The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sen. Grassley is right!

On the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, there was a response by Sen. Mitch McConnell:

The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.

President Barack Obama, of course, does not agree:

The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now. I am amused when I hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the Constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there. I am going to present somebody who indisputably is qualified for the seat and any fair minded person, even somebody who disagreed with my politics[,] would say would serve with honor and integrity on the court.

Frankly, I find it hard to believe that President Obama, given his far-left ideology and his record on nominations to all those posisions where he has the power to nominate, could come up with “somebody who indisputably is qualified for the seat and any fair minded person, even somebody who disagreed with [his] politics[,] would say would serve with honor and integrity on the court.” But I think he should be given a chance. This is why I agree with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions [on holding hearings]. In other words, take it a step at a time.

It is interesting that when Bruce Braley was running to become a Senator, he addressed a gathering of lawyers in Texas with the following words:

If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice — someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way on the Senate Judiciary [Committee]. Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary.

It looks to me that this “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school” is doing a pretty good job as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I have to note that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has taken the position that Pres. Obama should pick the next nominee and have him approved. Much as I respect Justice O'Connor, who was probably closer to my own views than any other Supreme Court Justice during her tenure on the Court, I think she is partly wrong here. Yes, President Obama should be accorded the right to nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia. But the Senate should heed Obama's own words, uttered when he was a Senator:

I believe firmly that the Constitution calls for the Senate to advise and consent. I believe that it calls for meaningful advice and consent that includes an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology, and record.

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