In our first story today, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts addresses Leftists who treat the Supreme Court like a super legislature, calling it illegitimate when it fails to meet their activist expectations.
The late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia addressed this years ago:
“Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”
1. Chief Justice Roberts Responds to Attacks on Court’s Legitimacy
From PJ Media:
During his first public appearance since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts had some choice words for Democrats who have criticized the Supreme Court in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and sending the power to regulate abortion back to the states.
“If the court doesn’t retain its legitimate function of interpreting the Constitution, I’m not sure who would take up that mantle. You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide about what the appropriate decision is,” Roberts said in a speech delivered Friday night.
It is worth noting, however, that Americans actually agree with the principles of the Dobbs decision. Polling shows Americans support abortion being regulated by the states, not the federal government. Also, while Americans generally believe abortion should be legal, support for abortion goes down significantly with each trimester.
Roberts did not address the leak of the draft opinion, but Justice Neil Gorsuch did earlier this week.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said during the 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado. “That committee has been busy, and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope, soon.”
Harris ‘cannot wait’ to end Senate filibuster if Dems win seats in midterms
From the Washington Examiner:
Vice President Kamala Harris said over the weekend that she “cannot wait” to vote to break the “archaic” Senate filibuster to push abortion and voting rights legislation through the chamber.
Harris made the comments while delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in National Harbor, Md., on Saturday. The vice president focused her speech on highlighting the stakes of the November midterms while taking aim at Republicans for blocking her party’s policy agenda in the speech. She also touted the Biden administration’s legislative accomplishments, referencing the COVID-19, infrastructure, and gun safety packages signed into law and the recent launch of a large-scale student loan forgiveness program.
“Democrats, with just two more seats in the Senate, we can codify Roe v. Wade, we can put the protections of Roe in law,” Harris said after noting that other parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda had stalled. “With two more seats in the United States Senate we can pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Two more seats! That’s right, two more seats.”
The vice president went on to point out that Biden had publicly said that he supports carve outs to the legislative filibuster, 60 vote threshold required to pass most legislation in the Senate, on the issues of voting rights and abortion access. She then gleefully added that she “cannot wait” to “cast the deciding vote” to work around the rule.
Supreme Court Temporarily Allows Jewish University to Block LGBTQ Group
From PJ Media:
Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer has granted a request for New York’s Yeshiva University to temporarily continue banning an LGBTQ Pride group from being recognized as an official university organization.
“The message of Torah on this issue is nuanced, both accepting each individual with love and affirming its timeless prescriptions. While students will of course socialize in gatherings as they see fit, forming a new club as requested under the auspices of YU will cloud this nuanced message,” the university said in denying official recognition to the group.
But a lower court judge ignored the religious exemptions to New York’s anti-discrimination law and is looking to force the Orthodox Jewish institution to officially recognize the LGBTQ group.
If the full court reviews the case, history suggests they’ll side with the university. This court has strongly supported the concept of religious exemptions from secular laws and there should be no reason for that not to continue.
- Exclusive Video Interview: Senator Tim Scott: Faith, Race and America’s Redemption Story
From the Daily Citizen:
“Every tragedy that we go through – whether as a nation or as an individual – can lead to the greatest triumph you’ve ever seen. I believe the deeper the valley, the darker the night, the brighter the morning. If you continue down the road good things will happen…I don’t think God wastes any negative experience in our lives.”
In an exclusive with the Daily Citizen, Senator Tim Scott discusses his faith, experiencing and overcoming racism and his new book – America, a Redemption Story.
3. Conservative group fights DOJ over subpoena of its records related to youth gender transition ban
From the Washington Times:
A conservative grassroots advocacy group is challenging a Justice Department subpoena seeking documents and communications about lobbying in support of an Alabama law banning gender transitioning treatment for youth.
The organization, Eagle Forum of Alabama, called the subpoena “unprecedented” — noting that the group is not even a party to a transgender-rights lawsuit seeking to overturn the Alabama law.
“If the DOJ can weaponize a subpoena, any American can be unduly burdened and prevented from engaging in our democratic republic form of government. Freedom of speech and freedom of association will be squelched,” said Kristen Ullman, president of Eagle Forum.
4. Can Minors Receive Counseling Help for Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction or Sexual Identity Confusion?
From the Daily Citizen:
A major legal split over the issue of talk therapy for minors seeking help with unwanted same-sex attractions or sexual identity confusion (aka gender dysphoria) has emerged in the federal appeals courts, perhaps setting the stage for a major U.S. Supreme Court showdown over the First Amendment.
