect because barbaric and enslaving Islam had taken over Spain and other regions in Europe. In a nutshell, Islam hordes conquered and took Christendom lands, enslaved the people and stole their Holy sites. The Christians fought Islam to get them back. Christianity won. In Obama’s book “Audacity of Hope.” he (or possibly Bill Ayers) writes “…I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
Everything Obama and the Islamo-Nazi new world order is now doing is designed to implement the “Final Solution” for the USA…that of the North American Caliphate which Obama plans to head. President Ronald Reagan’s “America a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere” will be destroyed and extinguished at last. As it is, the flicker of my home country is very dim now, indeed. As I’ve written before, my ancestral family members built the United States of America from the ground up and I have been witnessing its dismantling. Although I view Barack Hussein Obama as a loathsome creature, even more offensive are those who refused to lift a hand to stop him and those who affected the pretense of being of, for and by the people but, who willingly betrayed their fellow humans for the promise of power in this planned New Dark World and a few pieces of silver. And, to them, I say whether you choose to believe it or not truth is truth and our Creator God is watching. Even so, Lord, come soon…
When E.W. Jackson ran for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2013, he flatly denied making a litany of extreme anti-gay statements, despite the fact that there were plenty of audio and video records of his remarks. Now, with the campaign over, Jackson seems to be less shy about his views on gay rights.
On yesterday’s edition of “Trunews,” Jackson told broadcaster Rick Wiles that marriage equality for same-sex couples will lead to divine punishment on America, which Wiles speculated might be in the form of a Russian invasion.
Jackson said that if the U.S. doesn’t adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to “protect us against this onslaught,” then conservatives must prepare for a “long haul fight of civil disobedience and refusal to go along with the program and having Christians punished and incarcerated and fined and lose their jobs.”
“Of course, there’s a third possibility, which is a spiritual possibility, and that is that because of our absolute rebellion against God in this issue, which is exactly what is happening, because of our absolute rebellion against God, the judgment of God will fall on my beloved country in a way that I don’t desire to see and no American should as a result of the fact that we are literally shaking our fist at God,” Jackson said. “That’s not a happy or blessed or hopeful position for a nation to be in and I certainly don’t want my country in that position, but that’s where we are.”
Wiles went on to tell Jackson that “we are going to get clobbered very soon if we don’t turn around as a nation,” pointing to “warning signs” such as Russian submarines and warships near the U.S. and Great Britain.
The Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse joined Phyllis Schlafly on “Eagle Forum Live” last week for a special Valentine’s Day episode on how “radical sexual revolutionaries” are destroying marriage and the family.
Morse told Schlafly that the “goal all along” of the “radical feminists” and “radical sexual revolutionaries
was to advocate for liberalized divorce laws in order “to break down that dividing line between public and private and just scoot that family court right into your living room, right into the backseat of your minivan, right into your bedroom and taking jurisdiction over the life of the family.”
“This is a gross expansion of the power of the state,” she said. “And gay marriage will only accelerate that, because gay marriage now will create a whole series of situations where family courts will be deciding who actually counts as a parent in the first place.”
This op-ed by Michael Keegan, President, People For the American Way was originally published at The Huffington Post.
Late last month, news broke that the network of political organizations tied to Charles and David Koch was developing plans to spend nearly a billion dollars in the 2016 elections.
Given that unprecedented investment, it's essential to understand precisely what the Kochs and their front groups are doing. Yesterday, People for the American Way released a new report exploring one of these groups: the Libre Initiative, which aims to win over Latino voters for Republicans.
With much of its funding coming from the Kochs, Libre has the resources it needs to try to run an aggressive campaign aimed at making inroads in the Latino community. As Politico reported recently, "Libre, which already has a presence in eight states, plans to expand to Wisconsin and North Carolina this year and increase its staff by about 30 percent ahead of 2016."
The group's millions go to promoting conservative causes to the Latino community and using deceptive ads to attack Democrats. Civil rights leader and People for the American Way board member Dolores Huerta described Libre best: "This is just another flashy way for the Koch brothers to try to con Latinos into supporting a party that's run by anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-environmental extremists. We won't be fooled; the group has the wrong priorities on the issues that matter most to us." Though the group is doing all it can to push GOP priorities like blocking an increase in the minimum wage and rallying against clean energy development, poll after poll has shown that the majority of Latinos and Libre aren't on the same page when it comes to these and other issues.
If Libre stuck to debating the issues, that would be one thing. Libre's real threat -- both to Democrats and to the Latino community -- is that it uses its considerable financial resources to say one thing and do another.
