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.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

What Does It Mean to Be Feminine in America Today?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that the happiest and strongest women self-identify as feminine. March is Women’s History Month and also the month when Ketanji Brown Jackson could not define woman. We live in a world where many women are trying to be like men and avoiding the traditional feminine role. However, a recent study shows that identifying as feminine brings happiness and positive outcomes into a woman’s life.

            In an article written by Jenet Erickson, James L. McQuivey, and Brad Wilcox, the authors discussed the data collected by one of them in the U.S. Adult Sexual Behaviors and Attitudes survey. This is how they described their analysis. 

While the survey did not define femininity, a clear majority of 814 women surveyed in March 2021 identified as “very feminine” on a 5-point scale, with 61% selecting 4 or 5 on the scale. This lags only slightly behind men who are more likely to score themselves as very or somewhat masculine. Both men and women are equally likely to be content with their level of masculinity or femininity — 80% of men and 77% of women agree that they are “happy with how masculine or feminine they are.”

Lest we be disappointed that these self-described feminine women are missing their chance to lean into a more gender-fluid life, an analysis of the data suggests that the degree of femininity correlates with seemingly positive outcomes of women’s lives.

Financial situation, personal health, general happiness and life satisfaction were all markedly better among those who express the highest levels of femininity. The only exception is in their experience of college.

But the findings weren’t just about women and their well-being alone. In the study, the women who described themselves as “feminine” were the most likely to marry and to say they have fulfilling marriages across various dimensions, including strong personal relationships and community involvement. High-femininity females were also, according to the study, more likely to describe themselves as able to take risks, manage uncertainty and self-regulate, which may help to explain lower rates of depression compared to other women.

Moreover, the self-described “very feminine” women in the study agreed at a much higher rate than other women that they “have a strong personality” and like to solve problems and take charge.

The nationally representative study of adults ranging in age from 18 to 74 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

            The cited survey shows that the majority of women like being women and living lives of happiness and accomplishment. These results show that women do not have to become like men and that they can excel and find happiness as women. In other words, women are free to be women. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What Is Happening at The Border?

            I have not written lately about the illegal immigration problem at America’s southern border. My lack of writing about it was not because the problem went away, but it was because there were so many other problems to discuss.

            More than two million people have entered the United States illegally since Joe Biden entered the White House. There were more than 200,000 arrests at the border in July 2020, the highest number in one month in more than twenty-one years. In February 2022, there were 164,973 by Border Patrol with undocumented immigrants at the border. This number shows that the numbers are going up and down but staying high. It also ends an entire year of monthly numbers being more than 150,000. 

            As bad as problem at the border is now, the situation may become worse soon. Right now, Title 42 is in force but could soon end. Title 42 was created by the Trump administration to allow undocumented immigrants to be immediately deported due to COVID-19. It was meant to protect public health during a pandemic, and the Biden administration kept it in place. With COVID-19 restrictions decreasing, activist groups and politicians are calling for an end to the rule.

            The federal government is responsible to maintain a secure border and uphold the laws of the land. Under the Biden administration, the border is like a sieve, and millions of people are entering the United States illegally. As bad as the border problem is now, it can become worse!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

How Much Voter Fraud Took Place in the 2020 Presidential Election?

            There are many questions about the 2020 presidential election. Some people believe that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president and that Democrats stole the election. Other people allege that there was election fraud without claiming that the election was stolen. Bit by bit information about election fraud is being found and exposed.

            Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently interviewed a former judge who is investigating election fraud in Wisconsin. The judge expressed his shock at the amount of fraud that he found. Carlson used the word “horrifying” when he responded to a report put out by the Wisconsin Assembly’s Office of Special Counsel about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 general election.

            While interviewing special counsel and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, Carlson noted that Americans are not allowed to claim that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. “The fact is there was, and the deeper you dig, the more of it you find.” 

[The report] highlighted that in the 66 nursing homes it has vetted thus far in Milwaukee, Racine and Dane counties, 100 percent of the registered voters cast ballots, despite many of the residents having been declared incompetent to vote due to mental incapacity.

Ninety-seven percent of the registered voters in nine nursing homes in Kenosha County and 95 percent of those in 16 nursing homes in Brown County voted as well.

The report only reflects “voting at the nursing homes that the OSC has been able to vet to this juncture.”

