THE SUPREME URGENCY

Filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court is urgent for both Trump and the Republican Senate. You will hear all kinds of lies and threats from the Democrats, the Fake News and leftists—and from all the usual RINOs. Even now, they have begun screaming that this is tyrannical, evil and wrong to place someone on the bench during an election year.

Throughout American history, the party that controls the Senate, gets to fill Supreme Court vacancies at any time. This includes election years, lame duck sessions after an election and even when the election is lost by the majority in the Senate. They have the power to do it any time there is an opening.

If the Senate is controlled by the party that opposes the President, they can block the nomination.  In 2016, Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia in March of the last year of Obama’s term, during the Trump–Clinton election.

Because Republicans held the majority in the Senate they blocked Garland’s nomination. Elections have consequences. The Democrats cried foul, but they were wrong. This was a simple case of how our system works. People elected Republicans to do their job, and they did it. This has happened many times in our history.

As Dan McLaughlin said “Historically, when the opposite party controls the Senate, the Senate gets to block Supreme Court nominees sent up in a presidential election year, and hold the seat open for the winner. Both of those precedents are settled by experience that is as old as the republic.

“Twenty-nine times in American history there has been an open Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential election year, or in a lame-duck session before the next presidential inauguration. (This counts vacancies created by new seats on the Court, but not vacancies for which there was a nomination already pending when the year began, such as happened in 1835–36 and 1987–88.) The President made a nomination in all twenty-nine cases. George Washington did it three times. John Adams did it. Thomas Jefferson did it. Abraham Lincoln did it. Ulysses S. Grant did it. Franklin D. Roosevelt did it. Dwight Eisenhower did it. Barack Obama, of course, did it.”

JOE BIDEN SAID THIS IN 2016: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the courts created by the Constitution itself, the supreme court of the United States the president shall—not may—shall appoint someone to fill the vacancy with advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. And deciding in advance simply to turn your back even before the president names a nominee is not an option the constitution leaves open.  It’s a plain abdication of the Senate’s solemn constitutional duty. If the president consults in cooperation with the senate then his nominee may enjoy my support. I made it absolutely clear I would go forward with the confirmation process as chairman even a few months before a presidential election.” Joe Biden 2016

It is extremely dangerous for Republicans to cave to pressure being put upon them, and hesitate to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. They would be creating a new and disastrous precedent. McLaughlin says, “Choosing not to fill a vacancy would be a historically unprecedented act of unilateral disarmament.”

The Nancy Pelosi clown car has careened away from constitutional law so long that they don’t even see the Constitution in their rear-view mirror. They can whine and rage all they want, but Republicans are absolutely right to take action now to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The threats have already begun to be more and more insane: “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f***ing thing down,” former CNN host Reza Aslan wrote on Twitter. “Over our dead bodies. Literally.” That is what Aslan wrote, a man who is a total hack and gained notoriety by being anti-Christian. He wrote the dumbest book I have ever seen about how Jesus resembled an Islamist Jihadist. That’s why he’s on CNN. That is also why we should utterly ignore his kind of threats and do the right thing.

The single most important reason we must move with haste is our 5 decade-old war to end one of the most heinous practices that has ever seen the light of day: Abortion.

Is it right to confirm a Supreme Court Justice in just 45 days? We have done it three times in our history. One of those times was when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed—it took just 42 days…

 

 

 

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Reza Aslan Misrepresents His Scholarly Credentials.

Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:03 AM

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There is a bit of a hubbub in the interwebs about an interview conducted by Lauren Green, religion correspondent for Fox News Channel, with Reza Aslan, author of a new book on Jesus titled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Our friend Joe Carter, over at GetReligion, has the basic story. Green launched the interview (available here in full) with a question about why a Muslim should want to write a book about Jesus. A reasonable question, and not a hostile one on its face–but by the end of the interview Green has returned to it in a somewhat more accusatory fashion. As Joe says, the interview is a mess. But as he also points out, Green’s critics are passing right by something far more interesting: that Aslan has misrepresented his scholarly credentials.

In fact, it is Aslan who immediately turns the interview into a cage match by reacting very defensively to Green’s first question. And here is where the misrepresentations begin. For roughly the first half of the interview Aslan dominates the exchange with assertions about himself that seem intended to delay the substance of the discussion:

I am a scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament . . . I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions . . . I am a professor of religions, including the New Testament–that’s what I do for a living, actually . . . To be clear, I want to emphasize one more time, I am a historian, I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions.

Later he complains that they are “debating the right of the scholar to write” the book rather than discussing the book. But the conversation took that turn thanks to Aslan, not Green! By the final minute he is saying of himself (and who really talks this way!?) that “I’m actually quite a prominent Muslim thinker in the United States.”

Aslan does have four degrees, as Joe Carter has noted: a 1995 B.A. in religion from Santa Clara University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and wrote his senior thesis on “The Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark”; a 1999 Master of Theological Studies from Harvard; a 2002 Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Iowa; and a 2009 Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

None of these degrees is in history, so Aslan’s repeated claims that he has “a Ph.D. in the history of religions” and that he is “a historian” are false.  Nor is “professor of religions” what he does “for a living.” He is an associate professor in the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Riverside, where his terminal MFA in fiction from Iowa is his relevant academic credential. It appears he has taught some courses on Islam in the past, and he may do so now, moonlighting from his creative writing duties at Riverside. Aslan has been a busy popular writer, and he is certainly a tireless self-promoter, but he is nowhere known in the academic world as a scholar of the history of religion. And a scholarly historian of early Christianity? Nope.

What about that Ph.D.? As already noted, it was in sociology. I have his dissertation in front of me. It is a 140-page work titled “Global Jihadism as a Transnational Social Movement: A Theoretical Framework.” If Aslan’s Ph.D. is the basis of a claim to scholarly credentials, he could plausibly claim to be an expert on social movements in twentieth-century Islam. He cannot plausibly claim, as he did to Lauren Green, that he is a “historian,” or is a “professor of religions” “for a living.”

It may be that Aslan sensed a tougher interview from Lauren Green than he is accustomed to. Hence he immediately went into high-dudgeon mode, and made the ten minutes all about her alleged disrespect of him and his alleged scholarly credentials. But in order to change the subject he told a string of gratuitous falsehoods about himself. Perhaps that master’s in fiction writing came in handy.

Is Aslan’s book worth reading? I have no idea. But he has earned enough distrust from me that I haven’t any interest in finding out.