Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More from Jefferson on Supreme Court

"Contrary to all correct example, [the Federal judiciary] are in the habit of going out of the question before them, to throw an anchor ahead and grapple further hold for future advances of power. They are then in fact the corps of sappers and miners, steadily working to undermine the independent rights of the States and to consolidate all power in the hands of that government in which they have so important a freehold estate." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821

Jefferson on the Supreme Court

"It has long been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its
expression,... that the germ of dissolution of our Federal Government is in
the constitution of the Federal Judiciary--an irresponsible body (for
impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow), working like gravity by night and by
day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its
noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction until all shall
be usurped from the States and the government be consolidated into one. To
this I am opposed." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Hammond, 1821.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Next Right Thing

Many years ago a wise grandfather told me "Lonnie, you want to try and fix the whole world. God doesn't call you to do anything but work to ensure your own backyard is in order." His point being that if God needs us for bigger things he'll let us know. In the meantime we just need to do the next right thing. 

I was reminded of this principle in my morning quiet time today when I read "Sovereign Lord, make clear to me Your agenda for my world. I want to cooperate with You on Your plan, not waste efforts on my plan."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mr. Frog, the water is getting hotter!

California lists 800 substances with a "1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer or birth defects over a 70 year period" This is from Prop 65, the law that authorizes the list. California boldly claims that these substances are "known to the State of California to cause cancer." That same "knowing state" is now considering a new gun law that sets limits on ammunition purchases and imposes stiff penalties on people who do not report stolen guns. Supporters "knowingly" proclaim that the law will save "untold lives". I am not sure which bright anti-gun politician came up with that notion. However, the law has broad support from the usual suspects. The Califonia sheep are in full follow mode and it appears that the people of California are going to let this go through.

2nd Amendment supporters beware,  the temperature is fixing to be turned up on the frog in the water.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Being a Judge Means Never Having to Say You are Sorry..

Years ago there was movie called Love Story. It was a chick flick on steroids that yielded the mantra that has come down to us, "love means never having  to say you're sorry." Donald Trump has adopted this as a guiding principle in his life and he has been soundly criticised for it. However, Trump thinking that he has no need to say he is sorry will not hurt us.

However, there is an entire branch of government that has this as its motto... and it can and does hurt us. This is the mantra that "being a judge means never having to say you are sorry (or wrong)". This mantra has been enshrined in an ancient legal concept called "stare decisis" (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedent) which literally means "to stand by decisions". The practical effect is that courts do not spend a lot of time looking at a case if they feel that stare decisis applies. For example, the "most abominable decision" ever reached by the Supreme Court was the Dred Scott case that held that blacks could not be citizens. The court never overtuned this  awful decision, rather it was left to the implementation of the 13th and 14th amendments to correct the evils of this case.

While stare decisis is a good thing in principle, the major goal of the law is not "the law", rather it is "justice". The entire legal profession needs to grasp this concept again. When stare decisis precludes justice, it is the responsibility of the judiciary to say "I'm sorry" and make things right. If they don't, then constitutional amendment may be in order.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bloviation is a National Pastime

One of Bill ‘Reilly’s Words for the Day is ‘bloviate’. I must confess, I only watched the first 15 minutes of the first presidential debate last night. ‘Bloviation’ was in full swing! I doubt anything that was said after I turned it off would have changed my mind, so  I was able to abstain with a clear conscience. This morning the talking heads were “debating” who won the “debate”.  Who won the debate is irrelevant. As a nation we have lost the “debate” when the choice for president will be decided by who has the lowest “negatives”.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Raising the B.S. Flag

My son is a genius... no joke, his IQ is that high. However, when he was in high school and at the University of West Florida and living at home, he used to make some fairly controversial assertions at the dinner table. We finally devised a technique to call him back from the intellectual wilderness. It was called the B.S. Flag. Whenever someone at the table had enough, they would raise their right hand as if taking an oath. Whereupon the rest of us would follow suit. He did not appreciate it, but it was generally enough to change the topic. It would seem that it is way past time for university administrators throughout the country to raise the B.S. Flag. Censoring conservative professors (Vanderbilt), taking down pictures of ex presidents (Princeton), out of control protests (Missouri and Yale) are all examples of students run amok. Everyone expects sophomoric outbursts from students... (I would hate for some of my letters to Congressmen in the 60's to surface.) But what we have going on right now is absolute B.S. It is time for those endowments and individuals who fund these institutions to raise the B.S. Flag by defunding them. As us old farts would say "money talks"... and no money talks louder!