            According to a new study, at least 255,000 excess votes cast across six battleground states were found in an examination of individual voting precincts. Economist John Lott authored the peer-reviewed study of precincts in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 

The study, set to be published in the academic journal Public Choice, compares precincts where there were allegations of voter fraud to similar precincts in neighboring counties that had no fraud allegations. In each comparison, the two precincts examined fall on opposite sides of a county line – in some cases across the street.

Precincts are county-level election subdivisions, usually with fewer than 1,000 voters. Precincts in counties with fraud allegations had significantly higher voter participation than adjacent precincts in counties without alleged fraud, the study found.

“Precincts are generally small, homogeneous areas, and when two areas are adjacent and similar to each other, why would one precinct have far many more votes? Lott asked The Daily Signal in an interview. “If you have a get-out-the-vote campaign, you care about winning the state, [and are] not focused on the precinct.” …

Biden beat then-President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, by a total of 313,253 votes in the six states.

            Even though the “study doesn’t question the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2020 election,” the “analysis indicates that concerns about voter fraud are legitimate and undermine confidence in elections.”

            Lott has powerful credentials. He has held teaching positions at the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Rice University. He is a former senior adviser for research and statistics at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, where he dealt with issues of voter fraud and other matters. According to an analysis by the Free University of Brussels, he has been among the most-cited economists in the world.

            The Election Fraud Database at The Heritage Foundation has documented 1,349 adjudicated cases of voter fraud since 1982. These are cases where people were indicted and convicted of voter fraud.

            The three sources cited above show that voter fraud does take place. This means that the voting laws in individual states should be examined and made as tough as possible while not restricting legal voting.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Who Is Bill Maher?

            My VIP for this week is Bill Maher, host of the “Real Time with Bill Maher.” There is not much I like about Maher – including his filthy language, but I appreciate the way that he can see things as they really – even things that go against the Democrat agenda.

Leftists have condemned men for their “toxic masculinity” for a number of years. However, Maher points out that it is masculine toxicity that is defending Ukraine. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the crisis in Ukraine, it’s that everyone loves, and the world still needs, grown-ass men.” 

In Maher’s words, “American women are obsessing over Zelenskyy” who has been “labeled as a ‘sex symbol’ earlier this month.” “Could it be that as much as women may want to create the perfect man there’s always going to be a little bit of toxic mixed in with our masculinity and no amount of training will turn us into your favorite ‘Twilight’ character.”

Masculinity is like coffee even when you decaffeinated, there’s still a little caffeine in there….

Now there’s certainly no denying that there has been a lot of toxicity associated with men throughout history, oceans of brutality, all of which is horrible, and some of which is why our species still exists on earth….

There are brave women fighting in Ukraine, but the images of people fleeing all seem to be women and children while every able-bodied man in Ukraine is sticking around to fight and maybe die….

It’s not always a great advantage being a man and toxic though we may be…. We do sometimes come in handy.

Turns out after 200,000 years, there’s still a lot of ‘Another tribe is coming to kill us.’ And when that happens, you want a little ____ energy….

When there’s a noise downstairs, someone has to go into the dark and most women still want a man to do it….

[Questioning the manliness of American men today, Maher continued] “it’s the result of having it drilled into us in recent years that masculinity is itself toxic and scary and unevolved….

            I saw masculinity and bravery in action one night at a restaurant with my son and his family. My back was to the door of the restaurant, so I did not see what was happening. I saw my son suddenly jump up and quickly move across the restaurant – along with several other men – to stop someone who was causing a problem. When questioned later, my son explained that his motivation was the safety of his wife and baby daughter.

            It is this same masculinity that is being seen in Ukraine. The men of Ukraine are standing between Putin and his Russian troops and their homeland. They are willing to fight to the death to protect their nation. I am grateful for Maher for his willingness to recognize that toxic masculinity is sometimes needed in our lives.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

What Is a Woman?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the need for Justices on the Supreme Court to know how to define woman. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is said to be professionally qualified to become a justice on the Supreme Court. From most accounts, she has many qualifications, but her inability to answer basic questions is questionable.

            Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked a basic question when she asked Jackson to “provide a definition of the word ‘woman’.” Judge Jackson was nominated for the Supreme Court because she checked both boxes suggested by President Joe Biden: she is a black woman. Yet, she told Senator Blackburn, “No, I can’t” define woman. To cover her inability by saying, she added, “I’m not a biologist. Well, she is a woman – or she looks and sounds like a woman.

