The Congressional Appropriations Power And Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states must recognize so-called same-sex “marriage,” does that mean that proponents of real marriage have only the remedy of a Constitutional Amendment to block the effects of such a decision? No! While some men and women of good will have claimed that an amendment to the federal Constitution is the only remedy available, they have not thought through the problems associated with such a strategy. History demonstrates that this strategy is only rarely successful. Only four Supreme Court decisions have ever been reversed by Constitutional Amendment since 1789. Moreover, Liberals, and faux conservatives who duck social issues, would love to send grassroots conservatives on a futile, wild goose chase in a multi-year pursuit of a Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

There is another way. Congress can immediately take action on a strategy to block the Obama Administration’s implementation of the Court’s decision through the use of riders to appropriations bills which will come before Congress this summer and fall.

Suggested by James Madison, both liberals and conservatives have successfully used this strategy to change public policy over the past 50 years. This approach is constitutional. It can be set in motion within days. And, if pursued by defenders of real marriage, this approach will require every 2016 congressional and presidential candidate to take a position on marriage.

The Appropriations power of Congress can and must be used to block implementation of unlawful rulings by out-of-control federal judges. Members of Congress would simply attach amendments to pending Appropriations bills later this summer to prevent the Obama Administration from implementing the pro-same sex marriage decision.

Does Congress have this power? Yes!

The Constitution provides that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law …”  Art. 1, Sect. 9.

James Madison noted: “This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” Federalist 58. Every Appropriations bill consists of page after page of limitations, conditions, or prohibitions on how our federal tax dollars may be spent, if spent at all. Such money prohibitions which changed history include:

  • The Vietnam War ended with the 1975 cutoff of American military aid;
  • Medicaid funding of abortion on demand was banned via the Hyde Amendment in 1976;
  • Funds to assist anti-communists seeking to overthrow the Communist government in Angola in 1975-76 were prohibited;
  • The implementation of a published IRS ruling under President Jimmy Carter which compelled private, predominantly Christian schools to prove they were not discriminating on the basis of race in order to keep their tax-exempt status in 1979 was blocked by an Appropriations Amendment from former Congressman Robert Dornan (R-CA); and
  • Tax funds to assist Contra rebel groups in overthrowing the Nicaraguan government were blocked in 1982.

Some may question if it is “constitutional” to prohibit spending money to implement same-sex “marriage.” President Andrew Jackson answered that question in his 1832 veto message of the National Banking bill, where he noted: “[t]he authority of the Supreme Court must not … be permitted to control the Congress or the Executive when acting in their legislative capacities.” President Jackson’s Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the United States; July 10, 1832.

The Supreme Court’s twisting of the Fourteenth Amendment–enacted after the shedding of blood of over a half a million Americans for equal rights for black Americans–into a mandate for same-sex “marriage”  must be challenged immediately and effectively. Many millions of Americans who voted to support and adhere to the millennia-old consensus on marriage must question the authority and judgment of the Court.

Past Justices did not always claim such sweeping infallibility. Referring to past controversial decisions of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Earl Warren (1953-1969) commented in 1962 on the World War II Japanese internment cases that: “… the fact that the Court rules in a case like, Hirabayashi that a given program is constitutional, does not necessarily answer the question whether, in a broader sense, it actually is.” Earl Warren, The Bill of Rights and the Military, 37 N.Y.U. L. REV. 181, 193 (1962), Reprinted in, The Air Force Law Review, Vol. 60, 2007, pp 16-17.

Providentially, I was involved in the initiation of (i) the successful Hyde Amendment relating to abortion, and (ii) the Dornan Appropriations Amendment blocking Jimmy Carter’s efforts to put private schools under the thumb of the IRS, on pain of losing their tax-exempt status. The stories of these two efforts are instructive as to the power that Congress has to fix such problems.

In the Spring of 1976, a friend provided me with the results of a FOIA request showing the Department of Health Education and Welfare (now HHS) had paid for roughly 300,000 Medicaid abortions. As a private citizen, I went to the U.S. Capitol and requested a Page to have Representative Bob Bauman (R-MD) come off the House Floor and meet me at the Cloakroom door. (Bauman and I were both active in Young Americans for Freedom many years earlier.) I showed Congressman Bauman the FOIA documents and suggested that an amendment to the HEW Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of federal tax money for abortion would be in order. He said he knew a freshman Congressman who might be willing to offer the amendment cutting off all funding for elective abortions. That first-term member of Congress turned out to be Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL). The abortion funding restriction — widely known as the Hyde Amendment — has passed Congress every year since 1976.

As a legislative assistant to Congressman Dornan, I worked with the late Jack Clayton of the National Association of Evangelical Schools to devise an amendment to protect private schools by adding a rider to a Treasury appropriations bill prohibiting the use of any federal money to implement the IRS Ruling which had compelled mostly Christian schools to jump through bureaucratic hoops to demonstrate they were not discriminating to the satisfaction of a hostile IRS in order to keep their tax exempt status. This was not a partisan effort. Indeed, I worked with Missouri Democratic Senator Eagleton’s staff as Lutheran Missouri Synod church schools were particularly burdened by the IRS Ruling. Senator Eagleton made sure that the Senate approved the House-passed Dornan Amendment. That Amendment became part of the Treasury Appropriations bill and was signed into law, stopping the IRS crusade against Christian schools.

In April 1980, in Harris vs. McRae, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as constitutional the Hyde Appropriations Amendment banning taxpayer paid abortions. In 1981, during a break in a Conference Committee meeting held in the Capitol building, I was conferring with my boss, Mr. Dornan, when liberal New York Democrat Congressman Charlie Rangel, who supported legal abortion and abortion funding, came over to talk with us about that decision. Rangel told us that Congress could never give up the “power of the purse.” He said: “You know, we differ on abortion. But if the Supreme Court had said that they were going to tell us how to spend our (i.e., taxpayer) money, I would have put in court-stripping bills faster than you could!” I remember Rangel pressing his finger on Dornan’s chest as he spoke, in a firm but friendly manner.

The appropriations amendments which will be required to blunt the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision mandating recognition of same-sex marriage must prohibit the use of monies or fees administered by an executive agency, judicial agency or court, or presidential executive order, directive, or guideline or similar agency action to implement any aspect of the ruling in the Supreme Court marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, to prevent the following:

  • Removing the tax exempt status of any church, institution, university, school, or non-profit entity declining to facilitate or participate in same-sex “marriage”;
  • Requiring any federal contractor or grantee to accommodate same-sex “marriage”;
  • Disciplining or fining any person who declines to participate in a same-sex “marriage”;
  • Requiring federal employees to undergo sexual attitude restructuring education to ensure their acceptance or accommodation of same-sex “marriage”;
  • Withholding any federal grant or contract money to any state, territory, or possession declining to implement same-sex “marriage” in schools or other agencies of state government;
  • Withholding federal money from any state, territory, or possession which does not change state, etc. legal codes to accommodate same-sex “marriage”;
  • Allowing federal courts to hear challenges to any state or federal law affirming that marriage is only a relationship between one man and one woman. (See Article III Power to Curb Federal Court Jurisdiction.)

An appropriations bill is much easier to pass than a normal bill. Because funding bills are necessary to keep the government open, they must be considered and passed yearly. Other bills can be buried in committee, but appropriations bills cannot be ignored.

If our Republican House of Representatives and our Republican Senate place an appropriations rider on all spending bills stating “no funds appropriated hereunder may be used to implement the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell,” it would not undo or reverse the Supreme Court’s same-sex “marriage” decision. However, it would make Obergefell a decision that was never enforced at the federal level.

If Congress wanted to get creative, and send a message to a Supreme Court that had usurped Congress’ and the states’ role to decide policy, it could also consider an appropriations amendment to limit the number of clerks assigned to each Supreme Court Justice to a single clerk. If the Justices have so much time on their hands that they can attempt to defy the laws of Nature and Nature’s God, they may become more circumspect in crusading for the liberal agenda. (I actually had such an amendment drafted for Congressman Dornan while the Harris v. McRae case was pending. Had the Hyde Amendment been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Congressman Dornan intended to offer that amendment.)

It is most crucial that citizens upholding one man, one woman marriage make it immediately clear that they expect their Members of Congress to support anti-same-sex marriage appropriations riders, and to secure record votes to show the public how they voted on the specific question. To avoid taking a stand with a recorded vote, Members of Congress might try to lump all the appropriations bills into one “Continuing Resolution.” (A continuing resolution is a measure which generally funds the entire federal government in one appropriations bill utilizing spending conditions from previous years but with different spending amounts.)

Should the Republican leadership decline to take separate votes on individual appropriations bills to protect marriage, then the leadership should be removed for abandoning their stated policy beliefs as contained in the 2012 Republican Platform: “The union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard.”

In April 2013, the leaders of thirteen social conservative organizations wrote to Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus, challenging the conclusions of a RNC report which concluded that the Reagan Coalition embracing social issue conservatives was a political relic and should be abandoned. The conservative leaders told Priebus: “We respectfully warn GOP leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents ….”

Incumbent Members of Congress who fail to amend appropriations bills to protect natural marriage need to face primary opponents who will amend appropriations bills. We must ensure that protection of marriage becomes a necessary condition for receiving our votes in the 2016 elections and beyond.

No Congressman or Senator should be given a pass or be excused if they claim that the House or Senate Rules must prevent record votes. There are procedures to ensure record votes are taken. For example, in the House, only 25 members are needed to call for a record vote on an amendment to an appropriations bill.

The risk of permanent damage to individuals, our institutions, and our nation is too great to allow those who represent “We the People” to duck accountability for defending marriage as it has been understood for millennia. Failure on our part to demand that our representatives use all legal powers they have means we are giving up the fight, which would make us partially responsible for the evils that will ensue.

_____________________

Virginia Delegate Robert G. (“Bob”) Marshall is a senior member of the Virginia House of Delegates, currently serving his 12th term. First elected in 1991, he has consistently addressed a wide range of policy concerns including fiscal and social as well as civil liberty issues. Marshall is the co-author of the 2006 voter-approved traditional Marriage Amendment to the Constitution of Virginia. He is also the author of 2012 statute preventing Virginia from assisting the federal government in the arrest and detention of American citizens without trial, presentment of charges, or representation by counsel of alleged violations of federal security laws, and the author of a 2015 law requiring Virginia law enforcement to secure a warrant to track cell phone or computer identification and location data. Marshall has been married to his wife Cathy for 39 years; they have five children and five grandchildren. He can be reached at delegatebob@gmail.com.

This article is part of a series on “Building Resistance to Same-Sex Marriage.” Please support this important work with a contribution to the U.S. Justice Foundation. Permission is freely granted to publish, copy, reproduce, distribute, or excerpt from this article for any purpose.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Liberals Call On Bristol Palin To Have An Abortion: A Rebuttal…

When the news broke yesterday that Bristol Palin is pregnant, the media exploded. And not just mainstream media. Social media, right wing media. Everyone had a comment, an opinion, or a joke. Sure, everyone has the right to do that; and I don’t begrudge them for doing so. But sometimes, we forget that people are still people. I know, life in the public eye and all that. You have to have a thick skin if you’re going to live in the limelight. I agree.

Still, the online publication Gawker ran a headline on this story which simply cannot be ignored. It reads: “Bristol Palin Makes Great Argument for Abortion in Baby Announcement.”

Seriously?

First off, everyone knows the Palins – including Bristol – are very pro-life. To suggest that Bristol’s announcement implies she should have an abortion is both cruel and evil. Cruel to Bristol, and evil in thinking she can’t possibly be happy unless she kills the innocent life inside her.

Sure, Bristol’s announcement reads in part:

I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one… 

When life gets tough, there is no other option but to get tougher…

I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you… Tripp, this new baby, and I will all be fine, because God is merciful.

