Truth Always Wins

My heart is really sad for what has happened to Judge Kavanaugh. I believe he will be our next Supreme court justice. He will attain this with scars. So many times when we choose to serve others, we go through sacrifice and pain. The world has this dark way of needing the taste of blood. It’s a sickness at the core. Satan hates people. He hates truth. He makes things look true that are not true. Sometimes it takes years to unravel a knot he creates.

I know this because I went through my own false charges when I was a teacher at a high school—false charges about telling students about Jesus. It’s a sad, sad truth, really, but I never told students about how to get saved, or about their need for a savior, or that somehow Jesus would save them from their sins, I simply just lived my life. It’s a sad truth for all who know my heart for evangelism and Jesus, but I never shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a single class or held an alter call asking if any of those kids wanted to be saved. Anyone who has known me since junior high would know that that is my calling, to do just that, as my friends got saved in public school because I told them about Jesus. But, I didn’t do that in my classes. I knew it would be wrong. So, I just lived it. God wouldn’t even let me wear a cross. He told me not to. The one time I did because I wanted to, it offended a student. I took the cross off. And, in a letter, asking him for forgiveness for offending him, I gave him my necklace. God told me to.

So, when it came down to it, those who wanted to see me hurt, chose to twist things until it looked like somehow I was breaking a rule—that we are not to tell kids about Jesus in public school. Funny, because it felt more like I wasn’t allowed to be a Christian in a public school. It was the students who attacked my faith. Not me telling them how to get saved. I just lived my life, my saved life, and in the end, somehow it convicted them.

That’s the thing about truth…It will last forever. Truth will last forever. But, evil and lies, they last only until truth is discovered. The downside is that sometimes that takes years and so much damage gets done. But, I love how God’s mercy still always wins.

I can’t imagine what Judge Kavanaugh and his family are going through. But, I know that humanity is dark, and without Jesus Christ, there is no hope. Judge Kavanaugh will become our next supreme court justice, and he will continue to be fair and gracious. Why? Because he said he loves God. God has this way of strengthening those He calls to carry on—as if nothing has ever even happened, with a heart of forgiveness, walking in humility with understanding that although human kind is dark, the God of our hearts is bigger than that, and for those of us who choose to abide in Him and walk in His truth, we overcome all that darkness to get the job done, to fulfill our calling, to reach this dark generation—to be the one, who will answer to the call, to stand, to take His light into a darkened world.

I get it. God always wins. I believe God allowed this in Judge Kavanaugh’s life just because He always wins. Alway, all the way Home.

Proverbs 12:17 When you tell the truth, justice is done, but lies lead to injustice.

 

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🌿I Am a Slave of Jesus Christ

People don’t like to hear the word slave. It’s a deeply offensive term these days that brings back memories of our painful history in America, a time when our nation used a portion of our humanity for selfish greed and personal gain.
Centuries later we are still fighting about that injustice and abuse.  We are still oozing with pain over it.

We fought a Revolutionary War for all Americans to be free of tyrany, but in our very own backyard there would be evidence questioning what our Founding Fathers actually fought for.  DO we hold these truths to be self-evident that ALL men are created equal?  Obviously, scars still show that wasn’t the case at the time.

Over the years the battle has been fought, and many victories have been won regarding slavery and racial discrimination.

You would think that after President Lincoln’s great Emancipation Proclaimation and the bloody Civil War, our nation would finally realize our great mistake and get it right, that we would finally embrace equality for all humanity.

Yet, it took a civil rights movement and more shedding of blood and legislation to guarantee a right we already have before our Creator.  Segregation. Marches. Civil disobedience.  The assassination of MLK, Jr.  After all this, it’s finally written down under the 14th Amendment in man’s annuls:  all are equal.  All are free.  So, why are we still in 2017 fighting this battle?

Still today our country is fighting over color, race, past mistakes, and our longing for freedom.  And quite frankly, I believe it all comes down to so many people irrespective of skin color, tone, or shade feeling so locked up inside their hearts.

We scorn the word, slave; nevertheless, so many people of all skin tones, are still walking around with heaviness of that hurtful heritage branded on their memories and hearts.  No wonder the fight still feels on.  Some have still not yet been set free.

It’s one thing to be a free on the outside, quite another to be free on the inside.

The truth is, we ALL long to be FREE!!! It’s not a color or race condition, but a human condition.

I wish I could just say I am sorry and cry with those still hurting until the anger finally gives way to honest confessions of grief, fear, incredulous shame—whatever is keeping a soul still chained to yesterday. If only we could muster enough courage to say “Enough!”  Because I do believe that kind of bondage is NOT supposed to stick around even for another generation.

Furthermore, I believe that bondage is found in every shade of humanity because what I am describing now is man’s sinful condition. Being a slave to sin is not about the color of our skin, but the condition of our hearts.

Sometimes life is full of ironies and vanities.

In history, God’s own people were sold as slaves in Egypt for a season. Eventually, they were set free to head toward the promise land.  Notice how future generations who made it to the Promise Land didn’t just constantly fight Egyptians in their hearts and remain in bondage through offense to their past history.  Nor did they expect a validation from what happened in the past.  No, instead, they learned to praise God and thank Him for their deliverance out of bondage by crossing that Red Sea Road of faith into freedom. They were no longer slaves; they were FREE!!!

Right now there is great offense over Confederate statues and names, (you know, those statues that rarely anyone but history nerds pay attention to) because there is a portion of our humanity that still feels the hurt caused by that era. And, one by one stone statues are being chiseled down to heal offenses.

But, earlier this summer, I learned a semi driver died because he hit the crane that was on its way to remove one of those statues in Dallas. Seriously, should a slavery issue from centuries ago still take innocent lives today?  If so, what was the Civil Rights Movement all about?  Didn’t we declare freedom for all?  Didn’t we make it a law of our land?  So, why all this bondage still to the past?  Why all the fighting?

I believe it has everything to do with the condition of our hearts no matter what color we are. No amount of tearing down statues will change any person’s true condition of the soul.

God says in His Word that we are ALL slaves to sin or righteousness. As for me, I choose to be a slave of Jesus Christ, a slave of righteousness.

But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:17‭-‬18 

🌿The Unexpected Gift of Election 2016:Donald J. Trump and His Relationship with the “Forgotten” Americans

Introduction

President Donald J. Trump was an unexpected gift to the United States on Nov. 20, 2016; however, like some surprises, not everyone was willing to accept him.  When he began his race for Presidency in June of 2015, all the odds were against him.  Political analysts highlighted a list of his deficiencies;  the media, like CBS for example, exploited him for their personal marketing gain during his campaign and spoke disparagingly about him throughout;  and although Trump was successful in the business world for decades, dealing with others auspiciously in both domestic and international relations, it was evident that within politics, he was an outsider, not part of the political establishment, not even accepted by his own party.  As a matter of fact, according to Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney, “GOP leaders were at a loss to stop a reality TV star with seemingly unlimited wealth and almost universal name recognition.”   Perhaps it was these outcast elements that helped Trump relate to those whom he would best serve and who would in the end help him win his Presidency.

To those in the opposing party and other multiple factions across the nation, dubious and ready to take offense at his every word, action, and policy, Donald Trump was simply a bombastic icon, a too-familiar brand; he was mocked, chastised, and judged for his past moral failures, his current temperamental weaknesses, and his apparent lack of political etiquette. How could such a man then outrun every other candidate and accomplish the improbable, becoming the 45th President of the United States of America?

Some in the evangelical Christian community would assert that the game changer was that President Trump found real Christianity during his campaign. Although Trump had not officially spoken out about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, key pastors like Robert Jeffress began serving and promoting Trump because they had confidence that Trump would protect evangelical Christians in America.  At the time of the election, Christian consciences and rights were being violated through lawsuits.  In multiple private businesses throughout the nation, evangelical Christians were being forced to compromise their consciences or to pay penalties to the government. America, a place once known as a haven of religious freedom was slowly becoming a place of persecution for those of faith.  Therefore, when Pastor Jeffress stated, “I can tell you from experience, if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, we who are evangelical Christians are going to have a true friend in the White House,”  regardless of President Trump’s personal faith, this acknowledgement gave the unsettled Christians hope. What they didn’t realize was that Trump was also providing hope to many more of his constituents, as well.

Keeping these details in mind, after analyzing Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney’s book, Defying the Odds and reading Richard Neustadt’s Presidential Powers and Jeffrey Tulis’ The Rhetorical Presidency, I assert that the fundamentals and contingencies surrounding the 2016 election impacted President Trump’s relationship with the American people in a more positive manner than what most are willing to admit: President Trump has been able to begin building trust with the people by keeping his promises to the “Forgotten” Americans.

Fundamentals and Contingencies During the Election

Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney ask the question, “Are presidential elections mostly about ‘fundamentals,’ or mostly about ‘contingencies?’”   They later admit that like all elections, the 2016 election was a mixture of both.  If we are able to see fundamentals as the practical groundwork, framework, and blueprint of what is taking root in America, then perhaps we can see contingencies in elections as the means of potential fruit for the future. Pragmatic roots and the hope of economic fruit were among several reasons why hardworking Americans had favor for President Trump during his campaign.

One of the fundamentals that highly stand out during the election process of 2016 was the need for jobs in the economy. When Obama took office, he inherited an unemployment rate of about 11.1 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in December of 2008.  However, by 2014, the rate had become 17.7 million unemployed people, and in 2015, the rate had been 16.9 million people unemployed, showing a decrease of 783,000.

Yet more employment is what the people expected the new President to provide. To work toward this end, Donald Trump made promises during his campaign to blue-collar workers that he would make America great again by bringing jobs back to America.  According to Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney, automation had put blue-collar workers out of jobs, and they were also afraid of the rise in economic globalization.  From automobile jobs being sent to Mexico, to the rise of undocumented immigration, the native-born working whites were feeling the effects of not only job loss, but also wage depression.   Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney state that  “Between 2007 and 2016, whites between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four lost about 6.5 million more jobs than they gained,” whereas Hispanics, Asians, and African-Americans all gained employment during that time.   As a result, resentment began growing regarding discrimination.  Trump would step onto this scene, however, and reach out to “the forgotten” blue-collar Americans in the Mid-west and Pennsylvania, and this outreach would work toward his electoral gain and building trust with the American workers.

