Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why I Celebrate Columbus Day

            “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” He arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492, and that is why we celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday of October. Some Americans celebrate Columbus Day, while others celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I see nothing wrong with either celebration, but I do not understand why they cannot both be celebrated in America. 

Those who celebrate Columbus Day do so in honor of Christopher Columbus who lead the first voyage from the Eastern Hemisphere to discover the Americas. Those who celebrate Indigenous People’s Day remind us that there were Native Americans here when Columbus arrived, so Columbus could not have “discovered” the Americas. I believe that both groups are correct in their believes, and I want to add understanding if possible.

Christopher Columbus was from Italy, but he persuaded Spain to finance his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. He was searching for a new and faster route to the Far East when he discovered what we know as North America and South America on October 12, 1492. We know that his voyage took approximately three months and that three ships were involved, the Santa Maria, Nina, and LaPinta. 

We have all heard stories about bad experiences that came from the mingling of the two worlds. However, there are also good things that came from the mixing of two groups of people. America would have been “discovered” at some time. I believe that we are fortunate that it was Columbus who discovered it as opposed to the Chinese who had a great navy at that time. 

There are scriptures that say Columbus was led by God to America, and I believe them to be true. Sometime between 600 and 592 B.C. a prophet in ancient America received a vision that foretold many momentous events in the world. Among other things, he saw the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the founding of the United States of America. Here is what he saw concerning America.

And I looked and beheld a man [Columbus] among the Gentiles [Europeans], who was separated from the seed of my brethren [Native Americans] by the many waters [Atlantic Ocean]; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land [Americas].

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles [American colonists]; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; …

And I beheld that their mother Gentiles [Great Britain] were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.

And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle [Revolutionary War].

And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations [Independence, 1776 A.D.]. (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 1 Nephi 13:12-14, 17-19).

            I believe that God had a specific reason when He guided Columbus and the other Gentiles across the seas. I believe that His purpose was to establish a nation in the promised land where the people were free to worship according to their conscience. I do not believe that there was any coincidence in the dates of the ratification of the Constitution and the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

            I believe that God was in the details of the founding of America. The American colonists declared independence on July 4, 1776, but they battled Great Britain for eight long years from April 1775 until September 1783. Once they achieved independence, the colonists struggled with their government for a few years. Then things started to happen. The Constitution was written and then signed on September 17, 1787. It was officially ratified on June 21, 1788, and George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789.     

With independence established, the Constitution ratified, and a government in place to defend and protect the freedoms outlined in it, everything was in place for more miracles. In the spring of 1820, a fourteen-year-old boy went into the woods to pray, and he came out of those woods with new understanding. While kneeling in prayer, Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and they told him that they had a work for him to do. 

Just 32 years after the Constitution was ratified guaranteeing Freedom of Religion, the Father and the Son began the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Priesthood authority and power were brought back to earth, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized with just six members on April 6, 1830. In a period of just 55 years from 1775 to 1830, a new nation was created, and the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored.

Spring 2020 marks 200 years from the First Vision. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has designated 2020 as a bicentennial year and will celebrate many events that happened in the restoration of the gospel. It is my belief that the First Vision would not have happened if America had not been established as a free nation. This is the reason why I celebrate Columbus Day. The discovery of America by Columbus was the first of many miracles that bless my life today!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Who Is Matt Gaetz II

            Matt Gaetz II is a lawyer, politician, and Republican. He represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He comes from a line of politicians. His father Don Gaetz was a member of the Florida State Senate from 2006 to 2016, and he served as the Senate president from 2012 to 2014. His paternal grandfather the mayor of Rugby, North Dakota. He was a candidate for lieutenant governor of North Dakota when he died of a heart attack at the 1964 North Dakota Republican Party state convention.

            I like Matt Gaetz because he is smart, and he is not afraid to say or do whatever needs to be said or done. Sometimes he seems a little brash, but his comments are usually right on target. (Is it safe for me to use the word target these days?)

