Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama’s D.C. appeals court nominee equated pro-lifers with Ku Klux Klan

From Powerline blog, a look at the record of Obama’s latest judicial nominee.

She opposed the church invoking the First Amendment as a defense to government intervention in hiring decisions:

Only four Republican Senators out of eight on the Committee asked questions today. Ranking Member Grassley (and later Sen. Cruz) inquired about a statement Pillard made regarding Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC. In that case, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 9-0, found that the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their churches under the anti-employment discrimi­nation laws, because churches and other religious groups must be free to choose their leaders without government interference.

Prior to the decision, Pillard wrote that the position of the defendant church represents “a substantial threat to the American rule of law.” This statement was the focus of questions by Grassley and Cruz.

Pillard tried to side-step the inquiry by confessing that she is an imperfect predictor of how the Supreme Court will rule (she was referring to a statement she had also made that “the big news will be if the Court decides [the case] for the Church”). This was a cynical evasion.

The problem is not Pillard’s failure to predict how the Court would rule; the problem was her radical position that the church’s invocation of its First Amendment rights substantially threatens the rule of law. Pillard was unwilling to defend this position, so she dodged the question.

The significance of the 9-0 vote in favor of the church is not Pillard’s failure to anticipate it. The significance lies in the fact that she took a position too radical for any of the Court’s liberals to adopt. In fact, according to Cruz, Justice Kagan described the government’s position in the case, which Pillard supported, as “amazing.”

She compared pro-lifers to the Ku Klux Klan:

Pillard did no better with a question from Senator Lee about her argument that anti-abortion protesters are comparable to the members of the Ku Klux Klan who were the subject of the anti-KKK post-civil war statute. Pillard made this argument in the context of litigation trying to use that statute against anti-abortion protesters.

Pillard testified today that the comparison is “not at all fair.” She explained that she had been forced to rely the anti-Klan law because there was nothing else on the books with which to go after militant anti-abortion protesters (Pillard hoped to use RICO, but the Supreme Court had shot theory that down). Pillard assured Sen. Lee that, because Congress has since passed legislation to deal with such protesters, there is no longer a need to use the anti-Klan law.

 

She opposes federalism, one of the biggest causes of American prosperity:

Finally, Sen. Flake questioned Pillard about her “transnationalism” referred to in my earlier report. He asked her about a statement in which, apparently, she indicated that international law provides a promising source of new rights for U.S. citizens, now that recognized domestic sources of such rights may be largely exhausted.

Pillard said she doesn’t agree with this view. She testified that she merely trying to explain to a Swiss audience the difference between our system and the system to which Europeans are accustomed. Specifically, she was trying to explain that we have a federal system.

I don’t have the statement that Sen. Flake was referring to, and thus cannot yet evaluate the plausibility of Pillard’s explanation of it. I can say, however, that Pillard is a less than ideal candidate to be explaining federalism to foreigners or anyone else. For she views “the federalism impulse” as a “sort of demonization of government” and an “effort to impede the ability of government to govern.”

Here’s more on her record from Life News.

Excerpt:

Among some of her greatest hits, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General argues that abortion is necessary to help “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” As if her militant feminism wasn’t apparent enough, she takes the opportunity in some of her writings to slam anyone who opposes the abortion-contraception mandate as “reinforce[ing] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

A mother of two, Nina wrote a 2011 paper, “Against the New Maternalism,” which argues that by celebrating motherhood, society is creating a “self-fulfilling cycle of discrimination.” Those ideas bleed into Pillard’s extreme pro-abortion views, which suggest that technology is somehow manipulating Americans to consider the personhood of the unborn. In one of her most jaw-dropping statements, the President’s nominee even criticizes the ultrasound. She believes it manufactures “deceptive images of fetus-as-autonomous-being that the anti-choice movement has popularized since the advent of amniocentesis.”

As crazy and outrageous as her other comments are, this one is a denial of basic biology! She actually rejects modern science on human development because it conflicts with her hard-core ideology. If that doesn’t disqualify someone from the second most prestigious court in America, I’m not sure what does. Except maybe this: Pillard is so fiercely opposed to abstinence education that she has said publicly she would declare it unconstitutional. In “Our Other Reproductive Choices,” Nina argues that abstinence-only curriculum is “permeated with stereotyped messages and sex-based double standards” which, in her mind, makes it “vulnerable to an equal protection challenge.”

Wow, you can really tell a lot about Obama’s views on churches and pro-lifers from his judicial nominees, can’t you?

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Chuck Hagel hammered for pro-Iran, anti-Israel statements

(Video H/T American Power Blog)

Fox News reports on the Senate hearings to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Excerpt:

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured a barrage of criticism Thursday during his all-day confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, challenged repeatedly by Republican lawmakers about his past positions on Israel, Iran, Iraq and other issues he’d be sure to confront at the helm of the Pentagon.

The former Nebraska Republican senator was compelled under questioning to walk back a series of past statements, including one in which he complained about the “Jewish lobby.” He had several sparring partners throughout the day, but was questioned perhaps most aggressively by fellow Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain and freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans.

Hagel was caught by surprise when Cruz played two tapes from appearances on Al Jazeera — one of which showed him not challenging a caller who accused Israel of war crimes, another in which he appeared to agree with the assertion that America is “the world’s bully.”

Of the Israel interview, Cruz said: “The caller suggests that the nation of Israel has committed war crimes, and your response to that was not to dispute that characterization.” He then asked Hagel directly whether he thinks Israel has committed war crimes.

“No, I do not,” Hagel said, while saying he wanted to see the “full context” of the interview.

Cruz called the war-crimes suggestion “particularly offensive given that the Jewish people suffered under the most horrific war crimes in the Holocaust.”

“I would also suggest,” he continued, “that for … a prospective secretary of Defense not to take issue with that claim is highly troubling.”

Cruz then played the tape of Hagel being asked about the perception and “reality” that America is the world’s bully. Hagel could be heard calling the point a “good one.”

Cruz said the answer is “not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of Defense.”

At other times in the hearings, Hagel was also asked about his previous opposition to sanctions against Iran, his desire to let Iran have nuclear weapons and then “contain” them, and his support for eliminating nuclear arms (note that ours are the only ones he could eliminate). In short, the man is a naive left-wing radical who makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton. Why would anyone vote for him to have control of our military?

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Ex-Planned Parenthood board member confirmed to 9th circuit court of appeals

From Life News.

Excerpt:

Last week, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Alaska Supreme Court Justice Morgan Christen to become a member of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,one of the most left-wing federal appeals courts in the nation.

The confirmation has President Barack Obama adding yet another pro-abortion judge to the nation’s judicial system. Although Christen had to wait months to be confirmed, she will now serve on a court that will decide pro-life legislation coming from Pacific Coast states — usually declaring it unconstitutional.

[...]When she submitted her application to become a state Supreme Court justice, Christen made no mention of the fact that she is a former board member of Planned Parenthood and served the pro-abortion group in the mid 1990s.

In his statement announcing Christen’s nomination, Obama said, “I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the United States Court of Appeals. I am confident Justice Morgan Christen will serve the American people with integrity and distinction.”

[...]The Alaska Planned Parenthood organization on which Christen served has been a vocal opponent of pro-life legislation at the state capital — most notably opposing repeated attempts by state legislators to pass parental notification and consent legislation allowing parents to know when their minor daughter is considering an abortion and requiring Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion business, to obtain permission from the girl’s parents beforehand.

Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion President in the history of the United States.

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Obama’s Supreme Court nominee gave money to pro-abortion group

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

…Kagan has revealed her pro-abortion loyalties by contributing financially to the pro-abortion National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF), reported Americans United for Life Wednesday.

NPWF, according to its own website, works “to increase women’s access to quality, confidential reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights and reverse hard-won gains.” The organization goes on to specify “contraceptive services and supplies, sexuality education, [and] abortion services” as among its top concerns.

In addition, wrote AUL, NPWF senior advisor Judith Lichtman “wholeheartedly” supported Kagan’s nomination in a letter, saying the Solicitor General was a “friend and colleague.” Lichtman, a radical supporter of abortion, has said that “efforts to limit coverage of abortion services are really attempts to deny women access to health care services,” according to AUL.

NPWF has deep connections among the most powerful pro-abortion lobby groups in the country: NPWF President Debra L. Ness serves on the Board of Directors at Emily’s List, a group dedicated to helping pro-abortion female politicians win elections, and once worked as deputy director of NARAL. NPWF Board Chairwoman Ellen Malcolm was the founder of Emily’s List.

Obama is the most pro-abortion president we’ve ever had. So it makes sense that he would nominate a radical pro-abortion candidate.

Democrats are the party of abortion. If you don’t like abortion, don’t vote for Democrats.

But is she a socialist, too?

Erick Erickson of Red State has a PDF of her college thesis on socialism. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

This proves Elena Kagan is an open and avowed socialist. The woman declares that socialists must stick together instead of fracture in order to advance a socialist agenda, which Kagan advocates.

Obama the tax and spend socialist picked a socialist to be his nominee to the Supreme Court. Makes sense.

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Obama’s TSA nominee withdraws after lying to Congress about abuse of power

Story from Yahoo News.  (H/T Ed Morissey of Hot Air)

Excerpt:

The Obama administration’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name Wednesday.

In a statement, Erroll Southers said he was pulling out because his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda. President Barack Obama tapped Southers, a former FBI agent, to lead the TSA in September but his confirmation has been blocked by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who says he was worried Southers would allow TSA employees to engage in collective bargaining with the government.

Questions have also been raised about a reprimand that Southers received for running background checks on his then-estranged wife’s boyfriend two decades ago. Southers wrote a letter to lawmakers earlier this month acknowledging that he had given inconsistent answers to Congress on that issue.

Ed Morrissey writes:

There were at least three reasons why Southers’ nomination was going nowhere in the Senate.  When Congress created TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, it exempted both from labor laws that allowed unions to organize the workers, in order to avoid having labor problems disrupt national-security efforts.  Southers was seen as an appointee who would push for unionization by Senator Jim DeMint, among others, who held the nomination in order to get clearer answers from the Obama administration on their intentions.  That hold got lifted shortly after the Christmas Day bombing when the Obama administration complained that the Senate had prevented Obama from providing leadership to TSA, but Obama had taken eight months to nominate Southers in the first place.

It was at that time that Southers finally admitted that he had misled Congress during his confirmation process on his involvement in breaching privacy laws to investigate his wife’s boyfriend.  That involved two issues of trust: accountability to Congress and the security of private information being held by the government.  Not only did Southers himself twice breach the data, he also disseminated it — which is a felony, although long past the statute of limitations, presumably.  The Senate should not look kindly on appointees who begin their jobs by lying to Congress, and multiple holds replaced the DeMint hold as a result.  That has nothing to do with “political agendas,” but with Southers’ suitability for the job.

Another one bites the dust. Here’s a few of the previous failures.

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