Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for January 17th, 2006

…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Posted by Sal on January 17, 2006

Religion in the United States suffered a major setback today. The NY Court of Appeals, Appellate Division, 3rd Department, issued a 3-2 ruling today that let stand a NY state law requiring all private companies to provide Contraception as part of health insurance. There exists an exemption for purely religious organizations (i.e. The Diocese of NY, St. Joseph’s Church, etc.) but the exemption does not apply for religious organizations that serve a “Secular purpose” according to the NY State Legislature, such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent Hospital, etc.

The lawsuit was brought by both Roman Catholic and Baptist Evangelical organizations in the state of NY. This is clearly prohibiting the Free Exercise of religion. No matter what your opinion on contraception, the law is now saying that the Catholic Church must go against its conscience and provide women employees with free contraception. Now, I object to the government telling any private company what it must provide to employees, as it just leads to loss of jobs and bad economy, but to tell a religious organization that they are not allowed to practice their religion is unconscionable. I only hope that this case gets overturned at a higher level, or the next thing we may see is religious organizations being forced to provide abortions, perform same-sex marriages, or any other number of countless activities contrary to the beliefs of the particular religious group involved.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments »

New Jersey is Teasing Us Again and I’m Falling for It

Posted by Mike on January 17, 2006

The latest poll in New Jersey shows Republican Tom Kean leading Democrat Bob Menendez 36-25. This poll is neither Mason-Dixon nor Rasmussen (it is a Farleigh-Dickinson poll) so it must be taken with a grain of salt. Moreover, the number of undecideds is simply huge. Menendez is also about to be named to the seat by Governor Corzine.

New Jersey is known for teasing Republicans prior to an election but I believe this is different. The name Kean in New Jersey has an appeal similar to the appeal the name Casey enjoys in Pennsylvania. However, unlike Casey, Kean’s numbers will not plummet the second he opens his mouth. Pennsylvania will tighten because Santorum is much better on the campaign trail than Casey. (It doesn’t hurt Santorum’s chances with Catholic Democrats that he is pro-life, because unlike Casey, Santorum really is pro-life). New Jersey will be close because New Jersey voters seem to prefer the culture of corruption (nice try libs but Torricelli, Lautenberg, Florio and McGreevey are not Republicans). The pink state’s blue tendencies will be difficult to overcome, but it can be done.

Kean is a name New Jersey knows. Even Jersey voters will tire of the stench that is the Democrats. And remember appointed Senators usually do not fare well when it is time to run (Carnahan, Wofford, Frahm, Kreuger). My early prediction for NJ 2006: Republican gain

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Why are people leaving the People’s Republic?

Posted by Sal on January 17, 2006

This great article in the Boston Globe chronicles the mass exodus from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. It also alludes to the fact that Rhode Island and New York are not far behind. It’s thesis is simple. Liberal policies, big government, and over-regulation of businesses have prevented new businesses from moving to or starting up in MA, or existing business to expand in MA. Some of the problems with the state that this article highlights are:

  • A state legislature always in session
  • The infamous court decision regarding Gay Marriage
  • No accountability for state officials
  • Ted Kennedy (need I say more)
  • The biggest item on the Assembly’s agenda is the public funding of college tuition to Illegal Immigrants
  • The Big Dig
  • A tax cut initiative that is overwhelmingly passed by the people is never enacted by the legislature.

MA is a nice place to live, from a normal every-day life standpoint. But it’s government and politics is so dysfunctional that MA has one of the highest housing markets in the country, high taxes (hence the nickname “Taxachussetts”), and is growing worse every day. Until the people of this state wake up and elect some fresh blood, the problems will continue and more people will flee the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

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Killing yourself in Oregon

Posted by Sal on January 17, 2006

The Supreme Court today ruled that the Federal Government had no authority to prevent an Oregon assisted suicide law. The vote was 6-3, with Kennedy writing for the majority consisting of Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer, O’Connor, and Souter, and the dissent written by Scalia with Thomas and Roberts.

It is rulings like this that show the importance of choosing the right judges for the Supreme Court. Alito will help, but we still need at least one more originalist judge to swing back the court to a more traditional role.

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It’s Over

Posted by Sal on January 17, 2006

You know the Confirmation battle over Sam Alito is over, and that the Democrats have lost, when even the left-wing Washington Post publishes an editorial entitled “Confirm Samuel Alito“. The Post rightly argues that although they disagree with Sam Alito and the direction he will take the court, he is a well-qualified, highly intelligent judge who will take great care with the law.

This hasn’t swayed many Democrats, however, as they have moved to delay the committee vote by one week, and are even talking a possible filibuster (which would be suicide for them).

In a related news story, The Washington Examiner has published an article stating that judges like Alito, Thomas, and Scalia are really judicial activists because they are more likely to vote to declare acts of congress unconstitutional, and it is Conservatives who should be worried. What the Examiner misunderstands, however, is the definition of Judicial Activism. Judicial activism isn’t about how many cases one has overruled the congress, or how many times one has sided with the President, but rather how often one has followed the constitution vs. how often one “Makes Law”. If Congress passed a law that outlawed a religion (say, Lutherans), and the Supreme Court rightly overruled, and then the next month they passed a law outlawing Catholicism, and the next month a law outlawing Judaism, and the Supreme Court overruled all three times, that would not define activism. The constitition places limits on federal Legislative authority, and it is up to the court to keep that authority in check (part of the Checks and Balances system). Activism is when a judge decides that there exists a universal right in the constitution that isn’t there, such as sodomy, abortion, or other such rights.

The originalists on the court often rule against congress, but in favor of the states. This goes back to the principle of Federalism. The oft-ignored tenth amendment to the Constitution is the guiding principles of Federalism:

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

This says plainly that the right of Congress cannot supersede the rights of the states, unless otherwise enumerated in the Constitution. It is that principle which leads judges such as Scalia, Thomas, and Alito to overturn congressional legislation.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »