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Politics & Law

Adam Mossoff & Yaron Brook on Property Rights, Patents, Law & the U.S. Constitution

Issues covered with Adam Mossoff include the History of Property Rights, Attacks on Property Rights, Common Good Constitutionalism, Legal Positivism vs Natural Rights, Originalism, Textualism, Good Society, Protection of Property Rights in US Constitution, Debate among scholars, Administrative State, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Intellectual Property Rights, How did we get freedom and negation of property rights, Future of Intellectual Property Rights, China, and Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology.

 

DeSantis Public Health Integrity Committee & Petition for a Statewide Grand Jury Should Be Welcomed

There have been quite a few virulent attacks against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his establishing an independent committee to evaluate many of the claims by the Federal government and their partners in regard to the COVID-19 vaccine. Such an independent panel, court-administered proceeding under a rule of law should be welcomed by those who are concerned with the truth.

The petition can be found here. [Alt link: Vaccine-Grand-Jury-Petition]

Below is the news release:

Governor Ron DeSantis Petitions Florida Supreme Court for Statewide Grand Jury on COVID-19 Vaccines and Announces Creation of the Public Health Integrity Committee

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion joined by Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo and world-renowned physicians, researchers, and public health experts to discuss adverse events of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and announce new, aggressive actions to hold the federal government and Big Pharma accountable, including:

  • Establishing the Public Health Integrity Committee. The Committee will be overseen by the Surgeon General to assess federal public health recommendations and guidance to ensure that Florida’s public health policies are tailored for Florida’s communities and priorities.
  • Filing a petition for a Statewide Grand Jury to investigate crimes and wrongdoing committed against Floridians related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Leading further surveillance into sudden deaths of individuals that received the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida, based on autopsy results. The state will collaborate with the University of Florida to compare research with studies done in other countries.

For more information, click here.

The Biden Administration and pharmaceutical corporations continue to push widespread distribution of mRNA vaccines on the public, including children as young as 6 months old, through relentless propaganda while ignoring real-life adverse events. At today’s roundtable the Governor and health experts discussed data covering serious adverse events. These risks include coagulation disorders, acute cardiac injuries, Bell’s palsy, encephalitis, appendicitis, and shingles.

“Health care professionals should always communicate the risks of a medical intervention to their patients in a manner that is clinically appropriate and meets standards of ethical practice. President Biden and Big Pharma have completely prevented that from happening – it is wrong,” said Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “With these new actions, we will shed light on the forces that have obscured truthful communication about the COVID-19 vaccines.”

 

Public Health Integrity Committee

The Surgeon General will oversee the Public Health Integrity Committee, a committee of expert researchers charged with assessing federal decisions, recommendations, and guidance related to public health and health care. The Surgeon General would then receive input from the committee to ensure public health policies are tailored for Florida’s communities and aligned with state priorities. Members will include:

  • Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD
  • Martin Kuldorff, PhD
  • Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, PhD
  • Joseph Fraiman, MD
  • Christine Stabell Benn, MD, PhD
  • Bret Weinstein, PhD
  • Steven Templeton, PhD 

 

Grand Jury

The pharmaceutical industry and the FDA have refused to release patient-level data for independent researchers. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have received FDA approval for pediatric and adult patients and continue to be marketed as safe and effective, even though the vaccines do not prevent transmission and adverse events have been minimized and disregarded by the Biden Administration and Big Pharma. In response, Governor DeSantis has filed a petition to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate crimes and wrongs in Florida related to the COVID-19 vaccines and further recommend enforcement methods.

The petition can be found here. [Alt link: Vaccine-Grand-Jury-Petition]

 

Autopsy Surveillance

Last month, researchers uncovered alarming facts surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine in Germany. Among autopsies performed on 25 people who died unexpectedly within 20 days after COVID-19 vaccination, four indicated deaths due to acute arrhythmogenic cardiac failure. This study concluded that “myocarditis can be a potentially lethal complication following mRNA-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.”

To further investigate this phenomenon in Florida, Dr. Ladapo will conduct research through the University of Florida to assess sudden deaths of individuals in good health who received a COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health will also utilize disease surveillance and vital statistics to assess such deaths.

“This has been a tremendously difficult time for everybody, but we are near the tail end of it and it is time to start taking stock of what went wrong and make reforms so this doesn’t happen again,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy, Stanford University Medical School. “I think the centrally important issue that caused the problems is that we silenced qualified people from expressing their thinking, and as a result the decision making at the top of the country was absolutely abysmal. When you have censorship, the kinds of suppression of voices that is essentially a social credit system demeaning people who disagree with the CDC, you’re going to get bad decisions that don’t get checked. I am looking forward to working in coming years to reform American public health so that when there is another pandemic we do a much better job than we did during this one.”

“Our group’s research has revealed that vaccines can affect the risk of non-targeted infections,” said Dr. Christine Benn, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Health Sciences, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark. “The new COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been investigated for their potential effects on the risk of other infections.”

“Our study took a magnifying glass to the original Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials that got the vaccines on the market in late 2020. In the original trials, mRNA vaccines increased serious adverse events at a rate considerably higher than initially realized,” said Dr. Joseph Fraiman, M.D., Emergency Medicine Physician, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. “Our peer-reviewed study — which was published this August in one of the field’s leading journals — indicates that the mRNA COVID vaccines should be urgently re-evaluated. I believe unless further studies can clearly demonstrate a favorable harm benefit profile,  mRNA vaccine use should not be recommended in healthy adults and children. Independent of what our Federal agencies recommend it is their ethical duty to inform the public of these results to allow for informed consent from those who chose to take COVID vaccines.”

“It it clear we urgently need updated and fully transparent vaccines risk-benefit analyses for all age groups for physicians to make informed recommendations and patients to make informed decisions,” said Dr. Tracey Høeg , M.D., Ph.D., Physician Epidemiologist and Clinical Researcher at Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, Acumen, LLC. “Blanket mandates or requirements for COVID-19 vaccines are both unscientific and unethical given the vaccines’ ineffectiveness at providing lasting protection from infection or transmission and the uncertainty surrounding the current vaccines’ benefits and risks.”

“It is always important to balance benefits and risks. For older high-risk people who have not vet had Covid, vaccine benefits outweigh potential risks for an adverse reaction,” said Dr. Martin Kulldorf, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Brownstone Institute; Fellow, Hillsdale College’s Academy for Science & Freedom. “For children, young adults and those who have had COVID, the risk of dying from COVID is miniscule, so even a small risk of a serious vaccine adverse reaction, such as myocarditis, will tip the balance against the vaccine.”

“There has been a tremendous loss of trust in public health and I think you can see that in decreased uptake of vaccines that have been traditionally used,” Steve Templeton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute.This isn’t just anti-vaxx people; this is people who have really lost trust in the system, and I think you have to restore that trust to get people to believe in the efficacy of vaccines that have been used for decades without problem and have been very effective.”

“The decision making surrounding covid amounts to the largest blunder in human history,” Bret Weinstein, Ph.D., Former Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Evergreen State College. “The censorship is creating a phony sense that there is agreement amongst all of the responsible doctors about what to do and the few doctors who say otherwise are fringe cranks. And this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The message that was given to us from public health authorities was not just inept. It actually went well beyond that. It was really the inverse of everything we should have done. Because it was forced on us with this strong form of coercion, it was widely accepted because people didn’t have a choice. Because the vaccine was so targeted, we effectively drove this pathogen to diversify.”

“It’s a terrible crime that this vaccine has been pushed in the media as long as it has been and has prevented any news of horrible side effects in the main stream media from being communicated,” said Steven Ordonia, victim of adverse events from mRNA vaccines. “This vaccine has nearly ruined my life and severely altered it.”

