Supreme Court

Pennsylvania and the Second Amendment

The DC logo My second column for the news and information site, The Daily Caller, has been posted. “Greetings from the land of guns and religion” is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the recent SCOTUS McDonald v. City of Chicago ruling of last week.

The court’s sweeping decision to uphold the right to keep and bear arms really took me by surprise. As we’ve been watching government slowly erode our freedoms and our privacy, my expectations have sunk so low that such a strong defense of the Bill of Rights came as a shock.

The lower courts will now have the very important job of protecting us from municipal and state laws that do not conform to the Supreme’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.

From the top to the bottom, this is the quintessential example of why making appointments to our courts is one of the most important and impactful of Presidential prerogatives.

Like many rulings lately, McDonald was a slim 5 – 4 victory. It will only take one more retirement before 2012 to tip the scales the other way.

The Woman Effect…from Kagan to Palin on The Daily Caller

The DC logo For a writer it’s all about having a voice; most of us write because we want to engage in the collective dialog, especially those of us who write columns and commentary. Today, the people with whom I can have a conversation just increased exponentially: My first opinion piece has been published on The Daily Caller.

“The DC” as it’s known, was founded by Tucker Carlson, a 20-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and a partner who worked in the Bush White House. Its website states that “The Daily Caller is a 24-hour news site providing original reporting from an experienced team of professional reporters, thought-provoking commentary and breaking news”…along with a blog and various regular features.

My slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the current class of 2010 women in politics, “The woman effect…from Kagan to Palin”, is also meant to make a point: We’ve waited a long time and paid a lot of dues to get to where we are today.

There are good examples of how far we’ve come baby on both ends of the spectrum. Politics aside, it looks like we’re going to get a historic third woman on the Supreme Court. Personally, I wish Elena Kagan had more of a track record. The release of the papers and emails from her years with Clinton have shown her to be a very savvy “operative”. But let’s face it, we know she’s a liberal replacing another liberal, so hopefully, no harm, no foul.

Nikki Haley’s win last night in the face of one of the worse smear campaigns I’ve ever seen, was worth the wait. She has conducted herself with class and dignity. Maybe she’s a great actress, but in the face of no hard evidence of the infidelity charges against her, I choose to believe she’s who she says she is. I heard Haley speak this morning on Morning Joe…one of my favorite shows, and she was impressive. Very intelligent, thoughtful, and smooth. Let’s hope there’s a lot of substance behind that attractive exterior package.

As I said in The DC op-ed…

Here we are, almost four decades after the start of the modern women’s movement, finally having a political impact from coast to coast and across the political spectrum. What we’ve always wanted is coming to pass: Women of all political persuasions are duking it out in the public arena, taking on each other…and the boys. They’re paying their dues, spending their own fortunes, and setting their own agendas.

I love the smell of estrogen in the morning.

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The Oil Spill: Good news for Elena Kagan

Kagan Some eastern religions believe in the yin and yang of life: Every action or event has a positive and negative energy. By not letting the negative overwhelm you, and tapping in to the positive side, you can benefit from even the worse disaster.

Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, hasn’t needed to chant any mantras to benefit from the Gulf oil spill. The disaster knocked her right off the front pages and the 6:00 news. Even the release of the documents from the Clinton Library, reflecting her time in the While House, has barely received a mention. According to The Washington Post’s email blast wrap-up of the Sunday morning talk shows, “Sunday Roundup”, only CSPAN’s “Newsmakers” program had any discussion of the upcoming Kagan hearing which is scheduled to begin in one week. 

The Post reported that, “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he was unsure if Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan would serve as a consensus builder on the high court, but he said he would "like to see us go back to more consensus decisions." He said Kagan’s hearings, which are scheduled to begin June 28, "will last until we finish. I would hope they don’t last more than a week." He expects a vote on her nomination sometime in July.”

In political speak I think that means Kagan is going to get a pass and the hearings are a mere formality.

There is a case to be made for the fact that her appointment to the Court will not shift the balance; perhaps with so much else requiring our attention, from the Gulf to Afghanistan to the deterioration in Iraq, putting Elena Kagan through her paces is not a priority.

However I like to have a little bit of yin with my yang. At her age she could well sit on the Supreme Court for 30 years.

As much as I would like to see a historic third woman on the Supreme Court, I would also like for the person who is going to have that much influence over our future to have a known track record, a public airing of her record, and a very thorough Senate hearing.

Looks like the oil in the Gulf is covering up more than just birds, marshes and beaches.

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