Thursday, July 9, 2020
The Supreme Court ended its term today, and so the justices will soon split town until they reconvene in October. But before they wrapped up the 2019-2020 term, they issued split decisions in two cases involving demands for the president's tax records.
In one case where a New York grand jury had issued a subpoena for Trump's financial records, the justices rejected the president's defense that he had absolute immunity from investigation by state officials. In the second case, the justices rejected a similar demand by House Democrats to subpoena the president's banking records.
There is some logic to the rulings. The court declared that no one is above the law, and if state authorities have reasonable cause to investigate, then even the president must comply or at least go through the same legal process as every other citizen would.
That said, I do not believe that the left-wing bureaucrats in New York have anything remotely close to a reasonable cause for demanding the president's tax records. It is, as he called it, "a political prosecution."
At the same time, the court prevented House Democrats from launching yet another fishing expedition without probable cause. Had they prevailed in that case, it would have set a terrible precedent, subjecting every future president to endless harassment by partisan enemies.
Moreover, if Congress can compel the president to produce personal tax records from when he was a private citizen, then what's to stop the president from demanding the same from every member of Congress?
The short-term result is that no one is likely to see the president's tax records anytime soon as both cases are headed back to lower courts for additional legal wrangling.
We're still celebrating yesterday's two great Supreme Court decisions on religious liberty. We won three out of our four this term on issues related toschool choice, Obamacare's contraception mandate and the right of religious schools to determine their own employment policies.
Of course, we lost a big one related to the definition of sex and gender under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is in its own way a religious liberty issue.
You understand the important nature of these cases because we and others have been educating conservatives for decades about what is at stake in these critical court battles. Sadly, the average American does not understand the issues as well.
For example, the case against the Little Sisters of the Poor was a marker of just how far the left will go to destroy anyone who stands in its way. Progressives were willing to bring the full weight and power of the federal government down on the heads of nuns who care for the poor and the needy.
I have no doubt that most Americans would be outraged if they properly understood that. But that is not what the people are being told.
Almost every article in the secular media is describing the case as the Trump Administration authorizing virtually every employer to deny contraception to their female employees. That is a complete lie.
This NBC News headline is a perfect example of the media's deliberate distortion: "Supreme Court Ruling On Birth Control Has Some 'Terrified' About Potential Harm To Women." If that is what most young women think the case is about, it's not hard to understand why there might be a gender gap.
Any fair reporting would have noted that an iconic Catholic organization that serves the poor was saved from being forced to close if nuns did not provide abortifacient drugs. That's an easy case to make in any truly tolerant society.
But the left isn't interested in tolerance. It intends to force you to compromise your deeply held religious values no matter the cost.
You don't have to take my word for it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted yesterday's ruling as a "brutal assault on women's health, financial security and independence." If given the opportunity, Pelosi would bankrupt the Little Sisters of the Poor, destroy their ministry and thousands of other faith-based ministries in the process.
Those are the stakes, my friends.
Sanders Says. . .
For some time now, Democrats have been working hard to unite after a divisive primary that began with more than two dozen candidates and eventually narrowed down to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden ultimately prevailed in the delegate contest, some commentators declared Sanders the winner of the ideological contest.
For some time now, members of his staff have been helping to craft Joe Biden's policy agenda. In fact, many sections of Biden's so-called "unity platform" appear to be lifted literally word-for-word from Bernie's platform.
And Sanders can barely hide his glee. He declared that the unity platform, "if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR." And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is cheering too.
The November election is just four months away. And with so much at stake and so much uncertainty, there's a lot of speculation about the state of the presidential contest.
On the one hand, Stony Brook University Professor Helmut Norpoth, who correctly predicted Trump's 2016 victory, says there's a 91% chance the president will be reelected. And perhaps by an even bigger margin than last time. It's worth noting that Norpoth's model has correctly predicted presidential elections in 25 of 27 elections dating back to 1912.
On the other hand, the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden is leading Trump by 3.5 points in Arizona, 5 points in Florida, 7.5 points in Michigan, 3 points in North Carolina, and 6.5 points in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There is virtually no scenario in which Trump wins the White House without carrying at least four of those six states.
Obviously, either the professor is wrong or these big media polls are wrong.
My point is this: nothing is baked in. No one should put their faith in models and or blindly accept polls.
In the meantime, we're working hard to help educate men and women of faith about the critical issues at stake and ensuring that they are registered to vote.