Whenever we think we have five votes for the Constitution on anything, at least one of the "conservative" justices may be counted on to go into the tank. Did we really think it would be different with Georgiebird's (Bush the Lesser’s) first pick for the high court sitting as chief justice?
So this time it wasn't Justice Kennedy. And both "Diva" David Souter and Slippery Sandra (and rarely Cassandra) Day O'Connor are gone. So Roberts did the ignoble deed.
In a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the main provisions of the “ObamaCare” healthcare law, including the penalty for non-compliance with the mandate that uninsured persons purchase health insurance by 2014. The Court upheld the mandate on the strength of the taxing power of Congress, but not before writing another chapter in the Court’s often tortured and zigzag interpretations of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
A lot of ink has been spilled in the past several days over Sunday's 40th anniversary of the famous break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. For nearly a year the major media appeared to accept then-Attorney General and future prison inmate John Mitchell's description of the event as a "third-rate burglary" by some pro-Nixon knight-errants in a vain effort to get some "dirt" on the opposition. Little more was heard of the break-in for the rest of 1972, and it surely did no harm to Nixon's political fortunes as the President that November carried 49 states, 10 years to the day after losing an election for Governor in California and his announcement to reporters that they would not "have Nixon to kick around anymore." It was the completion of one of the greatest comebacks in American political history.
In a very real sense, however, the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from the White House, did not start — or end — with Nixon.
His brooding countenance stares out at us from a prominent place on the newsstand. Chances are you will not recognize the face. At first glance you might think it's the return of Alan Greenspan, the man who's sober stewardship of the Federal Reserve System included a memorable description of the stock market's "irrational exuberance." The large print on the cover of Time magazine calls him "THE DECIDER." Well, that could be Mr. Greenspan, who decided interest rates and money supply for many years. But no, the cover tells us that title goes to Justice Anthony Kennedy, most often the "swing vote" in an evenly and ideologically divided court that resolves many disputes in 5-4 decisions. Since the four liberals and four conservatives vote in generally predictable patterns, Kennedy's unpredictable vote is the lever of power, potentially deciding everything, as the cover tells us with anxious anticipation, "from gay marriage to ObamaCare."
The movie For Greater Glory depicts the story of Mexico's Cristero War in the 1920s, when a peasant army fought bravely for their religious freedom against a militantly secular, anti-Catholic regime. The film version, like the actual history, provides an inspiring example of what heroic virtue in action looks like.
This Memorial Day, before we further decorate the earth with more graves of more young Americans, let us pause to consider who really "supports the troops." Is it the architects of our policy of perpetual war? Is it those who are eager to send young Americans to die in other people's quarrels or even for other nations' imperial ambitions, all under the endlessly "entangling alliances" of the United Nations and NATO? Or is it those who do not want to put American soldiers in harm's way except when necessary to defend our own country and liberties?
“Duty, Honor, Country,” Douglas MacArthur solemnly intoned in 1962 to the cadets at West Point , invoking the three words that summed up the cadets’ calling. On that occasion, MacArthur shared his understanding of the West Point motto in language so moving and eloquent that, according to at least one observer, "there wasn't a dry eye in the place" and you could "visualize exactly what he was talking about" — and almost hear and feel it.
What did "Duty, Honor, Country" mean to MacArthur during his long military career? What should those three hallowed words mean to us today?
That Barack Obama has "evolved" into a President promoting "marriage equality," meaning the "right" to a legally recognized same-sex marriage, was the "history-making event" of the past week. Less historic, perhaps, but no less significant is the fact that less than four years ago, Senator Barack Obama, then the Democratic Party's candidate for President, was asked by Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Civil Forum, "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"
Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite, captured more than 60 percent of the vote in the Indiana Republican primary to oust longtime U.S. Senator Richard Lugar — demonstrating the clout of the Tea Party and sending a strong message to the establishment wing of the Republican Party.