            In September 2019 Gaetz went to battle with Al Sharpton. He “confronted and exposed [Al Sharpton] to his face over his glaring history of racism and anti-Semitism, not to mention his history of inciting violence against Jews.” 

            On October 9, 2019, Gaetz mocked Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) for his “Kangaroo Impeachment Court.” He gave Schiff the nickname of “Malicious Captain Kangaroo.” The name seems fitting because Schiff is supposedly investigating bad behavior about President Donald Trump but doing it in a kangaroo court style.

            Today Gaetz “tried to sit in on the testimony of a former top National Security Council expert on Russia who was appearing on Capitol Hill as part of the House impeachment inquiry into the president.” Gaetz sits on the House Judiciary Committee but attempted to attend the testimony of Fiona Hill when she testified before the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees. He was booted out of the hearing, but he did not go quietly. He vented his anger and disappointment to reporters over what he called “selective leaks.”

            Gaetz came to my attention because he is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. I have watched several videos of Gaetz defending and supporting gun rights for American. You can see one or more videos at this site.  

            Matt Gaetz reminds me a lot of Donald Trump because of his brashness and his willingness to defend constitutional rights of Americans. I expect to see much more of him in the future.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Justice for All, Including President Trump

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns justice. The Declaration of Independence was written and signed, and the War for Independence or Revolutionary War was fought because the American colonials did not feel that Great Britain was treating them justly.

The Preamble to the Constitution states: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of the America.”

            The Pledge of Allegiance also discusses justice. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

            As shown by the founding history of the United States, by the Constitution, and by our Pledge of Allegiance, Americans believe in justice for all. Yet, President Donald Trump is being treated unjustly by the leadership of the House of Representatives. To begin with, Democrats are insisting that Trump be held to higher standards that Democrats are. 

Trump is being charged with asking Ukraine for help in investigating the origination of the investigation against him. In doing so, he asked for any help possible in investigating corruption of the Biden family. He made no threats or promises, but he did ask for assistance if Ukraine found any information. Ukraine had already decided to reopen its investigation into Burismo, so Trump wanted to be informed if they find any signs of corruption done by Americans, particularly Hunter Biden. Investigating corruption is part of the President’s job of upholding the laws of the land.

            In an interview today with Meet the Press, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) called for an investigation into a letter sent in 2018 to the prosecutor general of Ukraine by three Democrat Senators. Senators Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) asked Ukraine’s prosecutor general to help in the Mueller special investigation into Trump activities. They did not merely ask for help, but they threatened to withhold aid if Ukraine did not cooperate with Mueller. In his call for investigation for the three Senators, Rand was asking for justice. He was asking that Republicans and Democrats be treated equally according to the law.

            Another way that injustice is taking place is in the impeachment process itself. Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) and his fellow Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are proceeding in ways that are unjust to Trump. Byron York of The Washington Examiner noted that the Democrats insist that witnesses testify in deposition, rather than in public or by transcription. This decision invokes ethics rules that prevent members from sharing any details publicly. Even though Democrats leak selected parts of the testimony that is helpful to their agenda, Republicans do not dare respond because they do not want to risk being investigated for an ethics violation. York concluded his article with this statement.

In his much-criticized letter to Congress, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Democratic handling of the impeachment investigation “violates fundamental fairness.” He meant fairness toward the target of the proceeding, President Trump. But there is also the question of fairness toward the American people trying to follow an impeachment process shrouded in secrecy. Don’t they have the right to know what the President’s accusers say?

            In addition, Trump is not allowed to have representation, issue subpoenas, or question witnesses. They have taken away his constitutional right to defend himself. Some of them have even gone so far as to say that he must prove his innocence. This is totally against the laws of our land, which say that we are innocent until proven guilty.

            President Trump, as well as every American, has the right to be treated justly. The Democrats are not being fair or just. They are ramrodding the impeachment through their committees in attempt to impeach Trump before evidence of corruption in Ukraine – and possibly other nations – comes to light. They have concluded that if they don’t impeach the President, he will be re-elected.  I believe that their impeachment process will be their downfall. Americans are not stupid or blind. We can see what is happening, and we will vote accordingly.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

How Do We Walk in the Spirit?

            As I studied Galatians 5 a few weeks ago, I found that the Apostle Paul taught the Galatian Saints to “walk in the Spirit” in verse 16. Further into the chapter in verses 22-23, Paul listed some of the fruits of the Spirit. Between these verses, Paul listed a series of sins that he called “the works of the flesh” (verses 19-21). The New Testament Student Manual – Religion 211-212 says that the sins listed by Paul fall into four general categories: (1) Sexual sins (fornication and lasciviousness), (2) Sins from the religious realm (idolatry and witchcraft), (3) Sins against other persons (hatred, wrath, strife), and (4) Sins associated with alcohol (drunkenness and revellings) (page 419).

            About the same time that I was studying Galatians, the lesson in my marriage skills class was about bad behavior in marriage and what causes it. It was an interesting lesson, and I learned new information or at least connected some points that I already knew. When someone gets angry and starts throwing things, we see the results of anger, but we may not understand the origin of it. 

I understand a little bit more about controlling anger after several weeks of study. Throwing things is bad behavior that comes from a secondary emotion known as anger. Anger comes from a primary emotion, such as fear, shame, hurt, or loneliness. The primary emotion comes from a core need not being met. Core needs are things that all human beings need, such as love, security, acceptance, respect, and fairness. When our core needs are not met, primary emotions come to the surface. We may not even know that we feel hurt or afraid, but we might develop a secondary emotion, such as anger or anxiety. It is the secondary emotion that brings out bad behavior in most cases. 

            About this same time period I was reading a book titled Snow Rising by Matt Baldwin. I assume the book is fiction, but I found some life lessons in it. The story is about a man who was withdrawing from his wife and two children. They were still living together, but he did little with his family because he was so angry with himself for his own behavior, both past and present. He loved his wife and children, but he could not share himself with them. His wife was ready to leave him, and his teenage children were pleading for better relationships. Things were tense between them when he left to climb Mt. Hood in Oregon. 

The man’s guide for Mt. Hood was a woman who noticed that he was struggling. She shared some life lessons with him, and he began to change. The woman taught principles from the gospel of Jesus Christ, but she called them axioms. She taught the man that he can choose what to believe and how he will act. However, accountability comes with each choice. When he believes and acts in accordance with the “axioms” then he is happy. When he believes in the axioms but does not act in accordance to them, he is unhappy. The axioms as defined in the novel are compassion (love in action or the ability to see the suffering of others), humility (a commitment to learn and the recognition that the world does not revolve around us), gratitude (an acknowledgement of the blessings in our lives and a commitment to be happy today), and conscience (the ability to make moral choices or to know the difference between right and wrong). The man learned that he could not be angry and compassionate at the same time, and the same was true with humility and gratitude.

After I pondered the above information for a couple of weeks, my marriage skill lesson was on controlling anger. I learned in this lesson that anger destroys many families, and I was reminded that Satan is waging a war on families. He uses every tactic available to him, and one of his favorite tools is anger. Because anger is a secondary emotion, Satan builds on primary emotions that come from the “me first” mentality that is so prevalent in our society.

I was reminded that anger is a choice. We do not get angry for no reason. We get angry because someone pushes the right “button.” This button is known as a stimulus or a trigger. Between the stimulus and our response, there is a space or pause. It is within this space that we can use our God-given gift of agency, or the freedom to choose. No one forces us to get angry. If people could force us to get angry, we would not have agency. However, we do have agency. Therefore, we decide how we will respond to the stimulus.

The goal is to make the space between the stimulus and the response as large as possible to give us adequate time to choose wisely. When we choose to stay calm, we enlarge our space, but when we get angry, we shrink it. Other things affect our ability to enlarge the space, such as lack of sleep, hunger, or poor choices in the past. If we get angry today when that button is pushed, we are more likely to get angry tomorrow when it is pushed. However, if we stay calm today, we will increase our ability to stay calm tomorrow.