“Before my vaccine I was active, I worked out and ran Spartan races,” said Michelle Utter, Healthcare Professional and victim of adverse events from mRNA vaccines. “Working in healthcare during the pandemic, we were sent emails telling us the importance of the vaccine and that they were safe and effective. After my first vaccine, an hour later I was experiencing flu like symptoms. Before I got my next shot, I asked if I should get it because I was afraid of having a reaction…I had the pharmacist and other employees coming over to reassure me that I wouldn’t have the same reaction again. Against my gut I took it…45 minutes later I was in the parking lot sick in my car, my hips hurt so bad I couldn’t move, and I had inflammation everywhere. Working in health care you would think that you would get the best care and the best resources available to you but I was ignored, gaslit and abandoned.”

 

Bill Barr: Case Against Trump in 2024

Bill Barr has an excellent article that makes the case against Trump running in 2024, “Bill Barr: Trump Will Burn Down the GOP. Time for New Leadership.”

Why Barr supported Trump in 2016

Trump with his “frequently juvenile, bombastic, and petulant style” was not Barr’s “idea of a president”, but once he became the GOP’s nominee he supported him, as in Barr’s words:

Trump had accurately diagnosed, and given voice to, the deep frustration of many middle-class and working-class Americans who were fed up with the excesses of progressive Democrats; the shameless partisanship of the mainstream media; and the smug condescension of elites who had mismanaged the country, sold them out, and appeared content to preside over the decline of America.

Trump administration’s “substantive” achievements

[Trump administration’s] tax reform and deregulatory efforts generated the strongest and most resilient economy in American history—one that brought unprecedented progress to many marginalized Americans. He had begun to restore U.S. military strength by increasing spending on new-generation weapons, advanced technology, and force readiness. He correctly identified the economic, technological, and military threats to the United States posed by China’s aggressive policies. By brokering historic peace deals in the Mideast, he achieved what most thought impossible. He had the courage to pull us out of ill-advised and detrimental agreements with Iran and Russia. And he fulfilled America’s long-delayed promise to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump lost in 2020 because energized those who wanted to vote against him

Trump succeeded in driving a record turnout of his own supporters. But he also generated a more massive turnout for Joe Biden. The millions of voters who flocked to the polls to pull the Democratic lever set historic records and swamped the Trump voters. They did not come to vote for Biden; they came to vote against Trump. Fraud did not prevent Trump’s second term. Trump himself was the reason.

Winning in 2024 for the GOP requires the “old Reagan coalition”

…I believe the defining feature of our political landscape continues to be the sharp leftward lurch of the Democratic party. That opens up a historic opportunity for the GOP—the opportunity to revive something like the old Reagan coalition: a combination of Republican-leaning, college-educated suburbanites; culturally conservative working-class voters; and even some classical liberals who are repulsed by the left’s authoritarianism.

Trump’s behavior since losing the 2020 election is detrimental to the GOP

[Trump] treacherously sabotaged GOP efforts to hold the Georgia Senate seats. The GOP’s poor performance in the recent midterms was due largely to Trump’s mischief. He fueled internal fights within state parties. He attacked popular Republican governors in Maryland, New Hampshire, and Arizona to dissuade them from running for Senate seats they could have won. He supported weak candidates for key Senate and House seats based solely on their agreeing with his “stolen election” claims…

The Trump threat based on his “supreme narcissism”

[Trump’s faction is] “probably no larger than a quarter of the GOP, but which allows Trump to use it as leverage to extort and bully the rest of the party into submission. The threat is simple: unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading “his people” out of the GOP. Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism.

Read the full article at Common Sense News.

Woman Scares Off Intruder, No Shots Fired

Writes Jeff Jacoby in his newsletter Arguable on “Guns keep Americans safer”:

…Now comes a new survey of gun owners , one of the largest and most comprehensive ever conducted. Supervised by Georgetown University professor William English and published on the Social Science Research Network, it surveyed 16,708 gun owners, drawn from an overall population sample of 54,000. Among its findings: roughly 32 percent of American adults, 42 percent of them female, own guns. Handguns remain the most common type of firearm owned, with 171 million in private hands, but Americans also own 146 million rifles and 98 million shotguns.

