Denialism And The Courts

Mitch McConnell has made no bones about his highest priority–capturing the judiciary for his version of “conservatism,” and–at this. juncture, with continued control of the Senate in considerable doubt–super-charging the confirmation of nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The likely confirmation of Barrett (who reminds me of one of the Stepford Wives), a perfect replica of a 1950’s “lady” but “new and improved” with a law degree, has been the focus of much speculation. Her ascension to the court would accomplish the dearest wish of the GOP base– a lopsided 6-3 Court majority for their brand of conservatism. A recent article from New York Magazine is representative.Titled “Trump’s New Supreme Court is Coming for the Next Dozen Elections,” the article points to the likely consequences for electoral politics:

When Judge Amy Coney Barrett sits for questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee in mid-October, no doubt Democrats will pepper her with questions about whether she would recuse herself in any Trump v.Biden election lawsuit to come before the Supreme Court. Although that’s an important question to ask, perhaps the bigger question is what it wouldmean in the long run for voting and election cases to have a sixth conservative justice on the Supreme Court.

In short, a Barrett confirmation would make it more likely we will see a significant undermining of the already weakened Voting Rights Act — the Court said on Friday it will hear a case involving the law. A 6-3 conservative Court might allow unlimited undisclosed money in political campaigns; give more latitude to states to suppress votes, especially those of minorities; protect partisan gerrymandering from reform efforts; and strengthen the representation of rural white areas, which would favor Republicans.

Other predicted consequences include striking down the Affordable Care Act and–of course–overruling Roe v. Wade.

There is a measure of uncertainty about the extent to which COVID will complicate McConnell’s super-charged timeline. (I don’t wish hospitalization or death  on anyone, but given the irresponsibility of the President and GOP, I don’t think it’s wrong to hope for a couple of weeks of extreme discomfort and an inability to participate in deliberations/votes.) Lindsey Graham, who heads the committee has refused to take a COVID test despite several incidents of exposure–presumably to avoid having to isolate and thus delay the hearings.

The likelihood of Barrett’s confirmation has generated serious discussion about a Biden Administration adding Justices to the Supreme Court. Although the media has labeled that possibility “court packing,” law and courts scholars have discussed adding Justices and similar reforms (having federal appellate judges “rotate” onto the Court for specific periods or cases, term limits for Justices, etc.) for years–long before Trump’s assault on judicial independence. For that matter, the Judicial Conference has noted the need for additional judges  in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The effects of increasing caseloads without a corresponding increase in judges are profound,” wrote Judge Brian Miller of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on behalf of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He continued:

Delays increase expenses for civil litigants and may increase the length of time criminal defendants are held pending trial. Substantial delays lead to lack of respect for the Judiciary and the judicial process. The problem is so severe that potential litigants may be avoiding federal court altogether.

Whatever actually happens, I want to make a point I’ve not seen discussed: the arguably incorrect labelling of Justices like Alito and Thomas, and nominees like Barrett–not to mention some of the Neanderthals McConnell has placed on lower courts–as “Conservative.”

Conservatives want to preserve values that they believe are necessary to the social order; they are consequently cautious about change or innovation. People of good will can and do debate which values meet that definition and why, and “caution” about change is not the same thing as “adamant opposition.’ (If you are interested in seeing what actual, responsible conservatism looks like, visit the site of the Niskanen Center.)

The people McConnell’s GOP has placed on our courts aren’t conservative in the time-honored meaning of that term. If anything, they’re radical. To appropriate a phrase used by historian Stephanie Coons, they want to return to “the way we never were,” a fondly-remembered, wholly fictionalized White Christian America in which the “little woman” dutifully attended her husband, LGBTQ people were in the closet back behind the coats, and dark-skinned folks “knew their place.”

We are in a period of paradigm shift, and a substantial portion of our fellow citizens are–as the saying goes–standing athwart history yelling stop.

To call those people “conservatives” is unfair to the genuine article.


  1. Nearly every day In the last 4 years something has happened that reminds me of what Robert F. Kennedy said in 1964: “There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.”

  2. So glad i come here for Sheilas view,and humor. nothing funny about the pick for SC. but i’m more informed of the other choices the mcconnell clan has made.. talking with the trumpers i deal with, none of them,i mean on one, has a clue about appellate courts are,or how they work. with mcconnell need to stop so called frivolous and corp suits, the trumpers are clueless.. how the hell they graduated from elementary school, is a wonder.{o.k. clash on me} but then again it maybe,that schools have to much leeway in what they teach,and “who’s ” curriculum is taught. i see the biggest failures in drivers ed.. (everyone)…the recent court nominee is, by far the step ford wife of the year award.. i can see the religious right now owning the election and having a wet dream.. gotta make everyone tow the whip,er line now… gotta make America a puritan country, gotta make the little people fear, gotta make bread, before hubby comes home…

  3. “Whatever actually happens, I want to make a point I’ve not seen discussed: the arguably incorrect labelling of Justices like Alito and Thomas, and nominees like Barrett–not to mention some of the Neanderthals McConnell has placed on lower courts–as “Conservative.”

    Clarence Thomas, or “Uncle Thomas” as Earl Kennedy called him, should never have been seated on the Supreme Court after the bogus hearing into his denial of harassing Anita Hill. It was not as blatantly ruled by Republicans as was the Kavannaugh fiasco with the follow-up “investigation” using Trump’s rules, but the results were the same. It was a different time and place but Thomas will more than likely soon be joined by Amy Coney Barrett to decide our futures.

    All of this could have been prevented if the Republicans sitting in the Senate who put McConnell in charge of their schedules and obviously their consciences as evidenced by their keeping him in control of doing nothing, would remove him from his controlling position. Are they hoping the people in Kentucky will do that for them? The Constitution of the United States of America clearly outlines the duties and RESPONSIBILITIES of all members of the Legislature; they have all taken the Oath of Office but allow McConnell to prevent them from taking action and carrying out their Oaths. IF THERE ARE CURRENTLY ANY REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO CARRY OUT THEIR OATH OF OFFICE. The few who have spoken against the current system take no action to change it. And Pence is lurking in the shadows waiting for his time and SCOTUS support to put his Indiana religious-based laws in affect at the federal level as he promised to do in his campaign.

    Will this Supreme Court appointment be Trump and McConnell’s “swan song” or will they continue their self-proclaimed “conservative” mafia rule and are we facing a second Civil War which will make the first one look like a schoolyard fight?

  4. Seven of the last eight presidential elections, Democrats have won the popular vote. That takes us all the way back to 1992 when Bill Clinton beat George H W Bush. People have continued to voice their opinions on the courts and they have expressed a center-left position. However we find ourselves in a solid conservative court.
    I believe Democrats must pack the courts so they properly reflect the will of the people.

  5. This and last night’s Letter From An American by HCR make a nice pair of bookends on this topic. I usually avoid making comments about a woman’s appearance but I find ACB’s unsettling in that she has that same vacuous gaze in her eyes that former Rep. Michelle Bachman had. It is impossible for me to accept that anything but religious dogma will inform her judicial decisions.

    But if radicalism on SCOTUS is what the GOP wants then the opposition party should bring it. 13 judges, term-limits, rotating judges, nothing should be left off the table. Perhaps Congress will wake up and realize just how much power they’ve ceded to the other two branches over the last 70 years and reassert itself as a co-equal branch.

  6. The judges in the lower courts would want the higher court to be more fair and just, or their courts will just become stepping stones for the Oligarchs. Let’s face it; money gets cases through the judicial systems. Lobbyists and Oligarchs have access. If you have access to lots of cash, you seemingly get to make the rules. 😉

    All the right-wing propagandists are going nuts on Twitter over Biden’s refusal to answer the question about “packing the courts.” They are saying it’s “unfair to voters.”

    I would say the left-wing propagandists just assume people who follow the Democratic Party can see through the crap being flung by Fox News, etc.

    The best response I have seen came from Facebook, and it was not signed. It was a rather lengthy response, but the gist of it had the Democrats on the judiciary committee ask ACB actual questions about Trump’s behavior over the past four years to see how she’ll answer using the law. I found the column very logical and will actually put ACB on the spot with her appointee watching and the public watching every answer. It would be very awkward for her.

    If ACB is appointed, then adding jurists to the high court should be implemented immediately. I also think SCOTUS should recommend how best to choose justices in the future to choose the most qualified judges as opposed to politically appointed hacks.

  7. I don’t recall either Alito or Thomas ever being the author of any significant majority opinion and it seems unlikely that they will be outdone by Kavanaugh, so essentially we have three nothing-burgers on the court now. Why not just add a forth? I’m not sure if the backlog the court faces is due to too few judges or too few competent judges.

  8. As a follow up to my previous post, here are the backers of ACB. Anyone surprised?:

    “One of Barrett’s biggest backers outside of America First Action (Big Energy) is Americans For Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers. Since its founding in 2004, Americans For Prosperity has been decidedly opposed to environmental policies.”

  9. Disciples of Ayn Rand, and she was such a hypocrite.

    This is a prime example of how free will can be corrupted and religion co-opted for that purpose.

    when it’s all said and done, religion should have no debate in the political realm. those things should be left in the privacy of ones domicile. What one does behind their closed doors is that person’s business as long as it does not impact the sanctity of human life and rights.

    Religion has always been used as a bludgeon and a wedge by those who don’t believe in the religion anyway. If they believed and being a Good Samaritan so to speak, they wouldn’t be doing these things! Their conduct diametrically opposes their current belief system.

    The hypocrisy runs deep! But it’s more than hypocrisy, it is damnable conduct and evil on its best day.

    There’s going to be recompense for much of this, and there’s going to be a lot of wailing when it happens.

  10. Congress must pass a bill that the Supreme Court cannot nullify a law that Congress has passed without a majority vote of at least seven Justices.

  11. The most non-partisan way to regularly “cleanse” all the Federal courts would be a retirement age requirement, say 70, put into effect in 2021. Thomas is 72, Alito is 70.

  12. I am disgusted with the way the Supreme Court which is supposed to be nonpartisan has been packed by Republicans not just this year but for many years. This has led to their assertion that money is free speech and corporations are persons. In my opinion, that is not an originalist interpretation. I doubt that the founders thought of businesses as persons or money as free speech.

    I am disgusted that Trump and Pence are asking Biden if he would “pack” the court. They accuse him of planning to do what they have already done. If he increased the # of justices to 11, he would probably plan to aim for a more balanced court.

    I can only hope that they do not over turn the ACA. That would be devastating for so many of my fellow citizens.

    I have heard that 47,000 women are running for office this year. I think we women are fed up with the radical right who want us back in the kitchen taking medication for depression because we cannot fully actualize ourselves. They also want poor women to have no access to abortion. They should all be made to watch the last season of “Call the Midwife” which clearly demonstrates different ways women become victims of laws forbidding abortion. Should Roe v Wade be over turned, people will have to volunteer to transport women to another state(maybe Illinois) where abortion is legal. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

    We have to keep voting blue. It will take years for us to undo the damage that Trump and the radical right have done.

  13. Religion for Amy Coney Barrett is a smoke screen for the GOP. It is an important issue in the sense of will her religious beliefs color her judicial rulings. What I mean is the GOP will try to make her hearings about her religion.

    From the Guardian:

    “Free exercise” religion clause of the first amendment of the constitution. Findings from a survey I conducted suggest that the outcome in some subsets of religious freedom cases track political affiliation to a staggering degree.

    I surveyed every merits-based federal court decision pertaining to a free exercise challenge to a stay-at-home order.

    The findings are staggering: 0% of Democrat-appointed judges have sided with a religious institution; the vast majority (67%) of Republican-appointed judges have sided with a religious institution; and 0% of Trump-appointed judges have ruled against religious institutions. In other words, all Trump-appointed judges have sided with religious institutions and all Democrat-appointed judges have sided with the state or city government.

    To be sure, my sample set – 74 cases – is not enormous. But the ability to predict to such a high degree the outcome of cases implicating the same free exercise question (in remarkably similar contexts) is illuminating. It suggests that Covid-19 has produced not only a partisan divide in the courts, but also that freedom of religion itself has become dramatically politicized.

    From Todd’s link she (Amy Coney Barrett) has only been a judge for three years.

    From Wiki:

    On May 8, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Three Democrats—Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine, and Joe Manchin—voting for her. Tim Kaine by the way was the Democratic candidate for VP in 2016.

    I wonder how many others nominated for the US Supreme Court have had as little experience as Barrett has as judge????