In typical Koch fashion, Libre has made vicious, often dishonest attacks against Democrats. It's ironic, albeit unsurprising, that the Democrats Libre attacked in 2014 included some of the strongest Latino voices in Congress, like former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas). And based on Libre's actions in the past, we can count on Libre to pay only lip service to supporting immigration reform. So far, the Libre playbook has gone like this: Claim to support immigration reform, applaud Speaker Boehner for making vague remarks somewhat supportive of immigration reform, and -- here's the kicker -- run attack ads against Democrats who actually vote in favor of immigration reform.
Activists shouldn't hold our breath hoping that the Kochs and other deep-pocketed conservatives will stop their lies. Instead, it's up to us to push back. PFAW's doing that by reaching out to Latino voters with a focus on the issues that matter and calling out Republicans when their promises just don't match up with their votes.
Despite Libre's deep coffers and its apparent desire to win over Latino voters to the GOP, that party's offensive anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions continue. Just look at the current Congress, where Republicans are hijacking funding for the Department of Homeland Security to block the president's executive actions on immigration even though, as Ted Hesson wrote at Fusion, "only a small minority of Americans think that's the best way to approach the issue" in Congress.
As long as Republicans keep opposing policies that most Latinos and Americans as a whole support, it's unlikely the Libre Initiative will have much success. But given the deep support and huge bank accounts of its two most important funders, the threat posed by Libre is one that we should all take seriously.
Earlier this week, Glenn Beck prophesied that that fight against ISIS was soon going to explode into World War III and now, it seems, that time has arrived as he declared on his radio program today that the entire world is already locked in a massive global war for its very survival, even if Beck is the only one with enough foresight to recognize it.
"We are in World War III," Beck said. "It just hasn't caught up yet. We're here!"
"I told you last year, 'And so it begins,'" he continued. "I have a growing sense of surety that what I believe is here, is indeed here ... We are indeed setting the stage for global war and this is beginning of sorrows ... This is the beginning of sorrows. I'm telling you, we don't understand what is coming yet. We don't see."
"The gloves are about to come off on the entire world," Beck warned. "God help us, we may see nuclear impacts on the face of the earth in our lifetime ... The gloves are about to come off and this is the beginning of sorrows":
Huckabee spent most of the talk deriding New York, Washington, D.C. and Hollywood as “bubbles” that don’t represent real America, which he said is found in the South and Midwest.
As an example of how New Yorkers are ignorant of true American culture and “think we’re crazy,” Huckabee recounted the tale of how he humiliated a New York media elitist Fox News staffer during a debate about guns by suggesting that a pencil is just as much an assault weapon as an AR-15:
I’ll never forget sitting around with my own staff at Fox News, New Yorkers all, and something came up about guns and they were saying about how ‘nobody should ever own an AR-15, there’s just no reason to own an assault weapon.’ And I said, ‘Every weapon is an assault weapon, a pencil is an assault weapon if you poke it in someone’s eye.’ Then I really shocked them when I said, ‘AR-15s, I got several of them.’ They were scared to death, I thought they were going to dive under the table, I really did, it was like they were, ‘He’s a psychopath.’
Huckabee boasted that he schooled the New Yorkers who worried about the dangers of the weapons: “You’re just looking at it and you think because you saw it on a Rambo movie that it must be more lethal than anything else, and I said that’s nonsense.”
Former Rep. Allen West stopped by “Trunews” yesterday, where he chatted with Rick Wiles about his belief that politicians must begin calling out President Obama as an Islamist.
Following Wiles’s claim that “the reason the Obama administration cannot identify the enemy is because they are the enemy,” West said “that’s something for the American people to come to an understanding of.”
West, who now heads the National Center for Policy Analysis, said that while he is definitely not a conspiracy theorist, he thinks people must begin asking the question: “Whose side is this administration and these people really on?”
Far-right radio host Rick Wiles invited Republican politician E.W. Jackson onto “Trunews” yesterday to discuss whether, in Wiles’ words, President Obama “has a diabolical plan to transform America into an Islamic nation or is mentally ill.”
“Maybe there’s a juxtaposition between those two,” Jackson responded. “His behavior almost suggests a kind of delusion…. I don’t know if he’s mentally ill but I do know he does not think like most Americans think.”
Jackson, the right-wing pastor and unsuccessful GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, added that the president “does not behave or think like most Americans” because “his orientation, his background is such that from the perspective of the average American, he thinks like something other than an American.”
While Jackson couldn’t say one way or the other if the president is mentally ill or a secret Islamist, he claimed that he knows for a fact that Obama speaks Arabic because he “heard” that once: “Apparently he speaks Arabic, at least that’s what I have heard, that he does speak Arabic.”
“The damage he has done is absolutely immense, it is staggering,” Jackson lamented. “President Barack Obama is really engaged in a fundamental betrayal of our country.”
After Wiles contended that Obama is actually “an agent placed in this country to destroy the United States,” Jackson claimed Obama “clearly has a mindset that is destructive of our republic” and “clearly is someone that one has to acknowledge is destructive of everything this country represents.”
Judicial Watch founder and right-wing legal activist Larry Klayman claimed in an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg today that President Obama “sympathizes with the so-called Muslim faith” and “everything he does nearly is based on favoring his own people, which is Muslims and African Americans.”
“He thinks like a Muslim, he believes that he is a Muslim, he obviously does worship the Koran,” Klayman said. “He obviously is in fact biased against people who are not of his claimed religion and otherwise.”
He added that President Obama’s supposed Muslim faith makes him unable to swear allegiance to the Constitution.
“Given the fact that the president is a Muslim at heart and half-Muslim by birth, he can’t even swear to the Constitution because you have to swear on the Holy Bible of Judeo-Christians,” he explained. “This president obviously believes in Sharia law, and as a result he has no respect for this Constitution, which was founded by our founding fathers under Judeo-Christian principles.”
Klayman told Malzberg that his call last year for Obama to “put the Quran down, get up off your knees and come out with your hands up” was just “what the country has been thinking but nobody says.”
He cited a number of discredited anti-Obama conspiracy theories, including that Obama attended an Islamic “madrassa” as a child, that he admitted to George Stephanopoulos that he is a Muslim, that he is running a campaign to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he wears a secret Muslim wedding ring.
“Let’s be blunt, and I don’t mean this in a racist way, but if he had been Richard Nixon and he had been Caucasian, he would have been gone by now,” Klayman concluded.
On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leader Richard Land suggested that President Obama is pushing America into a Civil War.
Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, said Obama is “increasingly reminding me of James Buchanan” who “was just sort of responsible for fiddling in the White House while secessionism gathered steam and gathered force and the southern states went about their process of fomenting revolt and secession.”
“You know, the inaction and the willful disbelief and the inertia of Buchanan were major contributors to the national conflagration that almost rent us asunder as a nation in the Civil War,” Land continued. “And I have to ask myself, is history repeating itself? I hope not.”
Later in the program, Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council said that it is an incontrovertible fact that Obama supports violent extremists who claim to represent Islam.
“His pattern has been one of being very supportive of the Islamic jihadists because he has been unwilling to identify what motivates them,” Boykin said.
In an interview on Newsmax today, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., criticized President Obama’s recent summit on violent extremism as a “feel-good thing on something that’s very serious” and contended that what America really needs to do to fight extremism at home and abroad is to stop “taking God out of this country.”
Yoho told host J.D. Hayworth and fellow guest Michael Flanagan, both former GOP congressman: “Congressman Flanagan said we’ve got to get God back into a lot of these principles in our country that we were founded on, and I agree. We’re taking God out of this country, they’re fighting for their God, and all I can say is the person who has God on their side is going to win this. And I think we all need to huddle around and get back to some basics in this country.”
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program yesterday, Gordon Klingenschmitt cited a recent AP poll that reportedly found that while a majority of Americans support marriage equality, they also believe that wedding-related businesses ought to be allowed to discriminate against gay couples on religious grounds. The fact that some people did not support such an exemption was proof to Klingenschmitt that there is "a demonic spirit of persecution at work," which is a sign of the End Times.
"They want to force Christians to participate in someone else's acts of sodomy," Klingenschmitt said. "And if they won't participate, then the Christians should be punished or fined or bankrupted or driven out of business. I think that is not just anti-Christian discrimination, it is open season persecution."
"They're coming after us," he warned, "and, in the long run, this will result not only in fines but in jail time for some Christians, which is a prediction and sign that the End Times are really upon us. When the Antichrist rises up to persecute Christians and behead us and throw us in jail for our Christian faith, you don't think it's going to be over things like this? This is just the camel's nose in the tent."
Klingenschmitt then went on to cite Romans 1 as he declared that gays have "a demonic spirit that is ruling in their heart and now they have lost their soul":
On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson criticized a Washington judge’s ruling that a florist who denied service to a same-sex couple seeking flowers for their wedding violated a state antidiscrimination law, calling the verdict “crazy.”
“This is outrageous,” Robertson said, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that? What if there’s a polygamous situation where a guy has five wives and he wants to have five ceremonies and she’s going to be forced by the law to provide them flowers? This is crazy.”
He then pointed to a case from the 1980s in which a federal court ruled that Georgetown University must accommodate a gay student group to argue that schools and businesses should shut down rather than accommodate gay people.
