By FRITZ PETTYJOHN
On Jan. 7 the Supreme Court will hear challenges to two vaccine mandates ordered by the Biden administration. It looks as though the court is at last ready to intervene on behalf of basic American liberty. This is a decision that is long overdue, but it will be welcomed by American patriots.
If these mandates are overturned, it will be because there is a new “Thomas Majority” on the court. It includes Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett. These five conservatives, acting together, can get the court back to what it was meant to be, and was for the first 150 years of its existence.
Hopefully, the vaccine mandate cases are a harbinger of things to come. Constitutional conservatives across the country eagerly look forward to a series of decisions in 2022, and many more in the years ahead. In June the Court is poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade (1973). Affirmative Action is before the court in Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard. In New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the right to concealed carry will be addressed. AHA v. Becerra should give us a review of “Chevron deference,” which was adopted in 1984, and has led to the explosive growth and power of the administrative state.
Roe v. Wade is one of the worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court, right up there with Plessy v. Ferguson (1894), which authorized legally sanctioned racial discrimination. It wasn’t as bad as Dred Scott, which led to the Civil War, but it has denied the people of this country their right to decide abortion policy. On that subject, the court writes all the rules, and the people have nothing to say about it.
There is no right to an abortion in the U.S. Constitution. They just made it up. This has been a constitutional travesty from the day it was decided. It took the court 58 years to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson. So much for the “sacred principle” of stare decisis. When Roe is overturned in June, it will be 49 years old.
Affirmative action may be well intended, but it’s still racial discrimination. In Harvard’s case Asian-Americans are the principle victims. I fully expect Justice Thomas to write the opinion declaring such discrimination unconstitutional. As a proud, highly intelligent black man, Thomas is viscerally opposed to being treated as if he is incapable of making it on his own. This is an opinion that will be a joy to read.
Practically speaking, you can’t get a concealed carry permit in New York. Does this violate the 2nd Amendment’s guarantee of ” . . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms . . .”? Emphasis on bear. That’s the question before the court in NYR&PA v. Bruen. There is an excellent chance that the Thomas Majority will rule that there is a right to “bear”, or carry, arms. After all, it’s specifically guaranteed in the language of the Bill of Rights. If so, this case will be the most important advance in 2nd Amendment law since District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).
This country and this economy are practically strangling in over-regulation. The administrative state is a constitutional abomination. Overturning Chevron deference will be the first step in reining in this bureaucratic monster. AHA v. Becerra is the perfect case to start rolling back burdensome regulations.
Justice Kavanaugh’s vote will be critical in all of these cases, in some of them the deciding one. But he wouldn’t be on the court if it was up to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. She never really made clear why she opposed him. In the end, she mumbled something about judicial temperament, but that was just a weak excuse.
In fact, Murkowski expects Kavanaugh to be the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Murkowski is a pro-abortion extremist. She doesn’t believe in any restrictions, of any kind, on a woman’s right to end the life of an unborn child she carries. This is her most sacred principle. If she had her way, Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t be on the court because of it.
Because Alaska now has a jungle primary, and ranked choice voting, Murkowski doesn’t think she’ll pay a political price for her opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination. She will make it on the ballot in November, and expects to achieve a majority as the second choice of Democratic voters. Her conservative opponent, Kelly Tshibaka, has chosen to run as proud Trump Republican, so Alaska Democrats will never support her.
In large part, expect Murkowski to try to turn her reelection into a referendum on Trump. His behavior on and after Jan. 6 will be fully exposed in the upcoming public hearings of the House Select Committee. If voting for Murkowski is a way to repudiate Trump, she’ll wind up getting votes from more than just Democrats.
The irony of ironies will be that if Alaskans have to endure six more years of Murkowski, we’ll have Trump to thank for it.
Fritz Pettyjohn was admitted to the Alaska Bar Association in 1974, and has been looking forward to the overturn of Roe v .Wade ever since.