“Unfashionable Views”: Justice Alito Speaks Out Against Pandemic Restrictions, Contraception Laws, and Other Controversies

Justice Sam Alito is making headlines after his speech last night as the keynote at this year’s all-virtual Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention. Alito slammed pandemic measures  and attacks on free speech in his remarks to the Convention, including the crackdown on “unfashionable views” in our society.  I happen to agree with some of his points, but I have great reservations over a justice speaking on issues that are likely to come before him on the Court. Indeed, I have long been a critic of the Supreme Court justices engaging in public appearances where they hold forth on contemporary issues. I have been particularly critical of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who clearly relished appearances before ideologically supportive groups.

Justice Alito addressed attacks on religious liberty and free speech, including citing past cases and disputes before the Court.  He also declared “The Covid crisis has highlighted constitutional fault lines” in attacking such rights.

Pandemic limits are the subject of petitions before the Court as well as major cases working through the federal system.

Alito also launched into liberals who he views as threatening religious rights, noting that “[i]n certain corners, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.” Alito attacked the Obama administration’s “ protracted campaign” and “unrelenting attack” against the Little Sisters of the Poor.” He also criticized a Washington State for requiring pharmacies to provide emergency contraception. He maintained that such emergency contraception “destroys an embryo after fertilization.”

All of those issues have been and will again be before the Court. Indeed, as Alito was making these ill-considered comments, the Catholic Church was coming before his Court in these very issues. There are a number of cases on the docket and pending review that include issues raised by Alito in his public remarks.  Those litigants are entitled to justices who are not speaking publicly (directly or indirectly) on the merits of such claims.

I admittedly hold a more traditional and cloistered view of public role of justices. We have seen in the last couple decades more and more public speaking by justices in both books and speeches on contemporary issues. I have called this trend the “rise of the celebrity justice.”

It is worth noting that many liberals are objecting to Alito’s speech despite celebrating even more alarming public speeches by Justice Ginsburg during his life. Throughout her career, Justice Ginsburg triggered controversies over public comments where she joked that she would move to New Zealand if Donald Trump is elected. Ginsburg apologized for that controversy. While she expressed “regret” in that instance, it did not deter Ginsburg in continuing to speak publicly and hold forth on contemporary issues. There were speeches that electrified the left and built her persona as the “Notorious RBG.”  Justice Scalia also routinely engaged in public speeches that triggered controversies during his life, which I viewed as diminishing his legacy on the Court.

The trend is obviously toward greater public roles of justices in our political and social debates. I previously criticized Justice Alito for his conduct during a State of the Union address.

These public controversies highlight the glaring contradiction in the use of the “Ginsburg Rule.” The rule is often cited by nominees in refusing to discuss issues or cases in confirmation hearings that might come before the Court. It is a rule that is based on principles of judicial ethics for all jurists. It is not just confined to confirmations. It applies to any justices and judges in discussing such issues at any time outside of courts. Yet, after refusing to answer even generalized questions in these hearings, justices proceed to speak publicly on the very same questions once they are confirmed. Indeed, some justices seem to maintain a fan base or constituency on the right or the left in these speeches — a serious challenge to tradition of neutrality expected of our justices.

Once again, my agreement with some of these points does not alter the concerns over the messenger rather than the message. I still maintain that the price of being one of nine on the highest court is that you refrain from such public roles in our contemporary and political debates. That is not much to ask. Justices should not have constituencies or public personas to maintain. They should speak primarily, if not exclusively, through their opinions.

185 thoughts on ““Unfashionable Views”: Justice Alito Speaks Out Against Pandemic Restrictions, Contraception Laws, and Other Controversies”

  1. Hey, Jonathan Turley, so you aren’t actually in favor of free speech for all afterall. Justices to be gagged now, is it?

  2. It has long been my view that a position on the Supreme Court should never be used as a platform for speaking on any controversial issues of public policy. The job of a justice ought to be a lonely one. In this instance, moreover, Justice Alito was speaking to an audience of like-minded thinkers, several of whom will likely be submitting amicus briefs in due course on some of the very issues concerning which he expressed his opinions.

      1. Snotty reply, and untrue. My opinion on judges keeping their mouths shut is one I’ve held for decades, and have previously expressed on this site. I don’t know the reasons for your increasing snarliness, Mark, but I have attempted to contribute my opinions, for what they’re worth, without rancor. The general tone among the faithful here has deteriorated for reasons I confess I do not understand.

        1. It’s just interesting that your urge to publicly remonstrate only pops up when conservative judges do it. I saw no such gnashing of teeth when Granny went all postal on Trump. Timing really is everything.

        2. Mike apple. You hoist your flag of fairness for all to see yet you make a comment about Alito but no following comment about the Ginsburg statements. Perhaps flowery disengenuos rhetoric used as a cover up. You make a general statement about your opinion on political participation by the Justices. You had your chance to also condemn Ginsburgs actions. Turley says a pox on both their houses. You conspiuously leave out one house in your present comment. It would have been easy to also bring Ginsburgs hipocrisy to light but you did not do so. One might reasonably suspect malintent. I’m sure you didn’t let your leanings shadow your judgement. Or it was your intent to hoist your banner higher even if it is becoming so tattered as to become unrecognizable. We can let the readers decide.

    1. Ah, Mike Appleton — the voice of reason, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t appreciate those of us who choose to post anonymously.

      1. Everyone is free to post as they please.

        No one is entitled to be “appreciated”.

        Anonymity in each of its degrees has some value – and is protected by the constitution.

        But it also has a cost – which you keep failing to grasp.

        The more anonymous you are the less credibility you have.

        No one can judge your reputation – because each of your posts are one off’s. They have to be weighted standalone.
        We can not know that you have a track record of accuracy in the past – because there is no way to tell one anonymous post from the next.

        It is that simple.

        No one requires you to post under a name.

        But you can not expect the inherited reputation that comes with an identified post to attach to an anonymous one.

        Most presume that if you are posting completely anonymous rather than under a psuedonym that you have a shitty reputation for credibility.

        We are entitled to make that assumption.

          1. Everything I stated was objectively correct.

            “Everyone is free to post as they please.”
            A fact, not an assumption.

            “No one is entitled to be “appreciated”. ”
            A fact, not an assumption.

            “Anonymity in each of its degrees has some value – and is protected by the constitution.”
            A fact, not an assumption.

            “But it also has a cost – which you keep failing to grasp. The more anonymous you are the less credibility you have.”
            A fact, not an assumption.

              1. “Lighten up, John. It’s just a blog.”

                So false statements are OK – because “its just a blog” ?

                And you wonder why you lack credibility ?

                  1. No one knows because you are anonymous – each post stand alone. It has no history of credibility or falsehood.

                    regardless, a claim that a fact is an assumption is a false statement – whether from you or some other anonymous.

                    I would further note that in your claim “I made no false statements” – there is no “I”

                    Anonymous does not exist as a person. You have no past or future. No history.

                    That is the price for being anonymous – you do not really exist.

                1. “And you wonder why you lack credibility ?”

                  lol

                  No, I don’t “wonder”… And frankly, I don’t care. This isn’t the real world — which is the only place where credibility matters,

                  You’re quite free to believe that others lack credibility. It doesn’t mean that what you believe is true.

                  1. Another anonymous post, that remains clueless about its lack of credibility.

                    BTW, this is the real world. This blog is not about some fictional dystopia. It is about the real world.

                    If you want to post about some fake world – please go find a fiction blog.

                    I do not “beleive” you lack credibility – you keep posting as anonymous – therefore you do.

                    Trust, credibility come from reputation. So long as you insist on posting as anonymous, it is quite simple – you have no credibility.

                    Each anonymous post is an island. It stands alone. It is not entitled to any earned respect based on past accuracy – anonymous has no past, and therefore has earned no credibility.

                    This is not rocket science.

                    The right to post anonymously comes at the expense of any credibility you might have.

                    1. More blah, blah, blah…

                      The comments section of a blog isn’t “the real world.” But keep telling yourself that it is, John.

                    2. Yes, the comments section of the blog is “the real world”.

                      If you drop your laptop, tablet, or phone as you post – it will fall.
                      The laws of gravity have not been repealed.

                      If you defame someone – you could be sued.

                      If you post a credible threat you could go to jail.

                      2 + 2 still = 4.

                      Both you and I will be judged by others based on t he accuracy of our remarks – or in your instance – remark, because as anonymous you have no history, and no credibility.

                      It may be the internet – but it is not Narnia, or animal farm.

                      Further most comenters here believe they are discussing “the real world”

                      If you wish to discuss World of Warcraft or some other fantasy world – please go elsewhere.

                    3. Again you are clueless. You are not a slave, No one else can waste your time, If you have done so, you did it to yourself.

                      Take responsibility for your own life.

                      Quit blaming others.

                    4. “Feel free to waste someone else’s time, John”

                      Anonymous, you do the same thing here as you did when you went to public school. You do not listen or think. You decided to be the schmuck of the blog.

                    5. lol

                      Chuckleheads weighing in at 8:11 and 9:40 with additional baseless accusations and conclusions.

                    6. If you are going to make a claim – make it specifically.

                      Otherwise you are ranting incoherently.

                      What accusations or conclusions are baseless ?

                      One of the reasons we identify logical fallacies – like ad hominem, is that they deliberately redirect the discussion from facts, logic reason to irrelevancies.

  3. Please write a paper letter to request an audit, not just a recount. Remember to put your name and address on the paper and send it out soon.

    President Trump requests we sent an actual letter, no email, to:

    President Trump
    White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington DC 20500
    Attention: AUDIT 50 STATES

    Ask President to audit ALL 50 STATES due to massive voter fraud.

    Do not post on Facebook but share, share, share via messenger, email, and text.

    Republicans Only.

    **Rallies both Fri and Sat noon at Capitol

      1. Are you opposed to auditing this election ?

        I will tell you what.

        I will agree to allow the federal government to transition Biden.
        I will accept him as president elect.
        I will even allow him to be inaugurated and continue as president.

        In return I ask that things that I should not have to ask for:

        That an actual investigation of the Biden’s dealings in Ukraine and China and elsewhere be conducted.
        Trump should just direct Barr to appoint a special Counsel.

        That an actual investigation of the voting in all contested states occur.
        That anyone found to have violated election laws – goes to jail – republican democrat – send them to jail – and that includes anyone in the Biden or Trump campaigns – including Biden or Trump.
        And that if states are found to have violated their own rules, the results of their elections should not be certified, until they conduct an election that conforms fully to their own rules.

        That we get rid of mailin voting accross the country once and for all.

        That Congress pass laws that require that by the 2020 election all vote counting stops at midnight on election day.
        Any precinct of congressional district that can not get its votes counted by 4hrs after the polls close should have to answer to its constituents for that failure.

        I would note there are plenty of GOP districts that failed to meet this – even though 90% of the country managed.

        1. John Say, nobody GAF what you say pr think, so you’re holding no chips. Biden is the President elect and will be the President on 1/20/21 and your assent is not required or sought.

          1. JF – I would suggest reading the declaration of independence,

            The ultimate arbiter of the legitimacy of govenrment is the people.

            Tens of millions of people think that this election was fraudulent.

            Democrats, the media, you, and Biden had the oportunity to persuade them otherwise.
            You could have supported audits, and you could agree to follow the law. You could demand that any caught cheating regardless of party be punished.

            Or better still BEFORE the election you could have gone to the trouble to assure that the law was followed.

            But you did not.

            I do not know whether Trump will manage to prevail in challenging this election – though I will note that is much less uphill than you think.

            All Trump needs is a single sufficiently large and eggregious and offensive instance of fraud in a single place and that will destroy completely the credibility of those claiming no fraud.

            As an example if the hand recount in GA finds that there was a serious problem with the DVS equipement that was used in every swing state – this will flip on a dime.

            If anything comes out that ties misconduct in counting to the Biden campaign – this will flip on a dime.

            But even if Trump loses all or most of his challenges. It is near certain that over the long run it will be established that there were hyndreds of thousands of dubious votes cast in this election. That will leave Biden with an asterisk forever. And that will leave the left seriously weakened.

            We have already seen the mess that results when millions of people beleive the results of an election were acheived by Fraud.

            Millions of those on the left beleived that Trump was elected as a result of Fraud involving Russia.

            Ultimately that claim was thoroughly debunked. The only campaign actually colluding with Russia was the Clinton campaign.
            Further it was the US Government meddling in elections that was ultimately proven.

            Conversely Trump’s claim of election fraud is easiest to disprove – by following the law and conducting the election properly.
            Failing that by scrutinizing the results and punishing misconduct – immediately.

            Time is Trump’s friend. In the long run we will know the number of illegitimate votes cast. And like allmailin elections it will be high.

            Biden might be innaugurated. But he can not escape the allegations of fraud.
            They will dog him constantly.

            Further Biden faces an impossible task as president.
            He can not give the left what it wants or he will lose the center.
            He can not refuse the left – or he will lose the left.

            He MUST govern better than Trump -which he can not do.

            Everywhere he turns he faces problems of his own making.

            Trump just issued an EO severely restricting US investment and involvment with a variety of Chinese companies.
            Biden can not reverse that without raising his own corruption.

            Biden faces monumental immigration problems. It is likely there will be caravans -possibly millions headed north by innuaguration day – or shortly after. There is no response he can make that will not cause him serious problems.

            Biden is talking about further lockdowns – that will go over like a lead balloon.

            We have two vaccines available now -and likely many more before Biden is inaugurated. Those will forever be viewed as the results of Trump – not Biden.

            Biden can delay their use – and be blamed for thousands of deaths. or expedite and undercut his own claims against Trump.

            Biden can limit fracking – and not only piss off millions but unravel the most effective US Foreign policy since Nixon/Kissenger (or possibly ever). Or not and piss off the left.

            Trump has demonsratrated that 3% growth is acheivable. Obama/Biden could not manage more than 1.8%.

            Trump demonstrated that V shaped recovery is acheivable.

            If inaugurated – Biden will have to deliver-and he can’t.

            1. I think in terms of order and disorder, entropy. The Constitution written by the Founders has proven itself successful as the nation has survived over two centuries as a republic, a difficult task.

              There is always entropy. Nothing remains stable. The questions are in which direction the nation is heading and how fast? A Biden Presidency will move us much further and quicker in the wrong direction than a Trump Presidency who, though not perfect, was pushing us in a more proper direction. It also will protect a lot of guilty parties that include some of the good guys that bought into the system. That second item alone could rapidly speed up the destruction of the nation.

              Virtue is not what holds this nation together. Self-interest does. Unfortunately, too much self-interest has developed within our government, turning it away from the country envisioned. Too much power at the top is creating an artificial self-interest at the bottom created by government.

              1. The constitution is not biblical truth. It is our founders plan for the best government they thought possible based on what they knew at the time. they expected and designed it to change over time as we learned more.

                They expected that process of change would have the same difficulty as developing it in the first place.

                Government is force, and we should be very very careful about how we use force against others.

                But we have over time made changing the constitution into whimsy.

                The result is that we have seen a reduction over time in the rate of liberty and the rate of progress.

              2. Self interest not only holds the country together it has been the greatest force for the improvement of the human condition ever seen.

                The rise in standard of living accross the earth in the last 50 years coinciding with the demise of socialist and the rise of free markets has done more to benefit more people than all charity in the history of humanity combined.

  4. So the issue is that Alito is right about most everything he said – but wrong to have said it ?

    While I agree that Justices really should refrain from speaking – pretty much about anything – outside of their oppinions.

    That norm fell before Alito, and it is not likely coming back.

    Beyond that most of what he said needed said. and more importantly needs something to be done about it.

    1. While I agree that Justices really should refrain from speaking – pretty much about anything – outside of their oppinions.

      Why? Everyone knows the justices have personal opinions, having them speak publicly about them would help us build a case of disqualifying judicial activism, or it will prove which justices are true to their oaths. Just sayin.

  5. Alito doesn’t let science get in the way of his radical conservatism. Emergency contraception is CONTRACEPTION, meaning that it prevents pregnancy by high levels of hormones that prevent an egg from becoming fertilized in the first place, so there’s no embryo involved. It is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, including cases of rape. Hey, but don’t let reality or the facts get in the way of Alito bloviating.

    Today’s post proves what we suspected all along: Turley is a Federalist Society member.

  6. Turley should recognize that the left has used deceit, theft, cheating and other things to get their way. Eventually the obvious response is that the right will react in kind. The only way to have prevented this was to act preventively years ago. Having not done that he and the rest of us are going to have to live not only with the SC acting in a way one might not like but we will find that our elections will become similar to the poorly run third world type election. We just saw it in this election where criminality is prevailing.

  7. I wish these Justices would express their views on the Second Amendment Right to arm bears. We cannot have a well regulated militia without some bears with rifles joined in the regiments.

    1. dopamine from “likes” on social media is the new opiate of the peop;e

      and the dope dealers have their guy Biden riding high into the POTUS it would seem

      more dope coming

  8. Oh Prof. Turley, ” I have called this trend the “rise of the celebrity justice.” Don’t you really mean CEREBRAL justice?

  9. So Prof. Turley (a bomb thrower) it’s your opinion that a Justice cannot provide his opinion in situations that are lining up to have an impact on this countries freedoms greater than at any time in its history? What kind of perfect world do you live in? Addressing attacks on religious liberty and free speech should be made in as much as there is rarely a thought-out counter argument these days. And yes, these days, pundits seem to outnumber what is written in the Constitution, because they can. Why are these litigants entitled to justices who are not speaking publicly (directly or indirectly) on the merits of such claims? Is it against the law? Or are they just against your opinion? Now I am beginning to see why you are appearing more frequently on Fox news.

  10. Alito commented on COVID-19. A reminder that on October 27, Trump tweeted “ALL THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IS COVID, COVID, COVID. ON NOVEMBER 4th, YOU WON’T BE HEARING SO MUCH ABOUT IT ANYMORE. WE ARE ROUNDING THE TURN!!!”

    Here we are, after November 4, and yesterday, there were a record number of new cases and a record number of hospitalizations:
    https://twitter.com/COVID19Tracking/status/1327044583755280388

    It’s getting worse, and Trump is doing nothing to address it. He should use the DPA to produce PPE and encourage everyone to wear masks. He should be pressuring the Republicans in the Senate to negotiate with the Democrats in the House. The economy will not recover until the pandemic is under control.

    He is unfit. It’s astounding that he snookered so many people into supporting him.

    1. We got COVID at home months ago. We later discussed selling our plasma on Craigs List to share the lovely antibodies that everyone seeks. Alas, we thought it better to let natural selection runs its course. You’re either fit or not…. go with the science

      1. Sure, let’s do away with medical care altogether. You’re either fit or not, better to let natural selection runs its course.

    2. “More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel”
      https://t.co/K7ryZEyjeI

      Trump is a malignant narcissist who doesn’t care about anyone else’s well-being.

      1. Did you not read the “head close contact with someone who tested positive”. The standards for the SS are steep – as they should be.

        There are not 130 SS with C19. There are not likely a fraction of that.

        There are 130 SS who had contact once removed with someone who tested positive.

        By guess is YOU meet that criteria to.

        I would also note there are very serious concerns about the false positive rates of C19 tests.

        There are only two possibilities at the moment – 9/10 of C19 positives are false positives, or 90% of “infected” people have no symptoms and are not contageous.

        C19 is highly contageous – without any measures it has a spread rate of 2.4-3.8 – that is massively exponential.

        Even following all CDC guidelines the real world transmission rate is 1.59 – that is above that of the flu with ZERO measures (1.2).
        And far above where we would need to get to accomplish anything.

        If the numbers being reported were real the entire country would have it in a matter of days.

    3. Trump fast tracked Covid supplies. He fast tracked the development of a vaccine. He sent military hospital ships to New York and LA.
      He fast tracked the production of PPE and ventilaters that went around the world. Now the vaccine has been miraculously announced after the election. This is because we all know that Big Pharma loves trump. Vaccines for other contagions took years to be discovered. He had a hand in the development of a cure. Now there is a cure that may save you or one of your loved ones life. In your mind there just can not be anything good done by the President. Heres a question. We are seeing many daily deaths from covid. If Big Pharma held back their findings for say two weeks how many lives will be lost around the world by there actions? Your selective outrage is glaringly apparent. Ofcourse you never heard of the things he did on yout preferred news outlets. It’s okay it’s just a morality thing.

      1. It used to be the left that relentlessly attacked Big Pharma. Now the two join hands and hearts to attack the President. What a koombiya moment. More like a Machiavellian revelation.