  14. Instead of going after Barrett for her radicalism, let’s talk about how she considers herself a disciple of Antonin Scalia, an advocate of Originalism, the most puerile philosophy ever propounded by a member of the Court. According to Wikipedia, Originalism, the answer Scalia’s brain came up with on every legal issue, is “… a concept regarding the interpretation of the Constitution that asserts that all statements in the constitution must be interpreted based on the original understanding of the authors or the people at the time it was ratified.” Aren’t they the same men who failed to acknowledge the existence of women’s rights in our founding document? Would those be the same authors who accepted the notion that Blacks were 3/5ths of a person? Anyone see any problems in that? Would that be the identical people who agreed to the formation of an Electoral College, thus assuring that the country would be ruled by a minority on many occasions? Would those honorable men include the Southern view that almost rejected the notion of joining in a union that didn’t approve of slavery? Would that be the sum total of the notions enshrined in the world’s first attempt at constitutional democracy? Did they believe they had accomplished perfection on their first try? Did the founders foresee that whole wings of churches would become political actors and try to impose their will on the rest of us and that a conservative Supreme Court would do its best to help them? Did their beliefs include holding that the Supreme Court would authorize blatant purchases of high office in its Citizens United ruling? Did they think that some judges would be such committed ideologues that any school child could predict their votes on 95% of all issues? And isn’t that the same court that failed to include provisions that would prevent an ignorant authoritarian from being elected president and undermining and dividing America with his ineptitude and cruelty? Or that sycophants would corrupt the Senate in a way that made constructive legislation impossible? Or that some Congressmen would control that august body by virtue of remaining in office so long that their understanding of our world would petrify? Or that the richest people in the country could combine to buy a government that would enable them to avoid paying taxes? And even if Originalism weren’t absurd, who gave Scalia the superpower of reading the minds of masses of dead people born in the 18th century?

    That of course, is only a shortlist of the points that undisputedly discredit Originalism and Scalia and his disciples. Perhaps the greatest omission is that 230 years of profound change have taken place altering everything the founders knew about or felt deeply about except the necessity for freedom and self-governance for the people. Anything that opposes those two values should be deemed unconstitutional, yet here we are arguing whether or not a new justice should be approved because she doesn’t approve of health care.

    The Supreme Court is a cynical tool of politicians if it fails the test of fairness and objectivity. If Amy Coney Barrett, nominated because of high Republican confidence that she will tow the line, usurps the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court will be so ideologically rigid as to meet that definition of “useless” for the foreseeable future.

  15. The Thomas-Hill hearing is now decades in the rear view mirror. Unfortunately, the history of that hearing has been rewritten to make it sound like the evidence against Thomas was overwhelming and persuasive…and the Republicans in the Senate just ignored it. That is so far from what really happened.

    That “bogus hearing” on Anita HIll’s accusations against Clarence Thomas was run by then Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden. The Democrats had a majority on the committee and a majority in the Senate. Hill’s accusation was thoroughly heard. It was just due to inconsistences in that testimony, the timing of the claim and the lack of corroborating evidence, people gave the benefit of any doubt to Thomas, which is exactly how it is supposed to work when someone is accused of such behavior. We don’t assume people are guilty and then put the burden on them prove a negative, that something didn’t happen.

    The fact is Thomas had no pattern of behavior as people who sexually harass normally do. The one person who was going to show pattern conduct had a number of credibility problems, so much so that even those opposing Thomas were reluctant to put her on the stand. So Biden cut a deal to get a narrative of her expected testimony read into the record so she wouldn’t have to face cross examination, a favorable deal for the anti-Thomas Senators that Biden is now unfairly vilified for making.

    After hearing from both sides, the American public, including African-Americans, overwhelming believed Thomas, not Hill. Back then there were only 43 Republicans in the Senate.
    Thomas was confirmed because he won the support of 11 Democrats.

    Unfortunately, that sort of character assassination on judicial nominees happened again years later with Kavanaugh, when an unverified 30 year old plus, never before lodged, accusation of sexual assault was leveled against him.

  16. I have friends in the legal profession who vilify strict constructionism and original intent as a guiding judicial philosophy for interpreting the Constitution. They point out that much of the language in the Constitution is archaic and it’s not always easy to ascertain the intent of those who wrote the Constitution and those who ratified it.

