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Free Fall Of Justice

Newsletter | March 28, 2024

Scales Of Justice

America’s justice system is in free fall. The left’s full-scale assault on the Bill of Rights continues. The target now is the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of legal representation, as a California judge recommended that lawyer John Eastman should be disbarred because of a memo he wrote supporting Donald Trump’s efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election. A Washington, D.C. court is hearing a case to disbar former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark for wanting to investigate voting irregularities in the same election. Both attorneys are also among multiple other defendants, including Trump, in the Fulton County, Georgia election interference case.

It’s obvious why left-wing lawyers and jurisdictions are targeting the 2024 Republican candidate for President — it’s a lawfare campaign devised to handicap Trump and prop up his opponent, the cognitively challenged incumbent. But why is the justice system targeting conservative lawyers? To punish them for representing conservative clients and causes. The strategic goal then is to leave half the country, or more, without recourse to legal representation, and therefore at the mercy of leftwing legal activists. A cursory survey of the cases against Trump — at federal, state, and county levels— show that the left has filled government slots with its ambitious and ruthless operatives.

Further, many radical activists have been named judges across the land. That includes the Supreme Court, where its newest member, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, has identified herself as a spokesperson for progressive causes. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she demurred when one lawmaker asked if the nominee could “provide a definition for the word ‘woman?’” “No,” said Jackson. “I can’t.” she gibed, “I’m not a biologist.”

That’s an answer hardly worthy of a court officer. Are speed limits also ambiguous? What about felonies? The defendant is charged with murder, but I can’t define death — I’m not a coroner. But because her answer signaled she was on board with ruling class orthodoxy on gender, Jackson sailed through.

It comes as no surprise then that as a Justice, Brown aligned herself with the government’s censorship regime and staked out a position against the First Amendment. “My biggest concern is that your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the federal government in significant ways,” she told a lawyer arguing a case against government-enforced suppression of speech. “And so I guess some might say that the government actually has a duty to take steps to protect the citizens of this country, and you seem to be suggesting that that duty cannot manifest itself in the government encouraging or even pressuring platforms to take down harmful information.”

As many noted, the point of enshrining the First Amendment in the Constitution is to protect the God-given right to free speech against that body most likely to encroach upon it — the government. But of course the left knows that: weakening the First Amendment is the cornerstone of their campaign against the Bill of Rights. Whether it’s the right to free speech, self-defense, legal representation, or any other natural right held by freeborn men and women, radical activists inside and outside the federal government have it in their crosshairs.

It’s hard to see the justice system improving anytime soon, with law schools continuing to indoctrinate students and turn them against anyone who doesn’t fit the progressive profile. The outcome won’t be good for anyone. Turning the justice system against half the country doesn’t mean conservatives won’t have justice — it just means they will no longer seek it in the venues that the left has corrupted.

Even through the early decades of the last century, there were plenty of places the law couldn’t or wouldn’t reach in a country as large as the United States. And in those places settlers and pioneers imposed their own rough system of law, frontier justice. It seems the left is intent on driving the country back in time, to a very dangerous place.

Please participate in our Reader’s Survey. Your insights and thoughts are important as we learn what is on the minds and in the hearts of our fellow Americans. We read them all and share some of them Mondays at 9 a.m. during America’s Future live broadcasts with our Executive Director Mary O’Neill on America’s Mondays With Mary. Thank You!

Arthur Milikh is the executive director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life and editor of the recently published Up from Conservatism: Revitalizing The Right After a Generation of Decay. The book’s authors argue that conservatives have been unable to stop or even slow the Left’s rolling revolutions in nearly every sector of American society—from classrooms to boardrooms, from the military to the culture at large. For conservatism to have a serious future, it needs to think more deeply about the essential policy questions that will define the future of the country: race, men and women, sexuality, religion, the economy, and foreign policy.

We spoke with Arthur recently to get his insights and ideas about the future of our great nation.

What’s the most important thing that needs to be done to revitalize conservatism?

