Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday roundup

National security advisor H.R. McMaster had a terse response when asked why the USS Carl Vinson airstrike carrier group had been suddenly pulled from what it had been doing to head to the waters near the Korean Peninsula, but it spoke volumes:

Then, almost as an afterthought, final question, McMaster was asked [by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday] why the president was sending the entire Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Taylor Millard wrote of the announcement here.
“Well,” said McMaster, “It’s prudent to do it, isn’t it?”
45 killed and over 100 injured in ISIS bombings of Christian churches in Fanta and Alexandria in Egypt.

The can of worms opened by the Obergefell v. Hodges SCOTUS decision is exactly why that living-Constitution hooey is so dangerous, as explained by Howard Slugh at NRO:

Does the Constitution grant individuals a judicially enforceable right to order the government to combat climate change? Does it contain a right to engage in “BDSM sexual activity”? What about a right to assisted suicide? Unfortunately, these are no longer fanciful hypotheticals. Thanks to Justice Kennedy, cases alleging such rights are currently being litigated and are coming soon to a courthouse near you.
The names of the cases to which Slugh refers are, respectively, Juliana v. Unites States,  Doe v. Rector & Visitors of George Mason University, and Morris v. Brandenburg. Keep an eye on them. There's a good chance they will be treated differently than they would have been in the days when Washington v. Glucksberg (in which a decision written by then-Chief Justice Rehnquist found that assisted suicide was not covered by the equal-protection clause of the 14th amendment) held sway:

In Obergfell, Justice Kennedy did far more than merely discover a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. He wrote that judges have an ongoing “duty” to identify and protect new “fundamental rights.” He maintained that judges should institute new rights whenever their “reasoned judgment” suggests that it is appropriate to do so.

Previously, a Supreme Court precedent titled Washington v. Glucksberg held that judges could recognize constitutional rights only if they were “deeply rooted in” American “history and tradition.” Justice Kennedy dismissed this standard as unduly constraining judges’ power. 
Mulvaney is set to rock and roll:

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is reportedly slated to send a letter to federal agencies later this week warning them to prep for substantial budget cuts.
The guidance letter falls in line with President Donald Trump’s March 13 executive order aimed at making the government leaner and more efficient, Axios first reported.
The order called on Mulvaney, a staunch fiscal conservative and former member of the House Freedom Caucus, to “propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.”
Trump’s budget called for historic cuts to a number of agencies — including a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 28 percent cut to the State Department and a 17.9 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services. While a number of the departments’ budgets would be slashed, the Department of Defense would see a 10 percent boost in spending.
As I always say, if it ain't in Mr. Madison's document, the federal government should not be involved in it.

Campus jackboots are at it again, shutting down a speech by the Manhattan Institute's Heather MacDonald at Claremont Colleges.


  1. You can always say that if it ain't in Mr. Madison's document, ignoring the reality that there is also 2 Centuries of Case Law that has developed. Good luck with your fundamental misunderstanding of Comstitutional fundamentalism. I

  2. What do I misunderstand? Trotting out "case law" does not obscure the sea change in thought about the Constitution that occurred with the advent of the Progressives, who introduced the notion that society had grown too complex with the introduction of industrialization and urbanization to be governed by the Founders' vision, and that government (executive branch) ought to have on its payroll a battery of experts in areas such as health care, the environment, workplace issues and issues associated with aging to flesh out legislation with regulations.

    Bad and wrong. The intent of the Framers of s all you need for a free and safe society

  3. Might be what we need but It sure aumt what we got, which is still a government of laws, of course subject to their constitutionality. You either devolve it or evolve it through legal channels or you get back to where you think we once belonged by total revolution. Again.

  4. What you do not understand is this:

    "What's going on here? Don't we have a Constitution? We do, but if you think the Constitution is just the document that is under glass in the National Archives, you will not begin to understand American constitutional law. Our nation has over two centuries of experience grappling with the fundamental issues-constitutional issues-that arise in a large, complex, diverse, changing society. The lessons we have learned in grappling with those issues only sometimes make their way into the text of the Constitution by way of amendments, and even then the amendments often occur only after the law has already changed. But those lessons are routinely embodied in the cases that the Supreme Court decides, and also, importantly, in traditions and understandings that have developed outside the courts. Those precedents, traditions, and understandings form an indispensable part of what might be called our small-c constitution: the constitution as it actually operates, in practice.That small-c constitution-along with the written Constitution in the Archives-is our living Constitution."


  5. I don't think the Framers would set much store by "understandings . . . outside the court." And the quote above ends with the that insidious term "living Constitution." We start monkeying with what it actually says and how it constrains government from interfering in citizens' lives, and we quickly become untethered from anything that guarantees our freedom.

  6. So you stand here today calling 220 years of jurisprudence in America "monkeying around." Like I say, you're gonna need a revolution to go back to those halcyon days where the Constitution was only words to be fit into real life situations. Or real life situations to be fit into only words. Go for it, my dear Patriot(?)