Life Advocacy Briefing

December 9, 2013

Calls Needed Now! / U.N. Treaty Moving? / Welcome, Little Blessing
This is Progress? / Mother Charged with Feticide / What Have They Done?

Calls Needed Now!

NOW THAT THE SENATE MAJORITY HAVE SHREDDED the Senate’s customary confirmation procedures – removing the 3/5-vote requirement which Thomas Jefferson wrote into Senate rules at the dawn of the republic – the US Senate is expected to take up at any moment the Obama nomination of radical law professor Cornelia Pillard to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, despite the Senate having already blocked her nomination via filibuster.

Our readers are asked to call your two homestate US Senators – now, regardless of whether you called previously on this topic – and urge them please to vote “no” on the Pillard nomination. Senators may be reached via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

During the post-rule-change debate on the Senate floor – just before Congress recessed for Thanksgiving week – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) offered a particularly noteworthy speech against the ending of the filibuster rule for Presidential nominations and dwelt at some length on the radical nature of Ms. Pillard’s writings and statements, particularly relating to abortion and to motherhood. We reprint excerpts of the Grassley speech at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, not only for our readers’ greater understanding of the implications of the rule change but also for detailed background on the Pillard nomination. We commend it to your reading, and we thank Sen. Grassley for his excellent scholarship and bold leadership, as well as for his faithfulness to the American system of government.


U.N. Treaty Moving?

THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS HELD ITS 2nd HEARING, just before the Thanksgiving recess, on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a treaty which faltered in the Senate in 2011 after an all-out citizen campaign opposing it.

One of those leading the opposition, former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, who is the father of a disabled little girl, was quoted Nov. 22 by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Washington Update: “‘CRPD, if ratified, would effectively put the US under international law when it comes to parenting special needs children. One provision in the treaty,’” he warned, “‘would give the government, acting under UN instructions, the ability to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. … That is the parents’ job,’” he said, quoted by Mr. Perkins, “‘certainly not the government’s.’”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) raised the abortion question during the Nov. 21 hearing, demanding of Secretary of State John Kerry to know whether the treaty would be used to promote abortion internationally. Though Mr. Kerry insisted that would not be the case, no language in the treaty limits the UN bureaucracy’s constant campaign for abortion. And the undermining of parental rights could certainly jeopardize the ability of states here – if the US Senate ratifies this treaty – to enforce parental notification or consent laws protecting underage girls and their babies from the abortion industry.

Readers are asked to call their US Senators (1-202/224-3121) and request a “no” vote on the UN Disabilities Treaty.


Welcome, Little Blessing

WE OFFER OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO REP. CATHY McMORRIS-RODGERS (R-WA) on the Nov. 24 birth of a baby daughter.

The emergence of Brynn Catherine into official legal personhood makes the House GOP Conference Chairman the first Member of Congress to give birth three times while holding Congressional office.

“‘Nothing compares to the miracle of bringing a new life into the world,’” Mrs. Rodgers wrote, as reported by the Washington Post.


This is Progress?

AS THEY SEEM TO DO EVERY FEW MONTHS, THE BEIJING COMMUNISTS charmed the world’s media earlier this month with a report that the people of Red China will no longer be subjected to the hated and feared one-child policy. But to the degree there is any reality to this report at all, it is surely, in the words of human rights champion Reggie Littlejohn, quoted by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), “‘very misleading.’”

It’s not as though freedom has dawned in the world’s most populous nation. No, what the government announced on Nov. 15 was, reports CNA, citing Reuters as source, “it would allow couples in which one parent is an only child to have a second child.” Whoopee.

Reuters quotes a sociology professor at a university in Shanghai predicting the easing will bring about “speedy” abolition of the one-child policy, but why would that be? The police-state apparatus by which the fertility status of every woman of child-bearing age is checked every month would have to remain in place to enforce the new two-child policy, even if the government’s announcement proves true this time.

“‘The problem,’” Mrs. Littlejohn reminds us in the CNA report, “‘is that the government is telling people how many kids they can have, and it is enforcing that limit coercively, including forcibly aborting women up to the ninth month of pregnancy.’” The human rights advocate also noted the death “‘earlier this month’” of a mother undergoing a forced abortion in Red China. “This fact,” she notes in the CNA story, “is ‘startlingly absent’ from the latest news report from the Chinese government-run news agency” which announced the supposed relaxation of the notorious policy.


Mother Charged with Feticide

A 17-YEAR-OLD LOUISIANA GIRL HAS BEEN CHARGED with second-degree fetal homicide in the death of her own seven-month preborn baby.

The baby was delivered by emergency cesarean section after a doctor at a Baton Rouge-area hospital “was unable to detect [the] baby’s heartbeat,” reports Dustin Siggins for, but was stillborn. “An autopsy showed the baby had been developing normally,” writes Mr. Siggins, “but had traces of cocaine in the system.”

It turns out, apparently, that this expectant mom “snorted cocaine after her boyfriend broke up with her several days prior to the baby’s death,” LifeSiteNews reports. “Police allege the cocaine caused the death of the unborn baby and have issued a warrant for her arrest … . In Louisiana,” notes the report, “abortion is illegal after 20 weeks post-fertilization except in cases related to the life and physical health of the mother.”

The second-degree level of the charge represents a mitigation “when the charge would normally be first-degree feticide,” writes Mr. Siggins, “except [when] ‘the offense is committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation of the mother of the unborn child sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection.’” Apparently, the authorities believe this mitigation can be applied even in a situation where it appears the mother provoked herself in “sudden passion.”

