Ideologically-driven conservatives on the Supreme Court seem determined to nix a campaign contribution limit in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, thus dealing a blow to the fight against corruption of American politics.
Richard Wolf of USA Today can’t use the word “left” to describe recent Supreme Court rulings, only “right.” It came in a story headlined “Supreme Court poised to tilt further to the right.”
When the Court tacks left, it’s a “blockbuster” term of “landmark" decisions. Wolf began: “After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.”
Well, yesterday, a third federal court, this time the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, rebuked the president for unconstitutional recess appointments, as Tal Kopan of Politico reported here. Yet once again, the liberal broadcast news media showed absolutely no interest in the development, censoring the story from their July 17 evening newscasts and July 18 morning news programs.
The Wall Street Journal may be best-known for its conservative editorial page, but its ostensibly objective reporters are a far different story. Take Jess Bravin, the Journal's Supreme Court correspondent, and his wildly different takes on the Voting Rights Act case vs. the gay marriage cases.
Although all those cases were 5-4 decisions and although each of them involved overturning or invalidating legislation enacted overwhelmingly on a bipartisan vote in Congress or, in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, by the voters of the State of California, Bravin predictably followed the liberal script in how he framed the outcomes.
CBS This Morning led its Thursday broadcast with overwhelmingly slanted coverage on the Supreme Court's pro-same-sex "marriage" rulings. Ben Tracy played up the "long night of celebrating in West Hollywood", after the Court paved the way for the termination of California's Proposition 8. Tracy also prominently featured a homosexual couple's informal ring ceremony, who "after being blocked by Proposition 8...will now get re-married in their home state."
The morning newscast loaded its reporting with six soundbites of the liberal plaintiffs and lawyers in the case, along with their supporters, and only included two clips from conservatives decrying the decisions. [audio available here; video below the jump]
It’s hard to know where yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage met with the most jubilation: West Hollywood, the Castro District, Greenwich Village? Or the newsrooms of ABC, CBS and NBC?
Combined, the three broadcast networks devoted an astounding 25 minutes, 54 seconds of their evening news shows to the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and essentially overturning California’s Proposition 8 referendum on gay marriage. Afraid to spoil the party, they predictably allowed just 3 minutes, 33 seconds to same sex marriage opponents and their viewpoints.
Celebrating Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay marriage, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez reported live from San Francisco city hall and announced: "In one of the country's oldest and largest gay neighborhoods, vindication. It was the day San Francisco's Castro District had been waiting for." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A series of sound bites followed of gay rights activists expressing their jubilation over the ruling. The plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case, Edith Windsor, declared "The beginning of the end of stigma." Rabbi Camile Shira Angel proclaimed: "I feel blessed with every fiber of my being to be an American and a Californian today." Ellen Cerf, identified as an "equality supporter," tearfully uttered: "I love America every day, but I love it so much today."
Reporting from the White House lawn during NBC's live coverage of the Supreme Court's rulings in favor of gay marriage on Wednesday, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how the decisions were "very personally satisfying for the President, who it was only about a year ago during the course of the campaign...came out and said that he has had this personal evolution on the topic..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Alexander recited a tweet from the President: "He said the following: 'Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #marriageequality,' and then he wrote, '#loveislove.'" After quoting a similar celebratory tweet from Obama advisor Jim Messina, Alexander observed: "Clearly this is a very content White House on this day."
While most reactions from the liberal media today regarding the Supreme Court's rulings on the gay marriage cases, liberal constitutional law professor and Daily Beast contributor Adam Winkler laments that the right rulings may have been made for the "wrong reasons."
During live coverage of the Supreme Court's gay marriage rulings on Wednesday, NBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom could barely contain her enthusiasm at the decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8: "There is no question that this is a sweeping historic decision for gay rights....I think this is only the beginning, by the way. This is the decision today, but this is going to engender many more cases to come to further protect gay rights." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bloom went on to praise the liberal justices making up the majority opinion: "...all three women on the Court voted with the majority, they tend to be the pro-civil rights bloc." She further declared the cases to be "some of the biggest civil rights issues of our time."
The folks at MSNBC were ecstatic this morning following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but that joy exploded to Chris Matthews levels of tingledom during the 11:00 a.m. hour when President Obama decided to call the couple who took the Prop 8 case to court while they were being interviewed by network anchor and outspoken same-sex marriage advocate Thomas Roberts. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Writing for the liberal Atlantic magazine today, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen jumped off the proverbial deep end by comparing today's Supreme Court ruling invalidating section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to two infamous Supreme Court decisions from the 19th century.
"[T]he Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County is one of the worst in the history of the institution. As a matter of fact, and of law, it is indefensible. It will be viewed by future scholars on a par with the Court's odious Dred Scott and Plessy decisions and other utterly lamentable expressions of judicial indifference to the ugly realities of racial life in America," Cohen righteously thundered deep with his 18-paragraph screed.
Guest-anchoring the June 25 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid took the opportunity to react to a 2-hour-old Supreme Court ruling with an appropriate amount of sky-is-falling bluster.
Reid's overwhelmingly liberal panel was distraught at the decision and agreed that this would lead to a “slow but steady erosion of voting rights in the South.” When asked his opinion about the ruling, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, had this to say:
Appearing on MSNBC moments after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Voting Rights Act, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd wrung his hands over the prospect of Congress having to make adjustments to the 1965 law: "I don't think Congress is mature enough to do this right now, to be perfectly blunt. That the political, ideological, sort of the way some of these members conduct themselves, I am a pessimist on their ability to do something like this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Was Todd referring to both Republicans and Democrats? His remarks seconds before that declaration seemed to reveal which political party was on his mind: "...inertia [against the Voting Rights Act] is going to be what, particularly some Republicans, who believe this should be left to the states, that there shouldn't be the federal government involvement that there is when it does have to do with issues regarding voting."
MSNBC’s penchant for stoking racial animosity in service to a liberal agenda reached a new low on June 25 following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Voting Rights Act. Following the decision that Section 4 of the Act was unconstitutional, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing claimed that the ruling was an outright “setback for civil rights.”
That's doubtless a claim that many liberal advocates will make, but is patently irresponsible and biased for an ostensibly objective journalist like Jansing to claim. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
During live coverage, minutes after the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, a hyperbolic Terry Moran on ABC inaccurately spun the whole law as being invalidated. It was left to former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos to correct his colleague.
Moran insisted, "Right now there is no voting rights act operative in the United States." Actually, the Court struck down section four of act, saying that the formula for which state and federal localitiesdecide pre-clearance for their voting laws must be rewritten. Trying to clarify Moran's remarks, Stephanopoulos summarized, "They did not strike down the heart of the act, section five of the Voting Rights Act. And they didn't find the entire law unconstitutional." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Imagine that in a week in which George W. Bush was dogged by not one or two but three scandals -- one of which was the IRS singling out liberal groups for stricter scrutiny -- a federal appeals court invalidated a recess appointment the Republican president made, finding he improperly ran an end run around the U.S. Senate. The national media would, no doubt, pick up on the story as evidence that the president was abusing power, weaving the development into a larger narrative about the president's untrustworthiness in light of the aforementioned scandals.
Well, yesterday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling invalidating an Obama recess appointment that was made when the Senate was on a short break in between meetings. This is the second such ruling in four months as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling in late January. Predictably, however, both the May 16 broadcast network evening newscasts and the May 17 broadcast network morning shows completely ignored the ruling.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd offensively roped Clarence Thomas into her column on the arrest on sexual battery charges of Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the branch: "There was a fox-in-the-henhouse echo of Clarence Thomas, who Anita Hill said sexually harassed her when he was the nation’s top enforcer of laws against workplace sexual harassment."
On your bike! New York Times's roaming critic Neil Genzlinger reviewed Constitution USA with Peter Sagal, airing Tuesday night on PBS. Judging by the headline, "The Philosophical Rumble Of That Living Document," Genzlinger's editor didn't know what to do with his puzzling, cranky review of the documentary (starring Sagal, liberal host of the NPR game show Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!).
Should federal prosecutors be allowed to pack heat? It’s a good question given the recent assassinations of a District Attorney and his assistant in Kaufman County, Texas. While not federal prosecutors, the recent assassinations illustrate that prosecutors have become a target for violence, particularly in federal cases where drug cartels – or terrorists – may be involved.
Recently, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking clarification on federal policy about the ability of federal prosecutors carrying firearms on federal property. The Washington Post covered this development in Friday's paper, but buried the item on page A10. What's more, within the story itself, reporter Ed O'Keefe buried in the next-to-last paragraph the fact that the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, which represent federal prosecutors, are supportive of the initiative that would permit their clients to carry firearms.
The PBS NewsHour went into everyone’s favorite subjects last Friday, gays and guns, and discussed the overwhelming cultural shift concerning gay marriage. New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields both commented on how this shift could be irreversible, but noted that the Supreme Court could “Roe v. Wade” the decision. That is, the faux conservative and the liberal pundit both agreed that a court decision could just breath new life and fresh controversy into the same-sex marriage fight.
Yes, this is NOT an April Fools' joke. Brooks and Shields were actually saying that sweeping decisions, if not taken responsibly, could create more problems in the long run. It's a refreshing moment hearing shields, unlike others among his liberal colleagues, acknowledging how social change is best achieved through the political process rather than the courts. It is, however, a shame that Brooks failed to give a conservative constitutional case for why DOMA and Prop 8 should stand, aside from the deleterious effects of a court ruling:
So, Politico jumped the shark on gay marriage yesterday in reporting that Justice Elena Kagan that she had a ‘gotcha’ moment during yesterday’s hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act.
But a real ‘gotcha’ moment would have been if Politico did their homework and resurrected Kagan’s past comments about gay marriage from 2009, when she was awaiting confirmation to the post of solicitor general and she insisted in the answer to a questionnaire that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
In Elena Kagan's DOMA 'Gotcha' Moment, Jennifer Epstein and Josh Gerstein gushed that:
Wednesday's CBS This Morning turned exclusively to David Boies, one of the main attorneys who argued against California's Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The morning newscast failed to bring on any of the prominent supporters of the voter-approved ban on same-sex "marriage" in the Golden State, and granted Boies over three and half minutes to promote his cause.
During the interview, Gayle King trumpeted how, supposedly, "many people were touched...by Justice [Anthony] Kennedy, who raised the welfare of the children in same-sex marriages."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson played up the positive financial impact for same-sex couples if the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act. All of Johnson's talking heads came from the left side of the political spectrum – the plaintiff challenging the 1996 law at the Supreme Court; an accountant who caters to same-sex couples; a fellow for the liberal Tax Policy Center; and an openly homosexual law professor.
The correspondent touted how the litigant before the Supreme Court "inherited a huge estate tax bill – a bill she would have avoided if her marriage had been recognized under federal law."
Barbaro, who covered the Romney campaign in hostile fashion and hated Wal-Mart's occasional donations to conservative groups (dwarfed by the corporation's liberal giving), didn't ask whether big-money Bloomberg was playing an unfairly influential role by trying to buy legislation he favors through his group Mayors for Illegal Guns.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, a former White House reporter for the paper, followed Sen. John McCain in mocking attendees of the latest Conservative Political Action Conference (aka CPAC) as "wacko birds" in his column Sunday on gay marriage at the Supreme Court.
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Editors for CNN's breaking news emails delivered subscribers a 50-word alert on how "[a] state judge invalidated a New York City law banning certain venues from selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces."[Update: By contrast, Fox News's email breaking news alert simply reads, "State judge halts New York City's ban on large sugary drinks, calling the ban 'arbitrary and capricious'" | see screen grabs below page break]
But rather than couch the stay on the new regulation as a victory of individual liberty, the editors described the ruling as "a setback for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has backed several laws aimed at improving the health of New Yorkers."