ROBERTS SIDES WITH LIBERAL COURT
Over the weekend, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sided, as he did during the Obamacare challenge, with the Court’s liberals in a 5-4 rejection of a Chula Vista, California, church’s challenge to California’s restrictions on church services during the coronavirus lockdown.
Roberts wrote that state limits on churches to 25% of capacity or 100 worshipers, whichever is smaller, “appear consistent" with the First Amendment. Okay, let’s see what the First Amendment says about the state’s power to regulate religious expression and assemblies of citizens:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the…right of the people peaceably to assemble…”
Huh! I can’t seem to find the part that gives states the right to regulate the size of assemblies of religious worshipers or declare the free exercise of religious practices to be “non-essential.” Guess that’s why I’m not a Supreme Court Justice.
In fact, Roberts’ decision has nothing to do with the First Amendment, or he would have sided with the conservative Justices. His real rationale was that the limits were consistent with the state’s limits on other places where people gather, such as theaters and sporting events. Again, I’m not a Supreme Court Chief Justice, but I can spot a big difference: movie theaters and sports stadiums are not the same things as churches. For one thing, they don’t have a First Amendment right to be free from government dictates.
I don’t want the virus to spread, either, but the church leaders I’ve talked to have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure public safety, certainly more so than many of the places (big box stores, liquor stores, etc.) that the state allowed to remain open. As for Roberts’ argument that people in these stores aren’t in close proximity for up to an hour, I suggest he try shopping and standing in line at a busy Walmart on a Saturday afternoon.
This is one more reason why people of faith need to show up at the polls in November and assure that the White House and Senate remain in the hands of those who will appoint and approve judges who defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- as written, not as they imagine they should have been written.
GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER SPEAKS OUT
Some claim that people who say rioting, arson and looting undermine legitimate protests and dishonor George Floyd’s memory are just speaking from “white privilege.” Try telling that to Terrence Floyd, George Floyd’s younger brother.
Terrance said he understands the anger and sometimes feels like going crazy himself, but his brother would not have approved of violence, riots and looting being carried out in his name. He said George was a “gentle giant” and all “about peace.” He was a positive person who wouldn’t want to be remembered this way.
Terrance told ABC, "If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice, then why are you out here tearing up your community? Because when you’re finished and turn around and want to go buy something, you done tore it up. So now you messed up your own living arrangements. So just relax. Justice will be served."
He added, "Do something positive. Stop making excuses. And that’s what I feel is going on: They’re using this as an excuse to be stupid.”
The only thing he says that I could possibly disagree with is the idea that rioters and looters who destroy their own communities actually need an excuse to be stupid.
LOOTING AND RIOTING SPREAD
Even as the rioting and looting have spread to snooty shops in Beverly Hills (apparently, promoting the cause of ending racism and police brutality requires stealing a bag of Rolexes), liberal Hollywood celebrities are taking to Twitter to voice their misplaced support. To be clear: I have no problem with anyone speaking out in protest over the treatment of George Floyd or of racism or police brutality. But these looters were chanting, “Eat the rich,” not “Black lives matter.”
Some of these celebs have been very indiscriminate about who and what they support, with one prominent white actress (I won’t give her name because she’s since deleted the tweet) even calling for a race war. And Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos tweeted support for the protesters while his own delivery drivers were being dragged out of their trucks, robbed and beaten.
I notice that when these wealthy celebs shelter-in-place behind the walls around their mansions and tweet support for the burning and looting of homes and businesses in minority neighborhoods that are owned by, serve or employ lower income black residents, none of them ever include their own home addresses.
Liberal Hollywood has also helped bloat the coffers of a group called Minnesota Freedom Fund, which provides bail for low-income arrestees and opposes cash bail. The group normally brings in about $75,000 in donations in a year, but they’ve been showered with $20 million in four days, and are now asking that people give to other community aid groups instead.
Its donors also include Joe Biden’s campaign staffers.
If they really believe these people are far-right white supremacists, why are they bailing them out of jail? And even if they believe they’re just violent thugs, why are they bailing them out of jail?
I’m not interested in debating the merits of the MFF’s position on bail in normal times, nor am I suggesting that there were no mistaken arrests of peaceful protesters in the midst of all that chaos. But for the most part, people who were arrested during the riots in Minneapolis were taken in for assault, arson, vandalism, and looting. These celebrities are “helping the local African-American community” by bailing them out of jail to do it some more.
Some on the left also seem dumbfounded when rioters and looters don’t recognize that they’re on the same side and give their property a pass. Don’t they understand that they’re supposed to burn and loot other people’s property?
I wonder if the stars are going to hold any fundraisers in Beverly Hills to bail out the “Eat the rich” thugs who looted their favorite Rodeo Drive shops, just blocks from their own mansions? I don’t think I’ll hold my breath waiting for that.
RIOTS MAKE AMERICA MORE CONSERVATIVE NOT LESS
Excellent article by John C. Wohlstetter at the American Spectator, examining the history of riots and the devastating effects they have on the communities where they take place. Also, the difference in lost lives, injuries, property destruction and long-term suffering between riots that are dealt with forcefully right at the start and those where weak leaders like the Mayor of Minneapolis “let people vent” for a few days, thinking it will die down when they’re actually encouraging them to ramp it up. As Wohlstetter puts it, “When you reward bad behavior, expect more of it.”
I don’t want to politicize this violence because condemning is something that should be done by Americans of good faith on all points of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, that’s not happening, and some people actually seem to be cheering on the violence in hopes that it will harm President Trump’s reelection. Well, if you want to talk politics, here goes:
They’re kidding themselves. In fact, a new study of the effects of the 1960s protest movement by a Princeton professor found that in areas where protests were peaceful, there was no reduction of support for Democrats. But in places where there was rioting and looting, the Democratic vote dropped and Republican support surged. This is one reason why “law and order” candidate Richard Nixon won in a landslide.
Most voters are horrified at this kind of violence destroying America’s cities. Democrats think the key to them winning is the “suburban mom” vote. One of that group’s chief concerns is the safety and security of their families. Will they feel more secure with a President who sends in the National Guard to stop violent rioters or one whose staffers are sending money to bail them out of jail to riot and loot some more? And if anyone knows that you don’t deal with children throwing a tantrum in the supermarket by giving them what they want, it’s suburban moms.