Tag Archives: Constitutional Law

Sen. Mike Lee and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz: ‘Our Ideas Work, Their Ideas Don’t’

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Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (R-TX) were adamant about two things when they addressed The Federalist Society’s discussion about constitutional law and the Supreme Court yesterday: “our [conservative] ideas work, their [ liberal] ideas don’t.”  Furthermore, our ideas have been winning the argument, which explains why law schools are limiting the amount of speakers – invited by Federalist Society – chapters that can come and articulate such views across the country.  Both men viewed that we must return to the government our Founders envisioned, and must guard against the progressive regulatory state advocated by our adversaries in Congress.  With the re-election of Barack Obama and the full implementation of Obamacare – the stakes couldn’t be any higher to keep the Madisonian experiment alive.

Sen. Lee first remarked about his election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, after beating incumbent Republican Bob Bennett at the state party convention.  Then, he went into rather humorous anecdotes about how security didn’t recognize him as a senator for the longest time during his first session in Congress.  However, he looked forward to two events this year that he thought would transform government, and make it more palatable to the Founder’s vision.

The first event was on June 28, the day of the Obamacare decision, which he received – along with most conservatives – warmly at first.  The court was articulating a position defining limits on the Commerce Clause – making this the third time in the last seventy-five years where the Supreme Court has done so.   However, as the reading of the opinion continued, more wind was blowing in liberal sails, as the senator described it.  The Court rewrote the law.  To make a long story short, the penalty was constitutional under the taxing authority, which was a position that wasn’t argued by the government.  Concerning the Medicaid expansion provisions, the Court ruled that the government had unjustly coerced states into accepting stipulations on the program’s funding, and that the Secretary for Health and Human Services cannot cut off the revenue stream – which funds the program – to states who refuse to expand coverage. In all, it was a limited purpose victory.  The second event was on November 6, which we know did not turn out well for conservatives.

Sen. Lee agreed that we won the argument for a limited proposal victory, but we also lost a lot too.  It showed that the Court can rewrite laws, and we lost the opportunity to write laws of our own choosing.  The checks on Congressional power was stipulated by judiciary and political restraint.  The judicial restraint has been compromised.  They seem, as Senator Lee put it, “unwilling” to exercise that check on power.  Second, the political check is rendered useless since Congress can pass unconstitutional laws, but if the Supreme Court can rewrite it – then what’s the purpose of that check on government power.

Sen. Lee believes that the Court acted in a manner where everyone got a little of what they wanted – but ended up hurting the American people as a result. Nevertheless, he feels that America’s best days are ahead.

Senator-Elect Ted Cruz also reiterated anecdotes on the campaign trail.  His win is almost a miracle.  He was polling sub 5%, and within the margin of error when he first began.  This highlights the trials and tribulations of any statewide campaign, especially one where you’re outspent three to one in a $ 50 million dollar primary, as in the case of Cruz, which is somewhat of a well-known characteristic within political circles.  It can be nasty, and Cruz’s opponent, David Dewhurst, dished out $35 million dollars in attack ads – but failed to clinch the nomination.  Why? He didn’t have the grassroots infrastructure needed to win.  This is the way politics should be decided, according to Senator-Elect Cruz.

Cruz is a good friend of Sen. Mike Lee, and thanked him for his early support in the beginning of his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.  In the wake of conservatives’ devastating defeat on Nov. 6, he said we much ask ourselves what went wrong, and what does this mean for the future of conservatism?  He was steadfast in the view that what conservatives have done in politics – we must now do in the law.  First, we must win the argument, which conservatives are doing – albeit very slowly.

The Senator-Elect was amused by the fact that the media was detailing how Republicans lost in 2012 because they weren’t like Democrats.  If they had acted, like the political left, things would’ve been great.  Well, conservatives lost because we didn’t make the argument.

The president said that he inherited a bad economy, and that it was all George Bush’s fault.  This message was pervasive. However, Cruz said that President Obama forgets history.  Between 1978-79, unemployment was in double-digits, interest rates were at 22%, gas lines around the block, and the Iranian hostage crisis – which probably left then-President Jimmy Carter regretting leaving peanut farming. But, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide in 1980.  He reduced taxes, regulations, and the scope of government, which led to an economic boom.  Again, playing into the narrative of these two men being “our ideas work, their ideas don’t.”

However, there’s a reason why Obama voters believe this economy is still Bush’s fault.  Why?  Mitt Romney’s campaign team didn’t respond.  Concerning the fatuous ‘war on women,’ the Senator-Elect vociferously denied Republicans want to curb or deny contraceptives to America’s women.  He doesn’t know a single Republican who thinks that way.  He quipped that he has two daughters, and he’s glad he doesn’t have seventeen.  However, you cannot own, change, or destroy a damaging narrative, if you don’t respond. First, win the argument, then you win the election – which is what Senator-Elect Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee plan to do in the U.S. Senate.

Global Governance vs. National Sovereignty

The International Conference on Global Governance vs. National Sovereignty, sponsored by American Freedom Alliance, concluded Monday in Los Angeles CA.

The chief question posed at the Conference’s opening: Is Global Governance vs. National Sovereignty the West’s next ideological war?

John Bolton, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN gave Sunday morning’s Keynote Speech. Ambassador Bolton spoke from first hand experience, sharing front line knowledge accumulated through years of engagement in international diplomacy. He not only gave definition to the term “the Global Governance Movement”, he also described its agenda, which is to subvert national sovereignty in favor of a supranational authority through the invention and initiation of international laws and norms.