…According to English, “approximately a third of gun owners have used a firearm to defend themselves or their property, often on more than one occasion, and guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents per year. A majority of gun owners, 56.2 percent, indicate that they carry a handgun for self-defense in at least some circumstances.”

Using a gun in this context generally does not mean firing a gun. More than 80 percent of the time, respondents said that when they “used” their weapon to respond to a threat, it was sufficient to simply show their gun, or merely mention that they had one. It is not surprising that most defensive gun uses never rise to the level of a news story. “Woman Scares Off Intruder, No Shots Fired,” isn’t a very gripping headline.

See also Andrew Bernstein’s article, Defense of Innocent Lives Requires Gun Ownership By Honest Persons.

Big-Tech “Little Brothers”

“The FBI, I think, basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert… We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’” – Mark Zuckerberg, The Joe Rogan Experience

Writes Jonathan Turley in “Zuckerberg Reveals the FBI Told His Company to be Wary of ‘Russian Disinformation’“:

[Facebook’s parent company Meta] only recently allowed customers to discuss the lab theory of the origins of Covid after years of biased censorship. Facebook’s decision to allow people to discuss the theory followed the company’s Oversight Board upholding a ban on any postings of Trump, a move that even figures like Germany’s Angela Merkel and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have criticized as a danger to free speech.  Even Trump’s voice has been banned by Facebook. Trump remains too harmful for Facebook users to hear . . . at least until the company decides that they are ready for such exposure. Facebook has tried to get customers to embrace censorship in a commercial campaign despite its long record of abusive and biased “content modification.”

Note such actions by private companies are not censorship – unless pressure, no matter how light, was imposed upon by the government.

From “Evolving With Big Tech: Facebook’s New Campaign Should Have Free Speech Advocates Nervous“:

Politicians know that the First Amendment only deals with government censorship, but who needs “Big Brother” when a slew of “Little Brothers” can do the work more efficiently and comprehensively?

When Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came before the Senate to apologize for blocking the Hunter Biden story before the election, he was met by demands from Democratic leaders for more censorship. Senator Chris Coons (D., Md.) pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.” Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) chastised the companies for shying away from censorship and told them that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded that they “commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election.”

Republicans have been acting in the opposite direction, seeking to force companies to not block information (which is also censorship). Though in practice, the Democrat variant of banning speech at this time is a far greater danger, than bills that call for the equal promulgation of opposing viewpoints according to “free speech principles,” the proper response is to ban government interference in all speech that does not violate the rights of others.

President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan May Exceed $1 Trillion

Wharton Business School budget model crunches the numbers on Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan:

  • We estimate that President Biden’s proposed student loan debt cancellation alone will cost between $469 billion to $519 billion over the 10-year budget window, depending on whether existing and new students are included. About 75% of the benefit falls to households making $88,000 or less per year.
  • Loan forbearance for 2022 will cost an additional $16 billion.
  • Under strict “static” assumptions about student borrowing behavior and using take-up rates within existing income-based repayment programs, the proposed new IDR program will cost an additional $70 billion, increasing total package costs to $605 billion.
  • However, depending on future details of the actual IDR program and concomitant behavioral changes, the IDR program could add another $450 billion or more, thereby raising total plan costs to over $1 trillion.

Read the details here.

In July 2021, Nancy Pelosi stated the President has no power to forgive such loans: “People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress…And I don’t even like to call it forgiveness because that implies a transgression. It’s not to be forgiven, just freeing people from those obligations.”

(She has recently flip-flopped on her position).

“National emergencies” grant the President extra-ordinary powers, whether student loans or climate change.

Immigration is the United States’ “Secret Sauce” to American Greatness

Writes Graham Allison and Eric Schmidt on why “The U.S. Needs a Million Talents Program to Retain Technology Leadership”:

What is the single most significant step the United States can take to sustain the technological predominance it has enjoyed since World War II? The answer should be obvious: to actively recruit the most talented minds in the world and welcome them into a society where they have the opportunity to realize their dreams. From physicist Albert Einstein and the other European scientists who helped the United States win World War II and land on the moon to the founders of Intel, Google, eBay, Uber, and the many technology companies that have powered economic growth, smart and ambitious immigrants have been the country’s secret sauce.