Whether or not this mitigation tactic survives the Louisiana feticide law’s exclusion of the mother herself in court, at least the law enforcement community in Baton Rouge is honoring the reality of this tiny victim’s life.


What Have They Done?

Major excerpts from Nov. 21, 2013, Senate Floor statement by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, Ranking GOP Member on the Committee on Judiciary

I’d like to spend a few minutes discussing the Majority Leader’s employment of the so-called “Nuclear Option.” Unfortunately, this isn’t a new threat. Over the last several years, every time the Minority has chosen to exercise its rights under the Senate rules, the Majority has threatened to change the Senate rules. … So this threat isn’t based on a “crisis.” There is no crisis. … This is about a naked power grab and nothing more. This is about the other side not getting everything they want when they want it.

… We hear a lot of ultimatums around here. But this ultimatum is not run-of-the-mill. It’s different. It’s different because this threat is designed to hold the United States Senate hostage. It’s different because it’s designed to hold hostage all of the Senate’s history and traditions. It’s different because, to be effective, it relies on the good will of Senators who don’t want to see the Senate as we know it destroyed. … Today, the other side is willing to forever change the Senate because Republicans have the audacity to hold them to their own standard.

But why? Why would the other side be willing to do this? There clearly isn’t a crisis on the DC Circuit. The judges themselves say if we confirmed any more judges, there wouldn’t be enough work to go around.

And it’s not as if all of these nominees are mainstream consensus picks, despite what the other side would have you believe.

Take Professor Pillard, for instance. She has written this about motherhood:

“… reproductive rights, including rights to contraception and abortion,
play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription
into maternity.”

Is that mainstream?

She has also argued this about motherhood:

“Antiabortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only
enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies but also prescribe
a ‘vision of the woman’s role’ as mother and caretaker of children in a way
that is at odds with equal protection.”

Is that mainstream?

And what about her views on religious freedom? She argued that the Supreme Court case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church, which challenged the so-called “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination, represented a “substantial threat to the American rule of law.”

The Supreme Court rejected her view 9-0. Nine to Zero. And the Court held that “It is impermissible for the government to contradict a church’s determination of who can act as its minister.”

Do my colleagues really believe mainstream America thinks churches shouldn’t be allowed to choose their own ministers? I could go on, but you get the picture.

The point is this: Any vote to change the Senate rules is a vote to remove one of the last meaningful checks on the President, and that vote would put these views on this important court. So I ask again, why would the other side do this?

It is nothing short of a complete and total power grab. It is the type of thing we’ve seen again and again out of this Administration and their Senate allies. And you can sum it up this way: Do whatever it takes.

You can’t get ObamaCare passed with Republican support? Do whatever it takes: Pass it at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve with just Democrat votes.

You can’t get all of your side to support ObamaCare? Do whatever it takes: Resort to the “cornhusker kickback.” [the alleged means by which the White House secured the vote of an opposing pro-life Democratic Senator from Nebraska, who has since retired]

You lose your 60th Senate vote on ObamaCare due to a special election? Do whatever it takes: Ram it through anyway using reconciliation.

The American people don’t want to be taxed for not buying health care? Do whatever it takes: Tell the American people it isn’t a tax, and then argue in court that it is.

The American people want to keep their health care? Do whatever it takes: Promise them “If you like your health care you can keep it,” then issue regulations making it impossible.

Your Big Labor allies want out from under ObamaCare? Do whatever it takes: Consider issuing them a waiver from the reinsurance tax.

You can’t find consensus nominees for the National Labor Relations Board? Do whatever it takes: Recess-appoint them when the Senate isn’t even in recess.

You can’t convince Congress to adopt your gun control agenda? Do whatever it takes: Issue some Executive Orders.

You can’t convince moderate Democrats to support Cap-and-Trade fee increases? Do whatever it takes: Do the same thing through EPA regulation.

Frustrated that conservative groups’ political speech is protected under the First Amendment? Do whatever it takes: Use the IRS to harass and intimidate those same conservative groups.

Frustrated when the court stands up for religious freedom and issues a check on the ObamaCare contraception mandate? Do whatever it takes: Stack the DC Circuit in your favor.

Frustrated when the court curbs your power on recess appointments? Do whatever it takes: Stack the DC Circuit in your favor.

Worried EPA’s regulations on Cap-and-Trade fee increases might get challenged in court? Do whatever it takes: Stack the DC Circuit in your favor.

Frustrated because Senate Republicans have the nerve to hold you to the same standard you established during the last Administration? Do whatever it takes. Change the rules of the United States Senate.

Mr. President, that’s what we have witnessed today. This is an absolute power grab. The Majority in the Senate and their allies in the Administration are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their partisan agenda.

They know there will be additional challenges to ObamaCare. They know if they can stack the deck on the DC Circuit, they can remove one of the last remaining checks on Presidential power.

But make no mistake. My friends on the other side will have to answer this question: Why did you choose this moment to break the rules to change the rules? Why now?

Why, when we are witnessing the collapse of this massive effort to centrally plan one-sixth of this wonderful nation’s economy? Why, when millions of Americans are losing their health care? Why did you choose this moment to hand the keys to the kingdom over to the President?

Because the fact of the matter is this: Any vote to break the rules to change the rules is a vote to ensure ObamaCare remains intact. …

So the Majority has chosen to take us down this path; the silver lining is that there will come a day when the roles are reversed. When that happens, our side will likely nominate and confirm lower court and Supreme Court nominees with 51 votes, regardless of whether the Democrats actually buy into this fanciful notion that they can demolish the filibuster on lower court nominees and still preserve it for Supreme Court nominees.