New on Live Action – Has the OK Supreme Court Inadvertently Put the "Right to Choose" on the Fast Track to Oblivion?

Check out my latest Live Action post:
Pro-aborts may have declared victory in the wake of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Oklahoma Personhood Act, but according to Personhood USA President Keith Mason, pro-lifers are the ones who should be celebrating, since the decision puts personhood on the fast track to the highest court in the land:

The Oklahoma Court’s decision relied heavily on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and in moving to deny the people’s right to petition on behalf of the preborn, they have turned this case into a federal issue, deciding “the only recourse available to this Court is to follow…the United States Supreme Court.” The ruling has set us up for a direct challenge to Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The Oklahoma Court ruling has, inadvertently, propelled the Personhood movement several years forward!
The implications of this case are enormous! Not only will the Personhood movement receive more exposure, which results in an unmatched opportunity for education and saving babies’ lives, but there is a very real chance for victory. The Oklahoma case could be the first to directly and successfully challenge Planned Parenthood v. Casey, dismantling the abortion stronghold in America, and demanding basic human rights for every single human being. This is cause for celebration!

The Oklahoma high court called the measure “clearly unconstitutional,” claiming the Supremes’ prior rulings on abortion have settled the issue. If the Supreme Court were to hear the case, they’d be taking the explosive step of reconsidering Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s central proposition: that the Constitution protects the “right to choose” abortion. That’s a high-risk/high-reward proposition, to put it mildly.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Is Abortion Already Illegal?

Because abortion is ultimately a question of basic human liberty and not just good or bad policy, I have never agreed with those conservatives who think “leaving it to the states” is a sufficient solution to the issue (though it would be far preferable to the anti-democratic status quo forced upon us by Roe v. Wade). I instead support a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to protect the right to life nationwide. States should be able to do many things, but treating certain classes of human beings as property is not among them.
However, until the HLA becomes reality, I have also been wary of banning abortion via an act of Congress, for fear of violating the boundaries of Congress’s enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. The 14th Amendment, which was enacted to guarantee political rights to newly freed black Americans after the Civil War, seemed to come close to authorizing Congress to ban abortion, but the language about “all persons born” was always a hang-up for me.
But is that really a barrier? After closer contemplation of the 14th Amendment’s language, I’ve concluded the answer is no. Here are the relevant passages in their entirety:
Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 5: The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
There’s no question that this empowers Congress to prevent states from treating their inhabitants unequally or depriving them of life, liberty or property. But do the unborn count among those inhabitants? Let’s go line by line:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
So whatever else you are, you’re not a US citizen until you’re born.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; […]
When taken with the first sentence, this pretty clearly indicates that the unborn aren’t entitled to the full slate of “privileges or immunities” a citizen enjoys. So no guns or voting for fetuses. Sorry.
However, the sentence continues:
[…] nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
“Nor” sets up another set of requirements, separate and distinct from the preceding clauses. Here, the amendment discusses protections applicable to “any person,” not “any citizen.” So while some legal protections and entitlements only come with American citizenship, others apply to every human being within our borders, regardless of their legal status.
This makes perfect sense. Legal rights are merely the terms of an agreement made by a particular group of people in their constitution, whereas natural rights are, according to the Declaration of Independence, God-given qualities possessed by every human being, which cannot be justly denied or violated by anyone.
There are obvious reasons why countries don’t want to have to give foreign nationals exactly the same legal protections and benefits as their citizens—for instance, we shouldn’t have to go through a full-blown jury trial every time we want to deport a violent illegal immigrant. But at the same time, we would never want to set the standard that people can do whatever they want to someone just because he’s not an American.
This certainly seems to fit with the original intent behind the measure—as President Ronald Reagan wrote in his famous essay, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation”: 
When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are “entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal.” He said the right guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to “any human being.”
If the unborn are people—and from both scientific and philosophical perspectives, they clearly are—then the Constitution already requires that their right to life be protected, even without a new amendment explicitly saying so. Any state that prohibits the murder of fully-grown humans while allowing the murder of those in the womb is unconstitutionally discriminating against the latter.
All right-of-center observers agree that the Constitution doesn’t require the right to abortion, but the understanding I’ve just proposed—that the Constitution actually forbids it—is much rarer. Even Justice Antonin Scalia believes the Constitution is silent on the question. Further, conservatives tend to dislike enacting their policy goals through unelected courts on principle. For these reasons, pro-lifers should continue to support the Human Life Amendment anyway, so that when abortion’s long-overdue end finally does come, nobody can plausibly question its democratic legitimacy. But if we manage to save lives by convincing even a few courts that the right to life is an equal-protection issue, so much the better.

A (Perhaps Unnecessary) Plea for Action

A few hours ago, I sent out the following letter to many friends and colleagues in Wisconsin. Fortunately, new developments may render it unnecessary.
To my fellow Wisconsinites,

As you know, the final outcome of the state Supreme Court election will have tremendous ramifications for our future. JoAnn Kloppenburg is an environmental zealot with a record of disdain for the personal liberties of Wisconsin residents. She benefitted from a slanderous attack on David Prosser and did not have the decency to condemn it, despite the victim of the Prosser case calling on her to disavow the “offensive” and “inaccurate” ad.
As a judge, she will certainly rule based on her politics rather than the state Constitution, and we can expect her rulings to consistently side with government bureaucrats who want to micromanage our lives, and against the individual rights of the people. (By contrast, Prosser’s long judicial record matches his rhetoric, proving that he is an independent, impartial judge.) By giving the Supreme Court a liberal majority, her victory would, for all intents and purposes, rescind self-government in our state until the next Supreme Court election. The danger is that serious. For Kloppenburg’s supporters, this election was never about judicial philosophy; it was a proxy war to wage against Governor Walker’s agenda and preserve the dominance of government unions over our state.
As it stands, we do not know who won the election on Tuesday. Kloppenburg claimed her 204-vote lead as a victory, but as of Thursday afternoon, the lead has shifted to Prosser by 40 votes. We will not have a final answer for some time. But if Wisconsin history tells us anything, it’s that the Democrats and their allies will pull out all the stops to steal this election. We’ve already started to see several allegations of vote fraud and other suspicious activity, and more is sure to come in the days ahead.
Right now, the only hope Wisconsin has lies with the alertness and dedication of the state Justice Department. So I’m writing you today to ask you to all to contact Attorney General JB Van Hollen, to urge him to vigorously investigate and prosecute all reports of voter fraud in the days and months to come, and to watch the recount process very carefully. Ask your friends and family to do the same (feel free to forward this email to as many people as you can think of). Contact Governor Walker and your representatives, and demand that they pressure the Attorney General’s Office to take this seriously. You may contact each office below:
I appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedules to read this. Take care.
Calvin Freiburger

Did Kloppenburg Steal the Election? Signs of Vote Fraud in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

In the 2004 election, around 5,000 more votes were counted in Milwaukee alone than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots, so it’s entirely plausible that JoAnne Kloppenburg’s 204-vote lead in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race is fraudulent.
The following is a collection of election irregularities and signs of potential fraud in this week’s election that have been reported thus far. To be clear, many of these are unverified allegations, and while they may not all be true, they are all worth investigating. This post may be updated periodically as new facts and allegations come to light.
First, an anecdote of my own: as I’m currently at college in Michigan, I (along with my mother) voted absentee while I was home for spring break two weeks ago. When my father went in to vote on Election Day, he noticed that neither my nor my mother’s name had been checked off on the voter rolls as having already voted.
Blogger Thomas Ferdousi has been closely following signs of fraud. Among the highlights:
[W]e now have this from the Dane County election numbers.

Total votes for the Supreme Court Election: 182,382
For County Executive: 171,718

So we’re dealing with about 10,600 more votes being cast for the Supreme Court election than in the County Executive race. Now, of course the Supreme Court race was very contested, so many may have seen it as more important– but over 10,000 in the city?

Not to mention the fact that last night there were 10,000 (exactly) votes given extra to Kloppenburg by Dane County before the number was retracted.

WISN’s Mark Belling has received word of voter intimidation:
Village of Grafton Police were called to the Grafton Town Hall because election officials were concerned that protesters were too close to the polling place and were not following the rules established by Wisconsin’s Election Authority or Government Accountability Board (GAB).  Two witnesses confirmed that a Police Officer who reported to address the incident apparently refused to deal with the protesters initially.  Jessica Schmidt, Grafton Town Clerk, and another witness heard the officer say, “I used to be a conservative but I’m not anymore.”  Apparently, this behavior was a result of the recent debate over union rights that has consumed Wisconsin.  The officer then walked outside and without addressing the issues presented by the protesters and refused to do his job, allowing the intimidation to continue.  The officer’s behavior was apparently upsetting enough that an elderly poll worker was shaking immediately following the incident and needed to be calmed down by a nurse that was present at the polling place.   
Belling is also sounding the alarm [PDF link] on allegations of fraud in Mequon:
I have filed a Wisconsin Open records request with the City of Mequon demanding any ballot submitted but not cast in yesterday’s election, including any remnant of a shredded ballot. We have received reports Mequon poll workers destroyed submitted ballots before poll closing time, demanding a driver’s license number from the absentee voter. This request is unusual and the destruction of ballots is of grave concern, given the closeness of the state Supreme Court election. I will consider seeking an injuction to back up my request if Mequon officials are not copperative.
WISN’s Vicki McKenna has asked her audience members to share their stories here. Among the highlights:
One caller, McKenna said, talked about a “missing box of ballots,” a voter overheard poll workers talking about. On air, McKenna said the ballot box could have contained blank ballots or it could have been filled with Wisconsin voters’ completed ballot. Either possibility presents a dilemma, though, as blank ballots in the hands of the wrong people could be used to illegally influence counts after the election.
“There are reports of 17-year-olds voting because they didn’t need to show proof of their age or anything like that,” McKenna told TheDC. “There were folks allegedly using their husbands’ or relatives’ utility bills in voter registration, ballots weren’t being counted because they were using the wrong kind of pens.
– Here is what I don’t get. 222,761 votes were tallied in the Milwaukee County Exec race. [CF: Yep – see here.]  227,577 votes were tallied in the Supreme Court race. [CF: Yep – see here.] That is a difference of a touch over 4,800 votes. Shouldn’t they be almost identical? And by almost I mean with a few hundred votes? I didn’t take the time to do that math associated with cross checking numbers but wouldn’t one assume they should be closer? Does this mean that Milwaukee County didn’t count over 4,800 votes for the supreme court race? It was on the ballot so why the difference?
– I guess my mother and I were given the wrong ballot to fill out. I know that doesn’t make a lot of difference in the Prosser/Kloppenburg race, but we were given the River Hills-Glendale School District ballot when we should have been given the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District ballot.
– (Waukesha) My son moved over a year ago and filled out all the proper forms for change of registration of his new address and ward. However his name is still listed on our old ward’s registration listing, I saw it just below mine! He easily could have voted twice, not that he would, but it exposes a problem. There should be no outstanding registration changes before an election occurs. he moved over a year a ago! This is also a disturbing loophole as even showing ID won’t fix this. Maybe it would be caught some other way, but let’s catch up on registration change paperwork people – scary.
– In my voting location, the machine was not accepting ballots first thing in the morning, so the guy was throwing them some place behind the machine. What number did my district turn in? The count on the machine that did not include my vote or did they remember to add those ballots later on when the machine was working?
– Secondly, in a Milwaukee neighborhood of a relative, two people came to the door asking who lived there. The woman lived alone, but mentioned the name of her deceased husband. The person on the porch put his name into his palm pilot, thanked her, and left. It dawned on her later what must be going on – getting potential names of voters (whether dead or alive), but too late. The people involved in this activity had gone. No one knows how many names they got to use for voting.
– There are people on the voter rolls in my community that haven’t lived there for years. I bet there are some people who move frequently who are registered to vote in many different places. Such a shoddy system, and the democrats like it that way.
– As a student at a state university, I sat in a class where they encouraged students to vote Tuesday. “Just bring your campus ID to prove you’re a student and you can vote.” What about proving residence? What about students like me who vote in their home district becuase they live off campus? Could I have voted twice? There was a large push all over campus to get students to “vote against Walker by voting for Kloppenburg.” Her non-experience as a judge shouldn’t matter, I guess. I think re-counts should focus on college campuses…
– I was at Greenfield City Hall from 8:00PM – 10:15PM and watched as the ballots, machine tallies, and other materials were returned and added. I noticed 2 problems. The first was that several ward officials were returning bags of ballots that had not been sealed. The second was that people were leaving their bags of ballots unattended (on benches, on the ground, etc.) as they walked away to chat with other election officials returning their ballots.