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The Hughes Report
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Returning Fire
Topic: Original Intent
Returning Fire

In his 1990 book, The Tempting of America, page 10, Robert Bork predicted, "The liberal elites will not be satisfied with blocking the nomination of judges who may be expected to adhere to the historic principles of the Constitution. They intend to root that idea out of the intellectual life of the law, to make the philosophy of original understanding, and the associated idea of political neutrality in judging, disqualifying for the men and women who hold them." Like Bork himself, conservative nominees would be cast as "out of the mainstream." Bork called this "merely part of a larger war in our culture." He quotes Alasdair MacIntyre, saying, "Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means."

Patrick Leahy fired the first shot in the war on Meet the Press on July 11, declaring any nominee who held to original intent to be unacceptable.

Now the President has returned fire, delaring in his weekly radio address that he would seek a "fair-minded individual who represents the mainstream of American law and American values." His nominee "will meet the highest standards of intellect, character and ability and will pledge to faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country."

What he means, in softened terms, is that he will appoint a justice who will uphold the Constitution, not add invention to it.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 11:24 AM CDT
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Original Intent
Topic: Original Intent
This morning, we were treated to Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy discussing possible Supreme Court nominations on Meet the Press. Together they made the startling suggestion that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor might withdraw her resignation were she offered the post of Chief Justice. They seemed to hint that Rehnquist should step down in her favor for this purpose. Clearly, liberals (and I include Specter, though technically a Republican} quail at the prospect of losing a "liberal seat" on the Court.

Leahy threw down a gauntlet by declaring that a nominee who held to the "original intent" of the Constitution, as did Robert Bork, would be wholly unacceptable to Democrats. Original intent, along with unrestricted abortion, constitute Democrat litmus tests.

Those who fail to grasp the meaning and import of original intent will benefit from Bork's own explanation in his 1990 book, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (NY: The Free Press, 1990), pp. 5-6.

A judge, Bork writes, "is bound by the only thing that can be called law, the principles of the text, whether Constitution or statute, as generally understood at the enactment. The lay reader may wonder at the emphasis put upon this apparently simple point. Of course, the judge is bound to apply the law as those who made the law wanted him to. That is the common, everyday view of what law is. I stress the point only because that commonsense view is hotly, extensively, and eruditely denied by constitutional sophisticates, particularly those who teach the subject in the law schools.

He goes on to describe "today's constitutional cognoscenti, who would have judges remake the historic Constitution from such materials as natural law, conventional morality, prophetic vision, the understanding of an ideal democracy, or what have you. There is a remarkable consistency about these theorists. No matter the base from which they start, they all wind up in the same place, prescribing a new constitutional law that is much more egalitarian and socially permissive than either the actual Constitution or the legislative opinion of the American public. That, surely, is the point of their efforts."

In short, these "progressives" care neither for the actual intent for which a law was designed nor for its historical application (i.e., precedent) but for what they can read into it to support their own worldview and their own ends.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 4:55 PM CDT
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Ted Kennedy Borks Again
I wrote the following prior to the last election, noting Ted Kennedy's unfounded prescience on what would become "Robert Bork's America":

John Kerry's America

At the Senate Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Robert Bork in 1991, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts made the following alarmist statement:

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, robed police could break down citizen's doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about Evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy."

The Bork hearings, one may recall, were made a public spectacle on broadcast television a la Watergate, and he was not confirmed by the Senate.

If Kennedy's "vision" of the future is fair, then how might one envision the future under the leadership of John Kerry?

John Kerry's America would be one in which a million or more healthy babies continue to be slaughtered each year for women's rights, population control, and personal convenience.

Official discrimination favoring only select minorities will increase in the name of Affirmative Action and "Diversity."

Following the lead of Sweden and other socialist countries, Christians and others who dare speak against homosexual marriage, abortion, and other approved causes will be tried for hate crimes, and religious institutions raided in the manner of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

Schoolchildren will continue to be taught Evolution as established fact, and the mere mention of Creationism excluded from the classroom.

Reforms made to the National Endowment to the Arts will be undone, and so-called artists like Annie Sprinkle will be funded by the government.

Supreme Court justices William Renquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, and perhaps others, not to mention other federal judges, will retire and be replaced with liberal activist judges who will continue to undermine the fabric of American society, and purge from it all Christian influence.

The United States would look to the United Nations for permission to defend itself, and increasingly serve in the UN's causes at the expense of American taxpayers and American lives.

Finally, taxes and social spending would rise, while funding for defense and intelligence would, as Kerry's past voting record ably demonstrates, be gutted.

John Kerry is Ted Kennedy's choice for president. The choice in 2004 is not between personalities but two very different visions for the future of the United States of America. It is a clear moral choice. Undecided voters who continue to "waffle" between poll results must either be negligently ignorant of the facts, or totally lacking in guiding principles.

Copyright 2004 Paul A. Hughes

Now the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor has transpired, so we are in for a renewed skirmish in the "cultural wars." Ted Kennedy has already declared his opposition to any non-liberal nominee to the Supreme Court. Any nominee must brace him/herself for the same kind of rectal examination accorded Bork and Clarence Thomas.

With Thomas, there was no evidence of wrongdoing, only hearsay FBI interviews illegally "leaked" by a Democrat senator's office. I well recall Sam Nunn and (I think) Chris Dodd (or some other partisan) telling the press that in spite of lack of evidence, they must question Thomas's nomination "because of the seriousness of the charges. In short, Democrats have already proven that in the absence of evidence, they are willing enough to create some.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 5:06 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 9, 2005 11:21 AM CDT
Liberals Out to Get DeLay
Liberal Democrats hounded Richard Nixon out of office, and have tried to use the media to destroy Republican leaders ever since. Such tactics failed to discredit Ronald Reagan or destroy Clarence Thomas, but successfully derailed Robert Bork, Dan Quayle, John Tower, Newt Gingrich, and Kenneth Starr. Now liberal media have taken aim at House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

A recent political cartoon portrays DeLay as Moses the Lawgiver. A caption reads, "The Reverend Tom DeLay, of the First Church of Political Opportunism in Christ, is down from the mountain with some new information . . . ." He carries two tablets which read,

"Thou shalt not deride poor Tom.

"Thou shalt not call poor Tom a snakeoil (sic.) salesman.

"Thou shalt not pick on poor Tom.

"Thou shalt not scorn poor Tom nor treat him with contempt."

The cartoon appears to convey an anti-Christian sentiment, as well.

Meanwhile, The Campaign for America's Future, a left-wing labor group backed by billionaire George Soros and tied to Nancy Pelosi, Betty Friedan, Howard Metzenbaum, and Jim Hightower, has produced TV commercials targeting DeLay's suburban Houston district. One depicts a man with a Rolex watch washing his hands as a narrator reads,

"Tom DeLay can't wash his hands of corruption by involving Congress in one family's personal tragedy. . . . But Congress can certainly wash its hands of Tom DeLay." Another ad refers to Terri Schiavo and urges Congress to "clean up Congress -- without DeLay."

[Sources: Oliphant, Universal Press Syndicate, 2005; Samantha Levine, "Liberal Group Targets DeLay in TV Ad to Air in His District," Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2005, p. A8; Carl Limbacher, "Anti-DeLay TV Ads Cite Schiavo," Newsmax.com, March 31, 2005.]

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 4:48 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 9, 2005 11:20 AM CDT

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