Presidential Fun Facts
The Anti-Gun Crowd’s Dumbest Moments
Student Wins Lawsuit Against School for Suspension Over Pro-Trump Shirt
A high school student won his lawsuit against the Hillsboro School District in Portland, Oregon. He had been suspended for refusing to cover up a pro-Trump t-shirt.
In January, Addison Barnes wore a shirt that said “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” to school. His politics class was discussing immigration that day.
He was asked to either remove the shirt or leave the school after some of his classmates complained about his shirt. He chose to leave and, as a result, it was a suspension. School security then escorted Barnes from the classroom.
He sued Liberty High School, its principal, and the Hillsboro School District because they had violated his First Amendment rights. Barnes won $25,000 for attorney fees. The principal also has to write an apology letter.
In an interview with Fox and Friends after the decision, Barnes stated,
“I thought to myself, ‘You know, this isn’t right. I have the First Amendment. I should be able to express my political opinions.’”
Trump Supporters Continually Face Double Standards
This case wasn’t brought up just to spite his high school. Barnes wants to “stand up for himself and other students who might be afraid to express their right of center views.”
After his settlement, he reasoned
“Everyone knows that if a student wears an anti-Trump shirt to school, the teachers won’t think twice about it. But when I wore a pro-Trump shirt, I got suspended. That’s not right.”
Double standards have been running rampant in the Trump Era, similar to Barnes’ plight.
James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, was recently fired for past indiscretions on Twitter. Several obscene tweets resurfaced earlier this week.
A couple months ago the same thing happened to Roseanne Barr. After tweeting a racist remark about Valerie Jarett, her TV reboot was cancelled. She has continued to receive backlash for her comments, despite apologizing to former President and Obama as well as Jarrett herself.
Many people have come to Gunn’s defense; however, Barr did not receive the same support. The difference between Gunn and Barr? He is a Trump-hating liberal while Barr supports Trump.
Rand Paul Wants to Revoke John Brennan’s Security Clearance
GOP senator and libertarian firebrand Rand Paul (R-KY) called for President Donald Trump to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. He then asked if he was “monetizing” his access by getting paid as a pundit.
Paul tweeted Monday morning to ask rhetorically
“John Brennan [is] monetizing his security clearance? Is [he] making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?”
A Known Partisan
Brennan came on board at NBC News and left-leaning MSNBC as a senior national security and intelligence analyst. He was an avid supporter of both former President Barack Obama and failed presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The former CIA director has consistently opposed President Trump’s actions. Brennan called Trump’s actions “nothing short of treasonous” after his recent meeting with President Putin.
Brennan is currently being sought after by GOP lawmakers. They want him to testify before Congress on the investigation into Russian collusion and possible election tampering with Trump associates in 2016.
“We have lots of questions for John Brennan and he will definitely be sought by the committees for an interview,” stated Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). He is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Wall Street Journal contributor Kimberly Strassel brought up another concern in a recent op-ed.
“Mr. Brennan has taken credit for launching the Trump investigation…[and he] took the lead on shaping the narrative that Russia was interfering in the election specifically to help Mr. Trump—which quickly evolved into the Trump-collusion narrative.”
Brennan’s potential testimony remains unknown. However, GOP lawmakers are concerned that Brennan’s involvement could signal a greater conspiracy. It could also ensure that Trump’s term is rendered ineffective or could even lead to impeachment.
Former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok is also at the center of the GOP investigation.
President Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court
With SCOTUS decisions on the line for the next several decades, President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court pick Monday evening. His nominee is Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
This is President Trump’s second Supreme Court Justice pick in just two years. Kavanaugh has the opportunity to set the court towards a more constitutional bend. Landmark decisions currently seen as set-in-stone precedent could see a revisit by a Supreme Court that will lean far more to the right than in recent years.
Kennedy was a swing vote, sometimes voting with the right and sometimes with the more liberal justices on the court. Earlier in his term, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia, a Constitutional originalist and hardline conservative on issues such as gun rights and federal powers.
