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Saturday, December 16, 2017

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The American People hit the Lotto - Justice Gorsuch!


There is a 100% likelihood that, someday, I will disagree with a ruling by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but that day has yet to come. Justice Gorsuch is the shining pinnacle of President Trump’s kept promises to the people. We’ve seen his opinions start to come to light, and so far, they are a conservative’s dream. Justice Gorsuch has become fast friends with Justices Thomas and Alito. He has not turned out to be a “moderate swing vote,” as has his SCOTUS mentor, Justice Kennedy, for whom he at one time clerked.

Massive Implications – And They are Good!

This week, the court, in a 7-2 decision over the loud howls of Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, reversed a Missouri court’s ruling that a Lutheran church could not apply for a government grant for a safe playground surface solely because it was a religious institution. Justice Gorsuch generally agreed with the court, but argued in a concurring opinion that the opinion should have gone farther. He forcefully advocated the notion that the government cannot deny funding to religious institutions unless the institution expressly plans to use it to fund religious activities.

He referenced a previous case Locke v. Davey, where government funding could not be used by a student to finance his divinity degree, using these words: “But can it really matter whether the restriction in Locke was phrased in terms of use instead of status (for was it a student who wanted a vocational degree in religion? or was it a religious student who wanted the necessary education for his chosen vocation?).”

That reasoning breathes new life into the “free exercise” of religion. Now, government is no longer merely enjoined from constraining the mere adherence to religion Government can no longer impinge upon the right of the religious to exercise their beliefs! Justice Gorsuch and the conservative majority of the court have inverted the court’s previous hostility to government funding going to anything even remotely religious. That has wide-ranging implications.

Using Justice Gorsuch’s reasoning, which is it: A voucher being used to teach religious education to children, or is it a voucher being used to teach religious children in the school that they and or their parents choose? The latter construction of the law permits the family to tender school vouchers to Catholic, Christian, Jewish or Islamic schools without restriction, so that religious parents can see to it that their children are taught as the parents see fit. That is a huge leap forward away from government’s recent hostility to religion.

That leap shall go even further, as the court has signaled by taking on the bakery-gay-wedding case. If we get a 6-3 or 7-2 vote favoring the bakery, then the logical end of that ruling would go much further than mere cake-baking. The court’s holding could easily result in this: that government cannot use vouchers as bludgeons to cause religious schools to change their standards – or even their doctrines – by denying them to the school based on its insistence that students abide the school’s faith-based qualifications and rules. The court could finally separate the freedom of religious exercise from the millstone of unlawful discrimination against protected groups. The implications are massive and constitute a potential massive rightward swing – right into the bliss of renewed liberty.

The Resurrection of Our Liberty

I’ve often speculated that the decapitation of our liberty would be achieved with the sword of ever-expanding anti-discrimination laws. By expanding the number of protected groups and the extent of those laws to private entities (under the guise of their being “public accommodations”), the government could efficiently and ruthlessly punish all religious exercise as “discriminatory.” That fits with the leftist model of silencing dissent with spurious accusations of bigotry. However, now, we have a shelter from this evil construction of the law that treats one form of bigotry as the enforcement of equal opportunity against an imaginary second form of putative bigotry.

Justice Gorsuch has already showed himself to be willing to move decisively in defense of the constitution. Pundits considered him a good, but somewhat risky, replacement for the late great Justice Scalia. Their fears must certainly be laid to rest after the decisions of the last two weeks. A greater than Scalia is here.

President Trump has Already Earned Re-Election!

Standing alone, the nomination of Justice Gorsuch is such an outstanding act that President Trump deserves re-election on this alone. He has rescued this country from a cannonball-dive into a pit of dystopic evil. Do you think that Hillary Clinton would have nominated anyone even a hair to the right of Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg? If Hillary were president, we would be in a horror-era where an all-powerful government would choke and constrain religious liberty solely to what one believes in private. The Gay-wedding-vs-baker case would have been refused certiorari or exposed to a 5-4 loss. Now, that case is on the edge of a 6-3 win, with Justice Breyer susceptible to being won over to get a 7-2 margin.

The dream scenario would, of course, be that President Trump gets to replace justices Kennedy, Ginsburg and Breyer with solid conservatives under 60. In his first term. Conservatives would hold a 7-2 majority with young justices. Time to pray for just that.

The American people just won the lotto with Justice Neil Gorsuch!