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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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Democrats' Big Lie About the Supreme Court Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, February 17 2016
Claiming the Senate's duty is to rubber stamp any 'qualified' nominee is pure fiction.

Democrats are giddy over the prospect of President Obama replacing conservative Justice Antonin Scalia with a liberal.

But Republicans are equally adamant about blocking Obama's lame-duck appointment. "This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

It's rare that a president makes a Supreme Court appointment during his last months in office. But timing's not the critical issue. The real outrage is the Democrats' baseless claim that Obama's promised nominee should get an E-ZPass onto the bench.

Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz urges that Senate confirmation move quickly, "as our founders intended," and not be "twisted by politics."

Hillary Clinton says any obstruction would "dishonor our Constitution." Sorry Hillary and Debbie, that's not what the Constitution says.

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders also insists it would be wrong to delay Obama's court pick for "overtly political reasons."

All these politicians need a history lesson. Claiming the Senate's duty is to rubber stamp any "qualified" nominee is pure fiction.

Even George Washington had to endure the Senate rejecting one of his Supreme Court nominees  John Rutledge  in 1795 because of Rutledge's controversial opposition to a treaty with Great Britain. Overtly political.

Fifteen years later, the Senate nixed President James Madison's nominee Alexander Wolcott for his zealous enforcement of unpopular trade restrictions. Clearly political.

President Ulysses S. Grant's nominee Ebenezer Hoar  was rejected by the Senate in 1869 for supporting civil service reform. Again, political.

And those are just a few examples.

More recently, the vicious tactics Senate Democrats used to defeat President Ronald Reagan's nominee, Robert Bork, in 1987 gave rise to a new verb  "borking." Bork, a Yale law school professor, was eminently qualified. But like Scalia, he interpreted the Constitution according to the founders' original intent. Democrats saw that allowing Bork to replace the retiring moderate Justice Lewis F. Powell would tip the Court rightward.

Then-Senator Joe Biden argued Democrats had a duty to probe Bork's views  not just his qualifications  because of Reagan's "determined attempt to bend the Supreme Court to his political ends."

Biden and Patrick Leahy, top Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, grilled Bork relentlessly and after the abusive spectacle, the Senate's Democratic majority rejected him.

In 2007, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called on his Democratic colleagues to vote against any nominees proposed by George W. Bush, because Schumer feared the court was moving to the right. He said, "We should reverse the presumption of confirmation."

Fast forward to 2016, and Schumer, Biden and Leahy have had a change of heart. They say Obama's nominee should be speedily confirmed without regard to politics. In Leahy's words, the Supreme Court is "too important to our democracy to be understaffed for partisan reasons." Hypocritical nonsense.

The danger is that some GOP Senators actually buy that baloney. When Obama nominated radical judicial activists Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Lindsey Graham, R. S.C., voted for them, saying the Senate should defer to the president on Court nominees.

On Sunday, Graham pledged that "if Hillary Clinton wins the White House and she puts a liberal who's well-qualified, I'll vote for them."

As if Senatorial courtesy trumps the survival of freedom.

The court, currently divided 4-4, is on the brink of an activist majority. An activist court will  for starters  perpetuate racial preferences, uphold amnesty for illegals, and concoct new "rights" as fast as they eviscerate conscience rights and the rest of our written Constitution.

If Obama replaces Scalia, it will be his third appointment to the court. What's to stop Justices Ginsburg or Breyer from retiring this fall, making way for a fourth or even fifth Obama appointment? That could reshape the Court for 40 years.

That's why McConnell has no choice but to hold the line until 2017, hoping for a conservative president. The stakes couldn't be higher.


Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of "Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution."

Notable Quote   
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?