May 17th, 2019
Quote of the Week: “No money shall be paid out of the treasury of this state except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.”
Quote of the Week: “This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
In This Issue:
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Here we are again. Minnesota government on the verge of a special session, perhaps moving to a shut down.
If the governor and legislature fail to reach agreement on a budget prior to midnight Monday night, a special session will be needed to finish work.
Practically speaking, a special session will be needed regardless, as any agreement reached now wouldn’t allow enough time for non-partisan staff to revise and assemble the agreement into the proper legislative format, which would then require a very short special session to ratify.
Barring any type of late agreement, the next practical deadline for the governor and legislative leaders is July 1st, when the new fiscal biennium begins.
If no agreement is in place by then, a government shutdown would begin.
Thus, the governor and legislature really have another six weeks until they have to get serious about resolving differences.
The only real driver of a timely budget agreement in the regular session is the desire of Speaker Hortman and Governor Walz to demonstrate that they can do things differently, as they both campaigned on such a promise.
Let’s also take a moment to note that Speaker Hortman in particular railed against the closed-door budget negotiation process. A process she has now happily embraced.
Four legs good, two legs bad.
Four legs good, two legs better!
On the other hand, Majority Leader Gazelka really has nothing he and his caucus want from government.
Instead, he wants to deliver on the promise all Republicans offer with respect to fiscal restraint.
In this regard, the DFL has given him much material.
With the state sitting in a sizable budget surplus, a huge budget reserve, and a booming economy, the DFL has nonetheless proposed tax increases. No, they have proposed massive tax increases, such as a 70% increase in the gas tax.
Pandering to the far Left has created a big political headache for Walz and company.
Gazelka and Republicans are occupying the political high ground, offering both spending increases and no tax increases, other than the mistake of advocating for tax increases on pain killing medicines (there’s still time to kill that).
In short, Gazelka is the responsible adult in this room and the public sees it.
This brave band of 35 GOP senators needs to stand firm. The cacophony inside the Capitol will no doubt resound with the faux outrage of paid protestors banging pans and chanting vapid talking points about taxing the rich or honoring the grievances of some special interest group.
But outside the dome, far away from the bussed in protestors from Minneapolis, the average voter, the forgotten taxpayer, is toiling at work, balancing the family budget, and raising children to be responsible adults.
This forgotten taxpayer has no paid lobbyist. He has no special connections in Saint Paul. He doesn’t know what an omnibus bill is or when the next conference committee meets.
What he does know is that government is too big and takes too much. He knows government has no compassion. He knows many legislators don’t give a damn about his job or his family.
This is the man the Senate GOP and their House GOP colleagues are fighting for.
ABORTION AT THE FORE
Abortion politics, essentially dormant for a number of years, has exploded to the fore, with states passing laws to push for both expanded abortion options and robust restrictions on the practice.
This isn’t real surprising, considering that the country is once again swinging into a cycle of the culture war heating up.
With the nation so politically polarized, it was only a matter of time until the abortion debate joined the gun control and gay rights debates in occupying the nation’s attention.
While reasonable minds can differ regarding abortion, what can’t be debated is the simple yet powerful fact that Roe vs. Wade is bad law.
The meltdown of many on the Left over the prospect of the Supreme Court revisiting the case is unjustified.
Overturning the ruling would honor the court’s constitutionally assigned role to interpret the law, not make it.
Moreover, vacating the case would respect federalism by returning abortion laws to the states, where such health and welfare issues rightly belong.
The Court’s radical decision to take pull abortion away from the state’s and under the ambit of federal courts was perhaps the most egregious example of judicial overreach and severely damaged the court’s reputation and eroded its credibility as a democratic institution.
After overturning the decision, the issue would rightly return to the 50 “laboratories of democracy” where each state would decide for itself abortion laws and regulations.
There is little doubt that many states would outlaw or severely restrict the practice while some states would maintain and expand it. Imagine California and New York competing with each other for the title of Abortion Capital. Can you say “infanticide?”
The undeniable reality is that there is no right to an abortion under the federal constitution.
The word is nowhere to be found within and there is no reference to it.
Furthermore, there is nothing in the history of the constitutional debate amongst the Framers indicating that they even contemplated abortion, much less enshrined the right to one in the constitution.
In short, the Roe majority simply made up the right to an abortion.
Moreover, their legal reasoning, expressed by Justice Blackmon, was sophomoric and facile. A law school exam featuring such reasoning would have likely failed to earn a passing grade.
First, the Roe majority declared that there is a “right to privacy” under the federal constitution. They did this shortly after admitting that the constitution doesn’t speak to a right to privacy.
Through a number of cases, the Supreme Court has found that the right to privacy “does exist” even though one can’t find it in the text.
Next, the Court pointed to a second quantum leap of logical gymnastics in its recent jurisprudence by reminding the country that there are “penumbras” of privacy rights, meaning small, tiny areas of privacy rights that can be found in the constitution if you squint really hard when reading it.
Such was the reasoning behind the Court’s similar ruling that the constitution guarantees the right to birth control.
Thus, the Supreme Court turned the country upside down by finding that there is an abortion “penumbra” somewhere down the block from the made-up right to privacy that says abortion rights are guaranteed. And despite the fact that there exists not a shred of historical evidence that the Framers contemplated abortion in their deliberations.
The bottom line is that Roe vs. Wade is bad law. It’s bad law because it’s made up law. It’s pretend law.
It is little more than judicial fiat, an edict that there shall be abortions, that the laws of the 50 states, decided by popularly elected governors and legislators, shall be invalid.
Overturning Roe v. Wade, which would make liberals sob, would do much to restore the sacred concept of federalism, honor the 10th Amendment, and help restore the credibility of the Supreme Court as a political institution.
Let us hope that any one or a number of recent abortion laws passed in various states leads to such a result.
Welcome to my web site!
I created this website in response to governmental waste and abuse in Anoka County.
Many taxpayers don’t know that our local governments spend millions of tax dollars every year on things like public relations teams, lobbyists, and junkets to places like Hawaii.
Since there seemed to be no place to turn for the “other side” of these issues, I created the Anoka County Watchdog. My intent is to create a one-stop-shop where concerned taxpayers can find fact-supported information and other resources to counter the governmental machine. Many people want to confront their elected officials regarding waste and abuse but feel they don’t have the information they need to make an effective argument. This web site offers that information.
Some of our elected officials in Anoka County have become arrogant and unresponsive, forgetting that they work for the very people who put them in office. It’s high time to hold them accountable for their decisions.
Harold E. Hamilton
US Mail: Anoka County Watchdog
7956 Main Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55432
(Anonymous submissions accepted!)