New at Live Action – States Burn Through Cash Defending Pro-Life Laws from Sore Losers with Lawyers

My latest Live Action post:

Though the moral cost of abortion is rightly the primary focus of pro-life activists, it’s also worth noting that the “right to choose” and its various penumbras impose a more literal cost on society as well. The Kansas City Star reports that the state of Kansas has paid almost $597,000 this year to defend pro-life laws against legal assault:

The office says it paid nearly $317,000 to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. The group has a federal lawsuit against the measure.
The attorney general’s office paid almost $177,000 to Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, of Lawrence, to help defend health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Two Kansas City-area physicians challenged the rules first in federal court and then in state court.
The same law firm also received nearly $104,000 for work in a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a law restricting private insurance coverage for elective abortions.

This is insane. There is no reason why states should be legally compelled to accept federal taxpayer money for abortion providers. There is no reason why states shouldn’t be able to prefer to contract with medical service providers who aren’t involved with abortion. And especially considering how many government regulations we tolerate without litigation in everyand I do mean every – other aspect of our lives, there is no reason abortion clinics or insurance coverage regulations should stand out as grounds for legal conflict.

Read the rest at Live Action.

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New on NewsReal – Top 10 Parts of the Constitution Twisted or Ignored by the Left

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The United States Constitution is one of the most well thought-out works ever created by mere mortals. As the Federalist Papers make clear, America’s Founding Fathers carefully considered nearly every aspect of human nature, the demands of freedom, and the nature of government when drafting it, and created a system of government designed to effectively carry out its duties without imperiling liberty, and calibrated to properly balance society’s competing commitments to self-rule and objective morality, to liberty and security, and more. Under the Constitution, the United States became the freest, most prosperous, and most consequential nation in history.

But to the Left, this magnificent document is at best a relic of a bygone era which has outlived its usefulness; at worst the product of long-dead, bigoted elites. Philosophically, they have inherited President Woodrow Wilson’s view that the Constitution was based on a theory of government mankind has since evolved past:

The makers of our federal Constitution followed the scheme as they found it expounded in Montesquieu, followed it with genuine scientific enthusiasm. The admirable expositions of the Federalist read like thoughtful applications of Montesquieu to the political needs and circumstances of America. They are full of the theory of checks and balances. The President is balanced off against Congress, Congress against the President, and each against the courts. Our statesmen of the earlier generations quoted in no one so often as Montesquieu, and they quoted him always as a scientific standard in the field of politics. Politics is turned into mechanics under his touch. The theory of gravitation is supreme.

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.

Fortunately, the definitions and prescriptions of our constitutional law, though conceived in the Newtonian spirit and upon the Newtonian principle, are sufficiently broad and elastic to allow for the play of life and circumstance.

Accordingly, the needs of their agenda dictate a variety of approaches to the Constitution, depending on the issue. When America needs to be reminded of its irredeemably-evil history, the Constitution is an abomination. When a certain passage seems useful out of context, it becomes an example of the Founders’ wisdom (and pay no attention to that history book behind the curtain). And when a passage seems to get in the way, it’s time to break out the historical relativism.

No more. This weekend, we’re highlighting ten of the most distorted or ignored passages in the Constitution, listed in the order in which they appear in the text. Let’s get started.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

What Conservatism Tells Us About Gay Marriage, Part 3 (UPDATED)

Having established that defending marriage is an imperative for all who call themselves conservative, the only question left is how. It goes without saying that conservatives should pursue initiatives to define marriage as a monogamous man-woman union in their state constitutions, just as they should support the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which protects states from being forced to recognize marriages from other states.

Conservatives should also vigorously oppose judicial activism, by working to educate the American people on the original intent and plain meaning of the Constitution, fighting for candidates who will nominate and vote to confirm originalist judges, and applying intense pressure to politicians who even think about voting for judicial activists. Conservative presidents should use the bully pulpit of the presidency to condemn decisions that abuse or circumvent the Constitution.

But is there more that can be done to thwart judicial activism? In Men in Black, Dr. Mark Levin argues that there is. He notes that Article III of the Constitution gives Congress the power to place some limits on the jurisdiction of courts, and that Article II gives Congress the power to impeach “all civil officers of the United States.” While useful, Levin doubts that these tools will be sufficient to effect a lasting solution to the problem. Instead, he suggests amending the Constitution to limit judges to fixed terms of office:

[S]itting judges and justices could be renominated and subject to a new confirmation process. This way, outstanding jurists could remain on the bench for a lifetime, pending congressional approval. And clearly defined terms of office would limit the influence of any single Congress in controlling the ideological bent of the Court. These changes would add accountability to the federal bench.

Levin also suggests a second amendment:

The most meaningful step Congress could take would be a constitutional amendment limiting the Supreme Court’s judicial review power by establishing a legislative veto over Court decisions – perhaps a two-thirds vote of both houses. The rationale is the same one the framers used when creating the congressional override of a presidential veto as a check on the president’s power. The framers worried that a president might amass too much authority. Today, the problem is an oligarchical Court, not a presidential monarchy, supplanting the constitutional authority of the other branches.

Indeed, perhaps the only major error the authors of the Constitution made was, in their desire to set the judiciary apart from the more overtly political branches of government, not placing any major checks on the judiciary comparable to the checks on the other two branches. While there’s certainly room to debate the details of these amendments, it seems clear that conservatives should support constitutional reforms to more fully realize their vision of a limited, constitutional republic safeguarded by an evenly-balanced separation of powers.

Lastly, there’s the matter of amending the Constitution to directly address marriage. Such an amendment could take one of two forms: either specifically protecting the right of states to set marriage policy regardless of what courts or other states do (essentially making DOMA ironclad), or simply defining marriage as a monogamous man-woman union in all fifty states. Because the first simply protects states’ rights and curtails judicial activism, there shouldn’t be much controversy on the Right about whether or not it’s worth supporting.

The second, however, is more contentious, because it defines marriage for the states, allegedly undermining our commitment to federalism. While this concern is well-intentioned and springs from genuine conservative principles, it shouldn’t prevent conservatives from supporting this amendment. For one thing, the principle of federalism isn’t unlimited – Article I, Section 10 places quite a few restrictions on states:

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Article IV, Section 3 forbids states from forming new states within their own borders, or combining with other states into new states, Section 4 says that every state must have “a republican form of government,” and Article VI forbids “any office or public trust under the United States” from requiring a religious test for eligibility. And of the twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution thus far, many place further restrictions on what states can and cannot do. As long as we do so lawfully (i.e., by amending the Constitution), there’s nothing preventing us from settling certain issues federally if they’re determined to be important enough.

As a practical matter, most of the states want to protect traditional marriage and the amendment process asks for the approval of a supermajority of states anyway, so enacting a Federal Marriage Amendment would still respect the will of the people and give the states a voice in the decision. The burden placed on states would hardly be an onerous one – in forbidding states from granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples, it would still allow states to determine what requirements and benefits civil marriage entails within their borders. And given how important the Founders thought marriage was to the character of the entire nation, it’s certainly reasonable to deem the fundamentals of marriage important enough to enshrine in the Constitution.

Besides, as important as theory is, in reality these decisions are not made in a vacuum. We’re grappling with these questions in a world where judges are usurping the law to destroy marriage and make policy decisions for us. William F. Buckley certainly understood:

We are reaping a whirlwind, and direct intervention in the holy tabernacle of the United States Constitution is eminently justified. Either that, or we will simply be surrendering the evolution of the law into the hands of the judiciary. An interesting argument could be made to the effect that rule by justices might be an improvement on rule by congressmen and state legislators. Of course we are not attempting to make any such reassignment of power when we balk at a constitutional amendment, though in fact we are.

There is nothing in sight, given the decision of the Massachusetts court, and the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court last June overturning the Texas sodomy law, to curb the evolution of “marriage” to signify simply an affectionate relationship between two or more people, with cross commitments of one kind or another. The rules for entering into such a union — man-man, woman-woman, widowed sisters, father and son — might differ here and there, so long as those differences were not held to violate the equal-protection clause of the Constitution, or other of its provisions. In the absence of an amendment, the fight is simply abandoned, and Darwinian mutations are, if not exactly encouraged, nevertheless indulged.

To argue that a constitutional amendment is radical, while acquiescence in the anarchy of the Massachusetts court is less than that, staggers the mind. It has become easier to amend the Sermon on the Mount than the Constitution, and it is strange and awful that passivity is urged in a republic of free people.

When the alternative is marriage’s destruction and submission to the rule of judicial oligarchy, the choice is clear: conservatives shouldn’t hesitate to support either amendment.

UPDATE: Here are two great essays on the subject of federalism and gay marriage – one from Stanley Kurtz in National Review, and another from Edwin Meese & Matthew Spalding in the Wall Street Journal.

Tyrannical Judicial Malpractice in California

A federal judge has ruled California’s Proposition 8, which maintains the definition of marriage as a man-woman union, unconstitutional. I have a post condemning the ruling slated to be published on NewsReal later today (UPDATED: here’s the link); in the meantime, National Review has some must-read analysis on the decision.

Ed Whelan on Judge Vaughn Walker’s bias:

From the outset, Walker’s entire course of conduct in the anti-Prop 8 case has reflected a manifest design to turn the lawsuit into a high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Prop 8’s sponsors. Consider his series of controversial — and, in many instances, unprecedented — decisions:

Take, for example, Walker’s resort to procedural shenanigans and outright illegality in support of his fervent desire to broadcast the trial, in utter disregard of (if not affirmatively welcoming) the harassment and abuse that pro–Prop 8 witnesses would reasonably anticipate. Walker’s decision was ultimately blocked by an extraordinary (and fully warranted) stay order by the Supreme Court in an opinion that was plainly a stinging rebuke of Walker’s lack of impartiality.

Take Walker’s failure to decide the case, one way or the other (as other courts have done in similar cases), as a matter of law and his concocting of supposed factual issues to be decided at trial. 
Take the incredibly intrusive discovery, grossly underprotective of First Amendment associational rights, that Walker authorized into the internal communications of the Prop 8 sponsors — a ruling overturned, in part, by an extraordinary writ of mandamus issued by a Ninth Circuit panel consisting entirely of Clinton appointees.

Take Walker’s insane and unworkable inquiry into the subjective motivations of the more than 7 million Californians who voted in support of Prop 8.  

The NRO Editors:

What Walker did not prepare us for is the jaw-dropping experience of reading his sophomorically reasoned opinion. Of the 135 pages of the opinion proper, only the last 27 contain anything resembling a legal argument, while the rest is about equally divided between a summary of the trial proceedings and the judge’s “findings of fact.” The conclusions of law seem but an afterthought — conclusory, almost casually thin, raising more questions than they answer. On what grounds does Judge Walker hold that the considered moral judgment of the whole history of human civilization — that only men and women are capable of marrying each other — is nothing but a “private moral view” that provides no conceivable “rational basis” for legislation? Who can tell? Judge Walker’s smearing of the majority of Californians as irrational bigots blindly clinging to mere tradition suggests that he has run out of arguments and has nothing left but his reflexes.

But the deeper game Judge Walker is playing unfolds in those many pages of “fact finding” that make up the large middle of his ruling. There, through highly prejudicial language that bears little relation to any fact, the judge has smuggled in his own moral sentiments — in precisely the part of his opinion that would normally be owed a large measure of deference in the appellate courts. To take one example: It is hardly an incontrovertible fact that “Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians.”  But there it is, as finding No. 58. With “facts” like these, and appellate judges disinclined to question them, Judge Walker plainly hopes to propel this case toward a gay-marriage victory, regardless of how transparently weak his legal conclusions are. 

Why Do People Pay Andrew Sullivan to Talk, Again?

Andrew Sullivan, leading contender for Most Deranged Blogger in America, has apparently decided conspiracy-mongering over the sex lives of conservative women wasn’t interesting enough, so now he’s taken it upon himself to uncover the truth behind rumors that Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan might be a lesbian, and what the White House’s reaction to the rumors means for the struggle for gay rights:

Apparently unsatisfied with what seemed to be a clear denial from the White House that Kagan was gay, Sullivan asked, “Is Obama actually going to use a Supreme Court nominee to advance the cause of the closet (as well as kill any court imposition of marriage equality)? And can we have a clear, factual statement as to the truth?”

But they did give a clear, factual statement. And Sullivan’s Atlantic colleague Marc Ambinder has reported that close friends of Kagan say she’s straight; Ambinder tells The Daily Beast he has since received a similarly definitive answer from White House officials. Sullivan offers no new evidence to suggest the White House answer is wrong. In his first post on the issue, Sullivan wrote that further questions are fair game because “we have been told by many that she is gay”—without ever disclosing who the “many” might be and whether or not they are credible sources.”

When pressed, Serious Andrew’s line changes to:

Sullivan said that as a blogger, “my job is to think out loud. It is not my job to report stories.” As for information on Kagan’s orientation, “one need have no ‘evidence’ beside the fact that she is single and seems to be lacking in any emotional or relationship history to ask a question not about her private life but about her public identity.”

But Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, told The Daily Beast that Sullivan’s failure to provide any clear evidence that Kagan’s sexuality was in question raised major ethical concerns by pushing unsourced rumors into the mainstream press.

“It’s slimy locution here in that he writes ‘We have been told by many that she is gay,'” Gitlin said. “And what would constitute evidence? If someone shows up and says ‘I slept with Elena Kagan when we were in college,’ so what? I see nothing but slime down the slippery slope because accusers are a dime a dozen.”

Sullivan’s response?

“Gitlin’s remarks are so baldly homophobic, I’m a little taken aback.” (Gitlin stressed that rumors surrounding Kagan should not be viewed as a negative if true.)

“Since when is it ‘slime’ to ask someone a simple positive question about his or her orientation?” Sullivan added. “Since when is asking someone about her orientation an ‘accusation’? Is being gay something one is ‘accused’ of? And Gitlin’s blanket assumption that being gay means who you ‘sleep with’ is reductionist bigotry. Being gay is a core part of someone’s emotional identity and personal biography.”

Valiant though Greg Gutfeld’s above attempt may be, it’s no longer possible to truly parody Andrew Sullivan.  The man does it himself.

I don’t much care whether or not Kagan is gay; I care about the fact that, as a leftist, she’d be the antithesis of everything a good justice should be.

An Open Letter to the Family Research Council

To Whom It May Concern,

I have always been an admirer of the Family Research Council’s work in support of the right to life, true marriage, religious liberty, and other traditional American values.  For years, I have also worked towards those goals in my community and on my weblog.  I fought fiercely for Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment in 2006.  Like most conservatives, I have often been slandered as a bigot because I oppose same-sex marriage, civil unions, and gay adoption.

I say this so that, when I express how shocked, offended and betrayed I felt upon seeing the conduct of one of your spokesmen recently, you understand my full meaning.

FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss the issue of gay soldiers serving openly in the US military with Chris Matthews.  The segment ended with the following exchange:

MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: Well, I – I think certainly it’s defensible.

MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: I think the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided.  I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.

SPRIGG: Uh, yes.

When I saw the headlines announcing, “Family Research Council Spokesman Advocates Criminalizing Homosexuality,” I was certain they had to be lies, more out-of-context distortions of honorable conservative beliefs.  But for once, the Left appears to be correct.

Both as a matter of moral principle and of political common sense, Mr. Sprigg’s comments are indefensible.  Our Founding Fathers clearly wanted American to be guided by a firm sense of morality, and believed that Judeo-Christian religious values were essential to the continued survival of a republic.  But they also established the principle of limited government, authorized only to do a certain number of things and dedicated to preserving individual liberty.

The question of whether society should formally endorse homosexual behavior via civil marriage is fundamentally different from the question of whether or not homosexuals are human beings equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or whether or not it is just for any level of government to criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults.  Indeed, one can even recognize that Lawrence was an instance of judicial overreach without supporting the merits of the statute in dispute.

As a Christian, an American, and a conservative, I am appalled that it would ever cross any of my leaders’ minds to advocate such an un-American policy as criminalizing gay behavior.  Not only would such beliefs constitute genuine persecution of American citizens, but they would set the stage for a dangerous expansion of governmental power over individual liberty.

Regarding political common sense, it is baffling to me that, given the Left’s long-standing history of demonizing believers in traditional values, a prominent, experienced conservative spokesman such as Mr. Sprigg would not instantly recognize Matthews’ question as a trap and know enough not to take the bait.  Liberals and gay activists have wasted no time in seizing upon his comments not just to condemn Peter Sprigg, but to condemn all of us.  It is bad enough that defenders of true marriage routinely have to deal with false charges of bigotry and extremism; the last thing any of us needs is a true one.

Naturally, I would appreciate an explanation from Mr. Sprigg as to just what he meant, if he misspoke, but his comments seem clear enough that I have a hard time imagining that he did not understand the question, or that he meant something other than what he said.  Mr. Sprigg’s reckless and un-conservative remarks have harmed the battle for true marriage, and they threaten to tarnish all of the good work the Family Research Council has done in the past, and will continue to do in the future.  It pains me to say it, but I see only one way for the FRC to preserve—and, indeed, to deserve—its credibility: Peter Sprigg should be relieved of his duties with the organization, effective immediately.  Thank you for your time.

Calvin Freiburger

(Update: cross-posted at NewsReal.)

Stupid Things People Say About Conservatives

Unlike the Reporter’s distinguished clientele, Jay Morris’s response to my civil unions editorial manages to remain calm and address things I’ve actually written.  Still, our Harvey Milk fan’s attempts to show I am “disgruntled” and “didn’t really do any research” fall flat:

Unfortunately, Mr. Freiburger apparently has not reviewed what is required in Wisconsin to obtain a “marriage license,” including the facts that: (a) once applied for, the license only has a 6 day waiting period before being effective; and (b) that only one person need reside in Wisconsin for at least 30 days.  Thus, the “scant” requirement to obtain Domestic Partnership benefits in Wisconsin far exceeds the requirements to obtain a marriage license and more benefits than provided by the Domestic Partnership laws.

I fail to see the relevance here.  I’m not claiming these new civil unions are easier or harder to qualify for than civil marriage; I’m saying exactly what my original point sounded like: it will be easy to scam these civil unions.  Dane County Clerk Bob Ohlsen, while not predicting fraud, recently said, “even for those who already get benefits for their partner through their employer, there is a huge advantage to applying to the registry.”  You could say that people can scam civil marriage, too, but the reality is that it is much more common for non-romantically-involved people of the same sex to live together than those of opposite sexes.  In any event, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Morris for not devoting a larger share of my 600-word limit to a side issue.

Even when debates with liberals aren’t vicious and juvenile, they can carry a distinct air of surrealism—Mr. Morris strangely claims that my comments about “the so-called rights gay couples are allegedly denied” show that I “neglected to review Wisconsin law at all,” since the marriage amendment “includes a ban on any relationship between same-sex couples that is ‘similar to’ marriage.”  Perhaps our friend shouldn’t be so quick to cast stones over insufficient research, inasmuch as he apparently didn’t even read the piece he’s rebutting in full—in which I discuss the “2006 Marriage Protection Amendment, which prohibits the state from recognizing ‘a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.’”

Mr. Morris attempts to prove the amendment threatens gays by quoting Wisconsin’s former (disgraced) Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager.  What he doesn’t mention: after the election, the AG was singing a different tune from what she said as a Democrat candidate:

In one of her last official acts, outgoing Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager has declared that Wisconsin’s recently enacted constitutional ban on same-sex marriage does not prohibit public or private employers from providing domestic partner benefits.  In a six-page opinion released Wednesday, Lautenschlager also told Madison City Attorney Michael May that the constitutional amendment does not strike down anti-discrimination protections for domestic partners.  Lautenschlager wrote that “it can reasonably be inferred” from the language of the amendment “that neither the Legislature nor the people intended to invalidate domestic partnerships when they adopted this provision.”

Also intolerable to our friend is the fact that gay couples seeking to arrange benefits themselves via wills and power of attorney pay much more than the cost of a marriage license.  First, I still maintain that, while full replication of everything civil marriage offers may be impossible, gay couples still have access to far more than the gay lobby, such as the lying charlatans of Fair Wisconsin, would have you believe.

Second, I again reiterate my point that many of these benefits “were created to aid couples raising children on just one parent’s income, and are thus irrelevant to gay couples (as well as to dual-income straight couples).”  To be completely honest, I think it would be interesting to do a full review of civil marriage in America and reassess every benefit, and see which should be preserved, which should be changed to apply only to single-income couples or couples with children, and which should be done away with entirely.  So I hope you’ll excuse me for not feeling guilty for denying gay couples some provisions I don’t necessarily believe straight couples need either.

Third, as I’ve also said time and time again, it’s certainly possible to change laws and streamline processes for achieving these things in amendment-compatible ways.  A few years back, Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson endorsed just such a measure in Colorado.  I note that Dobson hasn’t received much goodwill from the gay Left for his efforts.

Jay has one last complaint about my “so-called article” (what does that even mean?  Guess I spoke too soon about maturity…): “the rule of law is always up for debate – particularly when the law violates other laws, like equal protection clauses of the primary source, The United States Constitution.”

I’m still trying to decide whether or not this is a weak attempt to dodge my point, or if Jay is really this obtuse.  His so-called analysis (see how dumb that sounds?) appears to confuse “laws” with the principle of “the rule of law.”  The former means any given law on the books, be it a constitutional provision, act of a legislature, or duly-enacted referendum.  Of course these are “always up for debate;” I never suggested otherwise.  The latter is the principle that the process by which we make and change laws is something to be respected, that we (to quote myself again, since Jay apparently missed it the first time) “cannot pick and choose which of its provisions to enforce and which to violate, no matter what they may personally think about them.”  Don’t like a law?  Get it repealed.  But as an American, living under the protection of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, you have no moral right to simply ignore what it says.  That goes double for those in public office, like Governor Jim Doyle, who swear [PDF link] “to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability.”

No matter how much I despise abortion and wish to see it banned, I don’t want such a ban to come via the Supreme Court.  Because I respect and value the rule of law.

However draconian limitations on how close to Planned Parenthoods pro-lifers can protest may be, you won’t see me violate them.  Because I respect and value the rule of law.

Regardless of what I may think of any given tax—because I think it unjust, excessive, or I disapprove of the purpose for which it is raising funds—I would never dodge it.  Because I respect and value the rule of law.

Jay Morris gave it the good old college try, and delivered a response a cut above most of my critics.  But as we see, that’s still not saying much.