Tag archives: Change Watch

Change Watch: John Kerry, Secretary of State

by Family Research Council

January 29, 2013

POSITION: Secretary of State

NOMINEE: John Kerry

Born: Aurora, Colorado, December 11, 1943.

Family: Second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, two daughters and three stepsons.

Occupation: Lt. Governor of MA 1982-1985; Senate 1985-present. Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 2009-present.

Education: Yale University (1966) and Boston College Law School.


SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

On Roe v. Wade and promoting abortion

Kerry: “I respect their views [Catholic Bishops]. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views, but I disagree with them, as do many. I believe that I can’t legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn’t share that article of faith. I believe that choice, a woman’s choice is between a woman, God and her doctor. And that’s why I support that. Now I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade. The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he’s tried to appoint to the court he wants to. I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.” Source: New York Times, Third Bush-Kerry Debate Transcript Oct. 13, 2004.

Supports using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortion

Q: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

Kerry: “I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now. First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I’m a Catholic, raised a Catholic… But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment. Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don’t deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can’t afford it otherwise. That’s why I think it’s important. That’s why I think it’s important for theUnited States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.” Source: Washington Post, Second Bush-Kerry Debate Transcript Oct. 8, 2004.

Rights of Conscience

Voted against the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act that would have protected employers’ rights of conscience from the HHS mandate.

On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Blunt Amdt. No. 1520 to S.Amdt.1730), Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, Roll Call 24, March 1, 2012. Source: Senate.gov

Parental Consent on issues of abortion

Voted against stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion: S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008. Source: Senate.gov

Voted against parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006. Source: Senate.gov

On taxpayer funding of abortion

Voted for increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation:  S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007. Source Senate.gov

Voted for increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million:  S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005. Source: Senate.gov

Supports subsidizing international abortion agencies

S.Amdt. 2719 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-319, September 6, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

Supports full funding for the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA)

(Evidence shows UNFPA subsidizes coercive abortions)

S. Amdt. 2708 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-320, September 6, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

MARRIAGE AND HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA

Voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006. Source: Senate.gov

Opposes the Defense of Marriage Act:

Kerry: “My vote against [DOMA] — which some predicted would cost me reelection in 1996 — is among my proudest votes as a United States Senator…But my job in 2011 isn’t to feel good about my vote — or to boast that fifteen years later, I’m vindicated when at last an American president now agrees that DOMA is unconstitutional.” Source: Boston Globe 

Voted in favor of the Federal Hate Crimes Act: 

Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

Supports special rights for homosexuals

Kerry co-sponsored S.811 the so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2011.” Source: Govtrack.us

Supports legislation that results in the shutting of Christian adoption agencies

Kerry co-sponsored S. 1770 in the 112th Congress which seeks to change the parameters of adoption placement so that agencies that continue to prioritize homes with a mother and father would be forced to close Source: Thomas

Supports redefining marriage and removing the ability of states to protect from redefinitions

Kerry co-sponsored S. 598 in the 112th Congress which seeks to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and redefine “spouse” for federal purposes. Source: Thomas

MISCELLANEOUS

Kerry’s Top Ten Flip-Flops: Senate’s role in Iraq war, wartime funding, Israeli security fence, the Patriot Act, death penalty for terrorists, releasing strategic oil reserves, affirmative action, free trade, and No Child Left Behind. Source: CBS News

Kerry Insults U.S. Troops: Kerry told a California audience on Monday: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” Source: Washington Post

Divisive Among Veterans: Following his service in Vietnam, John Kerry helped lead the controversial anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), a group that condemned America’s conduct in Indochina and who was seen by some veterans as serving pro-Viet Cong interests. According to FBI accounts, Kerry was present at a 1971 VVAW meeting in Kansas City where the assassination of politicians was discussed.

Source: Washington Post, also WorldNetDaily

Change Watch: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

by Family Research Council

January 29, 2013

POSITION: Secretary of Defense

NOMINEE: Chuck Hagel

Born: North Platte, Nebraska, October 4, 1946. (1961-08-04)

Family: Second wife, Lilibet Hagel, two daughters.

Occupation: Sergeant, US Army 1967-1968 (awarded Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Army Commendation Medal and two Purple Hearts); co-founded Vanguard Cellular, President of the McCarthy Group LLC and CEO of American Information Systems Inc. Senate 1996-2007. Served on the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Select Committee on Intelligence and Committee on Rules and Administration.

Education:Brown College and University of Nebraska, Omaha


SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

Opposes Abortion Except in Life of the Mother Cases and Opposed Taxpayer Funding

I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.

As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.

Voted against overseas military abortions..

Click here to view his voting record as U.S. Senator.