After his speech, Ambassador Bolton welcomed Dr. John Fonte, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institution, John Yoo, Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkley, Steven Groves, the Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow at the Heritage Institute’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, and Michael Shaw, guiding attorney for Freedom Advocates.org to the stage. The five elaborated intelligently on the consequences of increasing subservience by sovereign nations to the ideology of Global Governance. Both the political makeup and the ideological activism of the UN were indicted.

Following morning breakout sessions focused on:

  • Non-governmental organizations as purveyors of Global Governance
  • The Green Movement, Agenda 21, Global Warming alarmism and Global Governance
  • Who will control the Internet and who will control the seas

The afternoon was kicked off by a Keynote Speech by President Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic. President Klaus spoke directly of the prospects of Global Governance and its European variant, the European Union. Drawing upon his experience as a leader of a former Soviet bloc country, President Klaus warned against the threat of independent sovereign states surrendering control to an un-elected, unaccountable extra-national governing body in a distant capitol.

Larry Greenfield, National Executive Director of the Jewish Institution for National Security Affairs, invited Robert O’Brien, Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office of Arent Fox LLP, Donald Kochan, Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law and Elan Journo, a fellow in foreign policy at the Ayn Rand Institute into a discussion about the politicization of international law and its impact on national sovereignty. Global and international law were identified as both threats to and the means by which national sovereignty is undermined.

Subsequent to afternoon breakout sessions focusing on:

  • The demonization/diminishment of the United States and Israel as a chief Global Governance strategy
  • Law-fare, international humanitarian law and their role in undermining sovereignty
  • The role of Islam in fostering and encouraging Global Governance

The Honorable John Howard, Australia’s 25th Prime Minister gave the day’s concluding Keynote Speech. The former Prime Minister discussed the concept of the nation state and why it still matters to countries that enjoy governance by popularly elected representative governments.

Sunday’s last panel, featuring President Klaus, Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel, John Yoo and John Fonte discussed whether or not liberal democracies have the strength and will to defend their national sovereignty. The endurance of strong constitutions and distinct cultural identities were viewed as key elements in an ongoing uphill struggle by sovereign nation-states against the intrusions of Global Governance. Panelists considered these elements necessary to fending off the introduction and implementation of transnational ambitions by proponents of Global Governance.

The Conference reconvened Monday morning with a spirited discussion concerned with using the political process and judicial system to thwart and defeat Global Governance activism. A distinctly academic intellectual discussion about whether Constitutional Law was robust enough to prevent the political branches of government from violating the Constitution through treaties whose provisions conflict with constitutional guarantees was initiated by Eugene Volokh, professor of law at UCLA School of Law. Professor Volokh gave an extensive portrayal of why the introduction of Sharia Law into the American judicial system is not threatening U.S. Constitutional rule of law. His observations were challenged by Larry Greenfield, Steven Groves and by John Yoo. Professor Volokh’s defense of his position was based primarily on viewing individual situations and circumstances as singular, isolated potential constitutional violations easily rationalized away by equating Islam’s ambitions to those of other, more benign religious institutions found in America. This approach was resounding rejected by Stephen Coughlin, a fellow of the American Freedom Alliance, who successfully portrayed the fallacy of ignoring the global dominance agenda openly preached and taught by proponents of Islamic global dominance under Sharia Law. Mr. Coughlin’s remarks received applause from Conference attendees.

After an address by Professor Mike Farris of Patrick Henry University on how Global Governance threatens the nuclear family through international laws and treaties, the Conference concluded with a reading of and discussion about the Conference Declaration.

The Declaration of Los Angeles: Sovereignty, Democracy and Individual Rights are Indivisible.

We, the undersigned, do hereby append our signatures to the statement below and declare:

THAT national sovereignty, constitutional democracy and the protection of individual rights are indivisible.

THAT constitutional democratic representative government is the most successful political system ever devised by the human mind.

THAT democratic self-government has only existed—and can only exist—within the sovereign liberal democratic nation state in which the people rule themselves.

THAT the principles of liberty, national independence and democratic self-government as articulated in Britain’s establishment of parliamentary democracy, the founding of the American republic, the establishment of the state of Israel, the achievement of dominion status in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the traditional national sovereignty of European democracies, and the continuing growth of liberal democracy in Asia, Latin America and Africa, are superior to any forms of global governance.

THAT the assertion of constitutional government’s obsolescence and decline is utterly false.

THAT while international cooperation should be encouraged and international treaties respected, no supranational authority which claims jurisdiction over liberal democratic states without the consent of the governed should be accepted.

THAT non-governmental organizations which purport to represent an international constituency do not have the legal or political authority to speak for the citizens of liberal democratic nation states, only democratically elected representatives have such legitimate democratic authority.

THAT the constitutions of our respective nations remain the supreme and inalienable law of our lands and if ever a conflict arises between our respective constitutions and any form of supranational authority (such as interpretations of international law, rulings of the United Nations, judgements of international courts, etc.), our Constitutions and constitutional principles will always prevail.

THAT we call on leaders of democratic nation states to reject the demands of transnational advocates to subsume domestic law to international law and stand together with us in upholding the principles of national sovereignty while rejecting the claims and arguments of global governance advocates.

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