The U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings today that strike to the heart of the cultural civil war overtaking America. One had to do with abortion, the other with immigration. Both were settled by razor-thin 5-4 margins.
The first ruling gave a victory to pro-life crisis-pregnancy centers that were targeted by a California law. The law in question forced privately funded, pro-life counseling centers to inform their clientele, pregnant women, about taxpayer-funded abortion and contraception services available in their community.
This kind of agenda-driven law is dangerous. If it had been upheld by the Court, we could have looked forward to a barrage of punitive laws targeting conservatives on issues ranging from pro-life and pro-gun, to those fighting the open-borders agenda.
If a state can force a pro-life pregnancy clinic to push abortion services on its clientele, what’s to stop the government from forcing the NRA to require new members to first write a letter to their congressman asking for more gun control?
How about a law forcing a suicide-prevention counselor to give clients the names and phone numbers of assisted-suicide providers in their area? An AA group forced to give names and addresses of the nearest liquor stores?
It makes no sense, unless you live in the loony lala land of far-left California. This is what happens when the reins of power are given to political thugs. Yes, elections do matter.
And it’s not just California.
Illinois has a similar law that has been challenged in the courts. Attorneys with the Thomas More Society are representing 23 Illinois pregnancy centers.
Unlike California pregnancy centers, those in Illinois have been under court protection from the law that forces them to make referrals for abortion, even if they have sincerely held religious convictions against doing so.
“The Illinois district court’s injunction is based on the Supreme Court’s well-established free speech principles, which were largely disregarded in the California case,” said Thomas Olp, senior counsel for Thomas More Society. “We are pleased the high court has chosen to protect pro-life medical professionals from California’s Reproductive FACT Act. This unconstitutional and unethical mandate to promote the so called ‘benefits’ of abortion and to refer women to abortion vendors has been a clear violation of the right of conscience of pro-life doctors, nurses and pregnancy help centers.”
But we can’t always count on the Supreme Court to do the right thing. It is terribly divided, just like the country.
It is truly scary that four justices on the highest court in the land could not see beyond the politics of the moment to think through the issue and see how such politically motivated laws, whether passed by conservatives or liberals, could turn out to be harmful, divisive and predatory.
Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said the California law “imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”
Thomas said the law violates the First Amendment as a form of compelled speech.
“Licensed clinics must provide a government-drafted script about the availability of state-sponsored services, as well as contact information for how to obtain them,” Thomas said. “One of those services is abortion — the very practice that petitioners are devoted to opposing.”
Trump’s travel ban upheld
The second case to come down Tuesday was a ruling to uphold President Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations, a policy liberal critics repeatedly, and disingenuously, referred to as a “Muslim ban.”
This was a case of the left taking an issue, visa applications, adding one part hyper politicization and two parts hysteria, getting the media to reinforce its political position on the targeted policy and riling up more protesters until Trump was literally unable to govern. He felt he had to water the policy down after federal district courts in Hawaii, Washington and Virginia ruled against him.
But guess what? The left still went berserk. It didn’t matter if it were five, seven or 11 countries subject to the travel ban, in their talking points it was still a “Muslim ban.” We see the same strategy of the left using the media to undermine perfectly legal, and logical, Trump policies with regard to the temporary separation of children from parents when they illegally cross the southern border.
But what plays well on CNN and MSNBC does not necessarily play well in a court of law. Justice Samuel Alito blew the left’s smokescreen out of the water with one sentence when he noted during oral arguments that there are 53 Muslim-majority nations in the world — only five made it on Trump’s list.
That’s right. The left’s entire case against Trump’s visa policy was that it was “discriminatory” against Muslims. It was not discriminatory against Muslims. It was discriminatory against five Muslim countries that refuse to cooperate with the U.S. government in the process of screening travelers to our country.
NEWS FLASH for brain-dead liberals: Screening out criminals and terrorists is all about discriminating and always has been.
Would they prefer our government not exercise discriminatory caution by red-flagging migrants and travelers that it has no ability to properly conduct background screenings?
Neither one of these rulings is going to make liberals happy. But unhappy liberals are the least of our problems.
The fact that both of these rulings fell along the same 5-4 vote of the justices — conservatives on one side and liberals on the other, is troubling.
These same cases, if they had come before the court even 10 years ago, would likely have been 7-2 instead of 5-4. More than likely they would not have even made it to the highest court in the land because the premise of those siding with the five Muslim nations was so ridiculous no lawyer would have taken the case, and if some lawyer had taken it on no lower court would have heard that lawyer’s argument.
But the fact that four justices on the nation’s highest court could not put aside their political views and make a common-sense application of law, is unnerving.
The 5-4 rulings send the wrong message to the masses. The already gaping divide over certain core issues — the sanctity of life, the responsibility of government to establish defensible borders and the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms — is becoming even wider. In the absence of something unforeseen, something really big like an outbreak of true Christian revival among the right and the left, we must brace ourselves for dark times ahead. People are gravitating into one of two camps, each becoming more belligerent, spitting at and shouting each other down with vile names and vulgarities, rather than discuss and debate in a civilized manner.
The latest example of these fighting words was actor Peter Fonda saying the president’s son, Barron, should be “ripped” from his mother and placed in a “cage with pedophiles.” Then you have a member of Congress, Maxine Waters, telling Democrats to confront and harass Trump officials in restaurants, gas stations and other public places.
It’s only a matter of time before this type of ballistic rhetoric morphs into violence, and America at that point is no better than a Third World banana republic.