    Absolutely true. But does that mean because it’s difficult that it shouldn’t be done?

    I ask my friends in the legal community who oppose strict constructionism/original intent (not fond of the term “originalism”) to articulate the judicial philosophy they think should be followed and you know what I get? Crickets. Nothing. They make valid points about challenges to strict contructionism/original intent, but they cannot articulate a judicial philosophy with which they would replace it. The only thing I can ascertain is they think judges should be free agents, untethered by the actual language or intent, adopting whatever policies they think is best…well as long as those polices are liberal in nature.

  17. Had to wait for the tuneup on my 26 year old car at Pep Boys this morning; luckily got the last copy of the week old, free Weekly View Newspaper. On page 2 was Brian Howey’s column, “Barrett’s confirmation would be a Pence achievement”; interesting article. Especially the Pence/Barrett long time connection regarding abortion and Roe v. Wade view agreement. Howey’s columns have always been on target in the past.

    “…Judge Barrett’s 7th Circuit decision to uphold Indiana’s HEA 1337 that was signed by Gov. Pence in 2016. In signing what was often described as one of the tightest abortion laws in the country, Pence said, HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibitive abortions that are based only on the unborn’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability.” “Judge Barrett ruled Indiana’a law was appropriate.”

    The anti-abortion issue we see in public is across-the-board, all-inclusive of abortion in general. The health issue and a woman’s right to make medical decisions is omitted from Amy Comy Barrett’s and Pence’s religious beliefs on which their HEA 1337 law, and Pence’s RFRA law, are based. Will this issue be raised at Barrett’s nomination hearing this week or will it end as Kavannaugh’s with the foregone conclusion of acceptance. Her religious history is the primary qualification she has to offer and her “hometown” and judicial connection to Pence will assure the Republicans assurance to “pack the court”. This week’s hearing is simply a formality to prevent an appeal of her appointment.

  18. In a microcosm of the election underway the Senate Justice Committee Republicans are arguing for themselves actually politicizing the Supreme Court now as a precaution on Democrats maybe politicizing the court someday.

  19. Paul–You never posed that question to me, but let me answer it now. I actually consider myself an “originalist” in what I think to be the only workable definition of that term. I believe that judges should be faithful to the VALUES that the Founders were trying to protect–and in the vast majority of cases, those values are obvious: the value of expression free of government censorship/control; protection of the individual conscience (again, from government control or favoritism), the right of citizens to go about their business freely unless there is probable cause to search or sieze them, etc. Today’s judiciary must protect those essential values in a world the founders could never have imagined, and people of good will can disagree about the conclusions reached: is affixing a GPS device to a suspects car a “search” that requires a warrant? Is an effort to ban “indecent speech” on the Internet censorship? (I sometimes ask my students what James Madison thought about porn on the Internet–the answer, of course, is that he could never have imagined the internet, but he had pretty well-formed opinions about governmental censorship.

    Today’s judges are–okay, should be–constrained by allegiance to the values the founders were trying to protect–not by the daily realities of the world they inhabited.

  20. Can I Sheila or you somehow repost these thoughts you followed up with on Facebook? They’re essential to be broadly published right now.

  21. Obviously the term “Originalist” has its limitations. Thus the Constitution when giving the Congress the sole power of trade did not include the right to regulate jet planes and the internet, and I think Sheila has correctly stated that originalist identifies the founders’ values as what we are to emulate via a stare decisis/Marbury v. Madison means. However, such a recognition is not necessarily the one a right wing justice may give to what it is we are to emulate, and I am very suspicious of those who under the pretense of originalist are actually and knowlingly throwing their own prejudices (religious, economic etc.) into the fray. However, I am not a mind reader, and I would not earn an A in religious philosophy, so I’ll leave such nuances and suspicions to history.

  22. Strict Constructionism and Originalist these terms can have some meaning. I sometimes think when people use these terms and add in the Federalist Papers they are attempting to use an Ouija Board.

    As others point out when the Constitution was approved women did not have the right to vote and blacks were slaves – property.