Parental Consent on issues of abortion

Voted for stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion: S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008. Source: Senate.gov

Voted for parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006. Source: Senate.gov

On taxpayer funding of abortion

Voted against increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation:  S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007. Source Senate.gov

Voted against increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million:  S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005. Source: Senate.gov

Opposed subsidizing international abortion agencies

S.Amdt. 2719 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-319, September 6, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

Opposed funding for the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA)

(Evidence shows UNFPA subsidizes coercive abortions)

S. Amdt. 2708 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-320, September 6, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

Supports Expanding Taxpayer Funding for Abortions in the Military

On January 14, 2013, Hagel sent a letter to Barbara Boxer assuring her he would “fully implement all laws protecting women service member’s reproductive rights” and that they would be “afforded the same reproductive health care options as women in the civilian population.”

MARRIAGE AND HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA

No Vote” on the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006. Source: Senate.gov

Voted against the Federal Hate Crimes Act:

Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007. Source: Senate.gov

Apologized for “Aggressive Gay” Remark, supports DADT repeal

The Omaha World-Herald reported in 1998: “Ambassadorial posts are sensitive, Hagel explained. ‘They are representing America,’ he said [in an interview]. ‘They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.’”

Then, Dec. 2012: “My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

Fully Supports Military Benefits for Homosexual Couples

In his January 14, 2013 letter to Barbara Boxer, Hagel reiterated his support for repealing DADT and promised he would “do everything possible to the extent permissible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all service members.”

MISCELLANEOUS

Urged “direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran

Criticized GOP Senators seeking to Repeal Healthcare as Irresponsible

Called Pentagon Budget “Bloated”

From a September 2011 interview: “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated,” he responded. “So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.” 

Opposed Sanctions in Countries including Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Syria

Hagel did not sign a letter to the EU calling on it to designate Hezbollah a terror group       Hagel defended this by saying, “I didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem.”

In 2006, Hagel referred to the Israel lobbyists as the “Jewish lobby Hagel said, “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here… I have always argued against some of the dumb things they do because I don’t think it’s in the interest of Israel.”

Hagel opposed the ultimately successful troop surge in Iraq

Change Watch: Elena Kagan—Supreme Court Nominee

by Family Research Council

May 10, 2010

POSITION: Supreme Court nominee

NOMINEE: Elena Kagan

Born: April 28, 1960

Occupation: Dean of Harvard Law School and Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of Law at Harvard University.

Education: BA summa cum laude, Princeton University, 1981; MPhil, Worchester College, Oxford, 1983; JD magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1986

Clinton White House: 1995-1996 associate counsel to the President; 1997-1999 deputy assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; 1997-1999 deputy director Domestic Policy Council.

NOTE: From 1986 to 1987 Ms. Dean Kagan served as a judicial clerk for Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. From 1987-1988 she also served as a judicial clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Dean Kagan briefly served as a staff member for Michael Dukakiss presidential campaign. During the summer of 1993 she served as Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee to work on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

HOMOSEXUAL ISSUES

Gays in the Military

Last year candidate Barack Obama repeatedly opined that students should have military service opportunities on campus. However, President Obama’s nominee for solicitor general, Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, believes the military should be barred from campus. In fact, she fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court, trampling on students’ constitutional rights all the way there, in order to deny qualified students the opportunity to serve our country … Kagan’s staunch ideological opposition to the military and providing qualified students the opportunity to serve puts her well outside of the mainstream. Even Bill Clinton, who dodged a military draft during Vietnam, signed the law Kagan opposes, the Solomon amendment, with overwhelming congressional and public support.

Solomon, simply put, seeks to facilitate voluntary military service by asking colleges and universities to allow students to meet with military recruiters on campus and to participate in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Schools whose policies or practices obstruct students from taking part are ineligible for federal funding.

Yet, Kagan, who has categorized the law as “immoral” at a 2003 Harvard student forum, argued in support of the position of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, the so-called FAIR coalition, claiming elite schools have a right to taxpayer largesse while simultaneously barring the military - a radical view the Supreme Court unanimously struck down … Yet, leftwing views like Kagan’s still disparage the sacrifices our military makes and cause real, quantifiable harm to students and to our nation at taxpayer expense. According to Harvard’s annual financial statements, the school received $473 million of our hard-earned dollars during the 2003-4 school year, while FAIR, with Kagan’s help, won an injunction against the military in the Third Circuit. Harvard took another $511 million during the following school year and, for 2005-6, $517 million more as the Supreme Court heard and rejected FAIR’s claims.

Even Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer and centerpiece of the liberals’ high court coalition, couldn’t find a way to justify these spurious, anti-student claims and recognized Congress’ ability to condition taxpayer spending. Flagg Youngblood, Solicitor General Flimflam, The Washington Times, January 30, 2009.

Hate Crimes

Believes courts should support hate crime laws and that when reviewing regulations of speech, courts could evaluate motive directly, they could remove the lions share of the First Amendments doctrinal clutter. Elena Kagan, Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Government Motive in First Amendment Doctrine, 63 U. Chi. L. Rev. 413, 516 (1996).

