A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Leading candidate for Arizona governor discusses out-of-control activist judiciary
Text of speech given to the East Valley Action Alliance Pro-Life Conference on September 21, 2013
Deserve Victory in 2014
By Andrew Thomas
How do we win in the 2014 elections? In the past, we have defined winning as electing a large crop of candidates who describe themselves as pro-life.
But we now know this not victory, properly defined. True victory means an end to abortion. In political terms, winning entails electing candidates who will move us decisively towards that goal. Given the stakes, and to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur, there is no substitute for such victory.
Roe v. Wade was handed down forty years ago. The time has come to ask whether we are truly any closer to victory, properly defined, now than we were four decades ago. If not, what must we do differently?
The hard truth is this: We are not winning. This is not for lack of effort, as everyone here well knows. We have tried various strategies over the decades. But the statistics and reality tell a very sobering story that we must honestly confront.
Hitting a Wall
Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the number of abortions in the United States reached its peak of 1.6 million a year in 1990. Ten years later, that number had leveled off slightly to 1.3 million. Since then, for the last 13 years, that figure basically has not budged. Last year, there were just over 1.2 million abortions.
This number is the bottom line, and is now essentially static. Regardless of how many pro-life leaders we elect, the pro-life laws they pass, or the pro-life lawsuits they file, nothing has lowered that number. The goal of ending abortion, in turn, has become ever more elusive. In short, we have hit a wall.
Why are we not winning? The answer is simple and obvious for those who have eyes to see. Liberal elites control the judiciary. They have captured it lock, stock and barrel. Every time we pass a law or file a lawsuit to advance the pro-life cause, the ACLU and their allies simply go to court and enlist activist judges to block us.
It was not supposed to be this way. The founders of our nation intended for the judiciary to be, as Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federalist Papers, the “least dangerous” branch of government. Thomas Jefferson warned that a judiciary of unchecked power would grow into tyranny, an American oligarchy. Over the years, unelected judges have sought to make good on that prediction. They have amassed absolute power over our government and society.
Unelected judges can throw out any law they do not like. They do so typically without any regard to the text or original meaning of the Constitution. They do this for the purpose of advancing a liberal worldview that is popular among lawyers and elites but contrary to the will of the people.
Three recent examples in Arizona show us what we are up against. This year, the Arizona Legislature passed two important pro-life bills. One ended Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. The other banned abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Our leaders should be commended for these actions.
However, within weeks after passage of this legislation, federal judges struck down both measures. Today, neither is the law of the land.
Then there is the fate of Arizona’s parental-consent measure. Arizona first passed a law requiring parental consent for abortions for minors in 1989. Federal courts overturned the law. Ten years later, I lobbied for passage of a new version of this law as a lobbyist for Arizona Right to Life. Finally, after two decades of litigation, the parental-consent law was allowed to go into effect. That means we won, right?
No, we did not. Recently, Arizona news outlets have reported that in three out of four cases, judges simply allow minors to bypass the consent of their parents and obtain the abortions anyhow. In other words, this law is still being circumvented by activist judges. Even when we manage to win a case after decades of litigation before a hostile liberal judiciary, we lose in the end.
Consider also the cultural climate in which these events are unfolding. For fifty years, unelected judges have driven organized religion from public institutions while permitting every conceivable vulgarity in their place. We avert our eyes even as things worsen every year. Marriage is crumbling around us. Genuine fatherhood is mocked by Hollywood and becoming a relic of the past. Even the most dedicated parents can no longer preserve the innocence of their children amidst a constant barrage of smut and filth from the airwaves. Is it any wonder that more than one out of four teenage American girls, and almost half of African-American teenage girls, are infected with a sexually transmitted disease? Our children are crying out to us for help. Their cries are an indictment of the activist judges and cultural elites who have engendered this moral crisis.
Liberals realized decades ago that if they controlled the courts, they controlled the government. They systematically went about taking over the law schools, where conservative students are hissed and heckled if they dare speak out in class. They took over the bar associations and lawyer class, from which judges are drawn. The very few graduates of law schools who describe themselves as conservative and pro-life must keep their views to themselves, or they risk being professionally marginalized.
Judges have forbidden lawyers, at the risk of losing their law licenses, from publicly criticizing them or the judiciary. This gag order conveniently silences their most effective critics.
Kangaroos in Kansas
For decades, we’ve been told to campaign for Republican presidential candidates because they will appoint “strict constructionist” judges to the federal bench. What have we gained from this? On virtually every major case involving a significant cultural issue, the judges we fight to confirm flip to the other side. Though many of these judges surely tell themselves they would go to the gallows for their beliefs, the truth is that few of them are willing even to endure professional shunning by their self-righteous liberal colleagues. And so they defect, and we lose again and again.
We’ve been told to elect law-enforcement leaders who will enforce the legislation, pro-life and otherwise, we do manage to pass. But consider what happens to those officials who try.
As the elected Attorney General of Kansas, Phill Kline sought to investigate alleged crimes occurring in that state’s abortion clinics. In retaliation, the liberals who dominate the attorney disciplinary board of Kansas ginned up accusations of professional misconduct against him. They put him through a show trial they controlled, a process denounced by national conservative observers as a kangaroo court. Ultimately, a state judicial panel voted to suspend Kline indefinitely from the practice of law, which is disbarment by another name. Kline already has forfeited his law license by not paying his annual dues. Not content with that outcome, the disciplinary board now has urged formal disbarment by the Kansas Supreme Court; a decision is pending but obviously will not be positive for Kline. Sound familiar?
How do we begin to reform a legal profession and judiciary that are so openly hostile to conservatives and the pro-life cause in particular? Forty years after Roe, it is clear we cannot. These institutions are rotten and cannot be reformed from within. I believe I speak with some authority on the matter.
The only path to genuine reform is for the people to take direct control of these institutions and make judges accountable once again. In Arizona, voters must be given meaningful information so they can make informed decisions about whether to retain judges whose names appear on the ballot. Nationally, federal judges must be stripped of their jurisdiction over select areas of policy where they habitually abuse their powers. Nothing else will work. Be advised these will be very hard fights. The political and cultural left is without moral compass, has many powerful allies, and plays to win.
Our federal and state constitutions already authorize us to take such actions. We must find the courage to do so, so that we may start prevailing in this very difficult but most noble fight.
If we fail, we will lose not only on the pro-life front. We will be forced to concede that Jefferson’s omen has proven true. We will have replaced the British crown with black-robed American oligarchs, swapping one unelected tyranny for another. Our democratic experiment will have failed. We cannot let this happen.
For attempting such changes, we will be savaged by the liberal media and legal establishment. We will be scorned and browbeaten in a manner familiar to the first Christians and anyone else throughout history who has advocated significant social reforms. But we must try. We can no longer accept repeated defeats in the culture wars simply because of reluctance to take on the liberal judiciary and their allies. Roe v. Wade was born in the courts, and it is there where it must be slain.
It is time for us to start taking ground again.
During the Second World War, the British put up posters throughout London featuring Prime Minister Winston Churchill flashing his familiar “V for victory” gesture. The slogan on the poster was: Deserve Victory.
We should follow the same standard. That starts with recognizing, in this next election cycle, what true victory requires of us all.
Thank you and God bless you.