Jane Chastain : Politically Direct

Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

The Bullies Won in Arizona (and are on their way to your state)

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Nobody likes a bully.  In the movies, we cheer as the bullies are defeated but in real life we often give into them simply because no one likes to be bullied.   We take the road of least resistance, even when it means giving up important, even sacred ground.

Such was the case in Arizona when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a most reasonable bill updating the state’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”  to clarify two ambiguities in the state’s law which was modeled after the federal REFRA signed by Bill Clinton.   Specifically, this new version made it clear that one’s “free exercise of religion” does not stop when you run a business.  And that this “free exercise” not only protects you against the government but civil legal action as well.

Recently, business owners have been forced to go to great expense to defend their right to operate in a way that will not compromise the moral values they hold dear.  The lawsuits brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods against Obamacare’s birth control mandate are two of the most visible.   The U.S. Supreme Court will decide these cases next summer.

Ready or not, this issue is headed your way.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

March 5th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

D-Day for Parental Rights

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In the military, “D-Day” is the coded designation of an important invasion or military operation.  The term also has been used to mark the timing for a landmark event or decision.

Such a day is coming for a homeschooling family, the Romeikes, who fled religious persecution in Germany five years ago and are fighting to remain in this country.   It is also a D-Day for the protection of individual rights of every U.S. citizen

The clock now is ticking for the Romeikes and for the Obama Administration which has been ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to respond to a petition by the Home School Legal Defense Association to hear an appeal in the Romeikes’ deportation case.  The deadline is December 19. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

December 4th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

The Price of Freedom

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July 4 is the birthday of our nation.  It is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document by which the American colonies declared their independence from British rule, which had become burdensome if not tyrannical.

This was, however, not an end but the beginning of a struggle for freedom that would last for more than seven years and cost many of the brave men who signed that document their comfortable homes, their land, their fortune, their children and — for some — their very lives. 

The men who met in Philadelphia that fateful day in 1776  to sign that document were not poor, malcontent scalawags.  These were men of means who risk everything to give us this nation where 

“all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”

It is important to remember that, while these men were declaring their independence from Great Britain, they were also declaring their dependence on the God who created us.  And in case that was not clear enough in this declaration of rights, they closed the document in such a way that it could not be missed.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred honor.”

The years that followed were difficult and victory would have been impossible without the direct intervention of the hand of God.  Those who doubt this simply do not know their history.  How else could a rag-tag army of colonists defeat the powerful British?  The miracles that followed are too numerous to mention such as the  blinding fog that allowed Washington’s men to escape from Brooklyn or just the right amount of snow and thaw on the icy Delaware River that paved the way for  — not one  — but three miraculous crossings. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

July 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm

What the VRA Decision Portents for Roe v Wade

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The Supreme Court’s common sense decision on the Voting Rights Act could have far-reaching implications if the same logic is applied to Roe v Wade, the decision that effectively made abortion on demand through the full nine months of pregnancy the law of the land.

On Tuesday, in Shelby County v Holder, the high court struck down a key section of the act which had subjected the laws pertaining to elections in nine states and other local jurisdictions to intense scrutiny by the Justice Department.

At issue was Section 4 of the act, which applies a decades-old formula to decide which states and counties had histories of discrimination.

The preclearance provisions were considered so drastic that, when Congress enacted them in 1965, they were supposed to be temporary.  However, discrimination laws have become so sacrosanct that when lawmakers renewed these provisions (the last time was in 2006) they had no stomach for revising the formula.

In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts found it unconstitutional that states be judged by what was known to be true 40 years ago.  

This is huge! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

June 26th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

What Obama’s Supreme Court would look like

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Voters awake from their quadrennial slumber about this time every fourth year to prepare themselves for the business of electing a president. We cast all our cares and concerns on a man or woman we think can save us from our excesses, our personal responsibilities, our enemies here and abroad.

By the time the election rolls around, most know very little about the man or woman who gets their vote. We simply don’t care enough to reach beyond the rhetoric. We pick the one who looks, sounds or acts more like the Superman (or Superwoman) we would like him to become.

Is it any wonder our country is in such a mess?
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

May 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 am