In her 1993 University of Chicago Law Review piece, she wrote that proposed regulations on hate speech and pornography failed to adhere to the fundamental First Amendment principle of viewpoint neutrality that the government cannot favor certain private speakers or viewpoints over others. Her 1996 article on government motive in First Amendment cases has been cited more than 115 times an enviably high number for a secondary source. In that article she declares that the application of First Amendment law is best understood and most readily explained as a kind of motive-hunting. David Hudson, Jr., Solicitor-general nominee: impressive First Amendment resume, FirstAmendmentcenter.org.

On Opposing Religious Institutions Involving Themselves In Pregnancy

As a young law clerk, Kagan, 49, once penned a memo saying it would be difficult for a religious organization to take government funding to counsel teenagers about pregnancy without injecting some kind of religious teaching. When a Senator asked her about the memo, Kagan did not hesitate to distance herself from its views, saying she had fresh eyes two decades later. I looked at it, and I thought, That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, she said. Michael Sherer, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Time, April 13, 2010.

On Questioning of Presidential Nominees

Kagan herself has called for the Senate to use confirmation hearings to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues. In her 1995 review (62 U. Chi. L. Rev. 919) of Stephen L. Carters The Confirmation Mess, Kagan argues that the critical inquiry that the Senate should conduct on a Supreme Court nominee concerns the votes she would cast, the perspective she would add (or augment), and the direction in which she would move the institution. Kagan draws as the fundamental lesson of the Bork hearings … the essential rightnessthe legitimacy and the desirabilityof exploring a Supreme Court nominees set of constitutional views and commitments.

Although Carters book and Kagans review focus heavily on Supreme Court nominees, they also address DOJ nominations (especially Clintons 1993 nomination, subsequently withdrawn, of Lani Guinier to be AAG for Civil Rights), and Kagans view of the Senates role applies fully to those (and other executive-branch) nominations. That, of course, is hardly surprising, as the case for careful scrutiny of the legal views of DOJ nominees, even if combined with greater deference to the president, seems widely accepted. Ed Whelan, Obamas SG Pick Elena Kagan, NROs The Corner, January 7, 2009.

On Lack of Experience

Kagan may well have less experience relevant to the work of being a justice than any justice in the last five decades or more. In addition to zero judicial experience, she has only a few years of real-world legal experience. Further, notwithstanding all her years in academia, she has only a scant record of legal scholarship. Kagan flunks her own threshold test of the minimal qualifications needed for a Supreme Court nominee. Ed Whelan, Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan, NROs Bench Memos, May 10, 2010.

On Being a Washington and Obama Administration Insider

There is a striking mismatch between the White Houses populist rhetoric about seeking a justice with a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people and the reality of the Kagan pick. Kagan is the consummate Obama insider, and her meteoric rise over the last 15 yearsfrom obscure academic and Clinton White House staffer to Harvard law school dean to Supreme Court nomineewould seem to reflect what writer Christopher Caldwell describes as the intermarriage of financial and executive branch elites [that] could only have happened in the Clinton years and that has fostered the dominant financial-political oligarchy in America. In this regard, Kagans paid role as a Goldman Sachs adviser is the perfect marker of her status in the oligarchyand of her unfathomable remoteness from ordinary Americans. Ed Whelan, Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan, NROs Bench Memos, May 10, 2010.

Goldman Sachs Ties

Solicitor General Elena Kagan was a member of the Research Advisory Council of the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute, according to the financial disclosures she filed when President Obama appointed her last year to her current post. Kagan served on the Goldman panel from 2005 through 2008, when she was dean of Harvard Law School, and received a $10,000 stipend for her service in 2008, her disclosure forms show. Matt Kelly, Possible Supreme Court pick had ties with Goldman Sachs USA Today, April 27, 2010.

Opposition by Liberals

Liberal legal scholars and experts stepped up their attacks Friday on Elena Kagan as a potential Supreme Court nominee, hoping to dissuade President Obama from selecting her in the last few days before an expected announcement early next week. A group of four law professors Friday morning published a piece at Salon.com criticizing Kagan, Obamas solicitor general, for hiring too few women and minorities when she was dean of Harvard law school. Liberal attorney and blogger Glenn Greenwald who has taken Kagan to task for her views on executive power and been the chief organizing force behind criticism of Kagan promoted the column on his Twitter account and kept up a drumbeat against Kagan… .Ive devoted everything I can to making the case against Kagan before Obama chooses, precisely because I know that once he makes his selection, the overwhelming majority of progressives and Democrats will cheer for her even if they have no idea what she thinks or believes, Greenwald said… .Prominent liberal legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky made that very point this week in an interview. The reality is that Democrats, including liberals, will accept and push whomever Obama picks, said Chemerinsky, founding dean of the University of California-Irvine law school. Obviously, liberals hope that Obama will pick someone more from the left than the center. It cant be that Republicans pick conservatives and Democrats pick only moderates. John Ward, Liberal activists intensify attacks on Kagan as court pick nears, The Daily Caller, May 7, 2010.

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