            Admittedly, the request to define a woman is not the normal line of questioning for nominees for the Supreme Court. However, the radicals on the Left are causing confusion about both men and women. Therefore, the question now must be asked.

            Some people wonder why a Supreme Court justice needs to know how to define a woman. Well, there are many laws that are written to give rights to women or to protect them. Title IX is meant to provide a level playing for female athletes – obviously not working (see Lia Thomas). The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution gives women the right to vote. How will Jackson rule on cases that are based on either Title IX or the Nineteenth Amendment if she does not know how to define a woman? Nicole Russell wrote the following about the judge’s questionable answer. 

By refusing to answer the definition of “woman,” Jackson leaves the door open to what she thinks about sex, gender, and controversial cases like Bostock v. Clayton County.

If Jackson knows the definition of “woman” but remains afraid to say so, this is certainly a red flag. In a free country, a Supreme Court nominee should be able to speak the truth without fear of repercussion.

If Jackson is unable or unwilling to define what a woman is in a legal sense, this can pose real problems for future cases she may hear as a sitting Supreme Court justice. How can she know what the law says on sex and gender identity if she cannot define sex? How can she rule in cases on women’s issues or rights when she isn’t sure how to define a woman?

            Russell quoted her “friend” Mollie Hemingway as saying: “If you lack both the common sense and the education to understand what being a woman is – or you’re too terrified of your political allies to admit you do know – perhaps you should not have a job that affects other people in any substantial way.”

            Continuing, Russell wrote that the inability to define “woman” or “man” or “male” or “female” has consequences. If these words cannot be defined, it “leaves multiple expressions to be codified into law that would create loopholes for predators to abuse women and children.” It “leaves the vulnerable in society even more vulnerable when it comes to interpretations of the law.”

To make matters worse, it’s hard to overestimate how hypocritical this entire charade is when President Joe Biden himself promised to nominate specifically a black female for this role – white males had no chance – and then Jackson treats the issue like it’s a great mystery, too complex even for her.

            Russell was tempted to say that Jackson’s non-answer could be “political grandstanding or Jackson’s answer to cleverness.” She did not and she told her readers to avoid doing it. “Jackson purposefully played a game of semantics with an issue that has torn apart tenets of law, families, sports, and education. As a woman, she should know this.”

            I agree with Russell in saying that Jackson declined to the answer the question on purpose. If she would have defined woman, she would have been in trouble with the Far-Left radicals and black women. Jackson is a radical who is also a judicial activist.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

What Does It Mean to Be God’s Covenant People?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Exodus 1-6 where I found several principles. A central theme in the book of Exodus is that God has the power to free His people from oppression. The Israelites were living in captivity in Egypt much like you and I live in captivity to sin and death. Under God’s direction, Moses functioned as deliverer for Israel, and he became a type, or representation, of Jesus Christ in doing so. Like the Savior, Moses was preserved from death as an infant and later spent time in the wilderness before embarking on his mission.

            Another principle found in these chapter is that God gives power to those He calls to do His work. Members of three religions – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – consider Moses to be a great prophet and leader. However, Moses did not consider himself to be qualified for the job God was giving to him. “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11). The Lord reassured Moses and responded to his concerns – just as He does for each of us.

            A third principle taught in these chapters is that the Lord’s purposes will be fulfilled in His own time and in His own way. God commanded Moses to go before Pharaoh and tell him to release the Israelites, and Moses was obedient. However, Pharaoh refused and made the lives of the Israelites more difficult. Moses and the Israelites wondered why things were not working out when they were doing what God commanded.

22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me?

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all (Exodus 5:22-23).

            The commandments given to Moses and Moses’s obedience in following them fulfilled one of God’s requirements. God gave moral agency to each of His spirit children while we lived with Him in the premortal life, and He expects us to use our agency to make choices. If we make righteous choices, we are blessed. If we make unrighteous choices, we are not blessed.

God gave Pharaoh an opportunity to exercise his agency in obedience to God’s commandments, and Pharaoh refused. If Pharaoh had obeyed, he and the Egyptians would have been blessed. His refusal brought punishments instead of blessings. The Lord explained it to Moses with these words:

1 Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.

2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord:

3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them[?]

4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.

5 And I have also hard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.

6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord (Exodus 6:1-8).

            The Lord never brings punishments upon people or destroys them without first giving them a warning. Through Moses, the Lord warned Pharaoh that punishments would come upon the Egyptians if he did not obey the word of the Lord. Moses and the Israelites learned that God does things in His own way and in His own time. The Lord also renewed the covenant with Moses and the Israelites that He first made to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. God renews that covenant with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today, as explained by President Russell M. Nelson.

At baptism we covenant to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew that covenant and declare our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. Thereby we are adopted as His sons and daughters and are known as brothers and sisters. He is the father of our new life. Ultimately, in the holy temple, we may become joint heirs to the blessings of an eternal family, as once promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity. Thus, celestial marriage is the covenant of exaltation.

When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us. His law is written in our hearts. He is our God and we are His people. Committed children of the covenant remain steadfast, even in the midst of adversity. When that doctrine is deeply implanted in our hearts, even the sting of death is soothed and our spiritual stamina is strengthened (“Covenants,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 88).

            We are children of the covenant, and we know what God expects of us. We also know the blessings that will come if we are obedient. Remembering the three principles from this lesson – God has the power to free His people from oppression, God gives power to those He calls to do His work, and God’s purposes will be fulfilled in His own time and in His own way – will help us to remain steadfast in our commitment to God.

Friday, March 25, 2022

How Can Married Couples Have Financially Successful Marriages?

            Families are stronger when the marriage is built on a strong financial foundation. This foundation should begin to be created during the dating period once an individual is ready to marry. Both males and females should consider the way that a potential mate handles money.

E. Jeffrey Hill and Bryan L. Sudweeks wrote a textbook titled Fundamentals of Family Finance – Living Joyfully within Your Means. They suggest that each individual should seek answers to important questions either through observation or direct questioning. Some suggested questions are: (1) Are you a saver or a spender? (2) What is your net worth? (3) What is your attitude about debt? (4) What is your credit score? (5) Do you currently have and live within a budget? If so, what are your living expenses each month? (6) How do you foresee sharing finances and assets with your spouse after marriage? (7) How many children do you desire in your family? (8) What is your expectation about who is going to earn the money in your family?

According to Hill and Sudweeks, couples should begin planning their finances together once they decide to marry. The first major financial decision for the new couple is the purchase of the engagement ring. Since married couples should make major financial decisions together, they should begin the process with the purchase of the engagement ring with both the bride and the groom having a say in the engagement ring. The ring should not be purchased with borrowed money. A couple can save and sacrifice to pay cash for the ring, or they can start with a smaller diamond and buy a larger one later in the marriage.

The authors also suggest that the engaged couple set a budget for the wedding and plan to avoid debt. A third principle is to have a less expensive honeymoon and go on a really nice trip for an anniversary.

Once the wedding is over and married life begins, the authors suggest some principles and practices to follow to have a financially successful marriage. The four suggested principles are: (1) Equal partnership is important in a marriage, and this includes equal participation in making financial decisions. (2) A healthy marriage requires spouses to trust each other which includes total transparency in finances. (3) Couples should have a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate debt. (4) Life will run smoother if couples counsel with the Lord in all their doings, including finances.

Living the principles for handling money in marriage will be easier if a couple develops good practices for handling money. The authors suggest the following six practices: (1) Create your budget together and review it together frequently. (2) Make major purchases together. (3) Agree to spending limits when approval of spouse is required before purchase. (4) Sleep or wait until the next day to finalize major purchases. (5) Avoid financial disagreements when either spouse is hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. (6) Be transparent in finances but allow a certain amount of money for each spouse to spend without the need to account for it to the spouse. The authors call this “Mad Money.”  

            By creating a strong financial foundation in their marriage, parents can strengthen their family and teach their children good money management. Financially strong families strengthen their communities and nations.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

What Happened on the Third Day of Senate Hearings?

             Today was the third day of the Senate confirmation hearing for Ketanji Brown Jackson. The judge faced more questions about her decisions in cases involved with child pornography and other matters. According to Fred Lucas, here are the biggest moments from more than nine hours of her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

1. ‘Supervise Computer Habits vs. Putting Them in Jail?’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pushed Jackson on why she seemed to think that obtaining child pornography from the internet warranted a lighter sentence than obtaining it through the mail.

Jackson countered that the sentencing isn’t just prison time, but includes supervised release that restricts use of the internet by those convicted in connection with child pornography.

Her reply wasn’t satisfactory to Graham.

“Wait, you think it is a bigger deterrent to take somebody who is on a computer looking at sexual images of children in the most disgusting way, is to supervise their computer habits versus putting them in jail?” Graham asked.

Jackson replied: “No, Senator. I didn’t say ‘versus.’”

Graham shot back: “That’s exactly what you said.

He added: “The best way to deter these people from getting on a computer and viewing thousands and hundreds, and over time maybe millions, … of children being exploited and abused every time somebody clicks on is to put their ass in jail, not supervise their computer usage.” …

Several Democrats on the committee argued that Jackson’s sentences in child pornography cases were consistent with those of other federal judges, including those appointed by Republican presidents.

2. ‘If I Decide … I Am a Woman’

Responding to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Jackson – a member of the board of overseers at Harvard University – said she would recuse herself from an affirmative action case heading to the high court that alleges discrimination by Harvard against Asian Americans.

Cruz linked the Harvard case with Jackson’s response Tuesday when Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked whether she could define the word “woman.” Jackson responded to Blackburn: “I can’t .. I’m not a biologist.”

“I think you are the only Supreme Court nominee in history who has been unable to answer the question, ‘What is a woman?’ As a judge, how would you determine if a plaintiff had Article 3 standing to challenge a gender-based rule, regulation, policy, without being able to determine what a woman was?” Cruz asked.

[Questions then went to Cruz asking if he could decide to claim that he is a woman, or Hispanic man claiming to be an Asian man to challenge Harvard’s discrimination. His point was to ask how Jackson would assess standing if he identified as an Asian man.] So, Jackson answered.

“I would assess it the way I assess other issues, which is to listen to the arguments made by the parties and consider the relevant precedents and the constitutional principles involved in making a determination,” she said.


3. Campus Cancel Culture: ‘Liberal vs. Illiberal’

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., raised what he called a “troubling pattern” at law schools.

“There is obviously a trend toward shouting down and canceling opinions that are outside the left-leaning mainstream; calls for firing professors, canceling professors, shouting down and sometimes threatening speakers who bring divergent, diverse opinions, threats to discipline fellow students,” Sasse said.

Sasse said he has talked to liberal professors who complained that the debate isn’t conservative versus liberal, “but more and more liberal versus illiberal.”

“I’d like to ask if you agree that law school students should be engaging with ideas across the political spectrum, even those they disagree with, [rather] than trying to shun those different ideas,” Sasse asked Jackson….

Jackson responded: “It is better in law schools to make sure there are ideas from all perspectives. In order to make that happen, they can’t be suppressed.”

4. ‘Hesitate to Speculate’ on Unborn Child’s Viability

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Jackson about abortion.

“What does viability mean with respect to an unborn child, in your understanding?” Cornyn asked.

Jackson replied: “Senator, I hesitate to speculate. I know it is a point in time the court has identified.” …

5. ‘Higher Standard of Liability for Press’

Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., asked Jackson about issues involving freedom of the press that could go before the high court.

“The question of prior restraint has been litigated. The famous case of the Pentagon Papers in the latter years of the Vietnam War,” Ossoff said. “All of us on this committee, we recognize the vital role of press freedom in ensuring the free exchange of ideas to access the truth and debate in our democracy. How ill you approach cases that implicate press freedom?”

Ossoff referenced the Supreme Court’s 1971 ruling in the Pentagon Papers case. Jackson responded by referring to the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan case, which set the precedent in libel law that a public figure, to prevail, has to prove actual malice or reckless disregard of the truth by the news organization….

The reference to the libel precedent could be significant, since Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch both have suggested that the Supreme Court take another look at New York Times v. Sullivan.

“Things that are put out in the press have to be knowingly false [for a finding of libel]. There is an actual malice test, because the court was balancing the concerns about libel, people claiming they were misrepresented in the press, with the need to allow the press to do their job,” Jackson said. “The overall understanding is that press freedom, again, is one of the First Amendment freedoms that undergird our democracy.”

6. Court-Packing and the Left

Jackson previously declined to weigh in on expanding the size of the Supreme Court beyond nine justices, a political issue of interest to many Democrats. At one point Wednesday, Jackson said she could see both sides.

“Could you briefly describe to me your perception of the argument on both sides?” Tillis asked.

Jackson responded that each side has argued against politicization of the high court.