Maybe Next Time for These Judges
Trump also considered:
Thomas Hardiman – a Constitutional originalist and former runner-up to Neil Gorsuch during the last nomination process.
Amy Coney Barrett – a deeply religious federal judge who would almost certainly rule in favor of reversing Roe v. Wade.
Raymond Kethledge – another federal judge with strong conservative bona fides.
Kavanaugh was the most centrist of the potential judges.
Pro-life conservatives are ecstatic about Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. They hope the new Supreme Court will challenge previous abortion rights precedent cases where Kennedy voted in favor of abortion.
Other possible decisions, like the Obamacare individual mandate and the legalization of gay marriage, are also possible to come up for consideration.
Liberals, on the other hand, showed up to the Court to challenge ANY of the potential nominees. Some even had fill in the blank signs for when Trump made the announcement.
Justice Kennedy Retires After Three Decades on the Supreme Court
On Wednesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, effective at the end of July.
Justice Kennedy is the second longest serving member of the Court and is usually more centrist. As a result, he earned himself the reputation of being the Court’s ‘swing vote.’
He made decisive votes on many high-profile issues. These included abortion rights, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, the death penalty, and campaign finance.
Fellow Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stated about Kennedy,
“His work has made an impressive contribution to the development of the law in many fields, and he will surely be remembered as one of the most important justices in the history of the Court.”
Trump Seeks to Solidify Conservative Court
Justice Kennedy’s retirement gives President Trump a second opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.
In this case, Trump is likely to give the conservatives a majority in the court. With Kennedy’s retirement, the Supreme Court is split between four conservative justices and four liberals.
President Trump stated his next plan of action as:
“We will begin our search for a new justice of the United States Supreme Court immediately.”
He hopes to nominate Kennedy’s potential successor before the midterm elections in November.
Trump will revisit his list of 25 potential justices made last year before he nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The top contenders include Judge Brett Kavanaugh from the federal appeals court in Washington D.C. and Judge Thomas Hardiman. Hardiman was considered for the President’s first nomination. Maybe he can still make the highest court after all.
Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban
Today, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of upholding President Trump’s travel ban. This ban restricts entry into the United States from seven countries. These countries are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and, finally, Yemen.
“#SCOTUS holds ban is within president’s authority under immigration laws and challengers are unlikely to prevail on establishment clause claim because the ban is justified by legitimate national-security concerns.”
The travel order, currently on its third version, was originally issued in January 2017 as an executive order.
The first order included a ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The second version, issued in March 2017, removed Iraq from the list of banned countries. The third and current issue was given last September. It removed Sudan from the ban but added Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. However, in April, Chad was removed from the list.
Each country has its own separate criteria for the travel ban.
Travel Ban is Ruled as Legitimate
This ban has been quite controversial. Many believe it exceeds the President’s authority and violates the Constitution. It has also been portrayed as a Muslim ban.
However, the Supreme Court Justices made it clear the travel order “is based on legitimate purposes, without saying anything about religion.” The government must also provide “sufficient national security justification” when added nations to the list. In this case, they felt the burden was met.
President Trump tweeted his praise to the Supreme Court ruling. He exclaimed in all caps,
“Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban. Wow!”
This decision is a big win for the White House. It is the first Trump policy to go through Supreme Court review.
I.D. Please: Voter Rolls Rife with Errors
Is voter fraud a real problem? Should you be required to bring your I.D. on election day? Ask the residents of Broward County, Florida, which has more registered voters than it does eligible ones. In 2016, the number of registered voters exceeded the number of people in the county who were eligible to vote.
Inaccurate Voter Rolls
Of the people registered to vote in Broward County, more than 3,000 of them were listed as over 100 years old. Either the voter rolls are wrong, or South Florida is home to a disproportionate number of centenarians! Almost 50 of those centenarians were on record as being older than the oldest living American. Either Broward County is the healthiest place on the planet, or something is wrong with the voter records.
Broward County had no clue that more than 1,200 voters used business addresses to register. That’s illegal; voter registration requires your home address to prove that you live in your district. The American Civil Rights Union approached Broward County about the issue, and is working to make the voter rolls accurate.
Every voter is supposed to register only once; in fact, it’s supposed to be impossible to double-register. Yet Broward County had thousands of duplicated registrations. This means that certain voters could have voted twice in a single election. It’s impossible to state the true impact of this issue with the voter rolls.
We do know that it’s not new. In 2012, 23% of registered voters who passed away in 2011 were still on the voter rolls.
Ironically, Florida has fairly strong voter I.D. laws. Requiring I.D. can help stop people who try to vote more than once, vote under a fake name, or vote in a district where they don’t live. Florida is one of eight states that requests (but does not require) voters to show photo identification. Eighteen states do not require any form of identification, and sixteen states ask for non-photo I.D. (though some only request, not require it).
If you want to vote to count, you must cast a ballot. And if you want that ballot to be counted fairly, you should take a stand against voter fraud.
Intuit Stops “Gun-Related” Purchases, Claims It Had Nothing to Do with Guns
Intuit stopped payments on firearm and firearm-related purchases last month. Intuit is a major payment processor and the parent company of Quickbooks, TurboTax, and other financial tools.
They abruptly closed all payment processing accounts with firearm-related businesses. This left thousands of dealers and merchandisers in the lurch with customers.
Intuit sent letters to businesses announcing that it had closed their payment processing accounts due to their “type of business.” The action had already been done. Many of the stopped payments weren’t even for firearm purchases at all. T-shirts, coffee mugs, classes, and other merchandise had payments stopped on them simply because they were being sold by a firearm merchant.
Businesses had to contact customers and ask for them to pay for their purchases in a different way. In many cases, however, they already had the merchandise or had already taken the class in question. This caused many merchants to lose money they previously had.
Intuit’s Response Makes Everything Worse
Intuit’s action caused quite a hubbub among firearm-related business owners. However, their response resulted in a collective uproar from those affected.
Intuit told Gunsite Academy that it “mistakenly believed firearm sales were being made directly to customers.” Gunsite’s owner explained all guns were shipped to local dealers for background checks and mandatory paperwork. That didn’t change Intuit’s stance, however. This led many to believe Intuit was being less than transparent about their motives.
Intuit claims that their company “does NOT prohibit ANY of these regulated industries, including the firearms industry.” They merely require the customer to be present.
Gun purchases are already done face to face for many federally licensed firearm dealers. They are then shipped to another FFL who does in-person processing, yet Intuit still closed their accounts.
The company did admit reversing the charges “caused an inconvenience.” It said it was evaluating its practices for “a better experience” in the future.
Recent Supreme Court Decision Small Victory For Religious Liberty
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Colorado court ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This ruling stated that a business cannot refuse to serve gay and lesbian couples’ wedding, despite a person’s right to religious freedom.
In 2012, baker Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Although he offered to sell them any other type of baked good, he would not design a wedding cake due to his religious beliefs.
During arguments, Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, a member of the Alliance Defending Freedom team that represented Philips, stated
“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs.”
Phillip’s First Amendment Rights Were Violated
After Phillips’ refusal of service, Craig and Mullins filed a charge with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against him for sexual orientation discrimination. The Commission deemed that the bakery had violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, with the Colorado State Courts affirming the ruling and being in favor of the couple.
At the end of 2017, the case was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of Phillips, stating that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated Phillip’s rights under the First Amendment.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who delivered the opinion of the Court, stated
“When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.”
This case is very unique. The court did not decide any overall precedents on the line between religious freedom and discrimination. Instead, it simply made a limited ruling pertaining to this specific case.
Still, it is a small victory for any business owner who might need to decline to design for or participate in an event that goes against their conscience.