They recount the case of a foreign scientist who help invent 5G, and how the U.S. failure to retain him, benefited China:

It’s not just a matter of enticing new immigrants but of retaining bright minds already in the country. In 2009, a Turkish graduate of the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Erdal Arikan, published a paper that solved a fundamental problem in information theory, allowing for much faster and more accurate data transfers. Unable to get an academic appointment or funding to work on this seemingly esoteric problem in the United States, he returned to his home country. As a foreign citizen, he would have had to find a U.S. employer interested in his project to be able to stay.

Back in Turkey, Arikan turned to China. It turned out that Arikan’s insight was the breakthrough needed to leap from 4G telecommunications networks to much faster 5G mobile internet services. Four years later, China’s national telecommunications champion, Huawei, was using Arikan’s discovery to invent some of the first 5G technologies. Today, Huawei holds over two-thirds of the patents related to Arikan’s solution—10 times more than its nearest competitor. And while Huawei has produced one-third of the 5G infrastructure now operating around the world, the United States does not have a single major company competing in this race. Had the United States been able to retain Arikan—simply by allowing him to stay in the country instead of making his visa contingent on immediately finding a sponsor for his work—this history might well have been different.

Similar stories are far too common. The founders of China’s leading companies in semiconductors, smartphones, and app-based deliveries—the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, Xiaomi, and Meituan—were all educated at U.S. universities.

They recommend:

To this end, the U.S. Congress should streamline the country’s immigration rules and establish programs to recruit and retain established tech superstars and the world’s best students researching advanced technologies. And if Congress will not act, then Biden should use his ample executive authority to create a million talents program and promote the United States’ leadership in the technology of the future.

[…]

It’s time for the United States to poach with purpose. To start, Washington should grant an additional 250,000 green cards each year. The current backlog of green cards—which entitle their holders to permanent residency and unrestricted work—is well over 1 million for high-skilled immigrants and is projected to grow to nearly 2.5 million by 2030. Right now, the U.S. government is hopelessly behind, approving two applications for every green card it actually issues. The United States also requires that no more than 7 percent of employment- and family-based green cards be issued to citizens from any single country, disadvantaging scientists and engineers from India and China. Congress should eliminate this cap and create new green card categories for experts in frontier technologies.

We might add an easier, less micro-managed, pro-freedom solution: the entire removal of immigration quotas: if you are a peaceful, loving, rights-respecting productive person, America welcomes you to her shores.

Jan 6 Show Hearings: An Unbalanced Caricature of a Justice

Jonathan Turley writes about how truth-finding took a second seat to a Democrat political narrative, in “Poll: The J6 Hearings Had Virtually No Impact on Changing the Public Views.

J6 show hearings emphasized a scripted conclusion over an open and balanced inquiry

Writes Turley on how “the Committee would focus on reinforcing “a narrative” rather than follow prior investigatory commissions with an open and balanced inquiry”:

After bringing in a television producer, the hearings showed members reading off teleprompters and witnesses confined in limited roles of reaffirming what members were declaring about the riot. There was no effort to present alternative interpretations or viewpoints. It played into criticism of a “show trial” environment–an image that was magnified by Cheney declaring in the last hearing that Trump family and associates had come forward to “confess” and encouraging others to do the same.

Many of us supported the effort to bring greater transparency to what occurred on Jan. 6th and these hearings have offered a great deal of important new information. Indeed, it has proven gut-wrenching in the accounts of lawyers and staff trying to combat baseless theories and to protect the constitutional process.

Yet, the heavy-handed approach to framing the evidence has been both unnecessary and at times counterproductive. The strength of some of this evidence would not have been diminished by a more balanced committee or investigation. The unquestioning media coverage likely added to the feeling of many that these hearings lacked objective analysis and full accounts of what occurred, including the exclusion of any discussion of why the Capitol was left poorly protected on that day despite prior warnings of potential violence.

J6 show hearings provided no smoking gun evidence to criminally punish Trump

Second, the Committee over promised the public. At the start of the hearings, committee members promised they had the long-sought smoking-gun evidence — new material that would close the circle on Trump. Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicated he thought there was now “credible evidence” to support a variety of criminal charges. His colleague, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), said the committee would show that Trump organized a “coup” on Jan. 6, 2021. That framing has led to glaring omissions. The Committee has routinely edited videotapes and crafted presentations to eliminate alternative explanations or opposing viewpoints like repeatedly editing out Trump telling his supporters to go to the Capitol peacefully.

Offering a more balanced account, including allowing the Republicans to appoint their own members (in accordance with long-standing tradition), would not have lessened much of the dramatic testimony. Yet, allowing Republicans to pick their members (yes, including Rep. Jim Jordan) would have prevented allegations of a highly choreographed show trial. It would have added credibility to the process. Indeed, much of this evidence would have been hard to refute like the deposition of former Attorney General Bill Barr on the election fraud allegations.

Concludes Turley, “Presented with one-sided, tightly choreographed hearings, most citizens were left precisely where they began. The hearings were meant to enrage the base rather than add allies. It may have succeeded in that limited objective, but it could have been so much more.”

Jan 6 Committee Has So Far Failed To Make a Criminal Case Against Trump

Writes Jonathan Turley, “Jan. 6 committee has yet to establish a criminal case against Trump“:

[…] It is difficult to make a criminal case over what an official failed to do. Yet the last hearing seemed to focus on a number of things that did not occur, from a draft tweet that was not sent to an executive order that was never signed. There were discussions of appointing Trump attorney Sidney Powell as a special counsel, seizing voting machines or replacing the Justice Department’s leadership. As unnerving as these proposals were, they also were not carried out.

It is the type of evidence used to show mens rea — “guilty mind.” However, crimes generally require both guilty minds and guilty acts. Building a criminal case on the failure to act to stop the violence is a notoriously difficult case to make.

[…] It is even more difficult when the House committee has blocked any serious investigation into the potentially contributing failure of Congress to take better precautions before the riot, another costly act of omission.

[…] Looking objectively at the evidence, the committee never supplied “credible” proof of crimes. That is not to say the evidence is not shocking; indeed, it is like a series of “jump scares” involving Trump and others raising unfounded or unconstitutional courses of conduct.

[…] The Jan. 6 committee has made a case against Trump personally and politically. It has not done so criminally.

Read the full article.

Brian Simpson: Is US Constitution in Danger?

James Valliant interviews Professor Brian Simpson to discuss threats to America’s constitution from calls to end the filibuster, pack the court, release decisions, and how your economic liberties are protected by the constitution.

 

Also by Brian Simpson:

Ayn Rand Institute on The End of the Federal Protection of Abortion Rights

The philosophers at the Ayn Rand Institute – Onkar Ghate, Ben Bayer, and Yaron Brook – have a thought-provoking discussion on abortion rights with the over-turning of Roe v. Wade, which now allows for state-level bans on abortion.

(Though this is not the end of abortion in America, it is an ominous stepping stone to it, as those seeking abortions in states where abortion is/will be banned will have to travel out of state to obtain a legal abortion).

 

Issues covered include:

  • How the majority opinion empties the right to liberty of its content;
  • Justice Clarence Thomas’s opposition to substantive due process;
  • Why the Ninth Amendment has not been used in Supreme Court rulings on abortion;
  • The incrementalism behind Chief Justice John Roberts’s concurrence;
  • Why Roe v. Wade was a good decision despite its imperfect reasoning;
  • The dissent’s defense of individual liberty against majority will;
  • The dissent’s forceful protest against the unprincipled, anti-individualist majority opinion;
  • Why the dissent is right that the majority is inconsistent with its own reasoning in claiming that abortion is different from other rights;
  • Questions about whether the court typically tailors its reasoning to fit a predecided outcome;
  • The problem with the viability standard and the idea of balancing rights with a “state interest” in the fetus;
  • How the dissent undermines its own case by citing Lochner v. New York as a case that was rightly overturned;
  • How the morality of self-sacrifice contributed to the Dobbs ruling and the dissent’s failure to cite the right to the pursuit of happiness;
  • Why the widespread acceptance of collectivist premises have contributed to the abridgment of abortion rights;
  • Why the concept of “states’ rights” is an expression of collectivism;
  • How the fight over abortion rights will continue at the state and federal level.

 

Ben Bayer, Agustina Vergara Cid, and Don Watkins at the Ayn Rand Institute analyze the implications of Roe vs. Wade being overturned.

The Right to Abortion and the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Writes Ira Stoll in Abortion Right Not in Constitution, Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Exist:

“The Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade,410 U.S. 113 (1973) discovered a right to abortion in the Constitution within the “right to privacy.” That privacy right itself had been discovered in a case about birth control, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). Griswold’s declaration that the “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations,” has been widely mocked.

To my mind, the gem within Griswold is Justice Arthur Goldberg’s concurrence. Goldberg, joined by Justice Brennan and Chief Justice Warren, focused not on penumbras or emanations but on the plain text of the Ninth Amendment.”

Stoll goes on to quote Justice Arthur Goldberg:

“The [Ninth] Amendment is almost entirely the work of James Madison. It was introduced in Congress by him, and passed the House and Senate with little or no debate and virtually no change in language. It was proffered to quiet expressed fears that a bill of specifically enumerated rights could not be sufficiently broad to cover all essential rights, and that the specific mention of certain rights would be interpreted as a denial that others were protected….the Ninth Amendment shows a belief of the Constitution’s authors that fundamental rights exist that are not expressly enumerated in the first eight amendments, and an intent that the list of rights included there not be deemed exhaustive. …the fact that no particular provision of the Constitution explicitly forbids the State from disrupting the traditional relation of the family — a relation as old and as fundamental as our entire civilization — surely does not show that the Government was meant to have the power to do so. Rather, as the Ninth Amendment expressly recognizes, there are fundamental personal rights such as this one [abortion], which are protected from abridgment by the Government, though not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.”

Stoll concludes correctly:

The mere fact that an abortion right isn’t mentioned in the Constitution doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The rights don’t come from the Constitution. The Constitution exists to protect the rights, including those it doesn’t explicitly mention.

Then why explicitly mention and enumerate rights?

“A problem with rights not written into law is that people may have widely varying views of them. Without legislative language, for example, one person’s idea of a right to an abortion may collide with another person’s view of a fetus or embryo having a ‘right to life.’

Read the whole article.

Jordan McGillis: Climate McCarthyism

Jordan McGillis, deputy director for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, on Climate McCarthyism:

In 2020, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Brian Schatz, Tom Carper, and Sheldon Whitehouse penned an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling on the company to toe the Democratic Party line. “If Facebook is truly ‘committed to fighting the spread of false news on Facebook and Instagram,’” the senators wrote, “the company must immediately acknowledge in its fact-checking process that the climate crisis is not a matter of opinion and act to close loopholes that allow climate disinformation to spread on its platform.”

Less than a year later, Zuckerberg’s company seemingly tightened its review process to adhere to the Democrats’ wishes. In May 2021, Facebook applied the dodgy new standard against Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills’s review of a book by Steven Koonin, former undersecretary in the Department of Energy under President Barack Obama. As Koonin described the incident in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Facebook labeled postings of the Mills review as having “very low scientific credibility” and linked to a critique on the website ClimateFeedback.org, thus discouraging users from engaging with Mills and Koonin’s work—exactly as the Senate Democrats demanded. In these cases, it is easy to blame the companies that acquiesce—perhaps one large rival to Meta in the midst of an ownership change will buck this trend—but the politicians and bureaucrats doing the jawboning deserve ire, too.

Read the full article.

Brian Simpson: Is US Constitution in Danger?

James Valliant interviews economist Brian Simpson on the threats to America’s constitution: from calls to end the filibuster, pack the court, release decisions, and how the constitution protects your economic liberties.