Bristol PalinGawker would have you believe that Bristol needing to keep her chin up, and the disappointment mentioned in her statement, indicate that no one in the Palin family wants this new baby… therefore, she should have an abortion.

Let’s take a step back for a minute. Just one month ago, Bristol was engaged and walking towards a life of happily ever after with Dakota Meyer. That didn’t work out. Breakups are emotional. They’re hard. So yes, Bristol has probably earned the right to be a little overwhelmed right now. Even if she’s made some pretty dang poor decisions in the process. It happens to all of us.

As for the disappointment, that has nothing to do the baby. Then why would Bristol say this pregnancy has been and will be a disappointment, you ask? Because after her first pregnancy, Bristol became a powerful advocate for abstinence (which, by the way, remains the only 100% sure-fire way not to become pregnant). Since we all know where babies come from, this pregnancy means that Bristol – a human being – failed to practice what she’s been preaching.

Yes, Bristol Palin failed. She failed to hit the high standard she’s attempted to set. As a result, her life just got a lot harder. Bristol’s not sugarcoating it. Nor is she asking that of anyone else. This is going to be hard. It’s hard to be a single mom of two. It’s even harder when the media’s constantly scrutinizing your every move.

But you know what? Bristol and baby will be fine. Why? Because she knows she messed up and that God is merciful and forgives when we mess up.

Speaking of mercy, here’s what Gawker had to say about God and his mercy:

(God’s) not so merciful, of course, to suggest that she has any choice in this matter. 

In one sense, yeah Gawker. You’re kinda right. God has a lot to say about killing children, and none of it is particularly pleasant for those who practice such horrific things. But you’re also wrong. Bristol did have a choice. She could have said no. She could have walked away. Bristol could have practiced what she preached. But she didn’t. She messed up. She knows that.

The cool thing about the God that Bristol believes in, though? He doesn’t just show mercy to His children. He takes our mistakes and our failures and turns them into something good. Romans 8:28 says: “All things work together for good for those who love God.”

That’s why abortion isn’t an option for Bristol Palin. Even though she failed to live up to what she holds as Godly standards, her God is awesome. And He’s taken that moment of failure and turned it into an incredible blessing – a new baby Palin.

That’s what you call a miracle.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Abortion: The Shark That Kills Thousands In The United States

I have recently spent a lot of time in North Carolina doing events and working with wonderful Patriots who teach our Institute on the Constitution courses of instruction.  So when I saw the headline “Dangerous Shark Attacks on the North Carolina Coast,” I had to read it.

Two teenagers were seriously injured in separate shark attacks off the NC coast, with one girl losing part of her arm and possibly her leg! These attacks were an absolutely horrific display of animalistic barbarity, cruelty, and devastation. My prayers go out to these two individuals and their families. I can’t even imagine the trauma they are experiencing.

This week, I am speaking at a youth camp in Indiana; and this story has gotten me thinking about another horrific act of barbarity and devastation happening in my own country that claims the life of over 4,000 humans a day: abortion. It is the same practice that has been perpetuated down through history; it’s called child sacrifice. The physical aspects have changed due to advances in medical procedures used to take an individual’s life. The means have diversified and multiplied, but the motivation is the same as it always has been: a mixture of idolatry, ignorance, and a convenience-based, self-centered opinion of one’s own life.

I say “self-centered” because as Ronald Reagan once stated, “I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”

I say “idolatrous” because child sacrifice has been commonplace for many non-Christian pagan religions that would offer their children to their false “god”, which incidentally doesn’t exist. Now in America, to quote my friend and fellow advocate Joel McDurmon, “We have replaced our sacrifice to a false god who doesn’t exist, to sacrifice to a false god that does exist…Man himself.”

Lastly I say “ignorance” because many people murder their own children due to ignorance, or lack of knowledge. I know it is hard to believe; but after speaking to thousands of youth across this nation, I know for a fact that they have no idea what an abortion even is. They are instructed in their schools and by the murder-marketing hucksters like Planned Parenthood that it is simply a form of birth-control.

I am a Christian, a Constitutionalist, and an American; therefore, I teach and believe that what the hypocritical so-called pro-choice movement calls abortion is in fact MURDER and therefore illegal!

The Declaration of Independence (the Organic Law of the United States) makes no assertion that we are “born equal”; it says we are “created equal” (in the mother’s womb). And since the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (the Law of the Land) says “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law,” then to take the life of a created human is illegal–and the results of this action are devastating! The child is ripped apart and mutilated, the mother is emotionally traumatized and risks sustaining health issues for life, and the country is polluted with innocent blood for which the Author of Life will not pardon without recompense.

Today as I instruct young people in the biblical American View of Law and Government, I am solemnly reminded of the biblical warning from the Hebrew prophet Hosea: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

Let’s reverse this curse. Please join us in reaching this generation with the Christian, Biblical, American View.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

When Are ‘Wrongs’ ‘Rights’?

Rights: that which is morally correct, just, or honorable.

We are all sinners. However, this reality leaves no room for the embrace of lawlessness, whether it be for personal gain or widespread propaganda. The whole basis behind the personal ‘RIGHTS’ of the individual is the idea that such ‘rights’ are, in fact, rights, as opposed to wrongs.

Sadly, many of the positions championed by liberal progressives do not hold up to scrutiny, decency, and moral certainty. This is why they so readily default in their defense via coordinated smokescreens and media-backed misdirection, as a pure analysis of the issues at hand would prove devastating to their cause.

It’s easier to view abortion rights in the context of a ‘war on women’ since the barbaric mutilation of precious life is nothing short of a tragedy. But when we embrace God’s absolute standards of life and death, right and wrong, sin and virtue, evil and good, etc., what was once an arbitrarily-derived personal choice becomes a universally-established moral imperative. In such a light, abortion and rights could never make it into the same sentence. How could taking a life, even our own, ever be considered a right?

It’s not so much the legal penalty and civil deterrents that need to be amended in a world gone spiritually rogue; rather, it’s the moral responsibility of divinely-created beings that must be reestablished. If men and women are increasingly prone to abuse and mistreat each other, then maybe the problem lies in an embrace of our carnal nature above and beyond the Godly standard of moral obedience.

When a wrong is freely committed, does it increase the likelihood of a repeat offense, or is public confession and penitential restitution sought? Do further deceptions mark our course, or will we seek a righteous path of moral virtue? Will we ultimately stand upright, or will it all go entirely wrong?

May we humble ourselves; for when we are meek and tender, He is strong. Only when we do so can virtue and goodness reign. In the words of holy wisdom is illumination found and true awakenings born. The Good Book reveals the way…….

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Mom Just Discovered Photo Of Her Daughter With Down Syndrome Was Used To Advertise THIS

Christie Hoos, the mother of a little girl with Down syndrome and leukemia, is fighting back after she saw her daughter’s face all over posters mistakenly hung in public throughout Madrid, Spain. These were not ordinary posters, though. The posters were meant to be used in a private conference for medical professionals.

Genoma, the company that the posters were made for, is a private molecular genetics laboratory known world-wide for its leadership in molecular diagnosis and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). It also leads the world with its work in infertility and genetics.

Hoos stated that the company never got permission to use her daughter’s photo. The company issued an apology to the mother, and told her that it acquired the photo from an image hosting site. In her blog, Hoos wrote: “To know that this happened infuriated me, but when I saw…her sweet face on that ugly banner, it broke my heart.”

A spokesperson for Genoma, Elena Dalle Carbonare, said in a statement that Genoma plans to take legal action against the Turkish image hosting site from which it got Hoos’ daughter’s picture. Carbonare also said: “[t]his picture, displaying a beautiful smiling girl, was meant to convey a message of life and vitality and to make people think, our intention was to share this concept with the health care professionals.”

The posters advocated one of Genoma’s primary functions: prenatal testing. This is problematic because prenatal testing is a heated topic right now. It garners much debate over the issue of abortion and testing for diseases like Down syndrome. In countries like Spain, the abortion rate for babies with the disorder is a staggering 95 percent.

h/t: The Blaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth