Category Archives: civil rights

One Brave Judge Resists Feminist Agenda

August 8, 2008by Phyllis Schlafly
A New Jersey judge recently confronted an issue that courts have been avoiding for years: are restraining orders constitutional? Accused criminals have “due process” and many other constitutional rights, but the feminists have persuaded many judges to issue orders that restrain actions of non-criminals and punish them based on flimsy, unproved accusations.
These restraining orders are issued without the due process required for criminal prosecutions, yet they carry the threat of a prison sentence for anyone who violates them.
Mr. and Mrs. Crespo were divorced and rearing their children in the same household when they had a fight, and Mrs. Crespo asked for a restraining order. Mr. Crespo was not charged with any crime, but the judge issued the restraining order, which banned him from his own house and thereby separated him from his kids.
Mr. Crespo made several good arguments that the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is unconstitutional. Judge Francis B. Schultz rejected most of those arguments, but he cited a long line of cases holding that “clear and convincing evidence” is required in order to take away fundamental rights (such as a parent’s right over the care and custody of his children).
The feminists are in an uproar about Judge Schultz’s decision and would like the New Jersey Supreme Court to reverse it. The feminists want courts to uphold a woman’s right to kick a man out of his home based on a woman’s unverified accusations.
Family courts are notorious for issuing restraining orders based on one woman’s unsupported request. The New Jersey Law Journal reported that an instructor taught judges to be merciless to husbands and fathers, saying, “Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him ‘See ya’ around.’ ”
People have a better chance to prove their innocence in traffic court than when subjected to a restraining order. Too often, the order serves no legitimate purpose, but is just an easy way for one spouse to get revenge or the upper hand in a divorce or child custody dispute.
Once a restraining order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain custody or even get to see his own children. That is the result even though the alleged domestic violence (which doesn’t have to be physical or proven) did not involve the children at all.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear another case, U.S. v. Hayes, to decide whether an old misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can bar a man from ever owning a gun. Everyone agrees that convicted felons should not have guns, but misdemeanors are minor offenses that usually carry no jail time.
Under feminist pressure, most courts have interpreted federal law broadly to deprive millions of men of their gun rights. However, in the Hayes case, a 2-1 majority on the Fourth Circuit had the courage to stand up to the feminists and rule that Hayes had no fair warning that prosecutors would stretch the definition of domestic violence to include his minor offense.
Randy Edward Hayes had a dispute with his wife in 1994, pled guilty to misdemeanor battery, and served one year of probation. Ten years later, he was prosecuted for having a Winchester rifle in his West Virginia home.
Why are men with clean histories except for one domestic dispute punished like hardened criminals who mug strangers on the street? The answer is that the feminist agenda calls for domestic-violence laws to punish husbands and fathers above and beyond what can be proven in court under due-process procedures.
When Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the federal law prohibiting a man from owning a gun if he has a domestic violence conviction, she stated, “It is an unfortunate fact that many domestic violence offenders are never convicted of a felony. Outdated or ineffective laws often treat domestic violence as a lesser offense…. Plea bargains often result in misdemeanor convictions for what are really felony crimes.”
In other words, Senator Feinstein wants to pretend a man is a felon even if he is not. That’s the feminist anti-male agenda.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year in District of Columbia v. Heller that we all have a fundamental constitutional right to own and use a gun. We will soon see how serious the Court is in defending our Second Amendment right.
It’s time to restore basic constitutional rights to husbands and fathers by repudiating the feminist agenda that considers men guilty unless proven innocent.

London: Sarkozy seeks to moralize capitalism

Commentary by Herbert London

In a recent Le Figaro report Nicolas Sarkozy said, “At the end of the French presidency, my aim is that [Europe] will have moved towards a common immigration policy, a common defense policy, a common energy policy, and a common environment policy.”   He noted, “The citizens of all of Europe demand protection; they want Europe to protect them, not make them vulnerable.  They want it to allow them to act, not oblige them to suffer.”

