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FACT Report: Good and Bad Ambition

One way our Founding Fathers planned to protect our liberty from the concentration of political power in one branch of government was to give those who administer each department “personal motives” to resist encroachments on their power by members of the other branches. They said, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

The expected ambition, of course, was to power. But they forgot about another ambition—to keep getting re-elected. Increasingly, legislators avoid controversial subjects, content to let judges “modernize” the law through judicial interpretation.

Avoiding controversy is understandable, but when the ambition simply to hold office overcomes the Legislature’s ambition to protect its power from encroachment by the judiciary, then even more power will become concentrated in the hands of unelected judges. That will eventually bring about the death of America’s experiment in liberty and democratic self-government.

The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

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FACT Report: Conscience or Discrimination?

Kentucky family court Judge Mitchell Nance recently recused himself from all future adoptions by same-sex couples, because he doesn’t believe it is in the “best interest” of the child. But rather than argue that his belief is true, he said it was just a matter of conscience.

But LGBT activists were quick to say that “conscience” is a subjective criterion and just another word for discrimination.

The judge may be in trouble because Kentucky’s ethics rules prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Here’s the point: Christians must start arguing for the truth of what they believe rather than just saying it’s only a matter of conscience. Claims of conscience must be grounded in the truth.

If we don’t, our “subjective” conscience claims will increasingly be rejected. To the other side, “conscience” is just another word for “discrimination.”

The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

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FACT Report: Is Tying the Hands of Judges Really Bad?

Normally, judges give statutory words their normal and ordinary meaning, but today’s judges are increasingly deciding to “modernize” statutes giving old words like “marriage” and “sex” new meanings.

Last week the Tennessee Legislature passed a bill that tells judges that any undefined words in the law should be given their normal and ordinary meaning, and comments by senators made it clear that the meaning is the one the word had at the time the law was enacted.

Perhaps the most interesting comment in opposition to the bill came from Republican Steve Dickerson, who was concerned that telling courts that words should be interpreted according to what legislators meant at the time might “tie a judge’s hand” in a “fluid” society. Apparently, he doesn’t know that tying judges’ hands is what our Founders called the separation of powers.

The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

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FACT Report: Redefining Words, Rewriting Laws

Soon the Tennessee Senate will vote on a bill telling courts that any undefined word in the Tennessee Code should be given its normal and ordinary meaning. The bill is needed because judges increasingly like to give otherwise unambiguous words new meanings, essentially rewriting statutes to suit their policy agenda.

Unfortunately, our attorney general just gave our black-robed legislators ammunition for doing so. When gay rights advocates in the Legislature asked how the new bill would apply to words like “father” and “husband” in our statutes, he issued an opinion saying that courts can give those words a gender-neutral meaning like “parent” and “spouse.”

Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court redefined marriage. It looks like our attorney general now wants courts to rewrite the other words associated with the family to comply with the gay agenda.

The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

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FACT Report: Legislative Showdown With the Attorney General

Two weeks ago, a state judge ruled that he could rewrite a statute expressly governing a husband and a wife so that it applied to a wife and a wife.

A number of Tennessee legislators were hopping mad, but particularly with the attorney general. He had helped convince the judge that the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex “marriage” decision now requires judges to rewrite the state’s family law statutes in a way that makes the words “husband” and “wife” interchangeable.

Judges increasingly hold good laws unconstitutional, but now the attorney general is arguing that they can just rewrite them instead of striking them down.

A number of legislators are growing increasingly tired of being represented by an attorney general who does not respect the legislative branch. Look for a showdown next session between the Legislature and the attorney general.

The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

FACT-RSS-FACT-Report-Icon1-small Get the FACT Report Podcast as a feed.

Learn more about all our RSS options.