“Sister Wives” Family Wants the Supreme Court to Legalize Polygamy. Here’s Why They Might Win.

The Supreme Court, which has not tried a polygamy case in a century, just granted Kody Brown, star of the TLC reality television show Sister Wives, until September 10 to file a petition for the nation’s highest court to review his case for the legalization of polygamy.

Fox News reports:

The reality star and his wives sued Utah in 2012 over its historic ban on plural marriage. The Browns were under investigation for bigamy after their TLC reality show aired. They claim the ban on plural marriage infringes on … their right to privacy.

If the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution consistently, based on the premise set in last summer’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, then they ought to read into the supreme law of the land a right to bigamy.

Kody Brown and his four wives, stars of the TLC program, “Sister Wives”

In the landmark Obergefell decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

He also argued:

In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

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Florida Governor Betrays Conservative Principles with Obergefell Answer

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

In an interview on Tuesday evening sure to upset the conservative grassroots, Florida Governor Rick Scott said that the Republican Party needs to de-emphasize its opposition to the LGBT agenda.

“We need to figure out how to come together as a country and include the Republican Party,” Scott said. “We all need to come together,” adding, “It’s the law of the land.”

There are deep constitutional problems with Scott’s response.

Princeton professor and conservative intellectual Robert George has argued several times that surrendering to activist judges on cases like Roe v. Wade or Obergefell v. Hodges undermines constitutional government as understood by statesmen like the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.

In one article, George quoted Lincoln, who said “The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments coequal and co-sovereign within themselves.”

The Supreme Court, like any other branch of government, can act unconstitutionally. Nine unelected elites in black robes sitting in a grand building have no greater legitimacy than the states or the Congress or the President.

When Governor Scott, or other Republican politicians who would rather ditch same-sex marriage as an issue, acknowledge Obergefell as the “law of the land,” they enable further disruption of the constitutional order the Founders so wisely designed.

The problems with Governor Scott’s position on Obergefell do not stop with there, however. Continue Reading

Federal Judge Rules Obergefell Does Not Apply to Puerto Rico

The flags of the United States and Puerto Rico (photo credit: Arturo de la Barrera via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A federal judge has upheld Puerto Rico’s definition of marriage as between one man and one women. While the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Obergefell v. Hodges extended marriage to same-sex couples, U.S. District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez asserted that the ruling does not apply to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S territory.

Judge Pérez-Giménez said of Obergefell ruling: “One might be tempted to assume that the constant reference made to the ‘States’ in Obergefell includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. . . . Yet, it is not the role of this court to venture into such an interpretation.”

He based his ruling on Puerto Rico’s status as an “unincorporated territory” that “is not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment,” reasoning that the U.S. Constitution applies only partially to a territory like Puerto Rico. “Under this doctrine,” he wrote, “‘the Constitution applies in full in incorporated Territories surely destined for statehood but only in part in unincorporated Territories.'”

As general background, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has one non-voting member of Congress. In addition Breitbart explains: “The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has its own Civil Code, which enshrines traditional man-woman marriage in the recognized definition of the institution. It states that marriage is ‘a civil institution, originating in a civil contract whereby a man and a woman mutually agree to become husband and wife and to discharge toward each other the duties imposed by law.’”

Breitbart is clear to show the legal precedent:

In his decision, Perez-Gimenez cites Murphy v.

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Cruz Takes Aim at Opponents for Waffling on Gay Marriage

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Campaigning in South Carolina, Senator Ted Cruz continues to spell out the difference between his position on same-sex marriage and that of his chief opponents.

Politico reports:

Ted Cruz told an auditorium of conservative and evangelical voters that Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have adopted the position of President Barack Obama on gay marriage.

Speaking at the Carolina Values Summit at Winthrop University, the Texas senator said that the “lawless” decision by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage nationwide was “judicial activism.” And he indicated that Rubio and Trump, whom he did not identify by name but as his top two challengers, were flimsy in their opposition to gay marriage.

Politico adds that even though both Rubio and Trump have publicly stated they oppose gay marriage, each has also said they would abide by the “law of the land.” “Those are the talking points of Barack Obama,” Cruz said, adding that the Supreme Court decision, “will not stand.”

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

Trump Again Refuses to Say If He Would Appoint Judges Who Will Overturn Gay Marriage Ruling

Right before the New Hampshire vote, Trump refused to say clearly whether he will look for judges who would overturn Obergefell, the decision that imposed gay marriage on all 50 states. He once again says it’s a states’ rights issue. But he says only he will “prefer that they stand against, but we’ll see what happens. It depends on the judge”:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS: Let’s talk about another issue, social issue, on voters’ minds today, gay marriage. Last Sunday, on Fox News Sunday, you said you would strongly consider appointing Supreme Court justices to overturn the ruling that every state must offer gay marriage. But later this week, you said this to a reporter of the New England Cable channel:

[VIDEO]

STEPHANOPOLOUS: But just last Sunday, you said you would strongly consider appointing justices who would overturn –

DONALD TRUMP: I’m talking about bringing people together, and I would appoint justices – it would take a long time, frankly, because I don’t know how long it would take to appoint –

STEPHANOPOLOUS: But you want them to overturn that Supreme Court decision?

TRUMP: If they – I would appoint them, and we will see how they will vote.

STEPHANOPOLOUS: But how does that move us to equality?

TRUMP: We’ll find out. I mean, we’re going to find out. There’s a lot of people that want to see that, but I would – more important than anything else to me, this country is so divided right now, as per her question. This country is so totally divided – it’s probably almost never been as divided as it is right now, and we have to bring it together.

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Our Top 10 Posts of 2015

We had a great year at ThePulse2016.com. Thank you for being a consistent reader.

Here were our top 10 most popular posts (ranked in order by unique page views) on ThePulse2016.com this year:

10.) “Rand Paul Just Destroyed the Democrats On Abortion

Sen. Rand Paul (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

April 8, 2015 By: Jon Schweppe

Wow. Senator Rand Paul just gave the best answer on abortion I’ve ever seen—a complete home run.

Pro-abortionists love to force pro-life candidates to be very specific on abortion, and the media is often their willing accomplice. The media will happily force pro-life candidates to explain which exceptions they support, which they don’t, and generally just flummox them into eventually giving up on defending their position altogether outside of a vague declaration of being pro-life. After all, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

This has been a frustrating trend to watch. Republicans have generally avoided the issue altogether, while Democrats continue to radicalize and become bolder in their pro-abortion ideology.

Abortion isn’t an issue on which conservatives need to be playing defense. Instead, we should be going on the attack and forcing liberals defend their radical views of supporting abortion without exception from the moment of conception to the moment of birth.

Enter Rand Paul.

[…]

Read more here.

9.) “Whoopi Goldberg Attacks Carly Fiorina: See Whoopi Fail!

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Peter Stevens via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

June 17, 2015 By: Josh Pinho

Carly Fiorina recently appeared as a guest panelist on ABC’s “The View,” and was asked by co-host Whoopi Goldberg to respond to a loaded question on the topic of life.

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What Should Christian Conservatives Do Next?

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Professor Robert George today announced two things: the first is the release of a statement signed by 60 legal scholars rejecting the idea that in our Republic the Supreme Court gets to decides what the Constitution means and the rest of us just have to submit and accept.  “We stand with James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in recognizing that the Constitution is not whatever a majority of Supreme Court justices say it is,” these legal scholars proclaim.

Secondly, amazingly, this Princeton professor simultaneously announced he is leading a Campaign for American Principles, which political consultant Frank Cannon describes as “the first Super PAC for social conservatives” committing to demonstrating in this election cycle that the Democrats’ anti-religious extremism is going to cost them the White House.

Robby George’s call to action is here.  Please read it.  Share it on your Facebook page.  And post it on your website.

Since Obergefell, many people have asked me: What next?  What do we do?

Some suggest we retreat from politics, because (and they are right about this) politics is not enough.  But politics is not the opposite of culture, it is one form of culture: it is particularly one way in a democracy we decide what ideas are within the mainstream and what ideas are outside it.

And anyway, while Rod Dreher is right to raise the question of how we transmit a vibrant Christian faith under increasing duress, the true Benedict Option in the contemporary world is not available—there is nowhere to go that aggressive equality progressivism may not follow. Continue Reading

Justice Scalia: Supreme Court Is a “Threat to Democracy”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (photo credit: United States Mission Geneva via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia just leveled his most scathing remarks to date on the Court for its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges earlier this summer.  In a speech at Rhodes College, Scalia claimed the court is getting further away from interpreting the Constitution and closer to imposing its own desires as law:

“Saying that the Constitution requires practice, which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens,” Scalia said – “I don’t know how you can get more extreme than that.”

Scalia described the Obergefell v. Hodges decision as the “furthest imaginable extension of the Supreme Court doing whatever it wants.” He rhetorically asked, “Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?”

Scalia also noted that the Supreme Court is “terribly unrepresentative” of America and called out past justices for making decisions that are ultimately dictating moral behavior to the public:

“What is it that I learned at Harvard Law School that makes me peculiarly qualified to determine such profound moral and ethical questions as whether there should be a right to abortion, whether there should be same-sex marriage, whether there should be a right to suicide?” Scalia asked. “It has nothing to do with the law.”

This isn’t the first time Scalia has criticized judicial overreach.  In his dissenting opinion in Obergefell, Scalia stated, “Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.”

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action. Continue Reading

Legal Firm Finding Huge Increase in Threats to Religious Liberty

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

When a Kentucky judge jailed Kim Davis for refusing to sign marriage licenses due to her Christian beliefs, the situation heralded various responses from the 2016 GOP candidates.  Most notable, perhaps, was Gov. Mike Huckabee’s claim that her jailing marks “the criminalization of Christianity.”

His statement seems to have been lost in the shuffle of debate over Davis’ role as a government employee and the details of making a religious exemption.  So, was Huckabee exaggerating the situation?  Was the jailing of Kim Davis a random case, or does her situation really mark the criminalization of Christianity in America?

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute—a non-profit law firm that takes cases similar to the Davis case—might say her situation is not as unexpected or isolated as we would hope.  

“Each year, Liberty Institute publishes a survey titled ‘Undeniable,’ cataloging incidents of religious hostility in America,” Shackleford wrote yesterday in an article for the Washington Times.  “Since we started conducting the annual survey three years ago, we have seen an astonishing 133 percent increase in attacks on religious freedom over the past two years.”

Shackleford then goes on to detail several cases that the organization has taken in the past few years, including “everything from a 5-year-old girl who was ordered to stop praying over her meal by a school official to senior citizens being threatened with having their federally funded meals taken away because they were praying over their food. Continue Reading

Carson Confidante Armstrong Williams Tells Left: Carson Respects Obergefell

Dr. Ben Carson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Talking Points Memo, no friend of conservatism, is reporting that Ben Carson adviser Armstrong Williams called to scold them about asking about where Carson stands on Kim Davis and gay marriage:

“Dr. Carson has said since the Supreme Court ruling that it is the law of land and that’s what he respects,” a highly agitated Armstrong Williams told TPM in a phone interview

[…]

“And guess what? We called you personally to make sure you were no longer confused,” Williams said. “If I sound so forceful for it, it’s because we are … there’s no agenda here unless you create one.”

TPM reached out to Carson when Buzzfeed reported the Carson campaign responded to a request for his position on the Kim Davis controversy by referring to the candidate’s statement (not a good one) in June after Obergefell.  A call to the campaign did not produce an immediate callback, but Armstrong Williams returned the call:

“It is old news,” a clearly annoyed Williams said of Carson’s marriage views. “You are trying to create something that’s new.”

Armstrong Williams has no formal position with the Carson campaign, although he is involved as a friend.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading