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Syrians from all walks of life have joined a human shield campaign to help protect the country from potential foreign military action from Barack Hussein Obama
“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” –Thomas Jefferson
For 200 years, the Supreme Court has enjoyed virtually limitless authority to determine the constitutionality of both state and federal legislation. Known as “Judicial Review,” this power to “…invalidate [an executive or legislative] act if it is contrary to constitutional principles” has made what the Founders believed the weakest of the federal branches into arguably the most powerful.
There is no mention of judicial review in the Constitution. Rather, legal historians believe that famed Chief Justice John Marshall made a personal gift of judicial review to himself and his black-robed progeny in the 1803 Marbury v Madison majority opinion, which he authored. It was in Marbury–the first case “…in which the Court asserted its power to strike down an act of Congress as unconstitutional”– that Marshall wrote “[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” (my italics)
And for two centuries, the federal judiciary has continued to say “what the law is,” on occasion revealing a stunning penchant for error that the other branches have had no small difficulty correcting and the American people no small difficulty abiding.
However, Congress has the constitutional authority to limit or even undo this extra-constitutional power practiced by the federal judiciary.
Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution state:
“The judicial power of the States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish…” (my italics)
“…In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other Pubic Ministers and Consuls and those in which a State shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all other cases the Supreme Court shall have Appellate Jurisdiction both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make…” (my italics)
The language in these two Sections makes it clear that “Congress can unquestionably prevent judicial review by the federal courts altogether by abolishing the inferior courts and repealing the laws dealing with the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.”
And numerous opinions issued by the Court itself confirm the fact that Congress has the power to effectively end the extra-constitutional practice of judicial review. For in the final analysis, “The whole subject is remitted to the unfettered discretion of Congress.”
The question of course is whether any Congress would bring these options to bear against the Supreme Court or its inferior, federal sisters. Doing so would be constitutional and perfectly legal. And lawmakers would no longer need to depend upon an extraordinary ruling by a rogue Justice to salvage favored legislation, or find a dangerous statute suddenly reaffirmed as the law of the land.
But one can only imagine the outrage from an American public that trusts the Court while exhibiting no faith in Congress! Will a future group of lawmakers have the courage–or the chutzpah–to carry it through?
The New York Times story, “President Gains McCain’s Backing on Syria Attack,” is predictable, considering that Obama had invited Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the White House for the specific purpose of supporting his proposed military strike on Syria. Obama has also asked the same two senators to travel to Egypt to undermine the military leaders who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government there.
What is lacking from the media coverage is any recognition that the inevitable result, according to congressional testimony, will be the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood and associated terrorist groups in Syria, and the genocide of the remaining Christians there.
In Egypt, right in front of our eyes, Obama facilitated a Muslim Brotherhood takeover, which has been stopped dead in its tracks by a true people’s revolution that has brought the military to power. The Muslim Brotherhood has responded by attacking Christians and their churches.
Incredibly, it seems as if the crisis in Egypt will be repeated, except in the case of Syria the explicit purpose of Obama’s military intervention (as it seems to be developing under the guidance of McCain and Graham) is the destruction of the regime that has been standing in the way of the complete obliteration of the Christians. There will be no one with authority left to rescue the Christians from the Muslim Brotherhood when it takes control in Damascus.
“The problem,” writes terrorism analyst Steven Emerson, “is that anything that hurts [Syrian President] Assad, however inadvertently, benefits those same Islamist radicals we’ve all been worried about…Equally incredible is the fact that, in taking military action in Syria, America would effectively be standing on the same side as al Qaeda affiliate groups who also support them.”
The issue isn’t the odious nature of the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, but the nature of the opposition, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the side of the conflict that Obama, McCain, and Graham want the U.S. to support.
Graham, up for re-election next year, has been labeled by one of his opponents, South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright, as a “Community Organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood.” Fox News host Lou Dobbs seemed surprised by the comment when Bright made it on his show, but noted that Graham and McCain did in fact “try to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back into the government after the military had gotten them out of there.” Bright went on to say that McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee against Obama, had become “a tool of the Democrat Party” and that Graham was “following suit.”
Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative is equally harsh. “John McCain and Lindsey Graham are carrying water for Obama’s pro-jihadist intervention in Syria,” she says. “Step and Fetchit McCain and Graham were at the White House today getting their marching orders from the Dear Leader. There were no Democrats at the White House today.”
She asks, “Which Muslim Brotherhood operatives are advising McCain and Graham? …McCain said today that blocking Obama’s Syria strike would be ‘catastrophic.’ No, Senator McCain, Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was ‘catastrophic,’ and so is backing the Brotherhood and al Qaeda in Syria.”
Geller is alluding to the fact that the Sunni branch of Islam, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihadist groups, has targeted Syria for takeover. Al Jazeera, now in 40 to 50 million American homes, is their mouthpiece.
Strangely, Fox News figures William Kristol and Karl Rove were among those signing an August 27 letter supporting an Obama military strike on Syria, even without Congressional approval. On Monday night, after his White House meeting, Senator Graham appeared on the Fox News show “Special Report” with guest host Shannon Bream, and he was given about six minutes of virtually uninterrupted time to make the case for Obama’s war.
If Fox News is in the pocket of McCain and Graham, you know it’s going to be difficult for opponents of Obama’s war policy to get equal time and attention from the media. Perhaps this is why Kristol predicts the Republicans, who look to Fox News for guidance and direction, will fall in line behind Obama.
However, largely ignored in this debate are Syria’s Christians, now facing the prospect of genocide. It is not too late to cover their plight.
On June 25, the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, together with the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, held an important hearing entitled “Religious Minorities in Syria: Caught in the Middle.”
Presiding over the hearing, Rep. Christopher Smith said, “The al-Nusra Front, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, has been blamed for much of the sectarian rhetoric and violence, but dozens of the opposition groups ascribe to Islamist or Salafist-jihadist ideologies and mingle with the Free Syrian Army—which the U.S. may now be supporting.”
Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA), went further than Rep. Smith, testifying that the Obama Administration has given a “green light” to Sunni countries in the region “to militarily destabilize Syria,” and that the human rights of religious minorities, especially Christians, are at risk.
Eibner said, “Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey may be beloved by America’s military and economic interests, but all have grave democracy deficits and cannot serve as models for religious pluralism…Saudi Arabia and Qatar are Sunni absolute monarchies. All religious minorities are banned in the former. Nearly one hundred years ago the Christian minorities were virtually eradicated in Turkey by means of genocide. Successive Turkish governments, including the current government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, have taken patriotic pride in genocide denial.”
Christian Solidarity International has issued a “Genocide Alert” for religious minorities in Syria.
It should be noted that Qatar is the financial sponsor of Al Jazeera, a channel serving as a voice for the Muslim Brotherhood that has been praised by McCain for making a “contribution” to world affairs.
Eibner’s comments are not just speculation. More than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. intelligence operatives and diplomats have stepped up their contacts with Syrian rebels” and that the CIA and State Department are working with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and “other allies” on behalf of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Zuhdi Jasser, a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, testified that reports indicate that armed rebels affiliated with the FSA raided the Christian-populated al-Duvair village in Syria and massacred all its civilian residents, including women and children.
Rev. Majed El Shafie, founder of One Free World International, testified that the Islamist factions in Syria (which he said include Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist, and al Qaeda-linked groups) “are rapidly overtaking the undisciplined and poorly organized rebels as they have in other countries…” He fears that these Muslim groups will “cleanse Syria of the ‘infidels’—Christians and other minorities—and establish an Islamist state.”
“In fact,” he said, “this process has already begun.”
Is President Obama about to become party to the Muslim Brotherhood’s genocidal process? If so, how many Republicans besides McCain and Graham will join with Obama?
This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.
In a stunning about-face that could cause eyes to roll and heads to spin, Obama now says he did not set the “red line” regarding chemical weapons use in the Syrian civil war. Yet, numerous times over the past year…well, just see for yourself all the startling contradictions in this little parody we call “The Red Line I Didn’t Say”.
With the national — and most local — news organizations breathlessly covering President Barack Obama’s slow march to war against Syria, he managed on Thursday to find time to perform what he believes is his primary duty: not disarming Bashar al-Assad’s forces or the al-Qaeda rebels killing and maiming innocent Syrians, but disarming law-abiding Americans and US businesses who sell firearms, according to a number of firearms legal experts and police advisors.
The White House surprised the so-called “gun lobby” with two new executive actions, that include a measure that targets the import of military surplus weapons which is the raison d’être of many gun collectors in America, former police firearms instructor Jeff Kingridge told Law Enforcement Examiner.
“Without evidence of one case in which a legitimate military gun collector’s firearms purchased from a military-surplus store were used in a homicide, our current president has taken it upon himself to pass laws that are constitutionally questionable with input from congress, said Kingridge.
“Vice President Joe Biden was chosen to make the announcement about the new rules, which Obama added to the list of actions the White House already determined the president may take without congressional approval,” he added.
Obama’s gun-control measures by fiat are the president’s reaction to Congress declining to pass any gun control legislation in the aftermath of mass-shooting including Newton, Conn., school massacre.
Read More at examiner.com . By Jim Kouri.
A group of Republican students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill claim their budget was slashed by the school’s student government because of ideological differences.
Hoping to invite a panel of high-profile conservative speakers, the group requested $8,000 from the Student Congress for expenses. In response, the College Republicans were offered less than half, which they say exposes a double standard.
Group chairman Peter McClelland said the situation is “not entirely surprising,” noting that members have “seen a pattern since last year which has culminated in a 75 percent total cut in budget for conservative groups.”
In contrast, he said, far left organizations (including one for anarchists and another catering to radical feminists) received as much if not more money for their respective causes.
A college spokesperson defended the student government’s action, explaining that groups find their budgets cut “not because of their political leanings or missions, but because by definition the largest requests have the most to lose in the funding projects.”
McClelland described “a fair amount of hostility” toward conservative groups, indicating that a subsequent appeal of the decision was also denied.
Conservative journalist Katie Pavlich, one of the speakers the UNC group hoped to invite, said she is “disappointed, but not surprised” to see a conservative group targeted.
“The very same educational institutions that preach tolerance are the most intolerant of opposing views,” she added. “This isn’t simply a case isolated to UNC; it’s happening all over the country and has been happening for decades.”
She is correct in identifying the problem; unfortunately, those who control the pursestrings at most liberal universities offer little hope for a solution.
College, which should offer young adults an environment conducive to the free expression of ideas, has become hostile territory for outspoken conservatives. Instead of fostering open dialogue, most universities are unabashed strongholds of leftist groupthink.
Though not indicative of all American colleges, conservatives must realize that they will be heavily outnumbered in the halls of academia, whether as students or faculty members. For all the left’s insistence on a “level playing field” for any number of special interest groups, such accommodations do not extend to those with whom they disagree politically.
Conservatives must rely on their own ingenuity and resolve to make their voices heard rather than count on funding that could be taken away without notice. Fortunately, self-reliance is one of the tenets embraced by the right.
Click here to get B. Christopher Agee’s brand new book, “Publik Skoolz Is Grate Edyukashun,” for just $3.99! Like his Facebook page for engaging, relevant conservative content daily.
Photo credit: yeungb (Creative Commons)
In the immortal words of my favorite stand up comedian, Ron White, “Got in a little trouble last week…”
When I got home the other day, there was a very nice, very polite Washoe County deputy waiting for me with a warrant for my arrest on a year and a half old, 10-mile an hour over speeding ticket in Mineral County.
They handcuffed me, put me in the back of a really crappy Chevy Tahoe, and took me to jail.
Now, as White’s experience in Florida goes (and if you haven’t seen it, go to one of his shows or buy an album), I’m not whining. I might (depending on advice of my counsel) have broken the law, and that’s what happens.
But, as Mr. White would also say, during the 23 mile drive from Washoe Valley to the jail, we passed 8 meth labs and maybe two dead hookers. And it took one of the two deputies assigned to a very large area away from real police work for maybe five hours. For a traffic warrant in Hawthorne. Your tax dollars at work. That’s something I’ll have to remember the next time response time to an emergency becomes an issue and the elected Sheriff of Washoe County starts whining about a lack of money. Being an upstanding citizen, if the nice deputy had asked, I would have driven myself down there and reported in. That way, my wife would not have had to come get me, and both deputies would have been doing real police work.
So I get to the Washoe County jail, and it is refreshing to see that politeness is the word of the day. It happens that the deputy allowed me to make a call before we left, so I had already arranged bail. They did some processing, and I sat down to wait with a group in the intake area.
Now you might think that I would see a bunch of gangbangers, bad guys, tough hombres, and other assorted scary people.
Not so much.
The room, frankly, could have been confused with a jury pool over at the courthouse, except they took our belts because we might have wanted to hang ourselves over being arrested on a traffic warrant. (Actually, I was in a jury pool once where I almost DID want to hang myself.)
The vast bulk of the arrestees were…wait for it…hard core traffic offenders. It pretty much looked like America. There were a few DUI’s, some real and at least one where the poor kid blew a .081 after his truck broke down and he managed to get it to the side of the road without any damage to anyone else. A vigilant NHP trooper worried about his agency’s budget, and his personal paycheck made some lawyer a lot of money. And there were some drug guys, including one young man with a very interesting story who could probably write a Master’s thesis on the correctional system but doesn’t want to work that hard.
“I love doing drugs,” he said. “I have no life, so drugs are it.” That’s exactly who we want in jail at our expense, right?
You could easily mistake this kid for a grad student at UNR. Someone ought to help him become one instead of wasting our money on incarceration.
What’s the common thread here?
Well, it seems our justice system has morphed into a collection agency. We’ve allowed the state agencies to use traffic enforcement, among other largely irrelevant misdemeanors, for a revenue source. And whenever you give that kind of power to a government, you are tossing the Constitution out the window.
You know how we’re so proud of not having debtor’s prisons?
Well, that’s a bunch of crap.
Most of the people who spend the night at the Washoe County Jail do so because they don’t have the bail money. That part of the jail is a very lower middle class place. The intake room is just plain middle class. You know, the people Barack Obama says he’s busy helping.
Isn’t there a better way to insure safety on our highways? Or to get people to stop doing hard drugs?
Now I want to be clear.
I’m not taking a pro-anarchy, anti-government position. But we’re not the longest lived experiment in self-government because we can put a cop on every corner.
We are that because our system is based on voluntary compliance.
People comply because they have respect for the system, thinking that the system is reasonable. We need to disincentivise the use of these laws as a hidden tax. Maybe a citizen’s initiative constitutional amendment that makes it illegal to use any fines, fees, or cost assessment for any other purpose so they can’t take the money and use it in place of tax revenues they can’t raise. We ought to start at the front end and make it easier to go to court and challenge a nonsensical ticket. Or, perhaps, we ought to level the playing field a little bit by passing traffics laws that cannot be abused they way they are today. Maybe all of the above.
When there are a large number of traffic warrants, that says that the public knows it’s a bunch of crap and has lost respect for the law and the enforcers.
And to put a point on it, one of the questions they asked me at the jail—after they asked if I was affiliated with any prison gangs—was, “Are you a member of any anti-government group.”
I didn’t want to play with the young lady—I was just waiting to be released after my bond had already been arranged—so I said, “no”.
But the correct answer should probably have been, “keep this nonsense up and I might join. Where do I go to sign up?”