President Obama and Justice Ginsburg on America’s “Rather Old Constitution”

By Paul  Kengor via Townhall

English: West face of the United States Suprem...

I’ve gotten some very interesting emails regarding President Obama’s mandate commanding Roman Catholics (and many evangelical Protestants) to violate their consciences by providing mandatory contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing pharmaceuticals. The emailers noted that Obama’s action will force Catholics to challenge the president in court, particularly given that bishops are saying they will not comply with the law. It could mean another constitutional showdown over “Obama-care,” one that could likewise end up in the Supreme Court. Imagine: “The Catholic Bishops v. Obama.”

What a fitting capstone to the Obama presidency. And imagine that a majority of professing Roman Catholics elected this man in November 2008.

If this issue goes to the high court, I wouldn’t bet my money on Obama, even with the two new “pro-choice,” pro-Roe liberals he added to the bench: Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Even the most “progressive” Supreme Court justice cannot avoid that old freedom-of-religion thing in the First Amendment.

All of that is remarkable enough. But I find it especially ironic given two other fascinating current news item relating to the Constitution:

Last week, President Obama did an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. Obama expressed frustration at his inability to be the “transformational political figure” Americans elected. The “change agent” lamented that this was the fault of the American Founders—who Obama refers to as “men of property and wealth”—and their Constitution. Obama told Lauer:

What’s frustrated people is that I have not been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change that I would like sometimes. But what I have been able to do is move in the right direction. And what I’m going to keep on doing is plot away, very persistent.

Ah, that old Constitution again.

Obama is quite correct. His primary obstacle is the Founders’ system of separation of powers and checks and balances. His problem is a Congress and Supreme Court that is empowered to say, “No, Mr. President, that isn’t constitutional. You can’t do that in America.”

Well, Obama’s mandate to the Catholic Church could be the next such challenge, again impeding his self-perceived rise to transcendent political greatness. A Democrat-controlled Congress approved Obama-care, but the Supreme Court now must scrutinize its provisions. That’s the court’s duty.

That brings me to the second news item:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave an interview to Egyptian television. Ginsburg will likely be the next justice to step down. Once Obama replaces her with a much younger pro-Roe judge, this nation will have Roe v. Wade for another 39 years. In the interview, Ginsburg advised Middle East democrats on drafting a constitution. She did not, however, recommend the U.S. Constitution. Ginsburg stated:

I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution. The United States, in comparison to Egypt, is a very new nation; and yet we have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world…

I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, and had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recently than the U.S. Constitution, Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?

Actually, why not take advantage of what’s in the U.S. Constitution? The paradox in Ginsburg’s statement is her dismissal of the U.S. Constitution because it’s “rather old;” in fact, “the oldest written constitution still in force in the world.”

Well, why is it so old and still in force? Because it was done right. It is based on timeless values and virtues and universal rights that work; that are true. It has been amended less than 30 times in 220-some years. It is the most stable, successful, remarkable constitution in history, bringing together a vast array of peoples and assimilating them into history’s most prosperous, awe-inspiring nation—a nation that spent the 20th century winning freedom for other nations, so those nations could produce democracies and constitutions. The U.S. Constitution is the perfect model, at once both beautifully broad and specific.

And among the things it got right are separation of powers and checks in balances. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Obama may be learning that again very soon—compliments of Obama-care and its constitutional assault on the consciences of religious believers.

KASEY’S NOTE:  I have a question for the current temporary occupant of the White House:  Why is ‘birth control’ a right and life isn’t?!?

Obama The Dictator. Also, Raging Hypocrite.

By RB via Misfit Politics

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, there used to be a dude who wasn’t Obama in the White House. His name was George W. Bush. The Left hated him. In fact, “hated” is an understatement. They loathed him so much that it caused a transformation which was otherworldly.

The hate was so strong that Democrats and liberals everywhere suddenly cared about deficits and budgets and the Constitution. Many of you might be too young to remember this brief transfiguration, but it was amazing to witness. They actually complained about too much spending… can you imagine? You would have hardly recognized them.

During this time they also did a pretty good job of acting like they cared about the Constitution and stuff. If you took their word for it, you would swear that Bush had essentially created a dictatorship in the US. How? The main beef they had was that he wouldn’t allow advisors to testify under oath in front of Congress. You see, Karl Rove was an advisor and they hated him more than Bush. So they wanted to bring him in front of Congress to see if they could somehow get him to say something that could land him in jail or something. Cut them some slack, they were desperate. But out of this fight over Executive privilege – which has long standing precedent – came other fights about Executive power.

A biggie was this idea of Presidential signing statements. Oh, man… they really got pissed off over those things. Despite the fact that they’d been used since the early 1800′s, the Left suddenly became totally anti-signing statement. When Obama was running for President, they brought it up and he promised – on tape – that he wouldn’t used them. He even gave some reasons on why the practice was unconstitutional. Watch:

Guess who has been using signing statements since taking office? According to the Leftists who hated Bush and thought he was a dictator, the answer is Obama, the Dictator. I have yet to see any criticism of Obama breaking this promise coming from the Left. I’m sure it will happen any day now.

Recently, Obama has taken to enacting “change” via the regulatory agencies instead of going through Congress because “We Can’t Wait,” which was initially a slogan for his “jobs bill” which Harry Reid killed, has now become a tool for Obama to rally his base. No jobs have been created by these measures, in case you were wondering.

Now Obama is bucking long-standing precedent and has “recess appointed” someone when the Senate isn’t technically in recess. It’s a convoluted issue but I’ll try to explain quickly. You’ll remember from Civics 101 that the Senate has to approve certain Presidential appointments. Cabinet, agency heads, judges/justices, etc. The Senate also has the authority to block these appointments. One way to get around these roadblocks was for the President to wait until the Senate was in recess to do it. When the Senate really wants to block an appointment, they will avoid going on recess. It’s tough to do – Senators really like their vacations… and fundraising – so they came up with a thing called a pro-forma session where they conduct business every few days in order to remain “in session.” The length of the recess, according to the Clinton era Justice Department, has to be longer than three days or the Senate is technically in session.

Obama the Dictator has had enough. Despite the fact that his own deputy solicitor general argued last year in front of the Supreme Court that a recess is only a recess when it is longer than three days, Obama is appointing Richard Cordray to head the new “consumer protection” agency the Dodd-Frank law created in 2010.

President Obama is under strong pressure from liberals to use his recess-appointment power during the congressional break, but doing so would break 20 years of precedent, putting him in a tough position.

That’s right. The very liberals who called Bush a dictator are pushing Obama to circumvent precedent… and Congress.

A Congressional Research Service report released this month found the shortest recess in the last 20 years during which the president made a recess appointment was 10 days.

Precedent, schmecedent. Democrats don’t care about precedents. Unless it is Roe v Wade. Or the filibuster when they’re in the minority, etc. etc.

But fear not! As soon as a Republican is back in the White House, this will change. They’ll be back to caring about deficits. They’ll be back to whining about unchecked Executive power. And you can bet cold hard cash that any Republican who tries to do a recess appointment during a pro-forma session will be called an evil dictator.

It is said that nothing is guaranteed in life but death and taxes. I’d argue that liberal hypocrisy is the third thing.