There is an example in the scriptures of an experience where all the above information came together. Lehi, Sariah, and their four sons departed from Jerusalem about 600 B.C. because Lehi’s life was in danger. He had prophesied that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed if the people did not repent, and the wicked people in Jerusalem threatened to kill him. Lehi was commanded by God to take his family and depart into the wilderness. Even though Lehi was a wealthy man, he did not take his gold, silver, and precious things with him. His family took only their tents and provisions when they left Jerusalem. They traveled in the wilderness and were about two weeks out from Jerusalem when Lehi received another commandment. He was told to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the Brass Plates from Laban, a kinsman who kept the family records, and the sons left on their journey to Jerusalem.

Sariah had not been blessed with the spiritual experiences of her husband, and she was worried about her sons. Were they still alive? Would she ever see them again? Did robbers or wild animals attack them in the wilderness? Did Laban kill them? What would become of Lehi and Sariah if the sons did not return? Sariah was feeling insecure about the whole situation, and she became fearful. Because of her fear, she expressed it in anger, doubt, and blame toward her husband. She called him a visionary man and blamed him for the loss of their sons.

Lehi could have gotten angry with his wife, but he did not. He recognized that her words were based in her fears about her sons, and he responded with humility, compassion, and gratitude. He was humble in that he recognized that he was following the commands of God, and he was grateful for the guidance. Yet, he could see that his wife was full of fear, and he acted compassionately. His soft answer gave her the security that she needed at the time. When her sons returned a few days or weeks later with the Brass Plates, she knew for sure that her husband was a prophet and was following God’s commands. (See Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 1 Nephi 5.)

            This post began with Paul’s counsel to “walk in the Spirit.” I assume that most of my readers have more problems with sins against other people than the other three groups of sin. Since anger is such a prevalent problem in our society and so destructive to marriages and families, I suggest that we all work on controlling our anger by enlarging the space between stimulus and response. We can practice exercising humility, compassion, gratitude, and agency, and we can learn from the example of Lehi. I know that we can learn to control our anger and replace it with patience and tolerance, and I invite my readers to join me in my quest to do so.

Friday, October 11, 2019

How Do We Keep the Children Safe

            Parents all over the nation are doing their best to keep their children safe, but we hear all the time about children and youth being abused or abducted or shot. The lives of children, youth, and adults are too often threatened at school, church, malls, and other places that individuals and families visit on a regular basis. 

I am a parent of six children, and I remember the difficult task of keeping my children close to me whenever we went out in public, especially when they reached the age where they thought they were big enough to roam a little. I remember losing a child for a short time on several occasions and the feelings of fear and anxiety that enveloped me. Now my fears are with my eighteen grandchildren, and I would like to wrap them in bubble wrap to protect them. I worry about them all the time. Are they safe in their schools? Will they escape the clutches of their parents and fall into the hands of kidnappers or worse? Will they get lost?

I always felt that my children were safe at church, and they apparently were. However, I worry about my grandchildren because they live in a different world. There are problems in this wicked world in which we live, and some of those problems creep into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the reason why Church leaders insist on two-deep leadership for all children and youth classes. This is the reason why the Church is insisting that all children and youth leaders and teachers take safety training on a regular basis. 

The Church in April 2019 announced a clarification about lethal weapons not being allowed in Church buildings. The announcement concerned me because all – or at least most of – the mass shootings take place in gun-free places. Now my Church is announcing that its buildings are gun-free zones. Will this be an invitation for a mentally ill person to attack my fellow worshippers? I forgot about that announcement until this week when the Church updated its guidelines on how to be safe on Church property. The announcement said that the Church was updating its guidelines due to the “Changing conditions around the world.”

These guidelines are meant to help educate leaders and members on how to increase safety at Church buildings and activities…. We invite leaders to discuss them in ward and stake councils and to use them to teach members, as needed, to address local concerns. Leaders should apply these guidelines appropriately and be aware of local laws.

            The guidelines continue by directing members of the Church to “rely on local law enforcement in emergencies” and suggesting some “practices” that can increase safety. These practices are basically commonsense ideas: “being aware of one’s surroundings, staying calm, extending friendship and respect to every visitor, not being alone in a Church building, and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost for guidance and safety.” There were also instructions of what to do in case of an active shooter in the building.

            I have no problem with obedience to local laws, yielding to law enforcement, and practicing safety. However, I do have a problem with announcing to the world that Church buildings are gun-free. The fact that I feel additional fear does not mean that I do not support and sustain the leaders of my Church. It simply means that I have more worries on my grandmother plate and more concerns to plead in my prayers.

We all know that a deranged person with any kind of gun can cause a lot of damage in the few minutes before law enforcement arrives. Instructions to “run, hide or fight, depending on the circumstance” have not been helpful to numerous people in dangerous situations. There are many examples that prove the truthfulness of the following statement: There is only one way to stop an evil person with gun – a good person with a gun. 

            I hate to even picture in my mind how horrible it would be for anyone to be sitting reverently in a church meeting surrounded with family members of various ages and enjoying the blessings of the Holy Ghost when a madman starts shooting in the building. There are few scenarios that could be worse in my mind. How can a mother get her little children out of sight, out of the pew, and out of the room without getting shot? How do parents in such a situation keep their children safe? These are not easy questions to think about, and the only answer is by a miracle. I pray that we can keep our families safe and be a strength in our communities and nations.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Freedom from Confusion

            The U.S. Supreme Court justices heard arguments in three sex discrimination cases on Tuesday, and their decisions on the cases will have wide ranging effects. By the questions they asked the attorneys, the justices appear to be divided in their understanding. This should come as no surprise to Americans because the justices range from far left liberal to quite conservative and everywhere in between the two extremes.

            The three cases involve employees being fired, and the defendants seek a ruling on the question, does firingsomeone who is gay or transgender violate the prohibition on sex discrimination of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Since the cases are similar, the justices heard them together. 

             Bostock v. Clayton County involves Gerald Bostock who worked for ten years as a child welfare coordinator for the Clayton County Juvenile Court System in Georgia before he was fired. He claims that he was fired because he is gay. Title VI prohibits employment discrimination but does not forbid employer firing a gay employee. Lower courts ruled against Bostock. He wants the Supreme Court to decide if the lower court’s interpretation of Title VI is correct, or if a ban on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Zarda v. Altitude Express involves Don Zarda, a skydiving instructor at Altitude Express, who was fired in the summer of 2010 after telling a guest that he is gay. He died in a skydiving accident in 2014, but his sister and partner are pursuing the case. The justices are to decide if discrimination on the basis of sex also include discrimination based on sexual orientation.

EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes concerns Aimee Stephens who was hired as a man as a funeral director for Harris Funeral Homes and later came out as a transgender woman. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission represents Stephens in her suit against Harris Funeral Homes. An appeals court ruled in her favor. She is asking the Supreme Court to decide if sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity and if employers have the right to require employees to comply with a sex-specific dress code based on their biological sex.

The justices understand that their ruling on these high-profile LGBTQ cases will affect many more people than just the LGBTQ workers represented in the cases. Their concerns are shown by their questions.

Chief Justice John Roberts wondered if business owners’ abilities to run their businesses in accordance to their personal beliefs will be jeopardized if the court rules in favor of gay rights. He realizes that the Supreme Court does not have the same abilities to expand protection for faith-based businesses that state legislatures do when passing new protections for LGBTQ workers. What will happen to the people who have religious objections to same-sex relationships and transgenderism?

Justice Neil Gorsuch wondered how a ruling for LGBTQ workers might affect employers nationwide and what it might require businesses to do. He wondered if it is appropriate for judges to cause such “massive social upheaval” as requiring businesses to update dress codes and bathroom policies.

Justice Samuel Alito was concerned about the Supreme Court overstepping its authority and becoming a second Congress by creating new laws because of the failures of elected officials.

