dSmart Guys On Janice Rogers Brown - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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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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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


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


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


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


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


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


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill