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Despite claims to the contrary, Trump and McConnell aren’t fixing our broken judiciary

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While so-called conservatives and Trump supporters—but I repeat myself—have been singing the praises of Donald Trump for nominating Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell has been busy singing his own praises for his work in reshaping the federal judiciary in Trump’s image.

Unfortunately, this self-aggrandizing by and for Trump and the GOP may serve them well in November, but it perpetuates the status quo and misses the opportunity to provide the reform necessary to save the judiciary and our republic.

Based on past opinions where he stated that sitting presidents are above the law and that the NSA can violate our Fourth Amendment rights, Kavanaugh appears to be Kennedy 2.0 and not a strict constructionist. If he is confirmed, the broken Supreme Court remains broken.

And despite making the judiciary his “top priority,” McConnell has failed—a word we use often when discussing the Senate Majority Leader—to make the changes necessary to fix the lower courts, leaving them broken as well.

With all eyes on the Kavanaugh nomination this week, Trump’s nomination of Mark Jeremy Bennett to the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals—one of the most overturned courts—was confirmed thanks to unanimous support from Democrats. Only 27 Republicans dissented.

Based on past opinions, Bennett’s confirmation is bad news for the Second Amendment as he believes that gun bans are constitutional. And on a side note, he supported same-sex marriage before the Obergefell decision.

Just as he missed an opportunity to shift the Supreme Court to the right with the Kavanaugh nomination, Trump’s choice of Bennett was a missed opportunity to shift the Ninth Circuit—a court that routinely decides against the Constitution. Ironically, these two nominations could be doubly damaging.

Since Congress has demonstrated zero interest in judicial reform, the current practice of assigning unilateral jurisdiction of the various circuit courts to individual Supreme Court justices will continue to be employed. Based on past practices and seniority, it’s likely that Kavanaugh will be assigned to the Ninth Circuit. If that happens, we will have a non-constructionist Supreme Court justice overseeing one of the worst circuit courts and its newest non-constructionist justice, Mark Jeremy Bennett.

Following Kennedy’s retirement announcement, I wrote a piece about how McConnell would likely use the news to save his job, so I’m not surprised that the Kentucky senator has turned the judiciary into an election-year issue. I’m also not surprised that Donald Trump lied about appointing strict constructionists to the courts.

And, in the end, I won’t be surprised when liberty in America is destroyed by the time Trump and the GOP are through.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Guns and Crime

Legislators tell Allen West: Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

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Legislators tell Allen West Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

Last week, a handful of conservatives, including Lt. Col. Allen West and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz, went after the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that has the backing of the President and many conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Our complaint: why would the GOP support a bill that releases violent criminals and illegal immigrants?

According to legislative proponents of the bill, protections and benefits for both of these groups of felons have been eliminated in the next version of the bill that will reach the Senate floor. They reached out to West over the weekend to let them know they heard the concerns and are addressing them.

First Step Act: Response and Reassurances

https://i0.wp.com/theoldschoolpatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/prison-553836_640.jpg?w=200&ssl=1The First Step Act is supported by many conservatives and law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National District Attorneys Association. There are other proposals offered by those on the far left under the same banner of “criminal justice reform” that would release people from prison without regard to the danger they pose, including illegal immigrants and serious violent offenders. We must remember that there are some folks who are, well, as the ol’ folks would say, “just bad.” Additionally, some left-wing professors even propose abolishing all prisons partly based on their notion that the system is racist in nature. Hmm, I tend to believe that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person deciding to break the law. I just do not want us to go down the path of having criminals believe that there are no consequences, ramifications, for their actions and behaviors.

The legislators echoed our concerns and said the version that is currently available doesn’t reflect the changes that cut the loopholes. They say it will be impossible for these two groups – serious violent offenders and criminal illegal immigrants – to get the benefits of the bill. Many felons will be released early. Future felons will be given lighter sentences. That makes sense for many, but by no means should anyone in either of the two most dangerous groups receive sentence reductions, according to the letter to West.

My Take

Call me cynical, but lately I’ve changed my general rules regarding promises of politicians. It used to echo President Reagan’s stance on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” I now have to go with a more adversarial stance on political promises: “Show me proof, then we’ll talk.”

When the legislation is made available to the public, many will take a close look at it. I’ll personally be checking to see if there are any loopholes that would put violent offenders or criminal illegal immigrants back on the street sooner. If so, it’s a no-go for me.

 

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Opinions

So-called conservatives are confusing compromise with capitulation

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So-called conservatives are confusing compromise with capitulation

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m Always Right™, it would be easy to get discouraged by some of the reactions I get for taking so-called conservatives to task whenever they exchange their pusillanimous principles for their personal political purposes.

While not discouraging, it can be frustrating when members of various political factions put their so-called leaders on a pedestal to be lionized, almost worshiped, even when they break their promises or promote policies that are contrary to our conservative values.

An obvious example of what I’m talking about can be seen by the dwindling numbers of Trump’s cult-like sycophants who live not on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of their political god.

Lately, I’ve witnessed this same kind of unconditional loyalty for so-called conservative members of Congress who, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, are talking the conservative talk but not walking the conservative walk.

Last week I enshrined Senator Mike Lee in the Gutless On Principles (GOP) Hall of Shame after his repeated support of Ivanka Trump’s socialist feminist agenda. Even though he has developed a reputation of being 100% conservative, his political infatuation with Ivanka’s extremist agenda is a diametrically opposed to the conservative values he claims to hold.

Just as I’m often told by the Trump cult, Lee’s groupies have informed me that he is beyond reproach and that only a “George Soros-loving Hillary supporter” would dare call him out because “nobody’s perfect.” Check out a couple of the comments from my Facebook page:

Brady S. – “If you’re waiting for perfection, keep waiting, you’re never going to get it from any person. You can disagree with a person on an issue and policy, that doesn’t negate the rest of decisions they’ve made or who they are as a person. Basically, you’re virtue signaling, piggy backing off the backs of other conservatives to show how much more supposedly principled you are. One conservative once said “The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally not a 20% traitor.” Ronald Reagan. Nobody is going to agree with you 100% of the time on everything, you’d be wise to learn that lesson.”

MaryAnn P. – “Well – no one is perfect.”

Ah, yes. The “nobody’s perfect” card. The classic defense of indefensible behavior.

While we are indeed imperfect beings, we aren’t supposed to use that as an excuse to settle for less than perfection. Instead, we are to press on toward the goal of perfection and continue reaching for those things that will bring it to pass. And we are also instructed to “judge righteously” the deeds (actions) of others.

Those who incorrectly believe that there is no place for judging the deeds of others are wrong and/or lazy. Such thinking is what inspired a recent Babylon Bee satirical story about how evangelicals would vote for Satan himself if he had an “R” after his name.

But let’s put voting for Republican Satan aside for a moment.

I also hear a lot about compromise — a word as equally misunderstood as the word judging — but compromise only applies to how we achieve the goal; it doesn’t apply to the goal itself. When you change the goal instead of the methodology, that’s capitulation, not compromise.

For example, so-called conservatives promised to defund Planned Parenthood and could have compromised on how to get it done in a myriad of ways. Instead, they capitulated by passing spending bills that fully funded the baby butchers in exchange for defense spending and keeping the government open.

To quote a well-known insurance commercial, “That’s not how this works. That’s now how any of this works.”

When their rhetoric fails to match their results, and when they capitulate on our goals and call it compromise, I will call out faux-conservatives regardless of what faction they belong to.

And despite accusations from supporters of Trump, Cruz, Lee, and other so-called conservatives, not every politician needs to measure up to my standards . . . but they should.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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News

Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

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Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

The nightmare is over. Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections supervisor who we believe is either incompetent, corrupt, or both, has submitted her resignation.

I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our voters,” she said in her resignation press conference.

Florida finalized election tallies earlier today after a hand count confirmed the original results. Rick Scott was confirmed as the next Senator, unseating Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).

It may be a bittersweet end to the 75-year-old’s tenure. She seemed more at ease during the press conference than she has since entering the spotlight once again the day after the midterm elections when Broward County failed to report ongoing results as required by Florida law.

Brenda Snipes submits her resignation as Broward elections supervisor

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-brenda-snipes-resigns-20181118-story.htmlDuring the final days of the recount, Snipes looked exhausted to people who have known her for years. And she foreshadowed an early departure as elections supervisor when she said last week “it is time to move on” but didn’t specify a timetable, saying she wanted to talk to her family.

Snipes was appointed supervisor of elections in 2003 by former Gov. Jeb Bush, after he removed a previous supervisor of elections for incompetence. Bush became one of her critics last week, writing on Twitter it was time for her to go.

Depending on when her official resignation is effective, either Governor Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis will appoint her replacement. The position is coming up for election in 2020.

My Take

It’s good that she’s leaving, but at least a part of me was hoping she’d stay and come under the scrutiny of governor-elect Ron DeSantis before the 2020 election. If there was corruption, then it’s important we learn about it sooner rather than later.

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