    You have to wonder what the Originalists would have thought of our many wars since 1945 since we have not had a declaration of war since 1941?? Would the Originalists have approved of Corporate Personhood?? Would the Originalists have approved of the Interstate Highway system??? Would they have approved of Brown vs the Board of Education?? Would they have approved of LBJ’s Civil Rights Act???

    Congress has over the years filled in many of the blanks in the Constitution through their legislation, not all of it survives judicial challenges. ACA is once again being challenged.

    What actions a governor, mayor or school board can take concerning masks, social distancing, size of social gatherings, closing indoor eating in restaurants, or limiting church attendance etc., to contain Corona are now hotly disputed and debated. Does the health and welfare of the many outweigh the “Rights” of the few??

  23. Per Paul K. Ogden & friends in the legal profession; “…much of the language in the Constitution is archaic and it’s not always easy to ascertain the intent of those who wrote the Constitution and those who ratified it.”

    The language in the Constitution appears to be open to interpretation rather than “archaic” and not always “easy to ascertain” because the authors and those who ratified it appear to have been aware of changing times in the future of this country. “Originalist” description and history can be found under the Federalist Society. Both Scalia and Thomas are “self proclaimed originalists”.

    From Brian Howey’s column regarding Pence and Barrett; “With the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month, Pence and Federalist allies like his longtime friend David McIntosh, stood at the threshold of a culmination of a career goal. If Judge Barrett is confirmed in the days before the Nov. 3 election, they will have achieved a 603 conservative court. The Federalist Society came up with a list of potential jurists with lofty resumes that President Trump has adhered.”

    Somebody, preferably Professor Sheila whom I trust, explain how “originalist” can be deemed good guys with such as Sheila and the Federalist Society can be deemed bad guys with such as Pence, et al, supporting Barrett to replace RBG, thereby turning the Supreme Court into a body of “conservatives” with a 6-3 majority. Back to the results of my research; it appears “originalists” and the Federalist Society are one and the same, only the name changed.

  24. Sheila,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not able to search anything right now but if I recall, you don’t have to have been a judge to be appointed to the supreme court! As a matter of fact, from what I understand you don’t even have to have been a lawyer.

    I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall researching that quite a while back and was quite surprised by it.

  25. Mea culpa…AGAIN. In the 3rd paragraph above it of course should read “6-3” not 603.

    While my son and his wife were sitting in Pep Boys at East Washington Street and Shortridge Road on Saturday, a man came in not wearing a mask. The clerk told him masks are required for service. The man asked “Do you want to make a $1,000 deal?” The clerk said, “Not without a mask I don’t.” He left without making his deal. While I was waiting at the same Pep Boys today an older man (certainly not older than me) came in not wearing a mask. He suddenly stopped as if someone had said “Halt or I’ll shoot.” He turned and hurried out; returned 2 minutes later wearing a mask. My laugh for the day; the only one due to the increase in Covid in almost this entire contiguous United States and the unbelievable daily rising number of cases. Trump got on the plane to head to his rally NOT wearing a mask of course.

    Will we survive this Pandemic; with all of our medical research, testing and treatments, will we survive? I have refused to watch the hearing; can’t sit through another Kavannaugh fiasco. I did see an AOL news item headline that Obamacare was the topic for today.

  26. One would hope that a person sitting on the highest bench in the land would have some experience with making judicial decisions. This candidate has not even practiced her own field of study other than to teach it to others. Where is her practical experience? As I heard my father say many times “those that can, DO, those that can’t, teach”. (No offense to teachers by any means!)

  27. Thanks a lot Betty!

    You would think there would be certain parameters in place to be on the scotus, go figure!

  28. Seems Barret has been educated in a conservative bubble, and only practiced as appellate judge for 3 years. I hear her inexperience from practicing as attorney has effected her decisions as a judge. Scalia being her mentor, isn’t a positive in the present day & age. People who are guided by a Church that never changes & applies those principles to US Constitution are comparing apples & oranges. The Catholic Church is an old world authoritarian patriarchal system that first protects itself & demands conformity. I was always of the belief that US was a Democratic Republic where the citizens had say in what our laws are/will be. The meshing of these two ways needs to be allowed to filter through all Americans today.

  29. Denise: (This is from a retired teacher) The rest of your dad’s oft-used quote goes something like this: “…And those who can’t teach, teach teachers.”

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