Worried about the Court? Then worry about the Senate

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Worried about the Court? Then worry about the Senate

I sus­pect that those of us who find Trump & Hillary equally unac­cept­able are going to be voted off the con­ser­v­a­tive island before this election’s over. I’m being harangued by per­fectly nice peo­ple say­ing “but­but­but HILLARY!!”, along with what’s sup­posed to be the clincher: “Supreme Court!” An awful prospect, to be sure. The thing is, I don’t see that Trump offers any more hope in that depart­ment. Nei­ther can­di­date appears to have the con­sti­tu­tional moor­ings, never mind the pro-​life moor­ings (since the right to life pre­cedes any writ­ten con­sti­tu­tion), to be sen­si­bly guided in the choice of Justices.

That leaves the Sen­ate as the fire­wall against any mis­chie­vous mold­ing of the court that a Pres­i­dent Clin­ton or Pres­i­dent Trump might want to try.

To like­minded vot­ers who won’t sup­port either of the major Pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees, I say go to the polls any­way. Don’t stay home in a snit on Novem­ber 8. All those down­bal­lot races are going to affect how the next Chief Exec­u­tive does busi­ness. And of all the down­bal­lot races, those for U.S. Sen­ate are most critical.

Thirty-​four Sen­ate seats are up for grabs. It’s not enough for a can­di­date to point to the top of the ticket and say “I’m with him” or “I’m with her.” What I want to know is, are you for reli­gious lib­erty? Do you rec­og­nize the right to life? How about respect­ing First Amend­ment free-​speech rights for peace­ful pro­test­ers with whom you dis­agree? Are you ready to defend and expand the Hyde Amendment?

No moot points there. The Lit­tle Sis­ters of the Poor are still wait­ing to hear if the Court will respect their reli­gious beliefs regard­ing help­ing to pro­cure con­tra­cep­tion for their employ­ees. The Hobby Lobby deci­sion is still under fire, and so is McCullen — the for­mer a reli­gious lib­erty case, the lat­ter a vic­tory for peace­ful pro-​life wit­nesses out­side abor­tion facil­i­ties. The recent Whole Woman’s Health v. Heller­st­edt deci­sion has accom­mo­dated abor­tion providers while mak­ing sub­stan­dard health care for women a con­sti­tu­tional right (and wasn’t that a neat trick?).

Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­dates for Sen­ate seem to be con­sis­tent in prais­ing Heller­st­edt and con­demn­ing the other deci­sions, though I would be pleased to hear of an excep­tion. Repub­li­cans are all over the place, to the extent that I can make no assump­tions what­so­ever about what an “R” means when it comes to judi­cial matters.

Does a can­di­date squirm or stand tall under ques­tions about the Court deci­sions I’ve men­tioned? That’ll tell me a lot about whether I want a par­tic­u­lar can­di­date in the Sen­ate. If Trump gets elected with a bunch of Repub­li­can sen­a­tors who are OK with Heller­st­edt and not OK with the Lit­tle Sis­ters, or who are meek about either, Hillary will get the Court she seeks, even if she’s not President.

My own state is in play, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-​NH) being chal­lenged by Demo­c­ra­tic Gov­er­nor Mag­gie Has­san. I’d much rather have Ayotte vot­ing on judi­cial nom­i­nees. But will she cam­paign on the threat of a dan­ger­ous shift in the Supreme Court or a loss of the Hyde Amend­ment if Has­san gets the seat? Don’t I wish.

Frankly, in the year of Trump, Repub­li­can Sen­ate can­di­dates can’t trust either party’s stan­dard­bearer when it comes to the Court. It’s time to lead. Visu­al­ize a bloc of Sen­a­tors telling the new Pres­i­dent, Your nom­i­nees will have a his­tory of respect­ing the right to life and the First Amend­ment, or they don’t stand a chance of con­fir­ma­tion. Bet­ter yet, visu­al­ize GOP Sen­ate can­di­dates say­ing that now, putting Dems on the defen­sive for once. Lit­mus test? You betcha.

Think about that if you’re tempted to stay home in November.

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at Leav​en​ForTh​e​Loaf​.com. When she’s not writ­ing, she’s hik­ing in New Hamp­shire. See her ear­lier posts for DaT­e­chGuy­Blog: Ethics and PP’s Cam­paign Cash, Putting a Know-​Nothing in His Place, and Ads Say the Darnedest Things.