The justices have a right to be concerned about the wide-ranging and long-term results of their ruling. Some legal experts believe that this ruling will be as significant as the 2015 same-sex marriage ruling. The big question is, is discrimination based on biological sex the same thing as discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Even though the three cases seem to be focused primarily on employment law, the decisions by the justices will affect many other areas. A ruling against the LGBTQ workers will affect gay and transgender people across America. A ruling for the LGBT workers may affect “housing standards, hospital procedures and policies governing religiously affiliated schools like Brigham Young University.”

A victory for the LGBTQ works will lead to more confusion. It will probably lead to women athletes losing all the rights they gained in Title IX because more biological men will infiltrate women’s sports where their male bodies have distinct advantages over female bodies. It would also allow transgender men and women into areas that are sex specific and could lead to dangerous situations for small children in restrooms and dressing rooms. 

Since a ruling could take until June 2020, Americans will mostly wait for a long time to learn the decision. Will the justices rule for the benefits of a small minority of the people, or will their ruling be a victory for a vast majority of Americans? Will the ruling be narrow, or will it cover a wider area? As we pray for the leaders of our nation, we should add our prayers in behalf of the justices on the Supreme Court that they may make the correct decision.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Kavanaugh One Year Later

            It was a year ago on Sunday that Brett Kavanaugh overcame staunch opposition to claim a seat on the United States Supreme Court. The anniversary did not occur in silence as there were demonstrators present to remind him of his confirmation battles. Women came forward during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing in the Senate and told stories that could not be corroborated. Yet, liberals still insist that they are true.

            The opposition begs the question, why are liberals so opposed to Kavanaugh that they were willing to destroy him, his career, and his family? They fear that he will vote against women’s rights – meaning abortion.

Kavanaugh is supposedly an originalist, or a judge who interprets the U.S. Constitution as it was written. It seems to me that anyone who opposes an originalist judge does not like the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the land. So how does Kavanaugh’s decisions over the past measure up to the Constitution?

            Alex Swoyer at The Washington Times gave some figures on Kavanaugh’s voting record over the past year. He reminds us that Kavanaugh took the seat that was vacated by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy upon his retirement. Kennedy was known for years as the swing vote on the bench. He says that Chief Judge John G. Roberts Jr. is now the “pendulum,” but Kavanaugh sided with Roberts 92% of the time during the last term. 

This could mean that both men voted with the conservatives or both men voted with the liberals when they voted together. However, Kavanaugh sided more with Justice Samuel A. Alito – a man known as a loyal conservative –than with any other justice. I hope that all the judges vote for the rule of law and not for liberal or conservative causes. They need to decide what the Constitution says and rule accordingly.

There were several people who made potentially false accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh during the Senate hearing. Kevin Daley of The Daily Signal reported that then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the Justice Department in 2018 asking the DOJ to pursue criminal investigations for four of them. This week Grassley sent another letter to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for an update on those referrals. He asked for a response to his letter by October 21.

When individuals intentionally mislead the committee, they divert important committee resources during time sensitive investigations and materially impede its work…. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct committee investigations.

The next Supreme Court nominee should not have to defend himself or herself against baseless and fabricated allegations, and committee staff should not have to spend valuable time investigating them.

            The four people who were referred to the DOJ are Michael Avenatti, Julie Swetnick, and two people who made anonymous claims. Another woman who later claimed to write one of the letters has since admitted that she did not write it and only claimed to be the author to get some attention. Therefore, her name will not even make it into my blog post. Avenatti and Swetnick apparently have reputations for not being creditable, and this is one of the reasons why they were referred to DOJ. I hope the DOJ makes their lives as miserable as the demonstrators did to Kavanaugh and his family. Their behavior was despicable!

            The Kavanaugh hearing was nothing more than a circus, and the clowns came out in great numbers to stop his confirmation. I strongly believe that judicial nomination hearings should be conducted without the demonstrators detracting from their formality. I believe that the sanctity of the hearing should be enforced to provide respect and dignity to the nominated perspective judges. I think that his record over the last term shows that he is willing to decide cases on their individual merits measurable against the Constitution and not according to political ideals. I believe that this is the kind of judges that we need and want in our courts.