President Sarkozy goes on to contend that this “protective Europe” is incompatible with “the excesses of financial capitalism.”  He maintains that France under his guidance will take initiatives “to moralize capitalism.”  As part of his vision Europe is to be seen for “community preference” and to make matters perfectly clear President Sarkozy has called on the government backed Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations bank to take the lead in protecting France from the “power of extremely aggressive sovereign funds.” 

How does one parse the ambiguous phrases?  Is European immigration policy, to cite one example, going down a path taken by France in which more than a quarter of Marseille residents are Muslim and unrest now characterizes urban life in this once peaceful city?  What does Sarkozy mean by a common environmental policy?  Are European nations about to embrace a common carbon footprint?  And if so, will such regulation be enforced by bureaucrats in Brussels?

Perhaps the most interesting and often-heard expression used by Sarkozy is “moralizing capitalism.”  For years European leaders have been decrying “the inhuman dimensions of Anglo-Saxon capitalism”—code words for the free market.  Sarkozy is merely following the rhetorical lead of his predecessors.

However, in his desire to place strict controls on sovereign investment he may be inhibiting cash-starved industries and corporations and, in the process, restricting innovation Europe needs to be competitive.  If moralizing capitalism means protective regulation that keeps union control over the labor market, stagnation is the inevitable result.  It has been demonstrated in France and elsewhere in Western Europe that if you cannot fire, you cannot hire, a condition that has led Europeans to envy the relatively low unemployment rate in the United States.

Clearly Europe has benefited from Arab capital that has gravitated north in search of investment opportunity.  This condition aimed in part as punishment for American Middle East policy, has bolstered the euro against the dollar and, to a modest degree, has had a salutary influence on European economies.

But in actuality Europe’s industries are largely moribund.  They cannot compete against Asian markets and often demand protection against the economic onslaught.  The unfunded liability due to cradle to grave security—even with recent modifications in outlook—is daunting.

As a consequence, the Sarkozy proposal to moralize capitalism—which has the ring of human decency to it—is catastrophic for a Europe that suffers from economic sclerosis.  If anything, France and Western Europe desperately require a shot of adrenalin in the form of free market initiatives.

Clearly Europeans have a preference for security, long vacations, short work weeks and reduced competition.  However, Europeans are not alone in the world.  The intrusion of other markets is a reality and the interest of competitiveness will have to be assuaged. 

While Sarkozy’s pro-American foreign policy stance is justifiably applauded, his European economic position is hopelessly predictable and doomed to fail.  Perhaps as a member of the EU in good standing, he, as the leader of France, is obliged to repeat standard European slogans.  But these are empty slogans that if enacted into policies will further weaken Europe economically and make it less likely the continent will assume the defense responsibility to which is so often gives lip-service.

Sarkozy has enjoyed a honeymoon period with American leaders, but his platitudinous economic position should offer a moment of reflection.  Are we merely hearing much of the bankrupt moralizing of the recent past—an echo of Chirac?  That is the most likely conclusion to be reached from his remarks.

 

 -Herb London is president of the Hudson Institute and a member of Insight’s Editorial Advisory Board.

 

When mass killers meet armed resistance (Classically Liberal)

It took place at a university in Virginia. A student with a grudge, an immigrant, pulled a gun and went on a shooting spree. It wasn’t Virginia Tech at all. It was the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, not far away. You can easily drive from the one school to the other, just take a trip down Route 460 through Tazewell.

It was January 16, 2002 when Peter Odighizuwa came to campus. He had been suspended due to failing grades. Odighizuwa was angry and waving a gun calling on students to “come get me”. The students, seeing the gun, ran. A shooting spree started almost immediately. In seconds Odighizuwa had killed the school dean, a professor and one student. Three other students were shot as well, one in the chest, one in the stomach and one in the throat.

Many students heard the shots. Two who did were Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges. Mikael was outside the school having just returned to campus from lunch when he heard the shots. Tracy was inside attending class. Both immediately ran to their cars. Each had a handgun locked in the vehicle.

