News From the Front

May 2012 | Volume 14 | Issue 1

 

Individual Rights Foundation Files Amicus Brief Opposing Obamacare

On  February  13,  2012,  the  Individual Rights Foundation  -  the  legal  arm  of  the  David Horowitz Freedom Center - filed a joint amicus brief  in  the  U.S.  Supreme  Court  (with  five organizations  and  two  individuals,  including Center  for  Constitutional  Jurisprudence,  the Judicial Education Project, Reason Foundation, The  Heritage  Foundation,  Ending  Spending, Inc., and former U.S. Senators George LeMieux and Hank Brown) supporting the challenge to Obamacare's individual mandate.

This  is  a  landmark  case,  and  IRF  general counsel Manny Klausner decided not  to  file a brief  that  merely  duplicated  the  central constitutional arguments already raised by  the parties  challenging  Obamacare.  The  IRF wanted  to offer something strategically useful, and the joint amicus brief has been recognized by  a  recent  editorial  in  the  Orange  County Register for how well it articulated key reasons why the mandate should fail.

The  initial argument  in our brief discusses  the inappropriateness  of  the  traditional presumption  of  constitutionality,  and  we  ask the  Court  to    conduct  a  searching  and meaningful constitutional inquiry.  As stated in the joint brief:

"Here,  Congress  has  not  only  exceeded  the limitations  imposed by  federalism,  it has done so  most  cavalierly.  In  contrast  to  its  more circumscribed  approach  to  drafting  prior landmark  social  legislation  (e.g.,  the  Social Security Act), Congress has failed to address the constitutionality  of  the  individual mandate  in any meaningful way. Where  'one or  the other level  of Government  has  tipped  the  scale  too far ,' and thus undermined 'the federal balance... of our constitutional structure,' it is left to this Court  to  intervene  and  enforce  the Constitution’ s  structural  protections  (quoting Justice  Kennedy's  concurring  opinion  in  the 1995 Lopez case)."

In our second argument, we  focus on how  the legislative process leading to the passage of the bill was systemically flawed.   In this section, we state: "The passage of the bill was made possible by an unseemly  mix  of  trade-offs,  arcane  legislative maneuvers  and  politically  expedient  promises. Earmarks  were  doled  out  to  several  skeptical legislators  in  exchange  for  their  support;  the highly  controversial  tactic  of  budget reconciliation was employed  to allow  the bill’s supporters to circumvent traditional debate and amendment  rules;  a  last-minute  promise  was made  by  the  President  not  to  enforce  one provision concerning abortion funding; and $70 billion in projected cost savings turned out to be illusory when  a program  touted  to  reduce  the deficit  was  abandoned  as  ill-conceived  and fiscally unsound."

In  the  third  argument  in  our  joint  brief,  we discuss  how  prior  landmark  social  legislation was passed with wide margins, and uniformly commanded bipartisan congressional support  - reflecting  a  legislative  process  shaped  by compromise,  not  gamesmanship.  We  discuss such landmark legislation as the Social Security Act of 1935, Medicare and Medicaid, the Civil Rights  Act  and  the  Voting  Rights  Act,  the Americans  with  Disabilities  Act,  and Welfare Reform.

The  brief  states:  "At  bottom,  Obamacare represents  a  fundamental  departure  from  this history of legislative compromise and respect for constitutional  boundaries  in  3 matters  of  vast societal  importance.  Whereas  the  drafters  of these prior bills repeatedly sought to curtail their legislation to meet constitutional and/or political objections en route to overwhelming bipartisan majorities,  the  proponents  of  Obamacare barreled  ahead without  regard  to  serious  and duly-raised constitutional concerns."

The  oral  arguments  in  the  case  were  an occasion  to  cheer  for all of us who believe  in limited government and the rule of  law. We're hoping that the Supreme Court will enforce the Constitution and strike down Obamacare in its entirety.

Philadelphia Freedom Center Update

This  Spring,  the Philadelphia Freedom Center will  continue  their  speakers’  series  bringing renowned guests to Philadelphia to share their views  on  provocative  and  timely  issues. Speakers have included, among others, Andrew Breitbart,  Bill  Kristol,  John  Stossel,  David Horowitz,  Wafa  Sultan,  Brooke  Goldstein, Geert Wilders, Michael Ledeen,  and Caroline Glick.

Our  campus  outreach  activities  in  the Philadelphia  area  support  the  both  Centers’ Academic  Bill  of  Rights  program  and  the Center’ s  efforts  to  expose  and  combat  the campus entities, both Islamist and Leftist, who seek  to  delegitimize  and  destroy  Israel. Beginning  in 2012,  the Philadelphia Center  is partnering  with  the  Intercollegiate  Studies Institute  (ISI)  to  bring  DHFC  speakers  to campuses throughout the country.

In 2011, the Philadelphia Center inaugurated its “Patrick Henry Award”, given to an individual who  exemplifies  the  values  and  principals enshrined in the United States Constitution. The first recipient of the Patrick Henry Award was Ambassador  John  Bolton. On May  31st,  the Freedom Center will present  the 2012 Patrick Henry Award to Glenn Beck, one of America’ s leading multi-media personalities.  To register for the Patrick Henry Award event, visit  the website at www.phillyfreedom.org or email mwade@horowitzfreedomcenter .org.

The Freedom Center Targets the Muslim Hate Groups on Campus

The  Campus  War  to  delegitimize  Israel continues  to  escalate,  as  evidenced  by  the spread  of  the  “Boycott,  Divestment,  and Sanctions”  movement  and  the  planned disruptions  of  pro-Israel  events  around  the country. As the stakes are raised, the Freedom Center is, as ever , on the frontlines of the battle to defend  Israel and publicly  identify  the  true motivations  of  the  Islamist  and  leftist  groups proliferating on our college campuses.

 This  spring,  two  conferences  marred  the reputations  of  two  of  America’s  most prestigious  universities  –  the  University  of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. At Penn, an organization known as “PennBDS” hosted a national Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions conference  from  February  3-5,  headlined  by notorious  Israel  basher  and  founder  of  the “Electronic  Intifada,”  Ali  Abunimah. Abunimah was also the featured speaker at the “One  State  Solution”  conference  at Harvard University, along with radical professor and co-author  of  the  anti-Semitic  smear  book  “The Israel Lobby,” Stephen M. Walt.

The BDS National Conference at U Penn and the One State Solution Conference at Harvard are by no means stand-alone events. In fact the BDS movement  shares  radical  political DNA (and personnel) with  the  international “Israel Apartheid Weeks”  and  “Palestine  Awareness Weeks”  that  take  place  on  campuses  around the  country  each  spring.  The  goal  of  these events,  designed  by  Muslim  Brotherhood-affiliated  organizations  the  Muslim  Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine  (SJP),  is  to  garner  support  for  the Palestinian Authority and Hamas who seek to “push the Jews into the sea” and annihilate the Jewish  state.  These  “weeks”  have  regularly sought  to  intimidate  Jewish  students, occasionally through acts of physical violence, and  have  become  frequent  occurrences  at campuses across the country.

One  such  event  occurred  on  February  27  at University of California at Davis, where Jewish student groups presented a talk entitled “Israeli Soldiers  Speak  Out”  in  an  effort  to  engage students  of  all  political  stripes  in  a  dialogue about  the  Israeli-Palestinian  conflict  and  to dispel  the  biased  media  narrative  about  the Israeli military.

But members of the UC Davis branch of the national Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had  conspired  on  a  strategy  for  suppressing the free speech of the scheduled speakers: pack the room with pro-Palestinian students, many of whom would walk out together during the event,  leaving  other  members  behind  to disrupt the event relentlessly.

The event was disrupted  from  the beginning by hecklers intent on preventing it from going forward. The talk progressed with difficulty as the  heckling  continued  nearly  unabated. When  Ran  and  Ranya  mentioned  soldier friends who had been killed in the conflict, the pro-Palestinian  students  laughed.  The question-and-answer  period  devolved  into shouted  statements  of  accusations  of  Israeli atrocities  from  the  crowd, but no questions, and so the event organizers curtailed it.

The  David  Horowitz  Freedom  Center  is taking  several  steps  to  combat  such  campus anti-Semitism  and  infringements  on  freedom of  speech,  including  the  distribution  of  over 100,000  copies of a  recent DHFC pamphlet by  FrontPage  contributor  and  Shillman Journalism  Fellow  Daniel  Greenfield. “Muslim  Hate  Groups  on  Campus” documents  the  radical  origins  and  violent objectives  of  the  main  Muslim  student organizations  across our nation,  such  as  the Muslim Students Association (MSA), founded by  the  virulently  anti-Semitic  Muslim Brotherhood,  and  SJP .  Both  are  sponsors  of hate-fests  like  Israeli  Apartheid  Week  and Palestine  Awareness  Week.  The  Freedom Center  has  also  distributed  a  new  pamphlet titled “Faces of Palestine” to over a thousand students electronically and sent hard copies to more than fifty campuses. “Faces of Palestine” features  images of Palestinian  leaders drawn by cartoonist Bosch Fawstin along with some of  the  bloodcurdling  quotes  they’ve  uttered, thus counteracting the whitewashing of these leader’ s true aims, which is par for the course in the American press.

Several  representatives  from  the  campus division of  the Freedom Center attended  the Conservative  Political  Action  Conference (CPAC)  in Washington,  DC  in  February  to recruit students to participate in pro-Israel and pro-America  campus  activism.  DHFC representatives distributed hundreds of copies of our popular pamphlets free to students to bring  back  to  their  campuses  including Muslim Hate Groups on Campus and Barack Obama’ s Rules for Revolution.

Dozens of  these  students  signed up  to bring the Freedom Center's message back  to  their campuses  by  displaying  the Wall  of  Truth, hosting  speakers, distributing pamphlets and screening  films  like The Case  for  Israel  and Iranium.

David Horowitz’ s tireless efforts to speak on campuses  and  expose  the  enemies  of  Israel and the Western world continued this Spring with a speech at University of North Carolina –  Chapel  Hill  and  upcoming  events  at Bucknell, DePaul, and UCLA.  Co-Sponsored by the Freedom Center , Christians United For Israel,  and  the  Committee  for  a  Better Carolina,  David’ s  UNC  speech  was  titled “Why Israel  is the Victim and Why There  is No  Peace  in  the Middle  East.”  This  event, created  to present a  strong defense of  Israel, was  not  sponsored  by  any  Jewish organizations on campus. About 20 minutes into  the  lecture,  members  of  the  Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine staged a “walk out,” with about 30 students getting up to disrupt the event and leave all at once. In the campus paper the next day,  the  president  of  Hillel  condemned David’ s  speech  and  announced  that  Hillel stood in solidarity with the Islamist students.

The  Freedom  Center  will  be  also  hosting “Apartheid” conferences of our own – Islamic Apartheid  conferences  on  both  the East  and West  Coasts,  featuring  panels  of  experts  to discuss the persecution of women, gays, racial minorities,  and  other  religions  in  Islamic countries.  This month,  the  East  coast  panel will  be  held  at  Temple  University  and  is scheduled  to  feature  experts  such  as Robert Spencer ,  Pamela Geller , Nonie Darwish,  and Simon Dang. There will also be a West coast iteration of the panel held at UCLA in May .

The Freedom Center will continue to make an impact  on  the  campus  debate  even  in  the summer months. In light of the lack of strong pro-Israel Jewish students and  the continued cooperation between Hillel and the MSA, the Freedom Center will be hosting a  leadership training  seminar  at  Pepperdine  University, which  will  be  designed  to  give  strong conservative  and  pro-Israel  students  a dynamic  crash  course  in  Horowitz-style campus  tactics  and  how  to  put  the  left  and anti-Israel  students  and  professors  on  the defensive. We’ll also be updating our student websites to become a true hub of information for concerned students and incorporate more social  networking  elements  for  leaders  to connect with each other .

With the left on the march, Israel on the brink, and the future of our civil society in doubt, it is more important than ever for the Freedom Center  to  take  the  fight  to  our  nation’ s campuses and stem the tide of indoctrination and Jew-hatred.