A note to read­ers: I’m still one of DaTechGuy’s Mag­nif­i­cent Prospects, striv­ing to earn your thumbs-​up. DTG will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent Try­outs by hits-​per-​post and hits to DaTip­Jar. If you hit DaTip­Jar after read­ing one of my posts, please men­tion my name so Da Boss knows I’m earn­ing my keep — and thank you! (Look for a tip jar link at the right side of the page if it’s not vis­i­ble below.)




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I suspect that those of us who find Trump & Hillary equally unacceptable are going to be voted off the conservative island before this election’s over. I’m being harangued by perfectly nice people saying “butbutbut HILLARY!!”, along with what’s supposed to be the clincher: “Supreme Court!” An awful prospect, to be sure. The thing is, I don’t see that Trump offers any more hope in that department. Neither candidate appears to have the constitutional moorings, never mind the pro-life moorings (since the right to life precedes any written constitution), to be sensibly guided in the choice of Justices.

That leaves the Senate as the firewall against any mischievous molding of the court that a President Clinton or President Trump might want to try.

To likeminded voters who won’t support either of the major Presidential nominees, I say go to the polls anyway. Don’t stay home in a snit on November 8. All those downballot races are going to affect how the next Chief Executive does business. And of all the downballot races, those for U.S. Senate are most critical.

Thirty-four Senate seats are up for grabs. It’s not enough for a candidate to point to the top of the ticket and say “I’m with him” or “I’m with her.” What I want to know is, are you for religious liberty? Do you recognize the right to life? How about respecting First Amendment free-speech rights for peaceful protesters with whom you disagree? Are you ready to defend and expand the Hyde Amendment?

No moot points there. The Little Sisters of the Poor are still waiting to hear if the Court will respect their religious beliefs regarding helping to procure contraception for their employees. The Hobby Lobby decision is still under fire, and so is McCullen – the former a religious liberty case,  the latter a victory for peaceful pro-life witnesses outside abortion facilities. The recent Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision has accommodated abortion providers while making substandard health care for women a constitutional right (and wasn’t that a neat trick?).

Democratic candidates for Senate seem to be consistent in praising Hellerstedt and condemning the other decisions, though I would be pleased to hear of an exception. Republicans are all over the place, to the extent that I can make no assumptions whatsoever about what an “R” means when it comes to judicial matters.

Does a candidate squirm or stand tall under questions about the Court decisions I’ve mentioned?  That’ll tell me a lot about whether I want a particular candidate in the Senate. If Trump gets elected with a bunch of Republican senators who are OK with Hellerstedt and not OK with the Little Sisters, or who are meek about either, Hillary will get the Court she seeks, even if she’s not President.

My own state is in play, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) being challenged by Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. I’d much rather have Ayotte voting on judicial nominees. But will she campaign on the threat of a dangerous shift in the Supreme Court or a loss of the Hyde Amendment if Hassan gets the seat? Don’t I wish.

Frankly, in the year of Trump, Republican Senate candidates can’t trust either party’s standardbearer when it comes to the Court. It’s time to lead. Visualize a bloc of Senators telling the new President, Your nominees will have a history of respecting the right to life and the First Amendment, or they don’t stand a chance of confirmation. Better yet, visualize GOP Senate candidates saying that now, putting Dems on the defensive for once. Litmus test? You betcha.

Think about that if you’re tempted to stay home in November.

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at LeavenForTheLoaf.com. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking in New Hampshire. See her earlier posts for DaTechGuyBlog: Ethics and PP’s Campaign Cash, Putting a Know-Nothing in His Place, and Ads Say the Darnedest Things

A note to readers: I’m still one of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Prospects, striving to earn your thumbs-up. DTG will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent Tryouts by hits-per-post and hits to DaTipJar. If you hit DaTipJar after reading one of my posts, please mention my name so Da Boss knows I’m earning my keep – and thank you! (Look for a tip jar link at the right side of the page if it’s not visible below.)




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If we can get another 150 subscribers at $10 a month (another 1/10 of 1% of those who have visited this year) We can meet our annual goals with no trouble, with the same number of subscribers at $20 a month I could afford to cover the presidential campaign outside of New England firsthand.

And of course at that price you get the Da Magnificent Seven plus those we hope to add on and all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


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