Numerous local and state governments, urged on by LGBT activists and left-leaning professional associations, have passed laws forbidding licensed therapists from talking to minors who are seeking help in living their lives in accordance with their biological sex and biblical imperatives on human sexuality. Several states forbid such treatment, labeling it “conversion therapy” (sometimes known as sexual orientation change efforts, or SOCE) and claiming that such treatment always harms, and never helps, patients.
Several lawsuits have emerged over the years since the rise of such therapy bans, typically alleging that such laws infringe the constitutional rights of therapists, primarily focusing on the freedom of speech. Several federal courts of appeals have ruled on the subject, but the U.S. Supreme Court has not weighed in specifically on the constitutionality of such laws.
That may soon change, however.
- The Future of the American Workplace
From First Things:
It is often said that we live two lives, one at home and one at work. People speak—rather unfortunately—of “work spouses,” for example. On the average workday, we spend more time outside the home, commuting and at work, than we do at home.
These two modes of existence—at home and at work—are explored in the new Apple TV+ show Severance, which ended its first season in April on a marvelous cliffhanger. It has since been renewed for a second season and nominated for fourteen Emmys, two of which it has already won (the “creative arts” Emmys for main title design and music score). We will find out on September 12 how many of the major awards it will win.
Working from home certainly has its perks, such as the lack of a commute and the ability to wear comfortable clothes. The more substantial benefit is that one can spend more time with family. On the other hand, not everyone has a home that is conducive to work. We also lose office culture and camaraderie. As companies seek to bring workers back into their cubicles, the debate as to how we should work, and why we work, continues.
The success of Severance, with its good writing and solid acting, springs also from how it hints at a truth many of us observe: Severing our work lives not just from our personal lives but from who we really are is becoming more and more difficult to do. The more our careers take over our lives, the less we are able to live as members of a family and meaningful community, and the less we are able to enjoy true leisure, to be fully human. Thanks to COVID and workplace satire such as Severance, we may be learning this before it is too late.
6. Praying and Working for a Culture Where Eliza Fletcher Can Run Fear Free When and Wherever She Wants
From the Daily Citizen:
Has America deteriorated to a point where a woman can no longer step outside her home and run when or where she wants? Some may suggest that sad moment already came too long ago – especially in some of our especially crime-ridden cities.
Much was made about Eliza’s early morning regimen and routine, with some even suggesting she shouldn’t have been running alone. But how early is too early? Busy parents juggle workouts and work all the time, and when you’re training for the Boston Marathon, like Eliza was doing, you run when you can.
This story isn’t about politics or party – it’s about wanting to protect the people we love. But it does connect back to the values we champion and the causes we passionately pursue.
Conservatives are often mocked and maligned for moralizing and advocating for unrealistic and even puritanical ideals. But what we’re really fighting and advocating for is a country where a woman (or a man) can run alone fear free at any hour of any day – anywhere.
America has become a more violent and dangerous place for many reasons – but especially because more homes and families are more broken than they’ve ever been. Let’s face the facts. Most murderers and rapists don’t come from happy families. Studies show rapists often feel worthless, suffer from low self-esteem, are loners (both physically and mentally) and were sexually abused when they were young.
Social conservatives are also lampooned for warning against the dangers of pornography. Is it because we want to control, censor and limit free speech? No. It’s because pornography literally destroys the mind (and heart) and puts wicked and evil ideas inside the minds of (mostly) men.
Eliza has found her rest with the Lord, but as believers, we cannot and must not grow weary while advocating for policies that will strengthen families and produce healthy children and adults destined to help and not harm. In the meantime, our hearts break for this family and we call on Him to bring comfort where there is sorrow and grief.
7. 4 Leadership Lessons from the Life of Queen Elizabeth II
From the Gospel Coalition:
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has unleashed a tidal wave of admiration and affection in Britain and around the world. Why does the Queen have such a special place in the hearts of so many? Why has her life had such an influence for good?
What can we learn from her? Here are four lessons for leaders from the life and example of Her Majesty.
1. Wise leaders exercise restraint.
In his tribute to the Queen, Keir Starmer, leader of Britain’s Labour party, said, “Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon.” Representing what unites people calls for restraint. The Queen has modeled this throughout her remarkable reign.
2. Influence and example are more enduring than power.
Power in Britain lies with the prime minister and the elected government. Each new session of parliament opens with “The Queen’s Speech,” in which the government lays out its planned program of legislation.
The Queen didn’t write these speeches. She simply read the scripts she was given, and there must have been times when this was difficult for her. How would you like to read a speech announcing plans with which you may privately disagree that will be pursued in your name?
3. Hard work and humility earn respect.
In a speech made on her 21st birthday, the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) pledged her commitment to duty in these memorable words: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.”
Ponder that commitment. The Queen devoted her life to a single purpose. She identified that purpose as a young woman. She gave herself to it, stayed with it, and never deviated from it.
4. Bonds of affection deepen over time.
The Queen was the longest-serving monarch in British history, and the decades of her reign have been marked by relentless change. But the Queen’s continuing presence, and the unchanging values she represented, gave her people a sense of stability in an increasingly uncertain world.
Serving in one position for 70 years is a remarkable achievement by any standard. Few will have the opportunity to emulate what the Queen has done. But the lesson of her longevity speaks to all who lead: love and loyalty cannot be demanded, but they can be won.
- The Scandal Rocking the Chess World
From the Wall Street Journal:
Outplayed from start to finish, the 31-year old Mr. Carlsen was defeated on Sept. 4 by Hans Niemann, a much weaker, 19-year-old American upstart, at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis. Mr. Carlsen responded by withdrawing from the tournament and posting on Twitter a video of Portuguese soccer manager Jose Mourinho saying, “If I speak, I am in big trouble.” This was widely taken as an allegation that Mr. Niemann cheated. The American has been dogged by rumors in the past.
The small, elite tournament (prize fund: $350,000) was thrown into disarray. Prior games against Mr. Carlsen won’t count and future ones won’t occur, rendering the remaining pairings unfair and illogical.
Mr. Niemann then spoke up. He admitted to having cheated before with computer engines, but only in online matches, and only twice, when he was 12 and 16. With nervous energy and surprising eloquence, he denied ever cheating against Mr. Carlsen or in an in-person game, and swore that he has dedicated himself entirely to chess to redeem himself ever since his mistake three years ago. “I don’t go outside, other than when I pick up my food,” he said. Furious that his childhood heroes have doubted his greatest accomplishment and turned it into his greatest nightmare, he laid it all on the line.
Is he telling the truth? As grandmaster Levon Aronian commented, “All of my colleagues are pretty much paranoid.” Mr. Carlsen is no Bobby Fischer, but elite chess trainer Jacob Aasgard noted that “ ‘Magnus behaved like an entitled brat’ is at least an equally reasonable theory” as Mr. Niemann’s cheating. If Mr. Carlsen won’t make a formal accusation, he should apologize.
I sympathize with the young Mr. Niemann, but only to a point. Anyone who would cheat at chess once or twice, because it was only an online tournament, is capable of doing it a third time, or of producing a new excuse to take it further. It is unlikely that he cheated this time, given the logistical difficulties involved. Yet soon after Mr. Niemann “came clean” for his past misdeeds, Chess.com, the online-chess behemoth, said it has “information that contradicts his statements regarding the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com.”
Every chess game, whether between young children or old men, begins and ends with a handshake. If Bob Dylan is still searching for dignity, I know where he can find it: Even during the worst of the pandemic, the ragged chess hustlers of New York’s Washington Square Park extended their hands to me, no matter the result. How to lose was one of the most important lessons I learned, slowly and imperfectly, from youth chess. But I suppose the greatest players never learn even that. If they did, they might not be the greatest.
9. Billionaire Mobile Home Magnate John Boll Gloried God by Recognizing All Buyers Worthy of Dignity & Respect
From the Daily Citizen:
John Boll, who died last month at 93, started with a shovel, a wheelbarrow and a 1949 Mercury – and grew it into a billion-dollar mobile home empire. How did he do it?
“I treat life as an adventure in which I use my time, talents and resources to glorify God while trying to engage, empower and love other people,” Boll would say.
Pastor and preacher David Jeremiah once asked, “If you were to write your life motto, what would it say? Look out for number one? Or look out for the needs of others?
It’s a good question. Do we see possessions and resources as personal property or as gifts on loan from the Lord?
Someone once claimed John Boll, whose business dealings involved billions of dollars, lived a daring existence. He scoffed at such a suggestion. “In life’s most important things, I take no chances: I lean on God, and as long as He’s in charge, I don’t have a care in the world.”
10. Americans Were Deeply Unified After 9/11. What Still Unites Us Now?
From the Daily Citizen:
Our national motto, “E pluribus unum” is Latin for “Out of many, one.”
But what unites us now?
In which ways are we and our fellow citizens one?
What is our unum?
Surely, as possible solutions to these questions, we cannot answer that faith, language, ethnicity, or political opinions bring us together. Americans are deeply divided on each one of those areas.
But we could float a couple of possible answers.
It’s true that Americans are united in our collective and shared history.
Just one month prior to the onset of the Civil War, former President Abraham Lincoln gave his first inaugural address. In it, he said that despite the crucible the Union was facing, “We are not enemies, but friends.
“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature” (emphasis added).
We all have a sense of our shared national history, our “mystic chords of memory,” as Lincoln put it. But is that enough to unify “one” people out of many, especially since so many wish to rewrite or reject our history?
Photo from Shutterstock.