Personhood USA, the group that has pushed fetal personhood measures in states including Colorado, Mississippi and North Dakota, told supporters in an email today that its next target will be South Carolina.
The group’s president, Keith Mason, boasted to supporters of the “victory” of a nonbinding resolution supporting a personhood amendment on last year’s Republican primary ballot in South Carolina. He did not specify if the group will be advocating for a state-level ballot initiative or a legislative approach, or both. A personhood amendment currently pending in the state legislature is sponsored by Lee Bright, who was a Tea Party-supported U.S. Senate candidate in 2014.
The recent failures of state-level personhood measures led former Personhood USA official Gualberto Garcia Jones to declare last year that the strategy was “dead for now.” Evidently, Mason disagrees.
Right now, Friend, we need your help to publicly launch our South Carolina initiative.
- We've identified 250,000 pro-life voters in South Carolina that we want to activate to support personhood, and vote in upcoming primaries and elections.
- This initiative follows on the heels of a personhood victory this summer, in which 79% of South Carolina GOP primary voters called for a personhood amendment to the state constitution. Right now, there's personhood legislation in the state legislature that needs our support!
- South Carolina is a vital state in the lead up to 2016. We need to engage and activate the pro-life voters we've identified so that they turn out to support pro-life candidates!
For the third week in a row, Mat Staver and Matt Barber continued to use Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program to falsely accuse President Obama of directly and illegally interfering in the upcoming Israeli elections in an effort to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Staver declaring today that Obama is bringing God's curse upon America by doing so.
"Our Judeo-Christian history connects us together, connects us to Israel and the Jewish people," Staver said. "That's where our Judeo-Christian history was born and birthed. That's how Western Civilization was shaped, because of the Bible and the values that came out of Israel. And this president is doing everything he can to walk away from Israel."
"You know, Genesis 12 says 'I will bless those who bless you,' referring to the offspring of Abraham, which is Israel, 'and I will curse them who curse you,'" he continued. "The president is bringing curses upon America by ultimately walking away from Israel. I think that it is dangerous to not respect and protect our best ally":
David Barton is outraged that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nodded off during the State of the Union address last month, which Ginsburg attributed to the “very fine California wine” that Justice Anthony Kennedy had shared at dinner that evening.
Barton writes in a WorldNetDaily column today that while he isn’t personally “calling for the removal of Ginsburg for her recent faux pas,” Justice Ginsburg’s nap represented bad behavior and disrespect to the U.S. Constitution, both offenses warranting impeachment and removal from office.
You may recall pictures of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sitting on the front row in the House Chamber sleeping during President Obama’s State of the Union Address. News recently broke explaining why: “I wasn’t 100 percent sober.”
A State of the Union message is a constitutionally mandated duty (Article II, Section 3), and for those who respect the Constitution, this address is serious stuff. But apparently not to Justice Ginsburg – which probably is not surprising given that her rulings routinely reflect a general dismissal of the Constitution and that she publicly advises leaders in other nations to seek something better than the U. S. Constitution for their country.
Regardless, it is certain that public intoxication by a Supreme Court justice does not inspire faith in the Judiciary. Luther Martin (one of the 55 delegates who framed the U. S. Constitution) warned: “It is necessary that the supreme judiciary should have the confidence of the people,” and to ensure this, the founders made certain that the federal bench could be ridded of those who embarrassed or misused it.
Citizens today might be dubious of such a statement, for we have long been told (and wrongly so) that federal judges have lifetime appointments. They do not – and it was the Founding Fathers themselves who specifically stipulated that federal judges could serve only for the duration of “good behavior” (Article III, Section 1). So as long as a judge acted right, he could stay on the bench, but if he acted otherwise, he could be removed. Nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of, much less guarantee for, lifetime appointments for judges.
The first federal judge to be removed from the bench came at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson. That judge, John Pickering, was no obscure lightweight. Originally placed on the federal bench by President George Washington, Pickering had been a framer of the New Hampshire Constitution, served as the state’s governor, was selected as a delegate to frame the U.S. Constitution (but declined) and was subsequently a ratifier of the federal Constitution. So why was he removed? Among the reasons given was public intoxication (as well as a public disrespect for God). The Founding Fathers considered this to be bad behavior for a judge.
Don’t think I am calling for the removal of Ginsburg for her recent faux pas. Rather, I am pointing out that the current notion that federal judges are unaccountable because they have lifetime appointments is one of the greatest lies of our lifetime.
If America ever again expects the federal courts to be just one of three so-called “co-equal” branches rather than the supreme branch they have become, then we must recover the notion that our federal judges are not unaccountable demigods.