“I’ve just heard people talking about putting more justices on the court expressing concerns that the court has become politicized, that the court has become unbalanced in terms of what people perceive the views of the justices,” Jackson said of the argument for court-packing. “I’ve heard arguments about rebalancing the court on that side.”

Of the argument against court-packing, she said: “Then there is the argument that many on the dais have stated about the inappropriateness of doing so, the concern that it might lead to some kind of war every time there is a new president adding justices to the court.” …

            Jackson has done nothing to change the perception that she is soft on child porn perpetrators. She was not prepared to face the questions from Senators on her record. President Joe Biden and Jackson thought that charges of “racist” would frighten Republicans. As I have stated previously, the word “racist” no longer means anything because it has been charged too many times when it did not apply. Jackson may be the most qualified person to sit on the Supreme Court; however, her political stance is causing problems in her hearing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

What Happened on the Second Day of Confirmation Hearings?

            Members of Senate Judiciary Committee started asking questions of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in the Supreme Court hearing. She has served as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since June. Fred Lucas saw seven big moments in Day Two of the hearings.

1. Child Porn Sentences and ‘Extreme Disparities’

[Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo] last week highlighted seven cases, and again in remarks Monday, in which Jackson as a District Court judge gave sentences to child sex offenders that were lighter than what prosecutors requested and federal sentencing guidelines recommend….

2. ‘Never Studied Critical Race Theory’

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Jackson about her views on critical race theory. He referenced a speech in which she cited critical race theory, which holds that someone is either an oppressor or oppressed based on his or her race.

Having noted earlier that they knew each other at Harvard Law School, Cruz said critical race theory originated at their alma mater. He asked Jackson to define it from her point of view.

“It is an academic theory that is about the ways in which race interacts with various institutions,” Jackson replied. “It never comes up in my work as a judge. It’s never something I’ve studied or relied on. It wouldn’t be something I would rely on if I was on the Supreme Court.”

Cruz said critical legal theory initially was viewed as class-based struggle. Critical race theory grew out of that and frames every conflict as race based.

“Do you think that’s an accurate way of viewing society?” Cruz asked.

“Senator, I don’t think so. I’ve never studied critical race theory. I’ve never used it,” 

Jackson replied. “It doesn’t come up in the work that I do as a judge.

Cruz followed up: “With respect, I find that a curious statement because you gave a speech in April 2015 at the University of Chicago.”

In that speech, Jackson at one point said, “Sentencing is just plain interesting because it melds together myriad types of law, criminal law, and of course constitutional law, critical race theory.”

Cruz asked Jackson: “You described in a speech to a law school what you were doing as critical race theory….

3. ‘Couldn’t Let the Terrorists Win’

Under questioning, Jackson explained her work as a federal public defender on behalf of terrorism suspects held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba….

At the same time, Jackson said, she didn’t have full say in who she defended….

4. ‘Agree With Justice Barrett’ on Court-Packing

Several Republican senators raised the prospect of court-packing on Monday, when Jackson had little time to speak….

Jackson said she had the same view as Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed in her Senate confirmation hearing about court-packing, which many Democrats advocate as a way to ensure the Supreme Court is more liberal by increasing the number of justices….


5. ‘Bought by Dark Money’?

Several Republican senators brought up the fact that the liberal legal group Demand Justice had promoted Jackson for the Supreme Court….

6. Abortion as ‘Settled Law’

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case that has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the nation.

The high court previously upheld its Roe decision in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., immediately began asking about maintaining abortion. Feinstein noted that two justices, Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, have said Roe is settled precedent.

“I do agree with both Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Barrett on this issue,” Jackson said.

“Roe and Casey are the settle law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman’s pregnancy.”

7. ‘Fairly Judge a Catholic?’

During her opening remarks Monday, Jackson thanked God and talked openly about her faith.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Jackson about her faith.

“Senator, I am Protestant, nondenominational,” she replied.

“Could you fairly judge a Catholic?” Graham asked.

Before she could finish her answer, though, Graham answered for her.

“I think the answer would be yes. I believe you can. I’m just asking this question because – how important is your faith to you?”

Jackson responded: “Personally, my faith is very important, but as you know, there is no religious test in the Constitution under Article 6. It’s very important to set aside one’s personal views.”

Graham later followed by referencing a comment by Feinstein, who scrutinized Barrett’s Catholic faith during her confirmation hearing for a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“How would you feel if a senator up here said of your faith, ‘The dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern’? How would you feel if someone on our side said, ‘You attend church too much for me,’ or, ‘Your faith is a little bit different to me,’ and they suggest it would affect your decision?”

