Josh Hammer


Toward the end of Vice President Mike Pence’s resounding defeat of Sen. Kamala Harris in Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, the two officials tussled on the pending Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the despicable deluge of anti-Catholic bigotry her nomination has unleashed. Harris, one of the leading arsonists during the well-orchestrated 2018 character assassination of then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, tried to mollify wary voters in advance of Barrett’s own impending confirmation hearings. “Joe Biden and I are both people of faith,” Harris hectored, “and it’s insulting to suggest that we would knock anyone for their faith.”

Perhaps Biden and Harris are privately religious; perhaps they are not. It would be rather uncouth to aimlessly speculate as to the personal relationship each has with the Creator. But it is entirely fair game to review their historical records, their past statements and their present platform in order to preview what stances their prospective administration would take on matters pertaining to religious liberty. By any remotely fair standard, a Biden-Harris administration would represent a grievous setback for the constitutionally enshrined religious liberty of all Americans.

At a theoretical level, it has never been clearer that progressivism, the (misnamed) pseudo-intellectual tail that wags the Democratic Party dog, despises religiosity. Modern leftists, political inheritors of Karl Marx’s infamous “opiate of the masses” broadside against the Judeo-Christian tradition, are wont to view religion as an atavistic roadblock to full human “enlightenment.” They recoil at the notion that an intelligent person can actually believe biblical truth — can actually believe in the divinity of Scripture.

Practically, card-carrying progressives tout religion — anchored as it is in the family and communitarian institutions, such as churches and synagogues — as a destructive hindrance to their political goals of radical autonomy, an expanded welfare state and the ultimate dissolution of the traditional nation-state in favor of global governance. Scratch a Sen. Bernie Sanders supporter enough and you’ll assuredly hear such nostrums espoused. On the 21st-century left, such claptrap rules the roost.

A Biden-Harris ticket would support nationally enshrined taxpayer-funded on-demand abortion throughout the entire gestational cycle. Biden, who once pretended to follow the late Mario Cuomo in the Kabuki theater that is, “I’m personally pro-life but support a woman’s right to choose,” went so far this election cycle as to disavow his decades-long support of the Hyde Amendment — the longstanding federal ban on taxpayer subsidization of that most grisly snuffing out of unborn human life. Harris has been vocal about her so-called Reproductive Rights Act, which would flip federalism on its head and call for Justice Department “preclearance” before any state-level abortion restriction might be enforced. We have come a long — and murderous — way from the Court’s decrees in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which, while lawless, at least feigned interest in fetal health.

A Biden-Harris administration would be a disaster for conscience protection. They would follow the lead of Barack Obama, who shamefully took a convent of nuns to court for years to try to coerce them to violate their faith and subsidize abortifacients, and aggressively prosecute men and women of faith — the First Amendment and relevant statutory law, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, notwithstanding. Lamentable ordeals like the legal travails of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, would become ubiquitous. Discriminate, disparate targeting of religious Americans, recently previewed by the noxious COVID-19 scapegoating of the nation’s largest Jewish community by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, offer a harrowing preview of what could be to come.

A Biden-Harris administration would also stack the federal judiciary — at the level of both the Supreme Court and the lower courts — with jurists deeply hostile to conscience rights and deeply committed to the progressive political agenda. Religious liberty has, for years, been a relatively rare bastion of conservative jurisprudential success; witness, for example, the Obama administration’s embarrassing 9-0 defeat in the 2012 “ministerial exception” case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Biden and Harris are deliberately hiding from the masses any list of possible Supreme Court nominees, and the very nature of that cowardly dissemblance belies the notion that their nominees would be anything other than radical. The blunt truth is that Biden’s potential nominees to the (likely “packed”) Court, such as Pamela Karlan, would be well to the left of Obama’s own reliably liberal nominees.

The Trump administration, despite the morally checkered past of the president himself, has been a deeply loyal and committed friend of religious and traditionalist Americans. It would truly be a shame for that progress — actual progress, in contrast to the false gods of “progressivism” — to now be squandered.

Author: Josh Hammer

Source: Town Hall: Biden-Harris Would Deal a Huge Blow to Religious Liberty

As The Daily Wire has reported, the current migrant influx crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is unprecedented in modern history. Consider what Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, recently told Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz in an interview:

Just how bad is it? Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told me emphatically that this is the “absolute worst” he’s seen it in 21 years of his work on the border. “We have never seen what we are dealing with today. It’s unprecedented and we’re in uncharted waters.”

Judd stressed the fact that while there were years where we had up to 1.5 million apprehensions during the 1990s and early 2000s, those were total arrests, not total number of people arrested. That is because almost all of those crossing were single adults from Mexico who were repatriated back to Mexico almost immediately. As such, many tried to come back again, and Border Patrol counted new arrests of the same individual multiple times. “Last decade, we arrested the same people multiple times in one year. For example, I caught the same group of seven people three times in the same shift, so although I made 21 arrests, it was still only seven people.”

Furthermore, as I noted in an op-ed last week, the March numbers reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) somehow exacerbate our problem even more. According to CBP’s press release that accompanied its report:

In Fiscal Year 2019 to date, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a more than 370% increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in FY2018. Today, 60% of apprehensions along the Southwest border are family units and unaccompanied children, made up predominantly of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Additionally, through the first six months of FY19, CBP has encountered 104 large groups composed of 100 or more individuals totaling 17,242 apprehensions. In comparison, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 13 large groups in FY2018 and two in FY2017.

The root cause of much of the migration, as The Daily Wire reported yesterday, is the systemic loosening of our statutory asylum law to cover many economically motivated migrants — which is in direct conflict with the legal requirement, under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i), that asylum is only properly considered for migrants who have been persecuted in their native countries for “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” But, under the erroneous prevailing status quo wherein a mention of “credible fear of persecution” to a U.S. border agent amounts to something closely akin to magical words granting automatic entry (and often a subsequent quick release, pending a follow-up adjudication hearing for which an alien may or may not show up), asylum claims have skyrocketed. As Rachel Bovard noted at American Greatness in October, “asylum cases more than octupled from 5,523 in 2009 to 81,864 in 2016” — and the trend has only metastasized under President Trump.

Enter Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a perhaps-unlikely prospective legislative hero. (Among other immigration-related historical deviances from conservative orthodoxy on the issue, Graham was a co-sponsor of the failed “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill in 2013.) The senior senator from South Carolina appears to now be focused on legislatively rectifying the underlying asylum loophole problem.

Per The Washington Times:

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he will be introducing a proposal to change U.S. asylum laws, saying the only way to stop the crisis at the southern border is to toughen up asylum standards.

The South Carolina Republican said a wall and military personnel at the border helps control the flow of migrants coming from Central American countries, but won’t completely stop the problem.

“We have to change these laws so people stop coming,” Mr. Graham told Fox News during an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“Doing what we are doing is not working … the crisis has to come to an end,” he added.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee said lawmakers will mark up a bill once they return from recess later this month.

According to the Times, Graham also wishes to legislatively amend the now-infamous Flores consent decree, which has hamstrung much of the Trump administration’s detention and enforcement efforts with respect to alien children.

Alas, due to Democratic control of the House, Graham likely faces steep odds of successfully getting anything passed and over to the president’s desk.

Author: Josh Hammer

Source: Dailywire: FINALLY: Amid Border Crisis, Lindsey Graham Will Introduce Legislation To Tighten Asylum Laws

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