I know that nothing can happen without a changed self-understanding, which I think means adopting the view that we’re the rightful heirs to American civilization rather than a group whose moral worth and self-confidence are determined by the left.  But that’s only the beginning. The next step is recapturing and properly governing real things—states, universities, parts of the press, businesses, etc. The right is sometimes good at talking but is almost never capable of properly governing. It has, however, perfected losing things. If the right today miraculously was given Harvard University to govern, it would lose it in less than a decade. It must learn to hold and manage properly.

Should we be worried about the future of free speech in America?

No doubt there is a powerful front assembled and prepared to restrict speech and even compel speech. That front once consisted of professional activists, universities, big tech, and NGOs, but it today, obviously, includes the government itself. This unified front has two kinds of speech in mind: the former wants to restrict so-called hate speech, which consists of stopping thoughts that protected groups deem harm their self-respect; the latter wants to stop certain kinds of political speech that the government thinks question its authority. Conservatives pray that the Supreme Court will protect this sacred right. And it probably will, for the time being. But times change quickly, and conservatives need to draw lines in the sand beyond which they will not permit the left to cross. Speech is one of those. Overcoming this threat will require wrestling away the institutions and platforms where political speech takes place.

Can public schools be revitalized?

Two things are needed for that to happen. First is the self-confidence to say our school and the curricula belong to us; that they must serve a republican way of life, not harm it. In this sense, education is political. There is no neutrality in education. The left understands this, and the right used to, until relatively recently. The second is to organize politically. School boards, curricula, superintendents, etc., should all be part of a state-wide party apparatus in red states. Public colleges and universities should also be properly altered using funding and other means in red states.

What is your prayer for America?

That Americans might look at each other as striving to live together with some lasting harmony, sharing common goals, while also realizing that if we lose the country neither side wins. 

Editor’s Note: To read other Speaking With American Patriots interviews, please click here.

Tonight (March 28, 2024) at Mar-a-Lago to a sold-out crowd, America’s Future celebrates its rich history of 78 years of building and expanding an educated citizenry, defending citizens’ individual rights and the Constitution, and protecting American families and children – the future of America.

It was established in 1946 and is one of the nation’s first pro-American nonprofits to emerge during the post-World War II era to expose the threat of communism and tyranny in the homeland. Its original founders were industry leaders, military heroes, trailblazers, and patriots who realized that through education, citizens would be armed with the truth and join them in the fight for liberty and freedom.

These titans of their time followed in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers – those visionaries, scholars, and revolutionary leaders who created the U.S. Constitution not just for themselves…but for future generations. And like the work of our Founders nearly 250 years ago, America’s Future’s work for nearly 80 years is of the same cause—to ensure that all citizens of the United States of America are forever free from the clutches of tyranny and an omnipotent government.

America’s Future has been on the battlefield and stood the test of time, preserving faith, family, and freedom to ensure that the vision of our Founding Fathers is fulfilled: that America will always be the greatest nation the world has ever known – that shining city on the hill – and that the torch of freedom is bright as it passes on to the next generations – our children and grandchildren.

Please watch America’s Future 78th-anniversary video above.

Keeping You Informed
Status Reporting On America’s Future Amicus Briefs

This week we continue our “Amicus Reporting” series to keep our readers updated on cases America’s Future participated in as nonparty “Amicus Curiae,” Latin for “friend of the court.” Since December 2021, our organization has filed 50 amicus briefs in cases that involve issues of constitutional importance. Amicus briefs are mechanisms used to inspire case outcomes and provide well-reasoned arguments for courts to consider. They facilitate direct communication between nonparties interested in the outcome of cases and the Article III Justices and judges who decide those outcomes.  We will continue this series over the next several newsletters. To access all the status updates posted thus far, please click here.

