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Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

May 18, 2024

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America’s 246th anniversary of our Declaration, let’s take a moment to celebrate some recent VICTORIES that affirm our Declaration’s noble cause; Defense of LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of Happiness.

Self Defense

SCOTUS found that New York’s concealed-carry permit-process places unconstitutional burdens on the right to self-defense. The court distinguishes between permissible regulation of the exercise of a constitutional right and a prohibition on exercise.  

New York’s requirement that a permit applicant demonstrates a “special need for self-defense” constituted an unconstitutional prohibition because the “special need” it required of applicants must, by definition, be “distinguishable from that of the general community,” thus becoming a prohibition on exercise by ordinary citizens.  

Representational Government

SCOTUS upheld our right to representational government in its return to the states’ legislatures, an authority usurped by the Federal Judiciary nearly 50 years ago. In its overturn of Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, the court rejected the previous rulings’ finding of a Constitutional right to abortion as part of a broader right to privacy and bodily autonomy.   

States are now free to craft laws that reflect the sensibilities of their own citizens.  

States that severely restrict or prohibit abortion are those that focus on the right of the pre-born baby to live as opposed to a woman’s right to abort. ALL states that do so provide exceptions in cases involving authentic risk to the life of the mother. MOST also offer exceptions in cases of pregnancy caused by rape.  

Seven states, Alaska, California, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont, permit abortion up to the moment of birth (some even fail to prosecute neglect-death of a 28-day-old infant). The legislatures of these states, ostensibly at the behest of their constituents, concern themselves primarily with a woman’s presumed right to abort a child of any gestational stage, at any time, for any reason.   

The balance of the states regulates rather than prohibits the practice, permitting abortion in earlier stages while restricting it in later stages. These states seek balance.  

That laws vary by state is an expected and desirable result of federalism, of respected state sovereignty. Those who disagree with their states’ laws on abortion are now free to take up the issue with their own state legislators, people to whom citizens have much greater political access.

Parental Rights, Educational and Religious Liberties

Maine’s ban on public funds going to religious-run schools was struck down by SCOTUS as an unconstitutional discrimination against religion because the state law does permit the use of funds for the tuition charged by private institutions that are non-religious. The state has an obligation to treat all private institutions equally. Singling out religious institutions for exclusion, even though they are accredited, violates the free exercise clause of the first amendment. This ruling brings us a step closer to the parent-empowering goal of educational funds following the student rather than the institution.

Freedom of Association

California sought to regulate Corporate Board membership with the imposition of “diversity” requirements in the form of “seat set-asides” for the preferred factions it presumes to be ‘disadvantaged.” How a given faction qualifies for the coveted favor of ‘disadvantaged’ status is not made clear.    

In issuing SUMMARY-JUDGEMENT on the case, CA State judge Terry Green expresses his consideration of such a law to be unconstitutional on its face, thus not requiring a trial. And he is plainly correct. The state’s demand that companies consider a person’s skin color or sexual orientation in considering them for Board membership achieves the OPPOSITE of non-discrimination.

Existing laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or sex offer recourse to those who are victimized by such bigotry. But a law that affirmatively imposes specific factional representation on the Board of a private company is another matter entirely. Such laws define an unconstitutional exercise of authority in pursuit of social engineering.  

Economic Liberty, Representational Government

The power of the Executive Branch, exercised through its many agencies, to regulate the energy sector according to a “climate crisis” ideology may be sharply curtailed by one of this SCOTUS session’s final rulings, a ruling in favor of West Virginia in its case against the EPA.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts states, “A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.” He faulted the EPA for finding new powers for itself “in the vague language of a long-extant but rarely used statute.” The decision said that federal regulations imposing sweeping economic and political consequences are presumed invalid without specific Congressional authorization. In other words, our elected representatives must go on record in support of imposing economic damage so that such action remains accountable to voters.

Freedom of Religion

SCOTUS found that the Bremerton School District in Washington State violated Coach Kennedy’s religious freedom by attempting to prohibit prayer on the field. The school argued that permitting prayer on the grounds gave the appearance of endorsement and thus violated the establishment clause. But writing for the majority, Justice Gorsuch stated that no proper understanding of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause requires the government to “single out religious speech for special disfavor.” In fact, suppression of religious speech by government is specifically PROSCRIBED by the 1st Amendment.  

Remember that Obama conspicuously and purposely misstated the 1st Amendment protection of our Free Exercise of Religion as “Freedom of Worship.” In doing this, he “tips the hand” of secularist ideologues for whom the exercise of religion is something that should be safely ensconced in the home, church, synagogue, or other private places to which public exposure and especially exposure to children is more limited.  

Although the Executive and both Chambers of Congress remain in the hands of Marxist ideologues, their political power has been eroded greatly by their own abuses. And with these recent judicial victories, we may have indications of an overdue turn of tide on display in America!

MANY VOICES, ONE FREEDOM: UNITED IN THE 1ST AMENDMENT

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