    4. Why the DPA – is there a shortage of PPE ? I have N95 masks out the whazzo.

      Trump has encouraged people to wear masks. But in left wingnut land you must wear a mask outdoors in the sun walking your dog 10,000ft from anyone else.

      I would also note that data from numerous real world studies, the CDC, and the Imperial college and EU demonstrates that not just masks but ALL policy measures have not reduced the Transmission rate below 1.59 – and you MUST get the trransmission rate substantially below 1.0 to do anything beyond delay the inevetable at great cost.

      Why should democrats and republicans negotiate ? There is absolutely nothing in the “Covid releif bill” that does anything about Covid.

      The economy is already recovering, The 3rd Q gains were the largest EVER – larger than the 2Q losses – which were the largest ever.

      Currently we are on track for 2020 to be a small net gain over 2019.

      The Current CDC Covidnet weekly hospitalization rate is trending DOWN, not up, It is currently a 7/100000 which with small variation is where it has been since late May.

      The 7 day death rate has been very near constant since early june.

  11. Homerun! Liberals are so humor-less

    From the transcript of Alito’s speech:

    So what are the courts doing in this crisis, when the constitutionality of COVID restrictions has been challenged in court, the leading authority cited in their defense is a 1905 Supreme Court decision called Jacobson versus Massachusetts. The case concerned an outbreak of smallpox in Cambridge, and the Court upheld the constitutionality of an ordinance that required vaccinations to prevent the disease from spreading. Now I’m all in favor of preventing dangerous things from issuing out of Cambridge and infecting the rest of the country and the world. It would be good if what originates in Cambridge stayed in Cambridge. But to return to the serious point, it’s important to keep Jacobson in perspective, its primary holding rejected a substantive due process challenge to a local measure that targeted a problem of limited scope. It did not involve sweeping restrictions imposed across the country for an extended period. And it does not mean that whenever there is an emergency, executive officials have unlimited unreviewable discretion.

    https://reason.com/volokh/2020/11/12/video-and-transcript-of-justice-alitos-keynote-address-to-the-federalist-society/

  12. Without the text in your hand, the reader doesn’t actually know what Mr. Justice Alito said. Cherry-picked bits of text can be misleading.

  13. As a non-religious person, it sometimes frustrates me that religious beliefs are protected when those related beliefs have no protection when they’re not religious beliefs. I accept that this is because of the First Amendment, but it strikes me as undermining equality under the law.

    1. CTHD, how does your frustration over religious beliefs really affect you? Perhaps 1 of all of the following: sleepless nights, restless night sleeping, anxiety, apprehension, worry, ad nauseam, worry, et all. I guess you never learned to live and let live. Just cause you don’t like something doesn’t mean you get to change it. But of course that is the mantra of today. I don’t like the Constitution so we are gonna change it! I don’t like what you say so you will be cancelled! WTF is the big deal about someone having a difference of opinion?
      I like green, you like yellow. So is green now cancelled, or is yellow cancelled? Who friggin cares? Oh, don’t forget to pronounce Tomato the correct way too! hehehe

      1. delmaracer, you seem a bit triggered.

        It doesn’t affect me in any of the ways that you listed. I already said that I accept that freedom of religion is protected by the First Amendment. Work on your reading comprehension.

    2. Fully in agreement Commit and it is clearly an equal protection issue.

      If I believe a behavior is immoral and I will not perform it based only on an application of my experience and logic on the issue, that is irrelevant to the law.. If I believe the same behavior is immoral based on a belief that invisible spirits say so, that has the protection of law in some instances. That is absurd.

      1. Poor old (“just some of the facts ma’am”) Joe F is being so discriminated against that he is afraid to let us know what’s on his mind. Whoe (misspelled on purpose) is he who suffers such trial and tribulation.

      2. Nope.

        If you beleive that some behavior is immoral – for ANY reason, there are very very very few circumstances under which you should be compelled by law to perform that act.

        I do not care whether you are opposed to doing something because of invisible spirits or your application of logic and experience – which thus far has proven significantly inferior to the “invisible spirits” that intoned “Thou shalt not kill”.

        I would note that the actual immorality of an act rests on whether it is an unjustified violation of the free will/rights of another.
        Not your personal experience or your personal logic.

        I would challenge you to identify a single behaviour that is in your experience immoral, that is not also a violation of the rights or free will of another.

        Morality is not near so nebulous as those on the left purport.

        I would further note that “your personal experience and logic” is far more nebulous than the morality we get from “invisible spirits”.

      1. I was just making a general comment.

        For example, in the case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, SCOTUS ruled that because of their religious beliefs, they do not have to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees. But if an employer objected to paying for contraceptive coverage just to save money or for some other non-religious reason, they’d still have to provide it. As another example, SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Masterpiece Cakeshop for religious reasons, but if a bakeshop objected to making a cake for someone for non-religious reasons, that wouldn’t be protected. There are lots of examples like this. Why should religious beliefs be treated differently from all other beliefs?

        1. I don’t wan’t to step into another discussion but Max asked a simple question. He wanted to know ” related beliefs have no protection”? You gave examples that didn’t explain your position. You stated things you didn’t like.

          In both cases it was the religious beliefs of individuals that weren’t asking you to do anything. They wanted to live up to what they believe. You want them to bow down to your God whether it be religious or otherwise. They are not asking you to bow down to their God.

          1. My examples were intended to explain my position, and I’m not sure why you think they didn’t explain it, as you didn’t say.

            I wasn’t “stat[ing] things [I] didn’t like.” I was stating how in the same situation — where an employer or a cake shop objects to something — people have legal protection if their objections are based on religious beliefs but don’t have legal protection if the objection is based on non-religious beliefs.

            I’m an agnostic atheist, so I don’t have any gods, much less to I want anyone to bow down to any gods.

            Do you have an answer to my question: why should religious beliefs be treated differently from all other beliefs?

            1. You say you are an agnostic atheist with an air of superiority to one that is religious and believes in God. In fact you sound as if you wish to impose that position on others and are offended if one in their personal or business lives lives up to the dictates of their religion. That is a very autocratic position and makes one thank God for the first amendment.

              “why should religious beliefs be treated differently from all other beliefs?”

              In your examples I don’t see how a religious belief predominates over an atheist belief.

              In any event I can see you won’t answer Max’s initial question, “What beliefs are they”? Examples are a non answer and an excuse for not answering. That is fine with me. People frequently make rash statements and then have to walk away from them.

              1. I said nothing to suggest that agnostic atheism is better than other beliefs (whether gnostic atheism, gnostic theism, or agnostic theism). You read “superiority” into my comment when it wasn’t there. You also read a “wish to impose that position on others” and “offen[se] if one in their personal or business lives lives up to the dictates of their religion” that weren’t there.

                Examples aren’t a non-answer, though apparently they aren’t the answer that you, personally, want.

                1. No one reads a wish to impose by you that is not there.

                  In your own posts you made it clear that you require the LSOP to provide contraception to others whether they want to or not, That you require Mr. Phillips to bake cakes with pro gay marraige messages whether he wants to or not.

                  That is imposing your will on others by force.

                  Protest LSOP, Boycott master cake – atleast in the latter i will join you.
                  But you may not use force to compel others to live by your values.

                  There are very few instances in which the use of force is justified.
                  Imposing your will on others – not even buy law, is not alone sufficient justification.

                2. I can only read what you write here. The baker believed that morally he could not perform a business service to another in the exact manner the other wanted because it was against his religious beliefs. He didn’t refuse to bake the cake. He only refused to affirm something the other party believed in.

                  The issue was rather frivolous and contrived. The baker in his own business set standards the other wished changed. Obviously, you believe the other had superior beliefs because you wished the baker to deny his own beliefs even though it was his IP that was being used to create the specific item that was immoral to him.

                  It’s really quite simple. You wish to impose your moral beliefs on others by going into their homes and businesses, forcing them to abide by your desires. That is what tyrants do. I am waiting for you to tell us what was denied to the one that wanted the cake and why he had a right to force a man to forget what that man felt was his moral obligation.

                  1. “Obviously, you believe the other had superior beliefs because you wished the baker to deny his own beliefs even though it was his IP that was being used to create the specific item that was immoral to him. … You wish to impose your moral beliefs on others by going into their homes and businesses, forcing them to abide by your desires.”

                    Nope.

                    You’re once again reading things into what I wrote, assuming that I have wishes and beliefs that aren’t mine / assuming things I didn’t say and didn’t imply.

                    Since you keep doing that, this is an unproductive exchange. Bye.

                    1. First your self aggrandizing view of your beliefs is readily apparent.
                      And if you were actually right it would even be justified.

                      But that does not change the issue.

                      Neither you nor I, nor Obama, nor congress can use force to impose their will on others outside of very limited circumstances.

                      The use of force must always be justified.
                      There are few justifications for the use of force that are moral.

                    2. Commit, you’d think this was a difficult principle (and question) you introduced given the ridiculous off topic flip outs by these responses.

                      Doffusses – or is it doofae? – the question Commit introduced was the unequal protection issue raised by granting exemptions to laws to those claiming religious beliefs as their justification when others who sought the same exemption, but not for religious reasons, would not be exempt. Obviously this grants special rights to those who believe in supernatural beings that are not available to the rest of us.This is not a debate about whether those beliefs are superior or whether non-belief is superior.

                    3. The first amendment does not require creating excemptions for laws that violate religious freedom.

                      It requires striking those laws down.

                      The purported equal protection claim CTDHD is arguing is manufactured – those on the left do this all the time.

                      They create a problem and then use the problem of their own creation to claim a need for more power.

                      Any law that infringes on the religous liberty of one group, can not be fixed by creating an exception or loophole.

                      It is the exception or loophole that purportedly violates Equal Protection.

                      The law must be struck down entirely.

                      Mandating that insurance must cover contraception is FACIALLY unconstitutional, and SCITUS should have struck the law entirely, or atleast the mandate entirely.

                      Frankly even without a first amendment claim SCOTUS should strike all laws that interfere with the free choices of buyers and sellors.

                      All such laws violate the contracts clause in the constitution which forbids government – including states from interfering in contracts.

                      I would further note that the the equal protection clause itself requires striking down mandates that can not be applied to all equally.

                      Both the Equal Protection clause and the first amendment are part of the constitution.

                      They are NOT in conflict – it is possible to comply with both.
                      But it is not possible to impose the agenda of the left and comply with both.

                      And the purpose of the constitution and its amendments is to limit government – and that is exactly what 1A and 14AEP do if applied as written.

                    4. Agreed Joe.

                      Off topic, you might enjoy this fact-check of Trump’s lawyers and Tucker Carlson’s claims of voter fraud:

                    5. I have no idea what Carlson has said.

                      But you are completely clueless if you are trying to claim that election fraud does not exist.

                      The question – as always is how common place is it, and whether it is large enough to tip an election.

                      There are numerous well supported allegations of election fraud right now.

                      But only a few of them have the potential to alter the outcome of the election.

                      Contra even many on the right it is critical to explore ALL allegations of election fraud.

                      Not only must our elections be as free of fraud as possible, they must be visibly free of fraud. The public must trust the results – not just the winner.

                      Until we are prepared to address election fraud – the problem will get worse. We have a growing number of national elections which turn on very small numbers of votes. That is a recipe for disaster. That is both the strongest incentive to commit fraud and the most likely situation for many people to beleive there is fraud.

                    6. There are numerous republicans – including Andrew McCarthy – and even a few democrats – such as Turley, who are supporting fully exploring all the issues with the election, but who think it is highly unlikely that Trump will be able to swing the election.

                      Absent a credible example of serious fraud or other problems that is likely correct.

                      But find a single significant instance of real fraud by democrats and this is over.

                      So long as Trump is fighting over bad counting there is no chance he pulls this off.
                      But find a single instance of fraud that is large enough and implicates enough people and Trump will likely win every court ruling there after.

                      More disturbing to me – is all this was avoidable – and though republicans bear some of the blame this mess is primarily of democratic creation.

                      Republicans screwed up post 2000 Bush v Gore. We know how to conduct elections that are both accurate and trustworthy. But republicans chose to introduce computers and that was a very stupid mistake – that violates the principles of trustworthy elections – no black boxes. Nothing that we should have to trust based on someone’s word.

                      Regardless, it is not difficult to conduct an election that can not have consequential fraud AND that it is near impossible to allege consequential fraud.

                      So lets quit fighting to preseve the crap that makes fraud possible.

                      No voter should ever be able to possess a filled in ballot outside a polling place, a courthouse, or a magistrates office.
                      This radically reduces the opportunity to Buy votes. And that is one of the most dangerous forms of election fraud.

                      Voter registration databases need to have illegitimate voters purged as required by federal law.

                      Voters must present government issued photo ID to vote.
                      And must be on registration rolls.

                      All voters must register atleast 90 days before the election.

                      No one can vote – except under narrow circumstances absentee except on election day.

                      No votes get counted before election day. No votes get counted AFTER election day.

                      All tallies from scanners.counters MUST be made public immediately after the election.

                      There are about 350K votes in each congressional district.

                      There should be no instance in which more than 35K votes are tallied by a single independent group.
                      i,e, would should never have state wide or county wide or city wide counting.
                      All counting should be done at a precinct level and no precinct should have more than 10% of the districts voters to count.

                      All tallies from scanners must be hand verified with the public observing within a few days of the election.

                      None of this is difficult to do.

                      The left loves “experts” – well the Experts have been pushing these for decades.

                    7. CTDHD – if Trump voters are not persuaded – by FACTS and Scruitiny that the results were honest – and frankly you have already lost them because so much that is not reversable has been done ourside of scrutiny you have guaranteed that tens of millions of voters will always beleive that Biden was elected illegitimately.

                      Regardless if you do not persuade those voters you will have innumerable problems:

                      First, any calls for “unity” will be rejected. Honestly that will happen no matter what, you can not call people racists for a decade and then expect to kiss and make up. You can not steal their hats, refuse to serve them coffee or dinner, censor their social media, and call them names and expect that after the election they will shake hands and hug, and fart rainbows.

                      If tens of millions of voters beleive the results of the election are illegitimate – the armed conflict that you have fetishised over the past 4 years may become reality. Contra the left there was almost no right wing violence through the Trump administration – because there was no simmering resentment on the extreme right.

                      McVeigh bombed OKC specifically because of Ruby Ridge and Wacco. When government behaves lawlessly, ordinary people are entitled to step in. Whether that is McVeigh at one end or Kyle Rittenhouse, or the McCluskies, or Capt. Dorn at the other.
                      Regardless, if there is a strong perception of fraud there is a much higher risk of the serious violence from the right that you have been fearing for decades.

                      Next, Democrats are already honkering down for 2022. This election was disasterous for democrats.
                      You lost significant ground in the house. You made miniscule gains in the senate, you made no gains in states, democrats will not be motivated to vote in 2020 Republicans will. Barring the unforseen democrats are looking at a disasterous 2022. Obviously that is a long way away. But many many democrats see serious problems already.

                      Democrats are not going to be able to move any agenda that can not be done unilaterally by the whitehouse.
                      While there is talk about reversing Trump’s EO’s that may prove politically hard. Loke it or not many of those EO’s are popular.

                      Further Biden has several massive problems facing him as president. The first is that he starts with the presumption of corruption – not just because of any beleif that he won fraudulently, but also because of his immoral and unethical conduct regarding his family.

                      The perception if Biden tries to unravel some of Trumps EO’s is that he is doing so for personal gain.

                      That will also impact everything he does in foreign policy.

                      Biden can do symbolic things – such as rejoin the meaningless paris accords, But if he acts to limit energy policy he will amplify the red tsunami that will hit in 2022.

                      The same problem exists regarding immigration. US immigration is an an all time low. There are few coming in legitimately as a result of Covid, and few accross the borders, because Trump has gotten our southern neighbors to stop them first. But it is likely that we will see mass caravans shortly after the inauguration – if not earlier. Biden has no means of dealing with that. He can not allow mass illegal immigration, and he can not oppose it. He is between a rock and a hard place on immigration.
                      He can re-instate Dreamers – though I would not count on the courts there.

                      Appointment of judges under Biden is going to slow to a crawl as republicans control the Senate.

                      Trump could well leave Biden with several Special Counsel investigations.

                      Further if republicans beleive that democrats cheated to win, and they are prevented from foreclosing that cheating in the future, then republicans will cheat in the future. Elections do not get better by hiding the problems.

                    8. “unproductive exchange. Bye.”

                      Of course it is an unproductive exchange. You are unable to express what you believe without contradicting yourself. It’s that simple.

                    9. CTHD, embarrassing clip on Carlson’s ignorant segment.

                      John Say, Trump supporters are not swayed by facts, or they wouldn’t buy his con man BS, including a claim without evidence that he was the victim. He’s been setting you ip for this in broad daylight for months now.

                      But hey, prove me wrong. Here’s some facts.

                      Hillary lost in the same 3 rust belt states Trump lost in and by many fewer votes. She conceded early the next morning, wished him well, and showed up at the inauguration, no doubt an odious job she performed out of a sense of duty. Within days of the vote, Biden welcomed Pence to yhe VP residence and Michelle hosted Melania for tea. That’s what adults who care about the country do.

                      Across Pennsylvania, Biden out performed Hillary’s 2016 numbers in red and blue counties by approx 3-4%. He under performed her in Philadelphia by 3%. Think about it. Is that how Democrats would rig the election? F..k no.

                    10. ” Biden welcomed Pence to yhe VP residence and Michelle hosted Melania for tea. That’s what adults who care about the country do.”

                      The Biden Obama team weaponized the IC, the IRS and other bureaucratic agencies along with spying on the Trump before the elections and as President elect.

                      This guy Joe Friday acts like the program Dragnet. All fiction and a drag.

                    11. Biden has also lied repeatedly about his dealings with foreign leaders, about his families conduct, and about his knowledge of that.

                      Trump was impeached for asking for an investigation of the Biden’s.

                      A request that is now OBVIOUSLY legitimate,
                      Further we now know that while the impeachment was ongoing – Hinter Biden was being secretly investigated by the FBI for many of the things Trump was asking to be investigated.

                      Joe Biden looks and acts corrupt. His own conduct and that of democrats – alone creates suspicion regarding Fraud in the election.

                      Biden has lied repeatedly and been caught lying – though the left press refuses to hold him accountable.

                      That makes claims of fraud all the more plausible.

                    12. JF – you lack credibility.

                      I have never voted for Trump.

                      I am libertarian, not conservative of republican.

                      Hillary did narrowly lose these swing states – changing 80,000 votes total in the right places would have swung the election.
                      The same appears to be true today.

                      The 2016 election did not have massive mailin voting – and did not have any mailin voting in the contested states.

                      Prior to this election – it was nearly universally recognized that mailin voting is impossible to secure and highly prone to Fraud.
                      The EU bans it. The ?us State department has condemned elections conducted the way this election has been.

                      The FACTS prove you wrong.

                      Was there fraud in this election ? Absolutely and in every state – contra left wing nuts there is ALWAYS fraud in elections.

                      There is not a state in the country that does not have many votes cast by dead people, fake people, and people who do not live in the state.

                      Election fraud – contra the left is common place – even in in person elections where it is far easier to police,

                      I am watching the media $h!t itself ranting that claims of fraud are false. That is brain dead stupid.

                      No intelligent person doubts there is fraud in this election.

                      The important questions are:

                      Did that fraud effect the outcome ?

                      And what are we going to do to prevent fraud in the future.

                      The small margin of victory as well as the large number of anomolies, and the behavior of election officials makes the possibility that fraud effected the outcome credible.

                      REGARDLESS, we MUST address election fraud – even though the left keeps sticking its head in the sand, or we will destroy the credibility of elections and therefore government, The left seems clueless how important credibility and integrity is.

                      The left, press, Google, Youtube, etc are all unified in ranting that there is no fraud. Not only are they withoug credibility on their face, but they have bought similar nonsense so many times that tens of millions of people do not trust them.

                      You/They have lied to us about so many things that you/they have no credibility and integrity at all.

                      If New York Times or WaPo says something is true – tens of millions of people assume that it is false.

                      That is the price for blowing your credibility and integrity.

                    13. Right -Clinton is an example of a gracious loser ?

                      You are talking about the person who concocted the Collusion delusion – with the help of Russian Spies and continued to sell it through Trump’s presidency ?

                      Please, do not try to sell Hillary to anyone.

                      If you want the results of ANY election to be accepted by the losers you must conduct the elections themselves with integrity.

                      You must have rules-the purpose of those rules is to minimize the opportunity and possibility for fraud, and you must follow those rules.

                      You must conduct the election in the open, and you must do so in a verifiable fashion.

                      The Trump campaign is claiming that large numbers of votes were cast by people who were not eligable to vote.

                      That is not very difficult to verify – or it should not be. If it is actually difficult to verify – that is a major problem all by itself.

                      Regardless you should WELCOME rather than fight that.

                      If the number of inelegible votes cast is small – we can all trust the outcome – though we should still work to make it even smaller next time.

                      If the number of ineligable votes cast was large -there is a huge problem. Had democrats followed the rules – we would have eliminated most of the ineligable votes BEFORE they voted.

                      We would have accurate voter registration roles. We would reject attempts to vote by those not registered. Especiallywhen they could not prove they were how they claimed to be and that they were eligable to vote.

                      But because democratic areas failed to abide by the rules verifying voter eligability – and because they excluded election observers who are the backstop against misconduct by election officials we can probably establish that many ineligable voters voted, but we can not correct the vote. That means we have a choice of accepting results that we know are fraudulent, or creating a crisis.

                      Further this problem was completely foreseable.

                      We knew from history that mailin voting is rife with fraud.
                      We knew from The democratic primaries that as much as 20% of the mailin vote was dubious.

                      We knew that Trump and Republicans were going to be highly critical of mailin votes.

                      And yet democrats not merely went ahead but did so in the way to both increase the opportunity for fraud and to make themselves look the most guilty.

                      If observers were not illegally removed – Trump would have a far weaker case.
                      If observers were not told to go home because counting was being stopped – and then hundreds of thousands of ballots counted without any scritiny – Trump would have a far weaker case.

                      There are numerous pundits left and right claiming Trump has an uphill battle. That is only partly correct.

                      If Trump manages to expose even a single instance of fraud of sufficient scale – that calls into account the integrity of the election in EVERY STATE.

                      There are many claims being made about the Dominion voting System scanners. While I do not want to beleive that claim. Georgiaisgoing to be recounted by hand. If the DVS machines were altering results – that will be exposed in Georgia, And if there is an issue with the DVS machines – all results of every race in the entire country are now in doubt.

                      Further if there was a problem with DVS in GA, Trump’s claim of Fraud is fundimentally proven.

                      In the short run or the long run, whatever it takes, we will be able to determine the number of ineligable voters who voted in EVERY STATE.

                      If that number is small -Trump will have no credibility.
                      If it is large – this election will be remembered as a fraud FOREVER.

                      What is happening is very dangerous – the left seems to think that the route to integrity is to silence those who raise questions.
                      In fact by silencing those who challenge you, you diminish your own credibility

                    14. What is it about your “facts” thatyou think actually proves anything.

                      Lets deal with your last assertion “Is that how you would rig an election ?” – yes that is one possible way to rig an election.

                      In fact your very assertion raises questions by itself. Biden was horribly unpopular in most of Pennsylvania – significantly more so than Hillary. Had Biden dominated in Philadelphia and other traditionally democrat regions – that would be more credible.

                      You have the further problem that Trump lead by 700,000+ votes in PA after the real vote came in. And lost all that lead as mailin votes were counted.

                      Again – Biden picking up lots of votes in Philadelphia -either honestly or by fraud is plausible. but his getting thumped by in person voters and in the very same regions taking a commanding lead among mailin votes is not credible.

                      Whenever we see large divergences between mailin or absentee votes and in person votes we should be suspicious of fraud.

                  2. I do not care if he refused to bake a cake because he did not like short people.
                    I do not care if Red Farm refuses to serve people in MAGA hats
                    I do not care if Chick-a-filet contributes to pro-family causes.

                    If you do not like the choices of the businesses you frequent do what they do and refuse them your patronage.

                3. I do not care if you think your views are superior to those of others.

                  I certainly know my views are superior to yours.

                  Neither you nor I are free to impose those views on others by force.

                  I could care less about your faux modesty – if you did not think your views were superior you would not be trying to impose them by force.

                4. With all due respect, I don’t think you have the slightest understanding of what you have said. You are not the center of the world nor the center of intelligence. I don’t say that anyone should believe in God, nature or anything else, but you need to obtain a bit of humility.

                  Your examples demonstrated who and what you are even though they were not answers to the question at hand. I find this discussion a waste of time. You have put a lot of armor around a vast emptiness.

            2. Human beings are inherently religious creatures. Your purported agnosticism is not evidence of a lack of religion.

              Many things can substitute for god in out expression of a religious nature. ‘

              The nonsense about catastrophic global warming is an example of religion in a different context.

              Any beleif system at all that can not be falsified is a religion.

              Communism and socialism are examples of other secular religions. Over and over they fail, yet adherents continue to have faith that next time they will get it right. They are indistinguishable from Harold Camping anouncing over and over the revised data of christs return.

              CTDHD you may be agnotstic – but you are possibly the most religious poster here.

              Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the belief in things unseen.

              You are as free to believe the nonsense that you do as the Little Sisters of the Poor or Mr. Phillips of Master Cake.

              What you are not free to do is to impose your views on others by force.

        2. Should a business be liable for refusing service to someone who has the related belief of supporting Trump? For believing the election was rigged? Liability for Facebook? Twitter? The corner restaurant?

          Just wondering.

          1. “Should a business be liable for refusing service to someone who has …”
            You phrase the question wrong.

            Should anyone be compelled to provide services to anyone else ?

            If you do not wish to serve Trump supporters – fine, but do not demand that others provide contraception to you, or bake you cakes.

        3. To your point. It is not justifiable to force actions by the populace against their moral beliefs. Ones objection to birth control does not automaticly mean your a religious person. There are many people both religious and non-religeous people who don’t believe in abortion. What we have here is a conflict of visions. Not all visions are of equal value. There is a religeon that some belong to with the vision of “what ever feels good now”. The Little Sisters of The poor know that birth control includes drugs that are used after pregnancy occurs. Abortions are a part of birth control. Birth control is not just confined to a once a month pill. They know that if they are forced to provide one they will be forced to accept all. Many private and public health plans provide coverage for abortions. They would be required to make these plans available to their employees. Those of one vision are hiding behind a narrow description (a monthly pill). And they know exactly what they are doing. A religeon is a life style based on a set of beliefs. Just because you don’t go to a building on Sunday it doesn’t mean that your set of beliefs are not religious in nature. When there is a conflict of visions a choosing is required.

          1. Thinkitthrough, your claim that “The Little Sisters of The poor know that birth control includes drugs that are used after pregnancy occurs. Abortions are a part of birth control. … They know that if they are forced to provide one they will be forced to accept all” isn’t accurate.

            The case was about “Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods” (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19-431_5i36.pdf). The case did not involve abortion in any way.

            Contraceptives prevent conception. Drugs that work after conception has occurred (e.g., by preventing implantation) aren’t contraceptives; they’re contragestives. Some people mistakenly believe that a drug taken after sex must be a contragestive rather than a contraceptive because they don’t understand that it takes many hours for the sperm to swim up to the egg.

            BTW, birth control pills are taken daily, not monthly, though there’s research on the latter. There are other forms of birth control that don’t have to be taken daily, such as depo provera shots, implants, and IUDs.

            1. Commited. I remember when abortions were only supposed to be in the first trimester. They told us not to worry. Abortions will never happen after the first trimester. Now abortion is allowed up to the last day. Do you really think that the forced provision of the pill will be the only requirement on The Little Sisters. Drugs that work after conception regardless of there name still exercise control over a birth. Abortion by nature exercises control over a birth. Do you really think we are gullible enough to believe that forced coverage will not be expanded. We predicted such an expansion in the case of abortion. It is simply an exercise of power for the demand of conformity. Corrie Tenboom wrote a book called “The Hidding Place”. It was set in Germany in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. The story was about Christians who put their lives on the line to hide Jews in their homes. They were very inventive in creating false closets were the Jews could be hidden. In one instance a home was being raided by the Nazis and a Jewish mother sufficated her newly born child to silence its crying so that the hidding place would not be discovered. She saved the lives of her family and the Christians that were hidding them. When they break the law, The Little Sisters Of The Poor can be assured that they will find a hidding place in my home.

              1. You didn’t say who “they” refers to “They told us not to worry.”

                Even though I quoted to you that the law is only about contraception (which prevents conception), not about other forms of birth control, you keep trying to shift the discussion to birth control more generally. I’m not going to join you in your effort to redefine what the case was about.

                1. Are you arguing that there is no “they”, that we were not reassured that late term abortions would be rare and only in very serious instances ?

                  Identifying “they” is only relevant if you are claiming there is no “they”, that no assurances were made.

                  Regardless I will give you a different “they”.

                  The majority of americans support abortions rights.
                  The majority of americans do not support abortion after the 20th week.
                  Almost every restrictive measure that red states have sought to impose on abortion has majority public support.

                  There is one “they” you are missing – the american people.

                  THEY do not want unrestricted abortions.

                  1. JS: “Almost every restrictive measure that red states have sought to impose on abortion has majority public support.”

                    What you are arguing for, in *this* case, is that the will of the majority is the proper standard to the law.

                    “THEY do not want unrestricted abortions.”

                    To which the only proper response is: Nobody will force them to get one.

                    1. “But they will be forced to pay for it.”

                      Even Gutmacher – the left’s abortion statitcs source, found that nearly all late term abortions are the result of procrastination.

                      If you do not wish to become preganant you can”

                      Not have sex
                      use contraception
                      use the morning after pill
                      get an early abortion.

                      As with many other things -the longer you wait to act the worse and usually more immoral your actions become.

                    2. No Sam I am not arguing that the foundation of law is the will of the majority.

                      I am only arguing that majority exists. That the majority of people support the oportinity to have an abortion as well as lots of limits on that.

                      What the law should be, what actual rights are is something entirely different.

                      “To which the only proper response is: Nobody will force them to get one.”

                      If no one will force you to murder others, to rape others, to steal from others – does that mean that laws against murder, rape, and theft are invalid ?

                      Regardless, you are completely off point.

                      The claim I was responding to is that no “they” exists – clearly there exists a majority of people supporting positions at odds to the wishes of the left.

                      What the law actually should be is not determined by the will of the majority. Restrictions on the liberty of others REQUIRES the support of the majority, but that support is not alone sufficient.

                2. Your right. I should have said “They” on the left. I thought it might be easily assumed. Such a superfluos argument. “They” on the left said there will be no abortions past the first trimester. I hope you are now properly satisfied. Iam old enough to say it because Iam a witness. Instead of arguing the history you argue the word “they”.
                  Hey folks, another master debater to be written down for the benefit of posterity.

          2. None of us are free to impose our vision of how things should be on others by force.

            As the declaration of indepence notes – the use of government Force – is their to secure our rights. That is all.

        4. You are correct the LSOP decisions was wrong. The federal government should have no power to force anyone to provide contraception to another.

          Nor shoudl the federal government have the power to force any cakeship to make a cake for anyone regardless of why they do not wish to make that cake.

          The question is not about beleifs. It is about liberty. You have no right to control the conduct of others absent their causing actual harm to you. Actual harm is not getting or losing a job you would prefer. There is no right to compel another person to give you a job. If someone pays you to do something for you they owe you for the work you did. The are not obligated to you for life.

          We hear those on the left right now demanding that people whose views they dislike are fired.

          Democrats are drawing up lists of Trump staff and demanding that no company hire them.

          Their freedom to do so is not different from Master Cakes decision to not make cakes with specific messages, or LSOP’s refusal to provide contraception to employees.

          You got yourself into all kinds of trouble when you decided that health insurance was a right – it is not.

          There is no such thing as the right to own a gun. There is the right to buy and posses and use a gun – if you so desire and can afford to do so. Healthcare is no different.

          No one can be obligated to sell you a gun.
          No one can be obligated to sell you anything.

          You end up with massive problems the more you try to impose positive obligations on people by force.

          1. “Democrats are drawing up lists of Trump staff and demanding that no company hire them.”

            Commit seems to be perfect for the job of list maker. Would he go so far as pulling a Soros during WW2?

      2. She didn’t define ‘related beliefs’ in her response below. I wondered what they were. I suspect going against ‘related beliefs’ does not require a person to abuse his conscience or risk going to Hell as may be the case with religion.

        1. One does not have to be religious to “abuse his conscience” nor, if there really were gods or a punitive afterlife, risk going to hell.

        2. He or maybe she thinks the neutral position is atheism and therefore a religious person is wrong by straying from the neutral position. The neutral position is what the individual in his own space thinks is neutral.

          Near total blindness is what Commit is facing so no real discussion can take place. In fact when pushed he prevaricated. I guess the next stop for him is lying.

          He or she refuses to recognize that people have various beliefs. What Commit thinks is his most important weapon is the double standard not recognizing that one who holds a double standard is the one that cannot be trusted.

    3. You are correct – relifious beleifs do not engender special protections. ALL Beleifs do. Rather than fixate on the first amendment – we should rely on the 9th

      “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

      Or the 14th.

      “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      BTW if you read up on the privileges an imunities clause the authors of the 14th amendment deliberately used priviledgest and immunities because that included but was not limited to rights.

      The 14th amendment – not the 2nd was a major factor in the Heller and McDonald decisions on the right to bear arms.
      Because the authors of the 14th amendment made it clear that the priviledges and immunities clause meant blacks in the south had the right to firearms.

      The bottom line is the constitution creates a federal government of enumerated powers, and leaves to the individual limitless rights and liberty.

      We should not have the right to take Peyote if that is our religious practice. We have that right because it is outside of the scope of government.

      Whatever my behavior if it does not violate your actual rights, it is not the governments business to interfere -whether i am directed by spirits in the sky or whatever.

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