Bridges pulled a .357 Magnum pistol and he later said he was prepared to shoot to kill if necessary. He and Gross both approached Odighizuwa at the same time from different directions. Both were pointing their weapons at him. Bridges yelled for Odighizuwa to drop his weapon. When the shooter realized they had the drop on him he threw his weapon down. A third student, unarmed, Ted Besen, approached the killer and was physically attacked.
But Odighizuwa was now disarmed. The three students were able to restrain him and held him for the police. Odighizuwa is now in prison for the murders he committed. His killing spree ended when he faced two students with weapons. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance…

http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2007/04/when-mass-killers-meet-armed-resistance.html

Obama’s Black Ambition

If Barack Obama is running on the platform of being black, then he should lose unless the electorate cows in fear meanwhile justifying their own capitulation by hypocritical accusations (e.g., against conservatives for resisting miscegenation). An economist article suggested that American whites are less racist than they used to be (like in the fifties) because whites have had a seven-fold increase in the proportion of interracial children. This argument infers that whites are racist if they don’t intermarry and that whites are therefore racist by virtue of their skin color. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a racist argument, it leads unambiguously to the conclusion that whites are criminal (because it is a crime to be racist).  Don’t you like how the devil turns things upside down? Very nice logic indeed.

A leftist on tv says that she thinks it’s mean that people won’t vote for a candidate because of his race. On the contrary, it’s mean to vote for a candidate because of his/her identity.

 

 

Kansas Plans to Shake Up State Court Judges

May 14, 2008by Phyllis Schlafly
Kansas will have a proposition on the ballot in November that could send shock waves into the tenure of state court judges. The voters in Johnson County, Kansas (suburban Kansas City) will vote on the right to elect their 10th judicial district court judges instead of having them chosen by the lawyers.
We hear a lot in the media about bringing democracy to the world. Kansans are asking for more democracy in the middle of the United States.
How state judges get their jobs is a matter of state option, and there is a wide variety of rules.
Some state court judges are elected by the people, some in partisan elections, some in non-partisan elections. About half the states, including Kansas, use some variation of the so-called Missouri Plan, a process that originated only in the 1940s, which gives broad control to the licensed attorneys.
Missouri voters are unhappy with their Missouri Plan because the lawyers have successfully placed on the bench a succession of liberal judges, and it may be another six years before a Republican has a chance to be appointed to the state supreme court. In April, the lawyers successfully lobbied against the Missouri state legislature’s attempt to reform the process.
Kansas gives its licensed lawyers an unusually powerful role in the selection of state supreme court justices. Some voters are beginning to see a connection between that extraordinary control and the judges’ widely criticized decision to order the state legislature to appropriate hundreds of millions of dollars of additional taxpayers’ money to the public schools.
The appropriation of taxpayer funds, and the raising of taxes that this necessarily requires, should absolutely be legislative, not judicial functions. The grabbing of spending and taxing powers by the courts is a major reason why we call these judges supremacists.
Under the Kansas procedure, when there is a vacancy on the Kansas supreme court, a Nominating Commission (on which the attorneys enjoy a 5-to-4 majority) secretly chooses its three favorites, and the Governor must pick one of those three. That’s the whole process: no checking, no appeal, no oversight, no second opinion.
This plan is supposed to result in the “non-partisan” and “merit” selection of judges, but scholars who have studied the process have concluded that the commission selects judges based on the socio-economic interests of the attorneys and their clients.
Attorneys are a special-interest group just like any other group that aggressively lobbies for the interests of its members. In Kansas, the commission has had no shame about selecting judges who make political contributions to Democratic candidates.
Kansans are asking, why should the lawyers have such extraordinary control over the selection of judges who will then rule on cases brought by the lawyers who gave them their jobs? Nine other states allow their licensed attorneys to select some of the nominating commission members, but 41 states either give the lawyers no power in the initial selection of supreme court justices or balance the lawyers’ role with commissioners chosen by democratically elected public officials.
We hear a lot of talk today about the need for an “independent” judiciary. We do need a state judiciary that is independent of the attorneys and their special interests, especially the trial lawyers.
Kansans in Johnson County have discovered they have the right to change their procedure and elect their judges. To put this proposition on the ballot, they enthusiastically collected 14,000 signatures, twice the number required.
A judicial activist on the Wisconsin Supreme Court felt the wrath of voters in April when he became the first justice ousted by voters there in 41 years. Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, who had appointed him, called the negative campaign for that seat a “tragedy,” but the real tragedy is when the voters have no say-so in combating the tyranny of the judiciary.
Many important issues face state court judges in addition to school funding. Same-sex marriage was decided by only one vote in the highest court of five states. It’s unlikely that any judge elected by the people would declare the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, as some life-tenured federal judges have done and may do again.
We’ve got a better chance of sticking with the will of the American people if state judges are elected rather than appointed by lawyers who have an interest in winning big-verdict cases before those very judges.

 

Records: Al Sharpton owes millions in back taxes (CNN.com)

  • Story Highlights
  • Al Sharpton, business entities owe millions of dollars in overdue taxes, AP reports
  • Sharpton’s lawyer, nonprofit group dispute size of debt
  • Sharpton says U.S. government is trying to intimidate him

NEW YORK (AP) — Big corporations give him money. Presidential candidates seek his endorsement. He has influential friends in Congress and the governor’s mansion.

tawana brawley

The Rev. Al Sharpton has emerged over the past decade as perhaps the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader, a status that was demonstrated again this week when he led protests against police brutality that briefly shut down six of Manhattan’s major bridges and tunnels.

But he still carries baggage from his early days as a fire-breathing agitator: Government records obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Sharpton and his business entities owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and associated penalties.

Now the U.S. attorney is investigating his nonprofit group, an inquiry that an undeterred Sharpton brushes off as the kind of annoyance that civil rights figures have come to expect from the government…

 

Al Sharpton Tax Evasion (CNN)

Vote John McCain – And Donate Now!

My Friends,
We have a lot at stake in this presidential election. As a nation, we face many challenges that will require real leadership from our next president. I have said before that this election will be about the big things, not the small things, and I write to you today about one big issue in particular – the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. If one of my Democratic opponents is elected in November, you can rest assured that given the opportunity to appoint judges, they will appoint those who make law with disregard for the will of the people.
There may be at least two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court during the next presidential term. As president, I will ensure that only those judges who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States are appointed. I will nominate judges who understand that their role is to faithfully apply the law as written, not impose their will through judicial fiat.
If you want judges who will clearly and completely adhere to the Constitution of the United States and who do not legislate from the bench to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, then I ask that you join my campaign for president today by making a financial contribution.
I am proud to have played a role in the appointment and confirmation of two great Supreme Court justices – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito I need your support now so that as your president I can nominate judges like Justices Roberts and Alito. Judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust. Judges who take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people’s elected representatives. Judges who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.
My friends, the future of our country and of the Supreme Court is at stake in this election. If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected – both voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito – they will appoint activist judges. They will appoint judges who legislate from the bench.
I’m sure I don’t have to remind you how important even one vote on the Supreme Court can be. Issues concerning states’ rights, abortion, affirmative action, the Second Amendment and religious freedom have all been decided by a very slim 5-4 margin.
America needs a leader who recognizes that the people and the states should decide what’s best, not the courts. In order to be that leader, I need your financial support immediately.
Please follow this link to make an immediate donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 – any amount up to the legal limit of $4,600.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
John McCain
P.S. To date, my Democrat opponents have raised almost $450 million in their efforts to win the White House. Both Senators Clinton and Obama voted against confirming John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Both Senators Clinton and Obama will nominate liberal, activist judges. As your president, I will ensure that the Supreme Court protects our values. Please follow this link right away to make your donation of any amount, up to the legal limit of $4,600. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, is crucial to our efforts. Thank you.