Geesh, another week and another debate or two and one caucus down with more to come. Are you ready to strap in for the race to the White House? Not really? Me neither. Why? Because too much is going on in Congress and in State Legislatures that have gone over the line of sensibilities and the Media chooses to focus on the "horse race" elections instead. How much is the public aware that politicians and state courts (which are political) have begin using the cover of the election cycle in the Media to begin legislating in ways heretofore unimaginable.
Take for example a case out of Idaho wherein the Idaho Supreme Court decided to flex its muscles by including language in an opinion that severely limits the ability of the United States Supreme Court from dictating law to states. One slight problem though. SCOTUS ruled 9-0 against the Idaho Supreme Court reminding them only the highest court in the land may interpret the U.S. Constitution and under Article VI of that very same document, states must abide by its rulings snd the laws of the Federal government. Does anyone really think the highest court was confused when reaching a unanimous decision on this issue? But why are states trying to override the highest court? Because some in the Media ("flame throwers all") try to manipulate the public into thinking the states and its citizens control the nation instead of the other way around. Think I am making this up? "As Justice Story explained 200 years ago, if state courts were permitted to disregard this Court’s rulings on federal law, “the laws, the treaties, and the constitution of the United States would be different in different states, and might, perhaps, never have precisely the same construction, obligation, or efficacy, in any two states. The public mischiefs that would attend such a state of things would be truly deplorable.” Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304, 348 (1816). The Idaho Supreme Court, like any other state or federal court, is bound by this Court’s interpretation of federal law." (See: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-493_5h26.pdf).
But it does not end there. The Florida legislature recently began entertaining a Bill designed to allow citizens to invoke "religious freedom" as a mechanism to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, despite the ruling making Same Sex Marriage an Equal Protection Right applicable to all states under the 14th Amendment (See: http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Religious-Freedom-Florida-336897331.html). Why would any state legislature seriously consider such a measure knowing it already has been ruled against in Supreme Court rulings? Because folks seem to believe that states have supremacy over the Federal government and SCOTUS. But it does not, and never has since the end of the Articles of Confederation and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. But why let the actual Constitution stop legislators from pandering to a narrow constituency that believes (with Social Media's assistance) that our country's Constitution is controlled by G-d and not by laws. Whose religious beliefs should prevail when it comes to "interpreting" the Constitution? I think the Framers addressed this concern in the First Amendment. No one religious view shall prevail over any other.
And it does not stop here. Florida is again attempting to expand its "Stand Your Ground Law" by forcing prosecutors to accept any self-defense claim as a bar to actual prosecution. Yes, you read that correctly. Anyone who uses a gun to kill another may claim "self-defense" and if there is no witnesses available to contradict that self-defense, the prosecutor must not bring charges against the shooter. In the event someone outright murders another, as long as there are no witnesses, the shooter must remain free of all charges if he claims self-defense. On top of that, Florida is considering placing a $200,000 penalty on any prosecutor that brings charges against that shooter if they cannot prove the triggerman shot with malice aforethought (See - http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-stand-your-ground-gun-bills-move-in-senate-20151020-post.html). Isn't it bad enough the Legislature is pushing a Bill to allow weapons on college campuses? I sure wouldn't want to be at a Frat Party gone bad! (See: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-concealed-carry-expansion-20151108-story.html). I couldn't make this stuff up.
Yet Florida is not done doing the incredible. Just recently, the Legislature advanced a Bill that would "prevent any state finding from going to organizations that provides medical services to women." Huh? In an effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood in Florida (even though the State's investigation revealed the group adhered to all laws in their policies and procedures), the legislature is expanding de-funding measures to include all organizations that provide women's health care (See - http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-polk/lakeland/planned-parenthood-protesting-fl-bills-that-could-strip-away-funding-access-to-care). Do they think by including all women's health care organizations they could avoid being tagged as discriminatory? Who continues to push this agenda? Pro-life folks, and they are willing for women across the state to suffer and/or die to prove their beliefs. And who says there is no war on women going on in this country? The very same folks that sternly claim there is a "War on Christians" instead. I can't even begin to make this stuff up!
And what is happening in Washington then? This past week Senate Republicans tried to strip the President's authority under the Antiquities Act by claiming "modern presidents have been overly aggressive in giving protection to large areas of federal land in the West. This Amendment would give Congress and state governments power to roll back presidential designations under the act." (See Thomas Voting Reports). Did you read this correctly? At a time when heavily armed rogue ranchers openly seize federal installations in the West demanding the land be turned over to them for their exclusive use, the Senate GOP attempted to accommodate these nut jobs with a Bill authorizing the neutering of Presidential authority for protecting these very same lands. Theodore Roosevelt must be spinning in his grave. How low can our politicians pander to the extremes on either side of the political aisle? Apparently, pretty low.
Now that we know the Inspector General has discovered evidence that classified emails were also stored on Colin Powell and Condaleeza Rice's personal servers, where shall the current"criminal" investigations of Hillary Clinton go? Many demand she be jailed - even without an indictment or a conviction. Gosh, does it not amaze you that those than cling to the Constitution have very little understanding of its meaning? No Ex Post Facto Laws. Innocent until proven guilty. Both seem to be lost on Media and their following. And if you decide to take matters into your own hands, just make sure in Florida no one witnesses your actions, then you are "free" to use the Second Amendment again and again!
As President Theodore Roosevelt once wrote; "A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." Let's just pray our Media and Politicians start to shoot straight! Have a great weekend!