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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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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill