"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Constitutional War: O'Donnell vs. Coons

By now almost everyone knows what the media gladly and falsely characterized as the ignorance of Christine O'Donnell when it comes to constitutional matters. 

During the same debate, Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons, for his part, couldn't name the five freedoms in the First Amendment.

But all you'll hear from the MSM today is that Christine O'Donnell - correctly - questioned Coons' claim that the phrase "the separation of church and state" appears in the First Amendment.

Coons' ignorance doesn't fit the O'Donnell bashers' narrative. So they'll pretend this (not being able to list 4 of the 5 freedoms) didn't happen. Coons named the separation of church and state, but could not identify the others — the freedoms of speech, press, to assemble and petition — and asked that O’Donnell allow the moderators ask the questions.

Turning our attention back to O'Donnell's assertion, what the Constitution does say, in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" — a restriction imposed upon the state to prevent its interference in religious practice.

Landmark Legal Foundation President Mark R. Levin (one of the greatest constitutional lawyers in my opinion) explained the confusion of liberal judges and trial lawyers in his 2005 book, "Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America." (I highly recommend reading it)

The "Wall of Separation" phrase comes not from the Constitution, but from President Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802.  As Levin notes, the obscure comment was virtually ignored for nearly a century and a half. It wasn't until 1947 when Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black ruled in the Everson case — which actually upheld the use of taxpayer money to transport children to Catholic and other parochial schools — that the Jefferson metaphor was used to establish "the anti-religious precedent that has done so much damage to religious freedom."

Levin's argument is similar to that of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  In his dissent in a 1985 ruling against silent school prayer, Rehnquist pointed out: "There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the Framers intended to build the 'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized in Everson." He called Jefferson's "wall" "a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging."

Veteran journalist M. Stanton Evans points out that this false view of the Founders as "separationists" led to "a revolution in our legal theory, educational system, and religious practice — including such departures as barring Christmas manger scenes from tax-supported settings."

Columbia Law School Professor Phillip Hamburger has argued that the early Americans enacted the Establishment Clause to prevent the corruption of religion by worldly influences, and that "the constitutional authority for separation is without historical foundation."

Is it any wonder that the newest Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan, did not require the study of constitutional law when she was dean of Harvard Law School — but did require the study of foreign law? Those future federal judges graduating Harvard might catch onto the fable liberal activists have gone to such trouble weaving.

Finally, consider these: Coons was a self avowed Marxist (until getting in to politics), Obama has now omitted the word creator from Decleration of Independence on multiple occasions, and that religion has (present and past) been practically outlawed in all Marxist/communist states.
Is it simple coincidence or is there a connection?  Draw your own conclusions.

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