The interesting part about this fundamental puzzle piece is that in a sense it was all made possible by a contingency, Trump’s spirited personality and his “demotic rhetoric” with the people.   Although Trump was a billionaire, as he campaigned, he grew in public prestige as “the people’s billionaire.”  Trump found that he didn’t need to identify himself as an elite with a super PAC or any other party organization.  Instead, he simply related directly with the people through his rallies and social media.  As a result, he came to identify himself as a “spokesperson of a popular movement.”   Whereas most politicians were busy chasing money to make a difference, Trump already had the money.  He shifted his focus to chasing “the forgotten,” and as a result, he won their votes.

Certainly, Tulis would see Trump’s rising as “soft-demagoguery.”   After all, Trump saw himself as a solution for the white working class; he would bridge the apparent gap between his prosperity and their need for a job by extending his attention on their behalf and drawing closer to them in understanding. Then, he would assure them by making campaign promises to bring back jobs that would serve them when he became President.   However, to Trump it wasn’t just a speech to gain their loyalty, but his word.

Consequently, in his is first 100 days of office President Trump did keep his word to his constituents.  He effectively used his Presidential power to decisively withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  Also, he chose to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline and roll back anti-coal regulations, as well as implement the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.   Neustadt would have been proud that Trump used his Presidential power to build his reputation as a decisive leader in the first 100 days of office, building his prestige and trust with the American people by keeping his promises to them.

Consequently, Trump used some Neustadtian principles also to pass the above orders, which additionally built up the President’s credibility and relationship with the people.  He made certain that all Americans knew he had signed executive orders by publishing them on his White House homepage and sharing them on social media for the public to see.  In addition, he held press conferences, so the country could know about his executive orders. Furthermore, any directives he issued out to his cabinet members were understood and astutely applied, and they were fully aware that he had authority to sign the executive orders, terminate agreements, and begin new ones, all on his own authority without Congress (although we certainly found courts jumped in to try and stop him).

The fundamentals and contingency plan were clear:  America needed a better economy and more jobs, and the fruit would be Trump keeping his word to the people, building trust to bring those jobs back to America. As Neustadt asserts, “[I]f choices are the means by which a President builds power, it is only as he sees his power stakes in what he does that choices become building blocks for him.”   In Trump’s case, his choices helped him build trust in his relationship with the American people, especially his constituents, “the forgotten” blue-collar workers who voted him in to do exactly what he said he would do.
Conclusion

Both the fundamentals and contingencies of the 2016 election greatly impacted President Trump’s relationship with the public. President Trump understood that economy and jobs were a major concern in people’s lives. Using his unique personality and bold rhetoric, he built a relationship of growing trust specifically with his constituents, the working class, even as he tried to build better relationships with angry factions across the nation.

Where some will see a “basket of deplorables,”  God will allow another to see with His heart of compassion. Maybe that is the spark of hope that inspired Trump to run for office, Make America Great Again.

Donald Trump was an improbable candidate in the 2016 election; however, truly his win has been an unexpected gift for our nation. God says in His Word that whatever we do for the least of these, we do it for Him.   “The forgotten” blue-collar workers finally had someone looking after them this past election, someone they would never have likely expected, a billionaire from New York City. They understood what it meant to be falsely judged, what it meant to be overlooked, and what it meant to be misunderstood and forgotten. I suspect Donald J. Trump had not expected to be the one to help them, but by the time he could, he understood all those things, as well.  That’s what  servant-leadership is, a true gift to those who are being served.  We never look more truly like Jesus than when we are willing to lay down our lives to serve others, and in order to do that well, sometimes we have to go through what they go through.  Perhaps this is why Robert Jefress knew President Trump would be a friend.

God bless America.  God bless President Donald J. Trump.
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16-point-9-million-people-unemployed-at-some-point-in-2015-down-from-17-

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Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Healthcare Employment Increased 407,000 Over the Year

Ended November” 2016. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/mobile/health-care-

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Chozick, Amy. “Hillary Clinton Calls Many Trump Backers ‘Deplorables,’ and G.O.P.

Pounces.”  New York Times. Com Sept. 10, 2016.  Accessed on October 11, 2016.https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/11/us/politics/hillary-clinton-basket-of-deplorables.html
Hallman, Tristan. “Donald Trump Reaches Evangelical Vote Through Dallas Pastor

Robert Jeffress.” Dallas News. Mar. 2016. Accessed on October 10, 2017. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2016/03/06/donald-trump-reaches-

evangelical-vote-through-dallas-pastor-robert-jeffress.
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Press, 1987.
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Days.

We Belong:  A Part of His Body

Oh, I get it.  I get the liberal.  They have “atomistic” thinking.  Hear me out.  They don’t believe they are whole within a society.  They believe their whole societal concern is within themselves.

If I were not a Christian, I would be a tree-hugging liberal who would believe we are all individual and unique and we should just focus on that.  I would probably be asocial.  Some of it has to do with being hurt by institutions like family, school, church, and even the closest of friends.  Sometimes it’s safer to not lean on anyone else, but ourselves.

But, I thank God I am a Christian, and God will not let me be alone.  He has told us we are part of His body.  We are not the whole body, just a part.  That takes humility and dependecy.  We need others in this life.  We need God above all.

But, this is the pain of this generation. They lack moms and dads committed in marriage. So, many have learned to trust in nobody else, but themselves.  The idea of God being Lord through Jesus Christ means they have to let go of their personal power which is the one safe thing they KNOW they can depend on. 