Jackson said, “Senator, I um …”

Graham jumped in: “I would if I were you. I found it offensive when they said it about Judge Barrett.”

Graham went on to recall other attacks by Democrats, such as their opposition to Justice Samuel Alito and their two-year filibuster to prevent Judge Janice Rogers Brown from serving on the D.C. Circuit.

            Democrats asked Republicans to treat Jackson with respect during the hearings. This is ironic because of the disrespect shown by Democrats to the three Justices appointed during the Trump administration. Republicans are “jabbing” the Democrats even while showing Jackson respect.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

What Is Happening in the Senate Judiciary Hearings?

            Senate hearings on federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court this week. During the presidential election, President Joe Biden promised to nominate “a black woman” to the Supreme Court even though his promise was racist. He kept his word when he nominated Jackson. The opening day of hearings focused on Jackson’s record and her historical nomination. According to Fred Lucas, the twenty-two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss four matters during the hearings. 

1. ‘Historic Nature’ or Double Standard?

Democratic senators on the committee hailed the fact that Jackson is the first black woman nominated to serve on the Supreme Court….

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pointed out that Democrats had a very different view when they opposed President George W. Bush’s nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and blocked confirmation of Miguel Estrada, a Hispanic, who had previously served in a number of legal capacities including as an assistant U.S. attorney, to the same circuit. [Emphasis added.]

Democrats’ opposition to Brown and Estrada was widely seen as driven by the fact that both were considered at the time as likely future contenders for seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“So, if you’re a Hispanic or African American conservative, it’s about your philosophy. Now it’s going to be about the historic nature of the pick,” Graham said. “This is going to be about your philosophy. Bottom line is that it is about philosophy when it is someone of color on our side. It’s about ‘We’re all racist if we ask hard questions.’ It’s not going to fly with us. We’re used to it by now; at least I am. So, it’s not going to matter a bit. We are going to ask you what we think you need to be asked.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, added to the historical record.

“As [then-]Sen. Ted Kennedy said in writing at the time, the Democrats filibustered Miguel Estrada, quote, ‘because he is Hispanic.’ They were explicitly racial,” Cruz said.

“If you are Hispanic or African American, and you dare depart from their political orthodoxy, they will crush you. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will filibuster you.”

2. Judicial Philosophy ‘Without Fear of Favor’

Delivering her opening remarks for the hearing, Jackson thanked God for her life.

“While I’m on the subject of gratitude, I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God, for it is faith that sustains me at this moment,” she said. “Even prior to today, I can honestly say that my life has been blessed beyond measure.” …

She didn’t detail her judicial philosophy, but explained her broad view.

“I decide cases from a neutral posture,” Jackson said. “I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fer or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.”

3. Sentencing in Child Pornography Cases

Durbin sought to cut off the likely focal point of Republican opposition to Jackson’s nomination.

“We’ve heard claims that you’re, quote, ‘soft on crime.’ These baseless charges are unfair,” Durbin said. “They fly in the face of pledges my colleagues made that they would approach your nomination with civility and respect.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., named seven child pornography cases where Jackson, as a U.S. district judge, handed down sentences below what the prosecutor had requested and federal sentencing guidelines recommended….

[Hawley’s] point: It’s difficult against this backdrop to argue that the sentencing guidelines are too harsh or outmoded, that we should be treating child porn offenders more leniently than the guidelines recommend.

Hawley said Jackson deserves the chance to explain her record….

4. Demand Justice, ‘Dark Money’ Influence

Several Republican senators brought up the role of Demand Justice, a left-wing legal group founded by former Hillary Clinton aide Brian Fallon under the financial sponsorship of liberal megadonor Arabella Advisors.

Demand Justice included Jackson on its Supreme Court shortlist for Biden. The group has also advocated for court-packing to advance Democratic policies on the court.

            Democrats are “whitewashing” Jackson in claiming that she is “an accomplished, experienced, highly qualified nominee to the Supreme Court.” At the same time, Republicans are striving to show that Jackson is soft on crime. In the end, I expect that Jackson will be appointed to the Supreme Court and that she will not make difference in the liberal-conservative slant of the court. I hope that Republicans ask difficult questions, but I also hope that they show respect to Jackson – something that Democrats did not show to Brett Kavanaugh.