Case: Guedes v ATF, SCOTUS Dkt. No.22-1222
Court: U.S. Supreme Court 
Amicus Brief
Filing Date(s): July 20, 2023
Primary Issue: Whether the definition of “machinegun” in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b) includes non-mechanical bump stocks?
Outcome: Pending 

Case: Loper Bright v Raimondo, SCOTUS Dkt. No.22-451
Court: U.S. Supreme Court 
Amicus Brief
Filing Date(s): July 24, 2023
Primary Issue: Whether the Court should overrule Chevron or at least clarify that statutory silence concerning controversial powers expressly but narrowly granted elsewhere in the statute does not constitute an ambiguity requiring deference to the agency?
Outcome: Pending (oral arguments took place on January 17, 2024)

Case: Missouri v Biden, 5th Cir. Dkt. No. 23-30445
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Amicus Brief
Filing Date(s): August 7, 2023
Primary Issue: Whether the preliminary injunction is proper? Whether the government violated the First Amendment when it collaborated and/or coerced social media platforms to remove disfavored speech and/or targeted certain platform users based on improper political  purposes?
Outcome: The preliminary injunction was modified; the matter is now pending with the SCOTUS.

Case: Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) v Townstone Financial, 7th Cir. Dkt. No.23-1654
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Amicus Brief
Filing Date(s): August 21, 2023
Primary Issue: Whether the CFPB improperly attempts to expand its authority beyond the express and unambiguous language of the statute?
Outcome: Pending 

Case: O’Handley v Weber, SCOTUS Dkt. No.22-1199
Court: U.S. Supreme Court 
Amicus Brief
Filing Date(s): August 25, 2023
Primary Issue: Whether state officials acted under color of state law in violation of the First Amendment when a state agency, which exists to police online speech, singled out Petitioner’s disfavored political speech for Twitter to punish and Twitter complied? 
Outcome: Pending

Editor’s Note: To read all the Amicus briefs’ status updates posted thus far, please click here.

Tools Of Tyrants

This is the fifteenth entry in our In Focus series identifying and exposing the tools that modern-day tyrants are using to thwart the will of We The People for power and control. To access previous articles, please click here.

Last year, a remarkable decision was issued by a federal district court which revealed the degree to which the federal government secretly has been pressuring social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to censor the political speech of Americans.  In a case brought by the States of Missouri and Louisiana, District Judge Terry Doughty concluded the States were likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the federal government:

has used its power to silence [its] opposition.  Opposition to COVID-19 vaccines; opposition to COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 election…;  statements that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to policies of the government officials in power.  [Missouri v. Biden, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114585, *208 (July 4, 2023) (emphasis added).]

The national government, through the FBI, CDC, and other agencies, privately communicated its “requests” to social media sites — often accompanied by threats to change laws to jeopardize their businesses.  The court noted that each and every type of suppressed speech “was conservative in nature [constituting] viewpoint discrimination of political speech.”  This, the court stated, violated the right of Americans “to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country.”  Id.

All this happened in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” where the First Amendment was supposed to prevent censorship, premising that in the United States: 
“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”

In a speech given in 1860, former slave and black abolitionist Frederick Douglass asserted a great truth:

[l]iberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.  That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants.  It is the right which they first of all strike down.

Around the world, tyrants have suppressed speech critical of their regimes, fearful that an informed populace would throw off their tyranny. The history of Soviet Communism is the story of tyrants ruthlessly shutting down opposing speech.  In early November 1917, the Soviet government issued its “Decree on Press,” forbidding the publishing of anything critical of the government.  In 1921, the Soviet government formed the Glavlit (General Directorate for the Protection of State Secrets in the Press), with the authority to decide which books could be published and which would be banned.  The Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991, and Russia still seeks to control the press, but after reading what our own national government has done to threaten and coerce social media, it is difficult to boast of our own freedoms.

Perhaps the most glaring example of censorship today is North Korea.  North Koreans may not even own a radio capable of being tuned to stations outside North Korea.  The people have no access to the internet, only to a North Korean government-controlled intranet.  Cell phones can only make or receive calls inside North Korea.  Phone calls are heavily monitored by government security — but is that monitoring much different from America, as was revealed years ago by Edward Snowden?

It was not that long ago that the words “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “malinformation” were unknown.  Now, these words are regularly used by governments to justify censoring of speech and press.  But censorship was never to be a power of our government.  Americans do not need their government to tell them what they should think.  But now, censorship is believed by many on the Left to be not just a power, but a duty, of government.

The United Nations seeks a world in which all “disinformation and hate speech online” is  eliminated, because such speech constitutes “a major threat to stability and social cohesion.”   To that end, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has outlined its plan to regulate online communication, laying out “concrete measures which must be implemented by all stakeholders: governments, regulatory authorities, civil society and the platforms themselves.”

Brazil’s socialist president Lula Da Silva is promoting a so-called “Fake News Bill,” which “puts the onus on the internet companies, search engines and social messaging services to find and report illegal material, instead of leaving it to the courts, charging hefty fines for failures to do so.”

While we would like to think such tyrannical measures are limited to the countries of the East where Christianity has not shaped policy, and the Third World (now called the Global South), the threat exists throughout the Western World.  The European Union recently lifted the immunity of four Polish members of the EU Parliament, allowing them to be prosecuted in Poland for hate crimes, based on merely “liking” Tweets and a Facebook post promoting a slowing of immigration.

In Finland in June of 2019, Päivi Räsänen, a member of Parliament and the country’s former Interior Minister, expressed opposition on Twitter to her church’s decision to sponsor an “LGBT pride event.”  She posted a picture of Romans 1:24-27 from a page in her Bible, and asked how the church’s sponsorship could be squared with the Bible.  By April 2021, Räsänen faced criminal charges for “hate speech” and was staring at up to two years in prison.

Prosecutions of the sort brought in Poland and Finland could never happen in Russia, which “has outlawed [the] ‘international LGBT public movement’ as extremist.”

As law professor Jonathan Turley warns, “The Finland case is an attack on core free speech rights….  In the name of equity, Finland is sacrificing liberty.  In the name of tolerance, Finland is declaring intolerance for opposing views….  It is a new orthodoxy imposed on dissenting views….”  The case was eventually dropped after Räsänen courageously fought the charges.

The government of France has also instituted an “alarming rollback on free speech rights.”  In 2018, its government ordered opposition leader Marine Le Pen into a mental evaluation for posting historically accurate photographs of Frenchmen beheaded by Muslim terrorists.  “She was accused under the French laws criminaliz[ing] different forms of speech … part of a European rollback on core free speech rights.”  The “hate speech” law which Le Pen was accused of violating carries “up to three years in prison and $91,000” in fines.

The government of Ireland is preparing to enact a new “hate speech law.”  National Review notes that “[t]he hate speech law that Ireland is preparing to pass is arguably the most radical legislation of its kind we’ve seen in the West.  It criminalizes the mere possession of materials that are ‘likely to incite violence or hatred’ — books, videos, or even memes on your phone.”

Irish senator Pauline O’Reilly was at least honest about her dictatorial intent.  “We are restricting freedom, but we’re doing it for the common good….  If your views on other people’s identities go to make their lives unsafe, insecure and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, then I believe that it is our job as legislators to restrict those freedoms for the common good.”

Canada’s Justin Trudeau has introduced the so-called “Online Harms Act,” a draconian censorship bill designed to curb opposition speech.  In our own country, former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called for a ban on anonymous speech on social media.  Wherever one turns, free speech is under assault and fighting for its life against Big Government tyrants.

Unlike past eras, there is no “free world” versus the “Iron Curtain.”  Free Speech has little refuge anywhere.  As journalist Michael Shellenberger put it, “What’s happening should terrify all freedom-loving people.”  Without freedom of speech, there can be no freedom of thought, and eventually no true freedom at all.  Americans must resist restrictions and fight to reclaim our First Amendment rights from the clutches of tyrants.

Editor’s Note: To read the articles in this series, please click here.

Reminders and Updates

Get In The Fight Washington State campaign is around the corner. Register today to attend the Washington State Summit and Training Programs on April 26 and 27 at On Fire Ministries in Spokane, WA. Get the facts and learn what you can do in your community to help end child exploitation and trafficking.

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