Oh, we need to pray.  God wants to heal our society, community, our churches, families, marriages.  God cares about our part in His whole picture.  He created us in community. In Christ, we are His body.  He has more He wants to be in His body.  He died for us ALL, after all. ❤

So.. Yeah.  I got this whole revelation by looking up the word “atomization” today in my reading because I didn’t understand how that scientic word would fit politics.  But, I get it now.  And, it burdens me to pray for this generation, causes me to praise God for placing me in His body, and I look forward to how He will set this girl in His beautiful plan someday to understand the fullness of what marriage and family means.  Jesus heals.  There is HOPE for ALL OF US IN OUR NATION!!!!!!!! ❤

The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ephesians 4:16

🌿Judicial Activism in Roe v. Wade and Its Effects on the Nation

Paper submitted on June 28, 2019.

 

Introduction

    In the fall of 1967 a young woman and her boyfriend drove south through Texas to cross the border into Mexico.  Her purpose was to get an illegal abortion. The Texas statute enacted in 1857 and remaining “substantially unchanged to the present time” would not allow a woman to get an abortion unless her health was in danger.  Since the only thing that was potentially in danger that year was her JD degree at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, she did what she thought she had to do to protect her future career. Six years later, at the age of 26, she would find herself standing-poised, eloquent, and articulate- at the highest judicial ground of the land—the Supreme Court.  This was her shining moment. Her name was Sarah Weddington, the young, female lawyer who would represent the appellant in the United States landmark case of Roe v. Wade.

Sarah Weddington was not Jane Roe.  But, by all accounts, she could have been.  The truth is, most don’t know the full story of Roe v. Wade.  In an impromptu survey, I had asked eight people if they knew the name of a different girl, Norma McCorvey.  Interestingly enough, all eight did not know who she was.  They did not know that 25 year old Norma McCorvey was the nationally acclaimed Jane Roe, the young woman searching for a way out of her pregnancy in 1969. Since they did not know her name, they also did not know her story.  Although the abortion case was initiated by McCorvey, by the time the Supreme Court fully tried her case, she was no longer pregnant.  She had delivered her baby. Although these personal reasons could have mooted her case, the classified class-action suit continued on with the appellant counsel Sarah Weddington, perhaps the true Jane Roe of the hour, leading the way at the Supreme Court with her opening remarks on Dec. 13, 1971.

From the start, the Supreme Court took advantage of their opportunity to practice judicial activism in Roe v. Wade.   Perhaps it was the opportunity to move beyond just trying a case for jurisdiction.  Perhaps it was that they only had seven fully appointed judges on the bench at the time of the first argument.  Or perhaps, it was that the majority of the remaining justices among them were liberal, and they were reaching for the opportunity to make a lasting social change in the nation. Whatever their true motives were, these Supreme Court justices in the years of 1971 -1973 creatively tried a case that would end up not only altering the lives of so many women, babies, and families all across our nation, but stretching how justices can interpret and create new rights not directly found in the United States Constitution. Perhaps the greatest qualm against these justices’ actions is that they conducted these trials and wrote their opinions and decisions by using that strong measure of judicial activism that left the republic without a voice in the decision. That is what the heart of this research paper is about.  In the landmark abortion trial of Roe v. Wade, the seeds of judicial activism in the Supreme Court grew until it fully produced a piece of judicial legislation that would not only adversely affect mothers and babies, but the entire nation.

Judicial Activism in Roe v. Wade

Whoever thought that judicial activism only started when Supreme Court justices were currently seated on the bench did not know the domino effect that could occur as a result of one retired judge’s article.  In the fall of 1969 retired Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark published a law review article advocating legalized abortion.  He had been one of the judges who had helped to strike down the Connecticut contraceptive law in Griswold before he retired.  Now, he had written an article that would be cited by many lawyers and lower court justices, including two Supreme Court colleagues, Justices Douglas and Brennan, who would also favorably influence a third justice with ideas of legalizing abortion. Although Clark’s final conclusion to his random article was that in the end “It is for the legislature to determine the proper balance…,” the damage of his publication had already been completed for these liberal minded justices who wanted an opportunity to try their hand at striking down abortion laws throughout the land.  Manipulative seeds of arguments for abortion rights had been scattered throughout his article, influencing these key members of the judiciary with words that would eventually make their way into the Roe v. Wade decision.

There were only seven justices on the panel when Roe v. Wade first came up for judicial review in the Supreme Court in Dec. 13, 1971. The justices had decided to hear the abortion argument without the two new judges, because at the time they had a majority of four who were favorable toward abortion, and they did not want the chance of losing their liberal advantage.  They were also neither too concerned, nor too prepared for the abortion argument because it was specifically determined that Roe was going to be argued as a jurisdiction case to settle procedural issues between the church and state. As a matter of fact, it had another case even attached with it, Doe v. Bolton which would be tried in the same manner. However, the four liberal justices were eager to legislate from the bench, especially Justice Brennan who submitted his opinion of Eisenstadt v. Baird on that same day of the first arguments.  Quite timely, his opinion would contain the rhetoric needed to tie abortion with the right to privacy as established as precedent in that case.

    To further understand the judicial activism that was happening on the bench during Roe’s trial, we need to consider key concepts covered in Ronald Fisher’s book, The Concept of Judicial Activism.  In the book, Fisher asserts that both scholars and common court observers have a hard time differentiating when the Supreme Court is legislating or interpreting in their court decisions and policies in regards to judicial activism.  He claims that justices are bound by the constraints of the Constitution; otherwise, their “actions” would be dismissed.”  Yet, by citing Professor Mendelson, he shows how some justices seem to have a broader, more liberal view of the Constitution:

The Constitution lives on in a changing world because it grows not only by formal amendment but also by “interpretations”—a process in which the judiciary plays a large, yet by no means an exclusive role.  Lawmaking, then, is an inherent and inevitable part of the judicial process.  Judges must be more than mimics.  Greatness on the bench—or—elsewhere—lies in creativity.

Keeping this in mind with Roe v. Wade, it is apparent then that Justice Brennan was in agreement with Mendelson’s liberal view of “creative” judicial activism and judicial lawmaking.  It is also apparent that he was working within the constraints in his mind of a living Constitution when he wrote his opinion for Eisenstadt v. Baird which held the rhetoric that would later be used in Roe v. Wade.

The majority of the seven had already decided their decision to strike down the state abortion legislation when Chief Justice Burger suggested not only once, but twice that Roe v. Wade should be reargued with a full panel of nine judges who were finally appointed to the bench. The liberal core of four were very upset.  Forsythe writes, “The four liberals were enraged; fearful that a 4-3 ruling might become 5-4 against abortion rights, they immediately circulated statements that they opposed reargument.  Nevertheless, Chief Justice Burger prevailed in getting the case heard by the full panel of nine for a second set of arguments in October of 1972.

    In this line of thought, it is interesting to briefly highlight former Justice Black’s convictions regarding judicial activism in the Supreme Court.  Fisher writes that retired “Justice Black stated that he based his faith in the Supreme Court’s ability to interpret the United States Constitution as a living document on two personal convictions:  (1) his enduring belief in the Bill of Rights, and (2) his belief that there existed ‘absolutes’ in the Constitution of the United States.”  Although Black had retired from the Supreme Court prior to Roe, according to Forsythe, if Black had been involved with the Roe deliberations, there were strong reasons to believe he would have voted against creating a constitutional right to abortion, and he would have been for leaving the abortion issue to the democratic process in the states.  Forsythe’s reasons were because Justice Black not only dissented the decision in Griswold, Roe’s precedent, but he had also rejected Justice Douglas’ idea of the “penumbrae” in the Constitution being used.  As a result, although Black was no longer on the Court, the fact that Forsythe could extrapolate Black’s views into the case of Roe ironically exposes the other justices’ liberal judicial activism.

    Perhaps the strongest voice that exposed the overreach of judicial activism in Roe v. Wade, however, came from Justice Rehnquist, one of the new justices in the full panel of nine who would end up voting dissent in the Roe v. Wade decision. His arguments all revealed how the role of judicial activism in the case went beyond the bounds of the Constitution.  First off, he challenged the Court’s new right of “privacy.”   He declared, “The Court’s sweeping invalidation of any restrictions on abortion during the first trimester is impossible to justify under that standard, and the conscious weighing of competing factors that the Court’s opinion apparently substitutes for the test is far more appropriate to a legislative judgment than to a judicial one.”  It was apparent that he saw the overreach of the Supreme Court and made it clear that they were misapplying the word “privacy” as the Constitution would originally mean it.  In addition, Rehnquist challenged the “compelling state interest test” by asserting that the Supreme Court judges breaking down pregnancy for the states into three distinct terms, outlining acceptable state regulations for each trimester took “more of judicial legislation than it does of a determination of the intent of the drafter of the Fourteenth Amendment.”  In other words, again, it went beyond the original intent of our Founding Fathers in the Constitution. Additionally, Rehnquist wisely took some time to do careful research into the past histories on abortion legislation to back up his dissent.  As a result, his words further exposed the excessive current judicial overreach in creating a new right:

The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental…Even today when society’s views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the “right” to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe.

As a final incitement of truth and revelation, Rehnquist ended his dissent explanations by challenging the Supreme Court by ironically addressing the original Founding Father’s intent for the use of the Fourteenth Amendment in the states:

There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted.  The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the states the power to legislate with respect to this matter….

There are no better words of rebuke for the Supreme Court for their judicial overreach in Roe v. Wade than these that came directly from one of their new colleagues.  Rehnquist’s’ dissent and argument succinctly revealed how the Supreme Court justices had gone over the constraints of the Constitution in their final decision of Roe v. Wade.

National Effects of Judicial Activism in Roe

The adverse effects of the Supreme Court’s decision on Jan. 22, 1973 in Roe v. Wade went beyond just mothers and babies to the whole nation.  When Justice Blackman wrote the final Roe decision, he removed the abortion issue out of the legislatures and placed it in the courts.  With his one decision, Blackmun and the other justices denied the people of the United States the opportunity to debate the abortion issue. Those who were opposed or who were for abortion could not go through the legislative process of contacting their state representatives regarding their views about the issue.  If the republic had been allowed that democratic process, new legislation could have been formed to examine all the various aspects of the abortion issue.  

David Brooks of the New York Times asserts that “If it had remained in the legislatures, we would have seen a series of state-by-state compromises reflecting the views of the centrist majority that’s always existed on this issue.”  As it turns out, prosecutions were pending in many states against abortionists when the decision was published, and there were already 30 states who upheld anti-abortion laws, except in the case of saving the mother’s life. Regardless of this 3/5 majority of the states affirming anti-abortion laws, with the Blackmun decision, the Supreme Court nullified the statutes of all 50 states, requiring that they, instead, implement the new created laws given by the Supreme Court of the land.

As a result of Roe, an assumption rose in the public regarding rights, linking the court to social change.  Scheingold declares that “The assumption is that litigation can evoke a declaration of rights from the courts; that it can further be used to assure the realization of the rights; and, finally that realization is tantamount to meaningful change.  The myth of rights is, in other words, premised on a direct linking of litigation, rights, and remedies with social change” Because they took the fight away from the states and the public, the Supreme Court opened themselves to the precedent of creating new rights, extracting them from somewhere in the penumbrae of the Constitution.  

Some justices like Skelly Wright would argue that in general the role of judicial activism in shaping our country has been “necessary and proper,” especially in areas of law where the political process has been ineffective because politicians have neglected the problems. However, in Roe v. Wade, when the Supreme Court took the debate away from the politicians and democracy, they legislated to “shape a society” where abortion would be acceptable even into the 3rd trimester, unto viability (28 weeks), even though the majority of the states had a hard time even accepting any stage of abortion outside of saving a mother’s life.  If they had left the debate with the legislators and voters, who could work through the issue through the democratic processes of “bargaining, education, persuasion, and voting,” it is possible that during this process statistics would have disclosed that a woman’s health is rarely the reason why women get abortions. After all, according to Bennett’s statistics, from 1972-1991 only seven percent of all abortions actually fell into the category of threatening the mother’s health, whereas nearly 200,000 second-and-third-trimester abortions were committed annually.  Without knowing the statistics at the time, in the end, seven percent, clearly a minority, is what the Supreme Court based their final Roe decision on.  As a result, the majority in the nation was adversely affected, as well.

According to Brooks, there were a number of other political effects that also emanated throughout the land from the Supreme Court decision in Roe.  For one, the political parties polarized.  In addition, both parties developed groups to destroy future judicial nominees that might oppose their side of the abortion fight.  Furthermore, the Senate, once strong in deliberation to achieve consensus, began playing manipulative games to make sure that appointed Supreme Court nominees would reflect their legislative partisan view.  As a result, electing judges was no longer about the judicial wrong and right, but about the judicial left and right. Democrats began using the method of filibustering again and again, while the Republicans began threatening to change the Senate rules.  According to Brooks, present-day America still needs to have this democratic abortion debate because he asserts that it is in eventually overturning Roe v. Wade, that the cycle of political viciousness and counter-viciousness will be destroyed at the root.

According to Judith Blake, a number of abortion-related bills increased significantly to oppose the Roe v. Wade decision that was released in January of 1973.  Right after the Supreme Court decision, 260 bills were introduced and 39 enacted.  In addition, several states enacted statutes to either deny or restrict Medicaid reimbursement for women who had abortions and expected tax dollars to cover the expense of their decision.  

Blake also shared data from national surveys conducted by Gallup and NORC to reveal attitudes of those surveyed in the public prior, during, and after the abortion legislation passed.  In terms of men and women’s attitude toward elective abortions, it was interesting to note the disapproval rating for abortion declined from 85 percent in 1968 to 63 percent in 1974 and 1977.  Nevertheless, Blake indicated that none of the results showed more than 50 percent approving or less than 50 percent disapproving elective abortions.  

In regards to questions about the timing of abortion procedures, results from Blake’s survey clearly showed that the country was in opposition with the Supreme Court here, as well.  Although the Court didn’t feel it necessary at the time to solve the issue of when life began, and eventually, they extended the right to abortion up to 28 weeks, in 1975, 58 percent of the women said life began at conception.  Only 11 percent agreed with the Supreme Court that it would be at viability.  

Also, according to Forsythe, the abortion decision affected the other branches of government, as well. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade bound Congress, the President, and all state and local governments across all 50 states through the Supremacy Clause in Article VI because the supreme law superseded all the state laws of the land. With the passing of the Supreme Court legislation, abortions increased throughout the whole nation, reaching an annual high of 1.6 million in 1992, before declining to 1.2 million in 2006.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, the consequence of Roe v. Wade is that from 1973-2014, the women in America have had 59, 115, 995 abortions.

More specifically, according to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, from the years of 1972 to 1991, there are some other startling facts that resulted from Roe v. Wade. (Because it was difficult to disaggregate the data for just the years starting from 1973, these statistics will include the initial year prior to Roe, as well).  From the statistics, Bennett disclosed that 59% of abortions were committed by women under the age of 24.  Also, about 40 percent of teenage pregnancies (about 400,000 a year) ended in abortion, and the teen number of abortions was one-fourth the total number of abortions that were committed yearly in the United States. Also, he reported that girls who were younger than the age of 15 had an inflating abortion rate by 18 percent between 1980 and 1987.  

In lieu of these results, perhaps having more than seven justices on the panel of the first argument may have helped them consider other possible questions to address in regards to the  abortion decision that would affect the whole nation.  The closest they came to considering other perspectives than just the woman’s health was in the first oral arguments when Jay Floyd submitted in his conclusion that in some instances the consideration should be given to the father of the baby, if he would object abortion. Because of the connection to Doe v. Bolton, it seems likely that the main perspective and age range the justices were considering in regards to abortion legislation at that time were that of adult women, either married or single.  If the thought of teenage abortions would have crossed the justices’ minds, then perhaps their conferences and drafts of opinions may have included some thought regarding parental consent for minors and whether that would even be Constitutional.  However, because the seven justices on the panel denied Texas’ motion to postpone the first argument until Powell and Rehnquist had been sworn in, they were left to hear the first arguments without them on Dec. 13, 1971, and just three days later, a bloc of justices were ready to vote for abortion rights. As a result not much deliberation took place over an issue that would impact the nation for the next 43 years.

Perhaps in their scheming to leave out the other two justices and in moving too quickly through the case, the Supreme Court justices were negligent in doing their research and homework to get all the facts needed to make the most judicious decision. As Forsythe writes, “Roe and Doe began, in the Supreme Court as a serious procedural mistake that left the justices without any factual record to consider the complex historical, legal, medical, and constitutional issues surrounding abortion.” In a landmark class-action suit that would affect the whole nation, it would have been wise to do some research before applying judicial activism from the bench.  After all, according to Bennett’s report, 63 percent of total abortions were committed by women who had never been married, and one of their main supports for the abortion argument was taken from Griswold v. Connecticut, which was about stablishing the Constitutional right of privacy specifically for married couples. Perhaps with some judicial restraint and taking some extra time, the Supreme Court justices may have reconsidered their decision. After all, one of the two who dissented, Justice Rehnquist, did so because he took the time to conduct some research into the opinions that were submitted by the justices to see if the judicial activism happening in the bench stayed within the constraints of the Constitution.  Perhaps if more of the Supreme Court justices had chosen to just interpret the law according to the Constitution, rather than judicially legislate, these adverse effects in our nation could have been constrained.  

Conclusion

    In conclusion, Alexander Hamilton in the 78th Federal paper described judges as the guardians of the Constitution.  He wrote that “the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them.”  It is evident that he never expected to see the day that judges would legislate from the bench to add rights to the Constitution and change the culture of a nation.  That is exactly what the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court justices who used the Roe v. Wade decision to practice judicial activism went beyond the constraints of the United States Constitution to create new rights and laws that in the end have adversely affected the whole country.  By establishing prior precedents in cases like Griswold v Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court created new rights of privacy and abortion that are not found anywhere in the text of the Constitution. The results of this encroachment on state legislative responsibilities and the rights of the people left the country needing to fully debate the abortion issue. There was so much to consider.

The basic qualm against the Supreme Court and their decision is that they usurped the power of deliberation and representation from the democracy by judicially legislating from the bench.  In hindsight, their decision was calculated, because there was a majority on the bench that wanted to strike down the abortion laws.  They based so much of their opinions and decisions on penumbrae and precedents from other cases.  Instead, like Justice Rehnquist, they could have considered the context of the Constitution as the Founding Fathers meant it, and they could have researched some factual evidence.

Although the fact that Norma McCorvey never had an abortion did not matter to the Supreme Court, perhaps, if they knew at the time that Sarah Weddington did have an abortion, it may have mattered.  It may have made them pause, to think.  Why would this woman want so badly to fight for this case?  There may have been a conflict of interest with her presenting the case. In the end, Sarah Weddington may have seemed “successful” in achieving so many of her goals.  After all, she graduated from law school, and she “won” the national landmark Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade.  However, I can’t imagine what the cost has been to her life.  The cost of her “success” to America has been very excessive, indeed.

Bibliography

“Abortion Statistics:  United States Data and Trends.” National Right to Life. Fact sheet. April  

2017.  Accessed on June 26, 2017. http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf.

 

Bennett, William. The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: Facts and Figures on the State of                     American Society. New York: Touchstone, 1994.

Bickel, Alexander. The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics. 2nd ed. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986.

 

Blake, Judith. “The Supreme Court’s Abortion Decisions and Public Opinion in the United States.” Population and Development Review Vol. 3, No. 1/2 (Mar. – Jun., 1977).

 

Brooks, David. “Roe’s Birth, and Death,” The New York Times, April 21, 2005. Accessed June 18, 2017.https://mobile.nytimes.com/2005/04/21/opinion/roes-birth-and-death.html?referer.

 

Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. “Roe v. Wade.” Oyez https://www.oyez.org/cases/1971/70-18 (accessed June 26, 2017).

 

Clark, Tom C. Religion, Morality, and Abortion: A Constitutional Appraisal, 2 Loy. L.A. L. Rev.1 (1969). Accessed June 18, 2017. http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/llr/vol2/iss1/1.

 

Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972).

 

Fisher, Ronald E. The Concept of Judicial Activism. California: Banner Books International, 1977.

 

Forsythe Clarke. Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade. New York: Encounter Books, 2013.

 

Garrow, David J. “She Put the v in Roe v. Wade.” The New York Times. September 27, 1992. Accessed June 26, 2017.  http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/27/books/she-put-the-v-in-roe-v-wade.html.

Griswold v. Connecticut. 381 U.S. 479 (1965).

Kernell, Samuel and Steven S. Smith.  Principles and Practice of American Politics:  Classic and Contemporary Readings, 6th ed. Washington:  CQ Press, 2016.

 

Reich, Charles. “Mr. Justice Black and the Living Constitution,” Harvard Law Review 76 (February 1963): 673.

 

Roe v. Wade. 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

 

Scheingold, Stuart A., The Politics of Rights:  Lawyers, Public Policy and Political Change. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 1974.

 

Wright, J. Skelly.  “The Role of the Supreme Court in a Democratic Society—Judicial Activism or Restraint,” Cornell Law Review 55 (November 1968): 27-28.

 

Vincent, S. James. “Unwanted Pregnancy and the Unmerited Row over ‘Roe v. Wade,’” Journal of the Indian Law Institute 32, no. 2 (1990): 246-58. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43953183.

🌿Did Fed #10 Ironically Set Our Republic Up for Cultural Tyranny Today?

Publius, James Madison, one of our brave, mysterious triumvirate writers in The Federalist, made a great argument in Fed #10 about how a large republic creates a natural checks and balance among the people because diversity keeps one faction from taking over the whole democracy.

His argument to promote ratification of the federal Constitution seemed sound at that time.  However, he, Hamilton, and Jay could never have dreamed of our postmodern era where after industrialization and expansion, we would be moved to someday progressing at warp speed into an internet age we now call globalism.  To be sure, Fed #10 was written to appease minds that tyranny would not have a chance to rule in a large pluralistic culture like America full of multiple factions;[1] however, Madison did not foresee this internet age in America.

Madison never suspected that one day certain factions in our land would use the media, internet, and judicial system to try to align our culture into a melting pot of secular progressivism, and that slowly the whole republic would start either fighting for or against this pull towards national anarchy, indeed a sort of tyranny led by secularists.

I wouldn’t say it was a failure to get the thirteen colonies to ratify the Federal Constitution of 1787.  What I am implying, however, is that the original Madisonian Theory behind our Constitution no longer seems to apply in our fast-paced, information-driven, digital age where knowledge and battles over ideas happen daily, if not even hourly, and where evidence of cultural tyranny seems to be growing as secularists move to gain control over the republic.

Although Madison assumed our country would be so largely diverse that we would keep each other’s views in check, the reality is that the internet social media age has changed everything.  Ironically, because of our large republic, those who side with angry liberal progressives are growing every day with media, and the movement of the people towards anarchy and anti-government respect is growing, a form of cultural tyranny, neither Hamilton or Madison could have foreseen.

 


1. Kernell, Samuel, and Steven S. Smith. Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 6th ed. Washington: CQ Press, 2016.

🌿Dear America

Dear America,

What would you do if anarchy replaced our liberal democracy?  You see, we are steps away from that happening.
Consider this:

·When law enforcement is undermined and challenged

·When media is allowed to slander the highest office of our land

·When the leaders of our land are constantly called to suspicion, accused, and undermined by the media and people groups

·When people are rioting and fighting every day for their personal gain without considering the common good of all Americans

·When our courts uphold rights for personal activities and PREFERENCES, but put fines on those who follow moral conscience

·When former leaders are allowed to undermine current administration without consequences

THEN, we must be aware because…
Anarchy is influencing our great nation.

 We must wake up and again expect order and decorum.When all chaos abounds, it is we the people who suffer greatly. We need not go there.

Being a teacher I have had years where kids demand their own way.  They end up getting it, but they lose the wisdom and knowledge they would have gained from learning to respect leadership.  Most sadly, their lives are never challenged to receive the good found in sacrifice, respect, and submission to leadership. The kids who fought me never learned the good I had to teach them. 

Leaders are appointed to be our covering. They work hard to take the heat and responsibility of making decisions for the good of all. When we remove their authority from our lives, it is us who suffer because we expose ourselves to truly our own limited scope and bounds—our personal selfishness.

In America, we have a checks and balance system, so our government leaders can be held accountable.  The media was never given the authority to be a part of the check and balance system, to usurp the authority we have elected to give our officials.  However, today, that is exactly what they do.  Do they think they run our country???  They can’t.  They are mere story tellers and entertainers, afterall, not government leaders called on to carry the responsibility of governance. So, we must wisely discern who to believe.

It is time that we leave our leaders to lead us without everyone trying to lead for them.  We live in great times where are voices can be heard through social media.  However, just because we can raise our voice, it doesn’t always mean we are doing it wisely to help others.

Please, let our elected officials lead and serve.  They are trying.  Let us by all means hold them accountable if there is a real problem, but let us not constantly follow the ebb and tide of the noise from the media.  Let us try to listen to our leaders, instead, and trust them.

Peace, America, calm down.  We are still a nation under God.  He is vigilant to promote mercy and justice according to His will. He reigns. Let us then trust His authority and pray.  Let us see what is good, pure, and Holy.  Let us see our nation with His HOPE.
God bless us, America.

In Jesus’ Name, amen. 

Grad School Season

I got accepted into the MA in Government with a concentration in the Law and Public Policy Program at Regent University in Robertson’s School of Government.  This means lots of research, reading, and writing.  This means I will need lots of processing time.  I hope you will join me on this journey to begin raising my voice for the things that matter in our nation.  I hope you will take time to share what matters to you!  I ordered my books today. I am looking forward to this new season!