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Democrats Not Sure About Judge Compromise Bush Stays on Message

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Smart Guys on Janice Rogers Brown

by Christopher Chantrill
June 09, 2005 at 3:00 am

JUDGING FROM the mournful comments of left-wing law school professor Erwin Chemerinsky, the successful nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Court of Appeals is the end of life as we know it. You can get a flavor of the left-wing take on Brown in Chemerinsky´s comments on the Hugh Hewitt Show captured by Radio Blogger.

I think Janice Rogers Brown is pretty much as far to the right on the political spectrum as you´re going to get for a federal Court of Appeals. She said that she believes the social security program is unconstitutional. She said that she believes that the Bill of Rights shouldn´t be applied to the states. She was ranked unqualified by the commission that evaluated her for the California Supreme Court. The ABA committee gave her the lowest possible evaluation that would pass her for the position. I think it´s really a sad day for America that she has a lifetime position on one of the most important federal Courts of Appeal.

You get a certain frisson of excitement reading that someone actually has the courage to declare Social Security unconstitutional. Law school professor John Eastman reminds us what the judge battle is about, what liberals are defending and what conservative want to change:

Let me go back. I mean, liberal scholars have been trying for seventy years to find a rationalization to defend what happened in the Court signing off, ultimately under pressure in the New Deal. Bruce Ackerman has come up with a theory that we somehow have collective Constitutional moments, as the way we amend our Constitution now. That´s not what the Constitution requires. And the notion that it is off limits even to challenge the illegitimacy of what went on seventy years ago, is to simply throw in the towel on any notion of Constitutionalism, and law becomes whatever the most recent pronouncement of the Court says it is. That´s a dictatorship of nine. That´s not the democratic republic we have. And we are at risk of losing our Constitution system itself, if we´re not even able to challenge the principles on which that Constitution is based.

That´s it. Liberals want to put the jurisprudence of the last 70 years off limits, and that´s why they head for the fainting couches when conservatives like Janice Rogers Brown are nominated to the federal bench.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

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E. G. West, Education and the State


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill