Defending Religious Liberty
Friday afternoon, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision blocking enforcement of the Biden Administration’s Obamacare transgender mandate.
The mandate actually originated as last-minute regulations issued by Barack Obama in 2016. It was another radical assault on faith perpetrated by Big Government through Obamacare, just like the Obama/Biden Administration’s assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor over contraception and abortion coverage.
This time the left-wing administration was attempting to force religious doctors and medical professionals to perform “gender affirmation” surgeries or sex changes, even if the radical procedures violated the deeply-held beliefs of doctors and nurses.
While the Trump Administration repealed Obama’s regulations, Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quickly moved to reimpose them once it took power. Just another example of how elections have consequences.
Various religious groups, a coalition of Catholic hospitals and the Sisters of Mercy, which runs Catholic health clinics, sued the Biden Administration to block the transgender mandate and a similar mandate forcing religious doctors and hospitals to perform elective abortions.
This summer, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, ruled against the HHS mandates. Now, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers seven midwestern states, has also struck them down.
For whatever reason, the Biden Administration failed to appeal the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court by the November deadline. It now has 60 days to ask the full Eighth Circuit to rehear the case or 90 days to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
My response is, “Go ahead, make my day!”
Both the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court have solid conservative majorities, and I am confident they will uphold religious freedom against Big Government overreach and radical regulations that seriously threaten our First Amendment liberties.
There are not many conservative victories these days, but Friday’s ruling is a big one we should celebrate. And it is a reason to tip your hat to the Republican Party. (See next item.)
I know many of you are frustrated with the Republican Party. I am, too. As we have seen in recent days, there are too many feckless politicians who seem more eager to be liked by the editorial pages of left-wing newspapers than their own voters.
I have said before and I’ll repeat it again here: I believe it is time for new leadership in the party, leadership that will stand its ground and fight!
But I want to remind you of one time when Mitch McConnell stood his ground, even when members of his own party were furious that he didn’t consult with them.
The date was Saturday, February 13, 2016. The headlines were like a thunderbolt – “Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead In Texas.”
Barack Obama now had a potential opportunity to appoint a third justice to the Supreme Court, cementing the high court’s liberal majority. But, as you know, that didn’t happen.
Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that day declaring that the American people would have a voice in the selection of the next justice because the vacancy would not be filled until 2017 by the next president.
McConnell issued his statement without consulting the Senate Republican Caucus because events were moving very quickly that Saturday, and McConnell clearly understood the stakes.
Too many members of the GOP’s “Surrender Caucus” would have rallied around the argument that the president deserves his pick and another left-wing activist would be on the Supreme Court today.
Of course, Donald Trump went on to prevail in the presidential election. And after three brutal confirmation battles, which we won because Donald Trump was willing to fight brutal battles, the Supreme Court now has a six-to-three conservative majority that is defending our conservative values.
Not every Republican administration got this right. I know because I was there when O’Connor and Kennedy were nominated. I was also among the few conservative leaders who led the fight against George W. Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers, his personal lawyer, to replace O’Connor.
That was a brutal battle we were not expecting, but it eventually resulted in Miers backing out and Bush nominating Samuel Alito, who gave us the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Now that was a fight worth having!
The one area where we have gained strength is the federal judiciary – the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts – thanks to your steadfast support for my work in Washington over the years.
Children At Risk
The Philadelphia School District just announced that it is updating athletic regulations to allow any student to play on a school sports team that corresponds with their “gender identity.” This is outrageous, but it’s not surprising. Philadelphia is firmly under the control of left-wing Democrats.
That brings me to an observation Senator Rand Paul and others have made in recent weeks. There is no Republican of any consequence, anywhere in the country that I am aware of, who is pushing genital mutilating surgery and irreversible puberty blockers on children. No Republican is pushing radical gender ideology.
Democrats – from mayors to governors to the president of the United States – own this issue lock, stock and barrel. From powerful media figures to the teachers unions to Hollywood elites, they are the ones pushing this every way they can.
If this goes on long enough, some Republicans will eventually embrace it. They will say that they are “respecting the values of neighbors and voters.” But, as of now, it is just the latest fringe, Democrat progressive project.
This insanity is destroying the lives of our children. It is not helping them. I am pleased to report that more and more “detransitioners,” including former Navy SEAL Chris Beck, are coming forward to say how these procedures and therapies ruined their lives. Some are suing the doctors who destroyed their bodies.
I know there are many Republicans who don’t like dealing with these issues. Here’s what they must realize: Smaller government and lower marginal tax rates will not save an America that has eliminated religious liberty, promotes abortion on demand, believes its founders were evil and allows 10 year-olds to change their gender at whim.
If they ever buy into that, they are rejecting what the Founders believed -- that only a virtuous people can remain free.
Republicans must engage more forcefully on cultural issues, especially the transgender issue. This is a radical fringe position. They should not be afraid to fight against it.
I know this will drive some Republicans crazy. But our side is a strong majority. Look at the results in Florida! Confident leadership is all that’s needed.
The Choice We Face
Two years ago, the City of Philadelphia caved to the woke mob and covered up a statue of Christopher Columbus.
When city leaders covered the statue with a giant wooden box, they said they were protecting people who might be “triggered” by the sight of Columbus.
They don’t want to force anyone in America to see this Columbus statue, but they’re all in on showing us Sam Brinton.
A political party triggered by the sight of Columbus, but not of Brinton is insane.
McCarthy vs. The Deep State
Kudos to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy!
As he works to secure the speakership next month, McCarthy announced over the weekend that he plans to subpoena the 51 so-called “intelligence leaders” who signed an open letter declaring the Hunter Biden laptop to be Russian disinformation.
As we now know, they were wrong. And as I have previously noted, there’s no good explanation for their mistake.
Either they are incompetent and can’t tell Russian disinformation from the truth or these people who were trained to lie to our enemies were lying to the American people.
Of course, that begs the question: Who do they think the enemy is today?